The borrowed bunny

Written By: - Date published: 11:56 am, May 22nd, 2010 - 41 comments
Categories: budget 2010, public services, spin, tax - Tags:

It’s interesting to see how Irish’s ‘rabbit from a hat’ metaphor has taken off for describing this Budget. Some, like Tracey Watkins, are even using it positively. She needs to have a bit more of a think about what the rabbit from a hat is.

The rabbit itself is nothing special. In fact, in this case it’s a borrowed bunny. Bill English is borrowing the billion dollars it’s costing to reduce the middle tax rate by a larger than indicated amount. The magician has presented it as a gift for us but we have to pay for it, with interest.

What makes the rabbit seem extraordinary is a bit of sleight of hand. You’re looking one way and, as Irish predicted, along comes something that you didn’t think would happen. Nothing magical has taken place, you’ve just been spun.

Now, there’s another layer. Street magicians often work in cahoots with pickpockets. While we’re distracted with the rabbit ‘magically’ appearing from the hat, the pickpocket is moving through the crowd – nicking early childhood education funding here, state housing money, funding for home help for the elderly.

The media has this strange tendency to portray tax cuts as costless, as manna from heaven. It’s as if they think that the money was just stilling in a giant vault, unused. In fact, every tax cut means a higher tax somewhere else, a spending cut, or more borrowing, as Labour’s video cutely illustrates:

The gap between the way the media portrays tax cuts and the reality is important because surveys show that if you ask people ‘do you want a tax cut or better public services?’ people say ‘better public services’ but if you just say ‘do you want a tax cut?’ people say ‘yes’. By only giving half the story, the media fundamentally alters the public’s perception of and opinion on tax changes.

In the end, we’re left paying for a bunny, and having to find private money to make up for public spending cuts. For a government to get praised for that is some trick.

41 comments on “The borrowed bunny”

  1. felix 1

    Good lord is that seriously Labour’s best effort at communication?

    If not, why not?

    If so, we really are fucked.

    • frustrated 1.1

      Yes, Dunno, Yes

    • We’re fucked, Felix.

    • Marty G 1.3

      I thought it was cute. It’s probably just been whipped out in a few hours by a couple of staff,it’s not the centrepiece of their communications.

      • felix 1.3.1

        Well gee, Marty – If only they’d had some advance warning that there was a budget due last week then maybe they could’ve pulled finger a bit sooner eh?

        Are you taking the piss, Marty?

        • Marty G

          the angle in the vid couldn’t be made before the budget because everyone thought the tax swap would be revenue neutral

          • felix

            Of course everyone thought that. (Except for, umm, the authors of about every second or third post here for the past month)

            Allow me to walk you through the items listed as offsetting any tax cuts:

            Early childcare costs
            Student loan fees
            ACC levies
            Rent tax

            Please tell me which of these were such huge surprises that no video content could be prepared in advance of the budget?

            I really hope you are taking the piss.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Not all of us thought that the Tax Swindle would be revenue neutral Marty. In fact, IIRC, there was plenty of comment on how it was impossible for it to be revenue neutral considering that the richest few percent would get far more from the tax cut than what could be raised from the raising of GST which would result in cuts to services.

        • Marty G

          anyway, the post isn’t about the vid, I just added it to illustrate the point.

          • felix

            I agree with everything you’ve written in the post.

            The video on the other hand is stupid, amateur (not in a cool way), and ill-conceived and this type of crap shouldn’t be encouraged from Labour.

          • RedLogix

            Sadly I have to agree with felix.

            I’ve got memories of a few of my own cringe-worthy stabs at things I should never have taken public.

            To whoever made this clip. I genuinely apprecitate the fact that you pulled finger and made the effort. It’s more than most of the rest of us have achieved. At the same time it wasn’t yet good enough for the public domain. Don’t be put off by our negative reaction, it’s honest criticism, not a personal put-down.

            • felix

              Yes can I just echo that last statement of RL’s, none of this is a personal put down to whoever is responsible.

              Rather it’s that it shows a lack of any coherent strategy from Labour. This stuff should have all been ready to go well before the budget. Numerous versions should have been prepared, with generic elements completed and with different voiceover scripts written and ready for the final recording and editing depending on the specifics of the budget.

              It’s not good enough to wait until after the fact and then release something that’s “just been whipped out in a few hours by a couple of staff”.

  2. Fisiani 2

    The widespread and voluminous praise from virtually all non-biased people for Bill English is for rescuing the economy that Labour had wrecked. Reducing a decade of massive deficits to 5 years. Reforming the tax system to stop the fleecers and rewarding the many hard workers of New Zealand.
    Letting us pay less tax than Australians. Compensating pensioners, unlike Labour, with a 2% rise and a further rise in pensions when the tax cuts come in.
    All this whilst in the worst slump in living memory. Arise Sir Bill.

    • Marty G 2.1

      how did he rescue the economy?

      You pay more tax here than in Aussie if you are on a typical income because Aussie has a tax-free bracket. It’s only the well-off that pay less tax here.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        However I believe Oz has other taxes that hit people, such as stamp duty (applies to cars and land?) and mandatory superannuation. So taking all that into consideration, someone on a lower income may still actually pay less tax than Oz.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      People are, unfortunately, gullible. Blinglish has “rescued” the economy but set it up to fail.

      We were already paying less tax than the Australians. They’re doing better than we are.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        Is supposed to read:
        Blinglish has not “rescued’ the economy but set it up to fail.

    • Zorr 2.3

      ummmm… Fisiani… none of what you just listed actually exists in any known reality outside your own demented mind.

      Just a couple of questions that I would like answered:
      Who are the “hard workers” of NZ such that only those earning >70k are going to see any reward?
      Wasn’t Labour criticised during their period of governance for paying down the debt with our surpluses rather than running deficits to give tax cuts?
      Pensioners are facing increased taxes on their savings and the increase in inflation isn’t being met by any increase in superannuation, how are we helping them?

      The price we have paid to “reform” the tax system is to reduce the top rate to that the trusts pay such that their is now no incentive to cheat rather than actually closing an existing loophole.


      • Lanthanide 2.3.1

        I’m really annoyed by all this parroting on about the inflation figure. The inflation figure is blowing out because the GST is going up.

        People are frequently saying that they are going to be hit by higher inflation *and* higher GST, but actually it is one or the other, because the high inflation is caused by the GST. If you are saying both, then you are double-counting the GST portion.

        Because all benefits are rising by 2.02% to offset the GST, this obsession with the 5.9% inflation figure is missing the trees for the forest.

    • Zorr 2.4

      Oh, also, the answer to changing those deficits in to a surplus by 2013/2014 is relying on growth to be at such a level that we will be generating enough tax to close that deficit in spending. There is no room for extra spending and we just have to hope the economy grows in the next 5 years despite no financial sector reform, peak oil and climate change issues.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1

        I remember an ACToid release about such a magical budget as this one. ACT said that if taxes were cut the economy would grow by $10b/year in 10 years and that this growth would cover the tax cuts. On their projected growth pattern it would have taken 16 years for the tax take to get back to where it was before the tax cuts. Meanwhile, in reality, the government would have been under funded forcing the country to borrow.

        This is the basic delusion of NACT – have it now and pay for it later with all the projected growth of the economy. The growth, of course, never eventuates and with Peak Oil here such growth is now impossible.

        • Name

          “ACT said that if taxes were cut the economy would grow by $10b/year in 10 years and that this growth would cover the tax cuts.”

          This is economics 101 and can work in certain situations. Tax cuts stimulate the economy providing jobs which increase the tax base and reduce welfare spending, and increases productivity.

          Unfortunately for ACT (most members of which never got beyond economics 101 and think that makes them experts), and New Zealand, it would never work here because the increased demand generated by the tax cuts is spent on consumer items practically all of which have to be imported, so in fact tax cuts here create jobs and stimulate the economies of the manufacturing countries which export to us.

          What New Zealand needs is to boost the value of our exports and our attractiveness to tourists by reducing the dollar to its proper range of US$0.55 – $0.60 and cut our import bill hugely by reintroducing LPG and CNG at half the price per mile than petrol – tho’ some of the slack could be taken up by a fuel tax to fund other oil substitutes we’re going to need within the decade if we’re not going to be held to ransom by BP and Shell.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Actually, real world experience seems to show the exact reverse. Tax cuts slow the economy down. This is probably due to all the money ending up in very few hands, which don’t spend it, even faster.

            and cut our import bill hugely by reintroducing LPG and CNG at half the price per mile than petrol

            BTW, if you didn’t already know, we don’t have any more gas left.

  3. Doug 3

    If this is Labours best attempt at humour it’s a major flop bit like Phil Goff as Labour’s leader.

  4. Blue 4

    The very idea of giving tax cuts in this Budget was absurd. After all the talk about deficits and belt-tightening and public service-cutting there should have been no tax cuts at all in this Budget, particularly after having already had two rounds of tax cuts already.

    After all the belly-aching from the Nats about using the surpluses to fund tax cuts, as soon as we go into deficit they go on a mad ideological crusade to cut the top tax rate, all the while borrowing and borrowing and cutting public services like mad to fund it.

    The sad thing is, this kind of madness works. Not for the economy, but for them politically. Come Budget day, everyone’s so focused on the size of their tax cut the Nats can slip anything past them.

    Captcha: Millions. Indeed.

  5. outofbed 5

    I have to say I am very worried about The Labour Party and its lack of ability to oppose
    The video illustrates this pefectly.
    Even the Green party with its far fewer resources had its costed alternative budget proposal out there
    (and very good it is too if your from the left)
    I think we all know in our heart of hearts that Phil Goff has no chance of winning the next election.
    Far better for him to go now then in a years time surely

  6. Irascible 6

    Borrow and hope… the motto of the Greek administrations. Perhaps Key & English have hired hot shots from the advisers who put Greece in the can?
    To borrow to pay for lost revenue from tax cuts can only lead to the austerity measures now hitting Greece. Without the support of an organisation like the EU there can be little hope for two little specks in the South Pacific when the effects of this budget begin to bite back.
    There can be no trust in men of little personal and ethical substance like Key and English supported as they are by the asset stripping storm troopers of Hide & Douglas.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Didn’t Jonkey work for Goldman Sachs (the advisor’s who put Greece in the can) at one point?

  7. Nick C 7

    It really is hilarious that Labours two new biggest concerns are debt and inflation

    Is this the same Labour who want to change the reserve bank act to remove the spesific policy target of inflation, which has seen New Zealand have some of the lowest inflation rates in the world?

    Is this the same Labour who wanted to spend billions to stimulate the economy and create jobs?

    • Nick C 7.1

      To be fair I dont think the video is THAT bad. It does get across their key message that the gains to everyone except the rich will get swallowed up by the cost of living in a novel way.

      I just think its stupid for Labour to be talking about debt and inflation when they have no credibility on those two issues.

      • Pascal's bookie 7.1.1


        On debt: Cullen left the govt books with the some of the lowest debt to gdp in the world.

        On inflation: That’s the job of the RB. All the govt can do is assist through fiscal policy. Cullen ran surpluses, and the right screamed about it as they wanted to cut taxes while the economy was bubbling.

        National’s problem is that if the global economy doesn’t recover smartish, their tax cuts could very easily create structural deficits, which are a whole different kettle of fish from the sort of thing you get with stimulus spending on projects that can be turned off when no longer needed.

        Any way, time to get back to the drinking.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.2

      What’s the inflation rate in the US Nick?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1

        Be nice PB, you know asking a RWNJ for facts will just confuse them.

        • Zorr

          “Inflation” in the US currently is negative – deflation if you will

        • Nick C

          Yes during the mid 2000’s there was a global economic boom and we ran surpluses. But look at what happened as soon as the chips were down- when labour went out of office the projected debt path of their spending was hitting 60% of GPD and it didnt even peek! Plus since labour has left office they have constantly advocated higher spending. So lets talk about the sort of stuff thats actually relevent PB.

          As for inflation in US i have no idea. But they have a very different system- since the crash in 08 their main monetary policy tool has been quantitative easing- very different from NZ. And the system Phil Goff is advocating will take the focus off inflation.

          Please correct any factual errors i make Draco. But since most of your contributions on this blog are glib, partisan assertions often back by zero understanding of macroeconomics i dont expect you to

          • Nick C

            I agree with PB that inflation should be (and at the moment is) the focus of monetary policy and not fiscal policy. Which is exactly why labours complaints about high inflation are stupid
            a) there isnt a whole lot national can do about it and even if there was it isnt their job to do so
            b) Labour would be running larger deficits (and therefore higher inflation) as David Cunliffe has admitted
            c) Labour actually want to change monetary policy in a way which likely makes inflation harder to combat.

            • Zorr

              That sound of water falling you hear isn’t the “trickle down” effect, it is the capitalist upper class pissing on everyone below them because “trickle down” is just a nice term for how they take all the wealth and we are meant to be content with the leftovers.

              I have no issue with our country running deficits if the changes in the budget (whether this be an increase in public spending or a cut in taxes or any other number of policies that can affect growth) are actually aimed at improving our economy and getting people in to jobs. However, massive tax cuts for the rich and for business are not actually shown to improve economic performance but are wonderful for making rich people feel better about themselves as they measure their success in pure dollar terms it seems.

              Now, in the interests of openess and honesty, I mostly subscribe to Keynesian economic philosophy but am incredibly open to other ideas. I personally view public spending as an excellent way to dig out of the hole we are in because it provides several incredibly positive benefits:
              1) We improve the infrastructure of our country so that when the global economy recovers we are in a position to reap the rewards of being a country that has a consistent economic vision going forward where the support is already in place for people and businesses to be successful
              2) As a group, we make sure that people are employed in positive and fulfilling roles rather than remaining on the dole during this period. This isn’t “work for the dole” style politics but rather ensuring that jobs are created for our members of our society in the hardest positions by centrally mandating their creation
              3) We create wealth that stays IN NZ. I cannot stress this enough as we seem to be caught in a craze of where, apparently, selling off government assets to overseas ventures is a good idea… why?

              I hold my breath for your reply!

            • Pascal's bookie

              a) what I said was that the govt can assist through fiscal policy, and that Cullen did so. You claimed that Labour had no credibility on inflation, and I was trying to get at what you might have meant by that.

              b) Re-read this …[national’s] tax cuts could very easily create structural deficits, which are a whole different kettle of fish from the sort of thing you get with stimulus spending on projects that can be turned off when no longer needed.

              c) Not as I understand it. What they have said is that maybe the RBA should have a broader focus than just inflation. They are not alone in thinking this, the IMF has been thinking along these lines. You might want to think about the unintended consequences of our RBA.

  8. Nemesis 8

    I’m paying tax so that Labour can hire these amateur clowns to work for parliamentary service? I want my money back!

  9. infused 9


Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 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 ...
    4 hours 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 ...
    5 hours 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 ...
    8 hours 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 ...
    8 hours 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 ...
    9 hours 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    2 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 - ...
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    4 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    4 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    5 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    5 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    5 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    6 days ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    6 days ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    6 days ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    1 week ago
  • Boost for women in high performance sport
    An additional $2.7 million has been announced for the Government Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation on the first anniversary of the strategy’s launch. Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson gave the opening address to the first Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit in Wellington today, ...
    1 week ago
  • Parent support to help retain skilled migrants
    As part of its work to ensure businesses can get the skilled workers they need, the Coalition Government is re-opening and re-setting the Parent Category visa programme, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. The move will: support skilled migrants who help fill New Zealand’s skills gaps by providing a pathway for ...
    1 week ago
  • Senior NZDF Officer to lead Peacekeeping Mission in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has today announced Major General Evan Williams of the New Zealand Defence Force has been selected as the commander of a significant, longstanding peacekeeping mission in the Middle East. In December, Major General Williams takes over as Force Commander for the Multinational Force and Observers ...
    1 week ago
  • Nurses star as Govt rebuilds health workforces
    A record number of nurses are now working to deliver health services to New Zealanders as the Government’s increased funding and new initiatives rebuild key workforces start to show results, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. •    1458 more DHB nurses since the Government took office •    106 more midwives ...
    1 week ago
  • New agricultural trade envoy appointed
    Farmer and former Nuffield scholar Mel Poulton has been appointed New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, announced today. The position supports key Government objectives, including raising the value of New Zealand agricultural goods and services. Mel is ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage celebrated for Tuia 250
    New Zealand’s Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage is acknowledged and celebrated today as waka of the Tuia 250 voyage flotilla arrive in Tūranga / Gisborne. “Today we celebrate Tangata Whenua, the first people of Aotearoa, and the triumphs of the voyaging tradition that brought our ancestors here from Polynesia 1000 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pacific languages are a root from which prosperity will grow
    “Fijian Language Week starts on Sunday and the theme reminds us how important it is that we each have something to anchor ourselves to, something that can help us pause and feel in control in a rapidly changing world,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. “Family, culture, faith, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Government establishes innovative, industry-focused Airspace Integration Trials Programme
    The Government is establishing an Airspace Integration Trials Programme to support the safe testing and development of advanced unmanned aircraft and accelerate their integration into the aviation system, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods announced today. The Government will work with leading, innovative aviation industry partners to test and ...
    2 weeks ago