The kind of imagination we’re going to need

Written By: - Date published: 9:43 am, April 2nd, 2020 - 29 comments
Categories: art, capitalism, Social issues, us politics - Tags: ,

Rather than go back to The Sugarbag Years or start quoting W. B. Sutch’s The Quest for Security at us, I thought I’d use an analogy.

Nothing like a time so tough that you no longer take for granted the many programs, public facilities, and social policies as part of our everyday lives – in local communities as well as our nation – these were created by the New Deal generation. The analogy is the United States.

It’s the early 1930s. America is in trouble. Out of work, out of luck, hard down. Imagine yourself as one of many typical Americans in 1932. All of your hard-earned money is deposited in a bank that has just closed its door. And it’s not just your bank – banks across the entire country are closed. Without access to money, how will you care for your family? Or you’re a teenager forced to quit school to find some job, and there aren’t any. Your family needs kerosene to light the lamps at home and you can’t even afford that.

And then good politics happened.

More was achieved by and for Americas throughout the Franklin D. Roosevelt era than ever before or since in American history.

Social security, bank deposit insurance, widespread rural electricity, the right to form a union, whole sustainable towns, youth training programmes, massive dam projects that transformed both countryside and cities, and parks and monuments across the land, are just some of the visible but taken-for-granted New Deal treasures that they still enjoy today.

Here’s a couple of snapshots.

1. The Civilian Conservation Corps

Here’s one they started: the Civilian Conservation Corps:


It was only for people 18-25, from a poor family, be between 5’6” and 6’6” and in short a good strong body for the work ahead. They planted three billion trees (now estimated to be worth nearly $2 billion in reforestation and erosion control); built 46,854 bridges and 205 lodges and museums; restored 360 Civil War battlefields; built Camp David (the presidential retreat still in use today), 138,000 miles of trails and roads; and fought fires for 6 million worker hours. Also 27,000 miles of fencing, 5,000 miles of water supply lines, and 18,650 drinking fountains.

2. The Federal Art Project

Here’s a little example of what they did.

It was in 1939, and what they did was set up a competition for the best mural design for a post office in each of the states. Over three thousand entries were submitted. Most of these murals are still in place today. You can still see them in Stafford Arizona, Los Banos California, Conyers Georgia, Hickman Kentucky, Leland Mississippi, Flandreau South Dakota, Delhi New York, and in every other state.

Below is a big mural for the Dining Room at Ellis Island.

And here’s the 1936 mural Recreations at Long Beach:

3. The Federal Writers’ Project

John Steinbeck, Studs Terkel, Saul Bellow, Conrad Aiken, john Cheever, Eudora Welty – they all cut their teeth among the 6,660 writers who took part in the Federal Writers Project (FWP). Their experiences on the project gave many of them superb inspiration and material for their own books and columns.

Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Grapes of Wrath published in 1939 is the iconic book of desperation and hope in America’s Great Depression, and it’s the strongest example of a New Deal book.


if not for the nurturing he received through his New Deal project, could Ralph Ellison have crafted Invisible Man, the 1953 National Book Winner?
It helped artists step out into other realms. Eudora Welty for example was a photographer for Mississippi’s state guidebook as well as its writer, and Studs Terkel made a name for himself in the Federal Theatre Project in Chicago.

4. The Federal Music Project

We don’t have to figure that times were tough for musicians. Few had money for a decent meal and fewer still anything else left for entertainment or culture.

The image by Russell Lee from 1940 notes that these children walked eight miles to their music lessons .

They gathered musicians together into orchestras, and plenty of those concerts were free:



There was a theatre version called the Federal Theatre Project, in which a very young Orson Welles cut his directing teeth at the Harlem unit of the FTP. His Black Orpheus received accolades. Welles and associate John Houseman bought radio’s Mercury Theatre, and did a great production of H. G, Welles’s War of the Worlds.

Now, of course Federal arts always gets tempted towards patriotism, but this didn’t stop critique either:


The Federal Government used their powers to fund and organise artists to put powerful expression into all kinds of cultural expression.

There’s more of course, nearly a century ago.

I could have given headings like:

• Social Security Administration
• National Parks
• Rural Electric Cooperatives, including of course the TVA
• The National Labor Relations Board
• Federal Deposit Insurance
• Vast construction programmes that you can still see today

They are monumental national treasures that were created at a hard time when we may have been our best as a nation.

What I’m asking the government to do is this.

Look if you’re going to put $50-$60 billion of debt funding about, for God’s sake use your creative imagination and rebuild a nation in style. That’s why when FDR died, the New York Times said:

Men will thank God on their knees, a hundred years from now, that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the White House.”

Now there’s a test for us and the fullest extent of our civic imagination – and for all countries damaged through this.

29 comments on “The kind of imagination we’re going to need ”

  1. Paaparakauta 1

    It might be relevant to quote Aotearoan / Nouveau Zelandic examples from that time as well as more recent creative programs nurtured by government and community groups.

  2. pat 2

    "Men will thank God on their knees, a hundred years from now, that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the White House.”

    Sadly 90 years on the lessons he taught have been forgotten or dismissed rather than celebrated but who knows , maybe history will be revisited…and maybe NZs FDR wears a skirt.

  3. mikesh 3

    One thing they didn't do was to implement the 'chicago' plan.

  4. millsy 4

    If today's Democrats were in charge back then, FDR wouldn't have won the nomination nor all those programs mentioned above would have been implemented.

    • Ad 4.1

      That's about as stupid as saying that Jacinda and Grant are mere career centrists with no capacity for structural reform.

      And how wrong that was.

      • millsy 4.1.1

        The Obama Administration tried to sell the Tenneesee Valley Authority, which by the way, the USSR and China (as well as their client states in the Third World) used as a template for their public works project.

        Something that went under a lot of people's radar.

        • Ad 4.1.1.1

          Selling off 49% of New Zealand's previous state-owned power generators didn't go unnoticed by anyone here.

          I proudly campaigned to keep them 100% in New Zealand public ownership, but those pricks in National went hard against public opinion and sold them off.

          People like Wayne said the sale was all mandated by an election – well they just look like the selfish post-hoc justifications now.

          We would have been a lot stronger as a government and as a nation if Key and Englilsh had not needlessly sold off our electricity generators and all the income they would have provided the state.

          • KJT 4.1.1.1.1

            Now that we are going to have to spend billions keeping things going, so overseas owners don't shut necessary infrastructure down

            Sometimes, it just seem like continuous reruns of the same idiocy.

            • Ad 4.1.1.1.1.1

              It's the worst event in nearly a century.

              So far there is no signal of risk from the Electricity Authority.

              We have about a year to rebuild the entire country, let alone the government.

          • millsy 4.1.1.1.2

            Not too sure what prompted you to comment on our scenario, as it is comptely irrelevant?

  5. Blazer 5

    The usual suspects opposed FDR….his response …

    'Some people will try to give you new and strange names for what we are doing. Sometimes they will call it ‘Fascism,’ sometimes ‘Communism,’ sometimes ‘Regimentation,’ sometimes ‘Socialism.’ But, in so doing, they are trying to make very complex and theoretical something that is really very simple and very practical… Plausible self-seekers and theoretical die-hards will tell you of the loss of individual liberty. Answer this question out of the facts of your own life. Have you lost any of your rights or liberty or constitutional freedom of action and choice?”

  6. Stunned Mullet 6

    Perhaps a grand statue of Shane Jones in Hokianga harbour as per the Colossus of Rhodes ………or the Winston Peters Touring Symphony Orchestra playing at a racetrack and livestreamed at your local TAB ?

    • Incognito 6.1

      Te Papa could start a new Exhibition of Stunned and Stuffed Trolls. Note the absence of an emoticon.

      • woodart 6.1.1

        comicbook guy hunched over a filthy laptop "worst politician EVER!"..hah!

      • Stunned Mullet 6.1.2

        Would that be before or after the Exhibition of The Righteous and Honourable Sychophants ?

  7. KJT 7

    Good post Ad.

  8. peterlepaysan 8

    I hope we are on a major reset of thinking about our society.. It is going to be interesting , politically.

    Winston is probably very hopeful (aside from funding investigations).

    The ACT person is strangely non twerking.

    The taxation union does not appear to object to "business" getting beneficiary handouts at tax payers expenses.

    There appears to be an acrid smell of self interested hypocrisy in the air.

    Farmers , and big business loved Labour back in t he thirties. Once Labour gave them what they needed they shat on them, have continued to do so.

    Greed is the only thing that matters to the natz.

    Apparently the starving do not matter, only shareholder profit.

    Why does a shareholders interest matter more than a homeless person?

    Farmers and businesses are turning up (big time) for govt handouts.

    Where are the self entitled arrogant play ground bullies in all of this?

    (Apparently they are promoted as Media Commentators who know much more about what is important than anyone else.)

    Choose your favourite!

    Martin Devlin about covid 19 is so insightful.

    The media is so reliable???

    • new view 8.1

      Peterlepaysan

      Are you the self absorbed ignorant misinformed pathetic individual that you seem to be portraying. The finance that keeps you alive and your family fed comes from those business and farms. The Government is not a bank and never has been. It has no money of it's own. when those businesses go broke so does the Government. It can borrow for a while to fill the wage gap that businesses can't fill at present, but sooner or later there is no money. There are no hand outs for farmers that I'm aware of. The big difference between now and the depression of the 1930's is that the work force was capable of real work, manual work. Like the work we get Pacific Islanders to do because we refuse to do it. Because a lot of people refuse to do anything that requires effort. Most shareholders lose the value of their shares in bad times. Have you Looked at your Kiwi Saver recently. You seem to be so wrapt up in your anti National bullshit that you can't see the real world only the world that you want to serve your purpose what ever that is.

  9. Jackel 9

    Hi neoliberal capitalism meet my good friend reality.

    Imagination, humans are too neurotic for that. So a shopping list, a critique of something that doesn't need critiquing or a long winded story about something similar will just have to do.

    A crisis of liquidity that would require more borrowing than during the Second World War and the GFC combined to keep things at the same level. Now is that because of a fatal flaw in the basis of neoliberalism capitalism or something less fundamental? Accepting of course that a crisis of liquidity in the bank repo market has been running near parallel to the pandemic which has exacerbated it and hidden it.

    • georgecom 9.1

      Unlike 2008 the present crisis didn't start in the financial sector, it is not a direct result of neo-liberal capitalism engendering an economic crisis as 2008 was.* The present crisis is a real world and real economy one but yes totally agree it has exposed the flaws in the current economic paradigm. The interconnection of globalism has been shown to he highly fragile to a fast moving virus which in itself is not greatly more dangerous than influenza.**

      We already knew about many of the worst excesses of neo-liberalism, inequality of income spread/trickle up economics, environmental degradation, the race to the bottom mentality, the anti-democratic nature of the system to name a few off the top of my head. Few people I imagine had much clue about how quickly or dramatically a virus or contagion could disrupt global supply chains. And in that I do not just mean the distribution of physical goods, but also globalised services such as tourism and foreign education, destination events, trade fairs and conventions etc – goods AND people and how it flows around the world.

      I would imagine we are going to see a bit of a retreat from globalisation – not only because some of the infrastructure and demand will be missing, think the example of tourists and airlines – but also because we will want to ensure we have more control and resilience if/when another shock such as this one hits us.

      *(I still shake my head in disbelief at the neo-liberal apologists who tried to argue the cause of the GFC was a result of too much state regulation).

      **I suspect no where near as dangerous as the man flu however

      • Jackel 9.1.1

        Since about September 2019 the stock markets became more volatile responding to liquidity issues in the financial sector. Initially for the first couple of months January/February of the covid 19 threat becoming apparent the markets didn't respond. They responded instead to liquidity issues. Probably someone big had overcommited and was hemorrhaging. Only later when the virus and liquidity issues were were joined in traders minds did they panic about the virus.

        If I recall the GFC started in US housing market.

        You will make a bad call if you don't understand this.

        • georgecom 9.1.1.1

          yes the US housing market. One theory postulated which didn't get widespread coverage was the spike in the price of oil started a chain of defaults. That idea is premised in the idea of peak oil. The flow on effects to through the financial system where people had lent money they didn't own and others had borrowed money they couldn't repay. Post GFC of course the underlying problems in our financial system have not been fully rectified and the tools used by central banks around the world have contributed to price bubble economics. Sooner or later those bubbles would have popped, like the oil price in 2008 was the pin which pricked that bubble, Covid19 pricked the current financial markets

  10. mac1 10

    As President Trump prioritizes American companies over American lives, we should ask: what matters more? During the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave an answer: “It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.”

    Millsy and others earlier in comments on this post said that FDR would not have been acceptable to modern Democrats.

    The quote above from FDR came from this article. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/how-fdr-would-have-handled-coronavirus-crisis-139802

    Its co-author is Howard Dean. Some Democrat leaders at least know about FDR's ideals and practice. Howard Dean, M.D. was the 79th Governor of Vermont, former Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and former candidate for President of the United States.

    BTW, the average life expectancy of US citizens increased during the Great Depression over the late Twenties. I have wondered why. FDR and his reforms may be part answer.

  11. R.P Mcmurphy 11

    as soon as the republicans got back into power they immediately tried to roll back every advance and where possible parcel anything and everything out to their mates.

  12. RedLogix 12

    Here is an off the wall idea.

    Given that air travel is going to take a huge hit for at least the next 2 -3 years this is what I'd do if I had the cash. (And the balls of a younger Richard Branson)

    One opportunity this crisis creates is that as passenger capacity plummets, the freight volume that always flies with it downstairs is going to vanish at the same time. And the modern world might be able to cope with much reduced people travel, but there is one hell of a lot of stuff (relatively high value tech goods typically) that still needs to move.

    Right now there are several hundred A380's sitting around doing nothing. They could be snapped up for a few 10's million each. I'd strip out all the seating and convert them into freighters. I'd buy most of them in one job lot to corner the market.

    At present no airline is a position to take this risk, but if perchance I was a govt who owned 52% of an airline …enlightened

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    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    6 days ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    6 days ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    7 days ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 1
    This is the first of a two-part guest post by Grant A, a long time reader and commenter with a keen interest in all things urban, especially cycling and public transport. He’s been thinking about how to fix Broadway. Stay tuned for Act 2! Readers might remember the pre-Christmas traffic snarl-ups in ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Road trance
    Sometimes technology is your friend and sometimes it can’t be bothered with you. Once you’re away from home and your dependable wifi, well, there’s no telling what will happen. I’ve been going in and out of high-speed and low-speed no-speed Internet pockets all over England and France and look, I’m ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • You Can't Undo Fake News
    Hi,I’ve been thinking a lot about Corey Harris, the 44-year old man who went viral after Zooming into his court appearance while driving. The headlines generated were basically all the same: “Man With Suspended Driver's License Dials Into Court Hearing While Driving”. The headlines said it all, and most people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – CO2 is the main driver of climate change
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting Prime Minister David Seymour.
    When it came to David Seymour, Jacinda got one thing right, and another wrong. What is the sacrilege, I hear you ask? In what world in relation to David Seymour was our Jacinda ever wrong?Subscribe nowAs you no doubt remember, and personally I think there should be some sort of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • More democratic abuse from National
    "Abuse of democracy" seems to be the emerging theme of this government, with bills rammed through under urgency or given pathetically short select committee submission times seemingly designed to limit and undermine public engagement. And today we have another case, with the public given just nine days to submit on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the curse of being politically moderate about everything
    Nigel Farage’s initial reason for not standing in the British election – because he wanted to be a Trump adviser – never looked very convincing. His perfectly timed “change of mind” though, has won him extensive media coverage, and he’s now plunging into the election campaign as the rival candidate ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Tuesday, June 4
    Placards at a 2018 rally for better funding for new cancer drugs. National’s pre-election promise to do so may have won it votes, but the attempt to quietly drop the plan has now ignited a firestorm of protest. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The Government is now being engulfed in a firestorm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2024 Highlights
    Last week the government delivered their first budget and while there’s been plenty of other discussion about the main aspects of it, I was particularly interested to look at what it meant for transport. Before getting into too much detail, the chart below shows at a high level where transport ...
    1 week ago
  • Jeff Masters and Bob Henson give us the low-down on the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Samantha Harrington (Background photo credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project / CC BY 2.0 DEED) To kick off hurricane season, Yale Climate Connections editors Sara Peach and Sam Harrington sat down with meteorologists and Eye on the Storm writers Jeff Masters and Bob ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 3
    TL;DR: The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, which consumes over 15% of the motu’s renewable electricity, has struck a deal to stay open for another 20 years. This will delay Aotearoa-NZ’s transition to carbon zero and make it more expensive and unfair for the 100,000 households who currently can’t afford their ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • maBaguette
    Today we rolled through troglodyte caves and ate a fresh roast chook by the river, the mighty Loire River, the still quite angry-looking Loire River. The Loire is not itself because it has been raining here for the last seven months without a break, the locals have been telling us, ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Empty Promises.
    Fighting out of the blue corner, wearing a pale pink jacket, a half hearted smile, and a lot of flack from the left and the right, it’s your Finance Minister - Nicola Willis.Her challenger will probe the Minister for answers. Armed with boyish charm and tricky questions, the last remaining ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22
    A listing of 33 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, May 26, 2024 thru Sat, June 1, 2024. Story of the week Sometimes one story is not enough. Our ongoing 2023-2024 experiences with lethal heatwaves, early wildfires and a threatening Atlantic hurricane season ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treaty Principles Bill: Smokescreen for sweeping change?
    Much has been said about how the coalition government’s Treaty Principles Bill distorts te Tiriti o Waitangi. However, it could also serve as a Trojan horse, installing an extreme libertarian agenda. We don’t know the intent driving the proposed Bill; however, many serious effects may ensue. Far from simply clarifying the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Visit to Viet Nam strengthens ties
    New Zealand and Viet Nam are focused on strengthening cooperation by making progress on mutually beneficial opportunities, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. “Viet Nam matters enormously to New Zealand," Mr Peters says. "Our countries enjoy broad cooperation, in such areas as defence, security, trade, education and tourism. We are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost to fix potholes
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to boost funding for pothole prevention, with indicative funding levels confirmed by NZTA showing a record increase in funding to help fix potholes on our State Highways and Local Roads, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The NZTA Board has today confirmed indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government making fuel resilience a priority
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will halt work on procuring reserve diesel stock and explore other ways to bolster New Zealand’s diesel resilience, Associate Energy Minister Shane Jones says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will also begin work on changes to the minimum fuel stockholding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt strengthens COVID-19 preparedness
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says additional supplies of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests (RATs) will enable New Zealanders to continue testing this winter.  “In January, we announced an extension of public access to free RATs until the end of June,” Dr Reti says.  “I’m pleased to confirm that Health New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Fiji commit to strengthening partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has met with his Fijian counterpart, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, and discussed how New Zealand and Fiji can further strengthen their partnership.  During their bilateral talks in Suva this morning, Mr Luxon and Mr Rabuka canvassed a range of issues including defence and regional security, trade, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to invest in New Zealand
    The Associate Minister of Finance David Seymour has issued a new Ministerial directive letter to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to make consent processing timeframes faster under the Overseas Investment Act.  “New Zealand is currently rated as having the most restrictive foreign direct investment policy out of the OECD countries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $30m investment for faster access to radiology services
    New Zealanders will now benefit from free access to radiology services referred directly by their general practitioner, resulting in faster diagnosis and improved health outcomes, says Health Minister Dr Shane Reti. “Our Budget last Thursday delivered the foundations for a thriving New Zealand economy, but also for better public services ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Pacific Economic Development Agency – Pacific Business Trust
    Good afternoon everyone, and warm Pacific greetings. Thank you for your lovely introduction Mary Losé. It’s wonderful to be here today at the Pacific Economic Development Agency - Pacific Business Trust. I want to acknowledge the chair Paul Retimanu and chief executive Mary Losé, your team and the many business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress for fixing the Holidays Act 2003
    The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Brooke van Velden says this Government will improve the Holidays Act 2003 [the Act] with the help of businesses and workers who will be affected by changes to the Act.  “Change has been a long time coming, and I know there are many ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Niue mark special milestone
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Niue Premier Dalton Tagelagi have agreed to enhance the special relationship that exists between their two countries, as Niue marks 50 years of self-government in free association with New Zealand. Mr Luxon and Mr Tagelagi held formal talks this morning and released a Joint Statement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation kicks off first sector review – Early Childhood Education
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour today announced the terms of reference for the sector review into early childhood education (ECE) by the new Ministry for Regulation. This will be the first review by the Ministry.   “Issues with affordability and availability of early childhood education, and the complexity of its regulation, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $36 million commitment for local catchment groups
    The Government is backing farmers to improve land management practices with a $36 million commitment to support locally led catchment groups, $7 million of which will go directly to catchment groups across the country, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay has announced. “Budget 2024 provides $36 million over four years for regionally based ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $43 million commitment for local catchment groups
    The Government is backing farmers to improve land management practices with a $36 million commitment to support locally led catchment groups, and an additional $7 million direct investment into catchment groups across the country, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay has announced. “Budget 2024 provides $36 million over four years for regionally based ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Communities reap rewards of regional investment
    The success of regional investment in the Far North has been highlighted with the opening of two community projects that benefit their communities, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones attended a dawn blessing for the $10.16 million Te Hiku Revitalisation project, which has provided much-needed community infrastructure improvements ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to sign groundbreaking Indo-Pacific agreements
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts travel to Singapore tomorrow to sign three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements.  IPEF’s 14 partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP and account for 50 per cent of New Zealand’s exports. They include critical markets for Kiwi exporters ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • King’s Birthday Honours recognise significant contributions to education
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford today recognises the significant achievements of those included in the King’s Birthday 2024 Honours List, particularly those being celebrated for their services to education. “This year’s King’s Birthday Honours recognises the commitment, dedication and passion that those who have been honoured have shown,” Ms Stanford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • King’s Birthday Honours for East Coast champion
    Me aro koe ki te hā o Hine-ahu-one The devotion shown by Katareina Kaiwai to improving the lives of people across her community is an inspiration to all New Zealanders, Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka says. Katareina Kaiwai (Ngāti Porou, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga) has been awarded a King’s Service Medal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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