web analytics

Stewart: “Dying days of democracy”?

Written By: - Date published: 2:11 pm, April 27th, 2017 - 59 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, democratic participation - Tags: , , , ,

Rachel Stewart asks:

Are we in the dying days of democracy?

Are we in the dying days of democracy and, if so, can humanity survive it?

There is so much crazy, weird bizarro flitting all around us like a flapping demon, it’d be hard to seriously make the case against it.

In a world gone mad – or, at least, out and proudly neo-liberal – democratic values appear to have entered the ever-tightening circles of the death spiral. The ground is fast rising up to meet them.

From scientists marching through the world’s streets to remind politicians why they’re still relevant, to women marching to remind male legislators of the very same, it’s beyond crystal clear. Houston, we have a problem.

Knowing that right now, out in the big wide world, are a bunch of leaders who either weren’t elected by the people, or were dubiously so. Putin, May, Erdogan, Mugabe, Assad, to name a few.

Then there’s Trump. Astonishingly elected, but by fewer than three million votes than his rival. Only in America. Land of the seriously deficient electoral system. It’s going to take some time turning that ship of state around.

Here at home we find we’re stuck with the lack-lustre Mr English as Prime Minister, and not of our choosing. He was the pre-ordained prefect left to us by Key when he exited stage right. Yeah, the Nats held an internal mock election but, that’s all it was. The appearance of democracy when you’re not really having it.

Enduring years and years of corporatocracy winning over democracy does that to voters. It dulls the desire to identify with any political tribe. Watching the steady drip of public wealth – think water, for a start – transferred into private hands has turned many a stomach, and a few worms. Like me.

Then add in the homeless; families living in cars before they get put up in a motel paid for by us, in a kind of merry-go-round of false economy and galloping governmental geldings who wouldn’t know a testicle if they tripped over one.

Because democracy should mean elected people looking after people. Instead it has morphed into elected people looking after unelected corporate interests, and themselves. They have fallen for the neo-liberal neonicotinoid. If you think bees are in trouble maybe have a good look around at the current state of humanity. …

Read on for plenty more. “Dying days of democracy”? Probably not, but after 9 years of Brighter Future / Dirty Politics it certainly can feel that way.


Looks like Stewart is not alone, see Has democracy reached a breaking point? on CNN.

59 comments on “Stewart: “Dying days of democracy”?”

  1. Ad 1

    She’s confusing the ‘death of democracy’ with ‘losing’.
    They are different things.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      No she isn’t. We’re most definitely seeing a steady decrease in democracy as corporatism takes over.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        Corps takeover yes. But. Its the market, the market isn’t rational, the delusion is coming to frution, corps have taken to stupifying discourse in order to maximize their influence. Pay off lobbyist to get their way, then stuff up democracy. Then the people look to strong men, to lead. Thoughneither strong, or having much leadership, less they emulate Hitler. So whose to blame. Easy, wealth people would rather fund anti abortion drives than hard nosed tell it like it is news. So whose the leader of the press, Murdoch, drive to the bottom, provider of the bastion of distortion, Fox. Aint a surprise really, if I were the USSR and wanted to destroy the west, I’d pick Murdoch to ensure Karl Marx’s ediction comes true. Classic shit in shit out. Pick your ill, Murdoch owns the influence and media that keep democracy distorted and unable to move forward.

        • aerobubble 1.1.1.1

          The money is all in more unsustainable, pollution, debt tranches, corps backed the wrong market niches, oil. They can only win by perpetuating the same highly geared intermeshing of global finance, its a babel of monied interested all about to crash. Anarchists rejoice. Serious crop of stupidly stupid wealthy people now rule, and their number is shrinking. I guess thats how we got Rockefeller, either his type, or the hstupidly rich stupid elite of Europe who pushed it into two world wars. The US has the disease Eu had in the early 20th.

    • Wonderpup 1.2

      Is democracy the legitimised tyranny of the majority? If so, f*ck democracy.

      • KJT 1.2.1

        Instead we have the legalized tyranny of a small minority of our political class. I think I prefer the majority.

    • weka 1.3

      “She’s confusing the ‘death of democracy’ with ‘losing’.
      They are different things.”

      National are experts in removing democracy with it being too apparent. You probably admire their skill in that.

  2. Philj 2

    Just heard a new term (for me at least) at a lunchtime lecture today in Saint Andrews on the Terrace, Wellington, on the topic “The Politics of Decency” given by Winton Higgins. It was Post Democracy. That’s what are are now experiencing?

  3. Michael 3

    There’s hardly been a resolute defence of democratic virtue against populist authoritarianism, has there? I wonder why not?

  4. SpaceMonkey 4

    Need to define democracy first because it sure has some interesting flavours in various parts of the world…

    Even in NZ I’m sure there are some who would argue it’s been dead for a while now, and others who would argue that we never had it in the first place.

  5. roy cartland 5

    Actually, winning against the popular vote is not ‘only in America’, we used to have disproportional representation too. Hence MMP.

    • Phil 5.1

      I agree, Roy…

      Four times in the history of the United States has the president won the electoral college despite losing the popular vote: 2016, 2000, 1888 and 1876. After those two 1800’s results, I’m sure there were plenty of people nervous about the imminent demise of representational politics.

      In New Zealand we’ve twice had the National party hold power despite winning less votes than Labour, to say nothing of the aggressively disproportionate FPP systems that continue to underrepresent minority parties right across the globe.

      I guess we’re now just in a world of sloppy and ignorant reporting. Only at the Herald. Go figure.

      Anyway, this line from Stewart is particularly egregious:
      Here at home we find we’re stuck with the lack-lustre Mr English as Prime Minister, and not of our choosing. He was the pre-ordained prefect left to us by Key when he exited stage right. Yeah, the Nats held an internal mock election but, that’s all it was. The appearance of democracy when you’re not really having it.

      The fact that we had a PM leave on short notice, and our governmental institutions continue to function basically as normal, is a feature, not a bug, of democracy. It’s almost the entire fucking point of having a regular elections. Yet that is apparently completely over Stewart’s head.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        The fact that we had a PM leave on short notice, and our governmental institutions continue to function basically as normal, is a feature, not a bug, of democracy.

        She wasn’t talking about the government institutions or even parliament.

        • Ovid 5.1.1.1

          But that’s the nature of parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy. The Governor General appoints the Prime Minister. English could have been selected by a round of competitive tiddlywinks provided he is an MP who could command a majority of the House.

          It’s certainly not unique. Look at how Palmer, Moore and Shipley became PM. The only difference is that Key scarpered while he still commanded his party’s loyalty.

          I am for constitutional change, and I think Geoffrey Palmer’s blueprint for a NZ constitution would be a welcome thing on the whole, but with the exception of MMP in the 90s, the public at large doesn’t seem to express much desire for reform in this area.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1

            but with the exception of MMP in the 90s, the public at large doesn’t seem to express much desire for reform in this area.

            [citation needed]

            A large part of the problem is that the inadequacies of our present system aren’t being reported. Hell, are they even being researched?

            And there’s more and more people not voting which, IMO, tends to indicate that more and more people are upset with the system but don’t know how to change it. They know damn well that the politicians won’t do so but they’re powerless to do so themselves.

          • KJT 5.1.1.1.2

            I don’t see that. I see the public keen for anything, including MMP that reduces the power of politicians and increases the power of the rest of us.
            Have a vote on Swiss style BCIR, and look at the results.

  6. dukeofurl 6

    Interesting story In Guardian about American fascism- that was written in the 30s and 40s
    ” in 1938, a New York Times reporter warned: “When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labelled ‘made in Germany’; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, ‘Americanism’.”

    Could Make America Great Again be the defining statement of Americanism ?

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/03/americanism-us-writers-imagine-fascist-future-fiction

    in 1944 then Vice President Henry Wallace ( he was dumped that year for Truman) wrote
    “Wallace predicted that American fascism would only become “really dangerous” if a “purposeful coalition” arose between crony capitalists, “poisoners of public information” and “the KKK type of demagoguery”
    Other interesting stuff about novels and films on the topic

  7. Gosman 7

    This women is an idiot. The PM in Westminster systems of government does not get directly elected by the voters. It is usually the prerogative of the ruling party although it is essentially agreed by the parties in government. It does not have to be directly elected.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      It’s nice to know that’s the only way you can find fault with the ‘idiot woman’. Personally, I doubt an infinite number of Gosmans would approach her value.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      The PM in Westminster systems of government does not get directly elected by the voters.

      And in the National Party they don’t even get elected by the people that they’re there to represent.

      • Gosman 7.2.1

        And so what?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1

          Are you that ignorant about what democracy is or are you just trolling?

          • Phil 7.2.1.1.1

            Are you that ignorant about how parliament functions, or are you just trolling?

            • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1.1.1

              No one’s talking about parliament you troll.

              • Phil

                That whooshing sound you’re hearing is either a plane, or something more conceptual, going well over your head.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You’re the one who’s missing the fact that National’s members didn’t get to vote for their leader.

                  I know you’re going to pull out that BS that only caucus should vote for the leader but that’s not democracy. That’s dictatorship.

  8. KJT 8

    We have never had Democracy.
    The best that can be said for our system is that we get to choose our Dictators.
    No where was this more apparent than in 84, 87 and 90, when the choice was the same policies we didn’t want, from both parties.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      We have never had Democracy.
      The best that can be said for our system is that we get to choose our Dictators.

      Yep. Go back awhile and representative democracy was probably be the only viable form of democracy due to communication limitations. We no longer have those limitations and so we should be moving to full democracy.

      But even then it wasn’t as good as it should have been because the elected MPs then followed their own conscience rather than the conscience of their electorate. The same is still true today.

      No where was this more apparent than in 84, 87 and 90, when the choice was the same policies we didn’t want, from both parties.

      Actually in 1990, IIRC, National said that they weren’t going to follow the policies of Labour but then they did anyway.

      • Mosa 8.1.1

        As it turned out printing a manifesto was in 84,87 and 90 a total waste of time and a tissue of lies.

  9. Muttonbird 9

    There does seem to be an increase in protest action around the world, and strike action in New Zealand.

    The workers are waking up!

    • Phil 9.1

      here does seem to be an increase in protest action around the world,

      Compared to when, exactly?
      I’m not seeing around the world that suggests we’re coming up on concerted Occupy-esque or Arab-Spring level of popular/populist rejection of democratic elections.

    • Cinny 9.2

      There’s been an increase in protest action in my corner of the world 😀

      Was making protest signs last night for a small but very well received protest in Motueka re care giver wages. They were out on the main street, stopping work for an hour this morning, good on them too, such undervalued people, doing it for the love, def not for the money that’s for real.

      At the paint shop yesterday, chatting away, lady who served me asked what I was painting.. protest signs for care givers… boy did she have something to say about it, spent the next ten minutes listening to her concerns, lovely lady. She had a care giver looking after her mum, and the care giver was amazing. She’s backing the care givers 100%, was very passionate about it, good on her.

      If she’s telling me about it, a stranger, she’ll be telling everyone else about it too should the opportunity arise, and good on her, she’s had enough. Needless to say she is looking forward to voting for change in September.

      Then there are the invisible protests about to take place, people who have never voted before are so angered by environmental destruction that they are enrolling to vote this year. Almost fell over when a hippy told me about his intentions the other day, every vote counts and they wont be voting for more of the same.

      • Muttonbird 9.2.1

        It would be great if your experience of new voters were to come true. I’m not sure that the tipping point has come yet on that but there is certainly more industrial action in New Zealand and unions have won some significant gains as a result which then shows to workers that they can get a better go at life if only they fight.

        That Industrial action is on the increase tells me that this government has got it wrong and is ignoring workers and they are finding this out. They’re also finding out this government is a reactionary soft touch and any amount of action is likely to see results.

        If this would translate to the electoral vote as you and I hope it does then a change to a socially conscious government is possible.

    • Gosman 9.3

      I suggest you don’t have any hard evidence for that and protest action tiday would be similar to what it was 10 years ago.

  10. timeforacupoftea 10

    Democracy has been wrecked twice in New Zealand.
    1) The David Lange / Rodger Douglas govt.
    2) MMP.

    • Cinny 10.1

      There was a referendum in 2011 on the electoral voting system, 57.8% voted to keep MMP.

      Early in 2012 the Electoral Commission called for public submissions on our electoral system, their findings and resulting recommendations were released later that year.

      Among the recommendations…

      Abolishing the one electorate seat threshold – a party must cross the party vote threshold to gain list seats.

      Reducing the party vote threshold from 5 percent to 4 percent. If the 4 percent threshold is introduced, it should be reviewed after three general elections.

      The National Government decided not to implement either recommendation.. I wonder why?

      MMP prevents one party from ruling our country, maybe the new government will fine tune it, the outgoing one sure won’t.

    • peterlepaysan 10.2

      I am baffled.
      What is your definition of democracy?

    • AB 10.3

      Sorry no. MMP is an advance for democracy. We simply dont get the sort of thing that happens in the UK for example, where the Tories get to totally dominate the House of Commons with just 37% of the vote.

  11. timeforacupoftea 11

    I think MMP stinks, one point I hate,
    In my opinion a party should at least win one electoral seat before they step inside the beehive.
    Ok, so I am taking aim at the Green Party.
    They have held a seat before and would be great to see them aiming to win a seat again.
    I watch them on TV in the debating chambers and they are really just a pack of activists.

    Alternative would be to scrap the electoral seats completely. That would be really Democracy at work as we would all be on a level playing field.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      In my opinion a party should at least win one electoral seat before they step inside the beehive.

      Why?

    • Chris 11.2

      Do you mean how like ACT got into Parliament? On the level playing field? MMP’s not the problem. It’s about how you approach MMP, and being open and honest about it. Once you do that even what goes on with Epsom isn’t a problem.

    • Rosemary McDonald 11.3

      “…and they are really just a pack of activists.”

      There was a time, timeforacupoftea, when the Greens would have considered that the highest of compliments. 🙂

    • gsays 11.4

      Rather activists than status quoists.
      Sounds like it’s representative.

    • Phil 11.5

      I think MMP stinks, one point I hate,

      I think MMP’s ok, but there is one point that I hate: a voter is forced to vote for one party only*.

      Implicitly, a party vote is an endorsement for all policies of the party you vote for. It doesn’t allow you to signal preferences for multiple parties. For instance, say a hypothetical voter had a bunch of issues they cared most about, and 40% of the time they thought National had the ‘best’ policy, 30% of the time they thought it was Labour with the ‘best’ and the remaining 30% was the Greens. How on earth are they supposed to communicate this preference with a single vote?

      STV goes some way to addressing this problem, but even that’s not perfect.

      *unless you live in a small handful of electorate seats where voting for an electorate candidate actually makes a difference to the composition of parliament.

  12. Adrian Thornton 12

    Wallerstein on the End of Capitalism..
    https://kpfa.org/program/against-the-grain/

  13. peterlepaysan 13

    If Stewart is wrong why has the actively voting electorate declined so so steeply in the last 40 years?
    It has not been working for the demos since roger douglas in 1984.
    Fat cat corporates have done extremely well. The demos have been struggling.

    When the demos get really angry look out. Already we do not have enough prisons (double bunkingg for gods sake?).

    How many more gulags do we have to build before there are enough one percenters left to vote for themselves?
    Mind you there will be a very rapidly dwindiling number of non robotic customers.

  14. Philj 14

    This government is done for. I predict it will not fare well come September. How big a trouncing?
    Wait and see. My only question is what will Winnie do? Will Bill get it on with Winnie to retain power? I can see 20% going to NZF. I can’t wait for Election night. Our Brexit is coming.

  15. Carolyn_nth 15

    Oh dear.

    Academic cleverly misses the point of Rachel Stewart’s lamenting of the dying of democracy. Another MOR academic, who has a subjective dislike of the “exttreme left” and extreme right.

    She is emotional and opinionated, and contemptuous of people who continue to defend and support democracy. Indeed, her position is so extreme that at times one is led to consider the possibility the piece is a failed attempt at satire.

    Stewart attacks “corporatocracy”, privatisation, homelessness and various other social ills. Politicians only look after “unelected corporate interests, and themselves”. She agrees with Sirota that voting is pointless but claims not to be encouraging abstention. She says she has always voted because she is “educated, white and privileged” and was socialised from birth to do it. But like Sirota, her message is that rationally people should not bother to participate in elections. In New Zealand, she thinks, we no longer live in a democracy.

    Of course, no set of political and economic institutions can deliver a perfect society defined by one person’s or group’s values. This is an illusion shared by both the extreme anti-capitalist left and the extreme neoliberal right.

  16. Doogs 16

    “. . . . that the government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish . . .” or words to that effect. Down the bloody toilet in much of the world, and starting to do so here. How long ago were these words spoken? In which country, I ask you?

  17. AB 17

    Rachel Stewart could have talked about:
    – the decline in voting participation
    – the influence of money on policy formation and the unwillingness to constrain the financing of elections
    – the emergence of ‘outsider’and fake outsider candidates
    – the decline in workplace democracy through individual contracts and decreasing union membership
    – political party membership levels
    – the effect of distortionary electoral systems such particularly FPP
    etc.
    It’s a worthy topic but this isnt her best work.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTERS OF NEW ZEALAND AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE ON THE FIRST AN...
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago