The leak inquiries

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, October 11th, 2018 - 37 comments
Categories: Media, Politics, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, trevor mallard, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

A good leak is something to behold.  The media trumpets the news that has been leaked and the leakee looks bemused and confused.  And the leaker, who knows who they are?

The media cycle is dominated by the news.  Reporters scurry around in increasingly smaller circles interviewing each other and theorising on who the leaker was and what the implications of the leaked information are.

Leaks from within your own party are always destructive.  Political division within a party is polling poison for a leader.  If you cannot run your party how can you run the country?

And the ripples caused by great leaks can go on for months.  Although if the leaked information is relatively mundane this only happens when the leakee makes an absolute mess of handling the repercussions of the lease.

Simon Bridges’s obsession with who leaked his travel expense information is a strong indicator that he is not fit to be Prime Minister.  Fancy worrying about information that was coming out anyway being leaked a couple of days early.  Surely he had better things to worry about.

Trevor Mallard originally called his bluff and announced a full review to find out who leaked the information.  The need to show that it was not Parliamentary Services or the Speaker’s own staff was clearly a consideration.

Then we had the extraordinary situation where the supposed leaker texted Bridges and Mallard as well as Tova O’Brien to say that he or she was in National’s caucus, was suffering from mental health issues and asked that the inquiry be called off.  O’Brien was scathing at Bridges’ refusal to do so.

I was sent the same text message Simon Bridges and Trevor Mallard were sent last week by the leaker of Bridges’ expenses.

It was desperate and devastating – a clear plea for help.

The inquiry was called because there was concern about a leak from within the parliamentary system – a weakness which could undermine the sanctity of the parliament and therefore our democracy.

The leaker’s message was simple, in their words:

“There is no security breach in the parliament or problem to be fixed in the system.”

They wanted the inquiry called off:

“Just say you know there is no security breach”.

They shared anecdotes from National Party caucus meetings that only National Party MPs would know in an attempt to prove that they’re an MP, and that the leak shouldn’t be dealt with at a Parliamentary level overseen by a Queen’s Counsel or High Court judge.

This is a National Party issue that should be dealt with by the National Party. As the Speaker just made clear by calling off the inquiry.

Bridges should have got in before Trevor Mallard and requested the inquiry be called off himself.

Having received that same text as Simon Bridges I was surprised that he not only chose to push on with the witch hunt, but suggested the person should be named and even called into question whether the message was genuine.

Mallard calling off the inquiry was the rational and humane thing to do.  This was an internal National Party issue and for them to sort out.  Bridges could have done the same.  But he refused to and then engaged in what can only be described as a witch hunt, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an inquiry into a 3 day premature leak of information.

National then tried to suggest that Mallard and Labour were still possibilities mainly on the basis that Bridges thought, using his magical prosecutorial skills, that Mallard was guilty of being the leaker.

Bridges denied the story.  Of course he would do that.

Mallard’s response is interesting.  It has just been revealed that he set up a further inquiry to ensure that Parliamentary Services was not responsible for the leak, thereby shutting down the one possible conclusion that would not leave National with egg all over its face.

From Tova O’Brien at Newshub:

The net appears to be closing in on the National Party as the likely source of the leak of Simon Bridges’ expenses to Newshub.

Newshub can reveal Parliament’s Speaker ordered his own inquiry into the leaking of Mr Bridges’ expenses to clear himself and his staff.

Speaker Trevor Mallard confirmed an IT expert and employment lawyer were brought in to forensically go through phone records, email records and printing activity of about 20 parliamentary staff, including Mr Mallard himself.

Mr Mallard’s inquiry was conducted by major auditor KPMG and found “there is no evidence the expense document was sent to any unauthorised parties via email… That scanning, printing and photocopying logs confirm that there is no evidence of the expense document being printed.

“On the basis of this independent review there is no evidence that staff in the Office of the Speaker, Mr Speaker or Parliamentary Service finance and corporate staff released details of this quarterly expense disclosure report to any unauthorised parties.”

Parliamentary Staff in National MPs’ offices, including staff in the National leader’s office and in Deputy Speaker Anne Tolley’s office, were excluded from the investigation.

The timing is exquisite.  The results of National’s inquiry are due to be released soon.  This will only increase pressure on National and heighten interest in the story.

There only appear to be four possible conclusions and none of them are very palatable for National.

  1. The leaker is not discovered.
  2. The leaker is a staffer and is summarily fired with aspersions cast on their nominal employer.
  3. The leaker is a list MP.  Will National use the waka jumping law?
  4. The leaker is an electorate MP.  National wields its power to get them to resign.  They then face a by election.  Botany would not be a good place for a by election.  Auckland Central, for instance, would be disastrous.

No matter what historians in the future will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about.  And it may be that they will conclude that this was the beginning of the end of the reign of Simon Bridges as National leader.

 

37 comments on “The leak inquiries”

  1. Cinny 1

    Was wondering how much the leak search has cost so far, more than the limo by the sounds of it.

    Ego can be a very expensive business.

    • alwyn 1.1

      The leak enquiries are probably much less than Helen Clark’s ego trip travelling the world and getting our embassies to turn on parties for her to show an ego-driven film about how she was “cheated” out of being the UN Secretary-General.
      I wonder who approved that complete waste of our money?
      At least Bridges was talking to real New Zealanders about real problems.

      • Kevin 1.1.1

        We are bitter today…

      • Cinny 1.1.2

        Aunty Helen the first elected woman PM of NZ, three terms as PM, then she went on to being the third most important person at the UN.

        simon bridges leader of the national party for only a year and an unwanted national party leader at that, judging by the polls and comments via KB.

        simon talking to ‘real New Zealanders about real problems’, not listening, just talking, yes that’s simon.

        Re Aunty Helens doco, if you want to complain that it was a waste of money alwyn, I suggest you complain to who was in government at the time… which was national.

        How many businesses did national bail out while in power? How much did that cost us all?

        Meanwhile, money is continued to be spent on simon, by simon, searching for a leaker, just so he can save face.

        • Dukeofurl 1.1.2.1

          English hardly needs any international ‘exposure’ as a board member of retail company Bunnings.

        • Chris 1.1.2.2

          Helen Clark was no friend of the poor and disadvantaged. For that she should never be held out as heroic.

      • Dukeofurl 1.1.3

        So the taxpayers arent paying for Key and Englishs travel as retired PMs?

      • cleangreen 1.1.4

        alwyn leaked the information it seems to sound like?

        Seeing as coming to the defense of “simple blithering Bridges is a giveaway there!!!!!

  2. Incognito 2

    IMO Simon was merely a placeholder or seat-warmer but in any case he wasn’t a leader. A leader leads by being exemplary, by being inspiring and having great people skills and compassion, and by mapping out and/or articulating a vision & values that people can and want to subscribe to (as in: vote for). Another attribute of a (great) leader is to be able to admit mistakes and to say sorry and apologise when appropriate.

  3. Ankerrawshark 3

    Incognito that definition of a leader sounds like Jacinda

    • Incognito 3.1

      That hadn’t occurred to me but now you mention it … 😉

      It’s more a description than a definition; my description.

  4. Dirk.Dirkin 4

    Hamish Price thinks the coalition are terrified of Bridges? Good one Hamish

    • OnceWasTim 4.1

      Hamish who?
      I tried for a pic on the gNat website. I gave up because they all looked like Harcourts Real Estate agents, or 1970’s style IBM customer service engineers, or even some of those held out to be one of Amway’s success stories.

      Can anyone direct me to a pic of this specimen?

  5. Michelle 5

    based on incognitos definition it looks like national will be in opposition for a while

  6. 4. more likely Bridges is terrified of the coalition. He is on a road to nowhere.

    One has to wonder why he has persisted with this?
    Any exposure is good exposure? Covering up some other smelly pile of sh…????

  7. ankerawshark 7

    Patricia my theory is that Bridges has persisted because he is petty minded and that is how he operates (just my hunch people) and/or he wanted to appear like a strong leader……………..which has back fired really.

    • Kevin 7.1

      I think that Bridges is under the misconception that his little stunt with electing the speaker made him look strong and decisive. I think that was his high water mark and its been downhill ever since, only he doesn’t see it.

      He should have been quietly going about his business, knowing he has the support of the caucus and the party, rebuilding where the party is weak and looking to find a coalition partner that will work with National.

      Instead he has barked at every passing car to the point that he looks like and idiot and that is reflected in how is perceived by the public and on social media. A platform where (whether you like it or not) you have to look real hard to find any kind of support for him.

      • Ngungukai 7.1.1

        Typical lawyer just like Winston barking at every set of car tyres that annoys him.

        • WILD KATIPO 7.1.1.1

          The difference between the two was that Bridges is only the leader of the opposition and has been since Peters has been deputy PM , – and when Peters was acting PM he did a very competent job, – DESPITE having his personal details leaked prior to that.

          Two very , very different people and two very , very different approaches.

  8. Dukeofurl 8

    Regarding the list of choices
    3 “The leaker is a list MP. Will National use the waka jumping law?

    ALL Mps , electorate and List are covered by the Waka jumping legislation. While the Greens have said they wont use the procedural step of a formal letter to the Speaker if they ever expell an MP from caucus.

    Simon Bridges hasnt given any such pledge ‘not to use it’ LOL

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/107383365/national-would-repeal-waka-jumping-law-but-wont-commit-to-not-using-it

  9. Chuck 9

    “Trevor Mallard originally called his bluff and announced a full review to find out who leaked the information.”

    Mickysavage it concerns me that you would say that…The Speaker of the House is not supposed to be partisan.

    However, in your defence, I can see why you said that all the evidence to date suggests Mallard still wears his Labour party Y fronts under his Speakers attire.

    • Fireblade 9.1

      You’re wrong. Trevor goes commando.

      • Dukeofurl 9.1.1

        The extra questions given to opposition seem to out number those given to labour.
        Thats evidence of non partisan chairing

        • Fireblade 9.1.1.1

          Trevor Mallard isn’t biased. If National think he is, that’s awesome, let them drown in thier own paranoia.

  10. Chris T 10

    Great to see another Labour MP showing such great openness and transparency ……..

    • Ankerrawshark 10.1

      Chris t likely Trevor did a secret investigation to protect the leakers identity as they claimed they had mental health issues. That way if he found the leaker their identitycould be kept secret due to their mental health issues, or not.

      Bridges has really backed himself into a corner by publicizing the investigation

  11. ianmac 11

    If we were the National War Cabinet, what would the plan of action be to score a win for Bridges and or the Party?

    -Transfer the blame elsewhere by………
    -“Uncover” a much greater problem preferably with one of the Coalition…
    -Find no Leaker but hint at Dirty Tricks with the Speaker…
    -Deny that there had been a Leak at all and that it was all a clever Bridges plot, to test the security of Parliament…

    -Or …

  12. Muttonbird 12

    Apparently tomorrow is the big day for the PWC enquiry. This will be a non-even of course.

    Mysteriously, no leaker will be named, and the whole thing will have been figments of our imaginations.

  13. Observer Tokoroa 13

    Toxic to the core.

    Given that the Trolls on here know everything political and magical – and like Kiwi Farrar spread themselves like geese on heat – we can expect more and more leaks and squeaks from the impotent Nationals whether in caucus or in blogspots.

    Promoters of world wide pollution. Jealous guardians of Toxic Air and Water. Promoters of lower and lower wages for john citizen. Preventers of housing except for the wealthy . Movers of heaven and earth to allow the Landlords to scum the already poor.

    National has over the years fully shown its naked truth. It is determined to destroy the common man. It loathes and tramples on the men and women who do the real work in New Zealand.

    New Zealand can get by without Simon or his trolls or his hatred of the Common Man.

  14. cleangreen 14

    Good for Trevor as we do have many more heavy duty things to do to fix our country now after nine years of John Key rorting and pillaging and carpetbagging.

    John Key sold our own ‘long decades of paid for assets and we got nothing back in return’ now!!!!

    That was the crime of the century that key should pay for.!!!!!

    no wonder why he fled before the heat came on him; – the bloody criminal he is!

    • Observer Tokoroa 14.1

      I agree with you Cleangreen

      The theives that are National – stole the Assets of the Common Man. AND gave them to their wealthy friends and wealthy share holders..

      1 ) We must ask the New Government to list and declare what are the belongings of the Common Man.

      2 ) The New Government must recover the Assets stolen by the wealthy National Thieves. And return them intact – or in Cash – from whom they gave them to – including from the Share Holders.

      3 ) The Common Man must be installed as the Prime Figure in the Land – ahead of all others including ahead of all Parliaments, Councils, or Governors. Pls note the few Wealthy people in NZ are small in number, well heeled and are totally uncaring of the millions of Common Man. We need set the imbalance to favour the many .

      4 ) The Fair Go – Concept. Access to The Law should not be beyond the reach of the Common Man. Any Situation in which a Common Man is exploited should be heard in Court and suitable punishment placed upon the criminal who defied the Fair Go.

      In other words, The Law should stop the nonsense of drawn out parodies over who murdered who – and open up the Courts to all the thousands of people who get a bad deal from employers, corporations, dodgy builders, bolshy neighbours, over priced lawyers etc. etc etc etc

      • Antoine 14.1.1

        > The Common Man must be installed as the Prime Figure in the Land – ahead of all others

        Including women?

        A.

  15. ianmac 15

    From Newsroom but not too sure what Laura is driving at. Softening us up a bit?

    “National leader Simon Bridges and Speaker Trevor Mallard both preached compassion over the leak saga. Laura Walters questions whether their actions backed that up….”
    “….As mental health awareness week draws to a close, it seems political wins, rather than compassion, remain front of mind.”

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/10/11/273048/politics-not-compassion-wins-in-leak-saga?preview=1

    • Muttonbird 15.1

      Walter’s is promoting the ‘let’s move on’ theme alright. Blaming everyone equally. I’m stunned she didn’t manage to drag Labour into it so that’s something I suppose.

      This of course is exactly what the Nats want right now. For everyone to just get over their internal problems and concentrate on high petrol prices.

      I expect they will release the PwC findings or non-findings at 4:00pm on Friday 19 October just in time for the long weekend.

  16. Oh dear,…. human beings…..

    The Golgafrinchams – The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – BBC …

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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
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    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
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    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
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    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
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    You can read our submission HERE ...
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  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
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  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
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  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
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    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
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    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
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  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
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    9 hours ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
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    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
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    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
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    3 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
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    5 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
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    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
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    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
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    6 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
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    6 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
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    6 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
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  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
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  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
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    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
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    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
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    1 week ago