We have a Government

Written By: - Date published: 9:37 pm, October 19th, 2017 - 26 comments
Categories: election 2017, First Past the Post, greens, labour, MMP, nz first - Tags: ,

This post by Matthew Whitehead is cross posted from lemattjuste.wordpress.com


So, we now have a government in principle1, with New Zealand First choosing to enter minority coalition with Labour, supported by the Greens. Peters has said he understands that the deal offered to the Greens is a confidence and supply agreement, and the numbers I’ve heard are 4 ministers inside cabinet for NZ First, a parliamentary under-secretary2, and at least 2 ministers outside cabinet for the Greens. If they have been proportional, which Jacinda has promised to be, that would suggest about 3 or 4 ministers for the Greens to New Zealand First’s 4 and a half. The leadership team will likely be Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister and Winston Peters as Deputy Prime Minister, although he hasn’t yet confirmed that role.

The TV news is making a big deal that National was the plurality winner, and for the first time isn’t part of the governing arrangement despite that. Our government has always had a constitutional requirement that only needed a majority of seats in the House to secure the treasury benches and the premiership, and that’s what the new Labour-New Zealand First coalition looks to have secured. This is really no big deal, and given that we have recently re-endorsed MMP, people will simply have to get used to the idea that any group of parties that gets over 50% gets to be the government, as it’s not going to change any time soon. I do expect there are some that will take some time to get used to the idea, but it might as well be now, because I expect it to happen again a few times before FPP thinking dies off.

New Zealand First are likely to be looking at areas like regional development, housing, primary industries, immigration, and education in terms of their policy areas of interest.

The Greens are currently holding a Special General Meeting online (better for the environment, more convenient for delegates) to vote on whether they will accept the deal negotiated with Labour, (the various branches having already had discussions on what sorts of agreements we favour, and then instructed their delegates) however the worst likely option is that they might ask for some adjustments before approving the deal3, if they don’t simply approve it outright. The party will seek a full consensus if possible, rather than resorting to the 75% vote that is the minimum requirement to pass a deal, because that’s an important part of party culture. They have officially confirmed to members via email that they are discussing the deal right now, and Jacinda has committed to not interrupting that process.

The offer from Labour, according to Winston, is likely to be a confidence and supply agreement, but this hasn’t yet been officially confirmed by either Ardern or the Greens. What does that arrangement mean for the Greens?

Well, firstly, it’s approve confidence and supply, or let National govern. Abstaining would give National a majority of one in terms of the remaining votes and thus afford them the support of the house, and Winston appears to have made locking the Greens out of coalition part of its deal, so it’s the only realistic option. There is a valid option to walk away from an agreement and just let National govern if the Greens feel that Labour is abusing their position, so the commentary by some in the media that the Greens have “nowhere else to go” is just wrong, they simply don’t want to go with their other option if they can avoid it. Besides, Labour will want to have the Greens on-side in case there is an option to ditch New Zealand First in three years time.

Secondly, it means more flexibility to criticize and question the government, exempting them from collective responsibility for cabinet decisions, which New Zealand First won’t have, while still giving them access to ministerial positions that can be left out of cabinet, which might include responsibilities like Minister for the Environment, for Climate Change, for Social Development, or for Transport. The ministers appointed outside cabinet would still have ministerial responsibility, so the Greens will need to be careful about which areas they accept ministerial portfolios in, as they will technically be responsible for not just all government policy in that area, but also the operation of those ministries, so they will ideally want any ministers be appointed in areas where they’ve achieved siginificant policy gains or policy alignment with Labour in terms of which ministries they take up.

It’s likely to also include policy concessions, although perhaps not as much as going into full coalition, as that extra independence from the new government will have to come at a price.

This arrangement is not the same thing as the previous arrangements that the Greens have had in the last term of the Clark government or after they crossed the floor over the GE issue, as they will actively be supporting the new government, and in that case they were actually completely on the cross benches. It will be more akin to the relationship between the National Party and the Māori Party last term, but with a stronger junior partner who will be needed to pass any legislation that National doesn’t agree with Labour on. (This also means that Green ministers would be in a similar position to what the previous Māori Party minister was, where they would be asked questions in the House during Question Time, but they would be in a more powerful position where Labour couldn’t sideline them by going to other parties for votes very often, as their only option is getting National onside)

It’s worth noting that although technically parties with a Confidence and Supply agreement are not part of the government proper, even though their ministers are considered part, so if one of the co-leaders is not given a Ministry, they’d be in a position to be openly critical of government policy, and the other could still hold the government to account on areas not related to their portfolio. Of course, reporters or the public never made that distinction in the past, so it’s relevant to see whether they can be convinced that there is a difference between C&S and coalition this time.

A lot of party members have argued that staying at arms-length of a government that needs New Zealand First’s support to sideline the National Party and ACT is probably a good idea, and to be honest I can’t quite disagree. The Greens will likely be transparent about whose idea confidence and supply was is that is indeed the nature of the offer they got, and will be careful not to ruffle feathers while doing so.

While this may not be the ideal government all of us wanted, it will also prevent an almost-unprecedented four-term National government and relieve the pressure on people who are reliant on the state for support, or medical care, or education, and who have been suffering under an under-funded public sector.

1 It’s an agreement in principle at this stage, and Jacinda is not formally Prime Minister yet as the Greens haven’t approved a confidence and supply agreement, so Bill English is still caretaker Prime Minister.

2 A Parliamentary under-secretary is an extra tier of parliamentary responsibility that falls below being an associate minister, with the main difference being that they’re not authorized to act on behalf of the primary minister, but are expected to assist the minister in specific duties. Last term, David Seymour was an under-secretary for Education so he could assist in ministerial work regarding his charter schools policy. Effectively, it’s a more limited form of associate minister that comes with its own budget and a specific policy area, but doesn’t lock out the actual associate position for that portfolio, usually because there is a specific policy area the support partner wishes to assist in. As an example, you might have an under-secretary for child poverty working under the Minister for Social Development, or an under-secretary for immigration working under the Minister for Internal Affairs.

3 An SGM can’t itself propose an amended deal as far as I understand the process, but if they feel confident that tweaks might be accepted, they could decide to vote down the offer and instruct the negotiation team to continue talks. I expect that the Greens will likely accept the offer they’ve been given as all the talk from the party has indicated that they feel they have been negotiated with in good faith by their Labour counterparts.

_________________________________________________________

Post footnotes updated. 

26 comments on “We have a Government ”

  1. Carolyn_Nth 1

    I do think it is the best for the GP to not be in the cabinet. It gives them more independence, and the opportunity to rebuild.

    RNZ reports:

    The Green Party’s confidence and supply agreement would give it three ministers outside Cabinet and one undersecretary, its leader James Shaw says.

    “We are very excited about this opportunity and it does include ministers for the first time in the Green Party’s history,” he said.

    “So it is an historic moment for the Green Party and our movement.”

    …said the party should be in a position tomorrow to say that the conditions have been met for a new government.

    However, he stuck by the party’s three main goals from its election campaign.

    “First, that we would make New Zealand a global leader in the fight against climate change. We now have the opportunity to do that.”

    “We also said that we wanted to restore and replenish our forests and our birds and our rivers and we now have the opportunity to do that.”

    “The third thing we said was that we wanted to have a real crack at ending child poverty in this country once and for all. And we are now in an opportunity to do that.”

    The last bit suggests some of the positions the GP has been offered: something to do with climate change; something to do with the NZ environment; something to do with child poverty.

    • weka 1.1

      I’ll be relieved and feeling much better about this if they get something substantial on welfare. Might just be child poverty though.

      I took heart from Ardern said too that they tried to take into account proportionality in assigning Ministerial rolls.

      • Macro 1.1.1

        I think there may be an Associate Minister in the offing; and NZFirst’s policy on a living wage is actually a better deal than Labour or Greens, so there could be a significant win here.

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          NZF policy on WINZ is stink though. I hope they let it go.

          • Macro 1.1.1.1.1

            Yep – the NZF spokesperson on this on the negotiation team is quite naive tho. (She was the NZF candidate in our electorate so we got to hear her quite a lot.) Has a good heart.. so I expect to see if the Greens get some influence through Jan or Marama that there may be some good progress here. It all flows from the top in this area.

            • weka 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “It all flows from the top in this area.”

              How do you mean?

              • Macro

                Shipley, Bennett et al imposed their personality onto the Ministry at the time – the way they call the shots flows down to the case workers. If it’s mean spirited at the top its going to be even more so at the bottom.
                There seems that there is likely to be more money flowing towards welfare health and education and that can only be good. We shall just have to await the details.

                • weka

                  ah, yes, sorry I thought you meant something in the deal making.

                  Matt posted some the policy stuff below (from a member email). Look forward to the detail.

      • As per below, welfare policy is indeed included in the agreement. 🙂

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    So, National, Opposition, right?
    (All I need to hear) 🙂

  3. Mr Magoo 3

    “While this may not be the ideal government all of us wanted”

    It may end up being better than that.

    Hearing Winston talk was almost inspiring – was that seriously an implied hat tip to Mickey Savage?! I thought he was going to take his jacket off and we would find him wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt. (ok…maybe not)
    If he follows through on the sentiment of his speech he will have my respect not just as a political animal (he had that already) but as a human being.
    We all wondered what he wanted his legacy to be and I guess we now know.

    But time will tell if there is follow through from him and especially the rest of his party with eyes on 2020.

    But this COULD end up being much better for the left.

    A labour/green government would have been constantly at odds with 3 parties (well, 2 + 1 pretend party) for 3 years. Any significant reforms would have resulted in “reds under the bed”, “fiscal hole” and other ridiculous slander that a large number of NZers would fall for as per usual.
    Scaremongering will be a BIG feature over the next term if they really do intend to be a coalition of anti-neo-liberal reformists. (Christ I hope so!)

    Anyone on the left who thinks it would have great to force through such reforms with a L/G majority while dancing on the graves of the status quo are being very naïve and short sighted. (moronic even)
    This sort of change needs to carry a majority with it (and not scare away their current support!) or this will be a 1 term coalition if its lucky. And that will require cohesion and tangible results within the term.

    But it means there will only be National and its dingleberry, Act, to deal with. And they will have the “centrist”/”conservative” (not really) NZF party backing them up and apparently even leading the charge as per Winston’s speech.

    And while I am sure the right wing journalists will go to bat for their team as hard as they can, National could end up looking like a sick and twisted lonely island of losers regardless.
    Especially if there is a nasty leadership war during this term. Could I hear the sharpening of knives during the concession speech?

    But I also realize it is almost too early to say anything substantial yet since the policy docs are not public yet.
    But this is a damned good start…

    • I am a pretty staunch opponent of Winston, although I will say in his favour that he is right that we need a more compassionate society than our recent capitalism-obsessed neoliberal governments have provided. There is room to work with NZF, but I would have preferred it not be necessary.

      You may be right that a softly-softly three-way government may reassure more conservative parts of NZ that we’re not actually entering a brave new era of communism (not that that would be a bad thing) and prevent such a large backlash, but I would have honestly have welcome a bit of backlash if it gave us a chance to really take a bite out of some of the damage the Nats have done over the last nine years quite aggressively.

      I do expect National to scaremonger, but frankly, even if the things they tried to agitate people about weren’t good ideas in the first place, it would be hard to screw things up worse than they’ve managed to.

      If the Nats are smart, they will keep on English for at least six months and see how he does. There is no viable second alternative yet. Bridges is an incompetent who failed upwards, Bennett and Collins are lightning rods of hate, and Joyce is that and has damaged his own credibility with his outright lies on tax. There is nobody who can credibly take English’s role if they stab him in the back. Kaye doesn’t have the profile yet and isn’t conservative enough, but she’d be their next best bet IMO.

      • Mr Magoo 3.1.1

        While I agree in spirit, my post was about the practicality of implementing generation change.
        You say their ideas were “not good”? Actually they were “brilliant” because they got the public to swallow them regardless and sadly in politics that is ALL THAT MATTERS in terms of votes counted.
        As Bill pointed out (while looking like the captain of the Titanic) nearly 1/2 the votes went to them. The left should not be smug about this – they need to double their efforts to win as many over as possible with results in the next term.

        As I said, if you are seen to be radical your support will quickly dry up as it has done in the past. Remember it is SEEN to be radical – it matters not one shit if you are or not. If the Spin sticks, it might as well have been true.

        Power perceived is power achieved.

        3 terms of Key did more damage than most people realise: the worst it did was make around half the (voting) country pro-National and susceptible to swallowing their PR like it was caviar.

        In the current environment scaring even a small fraction away would mean, and I cannot stress this enough, a single party National government able to do whatever the fuck they want.

        The left need to make this work for everyone and not make this look like a revolution of radicals sticking it to the status quo. (not that I think the current coalition is that stupid) It will be hard but the addition of NZF will make the PR on this MUCH easier to write…3 vs 1 (+1 dingleberry) is a much easier fight.

        I know radicals will be “radicals” but they are dead wrong on this.

  4. Macro 4

    Yay! We have a change of Govt!

  5. BTW, Greens have now finished their SGM call online, and have confirmed the C&S agreement, and sent an email blast out to members. Here are the policy gains they highlight:

    Significant climate action, with a shift towards a net zero carbon emissions economy by 2050. The specific focuses will be on: transport, energy, primary industries. The establishment of an Independent Climate Commission. Support for a shift in farming to more sustainable land use.

    Overhaul the welfare system, ensure access to entitlements, remove excessive sanctions and review Working For Families so that everyone has a standard of living and income that enables them to live in dignity

    Significant increase in the Conservation budget

    Improve water quality and prioritise achieving healthy rivers, lakes and aquifers with stronger regulatory instruments, funding for freshwater enhancement and winding down Government support for irrigation

    Free counselling for under-25s and access to mental health services and support for everyone

    Access to education for children with special needs and learning difficulties

    Substantial progress in this parliamentary term to eliminating the gender pay gap in the public service

    Reduction in the number of students living in hardship

    Review, and adequately fund and support, the family re-unification scheme for refugees.

    Increase funding for alcohol and drug addiction services and ensure drug use is treated as a health issue, and have a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis at, or by, the 2020 general election.

    • Mr Magoo 5.1

      That is a pretty vague list but a step in the right direction overall on the face of it.

      If you take away the items that Labour/NZF were already behind (and you should) that still leaves some good concessions.

      Devil is in the details of course. Will be interesting to see what those devils are before declaring it a win.
      Some of the key points there have a lot of scope.

  6. piper 6

    Pike River,its our time to drift down.

  7. When truth speaks to power,… the arrogance of those who deem themselves ‘ born to rule’ becomes ,… arrogant …. slighted ,… and defensive.

    Its judgement day on the elite who sought to prolong their oppression in NZ.

    A new , fairer govt has emerged.

    JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Jesus and Pilate 7B – YouTube
    Video for we all have truths – are mine the same as yours ? jesus christ superstar▶ 2:49
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhru3GXbkHY

  8. And this ; this is what the shadowy elites ( NZ Initiative and their ilk ) have been attempting to do with any individual , body of people or social movement that have arisen to challenge them in this country… but now ,… their reign is over.

    We now have a bold patriarch much maligned by them and their bought media , and a bright vivacious young leader backed up by a sage and genteel visionary in the form of James Shaw opposing them… there is no stopping this social / economic movement now…

    And scenes like this ,… will no longer be happening to those that seek justice and truth for the common people ,… we do not have to put up with this sort of barbarity any longer … we are free.

    Here’s to you , Metiria.

    Jesus Christ Superstar Crucify – YouTube
    you tube▶ 1:40
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n8z-EiYttQ

  9. Eco maori 9

    Congratulations to the Labour party and OUR new QUEEN Jacinta Arden we no you will rule in a fair and just manor . And we no you have the skills to make this new coalition government a successful and bountiful partnership for all of US . P.S watch our for road spikes national leave in your path.
    Kia Kaha

  10. Cinny 10

    By crikey it’s the gift that keeps on giving 🙂

    “Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern has announced the 16 Labour MPs that will make up the bulk of the new Cabinet.

    Those MPs are David Clark, Clare Curran, Kelvin Davis, Chris Hipkins, Iain Lees-Galloway, Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, Stuart Nash, Damien O’Connor, David Parker, Grant Robertson, Jenny Salesa, Carmel Sepuloni, Phil Twyford and Megan Woods.”

    Damien O’Connor is our local MP one of the hardest working, supportive, clued up MP’s in NZ. Am thrilled for him, he will give it his all.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/98096834/victorious-labour-caucus-gathers-to-elect-ministers

    • Carolyn_Nth 10.1

      Pablo on Kiwipolitical has expressed concern that there is no one in NZF, Labour or the Greens with the right kind of experience to be responsible for the intelligence community.

      He has identified Ron Mark as a likely Minister of defense.

      So, will Andrew Little have some responsibility for intelligence – must have gained some experience with it in his time as leader?

      Or will it be someone like David Parker?

  11. Cinny 11

    Miss Twelve is correct it is like Christmas, nahhh it’s better than Christmas 🙂

    “The long battle may be over to save Salisbury School, near Nelson.

    A change in Government to a Labour-NZ First coalition, with the Green Party holding a confidence and supply agreement with Labour, has given hope to the team at the only national single-sex residential school for girls with intellectual disabilities.

    Each of those parties has backed the Richmond-based school’s long-running fight to keep its doors open.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/98081278/underthreat-salisbury-school-takes-heart-from-change-of-government

    Crikey, getting a bit emotional, this school saves lives, so much goodness happening from a change in government, so happy.

    Tracey Martin… thank you for being, Thank You.

    One of the strongest supporters of the school, NZ First MP Tracey Martin, was part of the NZ First team that negotiated the coalition deal.
    Martin on Friday said she could not reveal if Salisbury School was part of those discussions because the details of the negotiations were still confidential.”

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    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    4 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    5 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    5 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    5 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    6 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • After years of stability, Antarctica is losing ice
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by SueEllen Campbell Until recently, Antarctica’s ice has seemed surprisingly stable. In contrast to the far north, the southern continent’s massive ice sheets, glaciers, ice shelves (ice that floats on the ocean), and seasonal ice appeared to be reliably frozen: Enough snow fell ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s Persistent Rail Issues
    Over the last few weeks in our weekly roundup we’ve commented on the frequent delays and cancellations that have occurred on the rail network this year since the rail network went back into full operation on the 22-Jan – with Kiwirail proclaiming they had ‘successfully delivered summer holiday infrastructure upgrades ...
    1 week ago

  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
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