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Who wins and who loses from tax reforms

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, January 22nd, 2010 - 65 comments
Categories: tax - Tags:

You’re probably up to your ears in this tax reform issue by now, but just one more. It’s a good ‘un, promise. I’ve made a pretty graphic of who would lose and who would gain, and how, from the tax working groups’ proposals:

The huge tax breaks for the few people on very large incomes are paid for by the middle class and poor.

Distribution of income source.
Factors: TWG proposals all adopted. ie. 38% and 33% income tax rates replaced by 30% rate kicking in at $48,000. GST increased to 15%. Benefits and superannuation increased by 2.2% to cover GST increase. Proposed land and property tax changes adopted – cost split between lower returns and higher rents as per
Treasury modelling by Arthur Grimes (or Grimey as he liked to be called). People spend 66% of gross income on products subject to GST – based on Stats average household income and spending figures (will be lower for higher incomes, so net tax cuts actually larger than given)

65 comments on “Who wins and who loses from tax reforms”

  1. gitmo 1

    Where’s the third graph on percentage of tax take paid by each of those groups………. or are you no better than David Farrar and selectively choosing only to show those items that make a dubious point ?

    • Michael Foxglove 1.1

      You’re missing the point gitmo. Marty is showing that by far most people in NZ will suffer, while Key’s rich mates get a tax break.

    • snoozer 1.2

      gitmo. It’s aobut a change from the status quo and who wins and who loses from that change. Come on, you get that, eh?

      • Tigger 1.2.1

        Actually, I get a big tax break under this but I am certainly not one of Key’s ‘mates’. Just as with the last tax break NACT handed me I’ll be pouring the money into the Labour Party…

    • Daveosaurus 1.3

      The graph in question is here.

      (Security word: “AUTHORITYS”. Is someone around here trying to discourage good spelling and grammar?)

  2. Michael Foxglove 2

    Great graph Marty. I think it speaks volumes about who would suffer under the tax changes John Key is considering.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    So easy to understand and a fact that has, from what I can make out, been purposefully hidden. You’ll note that in the MSM nobody talks about incomes greater than $100k.

  4. Well all I can say is that after 9 years of “closing the gap” Clark it is pathetic to think that so many New Zealanders are earning so little.

    • Clarke 4.1

      So you think John “I’d love to see wages drop” Key is going to improve matters? Remember, he’s the guy who ruled out a rise in the minimum wage to $15/hr ….

    • Bright Red 4.2

      would you like to see how it looked before Labour, dm? because I’m sure that can be done. actually, if you follow the source link marty has given, you can see what it was like in 2001 when labour had just got to power.

      By my reckoning, the median (that’s the point where half the population is above, half is below) is up 55% between 2001 and 2008, even taking into account inflation of about 25%, that’s a 30% increase. pretty damn good in 7 years.

    • Sam 4.3

      Yes, let’s completely ignore the actions of the Fourth National Government that entrenched our low-wage economy so deeply that the Fifth Labour had to use tax payer dollars to make up the difference (WFF).

  5. Zaphod Beeblebrox 5

    The above graph highlights another thing- the appallingly low incomes of NZers. As an Australian living in NZ its stunning that NZ has virtually no middle class.

    This is what really should be concerning NZ governments, not a few cents in the dollar tax rates. A prosperous, educated, hard working middle class with enough time and energy to contribute to society is what separates third from the first world countries. Have a look at the dsintegration of U.S. society and poltical discourse as their middle classes shrink.

  6. roger nome 6

    DM:

    Come again? This time try writing a coherent statement that’s punctuated properly, if that’s not beyond you….

  7. Lew 7

    Marty, not to quibble (!) but is the y axis supposed to have intervals which go $4001-$5000, $9001-$10000, or shoudl all those nines be fives?

    L

  8. So 2.5 million of us will be made actively worse off to enrich a tenth of that number who will come out ahead, while 1% – the top 25,000 taxpayers, including all Government Ministers and John Key himself – will make out like bandits. How is this “fair”?

  9. snoozer 9

    That really puts this whole argument to bed I think. You’ve got 3.2 million taxpayers getting worse off so that a few tend of thousands can have huge tax cuts.

    • indiana 9.1

      any merit to the the 250k of tax payers that may be creating jobs for the 3.2M tax payers to exist?

      • Idiot/Savant 9.1.1

        None. If they do that (and I do not believe the rich are indispensible supermen; if they move, someone else will fill their niche and make that money), then they’re already doing it, so clearly the present incentives are sufficient. So why do we need to fuck over 2.5 million to give them a windfall?

      • Bright Red 9.1.2

        indiana, put down the Ayn Rand. That stuff rots the brain.

        Jobs are not created by the rich. They are the result of the application of labour and capital to create supply to meet demand. We don’t need mutli-millionaries for that to happen. And we certainly don’t need to give them tax cuts.

        • Watermelon 9.1.2.1

          Increasing spending in Education and R&D would be a far better way to create jobs than giving the “rich pricks” another tax cut.

          Captcha: schemes

          • Tigger 9.1.2.1.1

            And how is giving someone a personal tax cut going to enable them to ‘create jobs’? To do this they would need to (a) own businesses that employ people and (b) put their tax cut into hiring more staff in the business. Likely?

  10. vto 10

    This is such a dumb argument.

    If all income taxes were able to be wiped altogether then those that pay the most would get the biggest saving. What is the problem with that? It is just simple maths. The rich pay more, so it makes total sense they also get the biggest reduction. Just like when taxes go up they end up paying more.

    out

    • Bright Red 10.1

      no vto. because we’re not talking about wiping the taxes out altogether. These are fiscally neutral tax changes.. We’re talking about tax changes that specifically only benefit the rich and impose more cost on everyone else.

      This is about a proposed change from what we have now and who gets the gain from that change and who bears the cost.

  11. Good to see the Standard continuing to do the job and the analysis that the MSM should be doing.

  12. vidiot 12

    “1.2 million taxpayers (19,001 to 45,000), no compensation for GST, higher rents and or/falling property returns. No income tax cut”

    Eh wtf ?

    Read the piece by Bernard Hickey – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10621483&pnum=0 it has a great summary of how things could play out.

    Or is he just another wing-nut ?

    • Bright Red 12.1

      vidiot. Some people in that group rent. Some people in that group have investment properties. The TWG report says that the cost of the changes to property tax will probalby be split between renters and landlords.

      What do you do for a living? I hope it doesn’t involve simple deduction, or even reading the notes at the end of things.

    • IrishBill 12.2

      I have some sympathy for Hickey’s argument but in his last para he states:

      They [landlords] need to get back down to the business of making sustainable yields on rental properties with real people in them.

      I don’t know how he expects landlords to make sustainable profits when he also expects house prices to remain stable after a land-tax is introduced and tax breaks are removed.

      At the moment rental returns (excluding capital gain and tax breaks) are averaging around 4% (or at least I recall that’s the figure).

      You can do better than than with a term deposit.

      Of course some people may shift their capital to the markets but given the regulatory failure we’ve seen over the last few years and the lack of the current government to fix this failure I’d suggest that few will be in any hurry to liquidate their property portfolios and plunge into financial investments.

      Which doesn’t leave much for landlords to do to maintain profit other than raise rents.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.2.1

        Its quite possible that it could become more economical to leave your rental property empty and not even let tell IRD about it. Thats if they are going to expect you eran 6% pa on it.

        You’d expect a reversion to cash in hand blacket market rentals as why would any property owner want to subject themselves to thousands dollars of assessable income which they would never be able to earn anyway.

        A Land Tax and a CGT would be much more practicable.

  13. burt 13

    So the current tax system isn’t fair that’s OK, it’s popular with enough people to win an election. What else matters?

    Everything that was wrong with Labour can be seen in Dr Cullen’s approach to taxation it’s not about getting it right it’s about enough people believing you have it right to hold onto the treasury benches. No more no less.

    Bleat about tax rorts as much as you like, the Labour govt policies created whole industries based on working the angles and you had nothing but praise for the policies when Labour were in govt it is very sad it took a change of govt for you to wake up to what was really happening and what inequities the policies of envy marketing campaign created. But still you want status quo . Unbelievable.

    • Bright Red 13.1

      who says its not fair for those who benefit most from our capitalist economic system to pay the most for the cost of maintaining and moderating that system?

      Ceterus paribus, the cost has to be paid by someone. You would rather put more of the cost on the poor and middle class?

      • burt 13.1.1

        The people who benefit the most should pay, I have no issue with that. But when under Labour 75% of high school teachers had slipped into paying the top tax rate and about half of the 100 most wealthy people in NZ were not – I need to take a whole jar of “Labour good’ pills to agree with you Cullen had it right.

        But hey, Cullen only had 9 budgets to dodge the unpopular changes, the McLeod report to ignore and the constant drone of treasury & economists to denigrate he plucked the goose and the duct tape over it’s beak stopped it’s hissing from being heard pity it died of cold as soon as the black clouds of economic trouble appeared on the horizon.

  14. Zaphod Beeblebrox 14

    Burt- right about Cullen, free student loans and WFF two cases in point.

    However, listening to Goff and Cunliffe for the past year, I’m pretty sure they don’t want to keep the staus quo.

    Every side seems to agree the tax system is stuffed, but no two people will agree on how to achieve the desired outcome.

    You accuse Cullen (rightly) of kowtowing to political opportunism, do you trust Key not to do the same?

    Why, for instance is he entrenching WFF and has already ruled out a CGT?

  15. TightyRighty 15

    Lolz on the grimey call in the footnotes. one of the bet ever simpsons episodes

  16. RedLogix 16

    Proposed land and property tax changes adopted cost split between lower returns and higher rents

    Brilliant as usual Marty, but Grimey is being highly optimistic here. Most landlords are already putting cash into the business in order to cover costs. ie the extra cash from their LAQC tax break, is cycled straight back to pay the mortgage, rates, maintenance, insurance, etc. Effectively it is being used to subsidise low rents.

    Take the tax break away and the loss of cash flow will have to be fully passed on to the tenant. With returns around the 3-5% mark anyway, there really isn’t room for most landlords go lower without making a total loss.

    I’ve done my numbers. Most of my tenants are currently paying about $300pw. If all three proposals go through, the Land Tax, the RFRM tax on equity and the dismantling of the LAQC cash flow smoothing mechanism… I’m going to be fronting up to my tenants with an increase to $375pw.

    The conversation at the door will start like this, “You know that tax cut ‘north of $50pw’ that nice Mr Key promised you… this isn’t it”.

  17. BLiP 17

    The promise:

    My Government is today tabling a Bill to reduce personal taxes from 1 April 2009.     Its intention is to pass this new tax legislation by Christmas and it  believes this tax reduction will equip New Zealanders with some much needed extra cash in tough economic times.

    Personal taxes will be further reduced from 1 April 2010 and from 1 April 2011.  As a result, by 1 April 2011 around 80% of New Zealand taxpayers will end up paying no more than 20c in tax for every additional dollar that they earn.

    This programme of tax reduction is a central part of the economic plan of my Government, because it believes in encouraging New Zealanders to get ahead under their own steam, and it views personal tax reductions as an essential step in ensuring that can happen.

    John Key 09/12/08

    The reality:

    The rich get richer, the poor get poorer

    Thanks National Ltd® – I’m lovin’ it.

  18. Uroskin 18

    How much would the 38% to 30% alignment be worth in the lower tax bracket, i.e. how much of everybody’s income could be tax-free (or the lowest tax threshold reduced for everybody)? That way the tax cut could be for everybody on their first tranche of taxable income and much fairer.

    • burt 18.1

      Uroskin

      I’ve never understood why both Labour & National are so anti a tax free bottom bracket for income. I guess it is just too simple and provides no opportunity to play god with winners and losers.

  19. tsmithfield 19

    Has anyone got any idea of what the true rate of taxation is when all the various forms of taxation are taken into account: e.g.

    Income Tax
    GST
    Various other consumption taxes (ciggies, booze, petrol etc)
    Rates
    Indirect ways of taxing such as dividends on government-owned electricity companies etc.

    Income tax is only one component of the tax system afterall.

    • snoozer 19.1

      ts. easy. go to the treasury website. look the the budget documents. find the amount of tax revenue raised and the gdp. divide first by second.

      tell us what you come up with

      • rainman 19.1.1

        If I’m reading the numbers right (big if), for 2008 that was apparently 30.8%.

        captcha: collection 🙂

  20. Herodotus 20

    It is not a given that rentals would increase, pure speculation, as when interest rates move rentals tonot follow this trend. Also there is not as I am aware not a surplus of tennants out there, there is a cost to both parties in a change of tenancy, and depending on the time e.g. tennat vacates in Dec a potential of many weeks of the rental property being vacant, and 1 weeks vacancy equate to a 2% rise in new rental to compensate for this lose in cash for that financial year, and many land lords subsidies rentals for good tennants. I know what poor tennants are like chasing arears in rent, property maintenance and the general hassel.

    • RedLogix 20.1

      It is not a given that rentals would increase, pure speculation, as when interest rates move rentals tonot follow this trend.

      Most mortgages are for fixed rates at fixed terms, so they do not all expire for all landlords at the same time even when variable rates increase. Moreover the interest portion of the mortgage is a deductible cost, so the landlord is not under immediate pressure to recover it and can usually wait until the tenant leaves before raising the rent. (The average tenancy is around 12-18 months, and many landlords find it the most painless way of dealing with the issue.) Therefore the link between interest rates and rents is not so very obvious.

      But if Land Tax, an RFRM equity tax, and depreciation is cut from the LAQC model, then this will directly hit the cash flow of most landlords more or less in the same time frame, and most will react to cover the increased costs.

      A minority, those with very cash flow positive properties that they have held onto for a decade or more, will be able to absorb the extra costs and not increase rents, but their fortunate tenants will be much less inclined to move … and the landlord can only rent the place once.

      • Herodotus 20.1.1

        So they have in hindsight if these new reforms go ahead paid to much for the property and their gearings are not manageable, (Similar to forestry and tradable Carbon credits.) If the properties were brought on -ve equity, there is a case that it was not brought for rental incomes BUT capital gains. Thus the onwers should be subject on disposal of paying Cap Gains (As if anyone would own up to that). Many property investment coys will not openly state this but there is a strong inferral at the presentations I have been to as the motivation and business case on purchasing is in on Capital Gains.

        • RedLogix 20.1.1.1

          Well if you want to apply a GGT go right ahead.. but apply it across the board to ALL instances where something is purchased with an intent to resell for a profit. Like shares, commercial, industrial and farm property…why just pick on residential rental investors?

          The fact is that if you hold onto a property long enough.. 8-12yrs these days it should become cash flow positive.

          • Herodotus 20.1.1.1.1

            It does apply to shares if you are trading in them. But yet people who trade daily also do not disclose any of their success to the IRD, the same should apply to those who trade inthe other avenues you have mentioned.
            IMy comments do not just pick on residential rental “investors” according to the wording of the law their income should be disclosed as taxable.

            • RedLogix 20.1.1.1.1.1

              So all this begs the distinction between a trader and an investor.

              If I’m trading in cabbages/shares/whatever on a daily basis, then I pay tax on my profit, ie income after costs.

              If I’m trading in my labour then I pay tax on my income before costs, ie the food, shelter and transport that are essential to my existence.

              If I’m a farmer who sells his property when he retires (after decades of relatively low cash flow and re-investing heavily in adding value to the place) … should I pay tax on the ‘capital gain’? And how is that ‘gain’ calculated, before or after costs, and in real, nominal or market adjusted dollars?

              These distinctions are long-standing and real, but they rather hurt my head when I start thinking about where they all come from.

              • SPC

                I am a fan of a CGT paid by farmers when they sell up.

                There would need to be another arrangement for farms owned by Trusts who would avoid a CGT liability sale.

                Much of the “investment” by farmers is in maintaining the business and this accounts for low tax on their after cost income. The rising value is not the result of such “maitenance”. No more than maintaining the condition of a rental property is the reason the land around it goes up in value.

                As for a CGT itself – that could be done on the basis of no inflation adjustment (in which case a lower tax rate should apply instead). Note that we tax interest income despite much of this being compensation for annual inflation – meaning there is a case for a reduced tax on interest for the same reason.

                PS

                A farmland CGT could fund CRI’s – Agriculture Research, and Fast Forward and provide funding for environment work – water resources and clean waterways.

    • snoozer 20.2

      “It is not a given that rentals would increase, pure speculation,”

      Take it up with Grimey

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 20.3

      Hard to see how that won’t happen. Remember we are about to enter a housing crisis as nothing is being built at present. The property investment market is likely to be hit so thats unlikely to change.

      Housing NZ are being starved for funds so no help from them.

      Same number of tenants looking for less houses/apartments with landlords and/or property company getting reduced income = higher rents.

      If interest rates go up expect these effects to be compunded.

      • burt 20.3.1

        Zaphod

        Perhaps you missed this a few days ago;

        Stuff: 14/01/2010 – Building consents hit 18-month high

        Building consents for new homes rose 3.1 per cent in November to reach their highest level since May 2008, according to Statistics NZ.

        The number, which excluded consents for new apartments, follows an 11 per cent jump in October, but remains some way off the highs experienced in mid-2007.

        “Although the trend for new housing units has been increasing since March 2009, it is still considerably lower than the levels seen before mid-2007, “said business statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver.

        Sure it’s not all boom times again, but it is a long way from nothing is being built at present.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 20.3.1.1

          Fair enough, things have improved slightly of late. Still 42 apartments for the whole of NZ does not sound a lot to me.

          Given what the budget is likely to do to landlord profitability you’d have to admit things are looking grim for the residential construction business over the next couple of years.

          • burt 20.3.1.1.1

            Zaphod

            No argument that things will change if tax is added to the property equation. The issue is investment will move to the vehicle with the best return and if tax takes away the current advantages of bricks and mortar over other classes of investment then its guess work as to what impact that will have.

            Arguably the top end of the property market will fall as the holding cost goes up, that might have some unexpected consequences on lower value property.

            Personally I think there is an element of breaking eggs to make an omelet in this situation because I think the tax base is far too dependent on individual income tax. However I don’t claim to know what will happen given;

            a) We don’t know which parts of the report will be implemented – if any.

            and;

            b) we don’t know for sure what response property owners and renters will have to the changes.

            • Zaphod Beeblebrox 20.3.1.1.1.1

              True, we won’t know the details until the budget, but you can see that the options for paying for the tax cuts which we need have been significantly reduced already.

              If they decide they can’t sell a GST rise politically (Maori Party are likely to oppose and ACT will want their pound of flesh so may be tricky), the only remaining three options involve property owners and renters footing the bill. No matter which combination of the three are decided it would be hard not to see a capital outflow from the the property investment/construction market.

              In the long term, this will be a good thing- but where will that leave their housing policy? Rising rents and accomodation shortages probably won’t be the best thing if you want to attract skilled workers.

              If they do embark upon this course, the government really need to reconsider their housing/development policies- hopefully RMA changes will allow shorter consent times than 2 years, public/private development opportunities, Housing NZ doing more probably all need to be considered.

              • Herodotus

                It takes 9+ years for a plan change to proceed if you are lucky if not like Long Bay a Generation !!!
                Subdivision consent can take 3+ years then you have local body consents etc.
                And no involvement by Cent Govt within the process unless Transit motorways are affected then you can build ramps, widen approaches etc to solve their problems.
                Then yuo have councils wanting all the infrastructure changes paid for. In some cases $50k per lot of Development cont, double glazing etc how do yuo then a make property available in a timely fascion and b make it affordable?
                Everyonee gives this lipservice support but when asked for action go missing!!!

  21. garethw 21

    There are some very good points to made about the possible changes in tax burden depending on the mixture/choice of options. But this is such appalling selective picking of the numbers to make your case that you lose any credibility to do so.

    The TWG made it very very clear that the changes in personal income tax would have to be made up from alternatives – the increase in GST wasn’t really one of these as the recommended cut in lower tax rates to compensate for it made it relatively neutral (+$200m I believe it was). For example, given the HUGE concentration of capital wealth amongst the rich, a CGT to offset the personal income tax changes would be very much progressive and in certain scenarios could see zero change to tax paid across the board; just the mixture of types of tax would change. Similarly land wealth is heavily concentrated amongst the rich, so a tax on land would hit them to offset the personal income tax changes. Alignment of rates would see the rich currently sheltering earnings in trusts and businesses actually make no gain as they’re currently being taxed at the lower rate anyway through their chicanery.

    NONE of which you mention. Your focus on only personal income tax is borderline ridiculous – what matters is what total percentage of all tax is paid for by the wealthiest vs the poorest. Their are permutations of the TWG’s options that could end up even more progressive and certainly stop the rich being able to shelter income or make out like bandits because they control capital, land and property but instead you spin the numbers in a bald-faced partisan bid to discredit something your party didn’t author.

    • RedLogix 21.1

      You make some reasonable points, but the scenario you paint ain’t necessarily so.

      It is true that CGT’s potentially hit the wealthy more than the poor, but as has been pointed out many times, CGT’s are complex (read expensive) to administer and not especially efficient.

      It is also true that aligning the top PAYE and Company tax rate superficially seems like a good idea… but you forget that just making the two rates the same won’t result in any more total tax being paid. In fact it’s unlikely to change anything, because even with the two tax rates the same, there are still advantages to having income sheltered in a company or trust.

      And I agree that superficially a Land Tax is a respectable idea, but it’s been suggested that will be exemptions for farm land, forests, Maori land and large trust holdings, i.e. land that falls below a certain $/Hecatare threshold. So again there will be many very wealthy for whom this will change nothing.

      As Matt McCarten puts it today in the Herald… the one idea that would reliably and efficiently tax the very wealthy, a financial transfer tax …. has gone completely unmetioned by the TWG. So much for their credibility.

  22. garethw 22

    Now see RedLogix those are all valid points worthy of analysis – you can explore the real affects of the different taxation methods across wealth “classes”, even if it is a little difficult.
    I just wish I had seen more such thought and honesty from those who oppose the Govt. Instead we get selective number and stat usage that would make the Republican Party proud!

    And I’m not advocating for or against any of the options presented in that report here (or options they may have missed), just trying to ensure we get a reasonable and honest debate about those options from all sides.

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    1 week ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund pays for temporary water supply in Northland
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Up to $2 million will be allocated from the Provincial Growth Fund to set up temporary water supplies in Kaikohe and Kaitaia where drought is biting hard, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Drought conditions in Northland have led to ...
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch trial new defense against fleeing drivers
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Law and Order New Zealand First welcomes the deployment of an Eagle Police helicopter in Christchurch in what is a step towards fulfilling its long-standing goal to increase the use of police helicopters for the front line, particularly in addressing the scourge of fleeing drivers. Christchurch leads ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: A Government of progress
    It may have been the first sitting week of 2020, but our Government is already in full-swing - managing a strong economy, investing in infrastructure, and working to break the cycle of homelessness. Read below for all that, and more... ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters calls Opposition “lemon suckers” during debate on gang numbers
    In a heated debate in Parliament, National's Deputy Leader Paula Bennett claimed that “nearly 1600 patched gang members have been added” since the Coalition Government took power. To illustrate her point, she altered a chart used by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to show her government’s progress in housing to instead ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech by the Rt Hon Winston Peters at Parliament’s Opening 2020 ‘We all Need Insurance’
    Speech by the Rt Hon Winston Peters at Parliament’s Opening 2020 "We all need insurance" This year New Zealanders are going to have a clear choice to make That choice is between: Optimism versus pessimism; More progress versus back to the future; Investment versus divestment; Unity versus division. New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 8 ways the Big New Zealand Upgrade will change New Zealand
    The Government has announced the biggest investment in New Zealand’s infrastructure in a generation with the New Zealand Upgrade Programme. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones slams Auckland Airport’s board over runway closures
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has slammed the Board of Auckland Airport following the airport's runway closing twice within two weeks due to maintenance. Around 2,000 passengers were affected by last week’s runway closures, according to 1NEWS. Another maintenance closure on January 24 saw two international flights and three domestic flights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public media business case a practical step
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Broadcasting New Zealand First supports the commissioning of a business case to assess the viability of a new public media entity. “A strong media environment is critical for a healthy democracy. New Zealand First is a strong supporter of a diverse, independent media,” New Zealand First broadcasting spokesperson ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Waitangi
    This week, the focus was on Waitangi - a great opportunity to reflect on who we are, and who we want to be as a nation. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • West Coast tech firms and iwi get Provincial Growth Fund cash boost
    Pounamou and technology industries in the West Coast region are set to receive more than $2 million in Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding. This was announced by the Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau during Waitangi Day commemorations in Hokitika. He said $800,000 would be given to Development West ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 70 marae online through PGF
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Te Tii, the lower marae at Waitangi, is among more than 70 marae now connected to broadband internet thanks to the Provincial Growth Fund’s marae connectivity scheme, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today. In February 2019, the Provincial Growth Fund ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports West Coast connectivity
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The West Coast has had a funding injection of over $1.2 million from the Provincial Growth Fund, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced at Waitangi Day commemorations in Hokitika today. The PGF projects announced are: $800,000 to Development ...
    3 weeks ago

  • The Indo-Pacific: from principles to partnerships
    Speech to the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) Delhi, India Wednesday 26 February 2020 [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] The Indo-Pacific: from principles to partnerships Distinguished guests, good afternoon and thank you for your invitation.  It is good to be here at a time where New Zealand needs less of an introduction than ...
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    29 mins ago
  • Speech to University of the South Pacific students
    Tihei mauri ora Te Whare e tu nei Te Papa e takoto Tēnā korua  No reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa Ni sa bula Vinaka It is a real pleasure to be here today, and to have the honour of addressing you all. If you’ll indulge me I’m ...
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    8 hours ago
  • Proposed new measures to improve Aotearoa’s air quality
      Improved air quality to support better health and environmental wellbeing is the focus of proposed amendments to air quality regulations, says the Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  “Although our air quality is good in most places, during winter certain places have spikes in air pollution, mainly from ...
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    14 hours ago
  • Water investment in Raukokore
    The remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokere will receive a Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $10.6 million for a water storage facility, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “This is great news for the rural community. The landowner, Te Whānau a Maruhaeremuri Hapū Trust, will use ...
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    14 hours ago
  • Better protection against late payments
    New legislation is being proposed which aims to reduce the stress and financial hardship caused by late payments to small businesses. The Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash is considering stricter rules around payment practices between businesses. “Late payments from large organisations to smaller suppliers can be crippling for these ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Police partnership programme with Fiji launched
    A new partnership programme between the New Zealand Police and Fiji Police will focus on combatting transnational organised crime and enhancing investigative skills, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on the first day of her visit to Fiji. The programme will see: ·       New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Joint statement from Prime Minister Ardern and Prime Minister Bainimarama
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama met today in Suva, and renewed their commitment to continue to strengthen Fiji-New Zealand relations on a foundation of shared values and equal partnership. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the kinship between Fijians and New Zealanders, one that has endured over ...
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    1 day ago
  • $19.9 million from PGF for Kawerau
    A $19.9 million investment from the Provincial Growth Fund will help develop essential infrastructure for an industrial hub in the Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “The funding will go to three projects to further develop the Putauaki Trust Industrial Hub, an industrial ...
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    2 days ago
  • PGF funds Mahia roading package
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $8.3 million on a roading package for Mahia that will lead to greater and wider economic benefits for the region and beyond, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced at an event in Mahia today. The $8.3 million announced consists of: $7 ...
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    2 days ago
  • 18,400 children lifted out of poverty
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed new reporting showing the Coalition Government is on track to meet its child poverty targets, with 18,400 children lifted out of poverty as a result of the Families Package.   Stats NZ has released the first set of comprehensive child poverty statistics since the Government ...
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    2 days ago
  • 20,000 more Kiwi kids on bikes
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today announced that Bikes in Schools facilities have been rolled out to 20,000 more kiwi kids under this Government. She made the announcement at the opening of a new bike track at Henderson North School in Auckland. “Bikes in Schools facilities give kids ...
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    2 days ago
  • Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April
    Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April   Main benefits will increase by over 3 percent, instead of 1.66 percent, on 1 April with the Government’s decision to annually adjust benefit rates to increases in the average wage. The Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, said ...
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    2 days ago
  • Foreign and Trade Ministers to lead business delegation to India
    Strengthening New Zealand’s political and business ties with India will be the focus of Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters’ and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker’s visit to India this week. The Ministers are co-leading a high level business delegation to India to support increased people and economic engagement ...
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    3 days ago
  • Minister champions more Pacific in STEM – Toloa Awards
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio continues to champion for greater Pacific participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers with the announcement of the Toloa Awards, with 8 recipients of the Toloa Community Fund and 13 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships. “The Toloa Programme encourages more Pacific peoples ...
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    3 days ago
  • Submission period for whitebait consultation extended
    Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has extended the date for people to have their say on proposed changes to improve management of whitebait across New Zealand.   Submissions were due to close on 2 March 2020 but will now remain open until 9am on Monday 16 March 2020.   “I have ...
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    4 days ago
  • New international protection for frequent fliers
    The endangered toroa/Antipodean albatross has new international protection for its 100,000km annual migration, thanks to collaborative efforts led by New Zealand, Australia and Chile.   Today, 130 countries agreed to strictly protect Antipodean albatross at the Conference of Parties on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government to regulate vaping
      No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure vaping products are available for those who want to quit smoking   Vaping regulation that balances ...
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    4 days ago
  • Justice Minister represents New Zealand at Berlin nuclear disarmament summit
    Justice Minister Andrew Little will travel to Berlin tomorrow to represent New Zealand at a high-level summit on nuclear disarmament. This year, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) celebrates 50 years since it entered into force. “New Zealand’s proud record and leadership on nuclear disarmament is unwavering, so it’s important we are present ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister to visit Fiji and Australia
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit two of New Zealand’s most important Pacific partners, Fiji and Australia, next week. The visit to Fiji will be the first by a New Zealand Prime Minister in four years and comes during the 50th anniversary of Fijian independence and diplomatic relations between our ...
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    5 days ago
  • Next steps in Criminal Cases Review Commission announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little and New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball, have today announced the appointment of the Chief Commissioner of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the location, and the membership of the Establishment Advisory Group. Colin Carruthers QC has been appointed Chief Commissioner of the CCRC for an ...
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    6 days ago
  • Horticultural Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced
    Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Hon Damien O’Connor co-announced the first horticultural finalists for the Ahuwhenua Trophy celebrating excellence in the Māori agricultural sector.  The three finalists are Ngai Tukairangi Trust from Mt Maunganui, Otama Marere Trust from Tauranga, and Hineora Orchard Te Kaha 15B Ahuwhenua ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New support for students with dyslexia
    A new kete of resources to strengthen support for students with dyslexia will provide extra tools for the new Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs) as they start in schools, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Minister launched the kete in Wellington this morning, at the first of three induction ...
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    6 days ago
  • Rental reforms progress to select committee stage
    The Government continues to make progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the First Reading of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill and its referral to the Social Services and Community Select Committee.  “Now is the opportunity for landlords, tenants and others who want ...
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    6 days ago
  • Papua New Guinea Prime Minister to visit New Zealand
    Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Hon James Marape will visit New Zealand from 21-25 February, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have a warm and friendly relationship. I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Marape here and strengthening the relationship between our two countries,” ...
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    6 days ago
  • Free school lunches served up to thousands
    Thousands of children have begun receiving a free lunch on every day of the school week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. The Government’s free and healthy school lunch programme is under way for 7,000 students at 31 schools in Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti and Bay of Plenty / Waiariki, extending ...
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    6 days ago
  • Social Wellbeing Agency replaces Social Investment Agency with new approach
    The Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni today announced a new approach that continues to broaden the Government’s social sector focus from a narrow, investment approach to one centred on people and wellbeing. Minister Sepuloni said redefining the previous approach to social investment by combining science, data and lived experience ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government to strengthen protections for whistleblowers
    The Government is strengthening the Protected Disclosures Act to provide better protection for whistle blowers, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. “The Protected Disclosures Act is meant to encourage people to speak up about serious wrongdoing in the workplace and protect them from losing their jobs or being ...
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    6 days ago
  • PM speech at Parliamentary Chinese New Year celebration 2020
    Nǐn hǎo (Hello in Mandarin). Xīn Nián Kuài Lè (Happy New Year in Mandarin) Néi Hóu (Hello in Cantonese). Sun Nin Fai Lok (Happy New Year in Cantonese) Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you for your invitation to attend this celebration today. I would like to acknowledge ...
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    7 days ago
  • IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 2020 IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tougher penalties for gun crime a step closer
    Tougher penalties for gun crime are a step closer with the passage of firearms reform legislation through another stage in Parliament. The Arms Legislation Bill has tonight passed its Second Reading. “The changes have one objective - to prevent firearms falling into the wrong hands,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Arms Legislation Bill: Second Reading
    Introduction Mr Speaker We all know why we are here today. It has been a long journey. The journey did not actually begin on 15 March 2019. It began on 30 June 1997. Almost 23 years ago, Justice Sir Thomas Thorp told us what was wrong with our firearms legislation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New era for vocational education
    The Government’s work to put trades and vocational education back on the agenda took another major step forward today with the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is a watershed day for trades and vocational education. These law changes formalise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bill to Amend the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act
    Speeding up the return of Christchurch regeneration activities to local leadership is behind the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today by Minister Megan Woods. “As we approach nine years since the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, and with the transition to local leadership well underway, the time ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Milford Track to partly reopen after storm damage
    Hundreds of New Zealanders and international visitors will be able to get back out into nature with the Milford Track partially reopening next week, after extensive assessments and repairs, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The popular Great Walk has been closed since 3 February after an extreme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
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    1 week ago