web analytics

Student Fees

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, June 26th, 2018 - 26 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: , , , , , ,

Reposted from Nick Kelly’s Blog

One of the big policies the NZ Labour Party took into the 2017 election was to start reintroducing free education. Labour in the UK took a similar policy into their 2017 election, which is thought to have contributed to the “youth quake” which saw young voters turn out and vote for Labour in that election.

In both cases this represented a significant policy U-turn for both Labour Party’s. In New Zealand user pays education really began when Labour Party Education Minister Phil Goff significantly increased fees 1990. The next National Government in 1992 increased the student loan scheme, which charged interest on money students borrowed even while they were studying. In the UK user pays tertiary education was introduced by the Blair Labour government.

In 2003 Labour had just begun its 2nd term in office. In its first term from 1999 to 2002 Labour had promised to cut the cost to students of tertiary education, and subsequently froze fees at their 1999 rate. In 2002 the promise was watered down to “keep education affordable.” What this really meant was, “allow institutions to increase fees by 5% a year.”

Just as the anti war protests were starting to tail off, the government budget announced the fee Maxima scheme allowing institutions to increase fees within the Maxima. This would be our next campaign on campus.

Institutions had been lobbying for the ability to increase fees since the 1999 freeze. Labour had failed to increase funding to tertiary institutions, citing the money they’d wasted on marketing and other waste. It was true that competition between tertiary institutions had caused significant waste. But even were this to stop, governments still needed to increase funding rather than passing increasing costs onto students.

In September 2003 the Victoria University Council attempted to hold a meeting to increase fees. The University Council decided to meet at 8am on a Friday morning thinking no student would be awake on time…wrong! The Education Action Group  I was responsible for as the VUWSA Campaigns Officer managed to successfully disrupt this meeting. Students’ Association hired a marquee and encouraged students to stay overnight (using the slogan ‘if that’s what it takes we’ll stay all night’). The university council tried to meet, but had to cancel due to the noise from students.

ALA083~1

Nick Kelly, Jasmine Freemantle (VUWSA Women’s Rights officer 2002, VUWSA President 2009 and Scott Trainor VUWSA Activities Officer during the October 2003 occupation of the Hunter Council Chamber protesting fee increases at Victoria University

A fortnight later the university attempted to reconvene, this time on a Thursday afternoon and again were unable to proceed. However they moved to another private room and passed the fee increases. As a result a number of us occupied the University Council chamber over night. The next day were decided to leave and regroup. At 3pm the next afternoon, a much bigger crowd of students returned to the Hunter Council Chamber having heard that fees had increased. The response from the University was to call in the police – who sent a number of vans and about 50 officers to remove us. The Vice Chancellor, Stuart McCutcheon who had been targeted by our campaign with charts of ‘sack McCutcheon’ came in surrounded by a number of cops telling us we had 15 minutes to leave, which after some deliberation we did.

10 minutes after leaving a large order of Hell’s Pizza arrived, intended to feed the crowd of occupying students. A number of us ate nothing but pizza for the next week.

The following week was full of protests and actions on campus. The same week Massey also had fee setting resulting in similar protests. At Vic we famously burnt an effigy of the Vice Chancellor, using my fathers 1970s brown suit.

Album 2 scans (29)

At the end of 2003 I ran to re-election as VUWSA Campaigns Officer. As part of my election speech I burnt the Governments Education White Paper. I was re-elected with an increased vote.

The following year, 2004, fee setting protests happened again. The University were far more prepared and had the Hunter Council chamber pretty well locked down prior to the meeting. A year later in 2005 they held the meeting out at a satellite campus out of term time. Despite this we still managed to muster a decent crowd both years. Further the issue of fee increases and student debt remained on the political agenda.

We were able to win a few victories during these years. In 2004 The Massey University Council in Palmerston North voted not to increase student fees, a move described by Education Minister Trevor Mallard as “a bad management decision” (quote from the September 2005 NZUSA Conference at Christchurch College of Education). This no increase result came from a strong campaign to by students in the city, getting support of the local council and community leaders. The following year the government replaced Council members who had voted against the increase, with members who would and did in subsequent years

2005 VUWSA President Jeremy Greenbrook leads protest march to parliament, May 2005

2005 VUWSA President Jeremy Greenbrook leads protest to parliament just before the 2005 budget.

In the 2005 election opinion polls were very close. Labour really needed to pull one out of the hat to win a third term. In May 2005 a thousand strong protest march was led by Student President Jeremy Greenbrook supported by myself and others demanding the government invest in tertiary education. A few weeks later the government were to respond, announcing in their 2005 manifesto that there would be no interest on student loans not only while students were studying (which had been introduced by Labour in 1999) but for all graduates living in New Zealand. The student and graduate vote probably was one key factor in Labour being elected for a third term.

Album 1 scans (48)

2005 Education Minister Trevor Mallard telling Vic Uni staff and students “there will be more money for education this budget, but not for you.” Weeks later the government announced interest free student loans.

The strange thing about a win is that it can then be hard to get people energised to keep pushing. In 2006, the year I was Student President at Victoria University, and in the 2-3 years following  fee protests smaller and far less vocal. We still continued to make the case for free education as this 2006 feature column demonstrates. And the new VUW Vice Chancellor Pat Walsh didn’t fundamentally disagree. In both 2005 and 2006 Victoria University along with a number of others applied to the Tertiary Education Commission to get an exemption from the 5% fee maxima and wanted increases of up to 10%. These applications were declined.

In Labour’s final term it began increasing eligibility to student allowances. However this would be short lived once the global financial crisis hit and then there was a change of government. National had been clear from the outset that tertiary education was not a priority for funding. True to their word, they invested very little in the sector over the next 9 years. Further they introduced a number of other damaging policies such as removing elected staff and student reps, and introducing Voluntary Student Membership (VSM) in an attempt to weakening the student movement.

Album 2 scans (146)

Me on a New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) organised march to parliament in January 2004.

 

Album 1 scans (3)

Veteran Kiwi punk rock legend Chris Knox plays at an education rally at Victoria University, May 2005.

In 2016 Labour announced it would introduce 3 years free tertiary study. As often happened in Labour’s 9 years in opposition from 2008 to 2017, they announced a detailed policy which few people read. The initial media announcement was ok, but the follow through was quite poor. It seemed like this was a fairly decent policy that would never be implemented. However 18 months later, during the election campaign Labour surprised everyone by getting its house in order. New leader, new campaign materials, and amongst other things a clear commitment to free education. And much to many people’s surprise, they won.

User pays was never a good idea. The argument about tertiary education being a private good is pretty unconvincing when there are shortages of a number of qualified graduates. The argument that graduates are paid higher so can pay back the loans may have once been true, but now graduate pay rates are often barely above the living wage. Further Student debt ballooned from 3 billion in 1999 to around 10 billion in 2006 while I was VUWSA President, and kept growing after that. Further, in the economy we are moving into, having a well educated population is essential. Removing barriers to this like crippling student debt is essential.

26 comments on “Student Fees”

  1. ianmac 1

    They say that student numbers are static this year so far but I would expect that when other folk realise the opportunities, more will enrol next year.

    • Carolyn_Nth 1.1

      The free fees for the first year was for apprenticeships as well. The figures we’ve been given so far seem to be for enrollments in Uni courses. So what are the figures for apprenticeship?

      • Venezia 1.1.1

        In spite of the very short time frame, I heard that there was a big increase in applications for the Bachelor of Nursing for 2018 at my local tertiary institute. Will the journalists seek the truth of the figures for trades enrolments & apprenticeships? Or are they so owned by their corporate masters we let one university spokesperson define the reality of the issue?

      • ianmac 1.1.2

        Yes and how about the Polytechs?

  2. Molly 2

    Was disappointed in the decision to pay the first year tertiary study at the initial rollout.

    For me, those most affected by fees change are those who have already paid for their first and second years fees and have got to their graduation year with an already sizeable loan.

    If there were financial restrictions on a universal rollout, I would have personally preferred that Labour chose those that have persisted with education and would have the greatest financial burden from increased fees. So, pay for the final year, and then increase the payment to the last two years, and so on, until the whole of tertiary education fees is gone.

    There is also the fact that the education sector has a varying degree of attrition for first year students. Partly due to a lack of awareness of what students would like to do as they move straight from secondary school, and also usually a parallel move into independent living. Also, I’m aware that there are some providers that have courses that are not fit for purpose at Level 3 and above, which needs to be addressed, but will still be eligible for fees free. Just a couple of reasons to start the fees free at the tail end, rather than the beginning of study.

    They have also created a cohort of people who are still studying who are just missing out who have no chance of getting any benefit from this policy. As they pay their student loans off in the future this knowledge will remain with them. First years students though, would be studying with the expectation that when they reach their final year, they will be able to meet their student fees without further borrowings. The psychological impact is lessened.

    I hope Labour consider their current policy, and make some adjustments.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Further, in the economy we are moving into, having a well educated population is essential.

    Not just the economy. Society and democracy requires a well educated populace. That’s why I say that people should either be in a job or at training.

    People benefit from doing more complex stuff and more of it and thus society will also benefit.

  4. Gosman 4

    It isn’t really the Graduate pay rates where University graduates earn more than non graduates. It is the long term career advancement that usually goes with a Tertiary qualification. They earn more over the course of their career not necessarily at the start.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      And at which time increased tax rates should kick in.

      Education is a public good.

      When I was at university I had my fees paid for me and I even received a modest living allowance. When my kids were at university they had student loans.

      The Government’s current policy of providing free education is a good one and what should be happening.

      Analysis (wrong in my view) to suggest that it is not having a beneficial financial effect is missing the point.

      • Baba Yaga 4.1.1

        Education is a public good that results in private reward. The public already heavily subsidise education. Those receiving the education, and with it the private reward, should contribute.

        • Macro 4.1.1.1

          Those receiving the education, and with it the private reward, should contribute.
          They do – through subsequently earning higher income and paying higher taxes. They also contribute to the society in cultural and other ways. Having a well educated population is beneficial for society.

          • indiana 4.1.1.1.1

            Here’s hoping they stay employed in the country they got their free education.

            • Macro 4.1.1.1.1.1

              In many cases they do.
              Overseas experience should not be shunned either. “Brain drains” can work both ways.

          • Baba Yaga 4.1.1.1.2

            “They do – through subsequently earning higher income and paying higher taxes. ”

            And because of those higher incomes, they can afford it. Whereas minimum wage workers are subsidising wealthy families sending their children to Uni even more under Labour.

            “Having a well educated population is beneficial for society.”
            That’s why we already subsidise it so massively. There was no need for Labours silly bribe.

            • McFlock 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Whereas minimum wage workers are subsidising wealthy families sending their children to Uni even more under Labour.

              The rest of it is the same shit fuckwits have been spouting for 30 years as an excuse for making poor people pay more than rich people for the same education, but whatever. This line of yours highlights another problem, though: if the minimum wage is not the living wage, and a minimum wage earner is a net taxpayer, then the problem is that the tax system isn’t progressive enough. It has nothing to do with what tax revenue is spent on, and everything to do with the rich not paying their fair share.

              • Baba Yaga

                You don’t define ‘rich’, so your comment is meaningless. On the ‘living’ wage, why should business pay a subsidy to workers based on a construct? Businesses should pay a market wage, then the true value of education will be enjoyed by those who decide to invest in their future.

                • McFlock

                  Lol
                  It’s always a laugh when Tories act superior by claiming to not know what everyday words mean . As if someone has made no point if they fail to cater to your conveniently special needs.

  5. saveNZ 5

    Personally think all university education should be free.

    But I think the apprentices should NOT be polytechnic based but on the job training like it used to be. That way you had linesmen and electricians and plumbers and builders and plasterers and tilers learning on the job and actually be paid while they did it and never be saddled with a student loan. Then when ready they should sit an exam just like your would for your drivers licence and then become qualified that way. A lot of people in the trade want to work not study and they should be apprentices without all the red tape that has come about to profit from the system and the government wanting to micro manage everything. Just go the drivers license way and things will pick up.

    As education has become a profit business, there has been an approach away from what is best for the student and what is best for industry to getting bums on seats at places of study and get government fees and now we even have the despicable fake degrees for residency or even human trafficking

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/104978434/Indian-human-trafficking-victim-denied-visa-after-testimony-he-feared-put-his-life-in-danger

    which would be unheard of in NZ a decade ago, (remember Taito Field?) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taito_Phillip_Field

    I paid over 10% compounding daily on my student loan in the 1990’s. So in some ways it is bitter sweet for those who might have just arrived in the country for a few years getting free fees when previous students had to pay more than most people in the world in NZ in interest with no right offs, and now same generation will be expected to pay the taxes too for the older folks and of course they want to get rid of the pensions now, something that was predicted to be a big problem by grey power 2011
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1110/S00572/grey-power-warns-of-impact-of-high-immigration-rates.htm

    So young students have a lot on their plate as do those who are in the middle and the aged who expected to be well provided for and now have overflowing hospitals and retirement rip offs as we march forward in our profits before people ways.

    Social mobility and wages are static or declining, so how do students pay off those loans and get a job with so much competition and it becoming more expensive to pay day to day expenses on low wages?

    I also find the structure of university chancellors to be disgusting. Closing the arts library in Auckland while funnelling money into the design school and other courses that are replicated in many other universities in NZ, is a case in point. We are reducing quality and diversity of education in this country.

    In spite of Jacinda apparently being an arts fan and Chloe doing art history as well as law, did not see much political interest in saving this resource or the 40 jobs, at a time when they give away water for 60 never never jobs. Sad.

    Maybe a life in NZ slogging away without art and music, planning and architecture is somebodies idea of where to scrimp and an indicator of how devoid of culture we are becoming in this county.

  6. Molly 6

    “Personally think all university education should be free.”
    Agree with you there, for all NZ citizens.

    “But I think the apprentices should NOT be polytechnic based but on the job training like it used to be. “
    IIRC, before the changes to the apprenticeship training, learning was done on the job, but it was supported by polytechnic attendance for short-term courses and examinations to ensure that the basics of that particular industry had been covered, learnt and mastered. This ensured that trainees had some experience of all aspects of their chosen industry even if their work experience or employer did not provide it. I think that was the best of both worlds.

    Currently, the quality of an apprenticeship is largely dependent on the experience and knowledge of the employer, as well as the scope of work of their employment. Theory can be attended to in a haphazard manner without practical experience, and without ensuring a quality process. Returning all apprenticeships to polytechnic, would not be practical or effective, but the neither would the avoidance of institutional standardised training and practice.

    The combination delivers more than either stand-alone system.

    (Sorry, meant to be a reply to saveNZ @ 5)

    • saveNZ 6.1

      The builders I know of is doing polytechnic work and off the job one day a week. Personally think not working, the industry is not prepared to put up with this judging by their non interest in having apprentices when they can get cheap people for cash or overseas workers cheap, high fees for the apprentice to pay for the course and at the end of the day, building work is practical and the tests should be practical and on the job related not paper pushing.

      There is a lot of mucking around to be qualified as as a registered builder and it is driving a culture of building sites of having the unqualified builders everywhere and then someone comes along at the end and signs it all off. The qualified people don’t actually do the practical work and now we get signed off buildings that are condemned before people move in aka Tauranga!

      Anyway if making polytechnics the same as universities has been to get more entry into fields like construction, they have failed, miserably, both in quality and retention of people into those fields. Time for a rethink.

      Also know a few tradies that came to NZ from Germany, and actually got residency but don’t work in that industry as it’s not a nice one to work in apparently and too ad hoc for them when they are used to quality. They now do cash work only. So actually the current system for construction does not work on so many levels, helps bad employers, lowers quality & wages and stops entry into the field for young people and is creating dangerous buildings that are signed off.

      Likewise a joke to think that NZ will be a highly educated country in a decade, we are doing the opposite with our move to make the trades the same style ad universities and recent migrants coming here are less skilled and educated than even 5 years ago.

      Our ad hoc, low quality system filled with exploiters at every turn and fake, decreasing quality degrees with NZ qualifications, while the government turns a blind eye to and encouraging a rip off culture everywhere, is destroying our country as being an honest, educated and fair one.

      Likewise our degrees will soon be the laughing stock of the Pacific – more lawyers per capita than the UK and from Jordan Williams, Barry Hart to Ken Whitney to the recent revelations on what’s going on at Russel McVeagh… sad to see this is what the standard or lawyer’s is now, manipulating and being beyond the law.

      The police apparently “deleted’ all Kim Dot Coms records apparently, therefore can’t supply the court order… this is our countries enforcers of the law… does it sound like it’s on the right track as an educated country?

      • Molly 6.1.1

        My son worked recently for a builder for eighteen months, where a friend was serving an apprenticeship. The quality of the builder, and their ability makes a huge difference to the quality of training of those apprentices they take on. The attendance of one day a week at a separate institution is a safeguard for all apprentices, that despite their employer they will be exposed to best practice and all aspects of their industry over their time.

        I think we are also feeling the impact of the changes to apprenticeships in the 80’s. Back then, we were more likely to have – for instance – builders that would build a house from foundation to roof. Now we have builders that specialise in foundations, then those who deal with framework, then roofing, then fitting and gibbing, then plastering. As a consequence, apprenticeships often are limited to specialised roles in building within their employment.

        Also, IIRC, trades could consolidate their polytech training in short courses that people would attend during their annual leave. So there was a choice between attending one day a week, or a three week course every year or so. That seems doable.

        If there was certainty that all employers that take on apprentices have:
        1. A quality standard and wide scope of experience to offer,
        2. An ability to teach best practice to their trainees,
        3. The time management skills to ensure their apprentices on on track for the period of their apprenticeship,
        then the need for attendance at a polytechnic to ensure consistency would be a moot point. But I don’t think we are there at present. It is much easier to identify and solve the need for quality institutional trade courses, that it is to identify, train and regulate individual employers to improve the quality of apprenticeships. We should be doing that for all our tertiary providers anyway, and this is a good place to start for immediate reward.

        Also, we had a couple of German journeyman stay with us for a couple of months, and the quality of their training seemed superb. But the value placed on that training was also one of quality standards, where we have a tendency to focus on future financial earnings. As we know, that can result in results that provide greater individual financial rewards but higher public costs.

        • saveNZ 6.1.1.1

          The leaky buildings was not caused by the builders. It was the government BRANZ that did it by kow towing to industry to make more profits and allowing untreated timber and unsuitable claddings. Nobody held to account there of course. The rate payers and home owners have mostly had to pay for the fiasco and it driven this idea of more bureaucrats in building, which clearly isn’t working and a joke because it was the bureaucrats that caused it!

          As for the current move away from builders that would build a house from foundation to roof to builders that specialise in small pieces … it’s not working. It takes too long with all the time missing with all the different trades to turn up and quality suffers. You just need one person to make a mistake on the subcontractors and it all comes tumbling down. It makes workers cheaper commodities but it creates bad workmanship and high prices.

          They try to do the same in IT and with the same results. Too many cheap commodity “specialists” who only know a couple of things within a complicated project does not work as “not seeing the ˌwood for the ˈtrees” approach is a disaster when you have complexity.

          • Molly 6.1.1.1.1

            … wasn’t talking about leaky buildings.

            The rest of your comment seems to reflect mine – just an alternate view on how to ensure quality training. I don’t think relying on the employers alone to deliver is going to ensure a universal quality of training for all apprentices.

            Until that assurance can be made, the attendance or addition of polytechnic adjunct courses seems the best way forward.

  7. Macro 7

    Taking the the single statistic of a 0.03% increase in first year enrolments at University in isolation, and completely out of context, is at best hugely unhelpful, and at worst falls into the category of lies, damned lies, and statistics.
    When we look at the demographic of New Zealand’s population it is clear that the number of young people now of University age is one of a reducing cohort. There are far less young people in the 18 – 20 age group today, than there were 4 years ago.
    http://newzealandiszl.wikia.com/wiki/File:Nzip13-population-pyramid.png *
    So naturally there will be less numbers seeking places in University.
    Then there are many other factors which influence a young persons decision to seek further education at a tertiary level. The availability of jobs, and apprenticeships being a major influence.
    I am firmly of the opinion that free eduction for the whole of a tertiary study is a major investment and while this tentative step is one baby step along the way, it is a start back to a society which is happy to invest in the future of its young people.

    * This population pyramid is for the NZ population in 2012. So you need to take the 10 – 14 year cohort to see the numbers in the 16 – 20 year group today (ie the cohort of University starting age) . Notice that this group is comparatively small compared to the group of 20 – 24 year olds in 2012.

  8. Cantabrian 8

    Baba Yaga – you are an old witch!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 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
    12 hours 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
    15 hours 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
    15 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 day 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 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days ago
  • Funding to expand mental health support for Pacific peoples
    A $1.5 million boost to grow primary mental health and addiction services for Pacific peoples in Auckland, Hamilton and Canterbury will lead to better outcomes for Pacific communities, Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says.  Pasifika Futures has received funding to expand services through The Fono, Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding boost for sustainable food and fibre production
    Twenty-two projects to boost the sustainability and climate resilience of New Zealand’s food and fibres sector have been announced today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The $18m funding will deliver practical knowledge to help farmers and growers use their land more sustainably, meet environmental targets, remain prosperous, and better understand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mature Workers Toolkit launched on business.govt.nz
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson welcomes an initiative that assists employers to get mature workers into New Zealand small businesses. The disadvantages that older people face in the workplace was highlighted in the whole of Government Employment Strategy.  In order to address this, a Mature Workers Toolkit has been developed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman cooperation in a COVID-19 world
    New Zealand and Australia reaffirmed today the need for the closest possible collaboration as they tackle a global environment shaped by COVID-19, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said. “In these challenging times, our close collaboration with Australia is more vital than ever,” said Mr Peters. Mr Peters and his Australian ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pike recovery efforts now in unexplored territory
    The recovery and forensic examination of the loader driven by survivor Russell Smith means the underground team are now moving into an area of the Pike River Mine that has not been seen since the explosion, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little said. “The fifth and last robot ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government confirms CovidCard trial to go ahead
    The Government has confirmed a community-wide trial of CovidCard technology as it explores options for COVID-19 contact tracing. “Effective contact tracing is a vital part of the COVID-19 response,” Minister of Health Chris Hipkins said. “While manual processes remain the critical component for contact tracing, we know digital solutions can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Enhanced process for iwi aquaculture assets
    The government is proposing changes to aquaculture legislation to improve the process for allocating and transferring aquaculture assets to iwi. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash has introduced the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Amendment Bill to Parliament. It proposes a limited new discretionary power for Te Ohu Kaimoana Trustee Limited (ToKM). ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill introduced to fix National’s Family Court reform failures
    The Minister of Justice has today introduced the Family Court (Supporting Children in Court) Legislation Bill – the next step in the ongoing programme of work to fix the failed 2014 Family Court reforms led by then Justice Minister Judith Collins.  The Bill arises from the report of the Independent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DOC takes action to adapt to climate change
    A new Department of Conservation (DOC) action plan tackles the impacts of climate change on New Zealand’s biodiversity and DOC managed infrastructure including tracks, huts and cultural heritage. Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage says extreme weather events around the country have really brought home our vulnerability to changing weather patterns. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reduced international Antarctic season commences
    A heavily scaled back international Antarctic season will commence this week, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods have confirmed. “Antarctica is the only continent that is COVID-19 free,” Mr Peters said. “Throughout the global pandemic, essential operations and long-term science have continued at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New high performance sports hub for Upper Hutt
    The Government is providing up to $30 million to help fund the NZ Campus of Innovation and Sport in Upper Hutt - an investment that will create 244 jobs. “The sports hub is designed to be a world-leading shared service for a range of sports, offering the level of facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt keeps projects on road to completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today transport projects currently in construction will continue at pace due to extra Government support for transport projects to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. To keep the $16.9 billion 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme going the Government has allocated funding from the COVID Response and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • First project utilising $50 million ‘shovel ready’ fund for rural broadband announced
    $50 million for further rural broadband digital connectivity has been allocated from the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the COVID Response and Recovery Fund has been announced by Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure and Kris Faafoi, Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media. The investment will go to boosting broadband ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ultra-fast Broadband programme hits major milestone with more than one million connections
    The Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media has congratulated the Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB) programme on its major milestone of connecting more than 1 million New Zealand households and businesses to UFB. “This milestone has been 10 years in the making and demonstrates the popularity of the UFB network. “Uptake ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Vaping legislation passes
    Landmark legislation passed today puts New Zealand on track to saving thousands of lives and having a smokefree generation sooner rather than later, Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa says. The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill regulates vaping products and heated tobacco devices. “There has long been concern ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government repeals discriminatory law
    A discriminatory law that has been a symbol of frustration for many people needing and providing care and support, has been scrapped by the Government. “Part 4A of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill (No 2) was introduced under urgency in 2013 by a National Government,” Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More competitive fuel market on the way
    Kiwi motorists are set to reap the benefits of a more competitive fuel market following the passing of the Fuel Industry Bill tonight, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods says.  “This Act is where the rubber meets the road in terms of our response to the recommendations made in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers on rental reforms promise
    The Government has delivered on its promise to New Zealanders to modernise tenancy laws with the passing of the Residential Tenancies Amendment (RTA) Bill 2020 today, says Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing), Kris Faafoi. “The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 was out-dated and the reforms in the RTA modernise our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New rules in place to restore healthy rivers
    New rules to protect and restore New Zealand’s freshwater passed into law today. Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor welcomed the gazetting of the new national direction on freshwater management. “These regulations deliver on the Government’s commitment to stop further degradation, show material improvements within five years and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister announces new Consul-General in Los Angeles
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced the appointment of Jeremy Clarke-Watson as New Zealand’s new Consul-General in Los Angeles. “New Zealand and the United States share a close and dynamic partnership, based on a long history of shared values and democratic traditions,” Mr Peters said. “Mr Clarke-Watson is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rental reforms provide greater support for victims of family violence
    Victims of family violence can end a tenancy with two days’ notice Landlords can terminate tenancies with 14 days’ notice if tenants assault them Timeframe brought forward for limiting rent increases to once every 12 months Extension of time Tenancy Tribunal can hear cases via phone/video conference Reform of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Apprenticeships support kicks off today
    Two employment schemes – one new and one expanded – going live today will help tens of thousands of people continue training on the job and support thousands more into work, the Government has announced. Apprenticeship Boost, a subsidy of up to $12,000 per annum for first year apprentices and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Infrastructure to transform Omokoroa
    The Government is funding a significant infrastructure package at Omokoroa which will create 150 new jobs and help transform the Western Bay of Plenty peninsula, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says the Government is investing $14 million towards the $28 million roading and water package. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill passes for managed isolation charges
    The Bill allowing the Government to recover some costs for managed isolation and quarantine passed its third reading today, with charges coming into force as soon as regulations are finalised. Putting regulations into force is the next step. “The COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill and its supporting regulations will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Unemployment drop shows Govt plan to protect jobs and support businesses is working
    Today’s unemployment data shows the Government’s plan to protect jobs and cushion the blow for businesses and households against the economic impact of COVID-19 was the right decision, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ said today that New Zealand’s unemployment rate in the June quarter – which includes the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago