web analytics

The danger of Key’s low wage economy

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, July 14th, 2009 - 47 comments
Categories: employment, unemployment, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

As you know, things are tough in the job market at the moment.

The firm figures won’t be out until later this month but unemployment has grown by probably well over 50,000 so far this year. The number of the dole has shot from 37,000 in March to 50,000 now and is growing at 1200 a week. That’s not only a loss of income for the people losing jobs, it creates a drag on the wages of those who still have work – competition between workers for fewer jobs means they’ll take lower pay.

Add to that the miserly minimum wage increase earlier this year that amounted to a couple of cents an hour after inflation and the decision not to budget for public sector wage increases (including for medical professionals and teachers who between them make up over 10% of the workforce). Top it off with Key’s government’s complete failure to come up with any sizeable policy that will keep people in work.

That’s a lot of downward pressure on wages. Treasury expects real wages per hour to grow just 0.7% this year, fall 0.7% the next year, then stall at 0.0% at 0.1% in 2011 and 2012.

That’s not a recipe for closing the wage gap with Australia (remember that? Key doesn’t talk about it so much anymore) It’s a recipe for a low wage economy, and that’s very bad news for our economic outlook. When labour is cheap and plentiful employers don’t bother to invest in capital. It becomes cheaper just to hire someone than buy tools and machinary that make workers more productive. If you’ve ever been to a developing country and seen the sheer number of men employed in jobs that in New Zealand would be done by one person with a machine, you know what I’m getting at.

That’s not a route we want to go down if we want to be a more productive, wealthier society. The challenge, then, to government is to keep wages growing, not falling. To do that, it has to create jobs. This is an area where Key must provide leadership. Only government has deep enough pockets, and the direct economic incentive (each person going from the average wage to the dole costs the government $20,000 a year), to undertake the kind of job creation and protection schemes needed.

It’s not too late to start, even if it’s pretty damn late, for the Key government to really do something meaningful (no more Jobs Summits) to protect Kiwis’ jobs and wages.

47 comments on “The danger of Key’s low wage economy ”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    Marty, what are you actually saying?

    You seem to dislike the idea that people are losing jobs, and you seem to dislike the idea that wages aren’t increasing more rapidly.

    Do you have some secret solution to provide for job growth and wage increases during a time of recession, without incurring crippling debt and/or significantly raising taxes?

  2. Marty G 2

    Why not raise the top tax rate back to 39 cents? The world didn’t end. That would give us more cash for job creation. We could handle a little more debt.

    Anyway, the cost to the government of unemployment is huge. Better to be at the top of the cliff, keeping people in jobs, than the ambulance at the bottom, paying the cost of lost tax and benefits.

    I look to Australia where unemployment has barely increased since the start of the recession. Why? Rudd’s policies

    • cocamc 2.1

      MArtyG
      Ok – raise the tax to 39 cents. What are these jobs the government will create that are long term and sustainable in the economy to meet some as yet undiscovered demand?

      Australia is still reliant on the continuing burgeoning growth of India and China. Not much has changed in that regard, i.e. supplying steel, etc. What transformation has Australia undertaken?

      • Marty G 2.1.1

        They’ve invested hundreds of millions into jobs rich areas. try google.

        • cocamc 2.1.1.1

          MartyG
          I have already looked through the Australian plans previously. Again I think they, like the rest of the world, are tinkering around the edges. so they improve GDP and have some growth in the next few years, then what. what happens when the roads, schools, etc are built.

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    Okay, Marty, how much more debt is acceptable to you?

    How much extra tax do you think the government should raise?

    What jobs will the government create with this extra money, and how?

  4. Marty G 4

    What jobs could the govt create?
    – it could invest in public transport
    – it could invest in research and development
    – it could improve pupil teacher ratios (like Labour had planned)
    – it could hire more medical staff
    – it could invest in a larger home insulation programme targeted at rented properties this time
    – it could invest in renewable power generation
    – it could build more state houses (giving more training to apprentices too)

    A lot of this would actually be revenue neutral but if more moeny is needed putting 1 cent tax back on the top bracket will not even be noticed (who noticed it coming off – even if you earn $100,000 you’ve had a grand total of $100 less tax so far). A billion extra debt is nothing in the long term.

    • cocamc 4.1

      MartyG I’d argue a lot of those things you’re suggesting are already in place. Power Companies are investing in renewable Power Generation such as wind farms but it takes time for those to come through the RMA.

      The concern I have is sustainable job creation – not just jobs for a short period. so we insulate all the houses in NZ – that takes 3 years – what then – we’re back where we started with no demand for the skills gained building more state houses and insulating homes.
      We need transformation for the long term. I not saying National is doing enough, in fact I think they are too scared to actually make the structural changes the country needs.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        About the only job that’s permanent is cleaning toilets so stop asking for them.

        R&D – creates new jobs
        Invest in sustainable power – allows for those jobs to be powered
        We have a growing population so more medical staff is long term
        Building more state houses is a great idea and then selling them off at cost. Build at a rate greater than demand and the number of people living in poverty due to the failed economic policies of the last 1/4 century will go down
        Insulating homes is also sustainable because it results in less cost later

  5. Tim Ellis 5

    Fair enough, Marty. Those are jobs that the government will create, I agree. Have you got an analysis of how productive they will be?

    What sort of cost do you have in mind? If they’re going to have a significant impact on employment, then you are talking about billions of dollars of extra spending, rather than a couple of hundred million. We’re not talking about a small debt increase, here.

    How much do you want to spend, and where is your evidence that the spending is productive?

    • So Bored 5.1

      Tea break time, hello Tim, I see you are still spending all day doing this, oh for that luxury, how productive.

      You keep harping on about investment and productivity…I just read the best evidence that capitalists can bend the rules of physics if they have to…Goldman Sachs are paying $18 billion in quarterly bonuses to employees..on the back of a corporate guarantee scheme from the tax payers, $13 billion from AIG and the hoarding of zillions in “securitized ” debt (it appears as a positive in the ledger but is in fact worth zilch). This is legalised larceny on a grand scale. It has its mirrors here too.

      A simple statement Tim, we are part of that financial system. And its totalled. So trying to extract the last cent of “productivity” from the wage slave class for the benefit of those who have already taken most of the rest seems slightly obscene.

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    Tim Ellis National should build the 650 state homes as Labour had planned and budgeted for. Instead what did National do, was it 60 from memory. Stop firing public servants that would help unemployment Tim. Reinstate the 6 million dollars that has been taken from the disabled Kids at public schools that pays for therapists wages.
    Then he should start looking at the structure of the economy, carryout the select committee review of the Banking industry to see if their arguments stack up. If he started with just these things Tim it would be a bloody good start, instead of doing nothing like he is currently doing.Key is a bloody disgrace! The fact that you are still defending him and Nationals media lines is quite astounding. Key talked himself up now its time to deliver,but he cant because National have no policy he sold you bullshit and you bought it. What Marty is saying Tim is the Government should adopt policy that protects and creates jobs, instead of taking jobs away.

    • mike 6.1

      “Government should adopt policy that protects and creates jobs, instead of taking jobs away”

      You don’t get it – Its not Govt’s that create jobs – its their job to create an environment that fosters growth, something labour reversed but the Nats are doing a fine job fixing.

      • Craig Glen Eden 6.1.1

        In part thats right Mike, but jobs in the public sector are real jobs . So Governments do create jobs as well as private business. Whats National doing to create that environment Mike. Research and development investment maybe????????? or reducing company tax rate, shit my company could do with a break right now.

    • Swampy 6.2

      How about getting public servants to do some real work instead of sucking off the taxpayer.

      Just because Labour has built a huge increase in the bureacracy doesn’t mean it is all necessary or worthwhile. I can’t for the life of me see what benefit the Tertiary Education Commission has achieved for example.

      • BLiP 6.2.1

        Public servants sucking off the tax payer – like the Police, you mean? Or doctors, or teachers, or John “The Goober” Key?

        The fact that you can’t understand the work of the Tertiary Education Commission is abundantly apparent.

  7. illuminatedtiger 7

    I remember before he came PM and was asked in one particular interview what his vision for New Zealand was – he had one word, “Singapore”. I found this interesting considering he would go onto campaign on his “Ambitious for New Zealand” slogan of which higher wages were a component.

    Anyone who knows anything about Singapore will know that it largely got to where it is today courtesy of cheap labour from South East Asian nations. While we do hire in a lot of seasonal workers from the Pacific for next to nothing I think Key’s plan is to make cheap labour out of New Zealand citizens. Hell, while we’re at it why not adopt some of that dictatorships medievil law and order policies too?

    • snoozer 7.1

      “while we’re at it why not adopt some of that dictatorships medievil law and order policies too?”

      Crusher’s way ahead of you

  8. jason 8

    Craig Glen Eden. I wholeheartedly agree with you well put.
    Key should start a company that trains people to smile in the face of impending disasters. He’d be perfect at it.
    I watched last night on the news an article in regard to cutting adult education funding. Anne Trolley came across as a right tosser; pun intended. The news actually critiqued a national policy. Un- b-fuckin-leavable. Great analysis too. They costed the current policy and it amounted to piss all to the government purse and a whole lot of good to our social fabric; which after all has, as right and left will agree, other benefits to lower crime rates and health increases.
    Come on right whingers lets get together with the left whingers and find some common ground. What do we both agree on?

  9. So Bored 9

    If there is a glimmer of hope for the common working person it is that some creative thinking has been done by the Greens to stimulate the economy. Labour need to keep up. The unfortunate thing is that we have a government that reflects the populace, backward thinking and incapable of seeing the impending train wreck of energy depletion, cliamte change and financial meltdown..

    To criticise National is unfair and unproductive. Its the equivalent of accusing an amoeba of being incapable of writing the works of Shakespeare. Perhaps NACT might try creative thinking and be criticised fairly for some kind of political Mills and Boon.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Penal Rates need to be brought back. In the short term it improves employment as 50 and 60 hour weeks get dropped and in the long term forces business to invest in capital. Neither Labour nor National will do so though – they’re still too tied in to the failed neo-classical economics and capitalism in general.

  11. The reason that we have high unemployment is precisely because wages aren’t dropping – they are somewhat ‘sticky’. This means the labour market doesn’t clear, and there is an oversupply. With the marginal product of labour staying constant, either you have an increase in wages or an increase in employment. To think you can force both with a minimum wage or higher spending is just wrong (in most cases).

    • Daveo 11.1

      See, this is what’s wrong with neoliberal economists. The problem is that workers have protections, the problem is that there’s a minimum wage. Why if we could let wages drop to $2.50 an hour we’d all be saved.

      Did it ever occur to you, Tom, that the problem is capitalism? That the problem lies with a system that is so inherently unstable that it routinely collapses in on itself and throws 10% of the workforce out on its arse for no reason?

      No, of course not, because your models are framed entirely within a capitalist market economy. You’re incapable of thinking outside of it, so you demand workers pay the price for capitalism’s failures.

      • Swampy 11.1.1

        Capitalism, isn’t that what keeps the workers employed in Communist China these days?

    • Bright Red 11.2

      “This means the labour market doesn’t clear, and there is an oversupply.”

      You’re talking about families’ livelihoods scumbag. We shouldn’t want people’s jobs to be like so many bags of rice in a marketplace.

      All you’ve revealed is the utter debasement and inhumanity of your economic ideology.

      • Tom Mathews 11.2.1

        Goodness me.

        The reason we study labour economics is to a large extent to determine what determines income and employment levels. Once we know these things, we can come up with policy prescriptions to improve them. That’s what I am trying to do here.

        If you find it distasteful to consider the labour market as a market, that’s your business. I agree that wages are important to people’s lives, obviously. But if we are discussing or formulating policy, looking at the market analytically is exactly what we should be doing, so we know what gets positive outcomes. What could be more humane than that? Certainly not what appears to be your preferred approach, which is just going with your gut and not bothering to think about the effects on people’s lives.

        And Daveo, it’s not just right-wing economists that use supply and demand models.

        • Bright Red 11.2.1.1

          except that your analysis only analyses people as units of labour and input costs to businesses. You don’t consider the social and psychological importance of work. You don’t consider the impact on crime, education, health of unemployment. You don’t even consider the impact on the government’s books.

          There’s no use saying ‘the problem is wages are sticky so it’s workers’ problem that’ there’s unemployment’ because any price that is not determined unit by unit is sticky. Unless you want to go to a system where wages are under constant renegotiation, which as a practical collary would actually mean total control of wages to the employer = lower wages, and would be totally impractical anyway.

          The narrow school of economic thought that you are championing has simply failed to deliver for society. It just delivers ever greater concerntration of wealth, bubbles, and crashes.

          • Daveski 11.2.1.1.1

            Agreed. Look at how many people are fleeing the US to live in Cuba.

            I think the pragmatic view is that people fail, economic and political theories are always perfect.

            • Bright Red 11.2.1.1.1.1

              But the point of a theory is to have predictive power in the real world. It’s pointless to say ‘my theory’s brilliant but reality keeps getting it wrong’.

              Ultimately, the problem with economics is it is trying to reduce human motivations and needs to simple mathematical formulas, and in that process the people doing the simplification must make judgement calls on what weightings apply to different things.. that’s where the political ideology slips in and you’re left with nothing more than ideology dressed up in the respectablity and seeming objectivity of maths.

          • Tom Mathews 11.2.1.1.2

            You’re reading a bit too much into what was really quite a simple observation – increasing wages and increasing unemployment are contradictory goals, when you have close to zero growth (or recession) like we do now. I think that’s a relevant consideration for readers of this post. I didn’t say which policy we should prefer, I didn’t even hint at that. If you disagree that there’s a tradeoff, feel free to explain why.

            Otherwise you’re just talking to yourself, essentially.

            • Tom Mathews 11.2.1.1.2.1

              Also, while I agree that lots of economics is highly maths-y and theoretical, it certainly does have practical tests, the whole field of econometrics is devoted to this!

            • Bright Red 11.2.1.1.2.2

              “increasing wages and increasing unemployment are contradictory goals, when you have close to zero growth (or recession) like we do now”

              Not so. The portion of GDP going to employee compensation could be increased (offset by a decrease in returns to holders of capital) allowing for both an increase in wages and employment.

              The problem with saying ‘we’re in the crap, wages have to drop or more of you will lose your jobs’ is that reducing wages does cost jobs, by lowering consumer demand, and ultimately hurts the economy by encouraging low-value use of labour and discouraging capital investment.

              Also, you’re percieving of the economy as if it’s a one-off market. It’s not, the events now have reprecussions in the future.

              Econometrics is by and large crap too… the behaviouralists are on to it because they’re looking at what studies of actual humans teach us, rather than maths and the ideologies of a fewe rich white men do.

            • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.2.1.1.2.3

              Economic theory is a subset of social theory, unless you appreciate the social context you operate in (and biases you have) your theories are going to be limited.
              The greatest improvements in human condition did not really begin until after the 1930s- what happened then? We started paying proper wages. The Welfare state was created. Governments invested in public infrastructure, schools, universities, health care and science.
              Look what happened in the 1950s. Henry Ford made a fortune because the middle classes finaly got paid properly and was able to buy his product.
              what happened to government debt? I twent down because higher wages meant a higher tax take. What happened to productivity? It increased.
              Since the 1980s when the crazy ideas of Reagan and Thatcher infested the world, average GDP has dropped. Unemployment has skyrocketed worldwide, real income and wges have dropped.
              I reall don’t see the downside of paying people more at all.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      Or it could be that the market function just doesn’t work. Which is more likely considering that since we installed the market system 320 years ago it’s never worked.

      Steve Keen has a good look at the product of labour and capital in his book and comes to the conclusion that capital gets over compensated and labour under compensated.

      Here’s a couple of excerpts:
      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v235/draco1337/Debunking_Economics2.jpg
      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v235/draco1337/unmarket_incomes.jpg

      • Tom Mathews 11.3.1

        Draco – the market obviously isn’t perfect, but aren’t we better off than we were 320 years ago?
        Obviously this doesn’t mean we couldn’t be better off had things gone differently, but saying it has simply ‘never worked’ overstates your case.

        Red: What decreases consumer demand more? Wage cuts, or unemployment?
        I’m also a little confused as to your denunciation of econometrics, which is basically just statistics for economics. I can assure you that regression analysis knows no ideology. Econometrics is used in behavioural economics just as it is used in neo-classical economics. Many famous behavioural economics papers include substantial econometric components.

        • snoozer 11.3.1.1

          “the market obviously isn’t perfect, but aren’t we better off than we were 320 years ago?”

          Post hoc ergo propter hoc eh Tom?

          • Tom Mathews 11.3.1.1.1

            Not if you have an underlying model 😉

            • So Bored 11.3.1.1.1.1

              Tom, your faith in economics, markets and econometricians amazes me. This underlying model of which you speak, is it level, does it correlate in any form with reality, is it moral or humane, in fact has it got any veracity at all? If its been constructed by modern economic theory then it is demonstrably a failure, just look at the current state of the economy. Economists have never learnt to place value on doubt and scepticism, it just doesnt come in lowly materialistic measurable units, very unlike those abstract rational consumers who are supposed to align with you and me. Liberate yourself from these feeble constructs….get rid of the high priests who exist merely to justify why the rich have the money….

            • old woman 11.3.1.1.1.2

              What if the model is flawed?

              …and how do you know it isn’t?

              oops. This was meant to be a reply to Tom Mathews. Haven’t yet worked out the intricacies of changing it. Sorry.

              But the questions stand.

        • Bill 11.3.1.2

          “…but aren’t we better off than we were 320 years ago?”

          Depends on the ‘we’ that you refer to.

          In India we are probably not better off than we were 320 years ago. Probably the same would be said of Bangladesh.

          What about the ‘better offness’ of ‘we’ all over the continent of Africa?

          How about we, the indigenous populations of N. America, Central and S America?

          Others can expand on the list as they wish. The point is that the only ‘we’ who might be better off is ‘we’ of the Anglo Saxon imperialist powers. But even that is contentious depending on how you want to measure ‘better offness’.

          • Pascal's bookie 11.3.1.2.1

            Other things that have been glided over in accounting for this 320 yrears of awesome, are the contributions made by the labour movement, transfer payments, public health and education, and a myriad of other things that run counter to the ‘ it was neo classic economics wot dunnit’ thesis.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.3.1.3

          We’re better off than we were but that doesn’t mean that capitalism is the cause. Considering the fact that we’ve also moved to a more socialist/democratic system since there’s reasonable evidence to say that that shift in society is the cause of us being better off and not capitalism.

          In 1688 less than 5% had the vote, some two hundred years later we finally got round to accepting that women should be voting as well. Fifty years after that we changed economics because the classical theory we were operating under had just resulted the in Great Depression. This, of course, after suffering economic collapse every generation or so. Keynesian economics was implemented (but not to the full) and we saw a massive increase in living standards but, then, capitalism collapsed again. This ushered in the neoclassical school under Reagan, Thatcher and Douglas. Under that system we’ve seen a decrease in living standards and a return to economic collapse every generation or so.

          Capitalism is a socio-economic system that is only one step removed from feudalism. It’s better than that but it still retains everything that made feudalism a failure – namely poverty and control by a rich elite.

  12. Bill 12

    The only ‘problem’ with Key’s low wage economy is that enough people might finally get sick and tired of being shafted via paying over the top prices thanks to speculative bubbles (oil and food staples last year) and then having taxes diverted from social spending to bail out the ‘too big to fail’ bastards who keep on inflating the bubbles from the pool of shit that Capitalism floats on.

    How much longer?

  13. jarbury 13

    Setting aside spending money on public transport instead of roads (because it generates 40% more jobs per dollar spent) because I really have argued that point to death in the past, I think the government could spend money on one very important thing that will help us a LOT in the years to come.

    Houses.

    If there was anything that created the bubble that popped last year it was over-priced housing. And why was housing over-priced? Because there was a significant lack of supply (along with some stupid tax benefits like reverse-gearing) of housing.

    I strongly believe that the housing development market is very poor at responding to natural demand and supply changes. It seems like the ability to raise funds has a greater effect on whether or not housing ends up being built than whether or not it is actually needed. In the past few months our net migration levels have increased dramatically (people who were on OEs coming back home I suspect) while our population continue to grow. Added to that, changing demographics means that household sizes are getting smaller as the population ages – which means that the number of required houses is growing at an even faster rate than the population.

    Due to all of this, I strongly believe that the government should ‘step-in’ and stimulate the housing market by significantly adding to housing supply over the next few years. For a start, this generates a HUGE number of jobs in a variety of sectors that are really suffering at the moment. The Green New Deal looked at spending around $2 billion over the next three years on building more housing – and calculated that would save around 28,000 jobs.

    Yes, twenty-eight thousand jobs.

    Furthermore, if the location of this new housing is done cleverly – by that I mean that we intensify around development nodes and train stations rather than sprawling out everywhere – then we can support far more sustainable transportation systems in the future. The new housing would obviously be built to a high standard insulation wise, so we would get significant health benefits there.

    But the main benefit I think would be that we would make housing more affordable again. Throughout much of the rest of the world we have seen house-prices decrease significantly over the past year or so, but in Auckland especially they’ve barely moved due to the huge amount of “supressed demand” that high prices in the last few years created. There are significant long-term benefits of improving housing affordability, such as reducing the likeliness of another property bubble and also responding to the inter-generational equity issues that are locking out younger people from home-ownership.

    So investment in housing has both significant short term stimulatory benefits, and in the longer run has significant social, economic and environmental benefits. It’s a no-brainer surely?

  14. Swampy 14

    And blah blah blah blah blah, all negative and miserly.

    And I started a new job this year taking home $450 gross and I’m loving it.

    • felix 14.1

      So this whole “recession” thing that Key and the Nats are blaming everything on, that’s just a myth?

      Just as I suspected. Thanks for clearing that up, Swampy.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt acts to protect NZers from harmful content
    New Zealanders will be better protected from harmful or illegal content as a result of work to design a modern, flexible and coherent regulatory framework, Minister of Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti announced today. New Zealand currently has a content regulatory system that is comprised of six different arrangements covering some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Consultation on exemption of new builds from proposed tax rules
    The Government has today confirmed new builds will be exempt from planned changes to the tax treatment of residential investment property.  Public consultation is now open on details of the proposals, which stop interest deductions being claimed for residential investment properties other than new builds.   “The Government’s goal is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech for Predator Free 2050 Conference
    Introduction E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa   Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei i raro i te kaupapa o te rā Ko Ayesha Verrall toku ingoa No ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New stock exchange to help grow small businesses
    A new share trading market, designed as a gateway to the NZX for small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has been granted a licence by the Government. Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said Catalist Markets Ltd will provide a simpler and more affordable ‘stepping stone’ for SMEs to raise capital. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Visa extensions provide certainty to employers and 10,000 visa holders
    Changes to onshore visas will provide employers and visa holders with more certainty, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. Around 10,000 Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas due to expire between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 will be extended for another six months to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Border class exceptions approved for more farm workers and vets
    The Government has approved border class exceptions for an additional 200 dairy workers and 50 veterinarians to enter New Zealand, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.  “It is clear from conversations with the dairy and veterinarian sectors that they are facing workforce pressures. These border exceptions will go a long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More freezers and South Island hub to support vaccine roll-out
    A South Island hub and 17 new ultra-low temperature freezers will help further prepare New Zealand for the ramp up of the vaccination programme in the second half of this year, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new freezers arrived in New Zealand on 27 May. They’re currently being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at the release of Climate Change Commission's final advice
    Good morning – and thank you Prime Minister. Over the last three and half years we have been putting in place the foundations for a low-carbon Aotearoa that will be a catalyst for job creation, innovation, and prosperity for decades to come. In that future, many of our everyday tasks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Achievable blueprint for addressing climate change released
    Report says Government making good progress on emissions reduction, but more action required Meeting climate targets achievable and affordable with existing technology Economic cost of delaying action higher than taking action now Benefits from climate action include health improvements and lower energy bills All Ministers to help meet climate targets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to release of Climate Commission final report
    A few years ago in a speech in Auckland, I compared climate change to the nuclear free movement of roughly four decades ago. And I did so for a few reasons. Firstly, because the movement of the 1980s represented a life or death situation for the Pacific, and so does ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Barrister Michael Robinson has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Robinson graduated with a BA and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1996, and commenced practice as a solicitor with Brookfields in Auckland.  In 1998 he travelled to London ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government takes action to improve protections for subcontractors
    The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Bill – which provides greater financial protection for subcontractors, has passed its first reading today. The Bill amends the retention provisions in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) to provide increased confidence and transparency for subcontractors that retention money they are owed is safe. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 1 million more Pfizer doses to arrive in July
    Pfizer has scheduled delivery of an estimated 1 million doses of vaccine to New Zealand during July, COVID1-9 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These consignments will double the total number of Pfizer doses we have received this year to more than 1,900,000 – enough to fully vaccinate almost 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Long-term home of the Independent Children’s Monitor identified
    The Independent Children’s Monitor (Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake), which is currently located within the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), will become its own departmental agency within Government. “Following the recommendations of several reviews, Cabinet agreed in 2019 to build a significantly expanded independent monitor for children in care,” Carmel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Racing Integrity Board members announced
    The new Racing Integrity Board will be up and running from July 1 to ensure high standards of animal welfare, integrity and professionalism in the racing industry. Racing Minister Grant Robertson today announced the appointments to the new Board: Sir Bruce Robertson KNZM – Chair Kristy McDonald ONZM QC Penelope ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt crackdown on organised crime continues
    A major operation against multiple organised crime groups with international links will make a significant dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks, Police Minister Poto Williams says. “I want to take an opportunity to congratulate the Police for their role in Operation Trojan Shield. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Farm planning framework supports farmers into the future
    A new framework, agreed between Government and industry, will make it easier for farmers and growers to integrate future greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater regulatory requirements into their farm planning, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “The Good Farm Planning Principles Guide out today, provides guidance for how farmers can organise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for Canterbury
    The Government has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to the Canterbury floods. The Minister of Social Development and Employment, Hon Carmel Sepuloni says $500,000 will be made available to help with the clean-up. The flooding in Canterbury has been a significant and adverse event damaging farmland, homes, roads ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Connecting rangatahi to the soil
    A Jobs for Nature project to raise 480,000 native plants in nurseries across South Auckland will provide work for communities disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, Acting Conservation Minister Ayesha Verrall says. The Mana in Kaimahi project is being run by Te Whāngai Trust Board and will establish ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Roll out of high-resolution elevation mapping begins
    The first tranche of mapping data from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)-LiDAR project is now available to the public from Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand. LiDAR data, which creates 3D baseline elevation information, will deliver multiple uses over the coming decades to councils and regional industries. “This mapping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Champions of Pacific education rewarded in Queen’s Birthday Honours
    Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours list show that across Aotearoa New Zealand there were many champions of Pacific education. “Education is so vital to the success of Pacific people that it’s truly fitting that a number of educators have been honoured this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PM congratulates Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours List. “This group represents decades of services across many areas, and those honoured highlight how many New Zealanders are going above and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Change of status for Rangiriri kura
    A change of status for Te Kura o Rangiriri sees it become a designated character school within the Māori-medium network, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis announced today. “This kura has been providing Māori immersion learning since 2003 in the historic town of Rangiriri, so I’m delighted that it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • APEC trade ministers’ unite on COVID-19 vaccine steps and rejuvenating the WTO
    APEC trade ministers today committed to speeding up the cross-border flow of vaccines and related goods to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This followed the completion of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting chaired by Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor early this morning. “As we face the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further consultation for Melville schools
    Formal consultation is set to begin on specific options for the future of schooling in South West Hamilton, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. “Recent engagement has shown that the schools and community want a change to Year 7-13 schooling for the area.  “I am now asking the Boards of Melville ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Primary schoolkids dig trees for Arbor Day
    A new Arbor Day initiative announced by Forestry Minister Stuart Nash will see thousands of primary school children get the chance to plant native trees in their communities. The initiative is open to more than 2,400 primary schools. It is a partnership between Te Uru Rākau/NZ Forest Service and the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ Upgrade Programme kept on track
    The Government is increasing its investment in the New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP) to support New Zealand’s economic recovery. Over two thirds of the projects will proceed as announced despite increased costs due to COVID, with modifications being made to others. “NZUP is already supporting over 1,000 jobs with 13 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Northern Pathway gets green light
    The Government is committed to the Northern Pathway with its preferred option being a separate structure for walking and cycling alongside the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Geotechnical investigations and testing has determined that building a structure connected to the Auckland Harbour Bridge is not possible ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago