web analytics

UBI gathers momentum in Europe

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, June 3rd, 2016 - 51 comments
Categories: benefits, employment, human rights, jobs, leadership, welfare - Tags: ,

The Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) is an idea whose time has come. Not just in theory, in practice:

State handouts for all? Europe set to pilot universal basic incomes

Switzerland is poised to hold a referendum on introducing the concept, and Finnish and Dutch pilots are set for 2017

To its acolytes, it is the revolutionary policy idea whose arrival is as urgently needed as it is inevitable. In a future in which robots decimate the jobs but not necessarily the wealth of nations, they argue, states should be able to afford to pay all their citizens a basic income unconditional of needs or requirements.

Universal basic income has a rare appeal across the political spectrum. For those on the left, it promises to eliminate poverty and liberate people stuck in dead-end workfare jobs. Small-state libertarians believe it could slash bureaucracy and create a leaner, more self-sufficient welfare system.

In an increasingly digital economy, it would also provide a necessary injection of cash so people can afford to buy the apps and gadgets produced by the new robot workforce.

Crucially, it is also an idea that seems to resonate across the wider public. A recent poll by Dalia Research found that 68% of people across all 28 EU member states said they would definitely or probably vote for a universal basic income initiative. Finland and the Netherlands have pilot projects in the pipeline.

This weekend the concept faces its first proper test of public opinion, as Switzerland votes on a proposal to introduce a national basic income. …

Read on in The Guardian for plenty more. Given the increasing automation of work – at all levels – it’s difficult to see a practical alternative to a UBI in the medium to long term.

51 comments on “UBI gathers momentum in Europe ”

  1. Tory 1

    You have to be f***ing joking if you think that Switzerland is about to vote in the UBI.

    • Pasupial 1.1

      If you’d read the Guardian piece, you’d have seen that; this UBI proposal is not as likely to be implemented in Switzerland in this form, compared to; Finland and the Netherlands (where they are wisely starting with trial runs). However it is not inconceivable given the current polling (from April 24th some 5 weeks before the referendum on June 5th):

      The results suggest that 33% of the population would certainly vote ‘yes’ while 7% would probably vote ‘yes’. Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed oppose the referendum, with another 7% ‘rather’ opposed. According to the swiss campaign, the level of support has almost doubled since the last poll, conducted in early 2016.

      In the French speaking parts of Switzerland, the level of support even reaches 50%.

      http://www.basicincome.org/news/2016/04/swiss-poll-40-percent-favour-referendum/

      Yet even if the UBI fails to be voted in at this referendum, there is no reason to think that the idea will simply go away for ever. Particularly if the GDP proportion suggested for a future UBI proposal is closer to the current welfare spend.

      a unconditional basic income would cost around a third of the country’s GDP. Switzerland currently spends 19.4% of its GDP on welfare, less than the OECD average.

      Latest polls suggest that more than 60% of Swiss voters are likely to reject the proposal, but Straub is optimistic that the initiative has already achieved some of its aims. “Five years ago, only about a hundred people in Switzerland had heard the term ‘universal basic income’. Now everyone is debating it, and acceptance levels are rising,” he says.

      • Aaron 1.1.1

        It frustrates me so much when I see the phrase “…will cost the country…”in these discussions! The country is not a household, it is an economy and when you spend money into it, it doesn’t dissapear forever, in fact, it moves around between people as they use it to make transactions.

        Every time there is a transaction, the government gets 15% in GST and after 7 transactions all the money has come back to the government, yet we continue to talk about government spending as if we are pouring money down a black hole.

        The real issue is how much money is available for transactions and how fast it’s moving but I never see this discussed.

        I’m having to refrain from using the exclamation key here but it’s very frustrating.

        • The New Student 1.1.1.1

          Yeah eh! The only time money disappears is when it ends up in the hoardings of that much maligned group: the “1%”.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          +1

          There’s two major points to this wrong headedness about the UBI ‘costing’ the country anything. First is that it’s government spending that actually gets the economy going. Without it the economy would crash. Secondly is the implied idea that we can’t actually afford our people. When we look at that second part perhaps we need to look at who we really can’t afford. A million dollar income could easily provide 20 people with a good living standard.

      • AmaKiwi 1.1.2

        @ Pasupial 1.1

        Thank you for correctly informing TS readers about the true lack of support by the Swiss electorate.

        It only requires 50,000 signatures to get a referendum in Switzerland so getting it on the ballot is no big deal.

        On the other hand, passing it in Switzerland requires not just a majority of the Swiss voters but it must ALSO get a majority of votes in a majority of the 26 cantons (provinces or states).

        Yes, Switzerland is giving consideration to the universal basic income. But despite a huge publicity campaign (by Swiss standards), the odds of it passing at this time are zero.

        I have no opinion about the long term fate of UBI. But at present the idea is only in its infancy and the infant mortality rate is high for major economic changes.

  2. Bill 2

    Good god! What is this nonsense about the automation of job functions? Have any of the people taking that as a read bothered to read the reports those claims are based on? Some time back, I linked to them. Think some 1920’s techno-utopia babble and you won’t be to far from the shaky foundations of the reports that those claims stand on.

    Freedom from wage slavery? Yup. About time. But we don’t need automated burger service or automated para-legal voice recognition boxes to achieve that peeps. Neither should we be waiting on an automated ‘never never’ to arrive; that shouldn’t be the motivation, the goal and the brake. Let’s just end the crap because it’s crap.

    Isn’t that a good enough reason?

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      The public at large, in NZ anyway, see UBI as radical. They’re not convinced it’s affordable, or that it won’t just end up with ‘dole bludgers’ sitting at home.

      So the response will be “why do we need to change, I’m getting by just fine”.

      if you say to the public at large “in 10 years time, the majority if you aren’t going to have your current jobs due to automation”, that can snap them out of their complacency and take a proper considered look at the situation.

      A politician who stands up and says “I know all the answers, trust me” is unlikely to achieve their aims. It’s about bringing the public along with your aims, and getting them to understand and accept your argument.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        No doubt some people think UBI is a strange and threatening idea. And no doubt, some people run around in a flap at the prospect.

        Meanwhile, we have a wage slave system of production and distribution that is producing an ever deeper and wider pool of poverty. And we have systems of welfare riding off the back of that, that are degenerating and becoming ever more exclusive in terms of access (think health).

        Claiming that automation will be king in ten years time (or twenty years time) simply tells people to sit back and wait – that everything will be fine soon enough. And in thirty years time (everything else being equal*) when masses of people are still sunk in jobs comprised of drudge, and when access to the likes of health and education is thirty years of austerity down the track – what then?

        Keep repeating that such a state of affairs is normal and natural? Tell people to be patient, that ‘deliverance’ is just around the corner…or the next corner…soon?

        I accept there are jobs which deliver a sense of well being and what not. And I suspect that many people who read thestandard are employed in such jobs. But I also know there are far more numerous jobs that are utterly soul destroying, that go nowhere, and that are of ‘no use to beast nor man’ (good for profit generation though) that a huge number of people are trapped in. Those are the people trapped in crap and experiencing crap and whose crap we all ought to be bent on ending. And yes, that might mean those enjoying a fairly empowering and rewarding job, insofar as their participation in this system of production and distribution makes them complicit in creating conditions of misery for others, have to forego the privileges this system delivers to them.

        Time for something better. Time for something where accruing ‘good shit’ for oneself doesn’t entail, either directly or indirectly, piling ‘bad shit’ on others.

        *leaving AGW out of this for the moment 😉

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1

          I think you may have misunderstood what I meant by the “10 years time” thing.

          I meant like this:
          – Proposal, we implement a UBI now, because [mealy-mouthed, unconvincing reason]
          – Result: Rejection, see no need for it

          – Proposal, we implement a UBI now, because within 10 years, most people will have lost their jobs
          – Result: Begin taking UBI as a concept seriously, potentially implementing within the next electoral cycle

          • Bill 2.1.1.1.1

            Yup. Misunderstood what you were saying.

            If it was all down to me, I’d be saying we’re doing it now because AGW represents a clear and present danger to the future, near term viability of our society/civilisation.

            And then I’d give scientists unfettered access to all mainstream media outlets.

            • weka 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Whenever I hear anyone say automation now I just substitute climate change in my head 😉 It works reasonably well at the general level eg Lanth’s suggestion that ‘automation’ will make people take the UBI seriously. Let them plan around their being less jobs even if they’re doing it for the wrong reason. And keep naming it as wrong headed too.

      • mauī 2.1.2

        The public at large, in NZ anyway, see UBI as radical.

        I think unemployment has to hit +10% for people to really reach out for something different like the UBI. Our culture currently says if you’re in work then you’re contributing to society, if you aren’t then you’re probably not.

        • AmaKiwi 2.1.2.1

          @ maui

          For me it is less about the idea being radical than it is about giving our elect dictators even more power.

          Do you trust politicians? I sure as hell don’t.

        • Wayne 2.1.2.2

          Fundamentally a UBI at a level that makes sense requires the govt/state to be 45 to 50% of GDP. Which is the case of some European states. However in NZ it would require a dramatic shift in expectations of the size of govt. It is currently 30% of GDP and under Labour is typically 35%.
          So really a Euro solution, rather than being relevant to NZ. Which is pretty much what Labour seems to have concluded when this issue had a run two months ago.

      • AmaKiwi 2.1.3

        In the hands of Prime Minister Judith Collins, PM Stephen Joyce, or PM Paula Bennett, the Universal Basic Income would be a social Weapon of Mass Destruction.

        Their supporters are no doubt thinking the same about a Little-Shaw-Peters government.

        Until the voters take control away from the politicians, I think UBI is dead in the water. I do not see any move to do that. Binding citizen initiated referendums are on no one’s agenda at present.

        • AmaKiwi 2.1.3.1

          Stop the Press!

          Action Station is demanding the Governor General not sign the TPPA without a binding referendum approving it.

          Get behind this folks.

          http://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/demand-a-binding-referendum-on-tpp-let-the-people-decide

        • mikesh 2.1.3.2

          “In the hands of Prime Minister Judith Collins, PM Stephen Joyce, or PM Paula Bennett, the Universal Basic Income would be a social Weapon of Mass Destruction.”

          I don’t really see why. After all we already have a UBI; it’s called National Superannuation and it’s universal for people over 65. A UBI would be universal for people over, say, 20. Bennett and co may try to eliminate benefits on the basis that people are already receiving an income from the state but that would, in part, be one of the objectives of UBI.

  3. Peter 3

    … I guess those who don’t want/need it, should it ever be available in NZ, can gift their entitlement to others.

    • The New Student 3.1

      Or just refuse it and leave it in the pot

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      But, they still have to pay for other’s entitlements. That’s the bit they object to.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        That money goes around the economy. If they own a business, provide a service or sell goods at retail, they will get that money back many times over.

        • Lanthanide 3.2.1.1

          Most people are just employees / workers.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1.1

            ? huh?

            Are you claiming that a more buoyant economy is not going to lift prospects and mobility for ordinary employees?

        • Craig H 3.2.1.2

          I know that and you know that, but my experience is that most people don’t understand the concepts of velocity of money or propensity to consume, so they don’t know that. The difficult part is in explaining it.

  4. Your Average Voter 4

    Great idea. Make everyone a social welfare beneficiary and dependent on the state. The nanny state at its best. Good thinking. Do away with any incentive to help yourself because the benign state will do it for you. And if you do get ahead then the state can tax the crap out of you to spread the love. The only thing they missed out in the article was the compulsory fluro vests to keep everyone safe.

    So everyone from Joe Blow sleeping in a car to Gareth Morgan gets it?

    All so we can do really meaningful jobs like study global warming and buy apps and gadgets made by the new robotic workforce and then introduce a financial transaction tax to help support it financially. Jesus wept.

    And don’t forget it will liberate people in dead end jobs and some how magically mean less bureaucracy. Yeah right. Wishful thinking at its best.

    And of course it eliminates poverty by giving people more money without recognising the drivers behind poverty. Just throw money at them and all will be well in the world.

    So who pays for all this while we are all engaged in voluntary social work, studying climate change and playing with our apps and robotically made gadgets?

    A totally doomed social experiment that will end badly if it ever gets off the ground. No wonder Europe/EU is in the shit. It’ll become an economic migrants dream come true. Maybe we should all pack our bags, climb in the boat and head to the EU never never land where we can all be equals under the same sun and do meaningful things while tending our vege gardens, organic of course.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      The fact you invoked the name of Jesus during your little self serving banker backing right wing rant shows how soulless and depraved you actually are.

      • Your Average Voter 4.1.1

        CV, don’t read to much into Jesus wept. It’s just an expression. And I have quoted from the article itself with my little rant. 😀
        Soulless and depraved. I don’t think so. I just have a BS meter like everyone else and after reading the linked article at the top it went off.

        I believe the state has its place looking after the vulnerable as do voluntary organisations but social welfare to everyone under a different name. Is that really progressive?

        Do you really want us all to become that reliant on the state?

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          We are all reliant on the state. That’s called living in a social democracy. Even living in a neoliberal hell version of a social democracy, we are still dependent on the state. Who built the roads, hospitals, schools that we all use? We did, via the state. All those things are social welfare, ie for the welfare of society.

          If by relying on the state you mean bludging, then you don’t understand what a UBI is or how it would function within an economy like ours. Hardly anyone is going to want or be able to live on a UBI. There will be plenty of room for people to contribte to society. Stop worrying about that stuff and look at how it actually is intended to work.

          • Your Average Voter 4.1.1.1.1

            Hi Weka
            I agree that we are all dependent on the state for infrastructure, etc, etc.

            The guardian article linked to the story doesn’t explain much and listening to a guy on the radio trying to explain it with Jim Mora made a complete hash of it.

            All I can gather from it is that it’s replacing one benefit with another and calling it a different name.

            Hardly anyone is going to want it or be able to live on it……..so that would mean you would have to top it up with another set of benefits for the unemployed etc.?

            What exactly is the point of that?

            One of the things that can be incredibly frustrating with this type of thing is people get so caught up in political rhetoric that the actual point they are trying to make gets completely lost ( not accusing you of that. Just an observation)

            • weka 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Ok, that’s interesting in what you are getting from the MSM.

              A UBI isn’t a benefit replacement. It’s a form of income security that does multiple things that the dole doesn’t. It’s universal which means it is there when you need it as a stop gap, you don’t have to apply or spend large amounts of time navigating the system just to get it. People with ongoing needs will still need assistance in other ways eg people who are disabled or raising young kids. The expectation is that people who are unemployed would be picking up work that isn’t necessarily full time or enough to live on. The UBI gives them security. At the moment the current WINZ system is punitive and disincentivises people from p/t work by penalising them financially when they do work.

          • AmaKiwi 4.1.1.1.2

            @ weka

            “That’s called living in a social democracy.”

            Do not defame democracy.

            Our government does not meet the minimum requirements for a democracy. It is an elected dictatorship.

        • Daveosaurus 4.1.1.2

          It may be an expression, but it’s also a direct quote from the Gospel of John, ch. 11, v. 35. I suggest you look up the Gospel of Matthew, ch. 21, v. 12-13, to see what Jesus son of Joseph thought of capitalism.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Make everyone a social welfare beneficiary and dependent on the state.

      Everyone is dependent upon the state – especially rich people as they need the state to bail them out when they lose.

      Do away with any incentive to help yourself because the benign state will do it for you.

      You RWNJs are using it as an excuse to keep poverty as without poverty people can’t be forced to make rich bludgers richer.

      And of course it eliminates poverty by giving people more money without recognising the drivers behind poverty.

      The drivers behind poverty are the rich and capitalism.

      A totally doomed social experiment that will end badly if it ever gets off the ground.

      That would be capitalism and it’s on it’s final collapse now. Capitalism has never worked and will never work.

    • Brigid 4.3

      I wish I’d read your comment 12 hours or so ago.
      Please read this report on the UBI
      http://public.econ.duke.edu/~erw/197/forget-cea%20%282%29.pdf

      • Lara 4.3.1

        Yep.

        It’s been tried. For a fairly long time. It worked.

        But trying to introduce facts and evidence to an emotionally charged argument such as any one on UBI… doesn’t usually end well as far as I’ve seen.

  5. save nz 5

    Would vote for a UBI – anything is better than neoliberalism and austerity and even the IMF are now saying it is not working.

    In the short term they need to get rid of Tax havens so the money can’t be stolen and stashed away by politicians and the .1%.

  6. Rocco Siffredi 6

    Milton Friedman was a big fan of UBI.

  7. weka 7

    Continuing along the lines of a public conversation he had with Noam Chomsky in April this year, in which Chomsky noted that most medical discoveries are only possible because of research carried out with public money, Varoufakis gives another example of public-funded corporate development and profit-making, citing the iPhone, every part of which is created by a government grant. Hence, this process of profit-making presently enriching just a few individuals should benefit society as a fair allocation of aggregate wealth whereby each citizen would have the means to aspire to a dignified existence and, in turn, make his or her contribution to society, individually or as a member of a well-founded economic community. A basic income would be a dividend and not a government grant.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/27/basic-income-gathers-steam-across-europe/

    (Not sure if that was covered in the article links)

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      A basic income would be a dividend and not a government grant.

      That’s one way of looking at it but I still prefer seeing a UBI as the funding that gets the economy moving.

      • weka 7.1.1

        Could be both? Both reframe in useful ways to different audiences.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          No, it couldn’t. One is the result of the economy and the other is the motivation of the economy. Also the dividend idea comes with the concept of being able to afford it whereas the idea of it funding the economy has it that we can’t afford to do without it.

  8. Your Average Voter 8

    The question goes begging. Why do Apple get a government grant ( i.e.: tax payers money) for private profit?

    Under UBI what would be the dividend to the general population. X Profit divided by X population?

    dont we already aspire to a dignified existence? Is changing one system for another really going to make a difference seeing it will be the same shysters in charge of it?

    • Wonderpup 8.1

      Virtually all research is paid for directly by the government, or subsidised through tax breaks, or the final product (in the case of pharmaceuticals) subsidised by the government.

      I’d love to see an ideologically pure right wing libertarian telephone. It would be a tin can, with string going nowhere.

  9. gsays 9

    The bit that I didn’t like about this proposal is that it is to be funded by GST.
    Why o why not do a financial transaction tax.
    Everyone contributes and the banks/rich are in the net too.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Who said it was going to funded by GST?

      In fact, much better idea to see the UBI as funding the entire economy.

      • gsays 9.1.1

        hi draco,
        to be fair that was part of the synopsis i heard on rnz this arvo.
        i get what you are saying: that a ubi is not an expense, it is potentially a driver for the economy.

        just that gst is an unfair tax and a ftt would be far more equitable and bring in current non tax payers.

  10. Sirenia 10

    Many locals have thought about how a UBI could work here eg

    http://publicaddress.net/access/the-universal-basic-income-and-its-implications/

    • Rocco Siffredi 10.1

      “So if we taxed the bottled water industry, at say, $1 a litre we could well afford a generous UBI.”

      A $1 tax on bottled water would result in a UBI of exactly $0.

  11. Peter Lewis 11

    Effectively, we already have a UBI in New Zealand., and have done so for quite a few years.

    The only difference from the european proposals is that we have set the qualifying age at 65.

    I guess that legislativly all we need to do is reduce that age to 18 and away we go.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government support boosts Arts and Culture sector
    Government support for the cultural sector to help it recover from the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in more cultural sector jobs predicted through to 2026, and the sector performing better than forecast. The latest forecast by economic consultancy ‘Infometrics’ reflects the impact of Government investment in keeping people in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Govt takes further action against gang crime
    The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their families safe, Police Minister Poto Williams and Justice Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Thousands of MIQ spaces allocated to secure economic recovery
    Five hundred spaces per fortnight will be allocated in managed isolation facilities over the next 10 months, many for skilled and critical workers to support our economic recovery, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor say. “The Trans-Tasman bubble has freed up more rooms, allowing us to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand Sign Language Week a chance to recognise national taonga
    This week (10 – 16 May 2021) is New Zealand Sign Language Week (NZSL), a nationwide celebration of NZSL as an official language of New Zealand. “We’re recognised as a world leader for our commitment to maintaining and furthering the use of our sign language,” says Minister for Disability Issues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Economic resilience provides more options in Budget 2021
    Securing the recovery and investing in the wellbeing of New Zealanders is the focus of Budget 2021, Grant Robertson told his audience at a pre-budget speech in Auckland this morning. "The economy has proven resilient in response to COVID-19, due to people having confidence in the Government’s health response to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to BNZ-Deloitte Auckland Breakfast Event
    Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today, and to share with you some of the Government’s thinking leading into this year’s budget. This will be my fourth time delivering the annual Budget for the Government, though the events of the past year have thrown out that calculation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rotuman Language week affirms language as the key to Pacific wellbeing
    The first Pacific Language Week this year  makes it clear that  language is the key to the wellbeing for all Pacific people said Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This round of language  weeks begin with Rotuman. As I have always  said language is one of the pillars of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Budget delivers improved cervical and breast cancer screening
    Budget 2021 funds a more effective cervical screening test to help reduce cervical cancer rates A new breast screening system that can proactively identify and enrol eligible women to reach 271,000 more people who aren’t currently in the programme. Budget 2021 delivers a better cervical screening test and a major ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ-France to co-chair Christchurch Call Leaders’ Summit
    New Zealand and France will jointly convene the Christchurch Call Community for a leaders’ summit, to take stock of progress and develop a new shared priority work plan. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President Emmanuel Macron will co-chair the leaders’ meeting on the 2nd anniversary of the Call, on 14 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New South Wales travel pause to be lifted tomorrow
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the current travel pause with New South Wales will lift tomorrow – subject to no further significant developments in NSW. “New Zealand health officials met today to conduct a further assessment of the public health risk from the recently identified COVID-19 community cases in Sydney. It has been determined that the risk to public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • March 15 Collective Impact Board appointed
    The voices of those affected by the March 15 mosque attacks will be heard more effectively with the establishment of a new collective impact board, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. Seven members of the Christchurch Muslim community have been appointed to the newly established Board, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More young Kiwis supported with mental health and addiction services
    Nearly quarter of a million more young New Zealanders will have access to mental health and addiction support in their communities as the Government’s youth mental health programme gathers pace. New contracts to expand youth-specific services across the Northland, Waitematā and Auckland District Health Board areas have been confirmed, providing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New hospital facilities mean fewer trips to Auckland for Northlanders
    Northlanders will no longer automatically have to go to Auckland for lifesaving heart procedures like angiograms, angioplasty and the insertion of pacemakers, thanks to new operating theatres and a cardiac catheter laboratory opened at Whangārei Hospital by Health Minister Andrew Little today. The two projects – along with a new ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fair Pay Agreements to improve pay and conditions for essential workers
    The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Fair Pay Agreements will set minimum standards for all employees and employers in an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Establishment of the new Māori Health Authority takes first big step
    Sir Mason Durie will lead a Steering Group to provide advice to the Transition Unit on governance arrangements and initial appointments to an interim board to oversee the establishment of the Māori Health Authority. This Group will ensure that Māori shape a vital element of our future health system, Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cycle trails move up a gear in Central
    Work on new and upgraded cycle trails in Queenstown, Arrowtown and Central Otago is moving up a gear as two significant projects pass further milestones today. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced new funding for the Queenstown Trails Project, and will also formally open the Lake Dunstan Trail at Bannockburn ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Picton ferry terminal upgrade consent fast-tracked
    The planned upgrade of the Waitohi Picton Ferry terminal has been approved under the fast-track consenting process.  Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the decision by the expert consenting panel to approve the Waitohi Picton Ferry Precinct Redevelopment Project.    The project will provide a significant upgrade to the ferry facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with New South Wales paused
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced his intention to pause Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand while the source of infection of the two cases announced in Sydney in the last two days is investigated.  Whole genome sequencing has linked the case yesterday to a recent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Covid-19 immigration powers to be extended
    The passing of a bill to extend temporary COVID-19 immigration powers means continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. “Over the past year, we’ve made rapid decisions to extend visas, vary visa conditions and waive some application requirements ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • “Supporting a Trade-Led Economic Recovery”
    Trade Policy Road Show SpeechManukau, Auckland   Kia ora koutou – nau mai, haere mai ki Manukau, ki Tāmaki.   Good morning everyone, and thank you for this opportunity to discuss with you current global challenges, opportunities and the Government’s strategy in support of a trade-led recovery from the economic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Building consent numbers at an all-time high
    A record 41,028 new homes have been consented in the year ended March 2021 March 2021 consent numbers the highest since the 1940s Record number of new homes consented in Auckland The number of new homes consented is at an all-time high, showing a strong and increasing pipeline of demand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Whānau-centred support for parents and tamariki
    Up to 60 whānau in Counties Manukau will be supported through the first three years of their parenthood by a new whānau-centred model of care, said Associate Health Minister, Hon Aupito William Sio. “Providing this support to young parents is something we have to get right. It’s a priority both ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ backs moves to improve global access to COVID vaccines
    New Zealand welcomes and strongly supports the announcement made by the United States Trade Representative to work for a waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines at the WTO, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said. “New Zealand supports equitable access to COVID vaccines for all. No one is safe from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tourism communities: support, recovery and re-set plan
    TIHEI MAURI ORA Tuia te whakapono Tuia te tumanako Tuia te aroha Tuia te hunga ora Ki te hunga ora Tihei Mauri ora Ka nui te mihi ki a koutou Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. Thank you, Hilary and thank you, Chris, and everyone at TIA for this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Support, recovery and re-set plan for tourism communities
    Five South Island tourist communities targeted for specialist support Pressure on Māori tourism operators and Conservation facilities recognised Domestic and international-facing tourism agencies put on more secure footing Long-term plan to re-set tourism with a focus on sustainability, industry standards and regional economic diversification A plan to ensure the immediate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech on NZ Rail Plan
    Check against delivery E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karanga maha o te wa, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Ki ngā mana whenua o Taranaki Whānui anō nei aku mihi ki a koutou. Nōku te hōnore kia haere mai ki te whakanuia tēnei huihuinga whakahirahira. Nō ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government hits massive milestone in Violence Prevention & Elimination
    Minister for Family and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson announced a major milestone at a hui in South Auckland today, with the launch of the national engagement process on the prevention and elimination of family and sexual violence. “There is no room for violence in our lives – there is no ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Fee waiver extended for conservation tourism businesses
    Tourism businesses operating on public conservation land will have another six months of fees waived to help them adjust to the downturn in international visitors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced. "We acknowledge it has been a difficult year for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • ‘Lua Wave’ to future-proof Pasifika Festivals in Aotearoa
    Pasifika festival organisers will receive additional support to adapt to the COVID-19 environment thanks to the Government’s newly launched ‘Lua Wave’ component of the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “This initiative has not only been to support festival organisers to recover from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Crown accounts show confidence in Govt economic plan
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect the resilience of the economy and confidence in the Government’s economic recovery plan. The Crown accounts for the nine months to the end of March 2021 show both OBEGAL and the operating balance remain better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Energy Trusts of NZ Autumn Conference
    It’s a pleasure to be here today. Thank you Karen [Sherry] for the introduction and thanks to the Energy Trusts Executive for inviting me to speak at tonight’s event. It is an exciting time to come to speak to trustees of distribution companies. For many decades the electricity industry was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New partnership to grow Māori success in STEM
    A new partnership with the Pūhoro STEM Academy will support thousands more rangatahi Māori to participate and succeed in the fields of science, technology, and innovation, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Since 2016, Pūhoro has worked with Māori students to build their capability and create pathways to employment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Rail builds platform for economic recovery
    Transport Minister Michael Wood and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dr David Clark today released the Government’s long term vision for a sustainable rail network that supports our economic recovery. New Zealand Rail Plan lays out how the Government is building a resilient, reliable and safe network, as well as the indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ and UK agree to lift the pace of free trade talks
    New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed to rapidly lift the tempo of talks, as the two countries enter a new phase in free trade negotiations, Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, and I spoke today about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill passes first reading
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has passed its first reading and will now be considered by Parliament’s Justice select committee. “The Bill updates and improves New Zealand’s counter-terrorism legislation and ensures that the right legislative tools are available to intervene early and prevent harm,” Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on The Speaker and Annual Review Debate
    “The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Any investigation of claims of sexual assault should be in a manner ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt motoring towards zero-carbon buses and protecting drivers’ conditions
    Transport Minister Michael Wood is seeking feedback on options for the next phase of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) review to better protect bus drivers’ pay conditions, and also achieving the Government’s target of fully decarbonising the public transport bus fleet by 2035. Michael Wood said investing in our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Drop in unemployment shows Govt economic plan is working
    The Government’s economic recovery plan continues to be reflected in the labour market, with more people in work and unemployment falling. Stats NZ figures show employment rose by 15,000 in the March quarter, with 14,000 more women in work. The unemployment rate fell from 4.9 percent to 4.7 percent. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government sets pay and workforce expectations for the Public Sector
    The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful health and economic response to COVID-19. This has been supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Author Ben Brown is New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador
    Lyttleton writer Ben Brown (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Paoa) will be New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador, promoting the value of reading for children and young people, Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti announced today. A poet and award-winning author, Ben Brown writes books, non-fiction and short stories ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago