web analytics

Super sized problem

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, February 6th, 2012 - 38 comments
Categories: benefits, national - Tags: ,

I feel a bit sorry for Key and co. The coming term isn’t going to be nearly as much fun as the first one. Here, for example, is one issue that they’d desperately like to go away. But Treasury have dumped it right in their laps:

Treasury warning over cost of super

The Treasury has warned Finance Minister Bill English the Government must start addressing the pressures of future superannuation costs and it makes a case for lifting the retirement age – one of Labour’s policies going into the election.

The government wants to do no such thing of course. That’s a hard problem, and they don’t do hard stuff.

It [Treasury] also argues the case for less variation in taxing capital – again similar to Labour’s election policy of a capital gains tax.

Yes, Labour’s policies actually realistically addressed the elephants in the economic room, and set out a clear way forward. Too late to cry abut it now though, that ship has sailed and we’ve got the Nats. If they can’t drill it, mine it or sell it they haven’t got an answer.

In the hard-hitting advice on superannuation, the Treasury says leaving the retirement income settings in place would have to lead to higher taxes, which would harm growth, or large cuts in spending on other areas such as health and education.

It says that as the baby-boomers move into retirement, New Zealand’s 65-and-over population is projected to grow nearly four times more quickly than the total population over the next 15 years, contributing to a rapid rise in health, aged care and New Zealand Superannuation costs. … It says the current acceleration in the growth of the older population makes it “a matter of priority for New Zealand”.

The Nats will ignore the issue. It isn’t going to explode in the next three years, so as far as they’re concerned it’s not their problem.

38 comments on “Super sized problem”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    The National Party’s clients do not live in New Zealand. Why should they care what happens here?

    • mac1 1.1

      Then again there are the ‘patrons’ of the National party who have National as their clients. I wonder if they live in New Zealand?

      Now the ACT party is a client of National. They live here. So does the Maori party. And Dunne.

      All clients of Gaius Julius Keysar and his praetorian cohorts, Stevanius Serendipitas, Gerriander Cera Maximus and Bilius Anglicanus Apudipton.

      And then the rest of us plebs, fed on bread and circuses, or nowadays McDonalds and the Media.

      Time to join the Barbarians across the water, with the other Kiwi coloni, away from the Vesuvius to come.

  2. foreign waka 2

    How much of this statement reflects their peers benefits, perks and health service access? How much of it is researched about people who are in retirement or going to be in the next 10-15 years? A comparison will lead the treasury people, who undoubtedly belief that the little people need to be euthanized out of the budget sheet once “unproductive”, that the income of ordinary Nzlandears is too much to die and too little to life on. Elderly people in the next decade and beyond will die prematurely because healthcare will not be easily affordable and the best that some can hope for is over the counter painkillers. These were the people, who with their taxes have helped to build the infrastructure you benefit from and who had, to a large extend lost their life savings in speculative adventures of your kind, being left on the scrapheap and lectured to! How many you say or dare to promise a guaranty, will have any money in their retirement fund, the kiwi saver? Will they also be without a roof over their head when they reach 70 like you so nonchalantly propose to those who have paid taxes all their life? How undignified has one to be to work for your outfit, taxpayer funded no less?

  3. tc 3

    The Nats killed off 2 previous schemes that would’ve solved this and dicked with kiwisaver (wow another broken promise) so this is par for the course…..the Nats have never ever given a shite about resolving this issue.

  4. Roger 4

    The Nats at the time will have a few options when the time comes that they currently roll out at other times, these are:
    1. Blame the poor elderly by trying to sell us the line that they made poor choices by not saving much with their low wages.
    2. Find a way to blame a previous Labour government no matter how long a bow they have to draw.
    3. Push through the changes prescribed above a couple of decades too late and under urgency.
    4. On an individual level, National MPs could just resign and bugger off out of the country to hang out with their wealthy bludger mates.

  5. DH 5

    I read the Treasury briefing and what is missing from it is the issue of super being a universal benefit. Presently there’s some 550,000 OAPs collecting super. How many own +million dollar freehold properties and how many have a comfortable private income? Does anyone have the stats on income of people over 65?

    I’d think means testing etc would be more effective at reducing the super problem. Could fix it completely now that baby boomer property owners have seen their nett wealth more than double in the last decade.

    • foreign waka 5.1

      Age of client at the end of June Clients receiving New Zealand Superannuation1
      2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
      Under 60 years2 4,507 4,205 3,899 3,484 3,179
      60-64 years2 12,815 11,971 11,072 10,303 9,781
      65-69 years 127,786 135,322 144,867 153,900 158,186
      70-74 years 111,757 111,329 111,240 113,201 117,332
      75-79 years 94,098 95,021 96,754 97,382 97,581
      80 years or over 113,661 117,367 120,993 124,447 128,217
      Unspecified 0 0 0 0 0
      Total 464,624 475,215 488,825 502,717 514,276

      Info from Ministry of Social Development.

      Current weekly income Gross/Net (as I said to little to live on, too much to die):

      Category Weekly rate
      Gross Net
      Single, living alone $389.14 $339.92
      Single, sharing $357.40 $313.78
      Married person or partner in a civil union or de facto relationship
      $294.08 $261.48
      Married or in a civil union or de facto relationship, both qualify
      Total $588.16 $522.96
      Each $294.08 $261.48

      Now, even with an increase in age to lets say 67 (Why on earth we want to employ someone at 65 to take the workplace of a young person is beyond my comprehension) it would in the best of all worlds save the money of about 70 000 people of which about 2/3 will have to go on a benefit because of health reasons (also taxpayer money). Ending up with some 25 000 x 13.5k. Maybe this kind of money could be saved by means testing including Trust funds. But I doubt this greatly as it would mean to cut the money supply to exactly those people who suggest taking even more from the people who, in their eyes, ought to maintain them.

      • DH 5.1.1

        Those figures don’t mean anything, they’re just the stats on pensions (and the latest was 2008) The important bit is how much private income people over 65 are earning, plus how much actual wealth they have. I haven’t been able to find any statistics on that.

  6. foreign waka 6

    DH – try this
    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/Households/HouseholdEconomicSurvey_HOTPYeJun11/Data%20Quality.aspx

    Go to the end of the page – there is a spreadsheet: Household economic survey 2011. Have a look, maybe this is wath you are looking for?

    • DH 6.1

      Thanks I have that already & I can find nothing about incomes of people over 65.

      Keep in mind I’m not advocating means testing, I was pointing out that Treasury haven’t offered it as a possible option when it clearly is one. Why have they left it out, why pick age over means?

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        You’re looking at the wrong thing. Forget about taxable income of those over 65. You need to look at net asset worth.

        • DH 6.1.1.1

          I have covered that, re my comment about baby boomer property owners doubling their nett worth in the last decade. Income is just a place to start, to find out how many OAPs are receiving private incomes and how much they earn.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            Sure, I suppose it is a start. No doubt you understand that the wealthy have set up their affairs so they have valuable economic services provided to them (e.g. housing and cars) by family trusts etc. which you will never be able to categorise as income.

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Better is the Universal Basic Income system which eliminates the problem at root. Retirement is a wholly artificial and clumsy notion anyhow… just get rid of it.

              • KJT

                Agreed. A GMFI or equivalent is preferable. Accepting that everyone has a right to live at a reasonable level.
                But the problem of superannuation affordability along with the affordability of a lot of social programs is easily solved by making progressive taxation the same as Australian levels. E,G, 45% over 150k. FTT and CGT would help make taxation fairer.
                Not only does this keep income in NZ, but it increases local spending.

                • KJT

                  The un-affordability of super, welfare etc is a right wing meme which Labour should never have bought into.
                  A good example of “repeat a lie often enough, even those who should know better begin to believe it”.

            • DH 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes I do understand, I also understand that family trusts can be busted wide open at the stroke of a legislators pen. They’re protected only by law and governments make the law.

              • KJT

                Private trusts should be illegal anyway. The prime purpose of the majority of trusts is to avoid legal obligations such as tax, alimony and paying contractors.

                • DH

                  Don’t get me started. The biggest fan of trusts is the mob who push personal responsibility and they set up trusts precisely to avoid it.

        • foreign waka 6.1.1.2

          I doubt that this will be easily to come by – privacy laws etc. If you look at table 6 you can see that taxable income for the over 65 was in the majority up to 21k pre tax (couple). Compare this with Table 6a and you can see the same under “not in labor force”. Any income derived from savings, shares etc is taxable and therefore included. Not included are assets such as family homes and other property, shares ex tax.
          From http://www.bigcities.govt.nz/standard.htm this comment:
          The top 10.0% of wealthy individuals own over half of the nation’s total net worth, while the bottom 50.0% of the population own just 5.2% of total net worth.

          • DH 6.1.1.2.1

            Thanks, I was looking at the wrong tables that one does have incomes. It shows 5% of OAPs are earning more than $78k. (the figures are for personal income, not couples)

            I don’t even know if super is still universal, do the likes of Fay still receive it? But if it is I think it’s time to accept we can’t keep paying super to those who don’t need it. Whether it’s a total solution I don’t know either but it needs to be examined. And Treasury haven’t even mentioned it, why?

            • foreign waka 6.1.1.2.1.1

              As far as I know it is still universal. The very wealthy can reject it, but would they? One has to be careful with these wishes as it could hit a pensioner who bought his/her property in the 60-70’s which is now worth many times what was paid for. This does not mean that this person is rich, it just means that the property becomes more and more unaffordable. It is called asset rich and cash poor.

              • DH

                What’s the difference between rich and asset rich? Rich is rich, what form the wealth takes doesn’t change whether they’re wealthy or not.

                There’s never any perfect solutions, raising the retirement age brings it’s own problems too. Fine for those who work in an office, not so great for those who worked in physical jobs all their lives. A lot of people are plain worn out by 65.

                • foreign waka

                  Totally agree with retirement age. As for Asset Rich – this is an expression only. I know of many who have to sell their homes because they can’t afford the rates and upkeep. Right now, this means their life savings have not grown but have been reduced. This is unfair as these people have saved for all their working lives to get there and have in 99% of cases have no other savings. This is called cash poor.

                  • DH

                    Unfair in what way? Some people who bought houses in the ’60s & ’70s have benefited greatly from urban sprawl in the main cities while others who paid similar sums have seen little real capital growth in their properties. It’s certainly not a nice prospect having to move when you get older but there has to be some reasonable balance struck here.

                    I don’t agree with the ‘solutions’ being proposed but I think we do have to face reality & accept that the numbers don’t lie. We can’t keep spending more & more on super without some radical changes somewhere. We don’t have the money to pay for it.

                    • foreign waka

                      DH – you are running into open doors on the issue of affordability of super spending. I have some time to go and have all sorts of nightmares regarding my “lifestyle” when its my turn. Still, it does not look desirable to work til I fall into the grave despite those poundings my treasury and media. Nonetheless, I am not agreeing on the notion that today’s retirees have to practice this nightmare to give me some satisfaction that hell is for everyone.

  7. RedLogix 7

    The fiscal implications are a bit of a side-show really. My father was forced into an early retirement in his late 50’s; he’s now 85. He’s been retired almost 30 years, and he could live another 10. That’s a retirement almost as long as his working life!!!

    If my health holds together and I don’t go gaga, I could easily continue to work in my current occupation into my 70’s.

    Yet overwhelmingly this entirely arbitrary figure of 65 mandates retirement. Now there are those who welcome it, well and good to them. And there are those who experience it as an overwhelming sense of loss and irrelevancy. In a society that can only measure things in commercial terms, being expelled from work implies that you have become worthless.

    I’m not sure that fiscally tinkering with superannuation policies is going to change much. If there is one thing we could learn from Asian and Polynesian societies is the real meaning of being elderly, and how these entirely natural and inevitable transitions in our life should really be managed.

  8. foreign waka 8

    RedLogix, The Polynesian and Asian population have not state pension hence the family is taking care of them. There social structure is different, always was. And so is for most their life expectancy. So what do you do in the western society that has not had this pattern, where families are much smaller and often not interested to take on the elderly? It is in most cases the women who do the deed and often have to drop their employment – who is helped by that? Add another 2 kids to the household and the caregiver is on permanent Ritalin. And what do you do when the elderly gets sick, maybe very seriously? Most in a very high age have dementia. Have you ever looked after an elderly person that cannot help themselves anymore but is not seriously sick?
    If my health holds together and I am not gaga with 65 I will be perfecting my hobby’s and volunteer when possible. Hallelujah, I will say the chores are done, I am free.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Yes … I appreciate your perspective. I think that was the point I was trying, probably rather badly, that the current ‘one size fits all’ model of retirement is very clumsy. Everyone has quite different needs; their families are different, the community around them, their health, their attitude to work, the type of work they can do or are interested in… if any. A huge range of variables… yet the current system rather mindlessly has a single cut-off date and after that its ‘waiting to die’.

      Personally as I mentioned above, some form of Universal Basic Income that applied to all adults.. regardless of age… is the way forward here. That way the entire concept of retirement becomes meaningless and people would then have far more control over exactly how they managed their transition from working life to something else, whatever else they wanted to do.

      Have you ever looked after an elderly person that cannot help themselves anymore but is not seriously sick?

      umm… yes. Much of last year in fact. A whole story in itself, but not mine for the repeating.

      • foreign waka 8.1.1

        RedLogix, sorry to hear that you have a sick relative. Hope you have some support too as this is often needed. My best wishes.
        As to universal basic income – sounds like a good idea, but would it not greatly disturb the concept of measuring effort and achievement? I could see this applied by a certain age but not sooner. Which brings us back to the universal retirement payment.It is my opinion that there is a flaw in the way NZ distributes the pension.
        trust funds – should be illegal as they do only one thing, hide income from taxation and hence is fraud. Basic Income at a certain age, when sick and very important – when raising children to the age of 3: this should by allocated by individual not by single or couples. Tax is paid individually, benefit should apply the same way. There has to be some form of development in public policy that recognizes that women often do work commercially and in the household. The latter is not recognized as a contribution to society and yet without it we would be living in caves, I am sure of that.
        I really feel that one has to contribute first before any demands can be made. My feeling is that of an innate fairness on this as a balance between give and take has to be struck. Theoretically, one can argue that all people are equally involved when fear of no income is removed. I am thinking aloud when stating that perhaps some free ride on those who see pride on making an effort, believing they will contribute on their behalf. This in turn will not be taken kindly by those who do work. Unless one advocates an Amish society, freedom always comes with a price. Then again, I may be wrong. You certainly made my think about it.

        • RedLogix 8.1.1.1

          As to universal basic income – sounds like a good idea, but would it not greatly disturb the concept of measuring effort and achievement?

          That’s a great question. Just for clarity the kind of system that I have in mind (and that espoused by Gareth Morgan for instance) is something like an $11,000 pa UBI for all adults over the age of 18, a flat PAYE tax rate of something like 30-35%, and a modest capital gains tax in the order of 15%.

          At the same time you eliminate all benefits and superannuation. (I know there are complications here … but I’m keeping this brief.)

          The whole idea of “but would it not greatly disturb the concept of measuring effort and achievement” comes from earlier periods of human history when it was relatively easy to measure the contribution any person made. It essentially says that your only worth as a human being is your ability to work. That’s a very materialistic and narrow definition.. but one that was adequate first aproximation until recent times.

          If people didn’t have access to paid employment they could usually access some natural resource in the commons… dig for pipi, plant some kumara or the like. Anyone had the opportunity to fish and feed themselves…but that is far less true in the modern world. If you live in a city, or even in the many rural areas.. and if you are unemployed the opportunity to make a meaningful effort to support yourself in far more constrained than it was in the past.

          Moreover there is the larger idea that human beings are inherently worth more than simply what they contribute economically. This idea tells us that basic human dignity and justice demands that all people should by right be able to access some minimum needs for food, shelter and welfare. Because while a person may not be in paid work, many will be nonetheless contributing in some valued way to their family or community… but at present we largely fail to measure that effort, far less reward it.

          • foreign waka 8.1.1.1.1

            Thinking, have started to read up on it – i.e Carol Bateman. Still a bit uneasy about the concept as it reminds me on a soviet communist model. Thinking – will have to read more….you won’t win me with 11k pa. in retirement as this means I have to find a live in partner so that I can pay for heating in winter. Still thinking, PAYE 30-35% ??? Huh on 11k p.a as well as 110k, still not won over. Thinking, what about the person raising kids, maintaining the household – can be classified as social work? No income, still thinking… I have difficulties with the numbers now as well as the concept. Need to go away and read what Mr Morgan wrote about it. Thank you 🙂

            • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Lets see .. on an income of say $100k you’d pay $35,000 PAYE and receive $11,000 in UBI.. net about $24,000.

              At present Superannuation for a single person is about $16,000 IIRC. There are a variety of ways to bridge that gap; one is to simply top up the difference in cash. Another is to extend the Gold Card concept to wider range of services and costs..like electricity.

              Bear in mind these numbers are just examples… the whole idea can be fine tuned a lot closer than I’ve described here. Gareth Morgan’s book “The Big Kahuna” is the most recent and comprehensive version I’m aware of.

              The system combines the huge merits of a totally flat marginal tax rate at all income levels and circumstances, with the basic social justice requirements of being inherently progressive in terms of total tax.

              From an ideological pov both the right and the left can find things to like about it… and it makes many of the distortions and problems with our current tax system, simply dissapear.

              • foreign waka

                RedLogix, its late and I have to get to work early – getting up at 5am, so I just put some 5 cents in.
                Lets see .. on an income of say $100k you’d pay $35,000 PAYE and receive $11,000 in UBI.. net about $24,000. …
                Unfortunately, don’t earn that much but what I meant was that 110 k will pay as much tax as 11k – does not sit so well with me, maybe the fact that:
                Super for singles is $ 310 per week nett, too little to live on, too much to die might be the reason.
                Need to read more on that subject as at that stage I feel that I am not contributing to that conversation. Have a great evening. chiao.

            • KJT 8.1.1.1.1.2

              I think it should actually be higher. At least equivalent to today’s superannuation. With a lesser amount per person for children. And taxes on economically dysfunctional high incomes, and/or wealth, should be higher than 35%.

              Unlike Roger Douglas, Don Brash and Paula Bennet, I do not believe starving people actually motivates them to look for work. Neither does 80% abatement rates. Beneficiaries marginal tax rate, if they get part time work, is much higher than that for millionaires.

              When there was full employment, and benefits were comparatively high almost everyone still chose to work.
              Muldoon claimed to know them all by name.

              A lot of opposition is predicated on the Rights idea that people work only for money or status. That may be true for those on the right, but even many of them do unpaid work for charity or the community.

              Most people work because of the sense of meaning in their life and the sense of making a valued contribution.

              Almost all the, career changer, Teachers I trained with took a drop in income to teach.

              Even, the few, teenage dole bludgers I have known soon get sick of it and start to look for something meaningful.

              I can tell you about many people who do low paid or volunteer work, for our communities, for much less money than they could earn elsewhere with their skills.
              In fact our society could not function without these people.

              Those bringing up children, for instance.

              In fact our needs and even most luxuries can be met with most of us working less than 3 days a week.

              Entrepreneurship and social capital may well increase markedly when the penalty for failure or doing a period of volunteer community work is not so harsh.

              • Colonial Viper

                Unlike Roger Douglas, Don Brash and Paula Bennet I do not believe starving people actually motivates them to look for work.

                The top 0.1% need large pay rises, performance pay, expense accounts and stock options as incentives to work.

                Everyone else need hunger, deteriorating conditions and less income as their incentives to work.

                In other words bonuses for US, austerity for YOU

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1.1.1.2

            The various levels (of UBI, income tax, capital gains) really come down to what we need to pay for – perhaps with a modest surplus for a rainy day or to save up for stuff we really want like a national cycleway 😉
            …or a major weather event.

            If whatever model was finally adopted also closed the income gap a bit that would probably lead to a reduced budget in the long term as our social indicators improved.

            No doubt there’s some entirely ideological reason why this is all wrong…

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    4 days ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago