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What the National Party president and board knew

Written By: - Date published: 6:40 am, June 26th, 2017 - 21 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, bill english, national - Tags: , , , , ,

Newsroom has published another piece of investigative journalism by Melanie Reid on the Barclay affair, this time looking at what the National Party president and board knew.

The National Party President Peter Goodfellow and the board allowed Todd Barclay to be selected as a candidate for the upcoming election despite knowing that he was clearly unsuitable to be an MP.

Very detailed written accounts of the now disgraced MP’s behaviour had been provided to the board and the candidate selection committee before they allowed his nomination to go forward.

The board and the select committee knew:

– Barclay had already broken National Party rules by releasing the name of a challenging candidate.
– Had breached the rules by speaking to the media between the close of nomination and the close of the pre-selection process.
– Had spoken to his electoral office staff about employment matters that breached a confidentiality agreement.
– That Barclay didn’t declare that police had asked him to be interviewed over the taping of conversations of staffer Glenys Dickson on his candidate nomination form.
– Had got staff in his Gore electorate office to canvass delegates to support his reselection when it was outside their contractual obligations and a misuse of taxpayer money.
– There were issues around a $5000 loan that Barclay had been given by the party for campaigning. At this point the loan had not been repaid or disclosed in the campaign donation register.

The information was contained in a letter handed to National Party President Peter Goodfellow at 10.45 am at the pre-selection meeting in the Balclutha sports complex on December 9, 2016.

National Party sources say they saw Goodfellow open the letter, read it and then put it in his jacket pocket.

The letter warned that if the media learned more about what Barclay had been up to it would prove very embarrassing for the National Party and particularly Bill English who knew about the unlawful recording of conversations. The letter also said that Barclay had tried to denigrate English for his own means but didn’t say how.

Worried that the board was doing nothing, National Party members from Gore sent further letters to Goodfellow and the board on December 21, 2016, January 24, 2017, January 30, 2017.

The article then looks at the last ten months and what happened in the Clutha Southland electorate during the candidate selection process. Local National Party members and office holders tried to get the issues addressed but were repeatedly ignored. Clutha-Southland electorate chairman Stuart Davie eventually resigned because he didn’t want to be involved in a cover-up.

Prior to this, in February 2016, former Clutha-Southland electorate chairman Stuart Davie had spoken at length to the Southern Regional chair Rachel Bird and National Party board member Kate Hazlett.

Davie was confident Barclay had acted illegally because the former local MP, Bill English, who was then Deputy Prime Minister texted him on February 21, 2016 saying:

He left a dictaphone running that picked up all conversations in the office Just the office end of phone conversations. The settlement was larger than normal because of the privacy breach.

Stuart Davie did deal with it as he should have. As well as going to the regional chairperson he turned to the Southern electorate National Party Board member Kate Hazlett.

Hazlett responded by telling him “he should not stand again for the electorate chair as he clearly didn’t support Todd”.

Davie told Newsroom that he resigned a few days after this conversation because he knew Barclay was lying when he denied the secret recordings and he didn’t want to be part of any cover-up.

Full details in the article including the involvement of board member Glenda Hughes.

More good work by Melanie Reid and Newsroom. I’m impressed by Davie in addition to Dickson, as well as the other locals who decided to do the right thing. It takes courage to stand up like that in a small conservative community, and both Davie and Dickson have talked about the abuse and harassment that followed as well as the pressure that was applied from seniors within the organisation.

We’re not looking at not just the mistakes of one MP. The seriousness of the lying and covering up by the Prime Minister is now complemented by a level of corruption throughout the party hierarchy. None of this is particularly surprising given National’s involvement in Dirty Politics, but it’s still shocking to the many of us who believe that the government of NZ should be honest, law-abiding and competent.

One thing that remains unexplained is why the National Party would take such risks over a junior and relatively new MP. Perhaps it was hubris and complacency after 8 years of getting away with the abuse of power, or perhaps there are still things we don’t know about what was so important about Todd Barclay.

It’s time to change the government, and as Gareth Hughes said in parliament last week, it’s time to clean up the government as well.

21 comments on “What the National Party president and board knew ”

  1. garibaldi 1

    Strange that it should be this that is the gift that keeps on giving after all the transgressions in shonkeys time. Having said that, it is a delight to see the Natz unwinding at long last. Well done Melanie.

  2. Keith 2

    I think to get rid of Barclay after a plethora of other Nats who either left “voluntarily ” or been shown the door, would have been just too much to bear at that time.

    But I suspect the real reason connects nicely with his former life as a tobacco lobbyist. Like others of that ilk in their Dirty Politics department, from that particularly seedy, hard right of the National Party, I have to wonder if other forces were at work that kept this poisonous little creep there, inside what appears to be deep divisions with the Nats.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 2.1

      The USA is a classic example of what politics is like when corporate donations have converted politicians into lobbyists for their “previous” and often also future employers. We must make sure Aotearoa does not go down that path any further.

  3. Barklay was a big investment for the National Party, imo. He was being tutored by Lusk et al, supported by English and Key and the rest of that crew. Barclay was to be Prime Minister when the time came and much resource had already been invested, hence the inability to act swiftly enough to cauterize the wound he made with his behaviour. This “loss” is far greater than we are yet picking – not just a lowly backbencher at all – interesting to see how long-term National’s succession planning has become. Watch yer babies!

    • weka 3.1

      That makes a lot of sense. People are saying youth has nothing to do with it, but if you compare Barclay to others of his ilk (neoliberal RWers), I think his inexperience combined with the arrogance/entitlement is a factor. I can imagine Key being like that when he was in his 20s but he never got caught or was in different situations where it didn’t matter, and there is no way he would make those mistakes now.

      Also millennial culture and that arrogance are probably a really bad mix. BE at least remembers what old school conservatism is. There’s a point in the original interview with Dickson where I went ‘that’s the point where she decided to stand up’. You just don’t treat your own people like that, and the old school people know that.

      • Gristle 3.1.1

        Inexperience should not be used as an excuse for Todd. To work in PR for any tobacco company shows that he was willing support the death and injury that smoking causes.

        Todd is Todd’s focus: Everybody else can go screw themself.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          I’m not excusing him, I’m pointing to contributory factors. I know that I made mistakes in my 20s that I wouldn’t make now, because I’ve had more experience and time to figure shit out. I make different mistakes now, lol. Someone has pointed out that part of the issue for Barclay was that he was given too much power without enough supervision and mentoring. That seems fair. Again it’s not an excuse (the lot of them deserve everything they get), it’s just an observation about the dynamics.

    • greywarshark 3.2

      Mothers look out for Rumpelstiltskin National, he promises a lot, you just have to sell him your soul and your babies and he will take you all to another place, away from the ordinary throng.

    • Ross 3.3

      I dont agree, Robert. I suspect that National thought and still think that Barclay is a loose cannon and possibly has info on other Nat MPs including Key that would be very embarrassing for National if Barclay decided to sing like a canary. He may have threatened such disclosure. I imagine some Nats are holding their breath that he doesnt squeal.(I think in Reid’s latest article there is a reference to Barclay having a big mouth.)

      • Ross 3.3.1

        Correction the article reports on Barclay allegedly denigrating English which, if true, would be a worry for senior Nats. Is Barclay going to go quietly? I expect he has a cushy job lined up as long as he keeps his trap shut.

  4. ianmac 4

    “They” will say that all selection/branch committees have a few disagreements and spats but that is Democracy. We in National are no different from the goings on in Labour or the Greens.
    Well done Melanie Reid.

  5. gsays 5

    Excellent journalism, well done Melanie Reid.
    Thanks weka or the synopsis. I agree with you about the integrity and courage shown by Glenys Dickson and Stuart Davie.

    The source for this is well placed.

    There are so many damaging tangents:
    Police ’10 month investigation’ being reopened with no new information,
    Glenda Hughes bullying,
    dodgy candidate selection ‘stacking’,
    PM allowing junior MP to lie like a flat fish for over a year,
    There are tapes, there might not be tapes, I was offered to hear tapes,
    The top of the national party board being aware of the whole affair…

  6. Bearded Git 6

    I’m into my tenth bag of popcorn……

  7. Whispering Kate 7

    And meanwhile ol’ Teflon Jon is once again sliding out of this debacle – why isn’t he being flushed out and questioned – wasn’t he the one who signed off the money out of the sludge fund to silence the disgruntled employee in the Gore office.

  8. Is the Barclay affair the reason Key departed – very likely.

    • tc 8.1

      One of many that if journalism was applied wouldn’t be great look for national.

      Imagine if they’d pursued lusk/eade etc after DP was released or did some digging on SCF, ian fletchers appointment, law changes which add up to tax havens, warner bros, blind trusts etc etc.

      newsroom comes from weldons destruction of mediawonks dwindling journalistic capability so the karma is strong.

  9. Heather Grimwood 9

    2014 ‘meet the candidates’ meetings clearly showed who/what Todd Barclay was.
    Undoubtedly those in the Catlins assessed well. Some others were sadly not well attended.
    I suggest voters should return to the earlier practice of attending such opportunities.

  10. mosa 10

    Melanie Reid has restored my faith in journalism and Nicky Hagar off course.

    Mr key bailed at ” the right time ” there is probably a lot more at work here ……….. a hell of a lot more !

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    1 week ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
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    1 week ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
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  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
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    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
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    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    1 week ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
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  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
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  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
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    1 week ago
  • Bollocks
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    1 week ago
  • World-leading?
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    1 week ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
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  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
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    1 week ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
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  • Forced Re-entry
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    2 weeks ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
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    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
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    2 weeks ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
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    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
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    2 weeks ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago

  • Nationwide business partnership grows conservation jobs
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    24 hours ago
  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
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    2 days ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
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    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
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    4 days ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
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    5 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
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    5 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
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    5 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
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    5 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
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    5 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
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    6 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
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    6 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
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    6 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The Emissions Reduction Plan will set ...
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    6 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
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    7 days ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
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    1 week ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
    Reducing lead poisoning of kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and one-time New Zealand bird of the year winner, is the goal of a two year project being backed by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.  “Lead poisoning is a serious threat to this ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government provides certainty to working holiday and seasonal visa holders and employers for summer
    The Government will extend Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas for six months to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders over the coming summer period, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. “This offers employers and visa holders the certainty they’ve been asking for going ...
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    1 week ago
  • Lower card fees good for businesses, consumers
    The Bill to help lower the cost of the fees retailers get charged for offering contactless and debit payment options is another step closer to becoming law, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark said today. “COVID-19 has changed the way we spend our money, with online and contactless ...
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    1 week ago
  • Mandatory vaccination for two workforces
    High-risk workers in the health and disability sector to be fully vaccinated by 1 December, 2021, and to receive their first dose by 30 October School and early learning staff and support people who have contact with children and students to be fully vaccinated by 1 January, 2022, and to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Fund allows more Pacific community led vaccinations
    The Government has made $1.1 million available through ‘The Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund’ to directly support Pacific community-led initiatives towards increasing vaccinations, said Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio. “The best way to protect our communities from COVID-19 is through vaccination. “We need to explore every avenue to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Small business at heart of economic recovery across APEC region
    The Minister for Small Business says support for small and medium enterprises will remain ongoing as the Asia-Pacific region moves through response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuart Nash today chaired a virtual summit from Wellington for the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM). “APEC Ministers responsible ...
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    1 week ago
  • Restrictions on abortion medication lifted for health practitioners
    Abortion services can now be provided in primary care, meaning people can access this care from someone like their trusted GP and in a familiar setting, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “By lifting some restrictions on the funded medications used for early medical abortions, more health ...
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    1 week ago
  • Record day for Māori vaccinations
    More than 10,000 vaccinations were administered to Māori yesterday, the highest number in the vaccine campaign so far, Associate Minister of Health (Maori Health) Peeni Henare announced. There were 10,145 doses administered across the motu yesterday this is almost equivalent to the population of Hāwera. The doses are made up ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on Joint Cooperation in Agriculture between Ireland and New Zealand
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    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Alert Level 3 tonight
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister's Christmas Card Competition
    It’s that time of year again! If you’d like to help design the Prime Minister’s official Christmas card, here’s how to take part: Draw, paint, sketch or craft an image you’d like to see on the front of this year’s Christmas card. It can be anything you want – a traditional ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech : Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu social housing pilot, providing value for generations to come
    Housing Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods today announced the development of six social housing units funded by the Government’s Covid response infrastructure fund, to help work toward resolving Ruapehu's lack of social housing. “The Crown’s investment of $2.1 million in this project will provide value to the community for generations ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Children’s Commissioner Appointed
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced  Judge Frances Eivers’ appointment as the new Children’s Commissioner. Judge Eivers, who is currently a District Court Judge in Manukau, will take up the role on 1 November 2021. She has been appointed for two years. The Children’s Commissioner is an ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • More support for business available from today
    The third round of the Resurgence Support Payment opened for applications this morning. “The RSP helps businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. It provides cashflow to businesses and supports them to pay their bills while the country is at Alert Level 2 or above,” Grant Robertson said. “The ...
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    2 weeks ago