web analytics

The three big fails in the budget

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, May 26th, 2017 - 72 comments
Categories: budget 2017, class war, national - Tags: , , , , , , ,

It was National’s best budget. Which means there are only three critical areas of failure.

The first is health. Craig Hoyle at Stuff:

Frustration, disappointment over health funding in Budget 2017

Patients and healthcare workers say they have been left frustrated and disappointed by “inadequate” funding for health in the 2017 Budget.

They said the Government’s announcements on Thursday would not go nearly far enough in addressing concerns about overworked staff, access to new medicines, and access to mental health treatment.

The Government said total health spending would be a record $16.77 billion in 2017/18 – an increase of $879 million, with an overall increase of $3.9b over the next four years.

However, the record claim does not take inflation into account, and sidesteps the fact that almost half the spending will go toward mandated wage increases as part of the pay equity settlement. …

Jenna Lynch at Newshub:

Revealed: Govt shortchanged health system by $250m

Just over a year ago the health sector went cap in hand asking for funding to deal with rising immigration – but the Government shortchanged them to the tune of quarter of a billion dollars.

The shortfall is revealed in a briefing from the Ministry of Health to the Health Minister, which says to deal with immigration, as well as wage and cost increases, it needed an extra $644.8 million.

The information was forced out by the ombudsman, realeased to the yeswecare.nz campaign after a year-long battle with the ministry.

“DHBs face significant pressure in Budget 2016, due to the additional impact of net migration on population growth and aging, and anticipated wage pressure,” it said.

It calculated a $379 million need for population pressure, $190.5 million to cope with wage increases, and $75.3 million to fund rising costs. All up – $644.8 million.

But in Budget 2016, they were given $400 million – a more than $250 million shortfall.

The ministry even warns that without the full funding, access to healthcare is on the line. …

The second major failure is housing. Much of the money that is going into housing is in the form of the accommodation supplement. The supplement is desperately needed because of our insane rental market, but unless we fix the underlying problem of affordable housing the supplement just fuels the fire. Stacey Kirk and Vernon Small on Stuff:

The Government has re-written the rules of the accommodation supplement, creating some big winners

The top rate has been $225 per week and covered only central and northern Auckland. Now, it covers virtually the whole city, as well as property hotspots, Tauranga, Queenstown, Wanaka and Arrowtown, and the maximum payment has risen to $305 a week.

It sounds like a dramatic increase but this is the first time the accommodation supplement has been adjusted since 2008.

The $2b package is a stark admission by the Government that rising house and rent prices have costs beyond the reach of many.

Labour leader Andrew Little said the total package meant it would be the top income earners that would benefit the most. The problem with the Accommodation Supplement was that it tended to be a subsidy to landlords.

“And actually, there’s a pretty good consensus – even amongst National Party MPs – we are going to have to do something about it, because it’s fuelling the wrong kind of response as a solution.” …

Shamubeel Eaqub on The Spinoff:

‘A classic election year budget’

There was more money for the accommodation supplement and emergency housing. Both bottom of cliff stuff. There is no material and aspirational investment in significantly boosting housing supply. …

See also ‘Not enough’ for Auckland house hunters.

The third area of failure is equity. As usual most of the budget largess goes to the already wealthy. OneNews:

‘The One Dollar Bill Budget’ – Andrew Little blasts $1 tax cut for cleaner on minimum wage

It’s the “One Dollar Bill Budget”, says Labour leader Andrew Little who claims a single cleaner on a minimum wage will get just $1 a week extra from tax cuts announced today. …

(The working for that is in a tweet below.) Breanna Barraclough on Newshub:

Political reactions to ‘election bribe’

Kiwis earning more than $52,000 will be in line for an extra $1000 a year with the changes.

But Labour leader Andrew Little has criticised it as an “irresponsible election bribe”, saying the Budget “does nothing to address to shortfalls in health, housing and education, and in fact makes them worse”.

He’s calling it the “One Dollar Bill Budget”.

“For all National’s talk about tax cuts, the reality is that a single cleaner on a minimum wage will get just $1 a week extra,” Mr Little said.

“The big winners of this Budget are the top earners who take home most of the tax benefits.”

His thoughts are echoed by Green Party co-leader James Shaw, who says it’s a “tax cut for the rich in disguise”.

“Those on the highest incomes will get the bulk of the benefit. Families on the highest incomes receive a tax cut of $33.22 while those in the bottom quintile get just $5 a week,” he said.

“This is not what low and middle income earners need.” …

Labour claims that “The 50% of New Zealanders on the lowest incomes get just 20% of the money from National’s Budget tax cuts”.

When Labour had surpluses they built critical infrastructure like KiwiSaver and KiwiBank, and the created major programs like Working for Families. National tries to fool us all that catching up is generosity, and fails to address the biggest issues. Time to change the government.


In other generally luke-warm reaction:
Max Rashbrooke: A Government trying to make up for past neglect
Budget 2017: NZ working hard to stand still
‘Anything extra is a bonus’ but some others say tax relief in Budget is a drop in the bucket


72 comments on “The three big fails in the budget”

  1. Incognito 1

    With billions of Taxpayers’ money spent on warships, infrastructure, and prisons this Budget is not only a cynical and pathetically obvious election bribe but above all it is an inhumane budget that puts people second, the environment third but the economy & voters first.

    • left_forward 1.1

      Don’t agree that it puts the economy first – its the usual hands off, do not intervene, neoliberal style of economic non-management.

    • Nick 1.2

      Everyone. EVERYONE questioned on a little vox-pop on Backbenchers on Wednesday night, opined that they wanted to seem more spent not on things that profited just them or even at all them. Everyone spoke for more money for education, the environment and health. That is the natural province of the Left. I think many of us are beginning to get sick of the old “What’s in it for Me?”

      Some people need more. But smart policies are just as worthwhile as “generous” policies.

      And a bit, QUITE a bit, more appeal to altruism. If we don’t have a massive altruist streak, we have no business calling ourselves Left.

  2. Keith 2

    Unaffordable tax cuts paying for increased rental supplements going straight to housing investors/speculators pockets, yet dishonestly posing as largesse for the less well off.

    Joyce, hang your head in shame, you are an areshole!

    • mpledger 2.1

      And it fuels average rental increases. Landlords can afford to raise rents because people have more money to spend on rents. And if a particular rentor doesn’t have the money to afford an increase then they can be tossed as there are plenty of people waiting in the wings for accommodation.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.2

      Yep, simply throwing more fuel on the housing fire, while doing nothing to fix the regulatory and structural problems causing the crisis.

    • Nick 2.3

      When there is enough housing, there will be no need for accommodation supplements.

      However, in the first instance, as house prices level off, before they start to slide, landlords, with no capital gains in view will first try to jack up rents. Although smart ones might try to sell before prices suffer a real correction. Both will exacerbate the rental situation. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

      Ironically, and counter-intuitively, a real Province-Based policy for work, infrastructure and housing, will ultimately make prices in our largest city more attainable for the less affluent.

      A focus uniquely on Auckland, were it ever to work, will just attract more Kiwis there and make matters worse.

      It’s like motorways. You build better roads, you get more cars and the roads become even more clogged.

      What is needed is alternatives.

  3. Bearded Git 3

    Joyce on RNZ this morning saying the limited goodies offered to a small portion of the less well off in the budget (while the environment, housing, public transport, education, health etc miss out) could only be achieved now the books were in shape.

    He conveniently forgets the $1 billion plus tax package the Nats gave mostly to the better off when they were elected in 2008 that has cost the state $10 billion so far.

    This was not a time for tax cuts at all; it was a time to increase public spending on the areas listed above.

    Also most of the media seem to have missed that the Independent Earner Tax Credit of $520 per annum has been taken away from low earners .

    • millsy 3.1

      He said that only a third eligible were claiming it, but that is a lie — those who dont claim it, get is when they get their tax refund in June this year. And $520 in June is a welcome payment for some. That is pretty much going to be chopped.

      • left_forward 3.1.1

        …which snuffs out the small tax cut for low earners – thus only the high earners benefit.

  4. Bearded Git 4

    Despite the links above I can’t find the “$1 dollar bill” budget workings. Can someone help me here.

  5. Johnr 5

    I would add a further three FAILS.
    NO analysis of what has failed.
    NO plan or future vision to aspire to.
    NO leadership to achieve the plan/vision

    • Nick 5.1

      They have no plan because at heart they neither like plans nor believe in an aspirational future, or not one for which the government has any role.
      It is in their DNA.
      They can’t fake it.

  6. Craig H 6

    Another fun fact: Beneficiaries don’t get the tax cuts because of how the Social Security Act is worded.

    • Nick 6.1

      “Well, they’ve had their $25.00. Don’t know what they’re complaining about.
      They should be licking our hand.

      “Do you know, that’s the first increase they’ve had since……(and it will be the last)”.

  7. Whispering Kate 7

    These supposed goodies are going to happen after the election and Humpty has already given himself an out that they may not happen by saying on the AM Show today that if an unexpected crisis should happen like an earthquake, economic down turn etc then yes, it was possible that they wouldn’t be implemented.

    If this budget is based on trust that its proposed lollie scramble will occur – then pigs might fly as well. I wouldn’t trust these slimy bottom crawlers one second.

    • infused 7.1

      He said pretty much nothing would change this. Except if there was a major event. Nice try.

  8. infused 8

    Well. We will all look forward to Labours alternative budget.

  9. Treetop 9

    What really surprised me regarding the accommodation supplement (AS) was that some in area 4 are now in area 2. In area 1 temporary addition support (TAS) is just going to be reduced with the increase of the AS. Every 13 weeks a person has to reapply for TAS, this needs to be changed to every 26 weeks.

    Can anyone confirm if a single person does not get an increase in the AS, I heard Joyce say 2 or more people?

    To think that people have to wait until April 1 2018 and not July 1 2017 for an increase in AS is stingey, winter heating is not cheap either.

  10. Nick 10

    If you like the headline spends of this budget, you will vote for a party that believes in this kind of thing.

    This is not an especially good or bad National Budget. It is a typical National Budget.

    Like every other budget this government has produced it asks only one question:
    “What is the LEAST we can do to keep the horses calm, and let the party continue?”

    Maybe Joyce has concluded that the horses are getting a bit more restless than usual. But we are still confronted by a work from an administration that clearly does not think the government has any real role in national affairs, dealing with a population that does.

    Hence a minimalist lolly scramble. What more can you expect from a government with neither ideas nor ambition? They have no ideas BECAUSE they have no ambition.

    If you don’t think you can do anything to create a better country, you are likely to achieve your ambition.

    But if you want and can imagine a better outcome, you have to strive to achieve it.

    More money for some families is okay, so far as it goes, but if we want to improve LIVES it is not just about money. It is about opportunity, empowerment and respect.

    Money may be a part of that but ambition, system, orientation, focus and planning are just as important. As is a fundamental respect for those whose lives you hope to improve.

    That isn’t in this National Budget. Because in almost every instance, it is totally absent from the National Psyche and the National Heart.

    • heman 10.1

      agree with all of that.

      Just a thought from there perspective is that they can do all that in the future.
      Now they are about making them hard decisions so they can do all them things in the future.

      • Nick 10.1.1

        Don’t be silly.
        This is the ultimate budget to cling to power. They’ve had 9 years to do stuff in the future.

        This IS the future.

        They are overtly declaring that they have absolutely no ambition but to stay in power.

        You want a party that actually think things can, and should, be better than they are, for the local environment, struggling families, out international contribution, our kids, sick people, future generations here and overseas…..?

        Two seconds’ thought Herman, will tell you both who are worth voting for and who are NOT worth voting for.

  11. DH 11

    This is classic National self serving. They’re cementing in place most of the recent housing inflation by raising the accommodation supplement which even the productivity commission agree underpins rents and investment yields. No way are those bastards giving up their capital gains.

    I don’t know all the rules here but my initial observation is the accommodation supplement is cynically designed to snare people in the rental trap. I tried the calculator and discovered if a single person has $9000 in cash or non-cash assets they don’t qualify for the accommodation supplement. A couple fails with $17,000. So it appears you can’t save a house deposit because if you do you lose the supplement.

    Here’s the reply I got from the calculator, interesting to see it’s already updated with the new rates;

    Calculator here;
    https://www.workingforfamilies.govt.nz/calculator/index.jsp
    ________________________________________

    Accommodation Supplement estimate today

    You may not qualify as your combined cash and non-cash assets of $17,000.00 are over the limit.

    (Cash assets and non-cash assets assets do not include personal items, motor vehicle for private use, or the home you live in.)

    Accommodation Supplement estimate from 1 April 2018

    You may not qualify as your combined cash and non-cash assets of $17,000.00 are over the limit.
    __________________________________________

    (That was trying as a couple with 1 child earning a combined $700 weekly and paying $450 per week in rent. What a joke)

    I wonder if Kiwisaver counts as cash or non-cash assets.

  12. indiana 12

    “Labour claims that “The 50% of New Zealanders on the lowest incomes get just 20% of the money from National’s Budget tax cuts”.

    They again prove that they don’t know how to explain the tax system effectively…this is better example to use:
    https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/the-tax-system-explained-in-beer/

    • Craig H 12.1

      The problem with simplified examples like that one is that macroeconomics doesn’t work that way, and also that we have massive net migration, so the risk of 10% of the tax base disappearing is negligible.

      • indiana 12.1.1

        Is the issue that the example is simplified, or that Labour cannot understand how the tax system works by trying to say that the low income earners get an unfair portion of the tax cut. Are the facts in the example not clear enough? If you earn a low wage you will be taxed less than person that earns a high wage. When tax cuts come, purely based on the proportion of tax paid, low income earners will not get the same as high income earners. That’s the problem with the meme that is being pushed.

        • mordecai 12.1.1.1

          Labour don’t understand much at all.

          “Someone on $20,000 a year has their tax drop from $2,520 to $2,100 – a 17% decrease. Someone on $100,000 a year has their tax drop from $23,920 to $22,860 – a 4% decrease.”

          This budget disproportionately favours low income earners. And rightly so.

          • indiana 12.1.1.1.1

            Agree 100% but commentators here see it this way, the 17% decrease only amounts to $420 less tax, where as the 4% decrease amounts to $1060. And that’s not fair…boo hoo! that National government’s budget favours the rich! Little will be brought down by his economic keyboard warriors.

            • greywarshark 12.1.1.1.1.1

              The difference between you Gnashional supporters and Labour is that Labour is looking at the matter from a distribution point of view, now a mathematical equation. A flat percentage of as base will always result in less money from a low base, and more money from a high base.

              It is a matter of relieving poverty and relieving low income people from tax that reduces money needed for basic living costs. For better off people part or most of their tax will come from their discretionary money, their living costs are intact and they feel taxation limiting their holiday spending, their choice of car, their wish for new chattels instead of secondhand.

              • mordecai

                “The difference between you Gnashional supporters and Labour is that Labour is looking at the matter from a distribution point of view, now a mathematical equation. ”
                Bollocks. Labour’s 2008 tax cuts “gave someone on $20,000 an $1,130 tax cut and someone on $100,000 would have got $2,870. Yes Labour’s 2008 tax cuts package would have given a three times larger tax cut to someone on $100,000 than National’s 2017 package does.”
                (Credit to David Farrar).

  13. Kevin 13

    The fact that we have things like Accommodation Supplements and Working For Families shows what a failure our society has become.

    • Craig H 13.1

      Winston’s point that a minimum wage increase of $3 an hour with appropriate support for businesses would have achieved all of the same goals while costing the government bugger all extra speaks volumes.

  14. Keith 14

    Grant Robertson reaction to the budget worry’s me, yet again. To me he was criticising it because, well, he has to. There was no real analysis, no thought and definitely no passion to his line.

    Listening to his interview on RNZ the question I was left asking was why bother voting Labour? He thinks the housing supplement rise is a good thing, not the bleeding obvious reality that has missed Grant that it will simply inflate rent and make no difference to those struggling.

    He was similarly in agreement with an number of other initiatives. He took this crock at its National Party intended face value.

    No arguing that a tax cut was wrong or unaffordable which it is, simply it was poorly targeted.

    Then his argument as to why the budget is not so good is purely semantics, dancing around of a pin. Nothing I heard from him said to me Labour would do that much different, just a bit different.

    Very uninspiring stuff Grant! It was like saying driving a red car is more sensible than driving a blue car. You do not present an alternative to me, just the same old shit.

    • Craig H 14.1

      Well, building 100,000 houses and a stack of state houses will be a different way of approaching the Accommodation Supplement. Maybe he should have said that, but core Labour policy is already there.

  15. Wayne 15

    Health has gone up 5.5% in just the next year, so way above inflation.

    Anyway Labour says they would have spent everything on health, education and housing, maybe infrastructure as well. that is their major difference to National.

    But that also means they can’t seriously complain about the inadequacy of the tax threshold and WFF package, when their alternative on these things is zero.

    In any event the Greens and NZF have voted for the tax threshold and WFF package, so it is locked in for next year. Where does Labour go when their alternative budget has been already been negated by their potential coalition partners?

    In addition the Labour/Green Budget Responsibility Rules essentially bind them to a budget with total spending more or less the size of the current budget.

    These latter two points mean the budget is a resounding success for National. The election now gets fought on their terms.

    It is virtually impossible for Labour to argue the budget is for the rich. That simply sounds and indeed is ridiculous.

    So if there is a change of government, it won’t be as a result of the budget.” Time for a change” also looks a bit lame when Labour looks bereft of fresh ideas.

  16. “Time for a change” also looks a bit lame…” – Wayne

    Sounds like a powerful rallying cry to me!

    • mordecai 16.1

      Not when we have one of the strongest performing economies on the planet.

      • Robert Guyton 16.1.1

        And one of the most threatened environments on the planet, mordecai. “Strongest economy” = most rapidly collapsing environments.

        Hurrah! Eh?

        • mordecai 16.1.1.1

          Are you seriously arguing the NZ environment is “one of the most threatened environments on the planet”?
          Have you ever been outside of NZ?

  17. newsense 18

    More Michael Wood marking Paula Bennett please

  18. Jeremy 19

    Surely any tax cut that does anything apart from move the lowest threshold up, or reduce the lowest threshold rate will favour higher income earners.

    If Labour and the Greens aren’t prepared to state that this is the only way in which they’d entertain tax cuts, then I think they should keep their powder dry for when National looks to align all the top rates at 28%, or drop the company tax rate, etc. They risk being the parties that cried wolf too often otherwise.

    • RedLogix 19.1

      Precisely. Why is it that none of the Opposition parties seem to be able to clearly articulate the fact that in terms of total taxation New Zealand is already one of the most lightly taxed nations in the OECD? From memory only Mexico rates lower.

  19. Lara 20

    I’m paying close to 50% of my income on tax. Most weeks I put more aside for tax than I am able to save for myself.

    I’m leaving NZ as soon as possible. So that during my most productive years I can save and get ahead.

    • RedLogix 20.1

      Given the top tax rate on PAYE income over $70,000 is only 33% … I call bullshit on your assertion as you laid it out.

      The problem with New Zealand is the low incomes, not the high tax rates.

    • Jeremy 20.2

      Are you including GST, petrol taxes, duties, etc?

      I don’t think anyone would be paying much above 40% when everything is factored in.

      • RedLogix 20.2.1

        Take a look at this page:

        https://taxfoundation.org/comparison-tax-burden-labor-oecd-2016/

        Total tax burden in New Zealand (especially when you include provision for retirement income) is right at the bottom of the OECD.

      • Nick 20.2.2

        GST is not your money in the first place.
        We account it, but it is considered outside the normal financial transactions.

        Sure, it feels onerous, but you should account your income on the net profit of your business, not on the fiscal ebb and flow of payments. Beyond that, you are only paying a total of about 18% over the first $48,000, so either your corporate income is massive, or you are still way below 50% in direct taxes.

        BTW it is impossible to get to 50%, but maybe it shouldn’t be for the top earners.

        The only way to get people out of the poverty trap is not just to pay them more (payments which are too easily absorbed in rising rates), but to make more of the things we HAVE to spend money on free, or at least much cheaper. Lunch for all in schools or free doctor and dentist visits for all, could be a couple of examples. And to make many things they might wish to take part in, in an attractive society, available without an impossible financial barrier. Public tennis courts and enhanced access to our National Parks as examples.

        The idea is to maximise the amount of discretionary money in each pocket. And to make those provisions universal to save on admin, then to pay for it with more progressive tax structures as used to be the case on more egalitarian times.

        • Lara 20.2.2.1

          Oh FFS, I bloody well know what my tax rate is. And my accountant minimises it, but there’s a limit to what I can legally do.

          Yeah, my income is very good. Still leaving.

          Trying to get ahead after divorce, retraining and starting a business… watching property prices rocket ahead and not being able to buy without a massive mortgage….

          Say whatever you like Kiwi’s. I’m off ASAP.

    • red-blooded 20.3

      Well, you make your own decisions, Lara. It seems to me that if you’re paying that much tax you must be earning pretty damn well, though – already “ahead”, so to speak. I’m not sure it’s even possible to pay that much when the top tax bracket (which only applies to earnings over about $70 000) is 33%. And the rates for business are even lower, so the “almost 50%” claim seems a bit of a stretch.

      As for your reply about GST, petrol taxes etc, I assume that you use the NZ roads, the subsidised primary healthcare and free hospital systems, accept the protection of the NZ police force…? Did you think these things were actually free to provide? Who (if not you) did you expect to pay for them?

      And of course the problem is that many people with your approach then return in their less productive years, and – having opted out of contributing to the NZ state through taxes as earners – then cost the rest of us for their care and support in their old age. They may “save and get ahead”, but they are still happy to accept support in terms of healthcare and home services in their later years, forgetting that the money they accumulated in their savings accounts has left a hole that others have had to fill.

      • Lara 20.3.1

        You’ve made some unacknowledged assumptions in your comment.

        First, yeah, I’m earning a lot ATM, but you’re assuming I’m “ahead”. Income at any one point in time does not necessarily mean I’m “ahead” nor does it mean it will continue on a stable nor upwards trajectory.

        You also appear to be assuming I’ll be absent for my “most productive” years. Yet you have zero idea of how old I am, nor how many years I’ve already contributed to NZ.

        Your assumptions are wrong. And I have no interest in correcting you.

  20. Muttonbird 21

    National just spent $6B on a sticking plaster because they found, through internal polling, that their own voters were getting restless about rising inequality in this country.

    National = no vision.

  21. Treetop 22

    Thank you for the info, I have printed out the new changes.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Foreign Minister announces two diplomatic appointments
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced two diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India and Consul-General to Hong Kong. “As New Zealand recovers from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever. That is ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Recover and rebuild
    We started the week by announcing free apprenticeships to support Kiwis into work and to help get New Zealand moving again - and we ended the week by extending the wage subsidy to 40,000 more businesses, helping to protect businesses and workers alike.  ...
    2 days ago
  • How Budget 2020 is backing businesses
    We’re confident in the ability of Kiwi businesses to succeed in the face of COVID-19, and our Government is committed to doing our bit to enable that success. Kiwi businesses have always been innovative and resilient, and the COVID-19 pandemic has proven this yet again. Many businesses are finding new, creative ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand First confirms its first tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its first tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. The includes all sitting New Zealand First Members of Parliament except Clayton Mitchell MP who earlier today announced he will not be seeking re-election. In alphabetical order they are: MP ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell not seeking re-election
    Clayton Mitchell MP, New Zealand First List MP based in Tauranga New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell has decided not to seek re-election in this year’s General Election.  “After serious consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to pursue other passions in my life and spend a lot ...
    2 days ago
  • Five new Lockheed Martin Super Hercules aircraft to replace ageing fleet
    Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced that new Lockheed Martin Super Hercules aircraft would replace the outdated and costly 1960s Hercules fleet. The $1.521b project will include a flight simulator for staff training and other supporting infrastructure. "This fleet will ensure the Defence Force can continue to support New Zealand's ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens urge police to rule out armed police patrols following George Floyd’s death
    The Green Party is urging the New Zealand Police to rule out the use of Armed Response Teams, following their recent trial in communities around Aotearoa. ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ First fought for changes to “poorly-targeted” rent dispute policy
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has described Labour's original COVID-19 commercial rent dispute proposal as "poorly targeted". Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced a temporary law change to force commercial landlords and renters to consider COVID-19 in disputes over rent issues, almost two months after the Government first floated the idea.  But ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand First ensures commercial rent dispute clause fairly applied
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First acknowledges that some small businesses have been struggling to meet fixed costs due to the loss of revenue by COVID-19. We also know some businesses are at greater risk of insolvency when they cannot come to a reasonable ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand First disappointed that Section 70 spouses won’t get relief
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First is disappointed that the removal of the spousal deductions has had to be delayed by the Ministry fo Social Development, due to COVID19 workload pressures. “New Zealand First has always stood for fairness when it comes to superannuation ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters receives petition demanding more protection for nurses
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First On the steps of Parliament today the Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters received a petition from registered nurse Anna Maria Coervers, requesting an amendment to the Protection for First Responders Bill which will ensure the legislation also include registered ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Getting our economy moving
    It's been a busy seven days as we start to rebuild New Zealand together. From delivering extra support for small businesses, to investing in our artists and arts organisations, to cutting red tape on home DIY projects, we're rolling out our plan to get the economy and New Zealand moving ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters: If protests condoned ‘why are we not at level 1?’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says alert level 2 restrictions have to be discussed during today's Cabinet meeting. Thousands gathered across the country, including at Parliament, yesterday for Black Lives Matter marches where social distancing and mass gathering rules were flouted. Mr Peters said the breaching of Alert Level 2 rules at ...
    5 days ago
  • Northland rail work to help create regional jobs
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State Owned Enterprises KiwiRail’s Northland rail upgrade steps up another gear today and will help Northland recover from the impacts of COVID-19, State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters says. The Government is investing $204.5 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to ...
    6 days ago
  • Green Party statement on the death of George Floyd
    “Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama Davidson. ...
    6 days ago
  • Lake Brunner’s Mount Te Kinga to go Predator Free
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Hon Eugenie Sage, Minister of Conservation The West Coast forests of Mount Te Kinga at Kotuku Whakaoho/Lake Brunner are the latest predator free project to receive Government funding, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party welcomes crucial financial support for creatives
    The Green Party says new government support for creatives and artists is a vital lifeline for a sector struggling to survive the COVID crisis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Strongest ever water reforms mean swimmable rivers within a generation
    The Green Party says major freshwater reforms announced today provide the strongest ever protections of our waterways, to help ensure the next generation can swim in the rivers of Aotearoa. ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens work to secure inquiry into Wild West student accommodation sector
    The Green Party has begun the process for a Select Committee inquiry into student accommodation, which has been exposed during COVID-19 as an under-regulated sector that straddles students with unfair debt. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party unveils its candidate list for the 2020 election
    The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    Hon Tracey Martin, Minister for Children A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Great Walks bookings open next week
    This summer presents a great opportunity for New Zealanders to get out into nature with bookings on Great Walks for 2020/21 set to open next week, says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  Bookings for the Great Walks will open between 9 and 11 June, excluding Milford and Routeburn tracks which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ministerial Diary April 2020
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt extends support schemes for businesses
    Extra 40,000 businesses to be eligible for wage subsidy extension Small business cashflow support application period extended The Government is today announcing further support for businesses that continue to be affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as the broader economy becomes one of the most open in the world following ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Five new Super Hercules to join Air Force fleet
    The Coalition Government has confirmed five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the existing fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today.  “Last year, Cabinet selected these aircraft as the preferred option to replace the current Hercules fleet. Procurement of the Super Hercules has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wairarapa Moana seeks international recognition as vital wetland
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage is celebrating World Environment Day with an announcement of a major step towards Wairarapa Moana being recognised as an internationally significant wetland. “Wairarapa Moana is an ecosystem of 10,000 hectares of wetland and open water that provides a home for indigenous fish, birds and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New public housing sets standard for future
    New public housing that will save tenants money in energy bills, and provide warmer, healthier and more comfortable homes, is setting the standard for the Government’s future public housing programme, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. Dr Woods opened the new Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities complex, which has a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • First Police wing to complete training post lockdown
    A new-look Police graduation ceremony to take account of COVID19 health rules has marked the completion of training for 57 new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash attended this afternoon's ceremony, where officers of Recruit Wing 337 were formally sworn in at the Royal New Zealand Police College without the normal support of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government makes further inroads on predatory lenders
    Mobile traders and truck shops must adhere to responsible lending requirements Interest rate cap on high-cost loans Lenders prohibited from offering further credit to an applicant who has taken two high-cost loans in the past 90 days The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, has signalled an end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New survey shows wage subsidy a “lifeline” for businesses, saved jobs
    94% of firms say wage subsidy had positive impact on cashflow 62% of firms say support helped to manage non-wage costs like rent A survey of business that have received the Government’s wage subsidy show it has played a significant role in saving jobs, and freed up cash flow to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tax changes support economic recovery
    New legislation introduced to Parliament today will support growth and assist businesses on the road to economic recovery, said Revenue Minister Stuart Nash. “The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill proposes that businesses can get tax deductions for ‘feasibility expenditure’ on new investments,” said Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $4.6 million financial relief for professional sports
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has welcomed the first release of funds from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced as part of Budget 2020. Sport NZ has announced that $4.6 million in funding will go to the Wellington Phoenix, NZ Warriors, Super Rugby teams and the ANZ Premiership ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Critical support for strategic tourism assets
    An iconic New Zealand tourism attraction and the country’s 31 Regional Tourism Organisations are the first recipients of support from the $400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, to help position the sector for recovery from COVID-19, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The plan includes a Strategic Tourism Assets Protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting Kiwi businesses to resolve commercial rent disputes
    The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. A temporary amendment to the Property Law Act will insert a clause in commercial leases requiring a fair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prompt payments to SMEs even more urgent
    The Minister for Small Business says new data from Xero highlights the urgency of prompt payment practices to small and medium enterprises as we move into economic recovery. Last month Government ministers wrote to significant private enterprises and the banking industry to request they join efforts by government agencies to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Free period products in schools to combat poverty
    Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Response to charges in New Plymouth
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash has issued the following statement in response to charges filed against three Police officers this morning in the New Plymouth District Court. “Any incident involving a loss of life in Police custody is taken very seriously. The charges today reflect the gravity of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt boosts innovation, R&D for economic rebuild
    $196 million for Crown Research Institutes $150 million for R&D loan scheme $33 million for Māori research and development opportunities $12 million for the Nationally Significant Collections and Databases $10 million to help maintain in-house capability at Callaghan Innovation New Zealand’s entrepreneurs, innovators and crown researchers will benefit from a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance this year
    Further temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) will support senior secondary school students whose teaching and learning have been disrupted by COVID-19. “The wellbeing of students and teachers is a priority. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system, and the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extended terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency
    Minister for Racing Winston Peters today announced that the terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) have been extended to 30 June 2021. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the transition period has been extended to ensure that the Racing Industry Bill can complete its progress through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
    The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.  The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. “I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little. “I am also pleased to announce the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery
    The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19 Apprentices working in all industries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets
    The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw. The changes include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Excellent service to nature recognised
    The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incredible work to restore the populations of critically endangered birds says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. Anne Richardson of Hororata has been made an Officer of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago