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The reality is we’re pretty relaxed about fixing Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, June 28th, 2014 - 26 comments
Categories: christchurch earthquake, john key, labour, national - Tags: , , , ,

Various excepts of John Key’s hagiography have been doing the rounds in recent days, in the lead up to it’s release. There was one line that particularly stuck out for me, as a Cantabrian and South Islander:

His problems continued to mount during 2012 – the most difficult year he has faced during the 12 years the former investment banker and money trader has been in Parliament.

Woah, what? 2012 was his most difficult year? Has he been totally asleep at the wheel? In case he has forgotten, here’s a recap:

  • September 4th, 2010. 7.1 earthquake hits Christchurch, does significant damage but thankfully no-one dies
  • on the same day, a plane crashes on the West Coast, killing 9
  • November 29th, 2010. Explosion at Pike River mine kills 29 men. At time of writing, bodies haven’t been recovered.
  • February 22nd, 2011. 6.3 quake hits Christchurch, destroying much of the CBD, killing 181, and leading to 12,000 homes being deemed uninhabitable.

The events listed about all happened in just over 6 months. The biggest natural disaster in New Zealand in living memory. The biggest workplace accident in years. You would think that a leader would wear those incidents, that they would have some impact. Apparently not. For Key, his dark place was a series of poorly received and poorly executed policies – Novopay, class sizes, the Sky City deal, the cup of tea with John Banks. Not insignificant issues, but seemingly trivial compared to the destruction and subsequently shambolic recovery of New Zealand’s second city.

This is from a speech Key gave the day after the February quake. I quote it often, because it shows that what was promised and what has been delivered are two entirely different things:

On behalf of the Government, let me be clear that no one will be left to walk this journey alone. New Zealand will walk this journey with you. We will be there every step of the way. Christchurch; this is not your test, this is New Zealand’s test. I promise we will meet this test.

For so many of the people in this still-broken city, they feel that this is a journey which they have been left to walk alone. More than that, it is a journey which they are walking alone, into a howling headwind of government bureaucracy and ineptitude. Too often they find themselves fighting against the state, rather than working with them. One gets the impression that for all the visits and photo ops, Key just doesn’t get the situation down here. Last year, when the Quake Outcasts group won a judicial review against the Government’s red zone offer, Key made this flippant remark:

One option is the Government says: ‘Thanks very much, it’s been a lot of fun. If you don’t want to take the offer, that’s where it’s at’.

For people having to take the Crown to court, there has been nothing fun about this. And yet their struggle continues. On Monday, Labour announced that we would pay these people 100% of the 2007 value of their properties. We think that it is only fair. Brownlee was out immediately to muddy the waters with misinformation, and called it reckless. We think that a Minister who is bowling over a swimming pool to build a $30m playground should think twice before describing things as reckless.

I’m proud of the Kickstarting the Recovery package of policies which Labour is currently rolling out in Christchurch. We’re making it clear that if people want to be treated with respect, fairness, and care, that Labour is the party to choose. We’re making it clear that while Key and National may have failed to keep their promise to the people of Christchurch, Labour can and will rise to the challenge.

26 comments on “The reality is we’re pretty relaxed about fixing Christchurch”

  1. blue leopard 1

    Hi James Dann,

    Thanks for the reminder re Christchurch (Chch) for those of us who don’t live there.

    It is something I have noticed about the news; that an event/issue initially is reported far and wide – becomes ‘flavour of the month’ – and then disappears and very little follow up occurs and for those where the issue doesn’t directly affect them – very little is learned about the how the issue has been resolved – or hasn’t and it is largely forgotten. To be fair, this isn’t quite the case with Christchurch because there has been some follow up – (not least because of that flooding issue) but, yes, there could be more to keep us all aware of what it is like for Chch people now, and therefore I think what you are doing here is a very good thing.

    I didn’t know who you are so followed the link in your name which linked to your last post on the Standard and I read it. I am glad you mentioned that Labour lost the election in Chch in your last post because that actually was my perception and I was pretty shocked that was the case. I would have thought that a left government would be far more likely to address issues for people in Chch rather than a right one – the right wing are far more prone to taking advantage of a disaster in order to benefit the small section of society that the right-wing appear to work for (disaster capitalism – ‘The Shock Doctrine’ explains that well). It is good that you appear to be attempting to raise peoples’ awareness of the advantages of a left-wing government in this respect. Regardless of who gets in I hope that things start shifting in a good direction and quickly for Chch people.

    I passed through Christchurch in summer and it was pretty shocking how unchanged the central district appeared (buildings cleared but still looking like nothing other than that had been done). Whilst I acknowledge that there will have been plenty of planning required (and conducted) in order to build up the central district – for personal circumstances such as insurance and rents sky-rocketing (and other things I am not very clued up on no doubt) the government could have been more active to ensure that a dreadful situation wasn’t made worse. Again, I hope this phenomena shifts very quickly. If governments can’t ensure this much – that disasters don’t become more disastrous due to failing to value peoples’ needs – there is something very wrong about government priorities.

    I shall keep an eye on your posts in future to keep myself updated on what is (or is not) shifting in regard in Chch.

    • Heisenbug 1.1

      By the time the election came around in 2011 many people, myself included, were already experiencing massive delays in getting earthquake damage even inspected. Almost everyone I knew voted National over fears a change in government could lead to a change in the process, which would add even more delays. I suspect things will be different this time. I hope they will be.

      • blue leopard 1.1.1

        I was at a loss as to why people would support National in Christchurch at the last election, that makes so much sense what you say and is very interesting to hear, thanks Heisenbug, for giving me some insight on the matter!

      • Tom Jackson 1.1.2

        Well, Labour looks better on this issue, but all our societies have problems with getting big stuff done these days. The Americans can’t even win wars any more.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1

          Despite outspending the next 20-30 countries in terms of military budget

          Makes you wonder where and who exactly that budget is going to.

  2. Martin 2

    I don’t see any National wins in Christchurch in September.
    Yes Blue, Shock Doctrine nails it. Should be a set text for POLS

    • blue leopard 2.1

      At the risk of having my comment moved because it is not on topic – I do wish we had civics in school. Have just been doing some politics papers at University level and it is really good to have more understanding of how our system is organized and some of the theories underlying it. (Not suggesting theory for schools – enough to know how the system works and who represents what)

      I really think it is way past due time to introduce this subject into schools – the more informed in how our system fits together the better decisions we can collectively make, is my opinion. 🙁

  3. weka 3

    Thanks James, good to see Labour’s plans on this. That “it’s been fun” comment should be plastered all over the election campaign.

    as an aside, it might be good for you to put on the bottom of your post that you are a Labour Party candidate. Disclosure and all that.

  4. NZJester 4

    Of course the two big Christchurch earthquakes where no problem for John Key.
    In fact all that death and destruction was good for him as he was able to use Christchurch as a way to get job growth and lots of photo opportunities. Christchurch is the foundation stone of this ‘Rock Star Economy’ he claims New Zealand has right now and much like Christchurch that foundation stone is on very shaky ground. Most of the job losses around New Zealand have been more than made up for by all the construction jobs created in Christchurch.
    The businesses of Christchurch could have done there own planning and got their own rebuild plans under way quite happily without the government. But no the government moved in and took control over that, meanwhile ignoring those who do need their help, the Christchurch home owners made homeless after the quakes. They do not seam to be to important to National in their rebuild plans for the city.
    Due to Nationals poor performance in helping the average homeowners in Christchurch I will not be surprised if a lot of the City gets Red Zoned this coming election.

    • Lloyd 4.1

      Anther group the government seems to have ignored is the property owners in Central Christchurch as they have allowed business development on the outskirts of town and the central business owners won’t have any tenants if they rebuild. Great planning from Cera. Thanks Gerry.

  5. MrSmith 5

    I’ve been battling EQC from the beginning and still have 3 claims in limbo, off to Court now, what a bloody mess, how many have had the wool pulled over there eyes by EQC., ten’s of thousands!

    You have wonder if National intently undermined and hamstrung EQC from the beginning, with a view to privatizing or handing it over directly to the insurance industry, I mean it fits their MO doesn’t it, the market will provide everything, at a price.

    The other thing that gets me is the missed opportunity to train thousands of Trades people as well, plus Engineers, Surveyors, Architects, etc…. this should have started from the day after the Feb Quake, instead they sat on their hands knowing we would have to import the labour from off-shore, what a sad short sighted bunch National are.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      I heard one of the polytechs made an offer to start training carpenters but this was turned down …

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Why train Kiwis when you can get cheaper tradies fron the Philippines or Ireland?

        Friggin country is imploding under the current “leadership.”

    • The government’s actually been pretty supportive of EQC, and has largely stayed out of our business in terms of settling earthquake claims, and left us to proceed as per the Act. (This isn’t necessarily a good thing, I would have been more comfortable with this recovery happening under a Labour government where the recovery efforts would be better stitched-up, and we’d be utilising this opportunity to insulate or improve the repaired homes, not just putting them back as-was)

      Agree with you on tradespeople too, was a missed opportunity to skill up a lot of people, not that migrants aren’t always welcome in my books.

      As for your claims- I can’t speak for the Christchurch office, but here in Wellington I’m definitely sure we’re all in it to get you settled and done, when we’re legally allowed to. A lot of the issues come from sorting out adequate ways to deal with messy insurance problems, (don’t get me started on Body Corporates, if people followed the law on that we’d be done with all of the MUBs by now) negotiating around cap properties with private insurers, and just generally the enormous scale of the job we’ve had to do. EQC has also not been great at proactive communication when it scaled up- we focused too much on settlement, and it’s caused a lot of distress while people waited. In some ways it would have been better to scale up settlement slower but manage communications much better- I’ve brought some good ideas around integrated reporting of claims to management, and it looks like they were already working on that for post-canterubry EQC, so if there’s another major event, you’ll literally be able to log in on our website and check what stage your claim is at and browse any information we can make transparent to you. 🙂

      I know the process seems really slow and ineffective to the people of Canterbury and I wish we could be done faster, but the sad fact is, this is actually the fastest large-scale insurance program in terms of getting houses repaired. Japan has settled claims faster, but that’s because they cash settled everyone, and they didn’t do exact costings- they just estimated you to the closest 25% of the value of your house, and the other event of comparable size- Hurricane Katrina- happened earlier and repairs really haven’t even started yet, so I’m really pleased that we have EQC in place on a policy level, as Christchurch would probably be a dead city if it were up to the private insurers only.

  6. Treetop 6

    Journalists have been asleep at the wheel for far too long, they have not held the government to account in fixing the critical state of housing in this country.

    National have missed the point, what a severe earthquake can do to housing.

  7. Brendon Harre 7

    There has been a good discussion about Christchurch and Housing at interest.co.nz

    It started with an article I wrote about the Christchurch rental market, history of urban planning and some discussion of urban planning theories and research.

    http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/70493/fridays-top-10-brendon-harr%25C3%25A9-national-vs-labour-housing-affordability-uk-councils-spy-

    A ‘capitalist’ counter attack from Muriel Newman
    http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/70527/data-home-ownership-and-facts-about-affordability-have-become-highly-politicised-says-

    Bernard Hickey explaining why it is in everyone’s interest to control house inflation

    The reality is we’re pretty relaxed about fixing Christchurch

    Finally Labour’s recent housing plan for Canterbury
    http://www.interest.co.nz/property/70685/labour-would-build-10000-affordable-homes-canterbury-over-four-years-and-increase-acc

    Often the comments are more revealing than the actual articles so for those that are interested make sure you read them too.

    • Treetop 7.1

      “There has been a good discussion about Christchurch and Housing at interest.co.nz”

      Discussion has worn thin with me re housing, unless resources/money is made available to fix the many housing problems, no action will occur.

      Thanks for supplying the links which I will read.

  8. Redzone 8

    Great post James and all the best in Ilam v minister of destruction Brownlie.! Looking forward to Milne kicking out Wagner in chch Central too. She’s toast.

    Keys recent atitude to chch is appalling and patronising in the extreme – The ‘thanks it’s been fun’ insult- WTF!

    Frankly if there isn’t a ribbon cutting sod turning photo op down here Key doesn’t give a shit.

    Revenge awaits at the polls in a matter of weeks!

  9. Still Waiting 9

    The Christchurch quakes have certainly been no fun for me … just endless fighting with the EQC and my private insurer for settlement … in fact they still haven’t settled my contents claim! It’s been extremely stressful, expensive and has been a huge eye-opener for me just how little our own Govt cares about it’s people. I’ve never voted anything but National in my life, but won’t be doing so in the coming elections.

    • Are we still waiting for info from you for your contents claim? Because the only ones we’re supposed to have left are ones requiring clarification either from the customer or with insurance to still be verified, so you should get in touch with our call centre for that and they’ll see what the Hamilton office needs or can do to progress your claim. I’m sorry you’ve had such a bad experience. 🙁

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    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago