web analytics

Why unions won’t give up on Fair Pay Agreements

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 am, October 18th, 2019 - 40 comments
Categories: business, economy, labour, Politics, uncategorized, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Fair Pay Agreements are in the news this week as the CTU calls for progress on this, and some media suggest that there is a developing rift between Labour and Unions.

Fair Pay Agreements as Labour Party policy have been fought for by Affiliated Labour Unions since 2014.  Originally called Industry Standard Agreements, and driven by Helen Kelly, there was comprehensive policy adopted by the Labour Policy.

Helen Kelly often made the case by comparing the situation of a Four-Square worker in Kaitaia and how difficult it was for her to join a union and become part of collective bargaining under our current (despite amendments) employment legislation.

Since then, there has been a Working Group report led by the former PM Hon Jim Bolger, who has reflected and quite bravely owned up to the impact of the policies his government introduced in the 1990’s with the Employment Contracts Act and welfare attacks.

The case was well made out in the Working Group’s report and has been repeated elsewhere, even in the OECD and IMF who have noted that New Zealand has one of the lowest levels of collective bargaining (and as a consequence, high inequality) in the OECD.

Predictably, the Business Sector has opposed the idea of improving standards in industries for those who are most likely not to have collective agreements or be able to join unions. They continue to maintain that any improvements that will increase the share of the wealth workers provide have are “1970s or 1980s.”

Yesterday a Discussion Paper was released.  It recognises that wages need to be lifted and the economic system is failing many workers and that Fair Pay Agreements will help fix this.  There are some areas of concern that have entered the dialogue, such as a market test, increases to thresholds which will create more hurdles, and non-union representation.

 

While we’re frustrated that yet another layer of delay has been added with the consultation document, unions will never give up.  My experience as a union fighter is that it sometimes takes years for unions win, but we do and we have.  Think four weeks annual leave, paid parental leave, health and safety, minimum wage etc,

Fair Pay Agreements are an essential part of a fair economy.  It’s just not good enough to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that everyone is better off.  They’re not.

Meanwhile, the CTU has launched this campaign to ensure there is feedback from working people on the Fair Pay Agreement consultation document. 

Please join this important dialogue.

 

40 comments on “Why unions won’t give up on Fair Pay Agreements”

  1. Adrian Thornton 1

    Thanks for that piece Darien.

    I believe that if we are going to be honest, and have that much needed open and honest discussion around wages and conditions of NZ workers, we first have to acknowledge that Labour largely abandoned the working classes in the eighties beginning with Lange. How many actual working class workers turn up at any Labour event these days?, around here almost none, that by itself speaks volumes.

    I know that locally (the Hawkes Bay) the workers in the primary industries of fruit growing/maintenance/picking and packaging have been exploited for at least 20 years. Pickers haven't received a substantial increase in bin rates for over 20 years, the packers are mostly on minimum wage..all this while the orchard owners crow about the booming industry, and endlessly grizzle about the lazy local workers, and praise their fantastic imported labour from third word economies..it's obscene.

    I brought this up with Andrew Little before he was rolled by JA..do you know what he actually said in response…"we have to look at productivity" WTF!,  I of course called him out and said that he of all people should know that productivity had increased right through the late eighties nineties and early 2000's, so why the fuck would or should workers offer more productivity when wages hadn't moved in two decades despite them more than fulfilling their side of the 'increase productivity trickle down bargain'?..he had no answer.

    It seems that Labour are far more interested in protecting their own class interests (ie the middle class and upper middle classes) than protecting, let alone fighting for working class interests.

    Turn Labour Left!

    • george.com 1.1

      AL is right, we do have to look at productivity, and also how the gain of productivity are shared. FB agreements are part of the jigsaw for ensuring productivity gains are shared equitably. When there is an economic benefit from productivity gains, capital AND labour claim a share of it.

  2. Alan 2

    5 hours and 1 comment?

  3. The Chairman 3

    Because this government is making a choice:  who do they need more, unions or business? And it’s going to choose business. Because when business is grumpy, it’s the front page of the Herald and it comes back every month in business confidence surveys.

    But when unions are grumpy, what happens?  Nothing, because unions have nowhere else to go. They’ll keep giving Labour donations every election, and campaign support every election, because for all Labour’s broken promises, it’s still better for unions than National.

    The above quote is from your first link. Does Heather have a valid point re Unions donating to and campaigning for Labour? And if so, is it time the Unions do something about it? If Labour's support of Unions is not meeting expectations, is it time for Unions to look to replace them?  

    Of course, she is wrong claiming nothing happens. When unions are grumpy industrial action tends to follow.   

     

    • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1

      "When unions are grumpy industrial action tends to follow."

      What tends to follow industrial action, i.e. what is the purpose of unions – why do they exist?

      C'mon, you can answer – you know this one.

      • The Chairman 3.1.1

        Unions are there to protect the rights and conditions of employees. And I support them. Therefore, I'm not suggesting there is no justification for them being grumpy from time to time.

         

         

  4. The Chairman 4

    Question

    Will employees still be able to self negotiate if they feel they can personally attain more using the FPA as a backstop if they don't? 

  5. The Chairman 5

    When it comes to regional variations, allowing them would allow businesses doing well in a not so well performing region to escape having to pay workers as well. Therefore, if adopted, there would have to be a safeguard for this. 

  6. Ad 6

    Dont see any such agreements occurring under this government.

    No muscle, no executive ability.

  7. Craig H 7

    These have been a long time coming, but I think they will happen after negotiation with NZ First to get some concessions for regional businesses.

  8. The Chairman 8

    When it comes to the right to strike, it should be strengthen in this not further diluted.

    The reduction on the ability to strike plays a pivotal role (IMO) for the downward pressure on wages.

    Will their be an exemption for allowing for strikes on the grounds of heath and safety during negotiations?   

    • That's not required, TC. All workers have the legal right to withdraw their labour in unsafe situations. However, that shouldn't be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations.

      FPA's do not dilute the right to strike in any way. However, that's primarily because the workers they will assist have no practical ability to strike for better pay or conditions anyway.

      FPA's are designed to give a leg up to workers who have little or no bargaining power, and for whom, striking is really not an option.

      • The Chairman 8.1.1

        FPA's do not dilute the right to strike in any way.

        That's incorrect.

        The Government has given business assurances that industry-wide strikes will not be possible under Fair Pay Agreements.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11939465

        So while some (not all) may not currently be in a position to strike, FPA's will remove the right regardless. Robbing unions of their leverage to possibly secure a better deal.  

        • te reo putake 8.1.1.1

          I should have been clearer, TC. The workers likely to be covered by FPA's currently have no legislated right to strike for better pay, therefore there is no dilution. The situation remains exactly the same.

          The ERA allows workers covered by a collective employment agreement (CEA) to strike while in bargaining. That, in the main, is union members only. Individuals have no such right to strike and as I understand, never really have had that right in NZ. The point of FPA's is to provide for workers who are effectively powerless to negotiate better deals.

          The FPA's may also lift pay for some unionised workers, but probably only those who are near the minimum wage.

          • The Chairman 8.1.1.1.1

            Cleaners, security guards, and supermarket staff are priority for Unions for sector-wide Fair Pay Agreements. All of which have and do strike from time to time.

            Furthermore, if the point of FPA's is to provide for workers who are effectively powerless to negotiate better deals, then shouldn't the right to strike be extended to them? Empowering them, ensuring they actually get the best deal possible?

            • Descendant Of Smith 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Of course the government could give give low wage workers a boost by bringing back to 40 hour working week, time and a half on Saturdays and double time on Sundays.

              All without convoluted bargaining.

              Oh and lift the minimum wage.

              I do also support industry wide, rather than employer agreements however.

        • Darien Fenton 8.1.1.2

          The right to strike around enterprise and multi employer agreements will not change,  Nor will the right to strike around health & safety.  Fair Pay Agreements are based on a arbitration system, because the workers who need them most rarely have the power to strike.  There's nothing stopping them going on to bargain and strike for collective agreements once a Fair Pay Agreement is settled.  It simply sets a floor.  

          • The Chairman 8.1.1.2.1

            Fair Pay Agreements are based on a arbitration system, because the workers who need them most rarely have the power to strike.

            Then they are unlikely to have much success achieving more after the floor has been set. Thus this is why the goal here should be to not only enable (thus empower) individuals within a sector to collectively negotiate but also enable them to collectively strike if need be.

            Obviously, we would want to see the floor set at the best possible level, thus workers require the all the arsenal they can get to achieve this. 

            Therefore, if a settlement can't be reached, the ability to strike (opposed to a determination process) should be an option.   

  9. gsays 9

    A big thanks to you Darien and all the other organisers and unionised workers.

    I have only recently joined E Tu and I work in hospo.

    I have been gently encouraging other younger ones to join but I feel there us a bit of a disconnect. Their eyes glaze over when I talk of award rates, time and a half, double time, uniform/travel allowances…

    They seem more beholden to the employer.

    • I was talking recently to an older person who has worked in semi–skilled jobs throughout life.   On suggesting that one child who is approaching middle age and only scraping by, might like to train up and get a better paying job, I found a large negative attitude.   

      No advice or suggestions must be given by the parent, to change jobs, try for one higher skilled, after investing in somehow getting better skills; trying to learn to gain upward mobility is not what that family does.   It is like the efforts to help people and the country become better educated, updating skills and becoming more prosperous, have just passed this family by.    Being aspirational, the mature members advising the younger and promoting tertiary education, aspiring to build competence and good resource bases and being progressive is not considered applicable.   I was gobsmacked.

      • Descendant Of Smith 9.1.1

        Yet as I and several others have found upskilling can also make you less employable and more threatening to those managers who have not done so – particularly if you do well with the upskilling.

        Loss of jobs, restructuring, marginalisation, overlooked for opportunities and promotionand loss of wages can all result.

        There's quite a bit of experience to show that the managerial class don't like it when the working class do get educated. There's often not as much mobility as you might think – especially when that education brings you an in conflict with the mores of the managerial class e.g. what you instinctively thought was bull-shit actually turns out to be so.

        That aside there are things that many people don't comprehend as they have little experience of it as an alternative:

        Home ownership being for ordinary people – when all your family have rented all their lives and have little money after paying their rent then you accept that you will be renting the rest of your life. Only rich people can buy houses.

        When you go to secondary school and those schools are in a competitive modelling framework based on how many students go to university then from the third form you know if you are not academically inclined, or know you can never afford to go to university anyway, then you know the school is not interested in you and what is the point in trying.

        When you get into a relationship and you have no experience of sharing money – his is his and hers is hers – then you struggle to build a strong future together. 

        Within the working class too often education sets you apart from your peers – you're perceived as being too good for them now, or you have more income, etc. You can lose friends, family and get altogether discouraged from making the effort.

        Also if you distrust the educated class (think the bankers who turn you down for loans forcing you to the loan sharks, the WINZ staff when you want a permanent job who send you to pick Kiwifruit, the city councillors who look down on your family members who are struggling and want to ban them, and so on) then why would you want to be like them.

        The religious cults, like the gangs understand to capture people to your world you need both love and hate working in tandem. The educated class often just express dislike to the working class.

        Thus it has been for many for a long time.

        Those old fashioned egalitarian values have shrunk over the years as Thatcher's notion of there is no community, economic notions of individualised rational behaviour and the American notion of anyone can make it and if you don't it is your own fault have taken hold/retrenched themselves.

        We have stopped giving people hope – hope that each generation will be better than the last. 

        • greywarshark 9.1.1.1

          Very thoughtful DoS.   I think those are major points.   The strength of being in a group that accepts you is basic.    Apparently that holds many Maori children back from doing well at school.    You can't hang out with friends because you are studying, so you don't share in their activities and don't get asked in the end.    If your parents have not done well at school or in life, then there is an implied criticism of your family.    'So we're not good enough for you eh'.

          I'm going off middle class mores myself.    I have done some adult reading tutoring, and found some cartoon books with text that I thought would interest and help, they were quality on sale from the library.   Took them along to add to the resources.   Got response 'Oh no.  We don't have second hand books here.  These people have never had anything new and we want to show we respect them.'  Or similar.   So the patronising tart would not even allow the people to decide for themselves if they would enjoy this option.   She knew best. Such inflexibility in thinking and concern about style and appearance has led us, i think, to our present state of dissolution of society and environment.  

    • patricia bremner 9.2

      They and many like them can't remember getting help from unions, as it has been a long time since unions played a part in their lives. Union Reps need to educate better,  to counteract the business spin.

      Business always cries "But but.."   "Wait for better times.."  

      Currently,  they are generally very sour about the Government.

      We can't all be millionaires and need protections for the little guy,  especially those in low paid employment for multinationals, and part time or precarious employment.

    • Darien Fenton 9.3

      Thank you for joining the fight,  We have a lot of work to do.  There's always been a next generation. We start with what matters to them. 

  10. Bryan 10

    Fair pay for the protection of workers with safe minimum set of terms and conditions great idea fantastic to be able achieve the kind of safety net that prevails in much of the world.

    But it all becomes cant and hypocrisy doesn't it Darien when the other "fair pay" is for nurses and teachers ie those in the Labour stable.

    And this government spent $32M let me say that again $32M trying to repudiate the junior doctors contract and failed. 

    • Craig H 10.1

      How are the nurses and teachers in Labour's stable? None of the relevant unions are affiliated to Labour. 

  11. The Chairman 11

    This is interesting. Socialist Equality Group NZ perspective on FPAs

    The real role of the FPAs will be to establish a corporatist framework of employer-union-government wage setting, while outlawing industrial action. This process will entrench low pay across entire industries, enforced by draconian legislation. The unions, as they have done for decades, will impose the deals and suppress resistance from workers.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1806/S00180/labour-government-to-extend-bans-on-strikes.htm

    And here is International Socialist Organisation Aotearoa perspective

    Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway has broken with normal protocol to pre-empt the working group’s recommendations by announcing in advance that workers being represented in FPA negotiations will not have the right to strike. Typical bloody Labour! How, you may ask, will businesses be pressured into reaching “fair” agreements without the threat of industrial action in the background?… The right to strike is an issue that the left and trade unionist activists must take up. Pressure from below is needed to push the union leaderships into demanding our rights.

    https://iso.org.nz/2018/06/06/fair-pay-agreements-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/ 

    • Both quotes miss the point. FPA's are a means to improve the lot of individual workers who have no bargaining power. FPA's won't be bargained, they'll be advocated.

      The process does not require force to get a result. It's actually a relatively dry academic exercise where unions and employers in an industry put forward facts about pay rates and trends in an industry in order to establish a reasonable base rates and minimum conditions that are closer to the average in that industry.

      The two quotes misunderstand the point of FPA's, which is to protect the vulnerable and powerless. In short, the right to strike is meaningless if the action has no effect on the employer. An individual worker going on strike at, say, a dairy or cafe, has effectively just said take this job and shove it. Quite empowering at the time, of course, but not so flash when next week's rent is due.

      • The Chairman 11.1.1

        FPA's won't be bargained, they'll be advocated.

        FPA's are sector‐wide collective bargaining. 

        It has been proposed and recommended all workers (within the sector being covered) should be covered.

        My understanding is if a settlement can't be reached, industrial action can't be taken and it will go through a determination process. The outcome of which, will then be binding. 

        An individual worker going on strike in a business that only employs one or a hand full of workers can be disruptive, thus have an impact on an employer.

        Nevertheless, the goal here should be to not only enable (thus empower) individuals within a sector to collectively negotiate but also be able to collectively strike to help bolster their position while in negotiations.   

         

        • patricia bremner 11.1.1.1

          Oh that would mean the whipping boy of Unions would be gone and Business would have to deal with facts not spin  Sounds rather painful for the powerful lol lol

  12. Darien Fenton 12

    It's a good idea to read all the documents, including the Working Group report. The case is comprehensively made ; NZ was once one of the most equal countries in the world with a high level of collective bargaining.  Now it is one of the most unequal ; and has the sixth lowest level of collective bargaining in the OECD. The highest level of collective bargaining is in countries where they have a mixture of sectoral and enterprise bargaining. Our union membership is low, our collective bargaining system is broken for around 85% of the workforce.  Many insecure and non standard workers have no protection.  We can go on about what caused it ; I think we all know that, but I am interested in how we start to fix it.  Arguments about the right to strike are irrelevant in this mission because we have a huge rebuilding job to do,  We are talking here about workers who never join unions, who never have access to collective bargaining, who live day in and day out under the yoke of their boss and who can only rely on government minimums like the min wage etc.  

    • Descendant Of Smith 12.1

      In the absence of unions you can legislate for things such as minimum wage increases each year for the lowest paid – say anyone earning $60,000 per annum and under. Many of the low paid workers I have dealt with are on the same wage they have been for years as apart from ask the boss there are no effective provisions for annual pay increases in their contracts. Meanwhile peoples incomes fall behind more and more.

      Within the public sector you could enforce the requirement to fill vacancies permanently as soon as they become vacant (that used to exist) and stop the bull-shit "acting" for years and years and as well stop the use of temporary contract positions. Pre-election Labour was concerned about insecure employment but the public service itself is currently full of it. Maybe you could ask each department how many staff are acting and how many are on temporary contracts and how many staff have been acting or temporary for more than a year. Family working in the public service say in their areas up to 40% of the staff are temporary.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/105107686/inland-revenue-contact-centre-workers-thought-contracts-were-a-joke

       

  13. Janet 13

    I think that better wages and Fair Employment issues won’t be “fixed” until we stop free trade and reduce immigration right back to the specialist skills we lack. They all go hand in hand. eg: as a small producer of fresh produce I have found that the price producers receive on average now is less than what it was twenty years ago – particularly if it is now competing with produce that free trade agreements have enable to be imported in recent time. This finally affects the wages an employer can pay in NZ. This will be the case in all areas of production in NZ.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours 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,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours 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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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 day 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 day 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 day 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 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Separated scenic cycleway starts
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off construction of a separated cycleway alongside Tamaki Drive. A two-way separated cycleway will be built along the northern side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. There will be a separate walking path alongside. Phil Twyford said giving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Earthquake-Prone Building loan scheme: eligibility criteria announced
    Owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings will have certainty about the financial support they’ll be eligible for with the release of criteria for an upcoming assistance scheme, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Travel restrictions to remain in place as coronavirus precaution
    Temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme. The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years. “Both programmes work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • School attendance has to improve
    All parents and caregivers need to ensure that their children go to school unless they are sick, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said today. “The school attendance results for 2019 show, across the board, a drop in the number of students going to school regularly,” the Minister says. “Apart from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Crown and Moriori sign a Deed of Settlement
    A Deed of Settlement agreeing redress for historical Treaty claims has been signed by the Crown and Moriori at Kōpinga Marae on Rēkohu (Chatham Islands) today, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Moriori have a tradition of peace that extends back over 600 years. This settlement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Waikato Expressway driving towards completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today with Māori King Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII officially opened the country’s newest road, the $384 million Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway. The 15km four-lane highway with side and central safety barriers takes State Highway 1 east of Huntly town, across lowlands and streams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 3400 New Zealanders treated in first year of new hepatitis C treatment
    The rapid uptake of life-saving new hepatitis C medicine Maviret since it was funded by PHARMAC a year ago means the elimination of the deadly disease from this country is a realistic goal, Health Minister David Clark says. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus which attacks the liver, proving fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Kaupapa Māori approach for homelessness
      Kaupapa Māori will underpin the Government’s new plan to deal with homelessness announced by the Prime Minister in Auckland this morning. “Māori are massively overrepresented among people experiencing homelessness, so, to achieve different outcomes for Māori, we have to do things very differently,” says the Minister of Māori Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government steps up action to prevent homelessness
    1000 new transitional housing places delivered by end of year to reduce demand for emergency motel accommodation. Introduce 25% of income payment, after 7 days, for those in emergency motel accommodation to bring in line with other forms of accommodation support. Over $70m extra to programmes that prevents those at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Important step for new financial conduct regime
    Clear requirements for ensuring customers are treated fairly by banks, insurers and other financial service providers are included in new financial conduct legislation that passed its first reading today. “The recent reviews, by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand, into the conduct of banks and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Applications invited for $7 million Regional Culture and Heritage Fund
    Applications are now open for the fifth round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson announced today.   “I am delighted to open this year’s fund which has some $7 million available to support performing arts venues, galleries, museums and whare ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Law Commission appointment celebrates Māori and women
    The Minister of Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu on her appointment as the next President of the Law Commission.  “Amokura Kawharu will be a standout in her new role, leading in an innovative and forward looking approach to the law reform process. She will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu Appointed Law Commission President
    Auckland University legal academic Amokura Kawharu has been appointed as the next President of the Law Commission, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today.    Associate Professor Kawharu will take up her new appointment on 11 May 2020.   “I would like to congratulate Associate Professor Kawharu on her appointment,” Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Employment launches Youth Ready Employer Programme
    A programme for employers to help them engage effectively with younger employees was launched today by Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson. The Youth Ready Employer Programme contains a range of on-line templates that employers can easily access to help with employing and retaining young people in their businesses. The programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2020 date announced
    Budget 2020 will be delivered on Thursday 14 May, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “This year’s Budget will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also preparing the economy for the future. “Those challenges and opportunities cannot be resolved in one budget, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s tribute to former Prime Minister Mike Moore
    I move, That this House place on record its appreciation and thanks for the devoted and distinguished service to New Zealand by the late Rt Hon Michael Kenneth Moore, member of the Order of New Zealand, a member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, an Honorary Member of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago