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The Missing Millions

Written By: - Date published: 11:18 am, December 12th, 2019 - 18 comments
Categories: Austerity, Bernie Sanders, Brexit, capitalism, class war, democracy under attack, Economy, elections, Europe, Free Trade, International, Jeremy Corbyn, journalism, Left, liberalism, Media, Politics, Privatisation, Propaganda, uk politics, us politics - Tags: , , ,

Not that you’d know it from reading any UK newspaper headline of late, but the polls that pop media has used to undermine UK Labour’s election prospects have a couple of glaring glitches.

As Zoe Williams reported in yesterday’s Guardian, none of the predictions flowing from any poll used in the UK incorporates the 4 million new registrations from this year. As she points out, most of those new registrations are from ‘young’ people who are far more likely to vote Labour.

That leaves four million, (registrations in 2019) the majority of whom are young. Even while various pollsters are happy to predict that they will break 2:1 Labour (which is actually quite a cautious estimate: if they’re young, they turn out and they vote tactically, the Labour share could be higher), they have so far been unwilling to build these voters into their predictions.

By my reckoning that’s about 10% of the total number of people who are eligible to vote that have been ‘blanked’ by polling companies.

Further to that, it would appear to be the case that most polls are conducted using  ‘online panels‘. I’ll leave it to others to tease out the inherent shortfalls of relying solely on that polling method.

Then there’s the small detail that Northern Ireland is omitted by all of the polling companies bar one (Survation). 18 seats are contested in Northern Ireland and without the DUP, the Tory Party could not have formed the UK government last time around.

Given all of the above, I’m almost left scratching my head as to why publication after publication has been been making robust predictions of a Tory victory and a Labour loss based on polling. And here’s the rub. I’m persuaded the predictions are driven by ideology and the polls merely offer cover for that fact.

As Jonathan Cook has written, from an elite’s perspective, Brexit is all about whether to tighten the  economic ties with a fading austerity riddled Europe, or to opt into the even less fettered capitalism of the USA. And pop media is in ideological lock step with society’s elites.

As such, the last thing they’d advocate for is a Corbyn led government that might end the days of self enrichment that  billionaires like Sir Richard Branson and Sir Alan Sugar have enjoyed at the expense of society by giving British people the chance to vote for a Brexit that frees the British government from the tethers of European economic liberalism/austerity while staying socially/culturally in tune with the rest of Europe.

That’s not on. That prospect must be kept off the table. So vote Lib Dem and put a spanner in the works.

It’s true that some elites will not be happy breaking with Europe, but they’d rather salvage some opportunity to carry on with their ways by being aligned to the USA than see Corbyn ruin their ‘god given’ right to rip shit and bust at everyone elses expense.

So in conclusion (and on the basis election commentary simply isn’t aligned with reality)

Tomorrow Corbyn. Next year Sanders. And if that transpires and you think pop media has been complete arse during these days of Trump, then trust me,  you haven’t seen anything yet.

 

18 comments on “The Missing Millions”

  1. mosa 1

    The amount of disinformation in this campaign is a disservice too the british voting public and will have a huge effect on how the vote will go on Thursday.

    Something we need to be aware of next year at our own general election and the subsequent campaign.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/118100200/uk-election-a-nightmare-of-deception-and-disinformation

  2. adam 2

    “The objection to propaganda is not only its appeal to unreason, but still more the unfair advantage which it gives to the rich and powerful.”

    ― Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    Hi Bill, good to read your thoughts on this very important election, thanks.

    "And here’s the rub. I’m persuaded the predictions are driven by ideology and the polls merely offer cover for that fact."

    That about sums up the whole election from a MSM media standpoint, infact IMO the UK election is nothing more than a straight out battle of opposing ideologies, unlike any played out in the West for a long while…hopefully we will see the same battle play out in the US with Sanders/Trump…that will really be one for the history books for sure.

    And of course, sadly, as anyone with half a operational brain could have predicted the actual disinformation smoke and mirrors operation known as Russiagate, is now being used to attack the progressive left…who would have thunk it?

    https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/11/jeremy-corbyn-faces-russiagate-smear-campaign-before-uk-vote/

    • Bill 3.1

      Thank you for the link Adrian. I'm not sure than indepth and informative commentary is appreciated much these days though. Anyway, there's a lot of names and connections in there, and it might be a bit dense for people to take in on a quick pass. So, this article by Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton covers more or less the same ground for those who'd rather read than watch.

      In the interview Max Blumenthal makes a very good point on the faux anti-Semitism being drummed up by the Israeli lobby and their fellow travelers at about 25:50 – they are weaponising Jews as a human shield to prevent progress.

      I believe Norman Finkelstein expressed similar outrage, and further, suggested that Zionists would bear the principle responsibility for any backlash against Jewish communities that might emerge from all of this bullshit.

      Jonathan Cook also makes an important contribution on that front by pointing out that Chief Rabbi Mirvis was contributing to the very antisemitism he says he wants to eradicate when he claimed Jews were fearful at the prospect of Corbyn as PM. (The entire piece is worth taking the time to read – as is the one linked to in the post)

       

    • Billy 3.2

      Yes, and the same funders who funded Russiagate… are funding people in NZ too, and around fake news…

      Those people are on the “left” (though they are to be discovered on the right I bet, too).

      As Adrian notes, the same tactics by the same funders are as happy using the likes of Bill Kristol as they are MoveOn, etc. The strategic priorities of these Americans might match up with the Labour-Greens this time around, but don’t expect loyalty. Also, we didn’t vote for them. Follow the money. Read the labels. Caveat emptor. Beware.

      (Btw is it possible Hooton has knowledge / connections too with these military comms / IC adjacent types? He’s often pushing Bill Kristol lines…)

  4. pat 4

    "The map below shows 50 seats where tactical voting could keep the Conservatives out. Most tactical voting websites draw on one or two sets of polling data, which risk ignoring the specific circumstances of individual constituencies. The guide draws on a wider range of information – detailed big-sample national polls, but also constituency surveys (including those reported week by week in the Observer), past election results and local activity, such as the recent student registration drives in some key seats (one is Brunel University, in Johnson’s own constituency, Uxbridge)."

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/08/tactical-voting-guide-2019-keep-tories-out-remain-voter-general-election

    A lot is going to depend on where those 4 million new registrations reside

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    There has been a sniffy to dismissive attitude to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, from some commenters at the Standard since he first gained and then retained, the leadership against near impossible odds. I was castigated myself by several prominent posters here for supporting Corbyn’s approach.

    No better Xmas pressie than Mr Corbyn at number 10 imo. A self effacing guy, with an allotment! would be an ideal PM in my view–but hey, the reality of 30 plus years of Thatcher/Blair neo liberal hegemony is in play–aided and abetted by the 2019 tory dirty tricks media activity. Not to mention UK military figures threatening a coup if JC were ever to be elected. And the scabbies within the Labour Party too.

    It will be an “undercover” win for sure if he is in a position to form a Govt. but would it not be great? Nationalisations, and all the other policy.

     

    • tc 5.1

      Imagine the raging indignation from the UK MSM is he did win but like DC here in 2014 the games rigged in the incumbents favour with similar tactics.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        The Brits are a step or two ahead of the flightless kiwis who fall for every trick in the book tc. They've had a lot more centuries of experience and they take the knocks for years then boom… they fight back with every bone in their bodies. They've done it before and they will do it again.

        Fingers tightly crossed its about to happen again. The raging indignation from the ruling class, their minions and media toadies will be a joy to behold.

      • greywarshark 5.1.2

        Comment on other Brexit post from a Dutch chap returning home – carried over.

        https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/how-i-learnt-to-loathe-england 6/10/2017

        The worrying conditions that gave rise to the result—the class divide and the class fixation, as well as an unhinged press, combine to produce a national psychology that makes Britain a country you simply don’t want in your club….

  6. Billy 6

    Hitler! lol

  7. Glenn 7

    Tactical voting is the key

  8. UncookedSelachimorpha 8

    Great article from the analyst from Stats for Lefties (which has a bunch more great analysis).

    In 2017, between the date that parliament voted for an election (19 April) and the final date of being able to register to vote (22 May), 1.9 million people aged under 35 registered to vote; over the same time period in 2019, 2.7 million people younger than 35 registered to vote – a 40% increase. Among voters younger than 25, registration rose by an even greater margin, increasing from 993,321 in 2017 to 1.5 million in 2019 – an increase of 47%.

    There is hope, but the cake is now in the oven….will it rise??

  9. swordfish 9

     

    As Zoe Williams reported in yesterday’s Guardian, none of the predictions flowing from any poll used in the UK incorporates the 4 million new registrations from this year. As she points out, most of those new registrations are from ‘young’ people who are far more likely to vote Labour.

    That leaves four million, (registrations in 2019) the majority of whom are young. Even while various pollsters are happy to predict that they will break 2:1 Labour (which is actually quite a cautious estimate: if they’re young, they turn out and they vote tactically, the Labour share could be higher), they have so far been unwilling to build these voters into their predictions.

    By my reckoning that’s about 10% of the total number of people who are eligible to vote that have been ‘blanked’ by polling companies."

     

    Be nice to think so … but I strongly suspect Zoe is catering to those clutching at straws, Labour having proven unable to narrow the Tory lead over the final week to the extent that supporters would've liked.

    I think she's probably wrong for the following reasons:

    (1) She is clearly influenced by the widely-held assumption that a similar  Youthquake occurred in 2017. The most authoritative research (by the British Election Study & separately by a few other academics) suggests this was largely a myth … essentially Tremors, yes, but no Youthquake (although the concept still remains popular with one or two Political Sociologists).

    (2) My understanding is that Pollsters naturally incorporate newly-registered voters, (in the correct proportion) as they do everyone else, in their samples (& hence in their % & seat predictions).

    And – in contrast to 2017, when they were aggressively down-weighting younger voters – almost all UK Pollsters are currently basing their turnout models on respondents self-reported likelihood of voting. Hence, any assumed lower turnout by younger age-groups will be down to a larger proportion of young respondents telling pollsters they're less likely to vote than people in older age groups.

    YouGov's MRP model (highly successful in its predictions at the 2017 GE) … and specifically its Population Model from which all else flows …would certainly incorporate newly-registered voters … it's extremely nuanced and  takes all available up-to-date demographic info into consideration on a day-to-day basis.

    (3)  Zoe has probably exaggerated the number of new registrations: Chaminda Jayanetti has analysed newly-registered voters across a large number of constituencies (519) in recent days and suggests a much more modest increase – certainly nowhere near 4 million. He has registration in these seats up just 1.7% (in the context of 1.2% population growth since the 2017 GE).

    (4) Jayanetti certainly argues that newly-registered voters could play a key role in the outcome of up to 20-30 marginals.

    But he emphasises that the data compiled from 519 constituencies across the UK, including most battleground constituencies, shows the largest increases in registered voters are generally not located where Labour needs them most – ie in its Red Wall of Northern & Midlands Leave-voting Marginals. The greatest rises tend to be in Metro & student-heavy seats, many of them Labour strongholds & near-strongholds.

    Of the 26 most marginal (read: absolute knife-edge) seats in the latest YouGov MRP model predictions … only 9 (according to Jayanetti's detailed analysis) have experienced the sort of mild-to-significant increases in new registrations that could prove decisive. And of the 41 next-most-marginal, just 1 is showing the sort of substantial rise needed to play a crucial role.

    What's more, a lot of marginals have actually experienced a fall in registered voters. For example, all 4 of the Labour-held marginals in West Yorkshire (each of them a key Tory target) have registered a decline.

    Jayanetti also argues that in  some of the knife-edge marginals where registration has increased – a good deal of that may be a corollary of new large-scale housing developments that might not necessarily be Labour-friendly (eg Dennis Skinner's Bolsolver).

     

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.1

      Thanks Swordfish. You are probably the voice of reason – unfortunately!

      Only a few hours more and we will be looking at results instead of predictions.

    • swordfish 9.2

       

      The other thing to keep in mind: … if there is, indeed, a Youthquake today … it wouldn't have the same impact as it would in 2017 (vis-a-vis a dramatic difference between the Election result vs final Poll predictions) … because Pollsters are no longer aggressively weighting-down younger voters.

      Bear in mind too that 2017 was an anomaly … historically when UK Pollsters have got it wrong it's because they've tended to over-state Labour support … & we can't entirely rule that out happening today.

      Rather than yearning for a Youthquake to save them, Labour's hopes might be better focussed on:

      – Further squeezing the Lib Dem Remainer vote (Lord Ashcroft polling suggests two-thirds of Lib Dems prefer a Corbyn-Labour Govt to a Boris-Tory one … and other recent polling data suggests about one third of Lib Dems are waverers, with Labour the most likely beneficiary). Not easy, though, … despite all the analysis & exhortations over recent weeks … the Brits have never been particularly given to strategic voting.

      – A just-published analysis of 2018 / 2019 Local Election results as a predictive tool for this GE suggests the Tories may struggle to obtain an outright majority (important because the same Forecasting Model based on 2014 / 15  Local Election results was much more accurate in predicting the 2015 GE result than most opinion polls)

      Overall though … the odds continue to lean Boris's way.  

      I'd say Likelihood:

      Small Tory majority: 50%

      Larger Tory majority: 30%

      Hung Parliament: 20%

       

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    17 hours ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
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    1 day ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
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    1 day ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
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    1 day ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
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    1 day ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
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    1 day ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
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    2 days ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
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    2 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
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    2 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
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    2 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
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    5 days ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
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    5 days ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
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    6 days ago
  • Forgotten funds and missing money
    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers on mental health commitment
    The Government is delivering on election commitments and a key recommendation of He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction with the establishment of a permanent independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. Legislation enabling the establishment of the fully ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand privacy law modernised
    A Bill to replace New Zealand’s Privacy Act passed its third reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. “The protections in the Privacy Bill are vitally important. The key purpose of the reforms is to promote and protect people’s privacy and give them confidence that their personal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tourism operators provided extra support
    Extra support is being provided to tourism businesses operating on public conservation land announced Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage today.  The Government is providing $25m worth of support to tourism operators impacted by COVID-19, with a decision to waive most Department of Conservation tourism related concession ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Queenstown infrastructure package to bolster local economy
    A central Government partnership with Queenstown will help unlock around $300 million of projects in the township and create about 320 direct jobs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced today. The Government will contribute $85 million to the Queenstown Town Centre ($35m) project and Stage One of the Queenstown Arterials ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Key appointments to ensure high quality healthcare for New Zealanders
    Health Minister Dr David Clark welcomes the appointment of Auckland coroner Morag McDowell to the role of Health and Disability Commissioner. He is also pleased his appointments to the inaugural Paramedic Council were confirmed by gazette this week. The new Health and Disability Commissioner Ms McDowell will commence the role ...
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    6 days ago
  • Whakatāne Māori food producers receive $2.1m PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $2.1 million in a blueberry orchard initiative, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The Meihana Koata Trust will receive a loan from the PGF’s Whenua Māori allocation to develop an 18.8 hectare blueberry orchard on ...
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    6 days ago
  • PGF investment in Rewa’s Village
    A well-known Māori tourism in Northland will receive $1.25 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for much-needed redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rēhia Charitable Trust will use the funding to upgrade Te Pā Kāinga o Rewa, or Rewa’s Village, in Kerikeri. The long-established ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago