Tapu Misa on private prisons

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, March 17th, 2009 - 32 comments
Categories: crime - Tags: ,

From Tapu Misa’s latest column:

National thinks that… [t]hrough the magic of “competition” we’ll get a first rate penal system, and private providers will make a profit without our having to spend any more money.

Given the lack of strong evidence for this proposition, this seems to be based squarely on faith and ideology.

But didn’t Crosby Textor tell us that John Key was all about “what works”? Oops.

32 comments on “Tapu Misa on private prisons ”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    That is a reasonable interpretation of Tapu Misa’s column if you overlook that Tapu Misa seems to ignore that there is little evidence that the current corrections system is performing adequately.

    There does seem to be quite compelling evidence in my view that private management of some prisons will allow the Corrections Department to hold corrections’ providers to levels of accountability that simply haven’t been achieved within the public corrections system over the last six years.

    I don’t know what Crosby Textor advised us because they haven’t been advising me. What I do know is that the current prison system isn’t working. There are several examples of private prison management in New Zealand and Australia providing markedly better corrections outcomes than the publicly-owned model and being able to hold private prison management to much higher levels of accountability for performance.

    • Ari 1.1

      I agree that the current corrections system has problems, (hell, I’m not sure a prison system is something that anyone can be incredibly satisfied with overall) but that is not evidence that privatisation or even more private partners for corrections would be useful at all, let alone an improvement.

      What sort of compelling evidence do you have, Tim? Any specifics? And does your evidence establish causation as well as correlation? 🙂

      • Rex Widerstrom 1.1.1

        I’m not sure about Tim but I’ve presented evidence here before.

        My response to the idea was perfectly encapsulated by senzafine on the same thread:

        I struggle to believe that prisons could be too much more corrupt than they are now.

        Maybe even a decent private organisation might be able to clean up what is fundamentally a corrupt and broken prison system.

        Precisely. It all comes down to the parameters used to choose the successful operator, the performance measures imposed upon them, the monitoring of those measures and the willingness to impose sanctions for poor performance. And, if necessary, to pull the contract as they did in Western Australia.

        There’s a reason there’s a waiting list to transfer out of every state-run prison* in WA into the privately run one, and it has nothing to do with ideology.

        * Except the much lower-security prison farms.

  2. Ianmac 2

    Tim: Are the “much higher levels of accountability for performance,” about financial success or effectiveness of operation especially with the tough customers?

    • Tim Ellis 2.1

      Ianmac, that’s an interesting question. I doubt that there’s much scope for privatising the management of maximum security prisons, but in medium-security and remand prisons, there is the scope with private management to hold private management to account, especially with regards to prison escapes, rehabilitation rates, consultation with relevant communities, and providing a drug-free environment.

      You can add all sorts of accountability standards into private prison contracts that the State has simply failed to do with public prison management.

      The main purpose of private management of prisons shouldn’t be cheaper outcomes, but better quality corrections outcomes and greater community safety.

      • BLiP 2.1.1

        The main purpose of private prisons is profit. Introducing the profit motive in prisons will result in slavery. Yippeee. Thanks National.

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8289

        http://home.iae.nl/users/lightnet/creator/prison.htm

        http://www.afn.org/~govern/Prisons.html

      • Quoth the Raven 2.1.2

        Tim – I recommend you read this post by I/S: No accountability for National’s private prisons .
        I think we’ll have less accountability with private prisons not more.

        • Rex Widerstrom 2.1.2.1

          I/S’s commentary was reposted by The Standard this weekend and I posted a comment putting several points to him hoping to get a response but the thread then died.

          I/S, are you out there?

          • Quoth the Raven 2.1.2.1.1

            Rex – I must have missed it. Anyway, you raise some good points, but the assertion that Tim is making is that there will be greater accountability under a private system. You don’t show in your comment how we’ll get that with National’s bill. I don’t think there will be greater accountability. I think there will be less. Do you actually think that under National’s bill as it is there will be greater accountability?

          • Rex Widerstrom 2.1.2.1.2

            QtR: No, I don’t think the Bill as drafted will produce adequate accountability. To be honest it goes much further than I’d dared hope, but the points I/S raises are all valid – what I was doing was positing ways they could easily be dealt with by amendments and/or inclusions in any eventual contract.

            Since it seems private prisons will go ahead regardless I see this as an opportunity to advocate for a model which is capable of doing a great deal of good. The alternative is to stand in opposition to the concept (as opposed to its execution) and allow the model adopted to be one that suits Garrett, McVicar et al.

          • Tim Ellis 2.1.2.1.3

            QtR, those are good points but I really do think there’s a gaping hole in IS’ argument. He only refers to the legislative requirements for accountability as contained in the Bill. Legislative requirements have very little to do with contractual arrangements between the private prison operator and the Corrections Department. Nor should they be: one of the features of private prison management is that you can provide different solutions for different problems. The accountability and performance measurements you have for a medium-security prison in Northland (recidivism rates, assaults on prisoners, rehabilitation and training rates, consultation with iwi, drug-free environment) etc might be very different from the requirements of a remand prison in Invercargill, for example. You don’t define those accountability and performance measures in legislation.

            I also don’t get what IS is on about with regards to the OIA. In my previous job with a consulting firm where we did a lot of work for government departments there was no legislative requirement that the work we did was subject to the OIA. There were certainly contractual requirements for this however.

  3. the sprout 3

    good interviews this morning on RNZ Nine to Noon on problems encountered with private prisons in Australia:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/ntn/2009/03/17/private_prisons

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/ntn/2009/03/17/private_prisons_2

    “What I do know is that the current prison system isn’t working”

    Tim, no prison systems work particularly well as long as they’re based on coersion and degradation. At least with State operation the State is required to take more direct responsibility for what goes on inside them.

  4. DeeDub 4

    C’mon you doubters?!

    You must know that corruption and bribery doesn’t occur in the world of private business?

    Outcomes are always better if someone is being enriched, don’t you know.

    Just look around.

  5. I take a, hopefully, rational look at the issue of the trade-offs between public and private prisons here. I conclude “So there is a case to be made for private prisons, but it may not be as strong as for other services currently provided by the government, and it is at its weakest for the case of maximum security prisons.’

    • Rex Widerstrom 5.1

      That’s an excellent article Paul. I wonder though to what degree the paper you cite is applicable to NZ conditions? For instance they say, with reference to maximum security institutions:

      …the prevention of violence by prisoners against guards and other prisoners is a crucial goal… In many cases, the principal strategy for preventing such violence is the threat of the use of force by the guards.

      I don’t think the threat of the use of force by guards – at least not in the Amercian context, where this can escalate up to rubber and even lead bullets – is nearly as great a factor in maintaining order in NZ prisons.

      And while gangs are a factor in NZ prisons it’s not to the same extent as in the US, where the friction between white supremacists, African American and Latino gangs is virtually constant and where conditions are much less humane, leading to greater resentment and thus violence.

      So there’s many institutional and cultural factors that render that analysis far less germane when overlaid on the NZ situation, wouldn’t you agree?

      • Paul Walker 5.1.1

        The force factor may be less here than in the US but force is still an issue. Insofar as it is less of a factor then contracting out is more likely to work. Importantly, however, the basic incomplete contracts theory is as applicable here as for the US.

    • BLiP 5.2

      The introduction of the document you use to base your opinion on states, in part:

      As a general rule, government employees provide most services paid for with tax revenues, such as the police, the military, operation of prisons, fire departments and schools, collection of garbage and so on.

      This is a particularly nasty example of the hideous and inhumane invasion of society by those driven by greed. So far as the authors you quote are concerned, the provision of prisons can be argued using the same logic as contracting out the disposal of garbage.

      The document goes on to say that the arguments against privatisation are concerned only with cost and quality, completely ignoring the wider argument that it is the task of the state, and the state alone, to hold captive its citizens and that introducing the profit motive in this responsibility is relegating the value of human beings to that of widgets.

      Sick sick sick. I have no doubt this is just the sort of thinking that is driving the current National government. No wonder the US model has resulted in the creation of slave labour camps. I despair for the future.

  6. Chess Player 6

    Just another mess for the new Govt to clean up…..

    I get the distinct impression reading this blog that many of you would prefer the current shambles to continue, rather than even tolerate the remotest chance of privatisation being part of the solution.

    Just remember, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always gotten…

  7. gingercrush 7

    Isn’t a position where the idea you can’t have profit motives in prisons itself an ideology? Indeed when Labour closed down the remand prison, surely that was nothing but ideological. Particularly, since that prison had been a real success.

    I think she does have a point. In that some on the right do think that you can merely make prisons private and they will be better. Which is itself blind. But since National isn’t just going to tap their fingers and make all prisons private and is doing it on a case-by-case basis. I don’t think they can be accused of being blind.

  8. Ianmac 8

    Chessplayer: “I get the distinct impression reading this blog that many of you would prefer the current shambles to continue,”
    Um no. What I would like to see is transparency of just how well the Prison Service is run. There is a tendency to really hype up any misadventure to damn the whole system and some like to use “current Shambles” type language often enough so that it becomes “true.” I think that most prisons in NZ are well run. The absence of frequent serious trouble seems to support this…… until politicians get stuck in and blow up incidents for political gain.

    • BLiP 8.1

      Exactly! What is this “shambles” being referred to? Has anyone read the latest report on the Department of Corrections and, if so, can they point to the section which deals with the management of prisons?

      This whole privatisation of prisons has got the foul odour of Crosby/Textor all over it. That and the stench of National Party lies, greed and haste to start shoveling cash out of the country and into the coffers of the multinationals.

      • higherstandard 8.1.1

        Are you deliberately trying to act the idiot or does it come naturally ?

        The report entitled “Department of Corrections: Managing Offenders on Parole” was not surprisingly about managing offenders on parole.

        For an outsiders view of the NZ prison system read this little gem.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10561455

        • Ianmac 8.1.1.1

          Thankyou higherstandard: I read it but the language of words like “putrid” are not the words of assesment. They are words used to push a case for better working conditions, better pay etc. They really are in line with political spin but for the opposite intent. (That is not to say that things could not be better, but the National/Act talk is to make them nastier places, to teach them a lesson. The difficulties arising from this???)

  9. BLiP 9

    Oh, right – you form your opinions based on the tripe served by the New Zealand Fox News Herald. That would be the same report that Collins said:

    . . she refutes the suggestion that all three facilities have serious security shortcomings, saying there would be more escapes if that were the case.

    Wow! What a wonderful case for abdicating state responsibility and preparing to start shovelling cash out the door.

  10. rave 10

    Gingercrunch

    Of course its an ideology to say the state alone should be responsible for public order.

    Its not a social democratic ideology however but the capitalist ideology itself that likes us to think that the state is not the bosses state and indeed class neutral a sort of godlike referee beyond partisanship.

    Nation in its narrow partnership greed for more profits for its US multinational mates however is about to blow the cover of the state. Now bosses can make profits from jailing people, so it becomes obvious that’s why they lock them up, 3 strikes for more profits!

    I say bring it on, the more private jails the better, the more National appointees to SOEs etc the better, why not partisan judges, the old USofA has it. What this does it make it perfectly clear that the judicial system is a means of < a href’=’http://redrave.blogspot.com/2009/03/privatising-repression.html’ /a>. Bring it on!

    • gingercrush 10.1

      You write rather eloquently rave. BTW who is a worker. And in your world where workers control things, what happens to management and other such people?

      • BLiP 10.1.1

        They are remunerated according to how they are rated by the staff the manage, and receive a share of the enterprises’ overall profits according to their contribution to hands-on production. A good manager will do well.

        • RedLogix 10.1.1.1

          A good company employs good people, who know a good potential manager/leader among their own ranks when they see one. If more organisations used peer review to select people for promotion they would get some huge benefits.

          Here is an example of a Danish company that genuinely transformed it’s internal culture several decades ago, from rigid inflexible hierarchy to a relatively flat structure:

          At Oticon, we treat managerial tasks in much the same way as any other type of assignment. Our organisation is relatively flat with a culture based on the philosophy that an individual’s point of view is more important than his or her title. With independent, responsible employees and colleagues, managerial tasks are performed at ground level. Mutual respect develops automatically because most of our managers started at the same place as everyone else.

          As a result Oticon went from an almost failed company to the undisputed world leader in hearing aid technology. About 15 years ago Kim Hill had a fantastic interview with the CEO responsible for the change and I’ve never forgotten how inspirational it was.

  11. RedLogix 11

    Our prisons are funded and run rather like our facilities for the treatment of mental illness… a very poor third best. An excessively high imprisonment rate (among the top ten in the word) combined with a mean, punitive political and social climate mean that our prison system lacks the resources and respect to function well.

    Just two days ago we had a visit to my workplace from an ex-employee, a woman who had left to work at a major prison site locally. She’s paid a little better there, but her comments were downright hair-raising. Like being so short-staffed that she is routinely expected to conduct a muster ON HER OWN in a unit with 60 male prisoners… anyone of whom could jump her at any moment. (Anyone of you rightwing bozo’s got the guts to do that? Doubt it.)

    Prisons are hard, evil places. It takes a special breed of person to work effectively in them, and frankly these kind of people deserve a great deal more respect and support from the wider community than they presently get. Because all we are doing is setting them up to fail at present.

  12. Ben R 12

    A quick google search suggests that the evidence is mixed. Apparently Dr Greg Newbold has been on radio indicating he favours some privatisation. Sorry to quote off kiwiblog, but this seems relevant…

    “In his book The Problem of Prisons, Dr Newbold said the Australian company running the Auckland remand prison was fined $50,000 for every escape under its contract, and as a result had only one escape in the five years it ran the jail.

    “In 2004, for example, filled to maximum capacity with 360 inmates, the prison had one suicide and only three serious assaults – a low level of serious incidents for an institution of this type,’ he wrote. “Only 5.5 per cent of inmates returned positive drug tests, compared with over 20 per cent in the public sector.’

  13. BLiP 13

    That experiment in the state’s abdicatiion of its responsibility to society was a loss leader. Also, the logic applied in the KB dribble is sloppy – just because there was a fine system for escapes doesn’t necessarily mean that is the reason there was an escape. Also, who was responsible for gathering the statistics? The last thing you would want to do is take Farrar at face value.

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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    6 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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