web analytics

The challenge to the reeferendum result

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, December 8th, 2020 - 57 comments
Categories: democratic participation, drugs, election 2020, referendum - Tags:

It was announced yesterday that a number of New Zealanders were going to take the reeferendum result to court.

From Radio New Zealand:

A legal bid is under way to get the results of the cannabis referendum thrown out.

A group of more than 350 people is asking the High Court to void the vote on the Cannabis and Control Bill, claiming poor and inaccurate information generated confusion among voters.

It also claims the Electoral Commission reinforced that misinformation.

The bill that would have legalised cannabis was narrowly defeated, with 50.7 percent of voters voting against it, and 48.4 percent for it.

Drug Reform advocate Blair Anderson is one of the people taking the case. He told Checkpoint New Zealanders heard far too much from the “no” vote during the campaign and said there was a failure to correct misinformation.

“We saw ads in the mainstream newspapers of things like dopey dairies, which people will remember had cannabis leaves all over it, with kids on skateboards in front of it.

“There was no such provision within the actual legalisation and control bill to do that. In fact, it was specifically excluded.

“There were the things like ‘gummy bears, the menu for kids’ and various others that were publicised in mainstream media and social media and so forth.

“Notwithstanding the fact there was also what I call almost stage-managed presentation of people that were obviously smoking a joint in hoodies, whereas in actual fact, we have a mainstream concurrence with the use of cannabis. Our own health and development study here in Christchurch – four out of five respondents in that study have used cannabis in their life. And obviously, most of them have come to no harm,” he said.

“There was an expert committee that was assembled, and part of its function was certainly to correct any misinformation.”

But Anderson said problems extended beyond what he calls the failure of that committee.

“Even to the extent that we heard that the Medical Association didn’t approve of the bill, and then at the end of the period, just after the bulk of people had voted, had come out and said quite the converse.

“That opportunity to explore these things was not taken by mainstream media for the greater part. We never saw the advocacy, anywhere in the electoral process, for instance, of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party that had participated in nine MMP elections, and no one was consulted as to what they thought the referendum should look like.”

The proposal is an interesting and novel use of the law.  Under the Citizen Initiated Referenda Act 1993 the Court has “jurisdiction to inquire into and adjudicate on any matter relating to the application in any manner that the court thinks fit”.  At the conclusion of the hearing the Court  “must determine whether the indicative referendum is void because of some irregularity that in the court’s opinion materially affected the result of the indicative referendum”.  It can also effectively do a recount but the grounds advanced here do not suggest that the count itself was inaccurate.

There certainly was a one sided feel to the campaign and as noted by Weka the New Zealand Medical Association did a somewhat impressive about face on its view of the referendum.  But I do not think that a private organisation changing its view is going to be reason to upset the referendum.

The case will be interesting.  But cases involving judicially analysing the democratic process tend to be somewhat fraught affairs as America is currently showing.

57 comments on “The challenge to the reeferendum result ”

  1. Andre 1

    That's the best exercise in irrelevance I've seen for a while.

    Just for starters, referendums are completely non-binding …

  2. Phillip ure 2

    I am still trying to get past/over that 'one-sided campaign'..

    we had the no-campaign peddling reefer-madness bullshit…outright lies..

    and where were the refuters of that bullshit..?

    where were all those usual suspects we have seen over the decades being the/a face of pot ..

    at the time they were most needed ..their fucken 'moment'..

    they were nowhere to be seen..

    the pro-cannabis campaign was beyond useless ..

    it was bloody invisible..

    leaving the stage/pulpit solely to the reefer-madness peddlers..

    I want to know w.t.f. happened..?

    (and a special bucket of contempt for that patrick gower..

    for that (boomer-ex-user scare-tactic) of peddling that big fucken lie..

    that weed now is much stronger than it used to be..

    it isn't..

    but just that lie from gower likely swung the referendum ..

    but really..the reason the no's won was down to the screaming incompetencies for those meant to be running the pro-campaign….

    who were they..?

    does anyone even know that ..?

    • Tricledrown 2.1

      Phillip the pro cannabis lobby lost all its money due to covid19 so could not put up a decent campaign

      • cricklewood 2.1.1

        The yes campaign was awful, pretty much an example of how not to run a campaign if you ask me…

        Messaging like this "To put it bluntly if you vote no we can't be friends," was never going to bring people around from no to towards yes. It would more likely entrenched the no vote.

        A better campaign would have no doubt swung the few percent they needed.

      • Phillip ure 2.1.2

        @ tricledown ..

        do you how covid made them lose all their money .

        and were their lips sewed shut…?

        did they lose all the media contacts they have ammassed over the decades..?

        I don't believe they had no ways to refute/call out those reefer-madness lies..

        like I said…

        it was their moment..

        supposedly what they have been agitating for/working towards for decades…

        and they fucken choked..

        • gsays

          Apologies to Afroman:

          I was going to help organise in support of the referendum, but I got high..

          • Phillip ure


            yeah..I have had that thought…

            I just can't figure how/why they so choked..

    • Chris T 2.2

      (and a special bucket of contempt for that patrick gower..

      for that (boomer-ex-user scare-tactic) of peddling that big fucken lie..


      How hard is it for people to Google what a fricken boomer is?

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    It seemed a bent process in terms of the advertising that is for sure, would be interesting to find out the Nope campaign funding sources–USA? Liquor industry? Family First? Destiny Church? The pro lobby mainly got funding from its public appeals.

    NORML, ALCP, Make it Legal, Greens and others, all seemed to just stop campaigning during the COVID Lockdowns, and maybe ran low on money too going by my email inbox. As the election neared the traffic seemed all Nopes way. And the PM playing coy likely denied the few percent needed to get legalisation over the line.

    RNZ had some very dodgy “experts” interviewed, telling straight out lies about mental health effects of Cannabis. Paddy Gower really is the journalistic version of dog shit on your shoe. A shame as this was the most information rich Referendum ever held in NZ–with longitudinal studies, and all sorts of information from Drug Foundation and some years of overseas experience.

    It seemed that the Govt. once they had satisfied their agreement with the Greens to hold a referendum, just went silent and hung it out to dry. The proposed legislation dealt with just about any possible eventuality involving Cannabis use, manufacture and sale. Excellent, but, it made it hard to have a strong focus on any one aspect of Cannabis to run a coherent campaign on. Andrew Little and the PM’s strong statements within seconds of the specials vote count being announced revealed their true position on weed in my view.

    But whether this court action will get anywhere…it was a combination of factors that led to such an annoyingly close vote, and a great shame for personal freedom and scores of start up businesses who were awaiting “Green for Go”.

  4. Sabine 4

    IF we only had a government, with a full majority and no pesky coalition partners, that would do great things with the capital it has.

    In the meantime in the US under Biden they have a good chance to legalise weed on a federal level. Never mind all the other countries that seem to have understood that weed is not a reason to fuck up peoples lifes for ever.

    If only we had a government, with a full majority and no pesky coalition partners, that could do great things with the capital it has. Sadly, that is not what we have in NZ. We have a government, with a full majority and no pesky coalition partners that can do fuck all it appears. And besides, hey, its not hte comfortable white middle class that will be thrown in the slammer, burdened with a permanent police record for growing a bit of weed, smoking or eating it, or gasp even selling a tinny to make a bit of cash, right? Now that sad fate is for the others, the ones that are not white and middle / upper class with access to good lawyers.

    If only we had………………………………..

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      Yes, if President Biden gets effective control of the Senate via Georgia and his Deputy’s casting vote, then weed will be legalised and a whole lot of Trump’s damage hopefully undone.

      I don’t buy the majority Labour Govt. line that they have to govern “for all New Zealanders”, I knew it was trouble ahead on election night when the PM uttered those words.

      They should be governing for the working class of this country not placating big business and Nat switchers. After all NZ Labour can go back to the Greens next election if they will have them…

      • ken 4.1.1

        100%, T.M.

        National never governed for "all NZers".

        This ought to be the time for Labour to do the right thing by it's long suffering supportewrs.

    • mickysavage 4.2

      NZ First is the main reason for the referendum.

      • James Thrace 4.2.1

        No. They aren't. The Green Party made the referendum their coalition requirement right from the outset in 2017.

        • mickysavage

          Right you are I was thinking of the right to life referendum.

          • solkta

            It wasn't Green policy to have a referendum but it was NZF policy to do so. From what i understand NZF would not support a law change without one.

            • froggleblocks

              Not according to Chloe Swarbrick:

              First thing’s first: why did cannabis legalisation go to a referendum? Since the early 2000s, Green MPs like Nándor Tánczos and co-leader Metiria Turei have tried and failed to decriminalise or legalise cannabis in a deeply conservative parliamentary arena. Nándor even faced police raids for his openness as a Rastafarian, instigated by his fellow MPs.

              To finally get political movement on cannabis when we were negotiating to form a government with Labour after the 2017 election, the Greens suggested that we take it out of the hands of politicians and into the public sphere.


              • solkta

                To finally get political movement

                They didn't want to do it that way but it was the only way to get the support of Winston First.

  5. NOEL 5

    So the Medical Council did an about face.

    Initially the Drug Foundation and the Greens were claiming it was a health issue and we had create avenues for the addicted.

    When the decriminalisation option was discounted by Cabinet on the grounds there would remain an illicit supply the Drug Foundation started promoting a study that supported legalisation.

    Then it became a choice issue and magically the Gummitt promoted a legal supply chain that was need for the addicted.

    More than one hypocrite here.

    • tc 5.1

      Yup and had JA backed it publicly IMO that would've been enough to carry the 50% as she had the political capital to do so.

      The spectre of patricia bartlett lives on in conservative NZ heartland and that's the hurdle you have to clear.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        Too true tc. I have just realised that it is respectability that is of most concern to middle NZ. And that has eaten the heart out of the country, so that thought and desire for fairness, and reviewing strictures against the 'other' doing something that one does not do, are the barriers to forward movement in a rational way.

        When religion is closely examined, it isn't Jesus' teachings that drive Christians and those who think they are sort of morally aligned to those principles. Jesus would never be acceptable today; if he had smoked weed his words would have been received as the utterings of an unstable pot-head.

  6. mac1 6

    Here's a view of the situation from Prof Jack Vowles of Victoria Uni.


    Note the criticism of the quality of the pro-lobby arguments and strategy. "As well, the campaign in favour of change was ill-organised and ineffective, if not naive."

    I voted for change, so I'm not celebrating the failure of this non-binding referendum. But, next time, as Vowles suggests, be prepared to counter what was shown- misinformation, poor strategy, restricted debate.

    I was persuaded by the official presentation of the referendum on an official website, now forgotten- but probably not hugely accessed.

    At the moment, I'm struck by the similarities in the reaction to the referendum result with National here in NZ and some Republicans in the US as they search for blameworthy targets.

  7. And yet — Labour will not use any political capital on this….sad

    • Ed1 7.1

      And that is as it should be. Labour played fair with minor parties, did not allow the referendum to distract from the election (and that is perhaps a good reason why referendums should be help at a different time of the year – perhaps in conjunction with local body elections), and have since shown that they will respect the wishes of the people. The Bill put together for the referendum will not be proceeded with, but there is an opportunity to fix the process for assessment and provision of cannabis for valid medical reasons, including a process of secure domestic production for supply of effective drugs through Pharmac without the appalling blame game and fence-sitting of the Peter Dunne era. Meantime, Labour have other priorities, with inequality and housing being top of mind, but fixing getting ports working; charging trucks the true cost of road destruction, improving rail capacity (with perhaps good rail links between ports around Auckland), as well as Health and Education, where many projects are now underway.

      • Phillip ure 7.1.1

        fascinated to hear that they can't both walk and chew gum at the same time ..

        and this is 'cos they are beavering away at poverty/housing..?…really…?

        and when do you reckon we will be hearing about the results from all that beavering.?

        (colour me surprised . .to hear that..)

        • mac1

          The thing about beavers is that they beaver away a lot of the time under water and out of sight.

          They're great engineers, their change is gradual and long-lasting, beneficial and accurate, using local, natural resources. Their teeth are incisive, self-sharpening and strong. Their endeavours address issues of housing, food and safety.

          They teach their young their skills, continue to work even in winter, and are a great analogy for a political party and its processes.

          • Phillip ure

            sounds like an analogy in support of incrementalism..

            • Ed1

              In these circumstances, I agree it is. What do you think the reaction would be if Labour / Green pushed through the Bill that was rejected by the referendum now? I have identified one issue that I believe could not be said to have been rejected; there may be others, and it is not as if there is not plenty to get on with – some of which does not need to be incremental.

          • Robert Guyton

            Nice allusion, mac1. I concur.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    You'd think that a government dedicated to impoverishing the mass of New Zealanders by corruptly supporting property speculation would recognize the value of soma in their unsustainable dystopia. But that would require a level of joined up thinking we haven't seen in decades.

    Discredited and disheartened, mainstream support for democracy faded away.

  9. bwaghorn 9

    So going to the courts to overturn democracy huh!!

    Donald Trump ould be proud of them.

  10. Ad 10

    If pro-dope lefties cannot respect our democracy, they are no better than Donald Trump.

    We fought hard on the massive petition and referendum against selling state asset sales, and it was a total slap in the face to have the government totally ignore it and sell it anyway. And yet that's what this lot are asking for. Shame on them.

    The more believable path would be to celebrate the medicinal cannabis industry that is now growing and is well regulated, as it should be. Just north of Kaikoura as of yesterday we now have a marijuana plantation the size of 10 football fields. The company is http://www.puro.co.nz


    Stop rebuking voters and start supporting our new and well regulated local companies with their medicinal products.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Indeed, regardless of how you sit on this issue, it surely demands better than this.

      Frankly I'd like to see referendums like this have a somewhat higher hurdle to leap over … say a 65% majority for change.

      • Herodotus 10.1.1

        And what does it say about previous referendums that the governments at the time ignored. And from memory all but 1 previous referendums have a convicting majority supporting them 80%+, unlike this one that was 50:50. And many of a vast minority were happy that the governments at the time did OPPOSE the referendum results.🤫

    • ken 10.2

      You think that 50.7% of the voters should be able to criminalise 48.4% of the voters because they don't approve of what people do in the privacy of their own homes?

      Only 3.5% of NZers identify as LGBTQ, but we were decent enough to stop persecuting and prosecuting that very small minority with the law.

    • froggleblocks 10.3

      and it was a total slap in the face to have the government totally ignore it and sell it anyway. And yet that's what this lot are asking for. Shame on them.

      No, they're asking the court to declare the referendum null and void.

      What happens next is up to the government since this was never a binding referendum anyway. I'm 98% sure they will not have another referendum or even talk about decriminalisation.

  11. Bazza64 11

    I’m not surprised the yes campaign couldn’t get it’s shit together, heavier users of the stuff don’t usually feature that high up on the productivity ladder.

    You could apply this sort of stunt to any election result ( the people were misinformed, lied to, yada yada yada) & it does have Trump like overtones to it. Where do you stop ?

  12. Bruce 12

    From your comment, forgive for assuming Heroin users would feature even lower on the productivity ladder, yet today I read Bob Dylan sold his lifes work for 400 odd million, not a bad earn for someone so unproductive.

    • Robert Guyton 12.1


    • WeTheBleeple 12.2

      Many of our 'stars' on the international stage smoke weed. Can't name names because it's illegal, but these are people bringing in big bucks and PR to the place.

      Heavy users are medicating whatever it is that ails them in many cases, not applying for productivity bonuses.

  13. ken 13

    Very disappointing of our government at first glance, but I think that we're actually in a 'golden age' of cannabis.

    The police have been instructed to not prosecute (if you can believe that), and the government has washed it's hands of any notion of regulation or control.

    Basically, we now have a situation where the government is looking the other way, the police are looking the other way, and the multi million (billion?) dollar underground cannabis economy rolls along unhindered, with tax-free profits only rivaled by the real estate market.

  14. RobbieWgtn 14

    Pot…Kettle. The yes vote advocates for legalization certainly put out at least as much misinformation & inaccurate information to advance their own purposes.

    [lprent: If you want to make an assertion of fact, then provide examples or links to supporting information. If you’re expressing an opinion – then express it as an opinion. What you did here made you look to me as a simple troll. You wasted my time reading your previous comments, and concluding that you weren’t a troll.

    All because you made an unsubstantiated assertion of what could be a fact. Ambiguity carries penalties around here. And as most ambiguity seems to be a tactic, it leaves it completely up to a moderators personal choice about how they want to treat it.

    As a penalty for wasting my time, I’m changing the time on this comment so that it is not the first in this post. That is purely because it looked to me that getting the pole position was your intent – and I don’t like that either. In fact I’m going to make a particular note to myself to observe if you go for first comment again with a throw-away line, and to be hyper-critical about it. ]

    • aom 14.1


    • Phillip ure 14.2

      how about just one feckin' example of these pro-lies…eh .?

    • Chris T 14.3

      The one thing I did see a bit from the yes people was a tendency to try to mix legalisation with medicinal which was already legal.

      Which was frankly misleading imo

      Can't be bothered spending to much time looking on a phone screen, but stuff like this.


      Improve access to patients

      Cannabis can be an effective medicine for some serious conditions.

      Patients should be able to access the medicine that works for them without fear of prosecution. Legal cannabis would mean easier, cheaper access for patients to a wider range of products.

      • Incognito 14.3.1

        Confusing, perhaps, but misleading, no, not if you actually click on the link and read the info instead of a superficial glance at a snippet. Those who want to be misled will be misled and mislead others; those who want to be informed, inform themselves as well as others.

        The evidence is clear that cannabis can be an effective medicine for a range of conditions, including epilepsy, chronic pain and nausea from some cancer treatments.

        While medicinal cannabis is technically legal in New Zealand with a prescription, there are few products available and they are very expensive because they are not subsidised. Medicinal cannabis products are out of reach of most New Zealanders, even those who have a life threatening or debilitating condition.

        Despite the medical scheme patients are still forced to source illicit products, even though they face the risk of conviction. Legal cannabis would mean easier access to a wider range of products, and would make prices more affordable. Patients will be able to access the medicine that works for them without fear of prosecution.


        • Chris T

          Fair enough, but think we might have to disagree on that one.

          Mind you, there is a fine line between confusing and misleading with lobbying from all sides when it comes to agendas.

          • Incognito

            Yeah, it occurred to me that you might have an agenda.

            • Chris T

              Come on.

              You yourself admitted it was at best confusing.

              The only difference is I think it was probably on purpose.

              Unless of course you think one side is evil liars and the other is the epitome of purity.

  15. Incognito 15

    Andrew Geddis thinks it has zero chance of succeeding in Court.


  16. Patricia Bremner 16

    Actually, that is the Court's role, to examine evidence and give a verdict.

    So why anyone would consider such a case a waste of time perhaps is their stance?

    The issues should be examined, and if unfair, another referendum held.

    Personally, the medical evidence about teens nearly saw me vote no.

    Then the Medical fraternity made a declaration that to me was shockingly late and I realised all was on a knife edge because of pressure from unrepresented Doctors who had started to complain of the issues. So all of that should be examined. IMO.

    • Pat 16.1

      None of that is for the courts to examine (as Geddes points out)….those are in the realm of politics.

      "in short, this legal challenge to the referendum stands no chance of success in court. If the 350 people who apparently have backed it are hoping that three High Court judges might overturn the “no” vote’s 67,662 majority, they are going to be sorely disappointed.

      Alternatively, if they are simply using this case to try and cast public doubt on the referendum outcome by citing various, nebulous “irregularities” with how it was held, then that’s their prerogative. Provided, that is, they’re happy to be running with the same tactic as Donald Trump."


  17. swordfish 17

    Arrogant anti-democratic elitism of an obnoxiously pompous little Upper-Middle Cadre.

    Reminds me of the elite response to Brexit & it's decidedly ugly derision of the majority view (no I didn’t personally back Brexit, but the majority clearly did & the mandate should have been respected without question).

    Indeed, it dovetails with the inherent authoritarianism of the currently ascendant Intersectional Cult, with its mix of crude, cartoonish understandings of reality, aggressive power-seeking self-interest, & a sickeningly smug & self-righteousness tone. Spoiled Brats who never learnt Right from Wrong or how to share is the terminology that instantly comes to mind. But, then, that kind of glib response underplays the on-going anti-democratic danger of this fake, self-interested segment of the “Left”.

  18. Nic 181 18

    The government has no obligation to follow the indication given in the Cannabis referendum. When John Key had a referendum on the sale of assets, ie power company shares, 67% of New Zealanders voted no. John Key sold them anyway. He had to in order to fund tax cuts for his rich mates and donars to the National Party.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ sends further significant deployment to support Ukraine
    New Zealand is making a further significant deployment of 120 New Zealand Defence Force personnel to the United Kingdom to help train Ukraine soldiers, as part of an international effort to help Ukraine continue to defend itself against Russia’s illegal war. It follows a completed deployment of 30 NZDF personnel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister visit to Niue and Tonga
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta will visit Niue and Tonga this week to engage kanohi ki te kanohi with counterparts, and progress work on Aotearoa New Zealand’s Pacific Resilience and climate action priorities. “After the disruption caused by COVID-19 border closures, this is another opportunity to connect in-person with our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Creating sustainable public transport for all
    Our new approach to public transport will: Support ‘on-demand’ public transport services Allow councils to own and operate services in house Improve pay and working conditions Deliver routes and services that reflect community needs Incentivise the decarbonisation of the fleet Workers and public transport users are at the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Welcome for Afghan human rights defenders, Government House Auckland
    As-salamu alaykum, Tena tatou katoa, Thank you all for being here today. To the Afghan human rights defenders and your family members, welcome to Aotearoa. And thank you Your Excellency for hosting us all here at Government House. We have with us today from Afghanistan, human rights advocates, journalists, judges, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech on tax changes for Build-to-Rent sector
    It’s my great pleasure to be able to speak with you about a really positive move for the Build-to-Rent sector. As you know, we announced changes last year to help steer property investors way from the existing pool of housing and toward solving New Zealand’s grave housing shortage - by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tax incentives to boost long-term rental supply
    ·      Tax changes aimed at growing quality, secure rental supply ·      New and existing build-to-rent developments exempt from interest limitation rules in perpetuity, when offering ten-year  tenancies ·      Exemption to apply from 1 October 2021. The Government is encouraging more long-term rental options by giving developers tax incentives for as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt marks 350th tower in push for improved rural connectivity
    The Government has marked another milestone in its push for better rural connectivity, welcoming the delivery of Rural Connectivity Group’s (RCG) 350th tower. Waikato’s Te Ākau, which sits roughly 50 kilometres out of Hamilton is home to the new tower. “The COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the ever-increasing importance of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint Press Release: Trans-Tasman agriculture ministers discuss biosecurity co-operation
    Biosecurity co-operation topped the agenda when Australia and New Zealand’s agriculture ministers met yesterday. Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Murray Watt met with his New Zealand counterpart, Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture, Biosecurity, and Rural Communities in a conference call, which had particular focus on foot and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Remote monitoring could give patients better care at home
    People could spend less time in hospital, thanks to a smart new remote device that lets patients be monitored at home, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Technology has the potential to really change the way we do things – to do things that are  better for patients and at the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supporting kids’ learning success
    Concrete steps to clarify inclusive, evidence-informed teaching practices Strengthen capability supports along the professional pathway  Enhance partnerships between the education system and whānau, iwi, communities Embed equitable additional learning supports and assessment tools that help teachers effectively notice and respond to the needs of students Improved student achievement is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting prevention, preparedness and response to global pandemics
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to strengthen global prevention, preparedness and responses to future pandemics with seed funding for a new World Bank initiative, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “We cannot afford to wait until the next pandemic. We must all play our part to support developing countries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Overseas investors converting farms to forests must show benefit to New Zealand
    A law change to ensure that forestry conversions by overseas investors benefit New Zealand has passed its final reading in Parliament. Previously, overseas investors wishing to convert land, such as farm land, into forestry only needed to meet the “special forestry test”. This is a streamlined test, designed to encourage ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International visitors boosting economic recovery
    International tourism recovery well underway with higher level of overseas visitor arrivals than previously expected UK and US card spend already back at pre-COVID levels Visitors staying in New Zealand longer and spending more compared to 2019 Govt support throughout pandemic helped tourism sector prepare for return of international ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Ministry’s inaugural Strategy paves way for ethnic communities
    The Ministry for Ethnic Communities has released its first strategy, setting out the actions it will take over the next few years to achieve better wellbeing outcomes for ethnic communities Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. “The Strategy that has been released today sets out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • World class aquatic centre opened in Hawke’s Bay
    The Prime Minister has officially opened the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre today saying it is a huge asset to the region and to the country. “This is a world class facility which will be able to host national and international events including the world championships. With a 10-lane Olympic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tulī Takes Flight winners take to the wing
    The Associate Minister of Education, Aupito William Sio, has today announced the recipients of the Tulī Takes Flight scholarships which were a key part of last year’s Dawn Raids apology. The scholarships are a part of the goodwill gesture of reconciliation to mark the apology by the New Zealand Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt supports free period products in over 2000 schools within one year
    96% of estimated menstruating students receive free period products 2085 schools involved 1200 dispensers installed Supports cost of living, combats child poverty, helps increase attendance Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti today hailed the free period products in schools, Ikura | Manaakitia te whare tangata, a huge success, acknowledging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt boosts tourism transformation to strengthen workforce and improve outcomes
    The Tourism Industry Transformation Plan outlines key actions to improve the sector This includes a Tourism and Hospitality Accord to set employment standards Developing cultural competency within the workforce Improving the education and training system for tourism Equipping business owners and operators with better tools and enabling better work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Google Cloud’s decision to make New Zealand a cloud region. “This is another major vote of confidence for New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and our economic recovery from COVID 19,” David Clark said. “Becoming a cloud region will mean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Changes to NCEA & University Entrance in response to COVID-19 disruptions
    A package of changes to NCEA and University Entrance announced today recognise the impact COVID-19 has had on senior secondary students’ assessment towards NCEA in 2022, says Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti. “We have heard from schools how significant absences of students and teachers, as a result of COVID-19, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Samoa- “Lifelong Fri...
    Te Reo Māori tauparapara… Tapatapa tū ki te Rangi! Ki te Whei-ao! Ki te Ao-mārama Tihei mauri ora! Stand at the edge of the universe! of the spiritual world! of the physical world! It is the breath of creation Formal acknowledgments… [Your Highness Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II and Masiofo] ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New law passed to reduce gun harm
    The Government’s commitment to combatting firearms violence has reached another significant milestone today with the passage of the Firearms Prohibition Order Legislation Bill, Police Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new law helps to reduce firearm-related crime by targeting possession, use, or carriage of firearms by people whose actions and behaviours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister sends condolences as last Battle for Crete veteran passes away
    Minister for Veterans, Hon Meka Whaitiri sends her condolences to the last Battle for Crete veteran. “I am saddened today to learn of the passing of Cyril Henry Robinson known as Brant Robinson, who is believed to be the last surviving New Zealand veteran of the Battle for Crete, Meka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill passes third reading
    Legislation to repeal the ‘Three Strikes’ law has passed its third reading in Parliament. “The Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill ends an anomaly in New Zealand’s justice system that dictates what sentence judges must hand down irrespective of relevant factors,” Justice Minister Kiri Allan said. “The three strikes law was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government working on preliminary steps to improve support for abuse survivors
    Work is under way on preliminary steps to improve the Government’s support for survivors of abuse in care while a new, independent redress system is designed, Public Service Minister Chris Hipkins says. These steps – recommended by the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry – include rapid payments for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Remarks upon 77th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki Online Forum 77 years ago today, an atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Three days earlier, on the 6th of August 1945, the same fate had befallen the people of Hiroshima.  Tens of thousands died instantly. In the years that followed 340,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt signs NZ–USA agreement launching new opportunities for space sector
    An agreement signed today between the New Zealand and United States governments will provide new opportunities for our space sector and closer collaboration with NASA, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash said. Stuart Nash signed the Framework Agreement with United States Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman. The signing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt strengthens emergency management cooperation between NZ and the US
    An agreement signed today between New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the United States’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will strengthen global emergency management capability, says Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty. “The Government is committed to continually strengthening our emergency management system, and this Memorandum of Cooperation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand to stay at Orange as winter continues
    New Zealand will remain at the Orange traffic light setting, while hospitalisations remain elevated and pressure on the health system continues through winter. “There’s still significant pressure on hospitals from winter illnesses, so our current measures have an ongoing role to play in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Path paved for communities to reshape streets
    Streets will soon be able to be transformed from unsafe and inaccessible corridors to vibrant places for all transport modes thanks to new legislation proposed today, announced Transport Minister Michael Wood. “We need to make it safe, quicker and more attractive for people to walk, ride and take public transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Boost for agricultural and horticultural science in schools
    More young minds eyeing food and fibre careers is the aim of new Government support for agricultural and horticultural science teachers in secondary schools, Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Government is committing $1.6 million over five years to the initiative through the Ministry for Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bumper breeding season boosts Kākāpō population
    Kākāpō numbers have increased from 197 to 252 in the 2022 breeding season, and there are now more of the endangered parrots than there have been for almost 50 years, Conservation Minister Poto Williams announced today. The flightless, nocturnal parrot is a taonga of Ngāi Tahu and a species unique ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Relationship with Malaysia to be elevated to Strategic Partnership
    The relationship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Malaysia is to be elevated to the status of a Strategic Partnership, to open up opportunities for greater co-operation and connections in areas like regional security and economic development. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta met her Malaysian counterpart Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah today during a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Call for New Zealanders to get on-board with rail safety
    With additional trains operating across the network, powered by the Government’s investment in rail, there is need for a renewed focus on rail safety, Transport Minister Michael Wood emphasised at the launch of Rail Safety Week 2022. “Over the last five years the Government has invested significantly to improve level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Regional approach the focus at ASEAN and East Asia Summit talks
    The Foreign Minister has wrapped up a series of meetings with Indo-Pacific partners in Cambodia which reinforced the need for the region to work collectively to deal with security and economic challenges. Nanaia Mahuta travelled to Phnom Penh for a bilateral meeting between ASEAN foreign ministers and Aotearoa New Zealand, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Criminal Bar Association
    Kia ora koutou Firstly, thank you to the President of the Criminal Bar Association, Fiona Guy Kidd QC, for her invitation to attend the annual conference this weekend albeit unfortunately she is unable to attend, I’m grateful to the warm welcome both Chris Wilkinson-Smith (Vice-President, Whanganui) and Adam Simperingham (Vice-President, Gisborne) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • The beat goes on as Government renews support for musicians
    Extension of Aotearoa Touring Programme supporting domestic musicians The Programme has supported more than 1,700 shows and over 250 artists New Zealand Music Commission estimates that around 200,000 Kiwis have been able to attend shows as a result of the programme The Government is hitting a high note, with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to attend Guadalcanal Commemorations in the Solomon Islands
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare will depart tomorrow for Solomon Islands to attend events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal. While in Solomon Islands, Minister Henare will also meet with Solomon Islands Minister of National Security, Correctional Services and Police Anthony Veke to continue cooperation on security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New programme to provide insights into regenerative dairy farming 
    The Government is partnering with Ngāi Tahu Farming Limited and Ngāi Tūāhuriri on a whole-farm scale study in North Canterbury to validate the science of regenerative farming, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.   The programme aims to scientifically evaluate the financial, social and environmental differences between regenerative and conventional practices. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More women on public boards than ever before
    52.5% of people on public boards are women Greatest ever percentage of women Improved collection of ethnicity data “Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees is now 52.5 percent, the highest ever level. The facts prove that diverse boards bring a wider range of knowledge, expertise and skill. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago