web analytics

Yet more dodgy Nat numbers

Written By: - Date published: 6:56 pm, July 18th, 2011 - 61 comments
Categories: benefits, bill english, dpf, making shit up, national, tax - Tags:

If you’re a blogosphere regular, you’ll have noticed that recently every monkey with a copy of The Fountainhead and a crush on John Key has been spouting the line that the top 10% of taxpayers pay 71% of net tax. Sounds incredible, eh? That’s because it’s not credible. It’s more cheap numbers tricks from the Nats.

Over at Pundit, Rob Salmond has explained the trick. I’ll take the highlights of his post.

It all starts with Bill English’s table, let’s assume these basic numbers are right, although English hasn’t released his source data:

Net tax is the tax people pay minus benefits and tax credits like Working For Families that they get. This is where the 71% figure comes from. The top 9.7% paying $7.8 billion of net tax, which is 70.7% of the $11 billion total net tax. But wait:

Families earning over $150,000 paid net $7.8 billion. English and Farrar say that is 71% of the total. But when you use the same table and add up the amounts paid by families that earn above $80,000 but below $150,000, you find that those families also contribute a further net $7.6 billion, which is also around 70% of the total net tax.

What?! How the hell can two separate groups of families each pay 70% of the net tax?

The way English and Farrar put together this illusion is to assume that most of the “net tax paid” by middle-income families is not actually paid into “net tax.” Instead, it is put in a separate pool – “money for paying welfare transfers to net tax recipients.” Why use only middle class net taxes for this pool? Never mind why! Only when the “money for paying welfare transfers to net tax recipients” pool is full does “net tax paid” actually start paying towards “net tax.”

So, this is the trick: English and Farrar have offset the benefit transfers that the poorest families get against the net tax that middle income families pay. If you look it in graphical form, they’ve used the little black bars to fill in the red hole leaving the big black bar untouched:

Conveniently, that leaves nearly all the remaining tax being paid by the wealthy. But why do it that way, shouldn’t you just spread the cost of the transfers equally? Of course you should. Salmond points out one of the stupid results of English/Farrar’s magic numbers:

The list of silly conclusions that flow from their calculations is long. For example, under the English/Farrar counting rules, high-income families contribute absolutely nothing, not one cent, towards helping the needy with Working for Families payments, the DPB, or unemployment benefits. This is because their $7.8 billion goes into the “net tax” pool rather than the “paying for welfare transfers to net tax recipients” pool. That is, of course, an idiotic conclusion that is unfair to top-income earners, whose taxes do a great deal to support welfare programs.

It doesn’t make any sense to put all the benefit payments on to the middle incomes. If you and me pay $1000 each in tax and education is 10% of the budget, and we want to know what percentage of your tax went on defence spending, we wouldn’t pretend all my money had paid for other stuff, and say that you are paying for 100% of the education budget.

Salmond corrects English/Farrar’s numbers:

The correct way to calculate the percentage is to divide a group’s net contribution by the total of all net contributions. Correcting for this error in arithmetic, the net income tax contribution of $150,000+ households falls from 71% to 46%.

Salmond then points out that benefits aren’t funded entirely by income tax, there’s also other taxes like GST, which is regressive:

 

Using these more complete figures, the proportion of net tax paid by $150,000+ households drops further to 43%, a far cry from the 71% touted by English and Farrar.

But isn’t it still unfair that 10% of people by 43% of net tax?

To answer that, we need to remember that this is not some random slice of New Zealand families. This is the 10% with the highest incomes. That slice of New Zealand also has a lot in common with the richest 10% in terms of net wealth. What do we know about them?

  • The 10% of top income-earning families earn 30% of the income. (Estimate from Stats NZ’s Household Economic Survey 2010)
  • The wealthiest 10% of New Zealand families control roughly 50-60% of the wealth (Estimates from New Zealand Institute’s The Wealth of a Nation 2004)

This group earns 30% of the income, has 50% or more of the wealth, and pays 43% of the net tax. Is that an outrage?

I don’t think so. Even under a libertarian flat tax regime, this group would pay 30% of the tax. And our country is not a bunch of flat tax libertarians. We have always embraced progressive taxation, and been willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.

We have always known that when you help out people in need, other people pay more than their income share to fund it all.

The fortunate few paying 1.4 times their income share in tax is worthy of everyone’s gratitude. But it does not seem at all an unreasonable burden.

So, there we have it. More dodgy Nat numbers comprehensively demolished.

But I think we need to remember what is behind the dodgy numbers in the first place.

The Nats are desperately looking for an excuse as to why the highest 2% of earners shouldn’t have to go back to paying the 39% rate that they managed to pay for 9 years on income over the “stratospheric” threshold of $150,000 and why people making tax-free capital gains should still be subsidised by the rest of us. And the best they can come up with is ‘pity the poor rich guy’ and some drummed up numbers. Pitiful.

61 comments on “Yet more dodgy Nat numbers”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    This group earns 30% of the income, has 50% or more of the wealth, and pays 43% of the net tax. Is that an outrage?

    And yet only pays 43% of the taxes. Yep, seriously under taxed.

    • Chris 1.1

      As Colonial Viper alluded to the 10% who earn the highest income are not the same group as the wealthiest 10%.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Oh and by the way, a fuckload of NZ’s richest people (including many farmers) have an “annual taxable household income” of less than $50,000 p.a.

    They are hidden in the table above, they are in essence our wealthy upperclass bludgers with community services cards, who receive WFF and whose kids get student allowances no questions asked.

    These truly wealthy upperclass bludgers who have structured their affairs to be maximally ‘tax efficient’ should be the ones slammed by a significant CGT and asset tax.

    • How many of them are there CV?

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        I’ll take a look and let you know.

        • Secret Squirrel 2.1.1.1

          Do you think there are as many as all the benefit bludgers out there? They should be as easy for you to count.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            Dude, what makes you think that the group consisting of wealthy upperclass bludgers and the group consisting of benefit bludgers are completely different people?

            You’re a frakking amoral ACT astroturfer.

          • bbfloyd 2.1.1.1.2

            i’d bet my house that there’s more well off bludgers out there than than the ones you so enjoy insulting squirrel. i’ve known a quite a few in my time.

            you already know all the justifications used. chances are. you’ve used one or two yourself no doubt, so i won’t waste time explaining them.

          • Deadly_NZ 2.1.1.1.3

            Listen SS Pete or what ever. It has just been pointed out to you in NO uncertain terms that the biggest benefit bludgers are the wankers that hide all their wealth and collect WWF and have a community card, all whilst getting record payments from Fonterra. And these thieving fucking bludgers are so proud of the fact, and even boast that they rip off the system for millions by hiding assets and cash. So, SS, Pete or what ever you are. I’ll just name you BLUDGER just like your fucking mates. .

          • Secret Squirrel 2.1.1.1.4

            The point being, over a few conclusion jumping heads here, is that no one will quantify how many tax avoiders or dole bludgers or or GST avoiders or “sickness” loafers there are, so they exaggerate the hell out it.

            Claiming fuckloads of anything is meaningless unless you can back it up with facts. But facts would get in the way of blanket abuse.

            • Lazy Susan 2.1.1.1.4.1

              The facts of Eddie’s post are that the English has used dodgy numbers and is lieing again. Are you concerned about that SS?

              • You can choose Eddie’s post as gospel if you like, I’m not. Depends on what religion you belong to.

                The fact is that those numbers and calculations are being disputed all over the internet, and I suspect Eddie’s post is potentially as dodgy as everyone else’s. Confusing arguments over confusing numbers.

                I’m not jumping on anyone’s side, I’ll wait and see a bit more impartial analysis. Keith Ng seems to have a reasonable idea of it, and he’s clarified a few things for me.

                • Lazy Susan

                  I see a squirrel sitting on the fence again. Could you post a link to Keith Ng’s analysis?

                  • You mean not jumping to partisan conclusions.

                    http://publicaddress.net/onpoint/easy-as-1-2-228-billion/

                    More analysis, argumenmts and followup by Keith here:
                    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/07/joyce_v_cunliffes_numbers.html

                    • Lazy Susan

                      Keith Ng’s blog does not refer to English’s numbers – it’s about comparing Joyce’s and Cunliffe’s debt repayment figures. A relevant link would be more useful.

                      Did you even read Eddie’s post? They are English’s own figures he is using – not Eddie’s!

                    • lprent []

                      Did you even read Eddie’s post? They are English’s own figures he is using – not Eddie’s!

                      Precisely…

                      And he assumed that English used accurate figures – which I think is a rather generous assumption – in particular confluting household incomes when all tax is collected as individuals is very very suspect.

                      Effectively he was saying that households with more than one person working pay more tax in total – well duh! That could be a household with 6 flatmates on low wages to my household with 2 people on good salaries to a single person earning quite a lot.

                      Pete of course tends to suck these bullshit figures up without engaging his brain, and relies on other “authorities” to refute them. The kind of person you really want to not go on jury duty….

                    • felix

                      Distract, derail, lie, squirm, ignore, deny, run away.

                      Just another morning in the life of Pete George, apologist.

                    • Ok, sorry, wrong table of numbers, there’s a few being argued over that the moment. The English table points to the problem Rob and Eddie have with maths.

                      What?! How the hell can two separate groups of families each pay 70% of the net tax?

                      That’s quite easy and is the crux of this argument.

                      Take Nett Tax of $100m:
                      Group A pays $70m which is 70% of nett tax.
                      Group B pays $70m which is 70% of nett tax.
                      The total they pay is $140m which is gross tax, A and B pay 50% each.
                      Group C gets $40m in tax credits, leaving $100m nett tax.

                      If you accept that maths then what’s the problem?

                    • Lazy Susan

                      Group A and B both both pay 70% of net tax and you still can’t see a problem with English’s figures?

                    • felix

                      If you accept that maths then you’re a liar or a moron Pete. Or in your case possibly both.

                    • LS – are you talking about something else about English’s figures?
                      Or are you referring to both paying 70% of nett tax?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      s.s. you don’t recognise when someone is playing you for a fool with a numbers shifting game?

                      OR are you being deliberately obtuse and helping them?

                    • Who’s playing the numbers game? Who’s post?

                      You can keep arguing about numbers like this as much as you like, but it’s a sideshow trying to prove the otther side wrong and incompetent. It’s as pathetic as felix.

                      It doesn’t change the facts – a relatively few people pay the bulk of income tax, and quite a lot of people pay no nett tax, many of whom are nett recipients of tax.

                      That makes “paying a fair amount of tax” a nonsense claim. We should accept that some people need state/tax money, but shouldn’t fool ourselves that it’s everyone paying their fair share of tax.

                    • lprent []

                      The point of the post was that Bill English and DPF were deliberately lying about their numbers to get a nice sounding meme “10% of taxpayers pay 71% of tax” – which is obvious bullshit.

                      There were a pile of dumb-arses (you maybe) who were stupid enough to believe that crap. Even a brief scan of this site sees this idiotic crap being swallowed whole at the sewer and regurgitated here. Eventually a number of people got around to pointing out to the idiots how stupid they are.

                      The biggest group not paying their “fair share” is in fact in the group with the highest incomes because they have the highest ability to hide form taxes. That is what the CGT and other tax changes will eventually get around to fixing. Eventually that will reduce the tax load on PAYE and GST over the decades.

                      And of course we’ll lose a few parasites offshore – I’ll wave them goodbye. It has been a pain over the past decades looking at them stuffing assets into family trusts and property speculation to avoid paying their fair share, whilst I’m trying to run a productive business. You’re going to be amazed how many people in the productive sectors of the economy are going to be happy to see them disappear…

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      100% of the country pays 100% of the Net tax, whoopdedoop.

                      The whole way of looking at it is mentalism, which would be the point of the post ss.

                    • Lazy Susan

                      Who’s playing the numbers game? Who’s post?

                      Wake up – the post was in response to English’s fucked up numbers. You accuse me of being partisan and then proceed to defend his stupid maths. In the context of a debate about fair taxation English’s analysis is a piece of shit and if you can’t see it I can’t help you.

      • McFlock 2.1.2

        A fuckload. That’s a unit of measurement approximately 1 “a bit off” to the power of 5, also roughly equivalent to 1/16 of a “No. Fucking. Way.” 
         
        True, a qualitative measurement, but communicative nonetheless.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3

        Too many.

  3. Ianupnorth 3

    To SS – Troll, troll go away, never comeback another day!

  4. djg 4

    How will the CGT as proposed change this?
    Aren’t these same people the art owners/traders, the boat owners, but these are all excluded.

    Why has Labour made these exclusions?

    • Bright Red 4.1

      It’s the practice in other countries, and with good reason.

      Boats, like cars, are depreciating assets. Covering them with cgt would mean every boat owner could claim a tax credit when selling.

      collectibles aren’t covered because of the complexity of covering them.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Boats, like cars, are depreciating assets. Covering them with cgt would mean every boat owner could claim a tax credit when selling.

        Sounds exactly like the kind of CGT National would bring in. Seriously.

      • Dan 4.1.2

        “collectibles aren’t covered because of the complexity of covering them.”

        and because the champagne socialist, liberal art crowd largely vote Labour

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1

          Yeah, so? Who asked you to pitch your tent in with a bunch of over-hyped uncultured commerce and finance grads?

          • lprent 4.1.2.1.1

            Hey. Your host is a MBA grad, admitably with almost zero interest in the arts (apart from programming). But I did have the good taste to partner up with an arts grad who does. We argue functionality vs asthetics often (and I do that at work a lot as well).

            She isn’t particularly into politics and votes on a basis that I find ‘interesting’ but largely arises out of direct harsh experience of being in her 20’s in the 90’s. I am into politics – and it has nothing to do with liberal arts – but a hell of a lot to do with business theory as well as practice. Almost the reverse of the stereotypes you two are sprouting.

            Based on his comment (can’t remember noticing him before) Dan can best described as a ignorant troll who depends rather too much on stereotypes – probably because his brain can’t handle anything more complicated. Eventually he will attract my attention whilst moderating. But feeding the trolls with similar stereotypes is also stupid IMHO – perhaps you should desist….

            But BR is exactly correct about both types of asset. I can just taste the scams that would be possible with a CGT on collectibles.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    This 71% number never really passed the sniff test, I don’t think.

    Good to see a nice demonstration on why it’s so off.

    The graph showing taxes paid in both income and GST, is missing some other regressive taxes: tobacco, alcohol and fuel excise. I’m sure there are some others, too.

    • jackal 5.1

      Certainly makes David Farrar and Bill English look dodgy. It will be interesting to see if they can trick enough people into believing false information, or if it will backfire.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        It’ll definitely work. That’s the problem with these stats, they can simply put them out there and the useful idiots will lap them up.

        Even when presented with the real numbers and why the original ones were wrong, very few will be distrustful of those that lied to them in the first place; some will continue to believe the fake numbers and the rest will just shake it off like water on a ducks back and forget about it.

  6. Policy Parrot 6

    Is it fair to say that “fisk” is now considered a proper word? Have to ask Oxford Dictionary.

    fisk (adj). “A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story. A really stylish fisking is witty, logical, sarcastic and ruthlessly factual..

    UPDATE: HT Wikipedia.

  7. tc 7

    I think it’s a badge of honor that the standard should wear with pride to have so many NACT trolls doing their idols bidding in varied attemps to derail the fact driven arguments.

    Love the way sideshow explains the bad inflation numbers as not really bad as he reckons GST rise doesn’t count……pity about those who didn’t get a fax tax break curtesy of more overseas loans. Ah banker logic….a brighter foreign owned future.

  8. Peter 8

    I’m looking forward to Mr Farrar’s response to this post.

      • crashcart 8.1.1

        The fact you are linking to a post where someone claims that NAT don’t plan asset sales but asset renewals because aparently power companies are “Old worn out assets”. Holy jesus I have never seen anything dumber. With the increasing energy needs he thinks that an energy company is old and worn out.

        Kiwi blog is candy for your brain…it will rot it.

      • felix 8.1.2

        Pete George posts links to discussions on a completely irrelevant topic. Twice.

        He really, really, really, doesn’t want anyone to discuss the topic of the post.

        • Secret Squirrel 8.1.2.1

          What have you discussed about the topic felix? As usual nothing but niggle.

          • felix 8.1.2.1.1

            I accept the premise of the post. The numbers prove the assertions.

            English and Farrar are full of shit.

            I surmise that you also accept the premise of the post and that’s why you’re so desperate not to mention it.

            Would you consider I’d made more of a contribution if I were to post some pictures of my cats? Or some other random link perhaps?

          • Pascal's bookie 8.1.2.1.2

            SS, even though your links are completely off topic, I had a look. This tells you pretty much all you need to know about farahrah’s analysis:

            Anti-avoidance. Labour have just invented a figure of $300m a year from greater anti-avoidance work. Now this is pie in the sky. If Labour announced actual law changes to reduce avoidance, then maybe you can estimate revenue changes. But this is the equivalent of “I hope it happens”. Keith Ng is right that it is probably not realistic to say Labour will not be able to get any extra revenue at all, but when you consider most experts are saying their tax package will make the tax system more complicated, I think avoidance will increase not decrease. In the absence of any specifics around anti-avoidance measures, I think you go with zero.

            To show that labour will raise zero from clamping down on tax avoidence, Farahrah says that there will be much more avoidance and we should assume labour won’t do anything about it. Even though they said they will be aggressively going after it. That’s the sort of number crunching you think evryone should treat with respect and scratych their beards about and fail to draw any conclusions from.

            He explicitly says that it is not realistic to assume labour will get zero, then, in the very next sentence, says ‘go with zero’.

            Off you fuck.

  9. Peter 9

    Time for a dumb question, no doubt at my expense.

    How is it that the households earning 160000 plus go from paying 37% of the gross tax to 70.7% of the net tax?

    • Dan 9.1

      It depends on where you offset the negative net taxpayers, basically.

      The only way to effectively evaluate this data is to then break down these income brackets by the contributions they make in each tax bracket, until you’re left with zeroed net total taxation, and each dollar taxed after that point results in a marginal tax gain. These tables are effectively useless.

      • Peter 9.1.1

        Thanks, so is it possible to get the data you would need? I believe it’s important for people to understand how this all works.

      • lprent 9.1.2

        Yep, I’d agree.Talk to Bill English – those are his tables.

        The thing I really dislike is looking at household incomes when that could be everything from villa full of burger flippers to a household with one income earner. Aggregating tax paid as individuals to a household level without further breakdown is moronic.

        But I have come to expect that from Bill English when he feeds junk numbers out through DPF.

    • Bright Red 9.2

      they don’t.

      what English/Farrar have done is pretend that all the benefit and tax credits are paid for out of income tax, and then got a net (income tax minus benefits/tax credtis) number, which is $10,970m. Then they’ve said, what is the income tax minus benefits/tax credits just for the richest 9.7%, and the answer is $7,758m. Then they’ve said what’s $7,758m as a percentage of $10,970m – it’s 70.7%, and concluded that the richest 10% pay 71% of net tax.

      They don’t though because you’ll notice that incomes between $50,000 and $150,000 pay a total of 83.8% of net tax. Obviously that can’t be right. You can’t have more than 100% of net tax.

      The explanation is that households with incomes alone below $50,000 pay negative net tax, equal to 54.5% of the total net tax for all incomes.

      English/Farrar have offset that 54.5% against the net tax contribution of the middle incomes reducing their net tax contribution to 29.3% and leaving the richest 10% apparently paying 70.3% of net tax but not paying a cent towards the social welfare system.

      It’s just trickery, deceptive numbers games from a party that has nothing better to offer.

      • Peter 9.2.1

        Appreciate the time you have taken, I now understand.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.2

        Now I hope that every economist, bank executive and financial commentator in this country, reads your post.

        Because it will put another hole in the credibility of this National led Govt.

  10. mik e 10

    They are looking for a lot of new talent at fox right now Farrar ,Hootton and Joyce would be prime candidates as Mc Cully is getting past it .The news media manipulation in this country needs to be examined closely as well .When you see TV3 radio works getting a $48million rescue and their radio stations giving John Key a free platform and most of the interviews are just party political propaganda patsy question asking by sympathetic broadcasters I wouldn,t call them Journalists. The last election ordinary DJs were particularly brutal on Labour and Clark in other words a dirty campaign this must not happen or be aloud to happen we need to expose these Nixon Murdoch under hand style tactics

  11. randal 11

    ayn rand is a flaming nuisance. another person who has no idea how the goods of the world are made nor who does it. just another greedy wanting to accumulate money so they can go out and get noticed by the amount of things they possess. similar to most tories.

  12. wawot 12

    Well done – I pointed this out days ago in the DPF blog and wondered how long it would take yous to figure it out.

    They simply called 97 out of 154.5 etc. a percentage etc. whereas a percentage is by definition out of 100. 97 as a percentage of 154.5 is 63%.

  13. Ed 13

    It should be reasonably easy to give a table (and bar charts) that exclude none, one or both of benefit payments and WFF tax rebates – there are different arguments for the inclusion or exclusion of each. GST may be difficult to apportion between income groups, but it should be possible to use some reasonable assumptions regarding the proportion of income used for GST liable purchases.

    Benefits are of course paid wholly from corporate taxes (it is at least as logical as apportioning it to income bands), but WFF is clearly a tax rebate. The net tax should obviously include company taxes, but perhaps there is an argument that most other taxes are fairly attributable to other government expenditure – eg taxes on alcohol and cigarettes are ‘allocated’ to health spending, etc. There seems little reason not to include corporate taxes as a separate bar though – they are taxpaying entities whose tax supports our social welfare payments. Where do taxes paid by trusts appear?

    Any tables released by government should have attached to them the sources of any data, and any significant assumptions made. It would be good if The Standard set an example by doing that as well – while that has been done in this cae it would also be good if someone has written an OIA request for the source.

    • Peter 13.1

      Here is a late night attempt to provide a different ballpark perspective. Apologies for the rough presentation and the mix of budgeted and actual data. Information comes from:

      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2011/taxpayers/01.htm#_crownrev
      http://statistical-report-2010.msd.govt.nz/overall+trends/expenditure+on+financial+assistance/historic+expenditure%2C+1940%962010#tableot5
      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2011/taxpayers/02.htm#_whopaystax

      Ministry of Social Development payments – 2010 ($ millions)

      Unemployment Benefits 1,063,884
      Independent Youth Benefit 20,095
      Sickness Benefits 837,330
      Invalid’s Benefit 1,396,520
      Domestic Purposes Benefits 1,961,841
      Widow’s Benefit 76,899
      Unsupport-ed Child’s Benefit and Orphan’s Benefits 101,434
      NZ Super-annuation 8,544,678
      Veteran’s Pension 161,957
      Total MSD payments 14,164,638 ($Billion 14.16)

      To get a perspective of income flowing into government here are the indicative Treasury Budget 2012 Income figures in is $Billions.

      Income Tax 24.3
      GST 15
      Company Tax 8.1
      Other Direct tax 1.9
      Other Indirect Tax 5.4
      Interest, Dividends 2.1
      Other Income 4.2
      Total 61 ($Billion)

      Assuming all Budgeted Income is available for all MSD payments (including Superannuation which is excluded by Mr Farrar) we might expect 40% of income tax to contribute towards MSD payments on the basis that total income tax collected is 40% ( 24.3/61) of all Budgeted Income. 40% of the 24.3 billion of income tax is 5.66 billion.

      Treasury point out that 17% of all expected income tax collected is from individuals ( not households ) earning more than $150,000. So the tax collected from the highest earning individuals to contribute would be 0.17 * 5.66 billion which is 0.96 billion.

      So, 0.96 billion coming from the taxpayers earning over $150,000 represents 4% of the total tax collected, that is 4 cents in every dollar. In comparison those earning $90,000 and above would pay 8 cents in the dollar towards MSD payments. Those earning $60,000 – $70000 contribute 2 cents in the dollar.

      While these figures are a mixture of actual and budget they don’t suggest that higher earning taxpayers are contributing alarmingly large amounts to MSD. Using data for individual taxpayers and not households, as well as not assuming that all tax goes to pay for MSD, we get a very different picture.

  14. Richard 14

    Id question Bill English’s sources, even if he said a cloudless night sky is black… it was laughable when Bill English was interviewed by 3 news and tried to claim that not having to pay CGT was morally fair, when he himself benefit’s from no CGT

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    2 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    3 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    4 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    5 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    6 days ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    6 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • ‘No Body, No Parole’ Bill is pointless dog-whistling
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order National MP Tim Macindoe Member’s Bill, Concealment of Location of Victim Remains Bill does not do what he claims. The Bill specifies a requirement for the Parole Board to only “consider” denying parole if an offender refuses to disclose the location of the body. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Ron Mark: “NZDF focused on protecting troops in Iraq from retaliation”
    As tensions in the Middle East continue to grow after the assassination of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the New Zealand Defence Force is focusing on the protection of Kiwi troops deployed in Iraq. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says that "recent attacks on coalition bases and embassies constitute unacceptable ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago