web analytics

Watch Bolivia

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, November 21st, 2009 - 52 comments
Categories: International - Tags:

The world is full of natural experiments in different forms of government. Bolivia is one to watch:

Bolivia re-invents democratic socialism…

On December 6, Bolivia will hold a general election where Evo Morales, the first Indigenous President in South America will no doubt be re-elected. His party, the MAS, has recently released an election programme that Susan Harvie has kindly summarized and translated.

Bolivia is reinventing democractic socialism. They are in the process of creating a plurinational state with equal rights for all nations and people, redistributing land, providing free health and education for everyone, creating what they call a pluri-economy that includes public, private, co-operative and communitarian.

In four years of power they have eliminated illiteracy, reduced extreme poverty by 6%, insituted a senior’s pension for the first time, nationalized hydrocarbons and achieved a 6.5% economic growth. They are showing that a government that acts in the interests of the majority really can succeed and that an alternative is truly possible.

Some of the achievements listed over the last 4 years are:

1. Nationalized hydrocarbons: … The oil companies pay 73% of profits. …
3. Widened the electrical coverage to more than 160,000 Bolivian homes. …
4. Gave title to 26 million hectares which benefited 98,454 families. …
5. Created 124,497 productive jobs …
7. Nationalized the National Telephone Company (ENTEL): …
8. Operation Miracle, Juana Azurduy bonus, budget for health, hospitals and ambulances. …
9. Eradicated Illiteracy …
10. Reduced extreme poverty by 6%. …
17. Reduced the Foreign Debt from $US 4.4 billion to $US 2.4 billion.

Now that’s what I call democratic socialism! So if Bolivia can do it, why can’t we?

OK, to be honest I’m no expert on South America, and it looks like the piece quoted is heavily spun. I don’t care who you are, you don’t (Point 9) “eradicate illiteracy” in just 4 years. And even a quick scan of Wikipedia and other news sources shows that there have been significant political protests, concerns about land reform, disputed referenda, an opposition boycott, and so on.

But despite these caveats it is clear that something remarkable is going on in Bolivia, and that “re-inventing democratic socialism” is pretty close to the truth. Bolivia is a country to watch. Perhaps Labour could send some MPs on a fact finding mission…

52 comments on “Watch Bolivia ”

  1. Pat 1

    Bolivia is certainly a country to watch. Looks like another example where the wolves capture a country under the cloak of democracy – another Mugabe in the making.

    http://democracyctr.org/blog/2009/11/bolivias-election-part-ii-candidates.html

    Closer ties with Venzuela, Iran and Cuba!
    Running mate is a henchman/terrorist!

    • Michael Foxglove 1.1

      Maybe Pat would support Bolivia’s right-wing candidate Manfred Reyes Villas for president? The former personal bodyguard of Bolivia’s brutal dictator Luís García Meza.

      Morales has brought food and freedom to the people of Bolivia. I can see why he’s so popular, Morales is a stark contrast to those brutal right-wing, American-backed dictatorships that ran South American countries in the 20th Century.

  2. Michael Foxglove 2

    Good post r0b. You’re right, something remarkable is going on in Bolivia. After rejecting conventional neo-liberal wisdom, the wealth is actually getting to the people. From the Guardian:

    “Guess which country is expected to have the fastest economic growth in the Americas this year? Bolivia. The country’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, was elected in 2005 and took office in January 2006. Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, had been operating under IMF agreements for 20 consecutive years, and its per-capita income was lower than it had been 27 years earlier.

    Evo sent the IMF packing just three months after he took office, and then moved to re-nationalise the hydrocarbons industry (mostly natural gas). Needless to say this did not sit well with the international corporate community. Nor did Bolivia’s decision in May 2007 to withdraw from the World Bank’s international arbitration panel, which had a tendency to settle disputes in favour of international corporations and against governments.”

  3. Pat 3

    I’m not supporting anyone, but I would be wary of holding up Morales as a paragon of social democracy. It seems to me he is on a slippery slide to something else.

    e.g. mysterious deaths of so-called “terrorists” (in other words, opponents), destruction of world heritage areas so that roads can be built for coca transportation. The more you look, the uglier the picture gets.

    • Galeandra 3.1

      Maybe their opposition like to carry debates forward with guns and bombs? It’s easy to see why populist governments get tipped into becoming repressive militaristic ones. Your name calling about Mugabe fits with that kind of self-centred plutocractic opposition , as do your loose references to Cuba et al.

    • Chris 3.2

      No worse that what happens when wingnuts get into power…

    • Bill 3.3

      Oops!Visible text

      “The deaths took place less than a year later when Goni announced deeply unpopular plans to give foreign corporations more control over Bolivia’s natural gas resources. Road blockades erected by protesters in the poorest neighbourhoods of the high altitude city of El Alto effectively cut off supplies. Goni signed a decree that instructed the army to clear the roads and promised “indemnification for any damage to property and persons which might occur.” That effective carte blanche resulted in the army shooting live ammunition indiscriminately at men, women and children.

      Military repression brought to a head one of the country’s bloodiest years, in which more than 100 people died in social protests. Rising popular anger led Goni to flee the country to exile in the US. He has since lived comfortably in Chevy Chase, Maryland protected by Republicans and Democrats alike.”

  4. BLiP 4

    Its simple, really. Nationalise the infrastructure, including telecommunications, and the mineral resources. What does dopey ole New Zealand do – give away the infrastructure and all but pay foreign-owned multinationals to take away our minerals. What was the percentage return on our oil sales, again – 5% or something.

  5. Pat 5

    The early signs of a dictatorship are there. We will know for sure in 2014.

    http://democracyctr.org/blog/2009/10/bolivian-elections-i-five-things-to.html

    “2. Is Evo Running for Re-election?

    Another fundamental question is this: Constitutionally, is President Evo Morales running for the last five-year term he will be allowed to serve, or will he be eligible to run once again in 2014, potentially extending his Presidency for as long as 14 years? This is a very charged political question in Bolivia, where opposition leaders have repeatedly warned that Morales has his sights on a never-ending Presidency, in the mold of Castro in Cuba. Throughout Latin America concerns about stay-put Presidents have led to a series of one-term limits (with ex-presidents allowed to seek office again after one-term out).

    This was always the case in Bolivia as well, and Presidential re-election was a topic of heated debate during the process of writing and approving the constitution. MAS and Morales originally backed unlimited chances to run for re-election, and then compromised that down to one chance.

    But, since Morales was first elected before the new Constitution was passed, technically this first term does not officially count as one of the two continuous terms allowed. Therefore, he could legally seek another re-election in 2014 (if he is elected in December). It was precisely this concern that led Morales, during the Constitutional debates, to publicly promise that he will not seek re-election in 2014. But Morales supporters and opponents alike know that promises like these can become pretty flexible when faced with actually leaving office.”

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Sounds like scaremongering there Pat.

    • Bored 5.2

      Pat, having read most of the comments prior to and after this one I have to say you have done yourself a disservice. I suggest that you do a little reading before you wish to add anything authoritively to this debate. So for your benefit heres a little list of authors you might read:
      Gabriel Garcia Marquez (100 years of Solitude is a real beaut), anything by Isabelle Allende, Eduardo Galeano (Open Veins of Latin America for how the locals see the history), Howard Zinn on any American history, Nerudas poetry.
      What you will find is that people like Morales rarely gain or hold power, the exploitative classes and their imperialist friends constantly conspire to retain the status quo at the expense of the lives of the people. That you should side with these powers, even out of ignorance is rather distasteful to say the least.

  6. roger nome 6

    Pat –

    “mysterious deaths of so-called “terrorists’ (in other words, opponents)”

    Any proof that the govt was involved?

    Looks to me as though you’re just opposing them because they’re socialists. The countries of the Americas have had their politics dictated to them at gun point from Washington for long enough. The result has been violence, poverty and misery. It’s time to let the people decide their own destiny.

  7. roger nome 7

    Pat:

    “potentially extending his Presidency for as long as 14 years?”

    We don’t have a limitation on how long a prime minister can serve in NZ. Does that make us a dictatorship in waiting?

    • Lew 7.1

      Nome, you understand the difference between a head of state and a head of government; don’t pretend otherwise.

      L

      • roger nome 7.1.1

        Lew –

        I don’t know that the difference is necessarily that clear-cut, particularly when you have a micro-managing PM with a kitchen cabinet – or in Muldoon’s case a closet cabinet 🙂

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        Well, yeah, our head of state is already there permanently so does that mean that we’ve morphed into a dictatorship lately?

  8. Pat 8

    Have a read of http://democracyctr.org/blog/index.htm

    Seems like a fairly balanced political blog and the comments are interesting.

    Just sayin – don’t let the excitement about “wealth redistribution” blinker the lessons from history. Morales has the hallmarks of becoming another President-for-Life. I hope I’m wrong.

    • Zorr 8.1

      Oh no. A President-for-Life that actually cares about his people? Hell no, we won’t go!

      Honestly, if this is the kind of stuff that he is achieving (and continues to achieve) then I wouldn’t really mind if he stayed in power until they scraped his rotting corpse out of the chair. The entire point behind setting up the constitution in such a way is to safeguard the interests of the future when he knows he is not going to be around (just like the US Constitution was intended to do).

      Scores for Pat:
      Scaremongering – 1
      Critical Thought – 0

      • Lew 8.1.1

        Zorr, the problem is that a President for Life has no need to continue doing right by the people. The problem comes when (not if) he stops acting in the peoples’ interests and starts acting in his own, or in those of his ruling cadre. See for example: every autocracy ever.

        L

        • Zorr 8.1.1.1

          Agreed that that is an issue. However our current government (and most active Western democracys) shows that you don’t have to be President-for-Life to stop acting in your peoples’ interests.

          • Lew 8.1.1.1.1

            Zorr, if the electorate reckons the person at the top isn’t acting in their best interests, they can show ’em the door without risking life, limb, property and family.

            L

            • Bill 8.1.1.1.1.1

              “they can show ‘em the door without risking life, limb, property and family”

              As could the electorate voting in any presidential elections. A ‘President-for Life’ would have to win numerous elections. What’s the problem you guys ( Zorr and Lew) ? You think that the term is for life? It’s not. And nobody is suggesting it should be.

            • Lew 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Bill, if he had to win elections he wouldn’t be much of a president for life, right? Unless you mean DPRK-style elections, which don’t count.

              I agree that rumours of Morales’ authoritarian tendencies are much exaggerated; but also that life-rule breeds impunity, but Zorr seemed over-eager to accept impunity in exchange for certain policies. That ain’t no kind of trade any democracy should make.

              L

            • Bill 8.1.1.1.1.3

              FS Lew.

              The suggestion was that he should be allowed to stand in presidential elections and not be debarred from standing because he had already served as President.

              What’s the big deal? If people tire of him they won’t vote for him.

              What is this b/s about DPRK style elections?

              Pat throws in some bald and unsubstantiated statement about Morales having the hallmarks for becoming another president for life and you take that as a sign that Bolivia lacks or will lack reasonable democratic processes?

              Get a grip. Please.

            • Lew 8.1.1.1.1.4

              Steady on, Bill. Go back and reread the bit about my objection being to Presidents For Life.

              The nature of executive authority wielded by presidents is that, absent clear and unalterable restrictions on their term of office, they can often influence the political process to ensure their repeated re-election — especially in countries without a robust democratic tradition and with civil and political society strongly centralised around the executive. Morales has indicated his frustration at the term limit, and while that doesn’t make him an autocrat in itself, it should set alarm bells ringing, and to say “he’s enacting good policy, we should just let him keep doing so” is shortsighted and damfoolish. Democracy is about more than a good policy agenda; without robust democratic strictures on executive action, good policy turns bad.

              L

            • Bill 8.1.1.1.1.5

              And so we both agree that a life time term for a president is not exactly conducive to democracy (to put it mildly).

              But where is it that Morales has indicated that a term should be for a lifetime rather than for x number of years with the possibility of re-election?

              As far as I can see, he has voiced frustration ( along with other Latin American leaders) at the limitation on the number of possible terms rather than the term limit.

              Two vastly different matters.

              If you were merely speaking theoretically you really should have made that clear given that Pat threw the El Presidenti for Life thing in with definite regard to Morales

            • Lew 8.1.1.1.1.6

              Bill, we were never really disagreeing, were we?

              I wasn’t speaking theoretically in response to Pat, or on the merits of his remarks about Morales. I was responding to Zorr’s comment:

              Honestly, if this is the kind of stuff that he is achieving (and continues to achieve) then I wouldn’t really mind if he stayed in power until they scraped his rotting corpse out of the chair.

              As you say, not conducive to democracy. Zorr seems to agree. Nothing more need have been said, I figure.

              Peace : )

              L

    • Con 8.2

      Pat why do you say Morales has the hallmarks of a would-be “president-for-life”? Just that he’s left-wing and politically popular? Or what else, specifically?

  9. Pat 9

    And getting back to Bolivia’s great economic growth, let’s be under no illusions how they are doing it. By exploiting the countries vast mineral wealth with little or no regard to the environment. In that regard, Morales hasn’t changed a thing.

    The theme of a “Socialist Democracy” has been raised on The Standard several times of late, and I am glad rob posted an example of where it is operating.

    • Zorr 9.1

      The oil companies were already doing that Pat but Bolivia was getting nothing from it before Morales came along. He told the oil companies that he would honor their contracts and allow them to at least cover costs and make a small profit from his country but that they had to pay the large majority of their profits to the government. That, or face complete nationalization.

  10. Bill 10

    Nice to see a post about S. America here.

    It’s not just Bolivia where remarkable events are afoot….add to the list (with variations to the degree of progress and with some reversals) Venezuela, Brazil, Honduras, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador…..

    Most of the press we receive concerning events in these countries are negative with regards the progressive movements within them….if we hear anything at all that is.

    Meanwhile, (and I find this frustrating) many on the left who should be broadly, but not uncritically, supportive are utterly dismissive of ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas) and the progress being made, thereby denying themselves the opportunity to learn from what is indisputably the most exciting and important political phenomenon of this century and adjust/apply it to their domestic situations.

    Just sit back and watch this thread as large sections of the left, from Social Democrats through (so-called) revolutionary leftists, completely bury any claim to positive progress in Bolivia or elsewhere on the continent under a slue of innuendo and received wisdoms that, strangely, echo the wisdoms of msm….

  11. redistributing land????????

    That doesnt sound too good.

  12. prism 12

    Would it be a good idea to have a two time limit on our PM? I remember Morgan Williams, previous NZ Commissioner for the Environment? talking about a Brazilian city on the east coast that made great improvements in conditions. I think the mayors there could only have one term and then be replaced, they had to work hard to achieve in their term and plan how to continue progress during their next succession. I think terms were four years.

    I felt Labour losing its edge and happy to just stay in the driving seat in the last term. We could have four year terms if we had this which would allow time for programs to be introduced and assessed in a term.

  13. Rob A 13

    Sorry but most of you dont have a decent picture of whats happening. My wife is from Bolivia and I’ve travelled and lived there several times now.

    A bit of a Bolivian situation lesson. There a basically 2 classes of people there, the indigineous Quechua and those of Spainish descent ,tho there would be very few ‘purebred’ (for want of a better term) Spainish. The Quechua live mostly in the country and are pure peasents, typically with little or no education, little healthcare, no services such as water and power. They are a subsistance culture pure and simple. In the cities are the educated, wealthy (by Bolivian standards) descendants of the Spainish. Start of a problem right there but add to that incrediable mineral wealth and a history of colonial bastard thieving (google Potosi) and we have a very poor country with lots of potential wealth but a great deal of caution in letting in foriengers to get it.

    Mas and Morales (a Quechuan) took the elections by gaining the peasent vote in an election filled with violence and protests (Mas can claim innocence but so did Mugabe), remember here that he came to power with only 34ish% of the vote. Since then he has virtually bankrupted the country by nationalising many of the major earners. Yes there are many more jobs but these people now work extremely dangerous jobs for as little as 10$ US a week, by getting rid of the foreign money much of the machinery has gone or broken down so they employ a bunch of peasants. Many of the schools in the countryside have been closed (not officially, they just dont employ teachers anymore) as have what few health clinics were there (same thing with the doctors). But because of an excellent historical base amongst a group of uneducated voters who basically vote for who they are told.

    His games with his 3rd term are very borderline constitutionally and the few comments here that he looks like another life president are in my opinion on the mark.

    I hope Bolivia gets ahead, its a great country to visit but its got some huge hurdles and from what I’ve seen and heard the past few years from over there Morales isn’t the answer.

    I could go on for much longer but its a Saturday night 🙂

    DISCLAIMER: My wife is one of the city dwellers

    • Con 13.1

      So Morales’s govt has “virtually bankrupted the economy” at the same time as achieving 6.5% economic growth and reducing pubic debt by 2 billion dollars. Hmmmm…

      BTW isn’t Morales actually an Aymara?

    • Bill 13.2

      “DISCLAIMER: My wife is one of the city dwellers.”

      No shit! Would never have picked that from the dismissive rhetoric you wrap the peasantry in.

      All that wealth. No question of it being garnered to improve the lot of the dumb, led herd; that uneducated ‘bunch of peasants’ who are only good for doing what they are told.

      You for fucking real Rob A?

      • Rob A 13.2.1

        you should get a clue before spouting some crap that there is one answer that will solve all the worlds problems. We are talking about Bolivia, a country I suspect you’d have trouble finding on a map, not NZ. And my tone on the peasentry wasn’t dismissive, it is the reality of how things are over there.

        As I said, the lot of the Quechuan is getting worse, not better. Morales has chased away the foreign money and without it there isn”t the capital or the educated workforce to exploit Bolivias potential wealth. And if the minerals are still in the ground then nothing is going to improve for them…….ever.

        IMO it would be much better for Bolivia to get the foreign companies back in certain areas, use the money from them to actually educate the locals and then take over the rest of the operations.

        • Bill 13.2.1.1

          “you should get a clue before spouting some crap that there is one answer that will solve all the worlds problems”

          You probably never will appreciate the irony in that assertion of yours. Oh well.

          Anyway. As for your bigotry, I’ve said all I need to say.

          Violence… see my comment from before and it’s link to info on former president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, a.k.a. “Goni,” (12:10pm on the 21st).

          %age of vote…. you say he came to power with about 34% of the vote. When I searched the figures I got 53+% of the vote in ’05 with a 84.5% participation for his initial election and then 67.4% when he opened himself to a vote of confidence following the illegal referenda in the resource rich states with led to demands for autonomy in ’08.

          And he is, as Con pointed out above, Aymara, not Quechuan.

          So, in conclusion you are an ill informed tosser; a bigot and an intellectual numbskull who has nothing to offer beyond ill conceived, discredited and mostly received ideological claptrap in oppositin to real world problems.

          • Rob A 13.2.1.1.1

            Fuckwit, there is no other word for you. I tried to offer an honest opinion of what I have seen over there yet all you have tried to do is knock down a person against your simplistic ideological views.

            Amayara is virtually the same as Quachuan, probably the older group. Its like comparing Polynesians with Maori. So Con was technally correct but I was trying to keep it fairly simple in what was a hurried post by myself.

            You are correct about the vote % and I apoligise for that. I was thinking of the previous election when I was there which Goni won.

            Nowhere did I come out in defense of Goni, he was just as bad. What I said was Morales IMO isn’t the answer.

            One day when you decide to hop on a plane and actually go and see how most of the world lives come back here and offer me a discussion. You strike me as a rather stupid and naive child who has a hell of a lot to learn.

            Good luck in life idiot, I think you are going to need it

          • Bill 13.2.1.1.2

            Oh well, I learned something thanks to your ignorance.

            Turns out that it’s impossible for Morales to be Quechuan ’cause it’s a language, not an ethnic or tribal identity. Might as well call someone a Latin.

            Same conclusion as last comment but with a genuine if ironic thank you for your opening of a door to a wee bit of knowledge…

    • Rex Widerstrom 13.3

      Excellent analysis Rob A. That’s been a – if not the crucial factor in Bolivian politics for years, judging by “Our Brand is Crisis”, a brilliant film showing how Bolivian politicians (of both socialist and conservative persuasions) are crafty manipulators of public perception, to the extent of hiring US political consultants like James Carville to mastermind campaigns.

      For anyone interested in Bolivia, South American politics generally, or indeed just politics, I’d recommend getting a copy from Amazon.com or someplace. It’s a film I could watch over and over, seeing something new every time.

  14. Adam Jarvis 14

    History shows us that we should keep an eye on Bolivia.

    Watch out especially for the U.S. toppling another democratically elected government in South America.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt acts to protect NZers from harmful content
    New Zealanders will be better protected from harmful or illegal content as a result of work to design a modern, flexible and coherent regulatory framework, Minister of Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti announced today. New Zealand currently has a content regulatory system that is comprised of six different arrangements covering some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Consultation on exemption of new builds from proposed tax rules
    The Government has today confirmed new builds will be exempt from planned changes to the tax treatment of residential investment property.  Public consultation is now open on details of the proposals, which stop interest deductions being claimed for residential investment properties other than new builds.   “The Government’s goal is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech for Predator Free 2050 Conference
    Introduction E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa   Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei i raro i te kaupapa o te rā Ko Ayesha Verrall toku ingoa No ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New stock exchange to help grow small businesses
    A new share trading market, designed as a gateway to the NZX for small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has been granted a licence by the Government. Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said Catalist Markets Ltd will provide a simpler and more affordable ‘stepping stone’ for SMEs to raise capital. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Visa extensions provide certainty to employers and 10,000 visa holders
    Changes to onshore visas will provide employers and visa holders with more certainty, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. Around 10,000 Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas due to expire between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 will be extended for another six months to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Border class exceptions approved for more farm workers and vets
    The Government has approved border class exceptions for an additional 200 dairy workers and 50 veterinarians to enter New Zealand, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.  “It is clear from conversations with the dairy and veterinarian sectors that they are facing workforce pressures. These border exceptions will go a long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More freezers and South Island hub to support vaccine roll-out
    A South Island hub and 17 new ultra-low temperature freezers will help further prepare New Zealand for the ramp up of the vaccination programme in the second half of this year, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new freezers arrived in New Zealand on 27 May. They’re currently being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech at the release of Climate Change Commission's final advice
    Good morning – and thank you Prime Minister. Over the last three and half years we have been putting in place the foundations for a low-carbon Aotearoa that will be a catalyst for job creation, innovation, and prosperity for decades to come. In that future, many of our everyday tasks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Achievable blueprint for addressing climate change released
    Report says Government making good progress on emissions reduction, but more action required Meeting climate targets achievable and affordable with existing technology Economic cost of delaying action higher than taking action now Benefits from climate action include health improvements and lower energy bills All Ministers to help meet climate targets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to release of Climate Commission final report
    A few years ago in a speech in Auckland, I compared climate change to the nuclear free movement of roughly four decades ago. And I did so for a few reasons. Firstly, because the movement of the 1980s represented a life or death situation for the Pacific, and so does ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Barrister Michael Robinson has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Robinson graduated with a BA and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1996, and commenced practice as a solicitor with Brookfields in Auckland.  In 1998 he travelled to London ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government takes action to improve protections for subcontractors
    The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Bill – which provides greater financial protection for subcontractors, has passed its first reading today. The Bill amends the retention provisions in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) to provide increased confidence and transparency for subcontractors that retention money they are owed is safe. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 1 million more Pfizer doses to arrive in July
    Pfizer has scheduled delivery of an estimated 1 million doses of vaccine to New Zealand during July, COVID1-9 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These consignments will double the total number of Pfizer doses we have received this year to more than 1,900,000 – enough to fully vaccinate almost 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Long-term home of the Independent Children’s Monitor identified
    The Independent Children’s Monitor (Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake), which is currently located within the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), will become its own departmental agency within Government. “Following the recommendations of several reviews, Cabinet agreed in 2019 to build a significantly expanded independent monitor for children in care,” Carmel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Racing Integrity Board members announced
    The new Racing Integrity Board will be up and running from July 1 to ensure high standards of animal welfare, integrity and professionalism in the racing industry. Racing Minister Grant Robertson today announced the appointments to the new Board: Sir Bruce Robertson KNZM – Chair Kristy McDonald ONZM QC Penelope ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt crackdown on organised crime continues
    A major operation against multiple organised crime groups with international links will make a significant dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks, Police Minister Poto Williams says. “I want to take an opportunity to congratulate the Police for their role in Operation Trojan Shield. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Farm planning framework supports farmers into the future
    A new framework, agreed between Government and industry, will make it easier for farmers and growers to integrate future greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater regulatory requirements into their farm planning, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “The Good Farm Planning Principles Guide out today, provides guidance for how farmers can organise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for Canterbury
    The Government has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to the Canterbury floods. The Minister of Social Development and Employment, Hon Carmel Sepuloni says $500,000 will be made available to help with the clean-up. The flooding in Canterbury has been a significant and adverse event damaging farmland, homes, roads ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago