The price of fear

Written By: - Date published: 1:02 pm, July 5th, 2009 - 34 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

It’s hardly controversial to comment that our media peddle fear. Nor uncontroversial to comment that a cowed individual is a controllable individual.

Many remark on our 6 O’Clock News leading with, lingering over and sensationalising the random stabbing or shooting and also that on our fictional TV programmes are increasingly dominated by fearful scenarios such as murder, violence, kidnappings and such like.

Linda Clark reflected an all too prevalent mentality resulting from this culture of fear on Sat when she and her guest discussed the overbearing supervision and molly coddling of today’s kids. Although stating her awareness that she does not allow her kids the same freedoms she herself enjoyed as a kid, she tied herself in knots attempting to understand her own actions. She eventually pleaded ‘Everyone else does it’ or words to that effect as a justification and explanation for having them on a short leash.

So far, so bad, but according to these studies it is not simply the case that being presented with ‘unsafety’ will, over time make people boring, fearful and malleable.

Fearful people are denied, both by others and themselves, experiences that might allow them to draw their own conclusions on the veracity of any stated danger or threat. Their perceptions are received, not developed. Because of this, the legitimacy of a growing negative orthodoxy that insists, for example, that we must be tough on crime, that homeless people are intrinsically bad, that kids are the enemy, that Muslims are dangerous, that immigration is bad and so on, cannot be questioned.

As the fearfulness and its concomitant measures of cotton candy wool safety measures dance in a vortex of decreasing, reinforcing spirals, it gets expressed in wider and ever more encompassing contexts from TV News to TV programmes to school rules to government policy to every day ‘everybody knows that!’ scenarios. And the narrowing parameters of orthodoxy constrict the discourse of both the left and right of the social democratic spectrum and brings us closer to, well a ‘wonderful’ One World wrapped up shit smeared cotton candy wool, I guess.

Bill

34 comments on “The price of fear ”

  1. roger nome 1

    Many on the right appear to have had a sheltered existence in white, suburban neighbourhoods, relying only on the prejudice of their parents and their similarly ignorant peers for the formation of their world-views. It’s sad, because the bigotry they accrue from this experience becomes so emotionally entrenched that it’s impossible to shake without them having a broader life experience (which they avoid, due to their prejudices). Then everyone else ends up paying for their ignorance.

    I know it’s cheesy, but i couldn’t help but think of the following song in relation to this post.

    • Bill 1.1

      Unfortunately, the phenomenon is far more pernicious and widespread in its effect. It is definitely not limited to the right wing of the political spectrum.

      If it was there wouldn’t really be a problem. The problem is a constricting orthodoxy encompassing the whole of society rather than just a right wing section of it.

      • Anita 1.1.1

        While the problem isn’t restricted to the right wing, it benefits the right.

        I heard Garth McVicar talk about increasing the amount and profile of crime reporting (by increasing victim availability to the media) being a conscious strategy of the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

  2. Anita 2

    I have a rather tenuous theory, which I shall try out here destruction by application of brute logic welcome 🙂

    One of the drivers for fear vs confidence holding on to the old vs reaching out for the new  is intergenerational dynamics. The older generations are fearful on behalf of the younger, the younger rebel against the strictures of the older and seek out new experiences.

    As the extended family has broken down, we have moved from a three generation structure to a two generation one. With extended families the grandparents are the most fearful and conservative within each family, the children the most fearless, and the parents are held in the middle: fearful for their children but reacting against their parents’ fears, controls and anxieties. In the current two generation families the parents are the oldest and they don’t have the close proximity of their parents to react against.

    I imagine conversations where grandparents say “don’t let Chris go to the playground alone, 12 is way too young for that!” and the parent react against it “Chris is a sensible kid, and the playground’s just next door so I can keep an eye out from the kitchen window!” Without that over-conservatism and reaction, there is no check and balance on anxiety and the parent takes on that over anxious role personally.

    • Bill 2.1

      The evidence just does not support the idea that social anxiety and fear are linked to age.

      If perceptions are shaped by experience and an older person has accrued a diverse set of direct social experiences to base their perceptions on, then they may well become less intolerant and fearful as they age.

      • Anita 2.1.1

        Are you saying that people have measured fearfulness of crime etc and found it isn’t linked to age? (If so, do you have refs?! I need those refs for something else I’m working on 🙂 Or that you think that if someone studied it they wouldn’t find that?

        • Anita 2.1.1.1

          Ok, I just went for a quick look and I can find stats pointing in a variety of directions, including a number which I’d argue show that fearfulness of crime is linked to social isolation, and that social isolation is linked to old age in a modern urban society in which extended family networks have broken down. I can never work out which studies are publicly available, but this has a public abstract, tho it’s pretty old.

          • Bill 2.1.1.1.1

            I’d argue that the information being fed to the isolated person will shape their perceptions.

            So somebody who is isolated and having it suggested every day and every night that harmful criminals are stalking their streets or that Jews, Catholics or whoever are plotting nasty shit then, hey, they’ll probably buy the line.

            But if they know some Jews or Catholics or are out and about enough to know that the streets are by and large pretty safe then they can develop their own perception as a counterweight to whatever the orthodoxy of the day is saying.

            Again. Nothing to do with age per se. Perhaps the person has become more isolated as they got older and so more subject to countervailing orthodoxies….but the determining factor is the isolation rather than the age.

  3. joeb 3

    Great point, expressed in tormented academic prose. A net zero!

    • joeb 3.1

      On the other hand, you get a point for linking to Altemeyer, one of my favourite authors and someone who is great at communicating complex ideas in engaging and accessible language. So you end up in the positive — huzzah!

    • Bill 3.2

      Yeah. Fair comment. But at least I managed to push the point across even if it was screaming and kicking.

      I’ll just be happy if people go and read Altemeyer.

      I hadn’t heard of him up ’til other day but reckon he offers a very useful and important tool for developing a better understanding of socio/political dynamics.

  4. serpico 4

    So what,yawn, we live in a fear factor society.

    • Bill 4.1

      No, yawn, Serpico. That’s not it.j

      Over time the dynamics of authoritarianism (promotion of fear and conventionalism [read the link]) see orthodoxy narrow and become ever more impoverished until we arrive at a fascistic state of affairs by default.

  5. djp 5

    I have noticed this climate of fear (encouraged by both media and govt) in many subjects

    – global warming
    – terrorism
    – sars
    – swine flu
    – bird flu
    – war on drugs

    My theory is it is all about fear and control… first make em afraid, and they are that much easier to control. The media are probably just in it for the eyeballs that such reporting brings… governments, well the more laws the better (for them)

    • Ari 5.1

      To be fair, it’s hard to talk about the need to act on global warming without invoking fear, even if you’re trying not to.

    • Bill 5.2

      All of what you mention jpd.

      And then what Altemeyer terms as ‘right wing authoritarian’ followers buy into the fear hook line and sinker. And what makes a for a right wing authoritarian? Lack of developed perception; a preponderance of received perception.

      So if we look at what we are doing to our kids we might figure out whether they are being encouraged to develop or receive perception.

      Well, spider webs, witches hats, round-a-bouts .in short, all the good shit in playgrounds are all gone. Kids are mollycoddled to the extent that ‘going out to play’or ‘fucking off on your own’ are quaint memories of yesteryear.

      Even walking to school is essentially unheard of now for Christ sake! And Bullrush? Banned. Climbing trees? Prohibited and not unusually attracting punishment. And so it goes on . and on.

      A woman let her 9 year old ride the underground. Castigated.

      A 9 year old accompanies a 3 year old to the swing park. The authorities turn up at the parents’.

      Meanwhile we have a restrictive culture of safety ‘informing’ our sense of danger. Many examples.

      When these kids grow up they are more likely to be authoritarian followers and perpetuate and deepen the dynamics that encourage acceptance of what is and what is not dangerous or and what is and what is not acceptable.

      What’s the old saying? Something like ‘ you have to teach a person to read and think and if you don’t then somebody else will do it for them.’

      Once somebody else is doing the thinking, the authoritarian followers will be willing agents of that persons thoughts and be unable to question the right or wrong of what they are doing….extreme examples might be the followers of 1001 dictators….but other examples are politicians blindly enacting policy in line with economic orthodoxy….or your neighbour reporting you cause your two kids went out to play….

      • jarbury 5.2.1

        I think we’ve seen a slight reverse of that in the last couple of years. Some fantastic rope mountains have been built at playgrounds (like Olympic Park in Avondale) and we have the Walking School Bus – which is about the best idea I have ever come across.

        Maybe the tide is starting to turn?

  6. Fear is debilitating, and has shocking effects on the operation of society. It is fear that makes everyone drive their kids to school each day, causing shocking traffic congestion. Fear drive polarisation, as people only feel safe within the company of those that are similar to them – and over time that simply reinforces the fear of the other.

    It may be my planning/transport background that informs my viewpoint on this matter, but I really think the fact that we often don’t have situations with people of a variety of incomes living together drives the fear. We haven’t got as bad as the gated communities of the USA, but perhaps we are heading down that path. Secondly, the fact that our transport system is very auto-based means that we don’t mix on subway trains or buses as much as might be the case otherwise. Therefore, people from richer areas just don’t mix much with those from poorer areas, meaning often the only time they hear about someone “other-like” is on the news or police 10-7″.

    The media is certainly partly to blame for driving the fear, but so are other issues like single-use planning and our individualised lifestyle/transport system.

    • IrishBill 6.1

      Agreed, Jarbury. I’d also suggest longer working hours and the 30 year political focus on the individual has had a strong role to play in the atomisation of society as well.

  7. sophie 7

    When I was young you only played with kids whose house you could walk to. These days, kids seem to get driven around so much that they lose the ability to start off just going next door to play and then venturing out from there.

    • jarbury 7.1

      Yeah I have made an effort to take my daughter on an many walks around the neighbourhood (usually to the nearest playground) as possible. I think that it’s critical she knows her way around the neighbourhood and feels “grounded” in it – that it’s not something to fear.

      I strongly think it’s our obsession with private space and our rejection of public space that has strongly contributed to this climate of fear.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Agreed, the increase in individualism and declining sense of community makes everyone else an enemy rather than the support that you need to live your life to its fullest.

      • Bill 7.1.2

        When I was a kid, there was a football field where we’d all gather to ‘kick a ball around’. Sometimes we’d go from there and get up to all kinds of shit…some harmless, some dodgy. By such behaviour we developed our own understanding of ‘our’ world.

        One day an adult turned up with his kid and claimed he wanted to help us play football better. I’d never heard of the term paedophile or any such like. Anyway, the guy was told to fuck off. Our world was ours. Adults were not welcome ’cause we ‘knew’ they’d moderate our behaviour and activities…take over.

        Contrast with today’s norm. Chaperone your kid. (Potentially) deliver them straight to the paedophile in the 4WD when you take them to football practice because letting them go ‘out to play’ is apparently dangerous.

        I’ll repeat. When I was a kid, we were ‘never’ going to be subjected to dodgy adults ’cause our fun was based on the absence of adults. Of course, we got into lots of potentially dangerous and diverse situations…that cliff face, that swollen river….and we developed our understandings.

        One of which might have been a healthy distrust of authority.

        • jarbury 7.1.2.1

          Absolutely Bill.

          I think a couple of factors are key here

          1) Increased traffic on the roads really does make our suburbs less safe than they used to be. I would personally make all local roads (as opposed to arterial routes) have a 40 kph speed limit, narrow the roads down and widen the footpaths to counteract this.

          2) The whole ‘stranger danger’ climate of fear has been woefully blown out of proportion. A child is FAR FAR FAR more likely to die in the back-seat of a 4WD while being driven to piano practice than from being abducted while walking there. The fact that our streets are generally pretty empty of pedestrians probably contributes to the climate of fear – making people think “heck nobody else walks, no-one would keep an eye on my kid”. This is self-reinforcing and once again results from land-use and transport planning issues in my opinion.

          • Bill 7.1.2.1.1

            I’ll go with that.

            Meanwhile, if I tell my kid to ‘go out to play’ what are they going to do? No other kids are out playing.

            If I have my kid walk to school, no other kids are walking to school. BTW I don’t think these ‘walking school buses’ do much good in reversing the cosseted culture we impose on our kids.

            So we carry on bringing up our kids to be potential wee brownshorts’…. No, I don’t mean they will be shitting themselves with fear hence the colour of their pants….I mean that they are constantly and almost exclusively informed, both covertly and overtly, by authority (parents, teachers, government campaigns, media or whatever) and will be increasingly incapable of questioning what it is that that authority might instruct them to think or do.

  8. Trevor Mallard 8

    And when I was first Minister of Education and was opening a building I asked the assembled kids who was the youngest, picked her up gave her the scissors and she cut the ribbon. Afterwards both the principal and a Ministry official told me I shouldn’t touch kids. After that I picked up a kids everytime I opened a building. This might make the basis of a Red Alert blog sometime but for now it is enough to say that we need to keep on asking ourselves whether new approaches are appropriate.

    • Anita 8.1

      Thou shalt not think that any male over the age of 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a peadophile Some people are just nice.

      from dan le sac VS scroobius pip Thou Shalt always Kill

      P.S. I am strangely pleased to have posted that quote and link 🙂

    • Ari 8.2

      It strikes me as pretty silly that we encourage positive male role-models not to touch kids, thus fetishising it even more for real pedophiles, and also removing an avenue by which they could safely (and accidentally) out themselves before doing any harm.

      Keep up the physical contact Trev, I’m sure the kids at least appreciate it.

  9. RedLogix 9

    I’ve been thinking about this profound post on and off all day. It touches on a very deep theme in human life. There are two kinds of fear, one that inspires respect and courage, the other loathing and cowardice.

    Deep within all the religions is the notion of the ‘Fear of God’, something intended to remind us that Divinity is something greatly larger and all-pervading that our limited imaginations can grasp. Yet paradoxically we also believe in a loving, forgiving and gracious God. As a person who has worked closely with electricity much of my life, I fear it, yet my knowledge and respect for it allows to me to make and move things, heat and light my world.

    The dark side of fear is the weapon of choice for authoritarians everywhere. It is the darkness that pervades in the absence of light, and feeds on the delusions of the ego. Because their possesions and lives are the only thing of value to many people, they quite naturally see in others only the threat of betrayal and loss. Indeed that those who have the most, will in the end be the most fearful of loosing it, thus becoming prisoners of their own cowardice.

    Oh and dan le sac VS scroobius pip is very 21st century. Not possible when I was a kid.

  10. DeepRed 10

    I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the same kind of people on Planet Talkback who whinge about kids being cotton-wooled, are the same people who cotton-wool their own kids in gated communities. It’ll eventually come to a head somehow.

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    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
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    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
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    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
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    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
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    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
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    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
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    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
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    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
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    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
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    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
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    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
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    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
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    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
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    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
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    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
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    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
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    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
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    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
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    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
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    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
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    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
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    2 weeks ago

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