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The cost of our clothes

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 am, May 9th, 2013 - 23 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, cost of living, International, news, poverty, workers' rights - Tags: ,

When I was growing up in the 60s, my mother used to make most of our clothes.  By the time I was in my late teens, in the 60s, it became easier to buy relatively cheap, off the peg clothes in shops.  Many people now know nothing else.  These days. most of those clothes are made in factories in relatively poor countries.  Many of us are aware, that those clothes are made in factories where people work in poor conditions, for wages that are very low by our standards.

This is not our doing, but many of us often benefit in small ways from the relatively easy access to affordable clothing. Ultimately however, these clothes are produced through a system that enriches the corporate elites.  This is the same system that is continually undermining workers, beneficiaries and working conditions in countries like NZ, though no to the same degree as in less well-off countries. The profiteering by the Western garment companies, ultimately damages us all.

Our MSM rarely draw attention to the conditions under which our clothes are produced.  When there are accidents in the garment factories, due to their unsafe conditions, our MSM rarely write about the underlying causes.  In poor countries, only disasters caused by “acts of god” are given the attention they gains our sympathy.

Pilger did a documentary in 2001, showing how globalisation of the garment industry resulted in people in places like Indonesia working in appalling conditions for meagre wages, so that designer brands like GAP could be affordable to buyers in western countries.  It was shocking at the time, for those of us who saw it.  But then it moved into the background noise of the diversionary infotainment stories in our media.

New rulers of the world

It’s a powerful documentary, in Pilger’s inimitable style.  It expresses strong views, based on some in depth research.  His website provides the rationale of the documentary:

The film turns the spotlight on the new rulers of the world – the great multinationals and the governments and institutions that back them such as the IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation under whose rules millions of people throughout the world lose their jobs and livelihood. …

To examine the true effects of globalisation, Pilger travels to Indonesia – …

… where high-street brands such as Nike, Adidas, Gap and Reebok are mass produced by cheap labour in ‘sweatshops’ and sold for up to 250 times the amount received by workers.

The documentary shows conditions in a large sweatshop in Jakarta, where workers (mainly women and children) live in squalid camps, in order to earn just over half the amount deemed to be a “living wage” by the Indonesian government.

Many children there were undernourished and prone to disease. While filming, Pilger himself caught dengue fever.

Garment factories producing clothes for richer countries, are still using exploitative, low paid and damaging practices in diverse places, like Cambodia, as reported in Green Left.

Last month there was possibly the world’s worst industrial accident in a garment factory in Bangladesh.  The NZ Herald report on it a few days ago, focuses mostly on the government’s poor oversight, and dodgy structure of the building.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith spoke as the government cracked down on those it blamed for the disaster in the Dhaka suburb of Savar. …

The government appears to be attempting to fend off accusations that it is in part to blame for the tragedy because of weak oversight of the building’s construction.

The article fails to mention the underlying cause of the “accident”: that the garments were being produced for some major Western brands.  It fails to provide the context in which pressure from “the new rulers of the world” results in governments and factory owners in poor countries cutting corners.

Overnight, above NZ Herald article has been updated.  This morning I’m pleased to see the article now headlines the pressure on Western retailers to fix the factories.  However, while references to the multinational corporations have been inserted, the original focus still dominates.

The death toll is now over 700,

bangladesh factory collapse

 

As reported by Inquirer News:

The police control room overseeing the recovery operation said the death toll stood at 705 on Tuesday afternoon as workers pulled more bodies out of the wreckage of the eight-story building that was packed with workers at five garment factories when it collapsed on April 24. The factories were making clothing bound for major retailers around the world.

The disaster is the worst ever in the garment sector, surpassing the 1911 garment disaster in New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist factory, which killed 146 workers, and more recent tragedies such as a 2012 fire that killed about 260 people in Pakistan and one in Bangladesh that killed 112, also in 2012. It is also one of the deadliest industrial accidents ever. …

The workers, many who made little more than the national minimum wage of about $38 per month, are demanding at least four months in salary. The workers had set Tuesday as the deadline for the payment of wages and other benefits.

Though the worst, this “accident” wasn’t the first.  In November 2012, Al Jazeera reported on two recent fires in Bangladesh garment factories.  Workers a the second fire were angry that nothing had changed after the first fire.

Many of the Western companies that were getting their garments made in the factory that collapsed in April, are failing to own up.  According to Al Jazeera on 27 April, “activists” have become highly critical of the profiteering corporates.  Only “British low-cost fashion line Primark and Spanish giant Mango” have so far put their hands up. Others, like Wal- Mart are “investigating” or in denial.

The US said it could not confirm whether any US companies were sourcing garments from the complex, as protesters in San Francisco targeted the headquarters of Gap with banners reading “No More Death Traps”.

The International reported on May 3, does make the connections the low prices and “tight deadlines” demanded by retail companies in the US and Europe, and the dangerous working conditions. Primark was the main retailer that owned up to sourcing products from the factory, and expressed their concern.  Others still keep a low profile.

This is the cost of our clothing; produced by a “neoliberal” capitalist system that favours the elites, and ultimately damages us all to a greater or lesser extent.

[update] NZ Herald is now reporting the death toll has risen above 800.

23 comments on “The cost of our clothes”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Western corporates and their directors have been negligent in the extreme for not forcing their subcontractors to meet even minimal labour and safety standards.

    In theory, western corporates are in the perfect position to proactively force massive improvement in industrial and health and safety standards in countries like Bangladesh. Or they would be, if they weren’t so busy treating those places like mines and worker gulags.

    Mind you many US clothing brands do the same to their own citizens: using low cost prison labour (most of whom are black), just like the good ol days.

    • mikesh 1.1

      Or governments could impose tarifs on imported clothes on the basis that these tarifs would be removed only if wages and working conditions improved to acceptable levels.

    • ghostrider888 1.2

      cottening on

  2. prism 2

    I am pleased to read your post karol. I went straight to Open Mike and put a relevant comment there. My comment on Bangladesh is on Open Mike No.12.

    • karol 2.1

      Yes, prism. I saw it and agree with your comments. I was pleased to see someone had been aware of this awful event and was concerned about it.

  3. Bill 3

    And if a recent study done on ‘Apple’ is anything to go by, these ‘western’ corporations would still be making immense profits if their production was undertaken in ‘the west’ paying ‘western’ pay rates. And, of course, there’d be many more, now defunct domestic producers still existing had the rush to exploit cheap labour and lax conditions overseas not taken place.

    But then, relative wage rates in ‘the west’ couldn’t have been pushed down, profits couldn’t have soared and we’d be living in a more benign (not ‘good’ and not ‘desirable’ – but still, more benign) form of Capitalism. And that’s a bad thing from the perspective of profit and power.

    Maybe the concept of internationalism will enjoy a resurgence, but I’m not holding my breath and given the impoverishment of western consumers in relation to 30 or 40 years ago and the loss of plant, machinery and skills in ‘the west’ due to shifting production off-shore, I’m thinking the horse has bolted.

    And so Globalisation will trundle on and cheap ‘third world’ working conditions will, by and by, be introduced to ‘the west’ via prison labour (already existant in NZ) and more draconian employment/unemployment legislations alongside the final gutting of unions.

    And the final result will be shift away from the poor in other countries providing for us, the rich ‘western consumer’, to a situation where the ‘lucky’ poor in every country (those who can actually get into paid employment) will provide only for the rich in every other country. And the Capitalist competition (within the productive sphere) will be over market share for shrunken markets that many of us will have no meaningful access to.

    And if you want a taste of what that’s going to be like for the bulk of people, then cast an eye over Africa or Central/South America where exclusion and serious poverty playing out alongside highly oppressive forms of governmence is the order of the day.

  4. Rosie 4

    The continuation of abuse of garment workers in many parts of the world and the reality of their sub human existence is just heartbreaking.

    Despite a lot of campaigning and hard work by the workers themselves along side international Labour rights groups, garment workers from Bangladesh, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Turkey, Egypt still suffer severe life affecting injuries in unsafe factories, appalling and unacceptable work conditions and poverty wages right through to mass death such as the factory collapse you discuss above.

    The Tazreen fire in Bangladesh that killed 112 workers in 2012 you would think, would wake up the retailers who get their clothing manufactured in such places but it didn’t. Retailers like GAP and Disney continue to pay lip service to their own H&S regulations and some have refused to even sign new contracts to create safe work places. At the time that the factory collapse occurred, survivors from the Tazreen factory fire were touring the States, doing public talks, meeting with authorities and picketing headquarters of the retailers who have their contracts with these terrible employers. What would they have felt to hear the news of the factory collapse?

    In NZ we left are left with a poor choice for purchasing ethically produced clothes. Buy NZ made? Good luck. Clothing manufacturers in NZ are either struggling or closing down. You can still get few locally made items, er,socks made by Colombine in Hawkes Bay but they’re not going to clothe you are they?! You can buy some pricey clothes from flash “ethical” clothing companies (Eg, Kowtow) but its not within everyones reach. You can buy online but thats kind of inconvenient, or you can just get around in a few carefully purchased essential items.What to do? Worker run collectives producing good quality clothes for men, women and kids from sustain-ably produced textiles?

    • karol 4.1

      Yes, Rosie, it is a fraught situation and hard to know what to do. We have this issue of where to buy. The countries and people that provide cheap labour for wealthy multinational companies have been made dependent on the meagre wages.

      Worker cooperatives in NZ could be a positive step IMO, as part of an international campaign to dismantle the whole corrupt system: a system led by the corporates, IMF, World Bank, etc.

    • prism 4.2

      One fire doesn’t of a conscience make. Or something. The fire in that Arab city was it in Dubai that killed babies and toddlers. The female owner wouldn’t go to Court. Even with her Gucci handbag where she could have found some small change in a gesture of contrition. Then recently there was another fire at that mall. There was a problem originally about not using fire retardant paint but I don’t know about the latest.

      Perhaps women should adopt a worker. Something similar has been done, names and small details have gone with packaged items.

      The amount of wasted garments that are still good but have just been roughly used or stained amounts to tonnes that have to be dumped. Cotton and polycotton tops made good rags, polar fleece can be good on the inside, and made into patchwork blankets etc but that still is just a portion, even if a significant one. And each item the result of skilled and concentrated effort by someone getting $38 a MONTH (from the item) and even in a low inflation area could one eat and sleep safely for that, and what if a family was trying to, with only a mother who has to earn to keep her children alive and well.

      • Rosie 4.2.1

        Hi Prism.
        I guess the problem isn’t that there hasn’t been just one fire. Factory fires are common in Bangladesh but still multinationals and consumers turn a blind eye. Maybe its too inconvenient for them/us to have a conscience.

        I’m a bit lost of the “perhaps women should adopt a worker”. Can you please expand? Do you mean we should feel a connection or at least some gratitude for the person who made our garment or pair of shoes? If so, I agree. I’m just not sure about the “women” bit.

        After having this conversation I thought about my sneakers. They are the “No Sweat” brand. No Sweat used to make casual clothes and shoes made in factories that used only 100% Union labour. Depending on the country they worked in, under the collective agreement workers had access to full healthcare, education for their children and profit sharing. Awhile ago I went to buy some more sneakers and t shirts online but the site had gone and I haven’t followed up with it recently. Theres no excuse for this work environment to not be the norm. I think if consumers did have a thought or care about where their products come from it might put pressure on the multinationals, those kinds of workplaces might have an opportunity to exist as a reality.

        • Rosie 4.2.1.1

          Er, that should read “the problem is that there hasn’t been……….”

        • prism 4.2.1.2

          Men coulddo this reciprocal thing too but I am thinking of the tonnes of women’s clothes that get sold to NZs so women are gaining big advantage from these clothes. Some women’s dress shops have had to withdraw from locations lately what with the down-turn. But the multiplicity of womens clothing shops almost matches the pub numbers in colonial days.

          And somewhere a while ago, there was a system going where people who packed or picked said a hello to the users – perhaps a note in a box of dried fruit or something.

          • Rosie 4.2.1.2.1

            Thanks Prism:-)
            I agree there is an abundance of cheapie chain stores for women, but I must say, of all the blokes I know, none of them has a smaller wardrobe than me! I also know women who only buy from second hand shops and charity shops and a few that sew all their own clothes.

            Still, that’s most likely a minority of people that take steps like that to lessen their impact. We have a global industrial clothing supply problem in regards to worker health, safety and well being and it doesn’t help that we perpetuate it. I wonder if consumers will start demanding more care from the manufacturers of their clothes in light of the Bangladesh disaster.

  5. Rosie 5

    PS. Check out a link to a Fiji workers rights campaign I posted on Open Mike. The situation for workers in Fiji has been flying under the radar for too long as well.

  6. georgecom 6

    One way of trying to slightly lower the steep imbalance is through the likes of union aid – helping workers organise of developing countries.

    http://unionaid.org.nz/

    even $10 per month makes a difference

  7. Steve Morris 7

    Consumers must vote with their wallets to make any real change. Check out Freeset at http://www.freesetglobal.com a business that was set up by NZers Kerry and Annie Hilton who gave up living in Albany to live in the slums of Kolkata to rescue women trafficked in the sex industry. All profits from the business in Kolkata benefit the women (salary, health insurance and retirement plan) and are used to grow the business.

    • ghostrider888 7.1

      I have a freeset shoulder bag. Our congregation support their mission.

  8. idlegus 8

    its def been on my mind, especially when it was being reported that 100 were dead but 700 were missing, i was thinking why coouldnt they just say up to 800 were possibly dead. i found this powerful image here, http://lightbox.time.com/2013/05/08/a-final-embrace-the-most-haunting-photograph-from-bangladesh/#1

  9. ghostrider888 9

    some 3-ply Jolly UMconditional PositivE Regard for your heart-warming work, karol.

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    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
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    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago

  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago