Time for a truce in sentencing bidding war

Written By: - Date published: 12:02 pm, January 12th, 2009 - 10 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

An interesting article from the Sydney Morning Herald:

THE NSW Opposition has pledged to end the “law and order auction” in a dramatic break with the tradition of promising to increase punishments and fill jails that has characterised every state election campaign since 1988.

The Coalition’s justice spokesman, Greg Smith, who entered Parliament in 2007 with a reputation as a tough criminal prosecutor, said hardline sentencing and prisons policies – including those of his own party – have failed.

“I know that for a series of elections there was one side bidding against the other in what they called a law and order auction,” Mr Smith said. “I am concerned that prisoners are not properly being rehabilitated, not given a chance to go straight in a community that really would want them to go straight.”

Mr Smith said with 10,000 inmates in NSW jails and a recidivism rate of 43.5 per cent, the punitive approach was not working. “It seems to me that our prisons are full of people who suffered learning difficulties in their youth or had a deprived upbringing or have drug addiction or mental problems. There’s a lot of those people in our jails. I am not excusing the conduct that got them into jail but I think that some of them need more of a kick along from the system.

“I think you need to be, society needs to be, conscious of the fact that unless you do something for them after they get out of jail, the more likely they are to hurt society again and commit more crime.

“That’s where my pragmatic view comes in. Our recidivism rates are far too high and this harsh line that we have been taking, with the Government almost proud of the size of the prisons, and proud to build more, in my opinion, shows a lack of care for people in prisons, their families and the community generally, because it is short-sighted.”

An expert on justice policy, the Emeritus Professor in Criminal Law at the University of NSW, David Brown, said that after the Unsworth government lost the 1988 election to Nick Greiner, the new ALP leader, Bob Carr, bought into the law and order auction. “Once Carr let the law-and-order genie out of the bottle, it became standard political competition to posture over who was toughest on crime, setting up a dynamic that no-one, up to now, has had the courage to end,” Professor Brown said

“If Greg Smith can get the genie back in the bottle, negotiate an end to the auction and secure a bipartisan approach, so that each side gives up on scoring cheap political points  and looks to researched policies that reduce crime, recidivism and imprisonment, then he will be making one of the greatest contributions to justice and real community safety this state has seen.”

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties also hoped Mr Smith’s stand signals an end to the “auction”.

“Greg Smith is not a softie,” said the council president, Cameron Murphy. “He’s a tough-minded conservative. But the fact that someone like him is questioning the line shows just how absurd it’s become.”

As attorney-general in a Coalition government, Mr Smith would increase funding for drug and alcohol rehabilitation schemes, the Custody-Based Intensive Treatment program for sex offenders; education programs that teach inmates trades and skills; and post-release accommodation, such as halfway houses.

Last month, Mr Smith quietly released a critique of the Rees Government’s law and order policies, headed: “More jails not the best answer: money better spent on rehabilitation.”

“While the NSW Liberals/Nationals adhere to the view that punishment must fit the crime, there needs to be far more emphasis by the State Labor Government on rehabilitation programs, which give the prisoner a better chance of going straight, once released. Rehabilitation is cheaper than the cost of building more prisons and far more effective in helping our community to become a more peaceful place.”

Our elections, too, have been hijacked by the law and order auction, not least due to the hard line policies that Phil Goff pushed to help get the Fifth Labour Government to power. The result has just been more and more people in prison at ever greater cost to society. Yes, Labour brought crime down but it did so by tackling the causes of crime, unemployment and poverty, not by locking people up. In the long-run, all the ‘I’m tougher on crime than you’ competition leads to is bad policy. The Tories will always be willing to go to more stupid extremes, as we seenow with Judith Collins attacking parole and set to undermine home detention and chuck more people behind bars – even though home detention works resulting in lower recidivism for lower cost.

If only we too can have a truce on this political bidding war and, instead, start listening to what the experts on criminal behaviour say. Then we could have smart policy, targeting at-risk kids before they become criminals, intervening early when things start to go wrong, and giving people the choice of dignified work – not only could we then not throw so many people into the prison waste dump, we could save more people from being the victims of crime. But we won’t get smart policy while politicians keep thumping their chests and trying to out tough each other.

10 comments on “Time for a truce in sentencing bidding war ”

  1. QoT 1

    Jeez, Steve, next thing you’ll be trying to tell us that crims are human beings just like the rest of us!

  2. Could someone please forward this article to Garth McVicar.

  3. Mr Magoo 3

    leftrightout:

    You are too slow mate. They have already responded with their own press releases around the same time:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0901/S00048.htm
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0901/S00014.htm
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0901/S00010.htm

    These guys are not rational and sending them ANYTHING would be a complete waste of time.

    My favourite quote:

    “”The only evidence required is already available for everyone to see, violent crime is escalating and child abuse and drug abuse is rampant, the time for talk is over.'”

    This nearly had me in stiches. It reminds me of that very famous movie quote from “Canadian Bacon”

    “”There’s a time for thinking, and a time for action. And this, gentlemen, is no time for thinking!””

    Other greats:

    “It’s time to turn off that war machine, and turn on our children.”

    “The American public’s attention span is about as long as your dick.”

    “Let me level with you, sir. I would destroy any nation – even my own – if my president gave the order.”

    “Secretary of State: We were thinking, what could be a bigger threat than aliens invading from space?
    General Panzer: Ooh boy! Scare the shit out of everyone. Even me, sir!
    U.S. President: Jesus, is this the best you could come up with? What about, ya know, international terrorism?
    General Panzer: Well, sir, we’re not going to re-open missile factories just to fight some creeps running around in exploding rental cars, are we, sir?”

  4. Hoolian 4

    How wonderfully coincidental. A press release http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0901/S00036.htm from the nutters at Rethinking Crime and Punishment. Isn’t it amazing how similar Clinton’s post is to the complete garbage espoused by RCP you’d almost think they were one in the same. Its one thing to hold a baseless and irrational viewpoint, but it’s another to replicate it and claim it as an honest and original post.

    However, I’d expect nothing less from Clinton.

    [I hadn’t seen the press release. Great minds, eh? SP. Oh and Hoolian, learn some civility or fuck off back to Kiwiblog]

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    Mr. M
    That first link is golden. McVicar really does operate in a self awareness free zone:

    Her comments were attacked by Kim Workman of Rethinking Crime and Punishment who accused the Government of pushing through legislation in absence of evidence-based research, good information and adequate consultation.

    But Garth McVicar from Sensible Sentencing has leaped to the Ministers defence saying the catch-phrases used by Mr. Workman were just failed old clichés that had caused the problems New Zealand now faced.

    “The only evidence required is already available for everyone to see, violent crime is escalating and child abuse and drug abuse is rampant, the time for talk is over.

    Mr. McVicar said the National / Act Government campaigned to get tough on crime and was elected in a landslide victory.’

    That is the only consultation required, the Government has the support of the people, the Minister has a mandate to do exactly as she has said she will do.’

    “I can understand why these so-called criminal justice professionals are starting to squeal, they are responsible for the mess our country is in they have driven criminal justice policy and it has been a dismal failure.

    The evidence is there for all to see.

    (emphasis mine)

  6. Gooner 6

    I agree with you Steve and I have been classified as a ‘hard’ rightie. Politicians get involved in bidding wars on a myriad of issues and it’s bad, bad, bad for the country full stop – crime/justice or whatever else.

  7. Ianmac 7

    Great post thanks Steve. But in NZ I think we have to get over two hurdles at least:
    Public Perception: Media and Politicians have painted such a threatening position that to undo this will be extremely hard. (8 people in my living room strongly believe that prison is a cushy hotel and cannot see the loss of freedom, and being controlled by others as an unpleasant experience.)
    Political One-upmanship: Who would be the political clever-dick willing to lead a re-think about the real issues? John Key? Judith Collins?
    One Criminal lawyer spent a month or so in jail and said the most frightening (effective?) time was the first 28 days. After that he just normalised with the system. Longer time became an institutionalised blur.

  8. Matthew Pilott 8

    Something Collins said irked me – that it wasn’t about study and research, but about ‘public perception’. If the public perception is at odds with reality, should the government act based upon perception, or try and change it?

    In this case, perception is that we’re too soft on crims, and that they need to be locked up for longer, and also that parole and Home D are putting people at a greater risk.

    The reality is that the former does nothing, and that the two latter are safer options – lower reoffending rates, therefore a safer public.

    The lawnorder stance is to take the hard line – irrational folk such as McVicar refuse to see or accept this, and retort with ‘perception’ based responses – as evidenced by PB and mr M. In influencing a perception that puts society at risk, McVicar and co are consciously acting to put the poblic in greater danger.

    Hypothetically, McVicar can pat his back next time someone is put in hospital by someone who received a prison sentence instead of home detention – while obviously not directly responsible, he could take pride in knowing it wouldn’t have happened without his influence.

    Hoolian, you’re embarrassing yourself. ‘However, I’d expect nothing less from Hoolian’ (oh gosh how witty I sound now). Steve, you’re going soft in your old age, if someone who’d never made a sensible contribution accused me of plagiarism I wouldn’t suffer to have it happen again.

  9. Rex Widerstrom 9

    Hoolian, I spotted the SMH article last week and sent it to The Standard, so I’m afraid you owe SP an apology. And thanks to The Standard for picking up on the issue.

    Matthew Pilott, you’ve identified a vital point that RCP and many similar groups seem to overlook – and that’s that by not implementing effective sentencing and rehabilitation strategies, politicians are putting society at greater risk.

    Leaving aside how we may feel about the criminals for a moment, it’s simple common sense that if someone leaves the system (not necessarily prison) genuinely rehabilitated then the rest of the community is no longer at risk from that offender.

    Our present system doesn’t achieve this, with recidivism rates across the Western World of somewhere around 50% with some notable exceptions which can reduce to less than half that. And the exceptions are systems which treat the issues sensibly and without emotion.

    That doesn’t mean, as McVicar seems to think, “going soft” on criminals and not locking them up at all. It means, however, that if we’re going to lock them up then we owe it to society to do everything we can to use that time to rehabilitate them. Here’s what the mother of one young offender wrote recently (and to be honest, I was somewhat surprised by it). I’ve edited it for length:

    Just to update you on how its been since my son come home. Man! THIS has been one of the BEST weeks of my life!… My son has come out a totally different person. He is ‘clean’ thanks to drug rehabilitaiton inside. He has a totally different outlook on life, thanks to ‘time’ inside.

    I’m sure alot of ex offenders could agree, time inside allows you plenty of time to think of where you’re life is heading and where YOU want it to go in the future. This my son did. And my God in Heaven, it has been a hell of a tough journey, but I’m SO glad he went inside! He now has a focus on where he wants his life to go. He has a brlliant ‘business’ idea that is currently underway and that I am confident will be a huge success given the right education on running a business and learning a marketing program which he is ready to learn.

    On the day that we picked him up, we had arranged a family bbq. He got up in front of us all and gave the most humble, confessional, heartbreaking speech that he had been preparing for 3 months prior to his release. He had us all in tears…

    BUT at the end of it all, I have to honestly say I’m GLAD he spent time inside! I love who he is now, who I am now, and who we ALL as a family are now thanks to this experience.

    But that’s someone who spent most of their time in a privately run Australian prison which is remunerated partly on long term results – i.e. the fewer of its inmates who come back into the system, the more money they get paid. Therefore they’re highly incentivised to ensure that the time spent inside isn’t simply looking at a brick wall, expanding your network of criminal associates, and plotting your next offence.

    The fact that McVicar won’t stop ranting and spewing bile long enough to contemplate the point Matthew makes about the safety of the wider community shows just what a danger he is. It’s time someone stood up to him directly, which Kim Workman appears not to want to do (and probably for good reason).

  10. DeepRed 10

    I doubt the McVicars of this world will ever come to their senses, unless there’s some kind of Los Angeles ’92 or Greece ’08.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 weeks ago

  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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