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Welfare reforms will drive wages down

Written By: - Date published: 3:58 pm, February 27th, 2011 - 26 comments
Categories: Economy, employment, welfare - Tags:

It strikes me that the coming welfare reform is less a welfare policy and more another industrial relations policy in drag. That’s because it won’t just be beneficiaries that suffer under this new regime but the majority of Kiwi workers too.

Basic supply and demand theory indicates forcing beneficiaries into an already tight job market will increase labour supply and thus lower labour price.

But don’t think that’s just for new jobs. In a two-sided market such as labour and capital power asymmetry results in asymmetrical bargaining outcomes.

It can be expressed as:

BPA(Bargaining Power of A) = (Benefits and Costs that can be inflicted upon B)/(A’s cost of not agreeing)

BPB(Bargaining Power of B) = (Benefits and Costs that can be inflicted upon A)/(B’s cost of not agreeing)

If BPA is greater than BPB, then A has greater Bargaining Power than B, and the resulting agreement will tend to favour A. The reverse is expected if B has greater bargaining power instead.

The key phrase here is “Benefits and Costs that can be inflicted” – when the benefit system is tightened the costs that can be inflicted on labour (job loss) becomes greater and with it the bargaining power of capital.

Back in the 90’s this increase of bargaining power was frequently made manifest at the bargaining table with the phrase “if you don’t like the offer there’s plenty of people happy to do the job for less.” and its many variations. Unsurprisingly the same decade saw a widespread collapse of wages and conditions.

It is equally unsurprising that employer organisations were particularly supportive of the working group more draconian options with the Employers and Manufacturers Association supporting forcing people into unpaid work after six months on the dole, making parents on the DBP work once their child turned one (and transferring them to the unemployment benefit when the child turns six) and cutting benefits the longer people are on them.

You can almost hear them smacking their lips at the prospect of all those desperate souls lining up to sell their labour cheap.

26 comments on “Welfare reforms will drive wages down”

  1. ianmac 1

    Perhaps the Minimum Pay is an impediment to the Supply and Demand model?

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      Beneficiaries with a WINZ/MSD or tame doctors foot on their throat are likely to do all sorts of things (as a group), including putting downward pressure not only on wages generally, but the minimum wage too.

      That is why the immediate demand of “$15 minimum wage now” is so important. It is a demand that is easily understandable and supportable and if realised frustrates employers wedge tactics.

      I agree with Irish’s proposition, the WWG report is all about lowering the cost of labour and opportunistically pitting low paid worker against unemployed worker and forced conscripts-(DPB, Invalids and sickness beneficiaries).

  2. Jenny 2

    .
    According to McCarten in his column in the Herald today, Hone Harawira is guaranteed a seat in parliament due to his strong local support, this will leave him free to campaign heavily for the list vote, championing the rights of the low paid and benficiaries as no other political candidate is prepared to do. If successful he could well get a couple of MPs in on his ticket, upsetting National’s majority. Giving this sector of the electorate a very powerful lobby in parliament.

    Irish, if people like yourself gave what support you could to Hone’s campaign, you could well see the Nats turfed out and the return of a Labour led coalition. As McCarten says, “Hell would freeze over”, before Harawira went with National.

    “Let me explain. Harawira now has a safe seat and will be returned in November. For the rest of the year he will run a campaign against the seabed and foreshore changes.
    But more threatening to the status quo is that he will run parallel campaigns against low wages, so-called welfare reform, mining, GST and privatisation.

    These issues will mobilise support among Maori and non-Maori working class.

    You can say what you like about Harawira, but no one doubts his sincerity when it comes to fighting for the poor. This is a constituency screaming out for a staunch champion. In Harawira they’ll get one. Harawira will target these voters for their party list vote.”

    Matt McCarten HOS Sunday, 27 February, 2011

    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      Needs another thread Jenny, and I am sure there will be one shortly. But… seeing as how you started it… I am most intrigued as to how Hone supporters in Te Tai Tokearau are going to quickly transition from Tino Rangatiratanga principles in a post colonial situation (identity politics) to more class based politics with pakeha involved to boot. Not opposed (with qualifications) but it is a big ask. Hone with a left wing hat on, and he does understand the left world view, would be quite formidable.
      It will be the makeover of the decade if Hone does get involved in such a group. I would have thought standing as an independent this year and letting the dust settle would have been the way to go for him. But then Matt’s disclosure at the end of the article as to his involvement in Hones managed MP exit raised an eyebrow for sure.

      The labourites and greens will be worried about vote eating from a new left social democratic party so it may come down to testing the truth of Bomber Bradburys contention that there is another constituency out there that can add to the Labour/Green tally rather than merely carve it up differently.

      • just saying 2.1.1

        There is No conflict between “class” and “identity” politics!

        The fact that Labour championed a few “identity” causes while following a neoliberal and imo right-wing agenda is not because “identity” politics are incompatibile with the left. It’s because those few “identity” issues were the only part of the left mindset the Labour Party had held onto. The whole wedge thing worked turned out to be mighty handy for neoliberalism too.

        And good on them for those few successes. We are all in this together. Dignity, respect, social justice, freedom, self-determination, and a living income for every person is achievable, and is surely what the left is all about? No-one said it was going to be easy to achieve, but isn’t that what we should be fighting for, rather than merely the interests of any particular subgroup, be it Maoridom, white working class men, or any other?

    • word 2.2

      Who wants that racist pig in parliament?

  3. Ed 3

    I amazes me that despite evidence to the contrary, people still seem to believe that a “Reform” from this government must be an improvement on the previous situation. It is easy political spin; but in this case the proposals could perhaps be more accurately termed “Welfare Dismantling”. By colluding with the government spin, are we undermining the depth of opposition to the concepts?

    Leaving aside the more stupid proposals that were there to be repudiated to give a semblance of ‘balance’, are there any parts of the proposals in the report that are in fact worth supporting?

  4. Rob 4

    Not convinced it would drive wages down much. Most of the additional people who will be required to seek work will not be people bosses want to hire. The mere fact that more people are applying for jobs doesn’t mean they can offer less wages there has to be more eligible employees.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Most of the additional people who will be required to seek work will not be people bosses want to hire.

      Given the rapid rise in unemployed in the last few years, due to the GFC and not due to any fault of those caught up in it… this is a fairly weak assumption.

      • Rob 4.1.1

        The majority of recommendations in the Welfare Working Group report however are focused on invalid, sickness and DPB benefit recipients and creating work requirements for this. That is why the estimates number of people required to seek work receiving benefits would increase from 37% to 67%. People who are already on the unemployment benefit are not affected by most the likely changes.

        • RedLogix 4.1.1.1

          So in simple terms… you’re saying that forcing people who bosses are unlikely to want to hire to look for jobs they are unlikely to get is … a good idea?

    • marsman 4.2

      Rob, it drove wages down when Shipley did the same thing.

      • Rob 4.2.1

        Shipley conducted an entirely different form of welfare reform to the type being suggested.

        • lprent 4.2.1.1

          Nope. It is exactly the same. It to was designed to pressure people to get off welfare and go back to work WHEN there was no work. It blamed the beneficiaries for not being in work and chewing up money that could be used for tax cuts that the government preferred to do instead of figuring out how to increase the work available.

          It looks to be just as vindictive and outright dumb as the Shipley / Richardson welfare changes in the early 90’s. Because in the end because if there is work available the vast majority of people already prefer be working than to being on the benefit. But the rapid rise in long term beneficiaries shows that the work isn’t there.

          So as in the 1990s these idiots in government will want to harry all beneficiaries because of the perceived flaws of a small minority, and because the government are too damn lazy to work on the market flaws that are the real problem.

          For example for some reason, as in the 90’s, employers don’t want to hire woman on the DPB with young kids.

          These woman have to have time off to make sure that their kids are safe after school as they are required to do by law. Employers do not want to give time off when their children are sick for such basic things as taking them to the doctor. Employers don’t have many jobs with the part time work that is required because child care gets too expensive when you are looking at 50 hours a week including the commute. That is where you can find child care in the first place.

          Basically employers can find employees without those encumbrances. Similar things apply to people on the sickness and invalids benefits.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      hahahahaha

      Oh, that’s funny. My nephew gets turned down jobs quite often because he’s “overqualified”. Management in NZ is so pathetic that they will hire the cheaper person over the better qualified one.

      • ZeeBop 4.3.1

        If your nephew is so great why isn’t he a manager? If he is so well qualified why haven’t he started up his own co-op, discussed with you your needs and done away with the middle man you use to get your car fixed, you groceries from, or whatever? Its those middle men that you pay for your milk, cheese, wheels to be tested, that are owned by foreign shareholders rent seekers. And you are providing the consent to them. The fact is if the left got off its behind and stopped waiting for managers to get with the lefty program, instead created real alternatives, the managers would be forced to start taking the left seriously! But they don’t, and the media is right wing as a result, because the left aren’t a threat. Sure Labour will win in Nov if the left has any brains, but will Labour do anything serious to change, no. Could they really do anything? raise the min.wage. Geez, don’t you get it, if you don’t own the means of production and keep supporting the overseas landlord paradigm you are the problem, not Labour, not the left, not your nephews manager. If enough people just buy local, shift their patterns of social and fiscal behaviour then the country will not have to hear your whining any longer.

  5. randal 5

    well golly gee irish bill.
    this government has been in power for over two yers and you have just woken up to the fact that they are fighting a class war.
    they want to lower wages as a matter of prinicple just to watch ordinary people squirm and now the current economic situation gives them an excuse.
    time to stop talking and give ’em hell.

    • The Voice of Reason 5.1

      A bit harsh on IB, Randal. He’s one of the most class conscious posters here and has been on National’s case since well before the election. Decades, in fact. This post draws the link between the new welfare ‘reforms’ and Key’s stated desire to see NZ wages drop, so it’s an updating of what Irish (and lots of us mere contributers) already knew; that National hate the majority of NZers and only value them in terms of wealth extraction.

      The intention here is clear. The Nact/Maori party Government want to create a permanent underclass of desperate and coerced workers without permanent jobs who can be used to scare fully employed workers into giving up their wages and conditions for the benefit of the employing class. As you say, it’s a class war. Bagging each other isn’t going to help win it, aye?

    • lprent 5.2

      IrishBill was writing posts about the class effects well before this government got elected – click on his name and look back amongst the long stream of class orientated posts back into the 2007.

      If you want to look at someone who is a *lot* less interested in class as a concept, then look at me. My extended family has a wide range of ‘class’ in it to the point that class becomes a somewhat meaningless concept. We are so mobile in class terms both going ‘up’ and ‘down’ and sideways at any point durig our lives. What I’m more interested in is people having access to opportunities if people want to take advantage of them.

      As far as I am concerned that means that having education systems that are accessible. That don’t depend on who your parents are and where you live is of upmost importance. Having adult education readily available is just as important so that decisions made as the usual incoherent and horny teenager don’t limit the rest of your life. Having accessible and available child care so these opportunities and work opportunities are available to people with children is critical as one of the most common periods for retraining is whilst children are young (and that also provides a lot of motivation). Being able to retrain when your previous profession goes obsolete and you hit unemployment.

      Of course this government is steadily accumulating a massive fail on all of these.They are steadily working towards putting people into poverty traps that they can’t get out of. Which does no-one in our society any good over the long term.

      I don’t look at these as being ‘class’ issues (Irish would disagree). I just think that they are a result of the National parties typical short-term ideological stupidity.

  6. just saying 6

    Exactly VoR, they virtually said so in the first report. It’s worth quoting from Anne Else’s excellent analysis of it last year:

    ” To be fair, there is one revealing hint in the report that the demand for labour – or at least for cheap, flexible labour – did influence the WWG’s thinking:

    “Allied Workforce also notes that employment legislation (personal grievance laws, the ever-increasing minimum wage, and the now defunct youth rates) can be counter-productive to the interests of those they seek to help.”

    Allied Workforce says it is now the largest supplier of casual and temporary labour-hire in New Zealand…
    …Its managing director, Simon Hull, says “a number of businesses are … rediscovering the ways in which contract labour can reduce costs and increase productivity for industry.” He hopes businesses will shift to hiring casual labour, rather than keeping on permanent staff they don’t need: “Hopefully, we won’t see a return to the patterns of four to five years ago where businesses clung on to staff, often even when they couldn’t keep them fully utilised, as they were afraid of losing the capacity.”…

    …It doesn’t take much thought to understand why it would suit Allied Workforce and its shareholders – 25 of whom own 18.6 million shares – to have a lower or no minimum wage, a return to youth rates, and easier dismissals. And the government is listening – the last has already been achieved, with the extension of the 90-day provision to all workplaces.

    Creating a larger pool of desperate job-seekers partly subsidised by the state would be a big help too.

  7. frizaxojx 7

    Just done a calculation with the proposed new abatement schemefor pt workers. At the moment I gross $165.75 a week and have $60 taken off my SB. With the proposed changes I will lose $80.16. Even if I get 20 hours a week with the new minimum wage of $13 I will still be $6 a week worse off under the new scheme.

  8. randal 8

    fair comment voice of reason.
    but I am a working man and I hate to see reality dressed up in policy nalyst language as if the working class were a problem to be solved and not real life blood and muscle entities who think and feel.
    the tories hide behind the numbers and think tank speak but the labour party must not fall into this trap.

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    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    7 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
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    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    7 days ago
  • Outsiders.
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    7 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
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  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    7 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago