web analytics

The price of trade

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, July 20th, 2010 - 35 comments
Categories: Economy, Environment, workers' rights - Tags:

Watching an article on the shipping breaking industry in Bangladesh got me thinking about trade.

The textbooks tell us that free trade is good because it means a more efficient use of resources. We export timber to Samoa and import coconut products because our natural endowments favour production of those products in our respective countries. But the reality is that often the ‘competitive advantage’ one country has in producing a product compared to others isn’t some natural resource or better legal or physical infrastructure that makes business more efficient. Too often, the cheapest countries are the cheapest because they pay their workers the least and don’t protect their environment.

It’s no earth-shattering insight to say that, of course. But the article on the Bangladesh ship breaking industry brought home to me the inefficiencies that come from free trade without fair trade.

If all the countries of the world paid ship breakers the same wages and held the industry to the same environmental standards, then the work would go to the countries and companies that actually are best at the work. Jobs would be held by the most productive workers and they would get decent pay for it. Resources would be used more efficiently ß more would be recycled with less pollution. The world would be better off.

But ‘free’ trade actually distorts the market. It doesn’t reward efficiency, it rewards corner cutting and unsustainable practices.

What’s to be done? Not closing our borders, not imposing artificial trade barriers. Rather, countries need to club together and demand high environmental and labour practices from their trading partners (you can just see Key doing that eh?). The result would be fewer people in the first world losing their jobs to be replaced by virtual slave labour in the third world, better wages and environments in the third world, and, ultimately, a more efficient world economy.

On a final note, they say the ship breaking industry is booming while ship building is in the doldrums. Why’s that? Because world trade is dependent on ultra-cheap energy to drive all those container ships. The oil crunch from 2004 to 2008 made trade expensive and the recession that it caused saw trade plummet. With the next oil crunch on the horizon according to an array of international organisations, global trade will be in for a rougher and rougher ride. And we’ll have another reason to question the logic of enormously long international supply chains that are completely dependent on an uninterrupted supply of cheap energy.

35 comments on “The price of trade”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    If all the countries of the world paid ship breakers the same wages and held the industry to the same environmental standards, then the work would go to the countries and companies that actually are best at the work. Jobs would be held by the most productive workers and they would get decent pay for it. Resources would be used more efficiently ß more would be recycled with less pollution. The world would be better off.


    For “free-trade” to work then every country needs to work under the same environmental laws, have the same minimum wage, have the same workers protections laws and rights, use the same currency etc. With all of that then the actual costs can be compared and it would work. Without it then no rational comparison can be made which turns the “free-trade” mantra of the economists into the delusion that it is.

    • Gosman 1.1

      Once again you have highlighted why the left doesn’t understand the principles of free trade at all.

      Free Trade doesn’t require the same minimum wage. This would be nonsensical as it would ignore the different levels of productivity, not to mention costs, that each nation has.

      While there is a case to be made about standardising environmental regulations this is a matter for multi-national collaboration and shouldn’t be tied into trade.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        No, you’ve just proven that you prefer delusion to reality.

        Costs are the same as it requires the same real resources* to provide the same products and services. Productivity is a delusional measure and the ship breaking used above is a good example. Those ship breakers aren’t the most productive as they don’t have the capital investment to make it so and should, according to economic theory, cost more. They don’t because there’s a lot of missing costs which would mostly have to do with workers rights and protections and environmental protection.

        Of course environmental matters should be tied to trade. How else are we to make a rational decision as to which is the best price if one country doesn’t have the costs of environmental protection inherent in the price and another does?

        * Money is not a resource

      • ZombieBusiness 1.1.2

        Africa was set up, told free trade would free them, and the world dumped its
        excess food on them. African farmers could not compete and African nations
        had to expose their primary resources to the new corporate colonists. to
        buy food they could of produce themselves.

        Free trade works like this, your countries ruling elite is told you can
        make big bucks feeding the international free trade system (and get
        big buck support for re-election or arms for your miliatry backers).

        All the elite needs to do is too sell off, mining rights, petrol rights,
        or bleed their soils dry, or suck water to feed dairy cows, profits now,
        costs and risks later on future inhabitants of the region.

        And it was made much easier, far too easy for elites globally to choose,
        since cheap oil and cheap credit, with cheaper and bland journalism
        fed jingoistic mantras 24-7 from the likes of Fox and others. No
        English speaking country politician could get ahead in their profession
        by going against stupid neo-right-liberal-economic bullcrap.

        So it came to pass that the environment, the balance sheets, the risks
        would all blow back into our faces. Welcome to that day! Free markets
        do work if government gets out of the business of helping or harming
        business and stay true to their voters long term needs, as an umpire.

        ACT, National believefavor business needs assistence, whether watered
        down employment laws, sell off resources to foreigners, or trashing
        Canturbury water. You can’t trust a party that thinks their own job is
        to make business run on time. Get it.

        This is why Key is a bad PM, and this is why Clark was a neutral PM.
        And why its going to be another decade of collapse until we have a
        PM that actually leads government for the good of the people. Why?
        Because people are slow to change, voting for short term fixes.
        We need a long term consensus, and only when voters are hurting
        financially, socially, will they demand politicians act.

        • Gosman

          What a complete and utter display of ignorance of the issues of free trad and it’s impact on Africa. A large number of places in Africa have no problem competing in the international arena on food and agricultural products.

          Both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are in the top league of cocoa bean producers. East and Southern African nations regularly supply European markets with various types of produce and products.

          The issue isn’t that they can’t compete given a free market, it is that the market isn’t really free. Other nations, especially the US and EU, have distorted markets with protectionist trade policies and massive amounts of state subsidies for their inefficient farmers. That causes a glut of produce which the EU and US tewnd to dump on developing nations.

          Don’t blame free trade for the problems caused by a lack of free trade.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Which comes back to what was said in the post and my comment and which you disagreed with. The lack of understanding on trade seems to be with you.

            • Gosman

              You mean when you said productivity was a delusional meassure? Yes I had a good chuckle at that and started a reply but then decided it wasn’t worth debating with someone who believes in such utter nonsense.

          • rainman

            That the same cocoa bean trade that featured on the telly a few weeks ago, talking about their use of child labour?

            Let me guess, that’s part of their “comparative advantage”?

      • Roger 1.1.3

        But a lower minimum wage distorts the market against increased productivity by allowing firms to use ridiculously cheap labour instead of the most efficient capital or even the most productive labour.

        Captcha: cent, anyone you can pay 10-20 of these an hour is unlikely to be the best person for the job.

        • prism

          Yeah – not till they get enough money for a decent feed that enables them to stand up to the rigours of a 12-16 hour day’s work. Vicious cycle this extreme poverty. Perhaps there could be a shortage of such workers available to work at 10-20 cents pr hour organised through birth control and education leading to better wages and achievement of opportunities.

          Supply and demand effects are self-evident. After a plague in Europe the peasants, being less numerous than before, demanded more money, good textbook economics which tend to be based on ideal hypotheses. (Reality of human behaviour came to the fore and the land-owning class worked out new laws to limit the rise of these smalls.)

  2. comedy 2

    A large proportion of our pharmaceuticals come from South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent, this is encouraged by governments of all ilks to save money, are you saying this is a bad thing and that the government should somehow demand that these suppliers adhere to the same employment/environmental laws we have in NZ.

    I suspect they would tell us to get fucked and just sell their products somewhere else, and while we could claim the moral high ground how would anyone be better off ?

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Here is the answer. We create a level playing field so far as wages are concerned by ensuring that workers everywhere are paid the same as those in China. 🙂

    • felix 3.1

      Of course we’d love to see wages drop.

      • comedy 3.1.1

        are you John Key ?

      • tsmithfield 3.1.2

        Well, if wages everywhere dropped we would all be consuming less and creating less greenhouse gases. That would be a good thing, wouldn’t it? Compare the per-head greenhouse emissions of the US compared to the third-world for example.

        • felix

          You’re right that it would be good if everyone consumed less. You’re wrong that wages need to drop as a result though – profits do.

        • Bill

          “..if wages everywhere dropped we would all be consuming less and creating less greenhouse gases…”

          No we wouldn’t. And aren’t. Wages have dropped since the 60s/70s. But production has increased. As has consumption.

          Built in obsolescence and fashion have driven production/consumption through the roof. Consumption has been sustained by the use of debt as a mechanism by which consumers accumulate those things they/we cannot afford.

          • tsmithfield

            True. But debt exists because lenders believe people can fund the debt. If incomes drops enough then debt will also drop along with consumption.

            • Bill

              “But debt exists because lenders believe people can fund the debt.”

              Sub-prime mortgages ring a bell for you?

              “If incomes drops enough then debt will also drop along with consumption.”

              As incomes drop, debt increases if for no other reason because it becomes increasingly less serviceable.

  4. Bill 4

    “But ‘free’ trade actually distorts the market.”

    Are you asking us to accept the idea that the market itself is not the cause of the distortion?

    The market pulls all producers into a zero sum game with one another. And it pits employers against employees in a zero sum game. And it demands that production strategies are geared towards endless growth. And that means that protection of the environment is an impediment to the growth imperatives of the market. And also that any efficient use of resources is an impediment to the growth imperatives of the market.

    The market is a place of aggression and violence that has, and is, and will, continue to destroy human lives, environments, eco-systems, climate and anything and everything that might stand in the way of endless growth.

    Where you try to mitigate any effects of the market, ( environmental regulations, ‘fair trade’ etc) the basic market dynamics will tend everything back to finally satisfying market demands. And that is also true of any form of trade that takes place in a market environment. I’m sure you can rummage up many examples of the market indefatigably wearing away at and finally rendering obsolete any regulations or theories of trade devised to contain or control its worse excesses.

    And the market didn’t just magically appear. It is not a natural phenomenon. We created it. And now we need to shut it down.

    • tsmithfield 4.1

      Na… the market eventually fixes it everything. The market is God. 🙂

      When resources become in short supply the cost goes up, so the market will eventually find alternatives to those resources.

      The market eventually even addresses income inequality issues in a way that no political system can. Look at the income of the Japanese now compared to where they were 40 years ago for example. What happens is that manufacturers aim to outsource to low wage economies. The resulting income boosts those economies and enables their own internal market to develop. Eventually they become self-supporting high wage economies. Eventually the whole world will end up a high wage economy.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        “When resources become in short supply the cost goes up, so the market will eventually find alternatives to those resources.”

        So when the free resource of regular and predictable climatic cycles that our crops rely on (seasons) are gone – at which point broadly steady and predictable periods of weather will be considered in terms that are beyond measure…as priceless, the market ( which is the phenomenon that insisted on and drove the processes of production and distribution and consumption that created and perpetuated climate change in the first place) will already have, or will be in the process of, finding an alternative?

        Gee. That’s a relief. Thanks for letting me in on that one ts.

        • tsmithfield

          Why do you think governments are moving towards emission trading type schemes? Because they recognise the power of the market model to achieve outcomes much more quickly than other methods.

          Look at the amount of car companies now producing electric or hybrid cars. The market is moving. As the need becomes greater the market will move faster. Eventually the market will even produce technology that will fix our seasons if that becomes a problem.

          • Bill

            “Why do you think governments are moving towards emission trading type schemes?”

            Because the market demands market solutions to the exclusion of everything else and government exists to service the market, perpetuate the market, elevate the market and crisis manage the market.

            “Eventually the market will even produce technology that will fix our seasons if that becomes a problem”

            You’re insane.

            • tsmithfield

              And you have no vision. There is already technology being developed that removes carbon from the atmosphere and converts it into carbon that can be used in carbon fibre products.

              • Bill

                You mean spades?

                You know, those things you dig holes with that you then plant trees in that capture carbon. Which is all fine and good ’til the market comes along insisting that you chop the trees down again cause it’s ‘good for business’ to make ‘carbon fibre product’ particle board or whatever and release all the captured carbon back into the atmosphere?

                Or you mean some wonder gizmo that uses less CO2 emitting energy in construction and running than is gathered from its output? Including energy inputs for subsequent production processes to manufacture these captured ‘carbon fibre products’?

                • tsmithfield

                  Na. A bit more sophisticated than a spade. This was technology featured on “close-up” I think quite a while ago. It was technology that removed carbon from the atmosphere. The output was a carbon dust that could be used in carbon fibre technology.

  5. “Too often, the cheapest countries are the cheapest because they pay their workers the least and don’t protect their environment.”

    This is what European farmers could use as an argument against NZ dairy products and meat because our farmers are exempt from ETS, are allowed to pollute rivers at will (and pay the farmhands peanuts).

  6. clandestino 6

    “The result would be fewer people in the first world losing their jobs to be replaced by virtual slave labour in the third world, better wages and environments in the third world, and, ultimately, a more efficient world economy.”

    Hang on, if world wages were held level in an industry (ie. ship breaking) then the companies involved would not move to the most ‘productive’ just the most ‘efficient’ (or, more likely, nationalistic). This could be anywhere costs are lower through any number of reasons like tax levels, energy supply, etc. In essence, you are advocating millions of people in the global south losing their livelihoods (and with no welfare state to fall back on, it’s signing a death sentence), for those jobs to be brought back here where advanced machinery and bean counters will suck them into the ever-downward spiral of ‘efficiency’.

  7. Pete 7

    uroskin said are allowed to pollute rivers at will (and pay the farmhands peanuts)

    And as for the way the animals are often treated ,far to often .


    Ive worked on a couple dairy farms in the past myself and seen induced calves born with hardly any hair, left to shiver in the cold until after the milking was over,when they were only then finally bludgeoned to death with a hammer.All because profits come first.Late calving cows are injected, to quickly induce calving, bringing the milk flow and money on faster.

    Many people try and suggest animals dont feel pain and suffering like humans do.Yet for me the harsh trauma these cows all went through with all their calves being removed within hours of birth ,was very obvious.You can tell when animals are suffering from a type of stress or depression ,their heads drop and they get a kinda distant look in their eyes.

    During calving season in the dairy shed, for me this phenomena of stress and depression being displayed by the cows, seemed quite obvious.

    I dont think all farmers treat their animals this abhorrent way, infact i do personally know some that i know for sure dont treat their animals bad ! . But these farmers are the ones that are not morgaged way to far out of control .The ones that dont put themselves in situations where they need to try run as many cows as they can try and shove on a paddock .The ones that dont have becoming fast millionaires as the primary goal .

    If more folks in New Zealand realized how many animals in NZ were treated sometimes .I think many would be quite shocked and disgusted.

    I hunt and fish and im not at all afraid of killing and and preparing my own meat for the freezer.Cattle,deer,pigs,sheep etc….As long as its done quickly and with the least pain and suffering possible.

    But personally i was still disgusted in some dairy farm practices i saw used , specially at calving time.

    When money and getting rich fast ! becomes the primary goal . The effect is everything and even everyone becomes thought of as being lots like cabbages and silver beet .

    • Bored 7.1

      Pete, I cannot applaud you enough for saying this, I have seen some of these practices first hand. For years every time I have contended that NZ farmers animal husbandary practices were very uncaring at the best I have got hammered as a soft towny. Cruelty towards the animals is a short jump from cruelty to humans, as is clearly demonstrated by the long term history of farmers turning bully boy enforcers for the right. Dont get me started on their appalling environmental record.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago