web analytics

The economics of the Christchurch earthquake

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, September 7th, 2010 - 27 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags:

There’s been some frankly bizarre talk about the earthquake being an economic boon for the country. I guess the Right is just desperate for anything to improve the economy under National. So, I thought it would be worthwhile going through the economic ramifications of the earthquake from the immediate effects to long term:

Initial effects: The economic heart of Christchurch is shut down. About $2 billion worth of damage has been done, much of this damage will impede economic activity. Infrastructure is damaged as are buildings and factories. People are dislocated, injured, or busy trying to get their personal lives together. People needing elective surgery are unable to get it. In economic terms, the large parts of both the capital and labour needed for production are out of action.

Westpac, using a model derived from the Los Angeles and Napier earthquakes, estimates that $300 million of economic activity will be lost (0.2% of GDP). ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley puts the hit at 0.6% of GDP. NZIER was already forecasting that growth in this December quarter would be -0.2%. That’s likely to be much worse now.

The damage will include businesses that are already on the brink thanks to the recession going to the wall and hundreds if not thousands of job losses. Those workers who lose their jobs will flood an already bad jobs market. The government will lose tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue and face big increases in costs from emergency benefits, ACC claims, and its share of the cost of rebuilding local infrastructure before we even get to the EQC payouts. The added borrowing needed to fill the gap will probably mean the government has to pay more interest on its debt.

The Earthquake Commission, logically, has most of its assets offshore, and so do the insurance companies. To make the payouts, they’re going to have to buy a lot of New Zealand dollars – higher demand equals higher exchange rate. Offsetting this, possibly, is that it just became much less likely the Reserve Bank will increase interest rates again, which should dampen demand for the dollar. Overall, the effect is that we haven’t seen a sharp fall in the currency, which would have been a boon for exporters, that you might expect from a disaster like this.

Medium term: EQC and insurance companies will begin making payouts within weeks but it will be months before the big rebuilding starts. The rebuilding will increase GDP by about 1% of a year’s output when it is spent because GDP simply reflects economic activity in a given time period not accumulated wealth. But that will only be returning the country’s physical wealth to where it was before, it will not be real economic gain.

If I break my cellphone and have to dip into my savings to replace it, I am not better off, I am worse off – even if the new phone is better because obviously I had preferred to have my old phone and my savings rather than the new phone. The same is true of the need to spend our savings on rebuilding. People who say it’s good for the economy are forgetting that the rebuilding is funded by giving up our savings and the option to spend them elsewhere. That’s the broken windows fallacy – it mistake of seeing what is gained but not what is lost, or mistaking temporary economic activity for economic wealth.

It is good timing, however, in one sense. The slow-down in commercial construction was about to put 20,000 jobs at risk. At least they’ll have something to do for a while now, and the construction industry has the spare plant and equipment for the rebuilding task. Of course, that’s just jobs that would otherwise be lost saved, not new jobs created.

Longer term: once the rebuilding is over, there will be little to show for it. The boost of the rebuilding itself will not be permanent and will contribute little to long-term production capacity. Once the rebuilding is over, the GDP boost will disappear. That’s true of a stimulus package too, of course. But the idea is that a stimulus package gets the economy revved up again and builds up its production capacity. The rebuilding of Christchurch will not be like that it’s not going to create sustainable economic momentum or add greatly to the productive capacity of Christchurch.

As Westpac noted “This will boost national GDP by far more than the initial income loss, with a corresponding letdown once the reconstruction boom ends.” Just as with the Rugby World Cup, the one-off up-tick in GDP will be matched by a corresponding downwards movement when the spending stops. This is not a permanent increase in economic output.

This boom and bust might further damage business confidence and, with it, longer-term growth.

Ultimately, about $2 billion of capital from the government and private insurers will be converted into expenditure to rebuild the capital that was lost. In the end, we replace the physical assets by running down our financial assets via a temporary increase in economic activity but our national wealth is decreased – that can’t be forgotten.

Of course, I and others have been arguing for some time that the government should decrease its net assets to more economic activity. Of course, we meant by borrowing, rather than selling assets like the EQC will but essentially it’s the same thing from the perspective of the government books. The difference is that, without the earthquake, we could have spent that money on re-igniting the economy and making a wealthier country for the future. Now it needs to be spent just on what was lost.

We’re going to be left with higher net debt, which we will either pay interest on or pay down – either option means less consumption/lower economic standard of living in the long term

27 comments on “The economics of the Christchurch earthquake”

  1. Richard 1

    I agree with all that.

    However, there will be a boom for individual businesses, particularly those in construction. It is for the economy as a whole that there is a net loss.

    As you note, there will be in some cases some marginal benefit, in that when something is rebuilt it could be “better” than what existed previously. For example, when considering energy efficiency, it is often uneconomic to retro-fit energy efficiency measures to a built structure, whereas it is quite economically viable to incorporate energy efficiency into a new build. Likewise, replacement buildings are likely to have better earthquake strengthening incorporated (or you’d like to think so).

    • ZB 1.1

      I disagree. A sustainable economy requires a working ChCh. The argument basically seems to
      be that its a cost, but actually its more like a reinvestment. Companies, Households, Nations,
      all have crisis that hit them, if they are governed well they have stores of money to cover the
      re-investment. Government runs a EQC for this, has insurace for this, has a low govt debt for
      this reason. We’ve already saved to pay for disasters. We’ve already had some of the pain.

      The economy needs a kick in the teeth, if the ChCh Quake makes manufacturing exporters
      jobs harder, if it puts money into tradespeople in ChCh, if we build new quake resistent
      buildings, and stop new subsections on sand (like on that beach subsection in the Coromandal,
      because its now a huge insurance risk to build so close to the sea, on sand.

      Sorry, we live in interesting times and we should beware because simple analysis doesn’t work.
      We are rebuilding! Rebuilding with savings! We saved for the purpose! At the bottom of the
      market, not the top! Not when every developer shister is selling crap – like that subsection in
      ChCh built on SAND! Nobody knows if this is a good thing, I think sometimes you get lucky
      with a early morning quake removing a lot of previously buildings needing expensive
      quake resistent upgrades without any loss of life.

      And the Quake just keeps giving, dispelling the impression of the loose financal era,
      that we can trust big business, that markets will save us not good regulation.

      It could have be so much worse. Imagine the quake with Key in charge in 2006-7,
      and the whole developer speculator class lining up for handouts to rebuild ChCh,
      the debt Key would have run up with tax cuts to the few would have made NZ
      a Greece, Ireland, Spain.

  2. Zaphod Beeblebrox 2

    I was under the impression that for economic stimulus to be effective it had to be spent quickly so that the money recycled through the economy immediately for short periods of economic downturn. Given how long it takes it get building permits, import building materials (which adds to the current account deficit) and get a builder, I would have thought the stimulus effect would be extremely diluted by the anticipitated time this money will be spent over.

    • Blighty 2.1

      to make a measurable difference, you would have to spend it quickly but it would just be quicker up, quicker down.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 2.1.1

        But whats the point of stringing it out? In 12 months time the recession may be a distant memory and all you will end up doing is stoking inflation, higher interest rates and government debt. Economic cycles move a lot quicker than decision makers apparently which renders a lot of these decisions irrelevant.

    • Loota 2.2

      The stimulus effect is a lost cause – yes firms and contractors are going to get big injections of Govt and insurance money – but they are probably going to direct it to paying off debt (household and company) and saving reserves for (the next) rainy/shaky day.

      They are not going to spend up large.

      Trickle down is dead.

      • nzfp 2.2.1

        “They are not going to spend up large” maybe, maybe not – but it doesn’t matter because the Government could spend up large and should – we need soo much infrastructure built and repaired in our nation and that doesn’t include the lack of investment in human infrastructure such as health and education. You’ve seen my other posts so you know where the money can come from tax free – without interest or debt.

  3. nzfp 3

    But why stop at Christchurch Marty, and why stop at rebuilding what exists. Economic activity can be stimulated by something as simple as a bridge in the right place which reduces the cost of transport for products from A to B.

    Why not use this stimulus to build a high speed rail network with Christchurch as the nexus throughout the entire South Island, couple this with building Fiber to the home and improved telecommunications. Both of these suggetions would reduce the cost of transport of goods and improve the Online economy – both would boost sustainable economic productivity.

    The only problem we have is creating the necessary funds and putting the money to use fueling the labour necessary to produce the necessary infrastructure. Make the infrastructure green while you’re at it and you reduce the environmental impact.

    The Earth Quake represents the single best opportunity for real economic progress for our country. Yes what I’m saying is Pie in the Sky but as you well know this was the policy of Sir Michael Joseph Savage so it’s happened before.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.1

      What a sad reflection upon our government.

    • Rex Widerstrom 3.2

      I find myself nodding in agreement with what seems like the common sense of much that you say above nzfp (with the exception of handing out a knighthood to Savage, whom I’m pretty sure never got, nor probably wanted, one – a recolelction his official biography seems to confirm).

      However, how would you respond to the coventional wisdom that what you’re proposing would be inflationary and thus damaging?

      • nzfp 3.2.1

        Hey Rex,
        “how would you respond to the coventional wisdom that what you’re proposing would be inflationary and thus damaging”

        Great question as it is the question that is always raised when public credit is proposed in opposition to private bank credit.

        In short public credit is no more inflationary then credit created as a result of foreign borrowing (debt). In fact it is less inflationary as it doesn’t include the requirement to service interest on debts denominated in foreign currency.

        When the Government borrows 200 Million dollars as a result of the sale of NZ Bonds, the Governments receives 200 Million dollars in foreign currency. The 200Million in Foreign Currency was created out of nothing at all by foreign banks – an exercise the Government could do itself.

        However, the foreign currency cannot be spent into the NZ economy so the Government converts the 200 Million into NZ Dollars. To do this they park the foreign currency in a foreign currency account and create an equivalent 200 Million NZD out of nothing.

        Already you can see the injustice and fraud of this system:

        NZ Govt sells 200 Million in NZ bonds -> Foreign Bank creates 200 Million from nothing to Buy Bonds -> NZ Govt creates an equivalent 200 Million against the 200 Million in Foreign currency created by foreign banks out of nothing -> NZ Govt spends or lends the new money into the economy -> NZ Govt taxes NZr’s to service the interest on the foreign debt (GST increases).

        To counter this the Government has two options:

        1. Keynesian – the Government issues 200 Million in NZ Bonds -> The RBNZ creates 200 Million out of nothing to Buy the NZ Bonds -> The Govt spends or lends the money into the economy -> NZ Govt taxes NZr’s to service the interest on the debt to ourselves. This is also part of the State Theory of Money. The Tax ensures the velocity of money – that it circulates. However the level of tax could be set a lot lower then the neo-liberal monetarist model and in many cases most taxes could be eradicated.

        2. Public credit – the Govt issues 200 Million in money and spends or lends it directly into the economy. Essentially it is the same as pure Keynesian theory with the exeption that we don’t borrow from our own bank but have the Treasury create the money directly – otherwise the rules apply.

        In both cases there is no need to service foreign interest debts and no need to pay money back to foreign banks in a currency we have no control over. If interest rates increase our interest and repayment burdens increase – it only takes a little war in Iran to cause interest rates to sky rocket.

        Remember that either of these methods are required to pay for infrastructure that cannot be paid for out of current taxes – and shouldn’t be.

        Remember that inflation of the money supply is only inflationary if there isn’t an equivalent increase in products and services including human services such as health and education. Infrastructure improvements by definition are an increase in products and services and have the benefit of improving commerce which stimulates productivity increasing products and services.

        It is better explained by Professor Michael Hudson in an earlier post of mine here and on his website here.

        Radio NZ reported this morning that the Govt was selling 200 Million in NZ Bods today (this afternoon). Rather then sell 200 Million – since they obviously need the money – they could create 20 Million via the RBNZ or Treasury. The net effect would be a reduction in inflation due to the fact that we don’t need to service foreign interest debts. Any foreign capital that comes into our nation for investment of purchases of NZ products could be used to service current debts – while the Govt creates credit to fuel infrastructure instead of borrowing.

        The overall effect would be hugely beneficial to our economy and would result in a net lowering of all taxes.

      • nzfp 3.2.2

        Thanks for the correction and the Savage BIO Rex. I never knew Savage was a Georgist although in hindsight it seems obvious. George was one of the “Renegade Economists” – a term coined by SMH and TheAge columist and economist “Ross Gittins”.

        By the way:
        “200 Million in NZ Bods” should be “200 Million in NZ Bonds
        And
        “they could create 20 Million” should be “they could create 200 Million”

  4. Armchair Critic 4

    The difference is that, without the earthquake, we could have spent that money on re-igniting the economy and making a wealthier country for the future. Now it needs to be spent just on what was lost.
    I thought the EQC funds were set aside specifically for post-disaster rebuilding. On this basis, how could the money have been spent re-igniting the economy etc.? It’s set aside for a specific purpose, not for politicians to spend on whatever whim takes their fancy, even if their fancy happens to be a good idea.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Essentially the EQC money has been saved previously. So instead of spending $50 back in 1990, the government spent $40 and banked $10. Now we’re getting access to that $10 again, but it isn’t new money magicked out of nowhere, but deferred spending from 1990.

      • Armchair Critic 4.1.1

        Yeah, I got that bit. And I agree with most of the post. The bit I don’t get is where Marty G says:
        …we could have spent that money on re-igniting the economy…
        I understood that the money (especially from EQC) to be spent rebuilding is dedicated to rebuilding. As it was deliberately set aside for a specific purpose, it can’t be used for another purpose.
        anti-spam: following. Not at the moment; I’ve tried following the logic and I’m missing out somewhere.

    • Bright Red 4.2

      yeah but one pot of government money is the same as another in reality. And borrowing is pretty much the same as selling an asset

  5. Grant M. McKenna 5

    I’ve missed the bit where “the Right” said that the earthquake would be good for the economy. Where and when was that averred?

  6. aj 6

    No matter what way you look at this, in human terms it is far less than a zero sum game. A small number may have short term gain through the economic boom as a consequence of repairs. The cost in human terms will be long lasting and greatly outweigh simple $$ calculations. Stress over the long term, that is within families and individuals will result in many problems further down the track for health authorities, social services, etc.

  7. Kleefer 7

    Once again you are labouring under the misapprehension that, while an earthquake destroying buildings is bad for the economy, the government spending money to “stimulate” the economy is good. Both are bad for the economy but due to the visual impact of buildings literally being destroyed it is easier for the layman to identify the economic damage from an earthquake than from government “stimulus”.

    Advocates of government spending fall prey to the same broken window fallacy that afflicts those touting the supposedly stimulatory effects of the earthquake. In both cases they think only of one side of the transaction, those who financially benefit from the broken window/government spending, while forgetting those who are worse off, the person with the broken window/less money because the government has taken it to give to someone else.

    What the broken window fallacy is really about is opportunity cost. While we can see the benefit to the glazier from repairing the window (or in this case the contractors for repairing the buildings) we can’t see what the person with the broken window would have done with the money if he hadn’t had to pay for the repair.

    We can see the results of government stimulus such as school buildings, roads and poorly-fitted insulation but we can’t see what wasn’t made as a result of resources being diverted by the government to these uses. So while the government isn’t necessarily knocking things down (although wars do plenty of that), it is still fallacious to tout the results of stimulus without thinking about the other side of the ledger.

    Henry Hazlitt, the former New York Times economics editor, wrote in his book Economics in One Lesson that when assessing the economic impact of a policy we must look not just at its immediate effect on one group but on its long-term effect on everybody in society. I applaud the writers of The Standard for taking on the idiots saying the earthquake will be good for the economy. Now you just need to apply economic principles consistently.

    • nzfp 7.1

      Henry Hazlitt is credited with bringing Austrian economics to an English-speaking audience, he secured a position at New York University for the economist Ludwig von Mises, and he introduced the novelist Ayn Rand (Alisa Zinolev’yevna Rosenbaum) to Mises. His influences included: Frédéric Bastiat, Philip Wicksteed and Ludwig von Mises. He opposed Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen, Major Douglas (Major Clifford H. Douglas), John Maynard Keynes and Alvin Hansen. He influenced Milton Friedman.

      Milton Friedman gave us the Washington Consensus and the Chicago School of Economics which in turn gave us Rogernomics and Ruthenasia in the 80’s and 90’s. Friedman also gave Chile Augusto Pinochet and the Chilean deathsquads and disappeared.

      Von Mises gave us Ayn Rand and Libertarianism. However, the Austrian School of Economics defines money as a commodity with intrinsic value, which is contradictory to historical and empirical evidence. Aristotle best defines money in Ethics 1133 where he states “Money exists not by nature but by law”.

      Hazlitt opposed Major Douglas – Major Clifford H. Douglas the founder of the Social Credit school of economic democracy.

      Considering these points it makes it difficult to take seriously the economic theory of somebody who is unable to correctly define money and who’s economic theories influenced the architect of Washington Consus neo-liberal monetarist policy – the fruits of which are evident in the current Global Financial Crises.

  8. Bright Red 8

    Patrick Smellie agrees with you, Marty http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4107029/Shaky-times-for-the-economy

    good work on forcing this argument. the msm would just have blindly followed the stupid ‘silver lining’ angle otherwise.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    So, breaking news is that the estimate for rebuilding Christchurch has increased to $4b. At the same time there’s some question about availability of resources. This is where the government really needs to step in an ban all exports of building and construction materials. We’re going to need those ourselves for the foreseeable future (It’s going to take years to get Christchurch back to the same level that it was).

  10. Too much coffee man 10

    Well said. I remember when that visionary leader George Dubbyerbush decided to dump billions of dollars of bombs on Iraq and Afghanistan the right crowed with delight about the benefits to the US economy that would entail. Dropping a million dollar bomb doesn’t result in a million dollars worth of production, it results in a million dollars with of destruction, and that million dollars has gone for good.

    When a building gets replaced at a cost of a million dollars, that million dollars is also lost forever.

  11. Anthony 11

    Dear Marty

    I must say that this is a very critical analysis.

    But one thing I would like to ask how does an increase in interest rate will dampen the demand for kiwi dollar?

    As you pointed out in the last paragraph, “Offsetting this, possibly, is that it just became much less likely the Reserve Bank will increase interest rates again, which should dampen demand for the dollar.”

    Because an increase in interest rate will lift up the return for every dollar overseas investors invest in New Zealand relative to other countries’ interest rates, therefore the demand for kiwi dollar should have increased rather than decreased.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTERS OF NEW ZEALAND AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE ON THE FIRST AN...
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago