Tertiary fee drop – excellent proposal from Labour

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, January 22nd, 2016 - 138 comments
Categories: education, labour, tertiary education - Tags: , , , , ,

Education is a public good. We all benefit, socially and economically, from a well educated populace. A couple of days I wrote about a disastrous fall in student numbers that is undermining tertiary education in NZ.

It isn’t the same data set, but this a related 2014 government report starts with an interesting graph:

student-numbers

The net fall following 2010 was not unexpected:

Budget 2010: Move to free up course-fee increases rattles student unions

The Government has ditched the “fees maxima” policy which caps tertiary education fees at a set monetary level and will instead allow institutions to raise all course fees by up to 4 per cent from next year.

The change, made in yesterday’s Budget, has prompted concern from student unions …

He said overall the Budget was a double blow for students, who faced higher fees as well as stricter criteria for student loans and allowances.

Falling student numbers are a problem. Rising fees and debt are a problem, both as a matter of social justice, and because it contributes to falling numbers. For these reasons I was hugely encouraged to see this proposal from Labour yesterday:

Tertiary fees ‘likely to drop under Labour’

Tertiary fees would likely drop significantly under a Labour government as part of a rethink to address increasing student debt, the party’s new tertiary education spokesman says.

Chris Hipkins, who picked up the portfolio after a reshuffle of Labour’s caucus rankings in late November, said nominal student loan debt would pass $15 billion this year — and that should ring alarm bells.

Alarm bells should have rung long, long, long before that ridiculous figure.

He said the Government was not dealing with the “fundamental issue”, which was that the increasing cost of getting a tertiary education was driving the rise in student borrowing.

And the fall in numbers. So reducing fees is a good start. But as an end-goal I’m in favour of free tertiary education. Which Hipkins didn’t rule out:

Germany has recently abolished tuition fees. Asked if Labour would consider that, Mr Hipkins said “a range of options” were being considered. “We will certainly be looking at ways to bring down the cost of tertiary education.”

More like this from Labour please.

138 comments on “Tertiary fee drop – excellent proposal from Labour”

  1. BM 1

    2014

    Students 132,297
    Staff 19,966

    Nearly 60% of the sector’s expenditure of $3.3 billion went on staff salaries and related costs.

    http://www.universitiesnz.ac.nz/nz-university-system

    One staff member per 6.6 students seems unbelievably high.

    • r0b 1.1

      One staff member per 6.6 students seems unbelievably high.

      Teaching is not the only thing that universities do. They do research. They engage with the community. They maintain massive campus infrastructure and grounds. They administer large and complex businesses. There are lots of jobs at universities for lots of reasons. (Not to mention that a fair bit of university teaching is 1 on 1 or small group, as it should be.)

      And none of that has anything to do with student fees and debt – which was the topic of the post.

      • BM 1.1.1

        Maybe universities could trim costs to make education more affordable for students, instead of once again expecting the tax payer to pick up the tab.

        Cut costs =cheaper student fees and less debt.

      • Rich 1.1.2

        “They do research. They engage with the community. They maintain massive campus infrastructure and grounds. They administer large and complex businesses”

        So each student’s $30k+ debt goes to funding a small shrub in the corner of the university grounds – it’s good to have nice places, but why does this cost needs to be applied to a student’s learning?

        In my field, I notice that most (all?) universities maintain a large and expensive (despite badly paid staff) IT Services department, which dates back to the days when computers were kept in sealed rooms with white-coated attendants [you’d see an image here, if LP would enable them]. Nowadays, they provide services which are available elsewhere, either free (like email) or as a cheap commodity (like hosting). Instead, student fees are loaded with these pointless costs.

        This all does make a difference to student fees and debt – if universities didn’t carry all these overheads, fees would be lower (as is demonstrated by Southland Tech) and hence debt would be reduced.

        David Graeber (himself an academic) touches on this in his book The Utopia Of Rules, which I’d recommend reading.

        • BM 1.1.2.1

          So, you’d say there’s quite a lot of fat in the system?

          • linda 1.1.2.1.1

            better idea lets nail the rich fuckkers to the wall who are not paying there fare share of taxes if we a arrest debtor students we can really go after criminal tax evaders with the same vigor.

        • Psycho Milt 1.1.2.2

          Nowadays, they provide services which are available elsewhere…

          I’m picturing telling students that no, we don’t provide computers, applications, printing, file storage or a network any more, but they’re welcome to arrange those things for themselves. First words out of their mouths: “But I’m paying you fees!”

          • Rich 1.1.2.2.1

            How many students don’t own a laptop? Or know how to get to Google Drive?
            Or have a phone plan with way more gigabytes than the uni would ever let them have?

            As I say, when computers were strange and new, universities had to provide them (although even then, departments usually had their own because the Computing Service, as it styled itself then, was useless). Nowadays, it’s like the university bundling clothes, food or a car along with the fees. (Although that would be kinda popular with overseas students whose parents couldn’t read the small print).

            • McFlock 1.1.2.2.1.1

              How many students can access a high performance computing centre via a high-speed dedicated link?
              How many students can manage the records of students, room allocations, and payments relating to 20000 students, 4000 staff, and well over a billion dollars worth of infrastructure going back the past thirty years to aid planning well into the future?

              How many students manage the maintenance, upgrades, and inter-operability of all staff and student computers on campus?

              It’s not just banging out 1200 words on the role of the pumperknickel in 16th century Flemish politics.

              • Rich

                Oh come on. You know that undergrads never get let loose on all the high-end things that universities have – you might get time on an HPC computer system as a postgrad, but it would be cheaper to spend your project dollars with AWS, if the uni would let you…

                And the line-of-business stuff to manage students is another area entirely – students don’t access this directly, its just an overhead on providing their education.

                I’ve had cause in the past to do fairly simple jobs for university customers where they needed a server/website which had to be on their network – in every case, what would have been a two hour job on AWS (create a server, install packages, hook it to a domain) turned into weeks of negotiating with ITS, who in turn no doubt spent hours setting it all up. Working hard, but not smart.

                • McFlock

                  You railed against universities having IT services on the basis of what only students need.

                  Despite your assumption that every student has a laptop capable of running any software they might require for their course, the fact is that university IT involves a shedload more than just what students need to write an essay. And that’s before we get into someone using megaupload instead of dropbox to store their data, only to find one day that the feds have stolen it all.

            • Psycho Milt 1.1.2.2.1.2

              Rich, if you had to support the gear that some students try to use for access to university systems, you’d understand why so many of them are keen to use the stuff the university provides. The age and decrepitude of some of the devices we get asked to help with are really quite astonishing.

            • simbit 1.1.2.2.1.3

              In my exoerience about 10% lack hardware and 30% the necessary skills to negotiate the technology. When IT issues arise (and we have regular outages, shutdowns, updates, and data losses), students and staff need to be back online in under an hour.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Three things need to happen:

    1. All outstanding student loans need to be written off
    2. All education needs to be free
    3. Anybody not working needs to be helped into education

    • pete 2.1

      And we all need to be given a free BMW and petrol vouchers for life by the government.

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.1

        No, but selling the ministerial BMWs will create a nice saving. They can take the bus.

      • The thing is, the government doesn’t nominally have a value of giving away BMWs. It does have one of free education. (although in reality even primary and secondary education is no longer free with compulsory “donations”, hence “nominal”)

        Speaking of German goods and services, guess what they do in Germany? You pay no tuition for undergraduate courses. You pay a small administration fee to the university, and the government foots the bill because it recognises that educating people enhances its society and attracts skilled migrants. That’s pretty close to free education, Pete.

        • pete 2.1.2.1

          Hi Matthew. Yes that is pretty close to free education. But that does not necessarily make it good policy. The fees are already very heavily subsidised.

      • Crashcart 2.1.3

        Yea because free education is such an out there concept. It’s not like most of those sitting in parliament at the moment took advantage of free education is it.

        • pete 2.1.3.1

          Yes but they are planning for the future, not the past.

          • Crashcart 2.1.3.1.1

            Good thinking. There is no way that have a more educated populace would be considered planning for the future.

            • pete 2.1.3.1.1.1

              It not a case of more educated or less. The key is appropriate education for the appropriate people. That is, admission based on merit (grades) not the current system of open door to anyone who fills in a format on the Web.

              Do you not think for example that the current system of apprenticeships not being subsidised (or their essential tools that usually costs these young people many thousands) is unjust? It’s weird that the people on here only seem to extend their welfare concern to those who will on graduation be the middle class. Scant concern for the working class from labour or to see on this is site

              • Draco T Bastard

                The key is appropriate education for the appropriate people. That is, admission based on merit (grades) not the current system of open door to anyone who fills in a format on the Web.

                What a load of bollocks.

                The correct amount of education that people need is as much as possible. More education brings about more ideas and understanding of how society works.

                If we followed your ideas then my nephew wouldn’t be the successful carpenter that he is. Instead he’d be a minimum wage hammer-hand that he started work as.

                Your idea actually limits those things. Of course, the rich and National like that idea because then people don’t start demanding changes.

                • pete

                  I am.sure your nephew does not need a PhD to be a successful carpenter, which is the extension of your argument.

                  In fact, in my working experience those who are over educated for their job are a pain in the arse. They too often mistake education for intelligence and try to Lord it over the real workers.

                  This is the problem with current crop of Labour mps: over educated and underachieving. Many have spent their entire life as middle class beneficiaries and consequently have almost no understanding of the working people and their needs.

                  And I have met many many people who have chosen a trade and thearby have little post high school education who are extremely successful and demonstrably intelligent. Their lack of a tertiary education in no way limited them vocationally or socially.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I am.sure your nephew does not need a PhD to be a successful carpenter, which is the extension of your argument.

                    No it’s not. My nephew dropped out of school without even School C. According to you he wouldn’t have qualified to get the education that he got to become a carpenter.

                    In fact, in my working experience those who are over educated for their job are a pain in the arse.

                    Actually, the real problem is the one you’re displaying right now:

                    The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which relatively unskilled persons suffer illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than it really is.

                    Basically, you’re too ignorant to understand that you’re an ignorant oaf.

                    And I have met many many people who have chosen a trade and thearby have little post high school education who are extremely successful and demonstrably intelligent.

                    And I’ve met the same type of people and they, too, demonstrate the Dunning-Kruger effect very well. Even worse in many cases as they think that they being rich actually proves that they know what they’re talking about.

                    • pete

                      No being rich does not equal intelligence necessarily anymore than education does. And please refrain from hurling abuse whenever someone has a differing opinion than you. It merely undermines your argument and even proves that over education is a dangerpus thing indeed.

                      I have a BA/BCom with a professional qualification of CA and CPP.
                      And gee, I actually paid back my student loan. It was a good investment for my future, a little like buying a house.

                      And I also like your nephew left school with (in my case) insufficient qualifications to study at university. I went to Hagely High School in ChCh in evening classes to get UE, and my first university year was parttime whilst i worked. Did not need a band playing violins to achieve this. this a little effort and common sense.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      And please refrain from hurling abuse whenever someone has a differing opinion than you.

                      What abuse? I merely pointed out that you’re coming from a position of ignorance and you just proved it.

                      No such thing as ‘over education’ and the true danger is operating from ignorance.

                    • Pat

                      “And I’ve met the same type of people and they, too, demonstrate the Dunning-Kruger effect very well. Even worse in many cases as they think that they being rich actually proves that they know what they’re talking about”

                      citing Dunning-Kruger effect for this is somewhat specious….and wealth was not a factor mentioned…..would also note there are many informally trained who are highly regarded by the formally qualified, often to the extent of conferring honorary degrees.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      @ Pat

                      citing Dunning-Kruger effect for this is somewhat specious

                      Nope. There really are people out there who are successful in the trades, are completely ignorant and yet think that they know what they’re talking about. I’ve met them.

                      and wealth was not a factor mentioned

                      I assumed that when pete said “little post high school education who are extremely successful” he was referring to people who were well off.

                      would also note there are many informally trained who are highly regarded by the formally qualified, often to the extent of conferring honorary degrees.

                      Yep, met people like that as well.

                      @pete

                      Did not need a band playing violins to achieve this. this a little effort and common sense.

                      You had the benefit of having a job. Very difficult to get one of those these days with such high unemployment and the student loan is not enough to live on.

                      I’m not looking for violins but some actual support rather than the kick in the guts that both National and Labour have been doing to students and other beneficiaries.

                    • Pat

                      “Nope. There really are people out there who are successful in the trades, are completely ignorant and yet think that they know what they’re talking about. I’ve met them.”

                      I don’t doubt you have….hardly a basis for the sweeping statement you made….just as there are nominal tradesmen who have an inflated opinion of their abilities so there are graduates with scant understanding of their field.

                      ‘I assumed that when pete said “little post high school education who are extremely successful” he was referring to people who were well off.’

                      please don’t tell me you are one who automatically equates “success’ with monetary position….that is a very narrow and in my opinion, invalid appraisal….indeed I would suggest it is almost a success substitute.

              • Crashcart

                Has anyone here argued against differing education for differing people? I haven’t seen it. In fact removing tertiary costs frees students up to try different subjects or trades and find what best suits them.

                The current system has an arbitrary measure of whether you can get the money as to whether you will be able to attempt to get the education. Removing the cost in no way indicates that you don’t have a merit based system for entry to courses.

                If every one has the option to try and gain the education they need to pursue the career they are suited to that can only be better for society as a whole. Removing the barrier of cost is a step towards this. There are still many other issues that need to be addressed but that is no reason to not start down the path.

                • pete

                  A student loan does not limit them either. Just makes them hopefully think a little more before they fill in their online application.

                  • Crashcart

                    A student loan does limit them.

                    So you liked Metalwork when you were in school. You put in your student loan to become a Mechanic. Turns out you are not suited and don’t enjoy it. Shit you now have a loan to pay. To try and change and find a career that not only would you enjoy more but probably be better at, will just load you up with more debt.

                    I know it is a hard concept but expecting someone at 17/18 with almost no life experience to choose what they are going to sink themselves into for the rest of their lives is not the best idea.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I know it is a hard concept but expecting someone at 17/18 with almost no life experience to choose what they are going to sink themselves into for the rest of their lives is not the best idea.

                      QFT

                      And then throw in changing technologies. My father was a toolmaker and by the time he retired there was no call for them. And that sort of thing is happening faster and faster. We still have street cleaners but how long before that’s done by machine?

                      So many RWNJs still have the delusional belief that you go out, get an education and that’s it – you’re set for life.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    A student loan does not limit them either.

                    Yes it does. In fact, that’s its point.

      • acrophobic 2.1.4

        And beneficiaries need to get subsidised housing and cheaper education (via the decile system) and cash to move town and cash to move house and … oh wait … they get that now!

    • Hutty 2.2

      I have been fortunate enough to have late last year paid off my Student Loan over numerous years of chipping away at it. Don’t you think it would be absolute garbage that people who have not been paying it back just magically have theirs written off? Will I be refunded by the government?

      All students know what they are getting into when the sign the loan documents. It would be a terrible precedent just to write it off.

      • I think everyone who paid towards the balance of their student loan while living in NZ should ideally have that balance be forwarded to the income tax division of IRD and written off your upcoming tax bills, or refunded to you if you only pay PAYE.

        BUT I don’t see that as being as likely to happen as simply writing off outstanding debts and preventing new ones by eliminating fees for NZ residents. At the very least those of us who took out loans and repaid them in part or full can be glad that nobody else will have to go through that BS.

        It would NOT be a terrible precedent to write off the loans. Students certainly knew what they were getting into, and that generally earning more but getting the loan was a better choice, but it still largely drives people overseas where there’s a wage gap from living in New Zealand, as even writing off the interest doesn’t do that much.

        I’d much rather IRD simply tracked the student debt principle for people residing in NZ, and wiped out the principle if you work here for a set number of years. (5? 10?) You can repay back the whole thing with interest if you move overseas for cushier wages though IMO.

        • BM 2.2.1.1

          The thing is though, you’re going to university to get a degree and therefore a much higher paying job.

          Why should I pay for that?, I wouldn’t want to pay for the guy/girl down the road to start up their business, why should I have to pay for your degree.

          You’re investing in yourself for personal gain, of course you should pay for that.

          Maybe if people thought a bit more about going into debt for some degree that has little to no job prospects, the student loan situation wouldn’t be as bad as it currently is.

          • Crashcart 2.2.1.1.1

            Ignoring the fact that improving the education of the population in general is good for every one (improved economy and reduced crime) you won’t be paying for it. The government will. Taxes will always be used for things we don’t agree with.

            • BM 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Think you’re missing something.

              The government collects tax of employers and employees to pay for services and products to keep the country running.

              The more services the government supplies the more tax that needs to be raised. For the less well off this extra tax means less money to buy food and pay for rent.

              I don’t think it’s particularly fair to punish the lower paid because a bunch of middle/upper class people don’t want to contribute to the costs of getting a better education so they can get themselves a high paying job.

              • Pat

                “I don’t think it’s particularly fair to punish the lower paid because a bunch of middle/upper class people don’t want to contribute to the costs of getting a better education so they can get a high paying job.”

                answer ….progressive taxation

                • Lanthanide

                  That’s a bit of a circular argument:

                  It’s unfair that people have to pay for their own education, it should be free. Make the government pay for it!

                  The government needs more money to fund this education.

                  Tax the people who got an education and therefore a highpaying job so that the government can pay for the education.

                  All you’ve really done is swapped student-loans for higher tax rates.

                  • Pat

                    yes you are in effect correct…but it is a more cost effective method without the additional admin costs, defaults, debt collection….and ridiculous compounding penalties…and thats at both ends, the provider and the govt.

                    • Lanthanide

                      It also means people can get free educations in NZ, then go elsewhere in the world and never pay a cent towards their education.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If we developed our economy properly then people wouldn’t leave except for a holiday here and there.

                    • Pat

                      there is more than just funding that needs to be addressed….the academic independence and security are two that spring to mind….but consider, what does any academic (or most for that matter) want?,,an environment where he or she is relatively free to pursue their interest…and perhaps secondly to mentor the next prodigy….build it and they will come (or stay)

                • BM

                  Wouldn’t to be cheaper and simpler to just have people paying some of the cost of their tertiary education?

                  You know, like what we have now.

                • linda

                  7 billion in tax evasion by tax crooks every year let start with them

              • Crashcart

                I am not missing that at all. Each government has to prioritise its spend and try to meet the costs of that spend. I understand that a government you support wouldn’t feel that free education is a high enough priority to either shift spending or increase tax intake. I on the other hand would support a government that does.

                Its a false claim that the poor would be punished. The assumption is that the tax would be raised from them. There are many other more progressive ways to apply tax. Yes that would mean if you get the education and get a higher paying job you would pay a slightly higher tax rate to cover that cost, however you still get that job and you get to move towards a future with out a debt burden.

                That is the bit you ignored in your initial position about your tax dollars. More people in higher skilled employment means high tax intake, off setting the increased costs. Of course as CV points out below there would also be a requirement for there to be jobs for them to go into. I often hear the term skills shortage but I honestly wouldn’t know what sort of increase in qualified workers this could soak up.

            • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1.1.2

              There is a direct and substantial private benefit to tertiary education (assuming you study something valuable).

              I don’t see why it is wrong to expect the individual who is receiving that direct private benefit to share some of the burden of the cost.

              • Pat

                both societies a whole and the individual benefit from tertiary education…but even dismissing the societal good the bulk of graduates under a progressive taxation (more so than current) system do indeed share the cost for that personal benefit.

                (meant as reply to BM)

                • Pat

                  that is true Lanthanide….it is an issue that wasn’t so prevalent back in the day (and may not be into the future, who knows how the world will develop)…but if monitored there are ways and means to mitigate that issue if it becomes problematic, besides the swings and roundabouts argument applies, if skills mobility is the continuing world trend we attract overseas trained (and financed) graduates in return

              • Matthew Hooton

                I am currently studying philosophy at the University of Auckland with a particular interest in integrating Buddhist metaphysics and Aristotelian ethics. I am not sure whether or not you would consider this to fall under your use of “valuable” but I receive substantial private utility from this. Nevertheless, I welcome Labour’s indication they may get the taxpayer to pay a bit more and me a bit less for my PhD in this topic, which I expect to begin in 2018. It would be great if they made it entirely free for me, and made the taxpayer pay the full amount. After all, as Anthony Robins says, it is really a public not a private good despite the utility I gain (at least that’s my story).

                • Pat

                  lol…there are always exceptions that prove the rule…I think it would be fair to say a progressive taxation regime would capture you regardless of the financial benefits of your study…there are also other areas of study (such as BSW) that are unlikely to push a graduate into a high tax bracket…..it is a system that works in total, and should be assessed as such

                • Ad

                  Impressed you restrained yourself from doing political theory.

                  All the best with the great Nichomachean Ethics! I loved that stuff; it resonated much more than Singer and the utilitiarian ethicists.

                  I think I can still remember most of his virtues.

                  • Michael

                    I think Matthew Hooton could really benefit from studying ethics, although I suggest he starts with the basics, and gets them right, before moving into the higher realms. Hooton’s Dirty Politics activities indicates he has absolutely no understanding of ethics, particularly its practical applications in daily living. After he passes Ethics 101 (which might take him a few attempts, FWICS), I recommend a course in Virtue Ethics. I’m unsure whether Rosalind Hursthouse still teaches at Auckland University; if she does, Hotton should seek her out: Hursthouse is a pioneering figure in the latest iteration of Virtue Ethics. Finally, we’ll all know whether Hooton has learned his lessons from the calibre of his posts on this site.

                • alwyn

                  What big words you can use. To save me the trouble of looking them up can you assure us that what you have said makes at least some sense?
                  Actually they look like the sort of thing I have seen in quite a lot of theses.

                  I had a look at the student loan scheme some years ago. It was only curiosity and I had no intention of going ahead, for anyone who gets all excited about these things and might want to abuse me.

                  As a retired person of mature years I was curious whether I could get a student loan for living expenses. I would find some course of study that did not incur any fees. Then I would borrow toward my living costs and get a higher income.
                  If I still owed the borrowed money when I died it would all be written off, so that didn’t matter.

                  Unfortunately it appeared that I had too high an income. I would effectively have to pay the loan back as fast as I received it. Bummer.
                  On a lower income it did seem to be feasible. At least the current Government has wiped out that little trick, although I wonder if anyone actually took it up? Anyone know of people over 60 who took out a student loan, although never planning to work again?

          • Tony Veitch 2.2.1.1.2

            Congratulations. Spoken like a true neolib! Why on earth should you contribute to making society a better place for ALL citizens! What’s in it for you?

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.3

            Why should I pay for that?

            Because you would be better off. As I said to you before, all education is a public good first and the personal good is a subset of that.

            Maybe if people thought a bit more about going into debt for some degree that has little to no job prospects,

            Maybe if you RWNJs thought more and had more education you’d realise that education is about far more than just getting a job. Society depends upon everyone having a good and diverse education.

            • Once was Tim 2.2.1.1.3.1

              “Maybe if you RWNJs thought more and had more education you’d realise that education is about far more than just getting a job.”

              +1

              For those RWNJs tho’ ….. uphill. shit. push.
              (Alien concept…. does not compute….. does not fit with their rote style ‘learnings’ going forward)

          • Once was Tim 2.2.1.1.4

            “The thing is though, you’re going to university to get a degree and therefore a much higher paying job.”

            See that’s where you fail by using such an assumption.
            That might be the theory – the reality is quite a different story.

            Commerce graduates staffing call centres or Dominos Pizza outlets
            Media Studies grads clamouring for Weldon-type pozzies (even prepared to fuck the boss)
            Let’s not even begin with Law grads.

            The only thing they have in common is huge debt, and the only chance they have of getting ahead (going forward) is to subscribe to Natzi style cronyism and aspirational-style hope (going forward)

            Congrats trollsters – you’ve successfully commodified tertiary (and lower style) qualifications and made them as useless as tits on a bull.
            Please don’t moan tho’ when the shit hits the fan

        • Matthew Hooton 2.2.1.2

          How much would that cost? Loans have been being repaid since 1992. Would $100 billion have been repaid in that time? Anyone know? (I don’t)

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2

        Don’t you think it would be absolute garbage that people who have not been paying it back just magically have theirs written off?

        No.

        Will I be refunded by the government?

        Of course not as that would be retrospective legislation.

        It would be a terrible precedent just to write it off.

        No it wouldn’t.

        • Hutty 2.2.2.1

          So it’s just a case of tough cookies for the thousands of other people who have repaid their obligations?

    • mac1 2.3

      Approximately 108,000 FTE NZ students paid some $900 million in fees. (Foreign students total some 19,000 and per capita probably paid $161 million.)

      Government expenditure currently $94.3 billion.

      Free education at University would cost an extra $900 million on top of the $1.4 billion grant already paid. That $2.3 billion would be 2.4% of total govt expenditure, as against 1.5% now.

      Now, how would we go about gaining $900 million extra revenue?

      Well, tax avoidance in New Zealand is about $7.4 billion per annum.

      Tax avoidance could be said to cost this country free university and school education, and a poverty free society.

      QED.

      • Craig H 2.3.1

        I’ve seen various estimates on tax avoidance, but in a lot of cases, the figures are actually income, so tax would be paid on that.

        • mac! 2.3.1.1

          From the source I quoted below to Colonial Viper, (http://www.victoria.ac.nz/research/expertise/business-commerce/fraud-sentencing), this is quite clearly a reference to revenue, not income.

          “While it is difficult to get accurate figures for tax evasion, the Tax Justice Network estimates New Zealand missed out on more than $7.4 billion of tax revenue in 2011, or around $1,500 per New Zealander.”

          • Craig H 2.3.1.1.1

            I tried really hard to find the report itself online (and I’m normally not too bad with the Google Fu), but could only find articles which referenced it, and couldn’t find it on the Tax Justice Network website.

            Also, that was the best part of 5 years ago, and is probably based on older data than that, and IRD has had 5 years of increased cash to crack down, so maybe things have improved slightly since then.

            (to my right, outside the window, there is a pig flying past…)

            Still, it would be nice to see the report if anyone can find it!

    • Justme 2.4

      Before student loans came in, the computer labs were empty most of the time. Once the loans came into effect, the computer labs were full, at midnight on Saturday.
      Students knew there was a cost involved for not passing. It also got rid of those who were “studying” so they didn’t have to get a job.
      It also encouraged people to consider that at the time, a plumber could be earning more than some graduates ever expected to, without the debt.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1

        Before student loans came in, the computer labs were empty most of the time.

        Bollocks. I’ve been in tertiary education before and after student loans and it was the same – students in there playing games, doing the needed research and other work. Before fees and student loans were introduced many people couldn’t actually afford to have a PC at home. And that’s got nothing to do with student loans making PCs available but the fact that PCs are now cheap enough that nearly everyone can afford them.

        Students knew there was a cost involved for not passing.

        That would be wishful thinking on your part.

        It also got rid of those who were “studying” so they didn’t have to get a job.

        I’d rather have people doing that than sitting at home on the unemployment benefit. Chances are they’d migrate into a teaching role and/or probably start doing some research from out of left-field that nobody else would have thought of because they wouldn’t have the broad education needed.

        It also encouraged people to consider that at the time, a plumber could be earning more than some graduates ever expected to, without the debt.

        Well, plumbers are still paid more per hour than lawyers but the number of plumbers is actually going down while the number of lawyers is going up.

      • Pat 2.4.2

        “Students knew there was a cost involved for not passing. It also got rid of those who were “studying” so they didn’t have to get a job.”

        I can recall a couple of people that could have been applied to back when Tertiary Ed was free (nominally) and also recall how it was approached…a student not performing ,and wastefully filling a place , who was simply there to party and avoid paid employment lost STB, were required to pay fees and had it put to them it was time to move on……it was effective.

    • Craig H 2.5

      I’m on board – someone has costed that out (I forget who – Greens, I think), and the free education is not actually especially expensive (relative to the current costs), while writing off the student loans is a bit more expensive.

  3. The Chairman 3

    It’s a shame Labour didn’t specifically state how they plan to achieve their goal.

    • BM 3.1

      Raise tax or borrow money, what other options are there?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        Definitely raise taxes: the US economy, for example, was much stronger when the top tax rate was 70%. I’d like to see the top tax rate raised to 500% for ladder-kickers though, and redistribute their homes and assets to some decent Kiwi families.

      • Stuart Munro 3.1.2

        Community education through peer tutoring is remarkably efficient and thus cost effective, and web delivered content will become increasingly important. As part of a blended delivery continuum universities have an important role. But equally important will be weeding out the corrupt and incompetent providers that the Gnats are larding into the system – the Novopays and the charter schools, the NZIBS and the dodgier polytech offerings. This will save a lot, but it is not saving that is the object, but fostering.

        Education is the logical modern Keynesian field as infrastructure was last century. And as with the infrastructure, the courses must be intelligently integrated with needs and opportunities. We don’t need bridges to nowhere and courses to nowhere aren’t much better.

      • mac1 3.1.3

        Another option, BM, is for all those tax-dodging bludgers in New Zealand to pay their fair share. At the moment, the figure is $7.4 billion annually- $1600 per head of population lost to government revenue.

        So, no need to raise taxes- just to collect what is owed.

        • BM 3.1.3.1

          Ever asked a tradie if he/she would do a cash job?

          Only way to get rid of tax-dodging is to get rid of cash.

          • mac1 3.1.3.1.1

            Answer to question one. No.

            Answer to how to get rid of tax-dodging is to do what the government today did to a university fee dodger at the airport.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.3.1.1.1

              LOL you’re dreaming. You’re also utterly lost.

              How is airport enforcement going to convince Google, Apple and BNZ to pay more tax?

              Of course, it isn’t, is it.

              • mac!

                For airport enforcement read purely enforcement- what happened at the airport was one example of government action from a wide range of possible enforcement options. I am advocating stronger action to enforce our tax laws.

                I am sure, CV, that you are not advocating walking away from tax dodging as too hard.

                I also am not sure that we are talking about the same thing. The article below which i quoted from is about criminal evasion. Are you talking about avoidance with your three examples?

                Read the following for the size of the problem, and how government deals with it from one academic’s research.

                http://www.victoria.ac.nz/research/expertise/business-commerce/fraud-sentencing

      • In the short term, it would probably need to be funded by extra revenue or reduced spending in other government areas.

        In the long term, if the policy is designed so it wipes out student debt for people living in NZ only, the costs will come back to the government in increased circulation from graduates spending that money in the economy, (which means the government will take in GST and corporation tax from most of the forgone revenue anyway, meaning you’re probably only forgoing about 61.2% of the revenue if you assume on average the forgone revenue is spent only once- in reality it’s likely to be spent more than once, as a percentage of corporate revenues will be dispursed within NZ as wages and for goods and services) or offset the government’s need to get graduates into saving. It will probably also retain more skilled graduates to NZ thus addressing the skills shortage in the country to some degree. It’s kinda win-win in the long term, with it ending up being an equation of “we trade 50-60% of the student loan revenue in order to keep students out of debt and in NZ”.

        • Craig H 3.1.4.1

          I agree, and quite like the concept of still having loans, but not collecting repayments and writing off the loan over time for people who work in NZ. The only issue is collecting from overseas-based borrowers is costly and difficult if they choose not to pay.

      • The Chairman 3.1.5

        Reshuffle expenditure, seek revenue generating investment, increase royalties on resource extractions.

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      Yip.

      While this is a ‘nice signal’ from Labour, at the moment it’s just empty words.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the eventual policy ends up being some sort of fees remittance in return for good grades, and then potentially an extra bonding thing where so many $ are forgiven from student loan debt if the graduate stays in NZ for a certain number of years.

      Simply because these are ways that you can give reasonable relief to those who are performing the best, which is cheaper than an across-the-board reduction in fees which arguably those who go to uni and party then drop out don’t deserve.

      I don’t see where Labour is going to get the money to do substantial across-the-board reductions, when there are already so many other parts of the government that National have been clamping down on that are in urgent need of additional funding.

      • Lanthanide 3.2.1

        Suggested schedule for SL forgiveness:
        1x in first year, 2x in second year, 3x in 3rd year living in NZ after graduation.

        x =
        For bachelor (3 year degree): $1,000
        For honours (4 year degree): $1,250
        For masters: $1,500
        For doctorate: $2,000

        Could potentially also add $500 for a 2-year diploma and similar levels of qualification.

        If this were also retroactively applied to all existing graduates who hold SLs, not just ones that graduate after the policy is introduced, it will bring that SL figure down rapidly.

        It wouldn’t be good for the government books though, because SL debt is counted as an asset for them.

        • Stuart Munro 3.2.1.1

          The rate might be a little slow – I’d imagine year parity would be more reasonable – 7 years in NZ pays off a PhD, 3 years a bachelor’s. Preventing graduates travelling is kind of Stalinesque, I don’t want it to be common.

          • Lanthanide 3.2.1.1.1

            Except what you’re proposing is massively expensive, and would be even more of a disincentive for graduates travelling than mine, given its generosity.

            My 3-year degree cost me about $20,000 for my SL. Knocking off $6,000 over 3 years, in addition to interest-free student loans, is very generous.

            • Stuart Munro 3.2.1.1.1.1

              We have to temper claims of expensiveness with the reality that a large proportion of student debt is expected to be unrecoverable (40% was the last figure I saw). At one point this government was talking about selling student debt at 50c on the dollar – not to the students of course.

              The whole policy of student loans had some serious flaws – you have an economic crisis in the 80s do you a) retrench b) invest in upskilling your population – successive NZ governments chose a). Education also is a pretty chimerical product – parts of the BA I did in NZ were frankly rubbish, though there was some quality in places too.

              • Lanthanide

                Just because a large amount of student loans are going to be unrecoverable, doesn’t mean we have to go and write all student loans off, which is effectively what you’re advocating. In fact, it is much more in line with my proposal: just bring-forward the write-off that will be occurring anyway, but in exchange for the graduate staying in NZ, which will likely result in additional payback of the remaining balance anyway as there won’t be as many people hiving off overseas where they can’t automatically deduct the payment from wages.

                There is already a bonding scheme for medical professionals, that requires them to work in ‘hard-to-staff communities’. And even that, proportional to the student loan required to get the degrees, is not as generous as what you’re proposing: http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/health-workforce/voluntary-bonding-scheme

                • Stuart Munro

                  Ok – but I never supported their introduction in the first place, so any logic around them is pretty fatuous to me.

                  I did my MA through a scholarship abroad so I avoided getting stung again here – but NZ is a jobless desert – due to undemocratic and frankly stupid governments. I can never get decent jobs here, and thus am never liable to make loan payments. Abroad is a different story – but the immigration hassles and costs can get pretty onerous.

                  If IRD wanted money from me they should’ve kept the slave fishermen out and I’d still have a high paying job. They didn’t, so fuck ’em.

                • Craig H

                  There’s a teacher one as well for certain subjects (unless National dumped it).

                  Reduce the loan by $100/week or $450 per month is my theory – takes longer for bigger, more expensive degrees, is quicker for something simple.

                  Make it a bigger reduction for qualifications on the Immigration NZ Long Term Skills Shortage List at time of study e.g. double that figure.

                  Allow people up to the age of 30 or 35 to work overseas for up to 2 years + travel time (e.g. 25 months) without accruing interest so they can do an OE/working holiday without being penalised. Continue the deductions if they are volunteering for a decent charity e.g. MSF.

      • The Chairman 3.2.2

        “While this is a ‘nice signal’ from Labour, at the moment it’s just empty words”

        Indeed.

  4. alwyn 4

    Chris Hipkins has really mastered the art of seeming to say something but not doing so.

    “Germany has recently abolished tuition fees. Asked if Labour would consider that, Mr Hipkins said “a range of options” were being considered. “We will certainly be looking at ways to bring down the cost of tertiary education”

    Only the most credulous fan could turn that into anything other than. “I am not agreeing to do anything”.
    Some parties, such as the Green Party, New Zealand First and ACT can promise anything. They are never going to be the dominant party in a Government and are therefore never going to have to put up. Labour, and National, cannot afford to do that. They are both, at some stage, going to be the major party in a Government and it won’t be quite so easy to renege on promises. Thus they sound as if they are promising things but they don’t do so.

    One thing I don’t understand is why some courses take so long at a University. Do they really have to take as long as they do?

    For example. A degree in Pharmacy takes four years of full time study before you get anywhere near working. I realise it is a skilled task and requires much more knowledge than it did 50 years ago but four full years of academic study?
    I would have thought something like two years to start and then refresher courses, say 3 months every five years, would make more sense. Two years would certainly cost a lot less than four.
    Any practising pharmacist care to comment?

    • BM 4.1

      What does a pharmacist actually do?, I’m sure there’s more to it than tipping pills from a large container into a small container.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Like so many things its an evolving mismatch between what the university wants to teach, what the profession is trying to make out its members need to know (but often doesn’t really), and the demands which actually occur on the ‘shop floor’ of a retail pharmacy.

        Other examples are when nursing and teaching got turned into research oriented university level degree courses. There were some positive effects and numerous negative ones.

        Like so many professions a lot of what retail pharmacists do is ripe for putting into an AI/automation framework.

        • BM 4.1.1.1

          Are you saying tipping pills from a large container into a small container is basically it.?

          Christ, you’d be disappointed if you spent 30k+ and 4 years to find out that.

          • Rich 4.1.1.1.1

            I think most of it is knowing that a doctor might not have really intended to prescribe five times the lethal dose of an anticancer drug when the patient actually presented with a mild cold.

            It must be a bit dull to sit in Unichem all day decanting pills though. Plus not being allowed to tell people buying “natural remedies” that they’re wasting their money (dubious ethics there – if you buy real OTC medicines, they’re supposed to ask about your symptoms and judge appropriateness – if you buy something from the woo racks, they just take your cash).

            I was told by a pharmacist from the old days (when Boots in the UK did photo developing) that a lot of his work was mending cameras. This wasn’t actually pharmacy, but as the most ‘technical’ person in the store, it fell on him to try and extract snapped films, etc.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.2

            As Rich pointed out, figuring out when some prescription is totally out of whack or if the woman who has turned up asking for antacids is actually in the middle of a heart attack not indigestion, is I imagine about the most pressing a typical day might get. Oh yeah, and making sure the pharmacy gets properly reimbursed for $$$ from the health system, that’s a biggie.

          • millsy 4.1.1.1.3

            Yeah because those pills that come from that large container dont have the potential to kill someone (or worse), if the wrong pills are given to the wrong person with the wrong instructions.

  5. Rich 5

    It’s odd that fees are so high when lecturers (and grad students who do a lot of the course delivery) are so badly paid. Also, you can do an increasing range of MOOCs, usually for nothing. And Southland Tech still manages zero fees.

    A lot of what universities are “selling” isn’t teaching, it’s their monopoly on issuing qualifications that are trusted/valued by employers (and of course by universities for higher study). The difference between a free MOOC and an expensive extramural degree course is that you don’t get that piece of paper.

    So you’ve got a great deal of money being taken in – some of it goes to the salaries of higher management, some of it on shiny buildings, some of it goes to subsidise research (which would make sense if courses contained a high proportion of the findings of the individual lecturers and faculty, but they don’t, certainly at undergraduate level).

    I think higher ed needs a new business (or non-business) model – but it’s unlikely to eveolve from within the centre without a lot of pushing, as there are too many vested interests.

  6. Ad 6

    Coming from a generation who got out with multiple degrees, stuff all debt, subsidized student flat, strong student union services, and a generous approach to non-commercialized research, I think Labour could do worse than a feint to gather it’s previously solid academia voter support.

    Not sure i’d start with debt, though.

    I’d start with aiming to make our universities higher in world rankings to keep our best minds here, more adept at commercialisation, and more engaging in society’s major debates. I.e. before lowering student costs, generate better support for the idea of university itself. Says an old trougher.

    • Rich 6.1

      The “world rankings” are egregious rubbish. They’re mainly driven by marketing and publication activities targeted at driving a university up the rankings (which can often be as simple as ensuring that someone given a “list your top 10 universities” questionnaire puts Knowledge College on it, possibly because Knowledge College has ads on every bus stop, or a top 10 football team, or sends out lots of fairly bogus “top scientists have discovered…” press releases*)

      * All of which employs many people, paid for out of student fees – see my various comments above.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        Rankings are not rubbish to any parent in the world with a cheque book, or most employers, or post-doc scolarship awarders.

        Regardless, like the Future of Work stuff, Labour needs to do more than make agreeable policy harrumphs if it wants fresh votes.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1

          Rankings are not rubbish to any parent in the world with a cheque book, or most employers, or post-doc scolarship awarders the ignorant.

          FTFY

          • Craig H 6.1.1.1.1

            That’s completely true, but if the perception is different, no amount of saying otherwise will get any traction with the chequebook holder, more’s the pity.

            That said, making tertiary education free and funding the places properly will probably see them going up the rankings anyway.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      The two places I’d start are getting rid of school fees and student loans and then I’d have the government increase spending to at least 5% of GDP. Make it so that we get educated people and we have jobs for them when they finish their degrees.

  7. But as an end-goal I’m in favour of free tertiary education.

    Aren’t we all. You and I both benefited from university study fees of a couple of hundred bucks a year, but the ability to fund that was based on university study being for small numbers of people, mostly the children of the middle class and the elite. What’s the basis for funding free open-slather tertiary ed?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      The fact that mundane jobs are going away and that we need a huge amount of R&D to keep developing our economy/society.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    Yes, society as a whole does benefit, that’s why we have heavily subsidised education in the first place, as well as interest-free student loans.

    IMO the balance is about right, but I think some extra incentives to stay in NZ would be a good idea, as outlined in 3.2 and 3.2.1

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Universities are no longer meeting the current or future needs of the nation, in terms of providing answers and insights to the issues facing NZ.

    A university education in many instances comes out looking like a waste of time, effort and money. Labour can promise more training and education, but where will these young people go after that? Does Labour also believe in creating suitable jobs for these tertiary educated individuals to go into?

    Universities keep churning out graduates steeped in orthodox finance and neoclassical economics.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Getting to be meat grinder stuff coming out. We are the meat to be ground. Lawyers, bean counters and magic bean prestidigitators.
      “”Law grinds the poor, and rich men rule the law.” – Oliver Goldsmith “

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Once upon a time universities prided themselves on conducting and mentoring critical thinking and developing social consciousness.

        They’re mainly just degree mills now. $$$ for bums on seats.

    • Te Reo Putake 9.2

      “Does Labour also believe in creating suitable jobs for these tertiary educated individuals to go into?”

      Robertson / Labour on the future of work

  10. greywarshark 10

    The interest on student loans compounding has made the debt seem larger than reality. Good for government to make clucking noises about irresponsibility, but unreasonable when people are likely to receive lower pay than expected if employed,while consumer prices over all sectors, rise beyond any wage rises.

    The latest problem is of a Cook Islands man being in trouble.
    He’s also reported as saying that, due to a $30,000 salary, a $300,000 mortgage debt and having five daughters, repaying the loan will be a struggle (RNZ is reporting that Mr Puna had a $40,000 student loan when he left New Zealand, which has since ballooned to $130,000 due to interest).

    Here’s a NBR report along with a free picture of someone in the rock star economy a Mr McClay (who has very white teeth, to go with his spotless suit (record?).
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/student-loan-defaulter-arrested-new-zealand-border-183864
    There are clearly issues with the scheme if an overwhelming majority of the participants are non-compliant and the government needs to look at this before enforcing this draconian measure,” Ms Harris said.
    “There are two main enquiries to the NZUSA office on this issue, the first is from borrowers who are faced with compulsory fixed amount repayments based on the size of their loans instead of their income, and which they find unaffordable.
    “The second is from parents of overseas-based borrowers who fear they will never see their children again. This does nothing for either of those concerns.”
    It’s the first time Inland Revenue has used its powers to arrest at the border after new laws were introduced in 2014, but says it only uses this measure as a very last resort….

    One News | NZN
    A man arrested this week for trying to fly to the Cook Islands for not paying his student loan is the nephew of the Cook Islands Prime Minister.
    This man was arrested after trying to fly back to Cook Islands for not paying his student loan.
    ‘It’s the worst experience of my life” he told ONE News.

    Nga Puna paid $5000 in the Manukau District Court today and was handed back his passport, when he appeared.
    Speaking to ONE News afterwards, Mr Puna said his initial loan was $40,000 but it ballooned to more $120,000 after he didn’t make repayments.
    Mr Puna is the father of five daughters and is now allowed to return to the Cook Islands, which he will be doing tomorrow.
    He was in New Zealand attending a conference on teaching maths.

    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations is worried that his arrest will turn those who are overseas into “permanent refugees”.
    NZUSA spokeswoman Laura Harris said the arrest does little to encourage further compliance with the student loan scheme…
    There are 111,392 New Zealanders abroad – most of whom are in Australia – who currently owe money on their student loans, which amount to around $3.2 billion or 22 per cent of the total loan balance.
    Around 70 per cent (78,399) are defaulting on their loans and owe $839.2 million.

  11. The Real Matthew 11

    Has any costing been provided for with regards to this policy?

    Any details as to how a Labour led government would pay for this policy?

    • Crashcart 11.1

      Have you read any of the rest of this thread to see the many discussions going on about this or did you only drop in to test the sound bites we will be seeing from right wing pollies shortly.

    • indiana 11.2

      Its not a policy, its a potential PROPOSAL, an offer that COULD be reneged on, but for now sounds like something that MAY attract voters. If it doesn’t attract voters – it will be shelved. They’ve looked at what other countries have done that they THINK are LIKELY to work here.

      • Pat 11.2.1

        ‘They’ve looked at what other countries have done that they THINK are LIKELY to work here’

        to be fair , they have no need to look to other countries, nor reinvent the wheel….they could simply revert to the system we had before.

  12. millsy 12

    I think Labour needs to realise that there are bigger problems in the tertiary education sector than fee levels.

    There is little point to reducing fees while keeping the whole system basically in the same privatised, corporate, neo-liberal form it has been for the past 25-odd years.

    International students, quality of teaching, facilities for students, whether unis/polytechs are teaching the appropriate courses, or whether some courses should be replace with on the job training, the unit standards system, master learning, attitude of universties towards the students, and the level of private involvement in the sector.

    Those issues need to be considered as well as fees, which pale in insignificance to the cost of text books, materials etc.

  13. Wainwright 13

    Still waiting for anyone from Labour to come up with actual ideas. Getting bored of this “not ruling out anything but promise it’ll be jam tomorrow” merrygoround.

  14. Michael 14

    A “few minor details” not addressed is Hipkins’ latest propaganda grab: 1. How much does Labour intend to reduce tertiary education feesin its first term of office? 2. In what year of that term will student pay reduced fees? 3.How much will this policy cost, in that first term? 4. Will Labour cut the funding of tertiary education providers by reducing student fees, or will it top up the difference between the fees received and current funding levels? 5. If the answer to question 4 is in the affirmative, how will that increased funding be met: increased taxation; spending cuts from elsewhere; borrowing from financial markets? Without these details, Labour’s announcement is pure bullshit and should not be believed.

    • Craig H 14.1

      Labour’s tertiary education policy hasn’t been finalised, so it’s hardly a surprise that costings and details weren’t released. Policy details will roll out closer to the next election.

      • Michael 14.1.1

        So then we shouldn’t take any notice of Hipkins’ grandstanding until we see the details. We’ve been burned by Labour propaganda in the past.

        • Craig H 14.1.1.1

          For any given topic, until the policy rolls out, all Labour MP speechifying is propaganda.

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  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    3 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    3 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    4 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    4 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    5 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    5 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
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    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
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    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
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    6 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
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    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
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    1 week ago