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Two Referendums Too Many

Written By: - Date published: 1:32 pm, November 16th, 2019 - 50 comments
Categories: campaigning, death with dignity, election 2020, leadership, Politics, quality of life, referendum - Tags: ,

It is official, we’ll have to cope with two referendums at the General Election (GE) next year. One will be asking us whether cannabis for recreational use should be legalised and the other whether voluntary euthanasia should be allowed.

One argument against having these referendums at the same as the GE is that voters might be overwhelmed by the information overload. This may suck away much-needed oxygen from the larger question as to how the country should be governed and what the core political issues are.

Both referendums are for contentious issues that can and do evoke strong emotive reactions in people. Emotions can be easily manipulated. All signs are pointing to an even dirtier election campaign than before. If true, I think it is likely that the referendums will be used as wedges to drive voters into a certain direction.

Personally, I am disappointed that our current representatives in Parliament could not or would not deal with these issues at this time but decided to defer and lob it back to us in order to get a (firm or firmer?) ‘mandate’. As we know, the Devil is in the detail so what you think you ‘order’ and will like might actually ‘taste’ like a dog’s breakfast once it gets dished up in front of you.

I do worry that both the cannabis and euthanasia questions will be even more politicised for political gain and benefit. They will be used to attract media attention and hog the media limelight. They will be used to gain the favour of voters.

I don’t think this will make for good decisions all in the name of democracy. It is almost (?) inevitable that we will associate our thinking and decision about euthanasia, for example, with certain politicians and certain political parties. Euthanasia is a highly personal issue and goes to the core of one’s personal values, morals, and religious views, if any. I want to minimise the State’s power to dictate or restrict how and when I die. I say power because I don’t consent to handing them this authority. However, this is my personal opinion and I fully accept that there about four million other opinions in NZ. Thus, it is a non-partisan issue but it will be, and already is, polarising and dividing opinions.

It will be fascinating to see the election campaigns unfold and arguably National has been ‘campaigning’ since the day their right to lead the Government was ‘stolen’ from them. It will be frustrating to deal with the aftermath.

50 comments on “Two Referendums Too Many”

  1. Sabine 1

    both issues are labours to loose, but then they also deserve to loose.

    they had a mandate, they had/have coalition partners, and if now they are too craven, too lazy, too cowardly, too political and too stale and pale to take a risk then they deserve to be kicked back to the opposition bench or even better into retirement. 

    No gummibears……the coalition in a nutshell. 

    • Formerly Ross 1.1

      I think you mean "lose", and I'm not sure that Labour had a mandate to do anything. Maybe if the vast majority of voters had voted for Labour, you might have a point. Having said that, I suspect many voters know right now which way they'll vote when it comes to the two referendums. The issues have been in the public arena for a long time.

      By the way, the assisted dying bill was put forward by David Seymour, not by the Government.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        lose indeed. 

        Mandate to do better then National. a broad coalition to change for the better…etc etc etc. A mandate. At least that is what National would say.

        Edit: For both bills Labour could have done better or say be more at the forefront rather then just kicking hte ball elsewhere. as for the Hologram, every stopped clock is correct at least one time a day (depending if you go for 24 hours or AM/PM – then of course its twice aday) 🙂

        But my point is that Labour has been fairly wishiy washy on these issues, and without labour there is no coalition. So yeah, both issues are Labours to lose irrespective of who advances the bills.

      • The Chairman 1.1.2

        I suspect many voters know right now which way they'll vote when it comes to the two referendums. The issues have been in the public arena for a long time.

        Indeed.

        As a voter I find the sentiment that we (voters) are being overloaded (due to a mere two referendums) condescending. Ten national referendums were held in Switzerland in 2018. 

        • Incognito 1.1.2.1

          Of course, you would find it condescending because you have missed the point of the post, which I just explained to Ken too.

          I remember John Key wanted to turn NZ into an Asia-Pacific Switzerland but we still ain’t Swiss and don’t have their experience with referendums.

          • The Chairman 1.1.2.1.1

            One doesn't require experience with referendums to know what policy one supports or not.

            • Incognito 1.1.2.1.1.1

              You compared NZ with Switzerland and I say this is a false equivalence.

              Besides, you missed the point of the post.

    • solkta 1.2

      Why do you blame Labour when it was NZF who said  they would not support either without a referendum?

      • Sabine 1.2.1

        i blame Labour for not being forceful enough. for not standing up properly, but hiding behind .NZfirst.  ( i think they would call it plausible deniability) 

        For letting this girl from the Greens stand there give an interview about 'no gummibears' with nary a comment.

        For not standing up for criminal reform  – whishy washy bullshit Andrew Little sprouted a long time ago – anything came of that or is that too in the too hard complicated not sexy basket? 

        For allowing people to die on synthetic cannabis without ever promoting  a meaningful reform and legislation that would change the life of many. 

        For having watched Helen Kelly become a criminal, for knowing someone broke the law to get Helen Kelly a product that is illegal, for not shaming Peter Fucking Dunne for not 'allowing' Helen Kelly a medication that worked for her, all cause "illegal'.

        You want me to continue to list up all the ways that Labour has shown how craven, lazy, cowardly, and downright amoral to the point of deadly they are in their inaction around this issue? 

        And for what its worth, i fully expect the Nomates Party to come with the one idea that could win them this or any other election should the need be. Namely the legalisation, regulation, and lisencing of MJ. And i fully expect Judith Oravida and Paula Benefit, Soimon et al.  to be among the first to invest in said companies that would then be created. A bit like Mr. Boehner – ex speaker of the House Republican  – did. 

        • solkta 1.2.1.1

          There is no way NZF would have allowed this without a referendum.

          For letting this girl from the Greens

          I think at 25 she gets to be a woman.

          For having watched Helen Kelly become a criminal

          They were not the government then.

          And for what its worth, i fully expect the Nomates Party to come with the one idea that could win them this or any other election should the need be. Namely the legalisation, regulation, and lisencing of MJ.

          Uhhh, ok see ya i'm going back to planet earth.

           

          • Sabine 1.2.1.1.1

            NZfirst would be pounding sand without Labour. 

            True that, i have no idea about her age, she just struck me as really really young, and I am somewhat old. 

            Nope, but they were in opposition and did fuck all. And she did make herself a criminal, and they watched it go down, they watched the humiliation of her having to procrastinate infront of Peter Fucking Dunne (no mates tool, proponent of synthetic cannabis – to the profit of his son, to the detriment of many families) and they did Fuck all. And that is the truth. 

             Whats good for the republican in the US is certainly good for their apprentices here in NZ. 

            • Sacha 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Wisdom is not always correlated with age. I hope you get to see Chloe in action in person sometime, and that you find the maturity by then to appreciate it.

  2. Formerly Ross 2

    voters might be overwhelmed by the information overload

    Overwhelmed? Yeah all those complex and sophisticated policies that will be announced by the National Party are going to do my head in. How will voters cope?! 🙂

    The problem won’t be too much information, it’ll be too little.

  3. Climaction 3

    Unbelievable really that this government, apparently so committed to reducing emissions, can’t enact two policies that will have immediate benefit to the environment. Sequestering carbon in marijuana plants, which will also reduce alcohol intake, reducing the transportation of liquids to supply alcohol demand. And removing emission generating Humans from the planet who do not want to be here. 
    the lack of policy cohesion is nonsensical 

  4. Bruce 4

    A governments role I feel is often to protect a minority and with pot they have failed. The law is wrong, it is based on fallacy long proved to be wrong, it is govts role to a knowledge their mistake and fix it. People are different and different things work for different people, but they all seem to seek and use some way of altering their mental state for what ever reason. Alcohol seems to suit a lot of people and they are the majority and I hear many of them say it's suits me why open the door to more.

    The misstruths are still belived by many , I'm sure most will remember the monkeys that that were brain damaged from pot, but how many know that the damage was from lack of oxygen because they were pumped with so much smoke.

    The referendum is a cop out gutless politicians to scared to lose their cushy job protecting a wrongly persecuted minority.

     

    .

    • greywarshark 4.1

      +1 bruce

    • Dukeofurl 4.3

      "protecting a wrongly persecuted minority."

      Get over your self. You have just as absurd claims as Judith Collins claiming to be a person of colour  ( none!). 

      Dont appropriate  real persecuted minorities , just dont.

      The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act passed  on Aug 12th which covers Class A  drug users ' not just stoners Class C'

      To avoid doubt, it is affirmed that there is a discretion to prosecute for an offence against subsection (1)(a), and a prosecution should not be brought unless it is required in the public interest.

      When considering whether a prosecution is required in the public interest, in addition to any other relevant matters, consideration should be given to whether a health-centred or therapeutic approach would be more beneficial to the public interest.

      http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2019/0042/latest/whole.html#LMS167550

      • Bruce 4.3.1

        What would you know your a duke but for a simpleperson spending 9 mths in a in a concrete box with some very nasty people for smoking home grown pot in my own home it certainly didnt feel like a walk in a park. Discretion bullshit these laws are to break the smart mouth, unfortunately I'm one, bet you've never had to throw through away your last avacardo for the week because the guy next to you had his throat cut and sprayed it with his blood, yea I'm a snowflake very easily upset . Don't start telling me how to feel.

  5. Dukeofurl 5

     Trust Claire Robinson , Professor of Politics/Marketing at Massey to be  always pleading Nationals side of   a story.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/403285/voters-may-be-overwhelmed-by-both-referendums-and-election-analyst

    Why did RNZ hide her credentials behind a lowly 'analyst' label ?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/117468406/labour-and-the-referendums-of-dread

    And again in Stuff , Luke Malpass ,  concern trolling labour  who was their  expat kiwi bought back from Australia  and previous NZ Initiative ( Business Round table)  writer as his previous  background as their media editor

    https://nzinitiative.org.nz/reports-and-media/media/luke-malpass-on-the-governments-job-performance/

    • Sabine 5.1

      is this a case of 

       

      "i love the poorly educated voters"

    • Nic the NZer 5.2

      One would think a small number of interesting referendums would have a small positive impact on turnout. To me this would seem like a good way to decide on these issues and encourage participation at once.

  6. Stuart Munro. 6

    The opportunity is not entirely gone, for Labour, and for other parties, to choose a well-reasoned position on issues that will still be defanged by the referenda. They don't need enormous funding commitments, and having delegated the decision to the public, their perspective cannot be mistaken for an autocratic imposition.

    Don't think they will though – more poll than principle driven.

    • Incognito 6.1

      I don’t think it is an “autocratic imposition” if they make decisions (policies) on our behalf when they have been dutifully elected by us to do so. In other words, we have given them the mandate and authority to do a job. Unfortunately, the authority of Parliament rests on a well-functioning democratic and political process in the interest of all. In my view, this has been eroding, and not only in NZ. I can see only two likely outcomes: an authoritarian system or an unruly society, which could well revert into an authoritarian one. Neither bode well for the future.

      Your last sentence nicely paraphrases the OP.

      • Stuart Munro. 6.1.1

        Autocracy is often a positional perception – not truly subjective, but nevertheless not readily apparent to those making decisions.

        Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses 

        Merely securing a simple majority is not license to do any damned thing one pleases.

        I’ve seen a lot of what I perceive as erosion too.

  7. Anne 7

    I do worry that both the cannabis and euthanasia questions will be even more politicised for political gain and benefit. They will be used to attract media attention and hog the media limelight. They will be used to gain the favour of voters.

    That is exactly what is going to happen.

    Once again the stupidity of the parliamentarians in general is in focus. 

    Remember they voted to lower the drinking age to 18 on the fictitious ground that if they can go to war at 18 then they can vote at 18. Talk about turning the clock back to WW1 and WW2! There is no comparison between the two and look what we have now… binge drinking at the age of 14/15 and 16 and the consequences of that:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12285754

    • millsy 7.1

      Was there much of a consultation period back then? I didn't follow things as much back then as I do now, so cannot really remember if there was much debate about the drinking age. Or am I just spoiled by the Internet?

      • Anne 7.1.1

        Your'e right millsy there was little consultation, but when the intention to lower the drinking age became known the majority of the public were up in arms.The main cause for concern was that it would mean teenagers would start drinking at an even earlier age. When the age was 20, it was well known most teenagers were drinking by the age of 18. However, the MPs of the day in their collective wisdom (?) chose to ignore majority concerns and ploughed on with their determination to lower the age to 18.

        Time has shown the public on that occasion were right, and the MPs were wrong.             

        • greywarshark 7.1.1.1

          There was also the ease of obtaining booze from supermarkets.   There are identity and age checks – to 25 years I think, but the stuff is there amongst the food, so innocuous.   Then there are the RTDs (Ready to Drinks – mixed cocktails Vodka and Orange, Bloody Mary etc.)   The man who introduced this stuff played innocent – I never knew the young ones would take to them.    Then the government decided their alcohol level was  too high, so knowing that the youngsters were hooked on them which so distressed him, he complied with legislation and brought the alcohol down to just under the legal level which was still high.   So age alone is not sufficient to stop the addictive spread.

          Official statement about RTDs (couldn't see date):

          For the purposes of this VIC [Voluntary Industry Code] an RTD is defined as: i.a spirit-based alcoholic beverage mixed/diluted to an Alcohol by Volume (abv) range of 4% up to 14% (above which products become liqueurs as per S73,75 of the Customs & Excise Act 1996);

          2014   Now down to 7% alcohol per can.

          RTDs with less punch hitting shelves

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11181109

           

    • Sabine 7.2

      why because before they did not drink at 14/15? i dont' understand that. 

      Drinking at that age is illegal either way? 

      and yes, if they can get shot to pieces, work full time, be parents, own property, have a mortgage and they are all considered old enough at 18 for these things, then they should ahve a right to drink.

      Btw, a lot of the binge drinking is done by adults older then 21 and a lot of the not drinking at all is done by people younger then 21. 

      But why not advocate for the banning and classifying of alcohol as a Class A considering all that harm it does? 

      • weka 7.2.1

        I could get into pubs without too much difficulty when I was 17 (legal age 20). It seems reasonable to assume that with the age at 18, I would have gotten in at 15. That probably applies to bottle stores too.

        I'm not necessarily against lowering the age, but lowering the age while we're still a pisshead culture was asking for trouble. Just like lowering the voting age without doing civics education is likely to be an issue.

        • Sabine 7.2.1.1

          . Just like lowering the voting age without doing civics education is likely to be an issue

           

          i have more faith and trust in anyone under 18 then most people over 40 when it comes to 'civic' education. The kids are alright, its their parents/grandparents who fuck it up consistently by voting not for the greater good but for tax cuts and for keeping people whom they don't approve of in their place. 

          Seriously the young people on this planet are not the one that are issues, we however do them no favour and to boot we seem to be very happy to criminalise them for many things that are bs, like smoking weed, growing a plant or selling a tinny. But then adults invest into prison for profits and thus the kids need to pay the bills, other wise there be no profit.

          • weka 7.2.1.1.1

            the ones with the vote already aren't voting much, so not sure how that works.

            One would hope that each generation is more on to it than the last, but only an insane culture treats its older people as useless, and as far as I can tell that's pretty much restricted to Western industrialised nations. The idea that older people don't being specific benefits because of experience and time is at odds with human evolution.

            I don't buy the young/good, old/bad any more than I buy the reverse. And every generation gets more conservative as it ages, again because evolution enabled the best chances at collective survival. We are in an abnormal time, and dismissing older people is part of that.

      • Anne 7.2.2

        I wasn't talking about other age groups Sabine. I was talking about youth. And of course not all of them are drinkers whatever their age.

        I've been led to believe that the worst binge drinkers a women in their 50s. Whether that is true I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me.

        • Dukeofurl 7.2.2.1

          probably the women over 50+ are the  group  with biggest  increase in numbers.

          The total amount drunk per head is reducing , but thats because of migration is changing demographics and asian women are more likely to not drink or very little.

          Mean while the top  quintile of binge and heavy drinkers is drinking more, thats where all the problems are – and the money made by  the so called 'hospo industry'

        • Sabine 7.2.2.2

          I am talking about youth, and frankly the youth that i know does not binge drink. They are literally not rich enough to actually go out and on the piss nor to go out and buy that much. 

          Mind they are also not rich enough to own cars, or rent flats. 

          Maybe that is the reason everyone binge drinks. It makes living in misery easier. 

          Who knows, but as i said, if booze is so bad then we should hold a referendum to getting it banned. No more drink driving, no more drink bashing your partners head in, no more drink belligerent discourse etc etc and all those women over 50 will just take up knitting again. 

          Or legalise weed and see that people actually drink less in order to self medicate or to fall asleep. 

  8. weka 8

    Afaik, a referendum on the End of Life Bill was mandatory because it was part of the NZF and Labour's coalition agreement.

    • Dukeofurl 8.1

      It  says only  that a conscience vote for Mps  on a referendum   for the public  in EOLC bill.

      Without their bloc vote the whole bill  would have been lost.

  9. Graeme 9

    Don't see what the fuss is about.

    We managed the MMP referenda, two of them, and had alcohol vote as well, with the choice between Continuance, State Purchase and Control and Prohibition.

    New Zealanders like to have their say, and if they have something to vote for they will.  I think it will go just fine, the turnout will be quite good, and the Country will have spoken.

    • Ad 9.1

      I don't favour Members of Parliament abnegating their responsibility to consider and pass/fail legislation, and putting it back on us citizens.

      The Select Committee process is both sufficiently scrutinized and sufficiently political to enable facts to hold up and the lies to be swept away like crap with a high pressure hose after milking. With the public dealing with the campaigns one way or the other, there's simply no evaluation mechanism other than the media. 

      I don’t trust the media to be policy-neutral on either marijuana or euthanasia.

      The 2013 Asset Sales Referendum was really hard work, strongly in favour of not selling our state assets, and the government completely ignored our strong majority will. 

      Brexit should also be a massive warning to those who propose binding referenda. Because raw propaganda and lies won the day, lies that have gone on to dominate and destabilize both the UK parliament and the entire country for years.

      We see so many elections – including our own – in which massive advertising misinformation campaigns distort broad civic will at the very end. The Advertising Complaints Authority never even tries to uphold complaints in time to counter the effects of lies on voting results. The same could definitely happen here. 

      I will have no enthusiasm for campaigning in 2020 when I will have to defend these two horseshit policies door-to-door. 

       

       

       

      • Dukeofurl 9.1.1

        " will have no enthusiasm for campaigning in 2020 when I will have to defend these two horseshit policies door-to-door. "

        Why .   For EOLC ,Will any  of the main parties apart for NZF ( whos long time policy it was)  and Seymour have a formal position that they campaign on?

        • Ad 9.1.1.1

          Well, the Greens agree with both of them. 

          And for Labour it's Cabinet-bound. 

          So on both counts, of course yes, and it's yes for all three parties.

      • Anne 9.1.2

        I don't favour Members of Parliament abnegating their responsibility to consider and pass/fail legislation, and putting it back on us citizens.

        It is in fact putting their own self interest ahead of their responsibilities to the public as a whole. It makes a mockery of their postulations that they… want to serve the public and make NZ a better place for everyone. I'm not saying there are not politicians who are genuine in their desire to work for the public good but lets be honest… they are a minority. angry

         

  10. Ken 10

    I think most people are quite capable of considering cannabis, euthanasia and who they want to vote for at the same time.

    • Incognito 10.1

      You seem to have missed or to disagree with the point, which is that these issues will be and already are political footballs used for political point scoring. On top of that, MSM in their endless effort for advertising revenue, are likely to muddy the waters further with endless ‘opinion’ pieces in which the same fearmongering will be repeated ad nauseam. Most people can walk and chew gum but it becomes more difficult when somebody is blasting you with loud obnoxious music and blinding you stroboscope laser lights, metaphorically speaking.

  11. adam 11

    This would not be a problem if we removed money from politics. 

     

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    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
  • Green MP joins international call to cancel developing countries’ debt
    Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is joining over 300 lawmakers from around the world in calling on the big banks and the IMF to forgive the debt of developing countries, in the wake of the COVID crisis. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Ministerial Diary April 2020
    ...
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    13 hours 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 ...
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    15 hours 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 ...
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    15 hours 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 ...
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    18 hours 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 ...
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    18 hours 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 ...
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    1 day 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    3 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 ...
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    3 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 ...
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    3 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 ...
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    3 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 ...
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    3 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 ...
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    3 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 ...
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    4 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 ...
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    4 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 ...
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    4 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 ...
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    5 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 ...
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    5 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 ...
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    5 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 ...
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    5 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 ...
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    6 days 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 ...
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    6 days 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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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, ...
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    1 week ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
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    1 week ago