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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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  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    20 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    4 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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    4 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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