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

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    4 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    5 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    6 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    7 days ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    7 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • ‘No Body, No Parole’ Bill is pointless dog-whistling
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order National MP Tim Macindoe Member’s Bill, Concealment of Location of Victim Remains Bill does not do what he claims. The Bill specifies a requirement for the Parole Board to only “consider” denying parole if an offender refuses to disclose the location of the body. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Ron Mark: “NZDF focused on protecting troops in Iraq from retaliation”
    As tensions in the Middle East continue to grow after the assassination of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the New Zealand Defence Force is focusing on the protection of Kiwi troops deployed in Iraq. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says that "recent attacks on coalition bases and embassies constitute unacceptable ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago