web analytics

The Sword of Damocles Budget

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 pm, May 16th, 2011 - 40 comments
Categories: budget 2011, slippery - Tags:

John Key is fond of saying “there is a constituency for every dollar you spend”. So, having borrowed to the hilt for tax cuts for the rich, and refusing to reverse that folly, how can Key cut enough to satisfy the credit ratings agencies without pissing off too many voters? He can’t, but he’s gonna say he can and leave the hard choices to his successor.

Trev reports:

When I was Associate Minister of Finance cuts had to be confirmed before they were booked in the budget. Looks like the rules have changed to the extent that cuts aren’t even allocated to individual departments, that’s a long way away from saying where the money is coming from.

And this was the government that campaigned on increasing transparency.

So the new policy is – pretend you have reduced the deficit but wait until after the election to say what the cuts are.

Will be interesting to see the media and especially the financial medias take on this.

Also interesting will be whether the Brash/Douglas party will vote for it.

Report from Key’s presser today :-

Targets for individual agencies would be finalised after the Budget and it would then be up to chief executives to identify how to meet them.

“We believe people who understand their own operations are in the best position to make financial tradeoffs and to introduce innovation which genuinely improves public services.”

I guess Trev is quoting newsroom. Stuff has the same thing:

He said the budget would set an overall saving target for the Government which would start to be realised over the three years beginning on July 1, 2012.

”I think you will be surprised by how much we are looking to save overall from a couple of public sector initiatives,” he said.

”Targets for individual agencies will be finalised after the budget based on size and current funding, then it will be over to chief executives to identify how exactly to meet these targets.”

What this tells us, in essence, is that Key and English couldn’t work out how to get the deficit reduction track they need to avoid a credit downgrade without making politically impossible cuts. But decided to promise big enough cuts to reduce the deficit anyway without saying where the money would be cut from.

I’m no expert on the Budget but according to what is still laughingly called our constitution, the Crown cannot raise or spend money without the authority of Parliament, which is sovereign.

(in fact, as every schoolchild knows, an obese former woodwork teacher is actually sovereign now, but that’s by the by)

So, every year, the government lays out in mammoth detail in the Budget howmuch money it intends to raise and how it will spend it – $70,000,000,000 of spending broken down into thousands of appropriations, some as small as a couple of thousand dollars.

Given all that detail, how do they account for cuts that aren’t allocated? I’m guessing here but maybe at the end of all those books with the carefully worked out spending plans for exactly how much will be spent on everything from “Invalid’s Benefit” to “Administration of Part II Tariff Concessions” there will be a single line saying something banal like “unallocated baseline reductions” with a very big number beside it.

Basically, they’re going to ask us and our international creditors to accept a promise that they have the solution to cutting without causing pain and they will sort out the details later to everyone’s satisfaction.

Yeah, I don’t believe it either.

All we’ll really get out of this Budget is more uncertainty. If the credit ratings agencies buy Key’s line, they’ll still be hovering to see if the cuts eventuate. And every person with an interest in a programme or service that breaths a sigh of relief when its still there in the Budget better not relax too much, because the Sword of Damocles will still hang over them.

40 comments on “The Sword of Damocles Budget”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    There’s been a spate of government department CEO’s resigning in the last few months. I think something like 5 of them, and a bunch of other top executives have left too. Can’t find any stories on it (google is failing me), but it was on TV 1 news 2 or 3 weeks ago I think.

    There was speculation at the time that the budget has something to do with it. This outline would tend to reinforce that idea.

  2. Afewknowthetruth 2

    1. All money creation in western societies is a giant pyramid scheme, due to fractional reserve banking and the fraud associated with the international bond market. Like all pyramid schemes it must collapse. In fact it is in the process of collapsing right now.

    2. Oil extraction peaked 2005-2006 and is falling. Industrial activity cannot be sustained on a declining energy supply, so it’s curtain for the industrial economy fairly soon …. substantail collpase by 2015. Game over by 2020.

    It will make no difference who is in charge at this late stage in the game. The clowns and criminals we’ve had as leaders for the past 3 decades have ensured that appropriate strategies were not followed and that all our resources were squandered.

    Anyone with any sense will be looking to provide food for themselves. People with sense currently seem to comprise about 1% of the population.

  3. ZeeBop 3

    If you ask the same question over and over eventually you’ll get the answer your looking for. A false positive, but then all you wanted was a reason to do want you wanted anyway.

    It was easy to spin false positives when the economy was growing and voters were happy, oil was cheap credit easy to come by, who was listening to the cranks who rightly pointed out the policy was flawed. Industry just kept asking the same question of government, help us grow, help us grow, so government created bad policy that let them grow.

    Mad cows, one of countless examples of deregulation, the markets need government out of the way, so what’s the problem having cows eating cows brains! Even when the boffins said its a bad idea, still Thatchers government went ahead.

    Same can be said for Rogernomics, the wealth created went overseas, and we never stored it up like a mining boom built lavish solid buildings, we just let it go overseas without a word.
    Our homes leak, our children live in poverty, diseases like rheumatic fever should not be occurring here.

    The NZ tax regime is failing to collect taxes to cover the needs of society, Key does not care, the NZ economy is failing to keep wealth here (we need investment capital), Key does not care, and the budget is not going to do anything but more of the same ‘keep digging’ theirs gold in them their cupboards.

    National are unlikely to win the next election, even business voters don’t want asset sales.
    The lie that tax cuts help make fitter capitalists is wrong, it makes lazy capitalists who have
    farmed capital growth bubbles rather than build a strong NZ economy. What’s worse is the tax cut was actually a tax hike for most, compounded with oil and food price rises, it dragged many who thought they were wealthy into worrying about how to just stay where they are.
    Whatever happened to being able to get ahead? Why isn’t Key worried about that?

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Whatever happened to being able to get ahead? Why isn’t Key worried about that?

    Well, John Key’s manage to get ahead in the last couple of years and since he doesn’t care about you, why would he be worried?

    • Kevin Welsh 4.1

      Exactly CV, in fact John Key has gotten (a)head very nicely for the last two-and-a-half years and the New Zealand public has foolishly given it.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    It seems that Blinglish went to the departments and asked for savings and got told that there wasn’t any and that if NACT cut the budget government services were going to collapse the same way that they did last time National were in power. As NACT had already promised their base (the 20% of the population that make up the psychopaths and their direct supporters) cuts to government spending so that they could have more tax cuts later. This left them in a bit of a bind – they had to make the cuts that they’d promised but there was no way to that without damaging government services and they’d promised (to the general population and not their base) not to do that either.

    So they’re going to go into the new year with promises of cuts to keep their base and the credit rating agencies happy but no plans to make any and probably lots of plans for retrospective validation as “budgets” blow-out all over core government services. This is most likely to cause some sort of financial crises within the next year as the government books sink further and further into the red. If NACT are still in power they’ll probably use it as an excuse to urgently sell the power generators – and that’s 100% of them and not 49% – and probably Kiwibank as well. On top of that they’ll probably blame the departments for not finding the necessary savings that they demanded when there was no savings available. That would be why Key came out and said that the savings would be up to the departments – covering their own arse.

    If this is their plan, and I can’t see any other possibility, it’s a desperate gamble on timing as the crisis can’t happen before the election because if it did there’s no way NACT would get back in. Of course, NACT can always, and probably will, try to keep the books hidden before the election so that the crisis can happen just after.

  6. PeteG 6

    It’s the “we’ll have to wait until Thursday to find out” budget. Speculation like this – Budget cuts set to hit big families (“experts” believe) – is pointless until we know the detail.

    Colin James has a reasonable general idea…

    This encapsulates the politics of Thursday’s election-year Budget: to trade simultaneously on toughness and hope.

    …but if standard pre-budget procedure has been followed it probably won’t be as tough as has been intimated, the old “phew, it’s not as bad as we thought” trick.

    In the end it will probably all be based on hope. National will be hoping the now more frequently predicted recovery will be underway (big hopes that it’s evident by November) – Budget will forecast wage and job growth: PM – and Labour will hoping that the economy dives further, their dire warnings are proven correct, and they will be given back the government reins by an electorate desperate for a noble rescue – or bigger handouts.

    • RobC 6.1

      “Labour will hoping that the economy dives further”

      What a retarded statement. You’re suggesting that opposition politicians want the country to get into an even bigger mess than we are currently in, just to gain power??? LOL

      • PeteG 6.1.1

        So I may have exaggerated, that’s normal on blogs – but do you think Labour want to see an economic recovery under way by November? They certainly won’t be trying to raise economic confidence before then, they will still be doom and glooming for all they’re worth.

        • mickysavage 6.1.1.1

          So the fact that the economy is tanking because of the current clueless mismanagement is all Labour’s fault.  ALL LABOUR’s FAULT HEAR ME, ALL LABOUR’s FAULT.

          So PeteG how about commenting on National’s strategy to get us out of the mire.  I will give you a hint.  It goes like this:

          1.  Give tax cuts to the wealthy.
          2.  Build a cycleway.
          3.  Hope.

          • PeteG 6.1.1.1.1

            Calm down MS, I don’t think it’s all Labour’s fault.

            • billy fish 6.1.1.1.1.1

              But the “NactNarrative” is “Its all Labours Fault”
              So you are wrong, so there, but thats Labours fault

        • RobC 6.1.1.2

          Who gives a fuck what “Labour wants to see”? I think 99.9% of the country would be glad to see an economic recovery by November but on the balance of probabilities the ship ain’t going to turn around that fast.

          PeteG, all Labour are doing is expressing “doom and gloom” that some of us feel. Or do you think all is rosy and the lack of “economic confidence” is a figment of their imagination?

          • PeteG 6.1.1.2.1

            I don’t think everything is “rosy” but neither do I share your feelings of doom and gloom. Trying to continually talk down the population and promoting hard-done-by-ness risks portraying the messengers as pessimists, and that’s not a good look for leadership out of recession.

            • mickysavage 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Do you know any poor people PeteG?
               
              Have you talked to someone on the minimum wage or a solo mum lately to see how they are coping?
               
              John Key certainly has not.
               
              Remember him visiting McGehan Close before the election and making such a major fuss about the under class?  I bet he has not been back there recently.
               
               

            • RobC 6.1.1.2.1.2

              LOL. Using overly-bullish forecasts as a basis for optimism isn’t necessarily good leadership either.

              “We now have our debt under control and unemployment is beginning to fall. We will emerge as one of the countries that other nations aspire to be more like” – Bill English, Budget Speech 2010

              He also projected a $6.8 billion deficit for 2010/11 (now looks like $16 billion) and said there’d be 170,000 new jobs over the next 4 years. And other rose-tinted statements that bear little resemblance to reality. Keep believing the bullshit PeteG, we know how gullible you are.

              • PeteG

                Using overly-bullish forecasts as a basis for optimism isn’t necessarily good leadership either.

                I agree, which makes your closing snipe look a bit silly.

                We’ll see what this budget actually says. In contrast to nine years of strong leadership Key has been leader lite. I’ve cut him some slack becasue he inherited a tough economic situation and we’ve had some abnormally adverse events since, but I this budget will influence his first term legacy a lot – will he end up having been a limp leader or a growing leader.

                He also gets some help from Goff who provides another contrast, less leadership, more bleeding worship. He is going to have a tough job convincing enough voters that he can suddenly transform from “bile and rave” into leading us to a bright future if he wins in November.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Goff who provides another contrast, less leadership, more bleeding worship. He is going to have a tough job convincing enough voters that he can suddenly transform from “bile and rave”

                  Fuck you make some shit up.

                  Goff nails Key in the House on National’s lies and general smarmy ignorance and disrespect of the rapidly growing underclass in this country.

                  Confidence in the Key led Government is going to continue to decline, Labour is going to continue to push National’s buttons and the NATs are going to continue their long slow decline below levels which lost Helen Clark 2008.

  7. KJT 7

    I expect the budget will be milder than forecast. National will not want to scare the horses before the election while still nodding towards the extreme side of their support.
    With some doubt now about the seats ACT and the Maori Moneyocracy party will pick up they cannot rely on ACT mopping up the nut job votes to get support from the right.

    • RobC 7.1

      It will appear mild because it will be based on aggressive growth assumptions in future years. Assumptions that, as Mr Key acknowledges, are “a degree of putting one’s finger in the air when it comes to these things”.

      PeteG is right about one thing, it will be a budget of hope, in the “close eyes, pray everything will turn out OK” hope.

      • joe90 7.1.1

        aggressive growth assumptions in future years.

        I hope they’re not relying on a continuing commodities boom.

        The commodity boom may seem like a recent phenomenon, but in fact, it started 115 months ago, in 2001, according to Michael Darda, chief economist and chief market strategist at MKM Partners.

        That time frame is worth noting, because it’s about how long the tech boom lasted (114 months) and how long the housing boom lasted (113 months), Darda said in a Friday research note.

        “Most observers think ‘it’s different this time’ for commodity prices,” Darda said. And while it may be, he cautions that, in the past, “’it’s different this time’ has proven to be a costly mantra.”

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          Australia is on the verge of a downturn. Job growth strength there is seriously down compared to 12-18 months ago.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    English and Key are brilliant.

    Can we be clear that their method of not specifying the exact programmes where cuts will be made is not lazy, or cowardly, its smart. Very smart.

    They will be making deep cuts in the budget – satisfying their base. But because those cuts have not be figured out in terms of detail – they will only be enacted slowly – sparing people pain for now.

    Elections Nov 26, and only ***then*** the full effects of the cuts comes in.

    Fraking smart Key and English, well played.

    • Armchair Critic 8.1

      It’s a tactic they’ve used successfully before – the full cost impacts of the reorganisation of local government in Auckland won’t come through until after the 26 November 2011 election.
      Will Labour find a way to counter it? I’m not holding my breath.

      • PeteG 8.1.1

        Fran frowned on this approach – Ministers deaf to cocktail circuit chatter:

        It’s notable that the only serious revenue-raising measures which Key and Finance Minister Bill English have been talking about – such as the partial privatisation of state-owned power companies – are also consigned to the post-election basket.

        Yet, despite the fact that Key says the Government lacks the mandate to implement these big ticket policy changes – they are still expected to feature in the Budget rhetoric.

        I think this is wrong.

        Budgets should surely be based on what a Government knows it can implement. Not measures for which it says it first needs to first gain another electoral mandate.

        But going down this route, the Government is shifting the Budget dangerously close to being a party manifesto.

        The telling point will be whether the Budget does include Treasury forecasts which take into effect the impact on the Government’s finances if it implements these changes in a post-election environment.

        Budgets do have to take into account what may happen after elections, and seeking mandates isn’t a bad idea, but if there’s too much future fluff it may be a fizzler.

        • Armchair Critic 8.1.1.1

          Thanks for the link. Things can’t be good when the cheerleaders aren’t cheering.

  9. vto 9

    I think you’re all deluded. World growth will pick up further as the people of the world become weathier and are able to buy more and more goods and services that various industrious and innovative business people produce thereby filling their homes and lives with lots of goods and services. In fact probably so full of goods and services that the innovative and industrious business people produce that they will have to buy more storage and houses. This will allow people and governments to both create further wealth through innovative and aspirational financing structures and also to reduce debt to manageable levels. John Key understands all of this with his experience in the innovative and industrious money manufacture industry. John Key approves of all of this and correctly suggests that the world will continue to grow and grow and grow and grow… so much so that John Key believes there is no end in sight.

    The world is not coming to an end, it is merely doing a little bump across some rocks. It is about to surge forward again in another golden era of growth and prosperity based on innovation, aspiration and industry. Shame on you doubters.

    Meantime, we are making sure we have crops and shelter at the ready and out of sight. Good luck everyone…

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      I’m really not quite sure how to take that 🙂

      • PeteG 9.1.1

        I wondered a bit too – but it illustrates the kack that Key and English aren’t the only ones who hope that future growth will miraculously sort things out, there is a general tendency for everyone to hope there problems will be resolved by someone or something else.

        Lotto Of Life Syndrome.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          there is a general tendency for everyone to hope there problems will be resolved by someone or something else.

          Yeah and people are slowly figuring out that that’s not really working out 🙂

      • Puddleglum 9.1.2

        I am. It was ironic/sarcastic.

        It is one thing to ‘hope’ that human ingenuity will save the day – it’s another thing altogether to blithely assume it will without trying to be – or showing how you will be – ingenious.

        • terryg 9.1.2.1

          Yep, I reckon you’re right Puddleglum.

          everything but the last sentence is a Poe

  10. aj 10

    My pick is that economic growth will be strangled so far as the masses are concerned, by an ever rising trend to fuel prices…

  11. randal 11

    hey Eddie if he is going to leave the hard choices to his successor then I would say that will be on November the 26th.

  12. Craig Young 12

    Does the econometric data substantiate his claims of a ‘recovery’ or is it another piece of media hype from “Spinning Johnny?”

    • Puddleglum 12.1

      “Spinning Johnny” – brilliant. This is what the original ‘Spinning Jenny’ achieved:

      The device reduced the amount of work needed to produce [a] yarn, with a worker able to work eight or more spools at once.” (brackets added).

      John Key of course leaves it in the dust – it could only spin eight yarns at a time onto endless spools but a good ‘worker’ of Key can more than double that using the photo-op accessory tool.

  13. neoleftie 13

    The poor bumbling duo, we have as pressie and finance mucker upper, cant get the mandate for what needs to be done – sell assets and slash and burn services – or national will lose the election, but must do something drastic to cut the deficit. More smoke and mirrors from the patrons of spin.
    Seriously this recession we are in, has if anyhting got worse now, things are extremely tight in the deep south, retail struggling with margins slashed.
    This lets hide the concequences until after the election is surerly the last gasp of a failed and badly tarneshed govt.
    I’ll say it again, no cash to spend after 2008 period as all locked up and a very bad thirple dip economic recession has created the situation where if the public actaully saw our emperors and jesters all dressed up and honest like then bye bye national come november.
    That leaves us with labour under Goff – Where’s the Plan boys i wana see the plan, the vision and sheer guts it will need the next govt as some seriously hard decisions will need to be made.
    1) reign in govt borrowing real soon.
    2) generate some productivity and investment
    3) big picture stuff like a ten year plan.

    Commodity prices will only get worse when more demand come on stream after the downturn.

  14. MrSmith 14

    Cuts, will we be seeing a cut the the treasuries budget, the treasury that employed Brash to spin the bottle for years, the treasury that couldn’t predict the sun coming up in the next 24 hours.

    These useless stuffed suits at treasury need to be sacked and their work passed on to a Philippines call centre at-least they can speck “some” english.

  15. Afewknowthetruth 15

    One only need read about what is happening in Greece, Spain, Ireland etc. right now (20%+ unemploymnet, collapsing property values, no capacity to repay overseas loans) to see where NZ will be two or three years from now.

    There is a kind of inevitablity about it all at this stage, since the opportunity to prevent economic collapse has been squandered by successive Labour-National governments (that’s asuming there is any diffence between Labour and National: I’m not sure on that point) working in the best interests of global corporations and money lenders.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Green Party unveils Clean Energy Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling part one of its plan for a fossil-fuel free Aotearoa, including an immediate ban on new industrial coal boilers. ...
    14 hours ago
  • New Zealand First calls for tahr cull halt
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industry New Zealand First is supporting calls by hunters and the New Zealand Tahr Foundation (NZTF) to halt a large scale cull of Himalayan Tahr by the Department of Conservation in National Parks. The calls are supported by a 40,000 strong petition and the ...
    5 days ago
  • Response to Spin-off allegations
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First leader Winston Peters today scoffed at suggestions that a team of six political operatives have been dispatched to New Zealand to assist his campaign. ‘As President Ronald Reagan once said, ‘there they go again.’ ‘The clickbait journos can’t ...
    5 days ago
  • Jenny Marcroft MP to represent New Zealand First in Auckland Central
    New Zealand First is pleased to announce Jenny Marcroft as the party’s election 2020 candidate for the Auckland Central electorate. Jenny spent years working in Auckland Central, having spent a vast proportion of her broadcasting career there. She says she, "knows the place and knows the people." Ms Marcroft says ...
    6 days ago
  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    1 week ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    1 week ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    1 week ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio is pleased to announce the inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week as part of the 2020 Pacific language Weeks programme. “I am so pleased that this year we are able to provide resourcing support to the Kiribati community in Aotearoa which will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New support package for wildlife institutions
    Wildlife institutions affected by a loss of visitor revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown are set to receive government support with nearly $15 million of funding available announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  “Eco-sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and wildlife rescue, hospital and rehabilitation facilities provide crucial support for the recovery ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 300,000 students to benefit from free mental health services
    The Government is expanding and accelerating frontline mental health and wellbeing services at tertiary education institutes (TEI) to help students manage ongoing stresses related to COVID-19. “The lockdown has been hugely disruptive for students. Many of them have had to relocate and move to online learning, isolating them from their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato
    The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks. “Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
    The Government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August2020, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “We want to support our valued Muslim brothers and sisters who were directly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boost for community freshwater restoration projects
    A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today.  “The government is backing efforts to look after waterways with $199,400 for the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More support for women and girls
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter today announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled, as the first successful funding applications for the initial $1million were revealed. “Women and girls across the country have suffered because of the effects of COVID-19, and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
    The Government’s books were better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the 11 months to the end of May indicate the year end results for tax revenue will be stronger than forecast. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector
    A plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector and set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path was unveiled today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The newly-released report - Vision and Action for New Zealand’s Wool Sector - was developed by the Wool Industry Project Action Group ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
    Community efforts to create a Predator Free Whangārei will receive a $6 million boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. The new funding, through Government company Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will create around 12 jobs while enabling the complete removal of possums over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand remains deeply ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced details of a multimillion-dollar investment in Whangārei for infrastructure projects that will help it recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government’s rejuvenation package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
    Following a second incident in which a person escaped from a managed isolation facility, security is being enhanced, including more police presence onsite, Minister Megan Woods said. “The actions of some individuals who choose to break the very clear rules to stay within the facilities means that more resourcing is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
    Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361,447 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) Sustainable Kaipara. “The new funding will allow Sustainable Kaipara to partner with local schools, kura, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
    The Government will support the Southland economy in the wake of multinational mining company Rio Tinto’s decision to follow through with its long signalled closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. “This day has unfortunately been on the cards for some time now, but nevertheless the final decision is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
    New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. A new rat poison, a camera with predator recognition software to detect and report predators, a new predator lure and a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago