What next, Soylent Green?

Written By: - Date published: 5:31 am, September 16th, 2009 - 29 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, economy - Tags:

The Wall Street financiers crapped out on their sub-prime gambles, inflicting economic devastation on the taxpayers who generously bailed-them out in return. Now, they need a new gamble, a new game in which they bet using other people’s money while skimming off the cream for themselves until it all collapses.

The new game? Betting on when people will die.

It works like this:

The bankers plan to buy ‘life settlements,’ life insurance policies that ill and elderly people sell for cash — $400,000 for a $1 million policy, say, depending on the life expectancy of the insured person. Then they plan to ‘securitize’ these policies, in Wall Street jargon, by packaging hundreds or thousands together into bonds. They will then resell those bonds to investors, like big pension funds, who will receive the payouts when people with the insurance die.

It’s pretty similar to what happened with the sub-prime market. Bankers put the dodgy mortgages they had lent to poor people to buy over-priced houses together in packages (CDOs), which investors bought getting the payments from those mortgages as the return on their investment. Of course, as we now know, the financiers on all sides over-valued the CDOs because they were basically betting the housing boom would continue forever. When the mortgage payments started to dry up, thanks at least in part to the rising price of oil, the value of the CDOs collapsed and so would have the financial system without government bailouts.

But this new sub-prime disaster in waiting has a nasty twist:

The earlier the policyholder dies, the bigger the return

It’s a good time to be making that bet now in the US. People are losing their jobs and their health insurance. Poverty is rising and, with it, health is declining. People need cash, especially if a health problem hits the family (health problems are the most common cause of bankruptcy in the US). The Wall Street vampires offer a rip-off price for life insurance policies and wait for rising poverty to fill their coffers. There are predictions the market for these death-bets will grow to $500 billion, approaching the size of the sub-prime market at its peak.

Of course, that gives the investors a big reason to oppose health reform. Better health-care would see them take a bath on their death-bets (the money-men in the middle make their fees either way). Now, we see another reason why the big money that hides behind the screaming hicks at the town-hall meetings is so keen to stop universal health-care in the US.

And what happens when this bubble bursts? What happens when health reform and/or an improving economy improves people’s life expectancies and the Wall Street vampires find there’s not as much blood to suck as they bet on? Another collapse? Another round of bail-outs?

Isn’t it time to radically reform this dysfunctional capitalist system? With its unethical, short-term fixation on money, doesn’t it create more ill than good?

Can’t we do better?

[hat-tip eXiled Online]

29 comments on “What next, Soylent Green? ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    On the other hand, maybe its just the market meeting a demand.

    One of the BIG problems of life insurance is that the policy owner never gets to enjoy the benefits, for obvious reasons. There are some policies that pay out for permanent disability, but who wants to be in that state to enjoy their nest-egg?

    The question is, is it a good deal for the policy holder to get paid out at a lessor rate than the death premium?

    The answer is, it depends. What is required is a net value calculation for money measured against the expected average lifespan of policy holders.

    Interest rates a very low at the moment, so at present rates it might not be seen as a good deal. However, it is inaccurate to factor these rates for decades ahead. Looking forward, interest rates are projected to rise considerably as governments have to control the inflation that will result from all the stimulus poured into the system. Thus, it might well be that getting paid out early at a lessor amount is actually quite a good deal for the policy holder.

    Firstly, the policy holder and their family get to enjoy the money together rather than apart.
    Secondly, they may be nearly as well off, or possibly even better off, over the long run getting the money earlier anyway.

    • tsmithfield,

      What a hideously cynical way of reasoning.

      You find people who are in dire need for treatment and buy their life insurance for pennies on the dollar and that is meeting a market demand? revolting.

      It would be morally reprehensible if it was just that alone but when you realise that the upper 1% of the Global elite hold interests in the healthcare insurance business and the banks that buy these life insurances it becomes a truly monstrous and murderous orgy of greed.

      • Macro 1.1.1

        It’s not because the supposed “free market” delivers the goods or not, that the neo-liberals of this world are so wedded to it. Of course, they cannot conceive that there might be other ways to fairly distribute the goods; and its not even the fact that they cannot think of any other way to run an economy. The simple fact is – that they are wedded to the “free market” because essentially they worship the god of mammon. Greed is their consuming passion and anything that gets in the way of them making a quick buck is to be roundly condemned as either “communist” “socialist” or some other equally offensive slur.

        • Quoth the Raven 1.1.1.1

          Of course we don’t have a free market system. Look up the definition of free market. Blaming the ills on this world on the free market is akin to blaming it on communism. Communism is not in operation and neither is the free market. Neo-liberals are not wedded to the free-market, they’re weded to state-corporate-plutocracy as are many so-called social-democrats. And look at the history of socialism, Historically and contemporarily there have been plenty of socialists that support the free market.

    • Maynard J 1.2

      Do you understand what life insurance is actually for? It does not appear so.

      If you want to have money to spend with your family when you are alive, you fund your retirement. If you want money to settle your estate, ensure an inheritance can be paid out to your survivors and ensure they are comfortable after your death, you get life insurance.

      If you put more importance on the former, then get cheap (or no) life insurance, and put that money into your retirement fund throughout your working life. Do not sell out early on a bet that you will die to set up a fund that will benefit the earlier you die, thus bringing about a massive financial incentive for poor healthcare and declining life expectancy.

      Sheesh, it is like a lesson on how to engineer a market failure.

  2. Mark M 2

    reverse annuities are not new and are popular with older people as they get some money to live out their retirement.

  3. Mach1 3

    What next, Soylent Green?

    Viager?

    • Marty G 3.1

      yeah, again, I don’t have a problem with reverse annuities or life insurance in itself. It’s the exploitation of desperate people to create a market in the hundreds of billions where the wealthy elite bets that those less well off than them will die early

  4. tsmithfield 4

    travellerev,

    Under the scheme as outlined, people who are very sick, and likely to die are likely to get paid out a far greater percentage of the policy

    Anyway, sounds like a great opportunity. I think I will do some investigation to see when and if this scheme is going to be offered in NZ. If it is coming here in the near future, I think I will quadruple the amount of life insurance I hold. Then when I get offered a payout, it will probably be hundreds of thousands higher. This probably will have only cost me a few thousand in extra premiums. Nearly as good as winning Lotto!!

    • Marty G 4.1

      You’re a financial illiterate. Do you think the financiers’ profits come out of thin air? they come from ripping off the desperate.

      If you read the NYT article you’ll learn this will actually push up premiums.

      • jagilby 4.1.1

        Ahhh I think that the profits would actually come from the insurance companies who are going to hate it. But I guess there is an argument that this will result in higher premiums that will inturn hurt the most vulnerable, so point taken.

        Just for the record I am in investment banker (yes, I am your anti-christ. Please direct all cliched vitriol in this direction) and I find this product morally abhorrent. In any case, even I didn’t find it morally distateful, it’s not an investment; it’s a gamble and I think this could be a particularly hard sell for banks.

        I can see the insurance companies really rallying against a product like this. I don’t think it quite has the same economy-busting potential that CDOs et al did given the fact that the uncertain nature of the underlying asset or security (if we can call it that) is well recognised.
        A big part of the problem with CDOs was that the exact nature of the underlying asset (quality and location of house and service abiilty of mortgagee) was clouded by negligence on the part of the rating agencies. I don’t think anyone can claim ignorance on not knowing how certain a death date was.

  5. Marty G 5

    One could argue that life insurance itself or reverse annuities are bets on when you will die but this is a whole new level. This is turning a population’s life expectancy into a commodity that can be securitised.

    We’re talking a market growing to the size of sub-prime.

    It gives the wealthy an incentive to have the middle class (the poor don’t have life insurance) poor, unhealthy, and dying earlier

  6. Lanthanide 6

    This seems like the perfect topic for Obama to have a speech about. Rebut all the ridiculous “death panel” claptrap by pointing out the vampirous wall street elite who created the financial crisis are now resisting public healthcare because it hurts their bottom line. I think that could be quite persuasive to the country hicks – then again no one likes to be told they were just a pawn in a larger game, so they could resent it and think Obama is just trying to say anything to get them to agree to his idea.

  7. grumpy 7

    Christ Marty G, I have to have a lie down.

    A very good post and you are 100% correct, this is a prime example of the inhumanity of the Capitalist system and how it “creates” a demand it can then fill with this type of disgraceful product.

    You are correct, it’s the sub-prime shonky deal all over again.

    Wankers like these give Capitalism a bad name – I’d support putting them up against the wall, comrade!

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Reading the article, it looks like these options are only going to be available to those who are quite sick or elderly anyway. Otherwise, there is little prospect of return for the investor.

    Why shouldn’t people in these circumstances be able to cash in a portion of their life insurance to enjoy life while they can?

    Are you all so ingrained in the socialist paradigm that you think that people are all too thick to work out their own circumstances for themselves?

    • Maynard J 8.1

      Do you view capitalism through such rose-tinted glasses you are unable to spot exploitation of the vulnerable when it smacks you in the nose?

      Not to mention the inevitable consequences of the idea – why are people who like capitalism incapable of seeing consequences of actions past the initial transaction? Well that is obvious – because if you do that you see the flaws, and then you probably stop liking capitalism so much.

      To you it is Person Wants Something + Market Provides = Good. Look a little deeper.

      • grumpy 8.1.1

        It’s the repackaging as “bonds” that turns my guts. Not only do they rip off the vulnerable but also the “investor”.

        This is what made America great!

        • Maynard J 8.1.1.1

          Yeah, how on earth can someone make a rational investment decision on these. “We have all these life insurance policies, we have to keep paying them, but we will get money when people die. No idea if it is more than we will have to pay to keep the premiums paid up. Are you in?”

  9. The bankers plan to buy “life settlements,’ life insurance policies that ill and elderly people sell for cash — $400,000 for a $1 million policy, say, depending on the life expectancy of the insured person. Then they plan to “securitize’ these policies, in Wall Street jargon, by packaging hundreds or thousands together into bonds. They will then resell those bonds to investors, like big pension funds, who will receive the payouts when people with the insurance die.

    Didn’t Tonga nearly go bankrupt playing this game (on the advice of the previous king’s “court jester”) some years ago?

  10. tsmithfield 10

    As mentioned earlier, whether this is a good deal or not for the insured depends on a number of factors including present value of money calculations. Depending on the interest rates going forward, the insured might be better off financially taking the money upfront. This is all part of the risk vs return equation that both the buyers and sellers in the equation calculate.

    This actually looks like quite a good proposition for an investor, as well. One thing is sure. The insured people will eventually die. Thus, the capital will be returned at some stage.

    The only question is the rate of return. As mentioned in the first paragraph, this is all part of the risk vs return calculation that underpins capitalism and life generally.

    • Maynard J 10.1

      What rubbish. How can you make a calculation around whether you will be better off taking the money now, in present values, or when you are dead?

      There are two glaring problems there.

      “This actually looks like quite a good proposition for an investor, as well. One thing is sure. The insured people will eventually die. Thus, the capital will be returned at some stage.”

      Not if all that capital was spent maintaining the premiums because the person did not have the decency to die quickly enough. You really are financially illiterate, but then these products are made for people like you, who seem to believe in somehow making money “100% risk free”!

  11. gomango 11

    These are nothing new. Life settlements funds have been around for ages, and sold in NZ – for instance see: http://www.lifesettlementsfund.com. BTW, investors in this fund havent had a great experience – US actuaries updated the standard life tables int he US – life expectancy increased by more than expected, result was the policies in this fund fell in value by 20%. So that was a good result for those that sold the policies initially, a bad result for investors.

    It’s difficult to draw the conclusion that they are “ripping people off” – cant see many scenarios where that is likely. A couple of key points:

    – the lives being insured are typically average age around 75. Generally for this type of business there is no interest in purchasing the life policy of someone under 70.
    – there are very valid reasons as to why a 75 year old would buy a life policy, mostly around estate tax etc in the US. Proceeds of a life policy are tax free, it is very easy to structure ones affairs using life insurance to reduce dramaticallly the effect of inheritance tax
    – yes their is a potential moral hazard (ie you don’t want to sell your life policy to a bloke with mafia connections).
    – most states that allow the trading of policies have legally mandated minimum levels for consumer protection (based on published life tables).

    This business is quite tightly controlled in the states but yes open to abuse as any commercial activity is. Any reputable life settlements business uses a blind trust structure to hold the policies they have purchased. The other point to bear in mind with this business is that the policies in question typically have a size of 2 to 10mm – they aren’t being written on the homeless. Typical profile is a 75 year old in Florida, lots of physical assets, no cash.

    the origins of this business was actually the viatical market back in the 80’s. When AIDS was a short term, terminal illness a valid business emerged where the terminally ill were able to sell their policy to fund treatment or one last overseas vacation etc.

    Its hard to argue to argue against this business on moral grounds, as long there is a minimum level of consumer protection (which there is). And investors should be aware – the risk is that mortality risk decreases – obviously it tends to with improvements in health care (and bear in mind we are talking about the moratlity risks of the economically advantaged here). A cure for bowel cancer or a revolutionary anti heart attack drug and these policies decline in value dramatically. The only real area I see for moral ambiguity is the cozy relationship between structurer and institutional buyer., where high fees tend to mysteriously appear just before disappearing into a pocket or two. But that morality issue is entirely independent of the nature of the mortality risk.

    BTW, they are nicknamed “Death Bonds” by detractors. Although the sellers of these prefer Life Settlements or Mortality Risk for obvious reasons.

    In terms of the size of the market, the exact numbers escape me – I’ll find them as I cl;ean out my office, but from memery the size of the US life market is $100 trillion dollars (?) – so far I think the secondary market is only 1 or 2% of that.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Just another example of capitalism taking wealth for no wealth creation.

  13. gomango 13

    Just found a couple of presentations from two different firms who buy and pool life policies:

    – 22 trillion of life polices in force in the US
    – expect secondary market to be 180 billion by 2030
    – traditionally, owners of life policies could only ever sell them back to the life company that wrote the policy. Secondary marke prices are typically 20% to 100% higher than the traditional surrender value
    – largest trader of life policies has bought 19 billion face value
    – average policy size is 3 million
    – only interested in life expectancy less than 20 years
    – minimum age 60 years

    And apparently the descriptive name of choice is “Longevity Bonds”.

  14. rave 14

    Radical reform?
    Does cutting it off at the roots qualify?
    There is only way to upset the gamblers (sorry actuaries) and that is to destroy the market.
    I’m for that. I would die happy and blow my savings this side of the grave.

    I would be very numbest (antispam!)

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    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
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    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
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    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
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    6 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    7 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
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    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
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    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
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    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
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    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
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    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
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    6 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
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    7 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
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    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
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    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
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    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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