web analytics

The NZ Defence Force and extreme fire events

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 am, October 7th, 2020 - 19 comments
Categories: climate change, defence - Tags: , , ,

Last week the current NZ Defence Minister Ron Mark, released Extreme Fire: a changing thread landscape and implications for New Zealand Defence (PDF), a NZ Defence Force (NZDF) Assessment on Extreme Fire Events relating to climate change within NZ. It is an interesting assessment outlining current trends in regards to extreme fire conditions in New Zealand, but also what happened last year in Australia in conjunction with the NZ Government (NZG) and NZDF response to the Australian Bush Fires.

To the untrained eye the NZDF appears to have the situation in hand at the moment or does it?

Well in the short term I would say yes for the moment, but taking into account the medium and long term trends associated with climate change not only within NZ but within the greater South Pacific, then the NZDF is not in a position to support concurrent operations both at home or within greater South Pacific, and other mandated tasks the NZDF is required to do over the NZ Summer period.

Since the 90’s the NZDF has been in managed decline, losing capabilities both in terms of manpower and equipment not being replaced in some cases, or the false sense of equipment upgrades like the ageing RNZAF C130 Hercules aircraft in the early 2000’s, with a complete lack of investment across the broad.

What equipment that has been brought since ’91 has either been by the cheapest bidder, or with a complete lack of strategic direction at Government or within the NZ Ministry Of Defence/NZDF. The long term impacts of CC related events in regards to disaster relief or the use of lethal deadly force/warlike conditions due to diminishing natural resources being the worse case scenario.

Because the NZG, the political classes and the NZ taxpayer doesn’t want to spend a lot on Defence for various reasons. Only the bare minimum has been brought, without any thought to long term over-utilisation of equipment due to increasing deployments of both equipment and especially manpower. Mental health, including in that family/marital issues, and ongoing medical costs via Veterans Affairs if one is medical discharge, are also an issue.

The other big show stopper is the ability to concurrently do two jobs at once. The mantra of all military forces is ‘Raise, Train and Sustain’ while conducting ongoing operations while also training & preparing.

So where do I see a short fall in the NZDF preparedness for Extreme Fire Events resulting from climate change?

Firstly the lack of numbers especially in the Army’s Regular & Reserve Forces in particularly those within the South Island which has been the hardest hit since the 90’s in terms of:-

  • Army Engineers (there is currently an Engineer Squadron not being manned to due a lack of funding and equipment),
  • Logistics,
  • the two Reserve Infantry Assault pioneers,
  • Reserve Depots being closed,
  • the withdrawal of the RNZAF’s Rotary Wings Assets from the South Island.
  • Then there is the lack of equipment due to numbers in personnel, or the NZDF has the bare minimum in order to do one job at a time.

So how would I fix this?

Firstly address the manning issues. Folks – this is our greatest capability. Manning in the NZDF has been vexed issue. The Reserve get stung twice with tax, Income Support screws Reserve members via the stand-down or docking welfare payments, and there are lack of pay and conditions issues for Defence civilians compared to other public sector employees like health, education and Police.

The other is addressing equipment shortfalls. I would add an additional four NH90 helicopters to fleet, increasing it to a fleet of 12. Therefore I can deploy four overseas, four for training, two for short notice Ops within, and two in maintenance. Cost €36.6m/ USD 52m per unit 2013

I would move the current A109 Mako helicopters to the Central Flying School and ask for a business case at purchasing a dozen twin engine UH-1Y Venom Huey helicopters similar to the ones that US Marine Corp and the Czech Republic uses. These can be deployed via the new C130J Hercules and they can be also deploy by ship as the Huey’s have been design to operate in a Maritime environment. USD 26m Flyaway cost 2014.

For Fixed Wing Aircraft I would purchase nine C295 transport aircraft in a six vs three format, six Transport versions and three Maritime Patrol Aircraft. Transport version 28m 2013

Probably one of the best Defence buys has been the MAN Trucks with the Multilift Load Handing System. I would purchase additional modules/pods which can be built in NZ to Aus/NZ standards (Trade & STEM training) and possibly more Trucks. The additional Pods would be water tanks, bulk fuel supplies including Aviation Fuel Pods and other assorted bulk delivery pods to be stored at either of the four main centres and various reserve depots.

This would ensure flexibility, some redundancy to the NZDF, a quicker response time and above all the ability for the NZDF to mount concurrent Fire Operations in Extreme Fire Events in NZ supporting our neighbours such as Oz, and other current operations such as Peacekeeping or HADR.

Also you will note, I haven’t made provisions for the RNZAF to have a Roll on/Roll off Airborne Tanker System as I believe the current system of single engine (Ag Aircraft converted to Fire Bombers or purpose design Fire Bombers) and the use of Helicopters to be more effective.

They can also achieve a far greater turnaround than a medium to large Aerial Fire Bomber, providing the necessary Logistical support is close to the Fire Event. There are a large number of public and private airfields/airstrips in NZ to support a private fleet of Fire Bombers.  Most are close to a water source or a high pressure water supply for a high pressure single point refill tank fitted to most Aerial Fire Bombers, which can be operated by a single person while refilling the tank.

My Background: I’m a former Department of Conservation High Country Fire Team Fire Fighter from the North Canterbury Area (ie  Christchurch). Former NZ Scots Light CAV Reconnaissance operator RNZAC and I almost know every goat track and Airfield/dirt air strip from Christchurch to Riverton in the south.

Ex RAAF Ground Defence Specialist with a wide area of operational expertise including including CBRND warfare with four main overseas deployments, with the last 3-4 yrs of service in a Ground Defence doing Training, Plains ie looking at long term future developments like climate change and the likely effects. Operations planning current peacetime mandated Tasks to contingency planning of short notice moves from Defence Aid to the Civil Community and up to Non Warlike HADR.

Currently a retired veteran on a medical pension still fighting for his entitlements and a member of the Dundee Bushfire Brigade of NT Bushfires in the Nth’ern NT.

~ The Scud

19 comments on “The NZ Defence Force and extreme fire events ”

  1. Ad 1

    Scud, thankyou for your service and dedication to New Zealand over so long.

    I've written before about the need to turn NZDF towards climate change response. So I'm fully with you.

    The Twizel fire was a signal, the Ohau fire is a hit, but the Australian NSW/Victoria fire earlier this year was the most important emergency signal we have had.

    The NZDF control of our borders for COVID19 response has been effecient and effective. That shows the benefits of NZDF/MoH and NZPolice interoperability. It has also given the government a real fresh sense of what NZDF when called upon and tasked.

    That's the kind of interoperability we need to see between Civil Defence and Fire and Emergency and NZDF. I sure hope there's a decent Ministerial review of this fire that can bring some of those issues out.

    • Scud 1.1

      Thank you for those kind words Ad,

      There is already a degree of interoperability between CD, FEMNZ (Fire Emergency Management New Zealand) NZDF, smaller Government Depts such as DoC and or various NGO's like Red Cross etc. The real issue is those smaller Town & Regional Councils who don't the that degree of interoperability because-

      A, They have a very small CD team or teams,

      B, The local NZDF (mainly NZ Army) Reserve Depots have closed due to the massive Defence Cuts in the 90's and further closures under the Labour/Alliance Government for operational reasons due to the East Timor deployment in 99 early 2000's which never reopened. Before the 91 Defence Cuts the Army Reserve Numbered just shy of 11,000 pers and today its just above 2,500 pers.

      Which these towns are my greatest concern due topography, population in relation to CC weather events and we look at these local council emergency plans, some of these councils are in struggle st. Due to cuts in Defence aka the Reserves, the exodus of people to the bigger centres, peoples work patterns have change since the 91's as well and lets not forget the stand down requirements etc from Income Support or whatever they are these days where a lot i know literally stop attend various organisations because of the crap from Income Support or the IRD.

      • Ad 1.1.1

        That local government interoperability tension is a finding that came out of the Christchurch Port Hills fire a couple of years ago.

        I was very impressed with the media stories I saw of the very longserving firefighters who worked on the Ohau fire. Couldn't fault them for speed or commitment, nor for the locals having a plan and following it.

        I sure hope there's a decent inquiry into this one – with some pressure in particular from the insurers to force greater cohesion. Also like emergency works in floods, there needs to be powers to call on local contractors who can deploy people and machinery for firebreaks, extra water tankers, and the like.

        • Scud

          The Local Fire Control Officer has a lot of reserve powers he or she can use and probably a lot more since the stepping up of FEMNZ after the Port Hills Fire.

          Usually what's meant to happen is that where ever the fire breaks out the in a particular area/ boundary the local fire control officer is in charge with the Regional Fire Control Officer having the powers to move assets from outside the area to the fire event to assist with johnny on the spot. But in the case of the Port Hills fire this didn't happen for a number of reasons which were addressed in the resulting inquiry.

      • greywarshark 1.1.2

        This quote below is worth noting for a good treatment from a practical, hands-on left government. Even if we have to set up a permanent marquee on government grounds, where we camp till we get done what the past celebrity pollies have felt unable to tackle.

        Which these towns are my greatest concern due topography, population in relation to CC weather events and we look at these local council emergency plans, some of these councils are in struggle st.

        Due to cuts in Defence aka the Reserves, the exodus of people to the bigger centres, peoples work patterns have change since the 91's as well and lets not forget the stand down requirements etc from Income Support or whatever they are these days where a lot i know literally stop attend various organisations because of the crap from Income Support or the IRD.

        • Scud

          I would like to see happen in NZ is that over here in Oz. Is that any ADF reserve member or paid part time 1st Responder is that any pay or gratuities etc received is Tax Free and not subjected to any Centrelink (Income Support) payment that he or she is receiving as this is seen as a service to the Community or a form of National Service. Also Defence helps out in other ways for those reserve members who are on extended readiness ie who doing a 120days plus training and those who do the plain old 30 days training.

  2. Chris T 2

    Bit off topic sorry, but was watching footage of the helicopters fighting it a few days ago and the conditions.

    You couldn't have dragged me onto one of them.

    Must have balls of steel.

    Not counting the female pilots obviously, but can't think of a similar phrase.

    Just tough as.

    • Scud 2.1

      Recalling my days with the High Country Fire Teams, there were some exceptional pilots (the late Alan Bond from Mt Hutt) who could land just about anywhere and could do just about any job as long as its was in the limits of the Aircraft they were flying or wasn't weather a effected especially when the Canterbury Nor' Wester wasn't blowing up in the high country. The other thing was they were local pilots who knew the lay of the land, who knew where to drop a load of equipment or personal and water bomb an area.

      The local based RNZAF Huey crews out of Wigram were just as exceptional as they would fly when ducks are walking or able to night time ops with the use of Night Vision Goggles towards the later part of the 90's and again depending on where the fire was they also knew the lay of the land.

  3. greywarshark 3

    This seems to belong here – relating to fire hazard.


    Farmers are pointing to wilding vegetation as fuel for the fire. Federated Farmers High Country Committee chairman Rob Stokes said closing up land for national parks means the ground is not grazed by sheep and cattle and tussocks and grass are left to grow wild.

    But plant ecologist Professor David Kelly, from the University of Canterbury, told Morning Report that stopping grazing is an essential part of a long-term management plan for conservation department reserves….

    "Even the farmed areas here are still very flammable – there's grass and shrubs and so on. That's shown by the fact that there are quite a lot of fires there. There was one just north of Lake Ōhau Lodge 20 years ago.

    "The key is the least flammable vegetation in this whole area is the native beech forest, which is native to that side of the lake… and if you can get away from that long grass to either native shrubs or getting towards native forest you end up with a much less flammable landscape."

    We burnt out the huia habitat at the beginning of colonisation here. Now we are inadvertently following the same deadly path, and including ourselves now. The Ohau people are burnt out of their homes and connections to the past. We have to change, have to! Can we think and cope with new ways and agreements, or do we have to have dictatorial even military law imposed on us that may not ameliorate or solve anything in the long run?

    • Scud 3.1

      Having spent time in the Menkenzie Basin with the Army or fishing/ hunting. Its always been a dry area and it had to be treated with respect and caution. If you don't it will always bite you in the ass. With more and more people moving into the basin these days there seems to be a lot complacency creeping with a lot of people not even bothered to undertake basic preparedness as the climate slowly changes for the worst and, or bothered to donate time to join the local fire teams etc.

      State Of Emergency Laws should be use as a last resort or be dictated by the event as it unfolds, but in saying that with regards to the recent Covid19 Pandemic both here in Oz and NZ people seem to have a complete lack of commonsense these days and stuck up themselves with their individual rights/ freedoms without thinking about others in the community.

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        Yes these days individual rights and being deserving seem to mix in a strange way. Comes out like its my right to go into the backblocks poorly prepared but with my cellphone that has roaming, and when I fall down and crack something or start to freeze, I'm deserving to call up a free service to come and collect me at risk to themselves, and at sacrifice of their personal plans and lifestyle.

        Is it a free service? Is there a set fee? Per hour, multiplied by the number of units? Is there koha? Does someone get sued – often it’s only paying over money that will cause the penny to drop! But nothing can replace the hours spent in the search and rescue over difficult terrain, and hard on the body if you aren't fully well.

        What has to be remembered is that climate change, and bad planning, mean that human lifestyles have to change whether people show commonsense or not. The forecasts are dire, and I know people who are very capable and practical, but they can't bring their minds to the size and certainty of the problems fast moving to impact on us.

        If there is one thing we should all know, is that even experienced people make mistakes, and the rest of us dorks are unlikely to get 100% for preparation and resources. Some people won't learn at all, some try but don't have a proper list, or forget replacement batteries etc.

        And many times things aren't properly explained. I never realised that a fire, or even a contained barbecue, after water had been poured on it and it seemed out, could have a long-lasting minute spark that could be freshened and lifted out by a wind gust and go onto huge fire damage.

  4. RedLogix 4

    A well laid out post Scud. It proves what I often say that it's the people doing the job who often best understand how it should be done. Sure top brass may be best positioned to define the goals, but way too often you see management wasting a huge amount of knowledge and competency by ignoring the people under them.

    The NZDF only makes sense as a stand-alone operation when considering matters of internal security, routine border protection, SAR, and emergency responses to natural events like fire, earthquake and flood. These tasks should be it's primary goal.

    In terms of response to external threats to our sovereignty however, the NZDF can only realistically function in alliance with Australia and our wider alliances. In this respect our contribution has to be framed in terms of skilled people and interoperability. This goal needs to be carefully negotiated and defined as a broader, but secondary priority. Important, but not urgent.

    It's my sense that the NZDF and the people who serve under it (often with far less public gratitude and support than they deserve) would be better served if our political masters were more honest around these two overarching goals. Clarity around this would bring expenditure priorities into better focus.

    Reading your OP Scud I get the impression the NZDF is being run without clear vision or purpose. It's being kept hanging around because while no-one knows quite what they want it for, they know they can't just kill it off either. Maybe that overstates the case a bit, because I'm sure there are plenty of white papers that have been banged out over the years … but apparently with little to show for them.

    • Scud 4.1

      I would like to say thanks Lynn and Weka for their support and editing, as this piece almost turned into a War & Peace Novel.

      I think its actually the other way round, that the various NZG's since the end of the Cold War have lacked the necessary strategic direction of where they want the NZDF to head or do. The lost decade of the 90's under which was driven by cuts and the decade 2000's under the Labour especially the first 3 yrs with it politically driven ideology towards the Defence Force without any regards to what was actually happen in the regional at the time or the lessons learnt from Bosnia and East Timor were kicked into touch on purely cost grounds.

      Ron Mark in his capacity as the NZ Defence Minister is only now in acting those lessons learnt from Bosnia, Timor- Leste and when he has also the added effects of CC to NZ and the Regional the Strategic Picture long term is not looking good. It's no longer a "Benign Strategic Environment" but a dynamic changing environment which this Government has a hash dose of Strategic reality and hopefully finally woken the Greens up to the Strategic Reality of our great Regional is now at risk.

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Fair call, I'm not sure I expressed myself well above. Let me try again 🙂

        The two distinct roles I outlined for the NZDF above are both important in their own way, but at present they're being lazily conflated which leads to neither or them being done well.

        I'd imagine the NZ public would politically support expenditure directed toward the first goal, internal defense and emergency response quite happily. If a program of expenditure was laid out dramatically bolstering that capacity, I think it would get done.

        But most people are going to be very skeptical about expensive military equipment, that may well be very good kit, when everyone realises NZ would never have the depth of resource to ever credibly defend itself against an outside threat … on it's own.

        That latter problem is really quite a separate issue and needs to be treated as such.

        • Scud

          Sorry it could've been me Red,

          The NZDF does it NZG mandated Non Warlike tasks very well with the probable exception being the EZZ Patrols as we always seem to lack the equipment (Aircraft and Ships) especially the disbanding of the (NATS) Navigation Air Training Squadron at RNZAF Base Wigram in the 90's which gave the NZG an extra 3 Patrol Aircraft.

          As for the NZDF Warlike Tasks only Iraq and Afghanistan only get the mention. but nothing on Bosnia and East Timor which were the more high end of a Peacekeeping or the Solomon Islands with was low end of the Peacekeeping spectrum. All 3 were equally important to the moral & ethical ethos that NZ upholds and just equally as dangerous on the ground, air or sea for the troops deployed there. And yet there a lot of New Zealanders probably that the Germans were highly active in NZ waters during both World Wars sinking ships and laying Minefields around NZ or the German U-Boats out of Singers and Jap I-Boats (Marianas, Singers & Rabual) (submarines) patrolling NZ Waters in WW2.

          Because of NZ's complacency i.e at the arse of the world there is always this belief the NZ doesn't need medium to high military capabilities because we have identifiable threat in the short to medium term even though history and recent NZDF military deployments especially within our regional tells a different story.

          Yet trying to get half decent equipment is always going to be hard for the NZDF and maintain its Utility Of Force (Major General Rupert Smith's book called "The Utility Of Force is a excellent read), because the Peace Movement, Left of the NZL and NZ Greens have really no idea on the practical side and only on the idealistic/ theoretical side of Peacekeeping. Yet these same people scream blue murder about what is happening inside West Papua and for good reason i must say.

          But they refuse to understand what actually happen when the NZDF deployed to East Timor in 99 in regards to the ground threat even after my mate Lenny was KIA in 2000, the air and sea threat both surface and below? Yet we veterans and current serving members know very damm well West Papua won't be the walk in the park like a lot people on the left think will be and yet to maintain that "Utility Of Force" we get called every name under the sun when we require that particular kit or upgrade to maintain that Utility Of Force. The way i look at it, if i haven't the need to use it then its money well spent. But if i had used it, then we have a major policy fail from our Elected Governments and us as a human race which i had to do.

          Or as my late Grandmother Rosa Beaurepaire nee Balderstone who was a pacifist, who said to me "The Military is a necessary evil that we need to have just like home insurance, but when we have to use it. Then we ourselves have failed in humanity, but in some circumstances the Military may be our resort to stop crimes against humanity as words are just nothing unless back up with action. That my Grandson is why you joined the Military to do Peacekeeping the hardiest job to do, as any fool can shoot rifle to kill someone but it takes someone different not use a Rifle to kill someone but you have it case like everything else you require to do the job properly and that's why i get pissed off with the left within NZL". A life member of the NZ Labour party.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The way i look at it, if i haven't the need to use it then its money well spent. But if i had used it, then we have a major policy fail from our Elected Governments and us as a human race which i had to do.

            It is much better to have the capability and not need it than to need the capability and not have it.

            This is really where the Greens fall down especially but even National and Labour just don't seem to get it. More often than not they seem to think that someone else will do it for us (IMO, another example of failing to take necessary state responsibility so as to cut taxes).

        • Draco T Bastard

          But most people are going to be very skeptical about expensive military equipment, that may well be very good kit, when everyone realises NZ would never have the depth of resource to ever credibly defend itself against an outside threat … on it's own.

          IMO, I think most people would be supportive of NZ being able to defend itself from anything but the heaviest attack and be able to slow that down as well until our allies come in to help.

          But that position needs to be well explained and nobody's doing that.

  5. greywarshark 5

    I've been talking about fire fighting in NZ and how we have to improve it. It is also a problem of what is going to happen in Australia and how much of our resource we can send over there, and how much over here. They have a bigger, drier, more wealthy country than us. Just a thought about how we deploy our fire defences can't send our best people there, and have the locals trying to cope here.

    Then there is the matter of our Defence Forces and what they will have to be trained to do and face. Suitable civilians and Forces personnel down from the top need to have annual meetings where we talk over our problems without any foreign Forces people, observers or newspeople. It would be a report, a discussion on overseas trends and tensions, overt and underlying. How can we play the reluctant partner satisfactorily? And not be too reliable so the powerful automatically turn to us. How to be trained enough where it is important for our area and for humanity, but not to have men and women get vicious?

    • Scud 5.1

      It's a balancing act, with regions with a low fire risk are deployed vs those regions with a high fire risk. But as time goes on with CC there maybe no redundancy in the future. The Army's Engineers have the heavy plant equipment and are trained in bush fire fighting as are the RNZAF Fire crews. Apart for the Army's Logistics Corp which will provide the necessary support role, the rest of the NZDF can provide the necessary manpower to help up with the clean up like what happen with the Fox or Franz River floods on the coast and like the ADF did after the fires here in Oz.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt acts to protect NZers from harmful content
    New Zealanders will be better protected from harmful or illegal content as a result of work to design a modern, flexible and coherent regulatory framework, Minister of Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti announced today. New Zealand currently has a content regulatory system that is comprised of six different arrangements covering some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Consultation on exemption of new builds from proposed tax rules
    The Government has today confirmed new builds will be exempt from planned changes to the tax treatment of residential investment property.  Public consultation is now open on details of the proposals, which stop interest deductions being claimed for residential investment properties other than new builds.   “The Government’s goal is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech for Predator Free 2050 Conference
    Introduction E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa   Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei i raro i te kaupapa o te rā Ko Ayesha Verrall toku ingoa No ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New stock exchange to help grow small businesses
    A new share trading market, designed as a gateway to the NZX for small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has been granted a licence by the Government. Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said Catalist Markets Ltd will provide a simpler and more affordable ‘stepping stone’ for SMEs to raise capital. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Visa extensions provide certainty to employers and 10,000 visa holders
    Changes to onshore visas will provide employers and visa holders with more certainty, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. Around 10,000 Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas due to expire between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 will be extended for another six months to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Border class exceptions approved for more farm workers and vets
    The Government has approved border class exceptions for an additional 200 dairy workers and 50 veterinarians to enter New Zealand, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.  “It is clear from conversations with the dairy and veterinarian sectors that they are facing workforce pressures. These border exceptions will go a long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More freezers and South Island hub to support vaccine roll-out
    A South Island hub and 17 new ultra-low temperature freezers will help further prepare New Zealand for the ramp up of the vaccination programme in the second half of this year, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new freezers arrived in New Zealand on 27 May. They’re currently being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech at the release of Climate Change Commission's final advice
    Good morning – and thank you Prime Minister. Over the last three and half years we have been putting in place the foundations for a low-carbon Aotearoa that will be a catalyst for job creation, innovation, and prosperity for decades to come. In that future, many of our everyday tasks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Achievable blueprint for addressing climate change released
    Report says Government making good progress on emissions reduction, but more action required Meeting climate targets achievable and affordable with existing technology Economic cost of delaying action higher than taking action now Benefits from climate action include health improvements and lower energy bills All Ministers to help meet climate targets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to release of Climate Commission final report
    A few years ago in a speech in Auckland, I compared climate change to the nuclear free movement of roughly four decades ago. And I did so for a few reasons. Firstly, because the movement of the 1980s represented a life or death situation for the Pacific, and so does ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Barrister Michael Robinson has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Robinson graduated with a BA and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1996, and commenced practice as a solicitor with Brookfields in Auckland.  In 1998 he travelled to London ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government takes action to improve protections for subcontractors
    The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Bill – which provides greater financial protection for subcontractors, has passed its first reading today. The Bill amends the retention provisions in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) to provide increased confidence and transparency for subcontractors that retention money they are owed is safe. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 1 million more Pfizer doses to arrive in July
    Pfizer has scheduled delivery of an estimated 1 million doses of vaccine to New Zealand during July, COVID1-9 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These consignments will double the total number of Pfizer doses we have received this year to more than 1,900,000 – enough to fully vaccinate almost 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Long-term home of the Independent Children’s Monitor identified
    The Independent Children’s Monitor (Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake), which is currently located within the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), will become its own departmental agency within Government. “Following the recommendations of several reviews, Cabinet agreed in 2019 to build a significantly expanded independent monitor for children in care,” Carmel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Racing Integrity Board members announced
    The new Racing Integrity Board will be up and running from July 1 to ensure high standards of animal welfare, integrity and professionalism in the racing industry. Racing Minister Grant Robertson today announced the appointments to the new Board: Sir Bruce Robertson KNZM – Chair Kristy McDonald ONZM QC Penelope ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt crackdown on organised crime continues
    A major operation against multiple organised crime groups with international links will make a significant dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks, Police Minister Poto Williams says. “I want to take an opportunity to congratulate the Police for their role in Operation Trojan Shield. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Farm planning framework supports farmers into the future
    A new framework, agreed between Government and industry, will make it easier for farmers and growers to integrate future greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater regulatory requirements into their farm planning, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “The Good Farm Planning Principles Guide out today, provides guidance for how farmers can organise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for Canterbury
    The Government has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to the Canterbury floods. The Minister of Social Development and Employment, Hon Carmel Sepuloni says $500,000 will be made available to help with the clean-up. The flooding in Canterbury has been a significant and adverse event damaging farmland, homes, roads ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Connecting rangatahi to the soil
    A Jobs for Nature project to raise 480,000 native plants in nurseries across South Auckland will provide work for communities disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, Acting Conservation Minister Ayesha Verrall says. The Mana in Kaimahi project is being run by Te Whāngai Trust Board and will establish ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Roll out of high-resolution elevation mapping begins
    The first tranche of mapping data from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)-LiDAR project is now available to the public from Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand. LiDAR data, which creates 3D baseline elevation information, will deliver multiple uses over the coming decades to councils and regional industries. “This mapping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Champions of Pacific education rewarded in Queen’s Birthday Honours
    Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours list show that across Aotearoa New Zealand there were many champions of Pacific education. “Education is so vital to the success of Pacific people that it’s truly fitting that a number of educators have been honoured this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM congratulates Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours List. “This group represents decades of services across many areas, and those honoured highlight how many New Zealanders are going above and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Change of status for Rangiriri kura
    A change of status for Te Kura o Rangiriri sees it become a designated character school within the Māori-medium network, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis announced today. “This kura has been providing Māori immersion learning since 2003 in the historic town of Rangiriri, so I’m delighted that it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • APEC trade ministers’ unite on COVID-19 vaccine steps and rejuvenating the WTO
    APEC trade ministers today committed to speeding up the cross-border flow of vaccines and related goods to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This followed the completion of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting chaired by Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor early this morning. “As we face the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago