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The Politics of Small Green Fences

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, April 1st, 2014 - 43 comments
Categories: activism, democratic participation, Politics - Tags:

The small green fence.

The small green fence (scoop).

I arrived at the TPPA protest march in Wellington the intent of making my voice heard. The protest started well – enlightening speakers, a funny MC and raucous chanting. However, when we got to parliament, the march was confronted by a waist-high green fence blocking our way up seven stairs to the main courtyard in front of the parliament. How we dealt with this seemingly insignificant obstacle does not bode well for the political left in New Zealand.

The march organisers were surprised by the fence, spoke to a nearby parliamentary security and pointed out they were always allowed to speak at the top of this seven stair platform. They had set up their PA equipment up there, but it had been moved down. The organisers were told “this was the deal”. After a few sputtering complaints, we held the final speeches down in front of it.

The essence of politics is expanding the horizons of what is possible – what is acceptable to say, think, and what we deem a possible way of living. Power is about who can move these horizons. We fight the TPPA precisely because it narrows our horizon of action through a raft of foreign and corporate control. In a similar, albeit smaller way, the state’s decision to move the fence was a profoundly political act – it changed where we could march, speak and express political dissent.

I attempted to convince a few of the people I recognised at the march to get together and move the fence. However, I was told we “didn’t have enough people”. After all the chants of “Whose go the power? We’ve got the power” and “TPPA? No way! We’re going to fight it all the way”, this crowd of several hundred people were corralled and halted by this small green fence.

It is worth emphasising that there was no police line assembled behind the fence, just an interspaced scattering of parliamentary security wandering aimlessly around the courtyard. This fence was not a physical obstacle – a dedicated band of militant pacifists could have moved up those stairs without undermining their beliefs. We made it a barrier. We collectively decided it would not be appropriate or allowed. We admitted we did not have the power to move up that flight of stairs. Because the government implied it might be a bit naughty.

If we are unwilling to move such a small obstacle for a right to speak slightly closer to parliament, what hope do we have against stopping the amalgamation of governments and corporations pushing for the TPPA? If the TPPA is really as bad as the speakers claimed, and I believe it is, what would inspire enough people to move that fence?

If all the left is willing to do is act within the boundaries set out by the government, we are no longer practising anything resembling resistance and dissent. We could have pushed through that fence and realised the political power we all have. We could have dictated the terms where we believed we had a right to speak. We could have left the march feeling empowered, excited and rejuvenated, ready to continue fighting against the TPPA.

Instead, we decided we did not have power. This pattern has been repeated again and again across this government’s two terms. Protest by the left is increasingly become part of the acceptable theatre of political action – making us feel as though we ‘did something’, but ultimately doing nothing to expand what we can and cannot do.

We need to start moving fences.

 

See also Chris Trotter’s “Protest Futile In The Absence Of Consensus Politics” for a different view on the same topic.

43 comments on “The Politics of Small Green Fences”

  1. Bill 1

    Oh fck, there’s no ‘satire’ or ‘April Fool’ tag on this! I mean, I actually did check. I checked because I thought this post might have been one of the most well constructed farces I’ve read on ‘the standard’….or anywhere else for that matter. But no. And now I’m stuck between the bit of me that wants to laugh and the bit of me that wants to cry.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Just another use of Free Speech Zones. We should be getting very angry about this.

  3. greywarbler 3

    How was the Rent a Crowd asked John vaguely, his mind on more important matters. Well behaved and no litter near to parliament. All went to plan. Oh good, now we have a few things to tie up or sell before the election said John. Get the team together will you, we have work to do.

  4. Not a PS Staffer 4

    Wouldn’t have happened in Auckland.

  5. fambo 5

    The government is attacking on all fronts to force the oppostion to spread its energy as thinly as possible.The best thing people can do if they want to fight this government is not only join one of the opposition parties but actively participate in it. By committing a small amount of your time, energy and money to your party of choice you are using it as effectively as possible. The more MPs in parliament, the more votes you have, and the more your arguments will be heard through the mainstream media.

  6. karol 6

    While I dislike this whittling down of public protest sites, i also think, Trotter especially, ignores the communication factor of protests.

    A presence on the streets may not have an immediate and/or noticeable impact. But it is something that passers by have their attention drawn to. Demos also have more of an impact if they get widely reported, and positively reported, in a range of media.

    In contrast to many other demos, I thought the 6pm news on TV3 & One gave a pretty good public airing of the TPPA issues last weekend.

  7. thechangeling 7

    In Palmerston North it was very disappointing to hear Labour Party MP Iain Lees Galloway declare that he thinks Free Trade Agreements have been good for New Zealand, which as most of us here at thestandard know is not true. FTA’s are instead responsible for our permanently high unemployment and under employment levels in New Zealand and around the western world, largely because we don’t make very much of what we consume anymore and instead import it, largely at the expense of dairy farmers who are all singing in the rain.
    Massey University academic Jeff Sluka however nailed it on the head when he declared that FTA’s have been directly responsible for the growing inequality in New Zealand.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Massey University academic Jeff Sluka however nailed it on the head when he declared that FTA’s have been directly responsible for the growing inequality in New Zealand.

      That is their purpose so it really shouldn’t be a surprise that that’s what they achieve.

    • lprent 7.2

      ..Labour Party MP Iain Lees Galloway declare that he thinks Free Trade Agreements have been good for New Zealand, which as most of us here at thestandard know is not true.

      Not me. It’d be bloody hard to be able to point to a FTA that NZ that has been a party to that caused significiant economic issues. The last one I can think of was the one we made with the Britian back in the empire days that kept us as an under developed farming economy.

      I suspect that you are confusing FTAs with the dropping of tariff barriers. That happened unilaterally without any international agreements in the 1980s. It also happened too fast.

      My opposition to the TPP is because I see it as a restraint of trade agreement, and as we are already a free trading nation, we’re heavily on the downward side of any benefits. It will cost us a hell of a lot because about the only sector that may (but probably not) get any benefits is the farming sector. Every other sector of the economy looks like it will either not get anything or it will cost us.

      I forgot, it will also enhance the bloated egos of some useless politicians…

      • Disraeli Gladstone 7.2.1

        Well said.

      • thechangeling 7.2.2

        The restricted trade agreement model allows for policies such as full employment to be enacted. We must make an increasing proportion of what we consume or an employment imbalance will be permanent such as we have now. The primary amd service sectors have demonstrated that they can not soak up the unemployed caused by ‘economic restructuring aka FTA’s’. There’s a lot of products here (almost everything in fact) that NZ used to produce that now comes from China and various other places.
        Labour’s value added wood policy for example, is destined to be a flop because once processed, the completed product then has to compete on price both in the domestic market and globally with countries that produce the same or similar product such as China which can always compete favourably on cost of labour, as well as fixed currency advantages. A national procurement policy that favours the local supplier could however mitigate this to a large extent if implemented systemically.
        Tariff reductions are always ambiguous as far as FTA’s are concerned.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.2.1

          The primary amd service sectors have demonstrated that they can not soak up the unemployed caused by ‘economic restructuring aka FTA’s’.

          They’re not supposed to. In the present economic paradigm unemployment is purposefully kept high (Greater than 6%) so as to keep wages down. That’s what john Key meant when he said he wanted lower wages. National must have been over the moon about coming in to power with the GFC as they could lower employment and wages while blaming it on Labour and the GFC.

          • lprent 7.2.2.1.1

            That was frigging annoying. Labour had been pushing a long-overdue economic diversification after they got elected in 1999. It’d been pretty successful by the mid-noughties and was doing a pretty credible job of soaking up unemployment in the provincial and main centres.

            Then the dumbarse economic nitwits known as National threw all of the diversification support efforts away and started using the remaining money to support their cronies mostly in the farming economy and we stopped getting new companies forming. The parts of our economy that were vulnerable shed employees and started shutting down. And as you say, unemployment went up and is still persistently rising at a household level.

            I don’t know know of any new tech companies formed since 2009 so the basic manufacturing export growth is just running on what Labour started without replacements as companies move closer to their markets.

            Dairy provides fuckall employment and nothing much else is going to provide jobs at anything like even our existing population growth…

            Welcome to the economic stupidity that characterises National governments.

            I guess we just have to turf the useless munters..

        • lprent 7.2.2.2

          Both major left parties have statements and even policies about local procurement. Labour hasn’t been particularly noticeable at doing it.

          In almost every FTA I’ve looked at for NZ, there really isn’t anything to stop that as a general policy. It is certainly the policy on the other side in countries we have signed FTA with.

          The thing you realise after being in manufacturing and even services businesses here is that that 4 and bit million people is a market that simply isn’t worth chasing for anything. It is too small to build a business on and will always get the overflow from larger economies offshore with economies of scale. The only things that work well inside the market are things that are hard to transport and those that are localised or cater to local tastes. Increasingly even those are owned an run from offshore.

          So all manufacturing and increasingly most services go directly offshore to vertical segment markets. That way you can leverage high levels of knowledge and skills in a small market segment directly to a very small but large number of customers in an international market. That provides employment here directly and indirectly as amassive multiplier. Basically we are increasingly exporting smarts from people that can’t see a point on moving from NZ if they have the net to work over.

          I’ve been doing that since 1996 in my code segments. I didn’t move from NZ in 1991 purely because I saw the net arriving.

          • thechangeling 7.2.2.2.1

            So what the hell are 150,000+ unemployed and 350,000+ under-employed people supposed to do with their lives while a few ‘high tech,’ ‘smart,’ ‘innovative’ and ‘niche’ manufacturing businesses make plenty of dosh and splash out on products imported into New Zealand that could of been made here and employed addtional New Zealanders?
            Looking after the local labour market should come first when it comes to production and consumption paradigms, after which the surplus production can be offloaded offshore where there’s sufficient demand.

            • lprent 7.2.2.2.1.1

              sigh Those people in tech industries live and buy goods and services locally. That creates local employment providing those goods and services. This is exactly the same as has happened with exports from farming and forestry for the last hundred years or so. What we need to do is to widen the base of the competitive export industries that allow us as a economy to pay for our imports. We are too small an economy to try to close off an internal economy because we will always require imports.

              The problem with NZ is that our internal economy is too small to be efficient for producing many goods, so like all smaller economies we import them from economies that do have the economies of scale. The problem is that we have to pay for them, so we export goods and services to pay for them.

              The problem is that there is an issue with that in providing the gateway for wealth from exports to filter through to the rest of the economy. Both farming and forestry and for that matter most resource extraction industries here and overseas are increasingly automated. So the ‘gateway’ for that wealth dispersal are increasingly constrained.

              For instance, the entire dairy and dairy processing industry (our single largest export industry) directly employs something like 60k people out of an economy of close to 3 million people. This is roughly the same as the tech industry directly employs, but for about a tenth of the export value.

              So rather than the wealth from dairy exports going into wages and thereby out into the local economy as purchases, it has been increasingly being tied up paying for capital on the speculative bubble of property. Effectively it increasingly never really hits the local economy, but instead leaks out of the country in the form of interest payments. (I’m over simplifying like hell – but that is the nett effect over time).

              Whereas the wealth for IP based industries is far more expressed as wages, which then largely gets spent in the local economy and disperses in creating and maintaining local jobs.

              Sure we could put up some kind of tariff barriers to produce local industries that are inherently inefficient and charge that cost through to everyone in the country. We had that back in the late 70’s and 80’s when I first started working.

              However it effectively means that all of our export industries also carry that cost as well and therefore become relatively inefficient in a world market. That is exactly what happened in the 1980s. Our local protected industries couldn ‘t export worth a damn. They just overcharged local purchasers and killed the local cost structures. It meant that the corporate I worked for back then had a larger office of lobbyists in Wellington trying to keep tariff barriers than its entire head office. And we didn’t export anything because our production prices were such that we weren’t and never could be competitive in the world economy.

              Eventually the local costs override the export income, and the country goes into a spiral of debt when its external import costs (like oil) rise. That was why the tariff barriers were dropped decades late in the 1980s, and it is why they should stay dropped. It is a bad idea to try to create a artificial economy to charge exporters to run the economy while ensuring that their ability to export gets screwed by the

              Basically we aren’t the US or Europe or China where the economies are big enough to make the internal economy many times larger than the export/import trade, and therefore the internal economies of scale for local production work.

              What we need to encourage is alternative export industries that preferably directly employ more people than automated farming, and who therefore provide much higher levels of indirect employment.

              • RedBaronCV

                The trouble is we are also offshoring services for some of which we are charged a higher price than those doing the same thing locally. Rationally those services should be provided onshore but some one’s offshore ego trip takes precedence.

                The second thing about offshoring services is, while it may be cheaper for the provider, the customer wears an increased cost. Call centres used to be an epic example of this, one could spend an entire work afternoon spelling Opotiki or similar and trying to extract information or documents from someone somewhere who didn’t have a clue what you were actually talking about. A local would have sorted it in 5.

                Lastly part of the cheaper price is that we are taking goods made with lower health and safety standards – child labour anyone? Some tax/tariff reinstatement might not be a bad idea.
                It’s a subject on which we could take lessons fom Australia. We need to stop being so “nice” and giving away our goods and productivity to off shore multinationals.
                It’ss probabaly no coincidence that software exports are growing. Where there are peopel involved not goods they can’t be offshored, bought and sold in the same way.

                • lprent

                  The trouble is we are also offshoring services for some of which we are charged a higher price than those doing the same thing locally.

                  Oh I’d entirely agree. This site’s active servers for instance are entirely offshore these days.

                  I’ve had it local and I’ve had it offshore.

                  Anytime it is local, the site is always susceptible to vexatious actions. Local hosting firms tend to want to take the site down or offending content removed if a lawyer makes a threat against them – regardless of if it is a valid threat or not. Running it from offshore makes the cost of being vexatious a lot higher then merely getting a lawyer mate to send a letter to a hosting company.

                  Not to mention what the bloody stupid net laws that are steadily coming into play here (there are some supremely dfat anti-bullying laws going through at present for instance) where the presumption of guilt on complaint appears to be the basis of any operation. They also appear to want to bypass the system operators and go directly to the hosting companies.

                  Needless to say, I’ve set the system so that ANY action must go through me or possibly Mike. People would have to convince one of the other of us that there is an actual problem – which seldom is the case.

                  But also I can get flexible servers with a lot of functionality at a reasonable price offshore that I simply can’t get here. LIterally the number of servers running this site drops dramatically overnight (usually to 3) and increases during the day (so far the peak has been about 12). Basically that means that we’re not paying for capacity we don’t need AND we have the CPU power when we need it. There are a lot of other services in a large scale operation that make this possible. It is exactly the same reason why wordpress.com and blogger.com have the majority of smaller blog sites. Economies of scale by serving a worldwide system.

                  But then of course there are the local system economic inanities that push you offshore as you site scales up. For instance the cost of overseas traffic. Now maybe 10% of our audience are offshore. Mostly overseas kiwis. But if we were running servers here, then the Southern Cross would mean that we’d be paying at least twice our current costs mostly servicing robots.

                  We’re pumping about 300GB-700GB out per month of non-static data (the static data caches on the client side and is about an additional 100GB per month). The human readers are almost entirely in NZ. The robots are almost entirely offshore and account for the increase – mostly heading into xmas. But we pay for all of that at a pretty low costs at a offshore site. The traffic is a minor proportion of our costs.

                  But inside NZ our cost structure is dominated by the costs of providing even a relatively small amount of data to the robots from offshore. That is because everything that goes from OUR servers via the Southern Cross cables and they cost like it was gold. Data internal to the NZ network is essentially free.

                  By siting offshore we don’t have to pay for that indeterminate amount of very expensive offshore traffic.

                  I can’t think of a good reason to site in-country because of those two reasons.

                  But what is abnormal about our situation compared to a tech company is that we have no paid employees doing development, sales, and distribution and our cost structure is dominated by our server costs.

                  An actual exporting tech company like the one I work for has server costs that are miniscule compared to wages, and almost all support is done via email. We also spend quite a lot of development effort making sure that we don’t get support calls or emails (something that I find is notably lacking amongst any company that offshores its call support)..

    • Wayne 7.3

      If you want to vote for a party against free trade, you have to vote Green or Mana. After all Labour pioneered the China FTA (and a good thing too).

      Anyway you already know this.

      By the way, it does seem that The Standard has become very de-spirited over the last few weeks. The only thing that has really excited commenters was Kim Dotcom.

      Sign of the election result?

      • Tautoko Viper 7.3.1

        No way, Wayne.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3.2

        I like your spirit Dr. Mapp. You’ve been awful quiet about corruption Collins, especially the way her personal corruption lends credence to Simon Lusk’s evidence that the National Party is nothing but a vehicle but the personal enrichment of its MPs and donors.

        Plenty of spirit in the left old boy, but I fear your party has been taken over by toadies and shills.

      • lprent 7.3.3

        By the way, it does seem that The Standard has become very de-spirited over the last few weeks. The only thing that has really excited commenters was Kim Dotcom.

        Don’t know about anyone else. But I’ve been far too busy at work to spend much time hanging out or writing here. Also haven’t had time to chase people up to write on the site (especially guest posts) which is why we have been having some variation in the numbers of daily posts. However than is also part of the annual pattern which sinks markedly on the onset of the reduced daylight hours every year.

        Basically we have a drop over xmas and a slow increase up to March/April, a drop through the dark months, and then a rise through August to the end of the year. It gets extreme towards the second half of general election years. We get major growth increases in election year which then persists and slightly grows in off-election years.

        Ummm try this public summary …
        http://statcounter.com/p6805620/summary/?guest=1

        Set to Monthly Or Quarterly, All Data, Area Graph. Look mostly at the Unique visits to see the trend. The pageviews peaks in May 2011, March 2012, August 2012-November 2012 were exaggerated by issues from facebook.

        The statcounter data set is a bit too small to see pronounced repeating election year growth pattern. I can see that in wordpress stats and google analytics

  8. Tracey 8

    wait til the chines premier comes here if key is in power. i suspectt key will make shipley look like a softie in this regard

  9. vto 9

    why didn’t someone just pick the fence up at one end and swing it out of the way?

    • framu 9.1

      exactly – who actually own the grounds around parliament?

      i would like to think its public land but you never know

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        public, but it’s the Speaker who acts as the delegated property supervisor, for want of a better term.

    • s y d 9.2

      Why? No one dared to step out of line. Shall we? Is it allowed? What did the security guy say? Oh that’s terrible. We always get to go to the top step. They should do something….

      Like Karol says don’t discount the communication factor of protest. I’ve always felt the best protests annoy people, incovenience them, jolt them out of the stupor, make them angry, spitting and venomous. They allow passers-by to see, feel, experience the hate and bile of the reaction against you. It’s amazing how such a simple thing can lift the edge of the carpet.

      However our local TPPA march went on the footpath….as if a random mob of shoppers had got loose. I know Mr Bragg advised against being cynical but I’m with Bill above.

  10. Tautoko Viper 10

    The green fencing of Parliament grounds brought to mind the Tony Robinson series in which enclosure, including Parliamentary enclosure, reduced the common land available to the people. A similar stripping of publicly owned land (and services) is taking place here.
    Landcorp CEO now saying that Land management and not ownership is its core business ( because of Treasury review no doubt). http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/238654/landcorp-moving-more-into-farm-management

    Public Schools and Hospitals are under threat as this article shows the Treasury pushing the same thinking.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11226941
    We are being too nice about respecting green fences while being mocked by politicians who are stealing our assets.

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Where is the spirit of defiance and dissent amongst the 99%. Peaceful civil resistance may sometimes have to go further than politely observing stay off the grass signs.

    In the US they have effectively closed off all public spaces in big cities to being available for significant protest actions. An example is setting a closing time for a park or square at 9pm or 10pm which is only ever enforced if a protest is occurring.

    Significant protests and strikes of any duration require significant logistical support and logistical bases. In the old days union halls and the like would fulfill this role.

    Today many of these things are no longer available.

  12. weka 12

    Thanks for writing this guest poster. These meta issues are the really crucial ones. We can’t win the others without sorting these ones out.

  13. freedom 13

    The post is a fair summation of the wider issue, but things were not completely passive and options were considered.

    It is no revelation to anyone with real world experience of organizing actions at Parliament that any openly aggressive actions during a protest potentially harm the conditions laid down for further protest action at Parliament. This is always (quietly) made clear during ‘negotiations’ for protest actions at Parliament. Remember there were maybe three hundred people gathered. Not a huge crowd, and it was not a highly co-ordinated group, but they were there to listen, and stand together. That still counts for something in this world. Maybe more so now than ever.

    Upon arrival at the forecourt steps, the organising team were busy getting the P.A. sorted as it had been interfered with in some manner since the earlier event.

    Whilst that was being sorted, myself and one of the organisers began attaching the main banners to the barrier fence. We did seriously consider getting the crowd to assist in lifting the fence up to the forecourt but a quick appraisal of the situation means we rejected the idea without much debate. The crowd’s own behaviour showed it really was not much of an issue.

    “I attempted to convince a few of the people I recognised at the march to get together and move the fence. However, I was told we “didn’t have enough people” – I did hear a few people voicing similar ideas but don’t recall many stepping forward. When looked at objectively, the situational reality dictated not to respond to the obvious manipulation of the barrier fence with too much aggression. The crowd was not “corralled” by the fence, it was a single line, there were no sides to the barrier fence.

    If we had wanted, the entire rally could just as easily have walked around the fence up onto the forecourt. This is probably what we should have done. Everyone sitting on the forecourt steps with their back to parliament listening to the speakers down on the lawn. A lost opportunity, maybe. A plan to consider for next time, definitely. The obviousness of the deliberate placement of the fence at the base of the forecourt steps was more an admission by the Government that petty is the preferred play.

    There were one or two marchers who were considering pulling the fence away. They gave the barrier an enthusiastically symbolic rattling whilst shouting some pretty direct vitriol at the government. Not sure who he was, but there was one young guy who would give Maynard James Keenan a run for his money in a shouting loudly competition.

    Things quickly calmed down and I believe this was the right reaction to the situation. Positioning the fence below the forecourt steps forced a quick decision upon arrival at Parliament, and it was very much a group think decision. If the crowd had been bigger then I believe we would have moved the fence for the symbolic nature alone, but the word from the crowd made it clear the speeches were more important than where they were delivered from.

    That is not apologizing for any apparent lack of anger expressed at the event’s manipulation, I am simply hoping to clarify something about the situational reality.

    For the record: The ‘little green fence’, was a chain of steel barrier sections padlocked together.
    It is in reality an unwieldy heavy and dangerous object. It had been formed and situated so the length of its entirety extended well beyond the stairs’ 20m width and moving its dozen or so padlocked sections would have been a difficult job, even with a well-rehearsed team. Any action to re-locate the barriers would have been time consuming, not likely to have had any real benefit and potentially come at a very real cost to future actions. There were also risks of having the situation become a farce rather than an act of resistance.

    All in all I think the best was made of a crappy situation.

    I would like to add how the main gates of Parliament were locked as well, which now seems to be normal operating procedure facing protest actions entering the grounds of Parliament. This fragments the arrival of a march into Parliament grounds and again is an action best described as petty.

    • weka 13.1

      That’s interesting freedom, and adds to the picture. I’m unclear why so much focus on moving the fence though. Surely the issue isn’t the position of the fence but where the protest gets to be. Jumping the fence, or walking around it seem entirely reasonable.

  14. bad12 14

    That’s progress for you tho, the last time i seen ‘the fence’ on the Parliaments forecourt it was the steel grey of its manufacture,(Parliamentary green now i must hope???),

    Given a ‘Hot issue’ akin to the anti-apartheid protests,(so long ago i glaringly remember them to this day), i am sure that ‘the fence’ would have not remained as an impediment and quite possibly would have been put to good use as a tool,

    It was a question asked by many of us after the head-bashing meted out by the forces of the State on young girls and grandmothers WHY did those who were our leaders on that night march us away from the Parliament where up on the balcony National Government Ministers watched on with what i assume to be amusement, if not glee,

    Never really answered, and pointless to speculate upon,(although i have a theory), nothing much after that was allowed to become a barrier to anyone’s right to protest from barbed wire to the two meter plus gates of Rugby League Park a means was simply found to remove such obstacles,

    i do tho still believe that for all the energy spent, for all the blood spilled, a far greater effect would have been had on the ‘Tour’ if every committed anti-tour protester had of made their way to Wellington and either occupied the grounds of the Parliament for the more faint of heart,or, for those more robust an actual occupation of the Parliament…

    • BM 14.1

      You would have been arrested or shot.

      • bad12 14.1.1

        i have been arrested,(to times to count), and shot at,(three times), in my short span upon this Earth, so BM what’s new???…

        • BM 14.1.1.1

          Could be the reason why the others weren’t so enthusiastic, could have been different though if a hardened bad ass such as yourself was leading the charge and showing the way.

          • bad12 14.1.1.1.1

            BM, what exactly are you raving about,could the reason for your latest exhibition be that your drunk again…

      • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.2

        Imagine the scene: Bad12 getting arrested and shot, and BM witnessing the murder, proudly wearing his uniform, but simultaneously worried about when his ability to read and write would mark him as a dangerous subversive.

  15. Glenn Cassidy 15

    Or they could have walked around them very easily… I think the pressure was actually more malignant than a few security officers..afterall there were a large number of foreign ministers inside at the time being smooched and slobbered over by Hekia.
    Also, the Fijian delegation were just beaming from ear to ear at the unbelievable sight of protesters on parliament grounds full stop… pick your battles.

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  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    1 week ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    1 week ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    1 week ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    1 week ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    1 week ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    1 week ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato
    The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks. “Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in ...
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    4 hours ago
  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
    The Government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August2020, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “We want to support our valued Muslim brothers and sisters who were directly ...
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    4 hours ago
  • Boost for community freshwater restoration projects
    A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today.  “The government is backing efforts to look after waterways with $199,400 for the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from ...
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    5 hours ago
  • More support for women and girls
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter today announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled, as the first successful funding applications for the initial $1million were revealed. “Women and girls across the country have suffered because of the effects of COVID-19, and I ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
    The Government’s books were better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the 11 months to the end of May indicate the year end results for tax revenue will be stronger than forecast. ...
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    8 hours ago
  • Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector
    A plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector and set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path was unveiled today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The newly-released report - Vision and Action for New Zealand’s Wool Sector - was developed by the Wool Industry Project Action Group ...
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    8 hours ago
  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
    Community efforts to create a Predator Free Whangārei will receive a $6 million boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. The new funding, through Government company Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will create around 12 jobs while enabling the complete removal of possums over ...
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    9 hours ago
  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand remains deeply ...
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    1 day ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced details of a multimillion-dollar investment in Whangārei for infrastructure projects that will help it recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government’s rejuvenation package ...
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    1 day ago
  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
    Following a second incident in which a person escaped from a managed isolation facility, security is being enhanced, including more police presence onsite, Minister Megan Woods said. “The actions of some individuals who choose to break the very clear rules to stay within the facilities means that more resourcing is ...
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    1 day ago
  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
    Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361,447 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) Sustainable Kaipara. “The new funding will allow Sustainable Kaipara to partner with local schools, kura, community ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
    The Government will support the Southland economy in the wake of multinational mining company Rio Tinto’s decision to follow through with its long signalled closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. “This day has unfortunately been on the cards for some time now, but nevertheless the final decision is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
    New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. A new rat poison, a camera with predator recognition software to detect and report predators, a new predator lure and a ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
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    2 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
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    2 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
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    2 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
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    2 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
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    2 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
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    3 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
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    3 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
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    3 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
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    3 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
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    3 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
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    4 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
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    5 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
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    1 week ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
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    1 week ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
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    1 week ago