web analytics

You’ve got to be kidding me

Written By: - Date published: 10:38 pm, January 29th, 2012 - 76 comments
Categories: you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

Pike River boss Peter Whittall, the guy facing charges after 29 of his employees died working in his unsafe, ‘profit-over-people’ mine, has set up a mining safety consulting company. What’s next? A Minister of Tourism who always holidays overseas? A Finance Minister who wants to sell highly profitable assets in a down market? … oh … This country is nuts.

76 comments on “You’ve got to be kidding me”

  1. Mark 1

    There were obviously big problems at Pike River.
    Maybe it should never have been mined, but Coasters wanted and needed the business and jobs.
    Maybe it should have been opencast, and the short/medium term environmental issues balanced out by a land rehabilitation bond (it works in other areas)
    Nobody seemed to be making big profits, despite injecting big capital, perhaps the business case was flawed due to above points.
    Perhaps the miners (RIP) were somewhat blase regarding their own safety (cigarette butts and lighters found inside the mine) and no amount of Mines Inspectors could have policed this – and it would be interesting to see the response if anyone was sacked due to safety breaches.
    I have no experience in the desire or necessity to have bodies recovered to get closure, however if it was hugely important to me and I had experience underground I would be pushing hard to have a go myself to reclaim my brother, son, workmate. I think it is wrong to disallow anyone that opportunity yet expect Emergency Services to undertake the task.
    NZ needs the revenue and jobs that mineral extraction enables, and we are capable of mitigating environmental effects as long as we debate the industry rationally rather than emotively.
    I am sure we have all seen the exotic forests cut and regrown in our sensitive areas, it looks like shit for a few years, then…

    IrishBill: The mine was never viable as opencast. The overburden would have been hundreds of meters deep in places. Both the open-cast claim and the line about workers’ not taking responsibility for their own safety are based on spin spread around shortly after the explosion. They have about as much validity and currency as the calls made at around the same time to make Whittall CEO of the year.

     

    • Mark 1.1

      However I do agree that this appears to be a slightly insensitive new role for Peter Whittal.. everyone has to earn a crust tho don’t they? Or should he be a beneficiary? 

      • The Voice of Reason 1.1.1

        Should be in jail.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.2

        appears to be a slightly insensitive new role for Peter Whittal..

        “Slightly sensitive”? You’re a joke and an apologist for a man who fucked up in the name of profits.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3

        I have no problem with him finding employment but he has proven himself incapable of the role he has taken.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.3.1

          Yeah, when I initially heard he set up a mining consultancy company, I thought “fair enough”.

          But because it’s specifically a *mining safety* consultancy, I think that’s a bridge too far.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.4

        Heard of the mining boom in Australia ? he could earn a living as a mine manger … if he was any good

    • McFlock 1.2

      Much lolz.
      You blame the coasters, thegreenies, the investors, and the miners themselves, but not the guy in  charge.
         
      Piss off.

      [Be fair.. he was ‘slightly insensitive’…RL]

    • Mark 1.3

      Then we should be mining responsibly where the overburden is not so deep, again rationally debating the industry rather than “mining bad, no mining good”
      The comment about butts and lighters comes from the inquiry, it is not spin.
      Perhaps the pilot of the Mickael Lermentov (local, wasn’t he?) should have been jailed along with Whittal, The Rena Captain etc? 
      In fact,why don’t we jail John Key and everyone in the Nats (maybe all the voters too) as everything is always their fault, no?
      If as someone has commented, the $200M or so from Crafar farms is just going to the Aussie banks, surely it’s better that it is Chinese money, no? FFS, they can’t take the land away, and look at the mess the Crafars made of farming it.. environmental vandalism, animal welfare issues.. 
      No I forget, it’s all the fault of the right, the capitalists, the bosses, 

       

      • felix 1.3.1

        Well it wasn’t the fault of the cows, mate.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        No I forget, it’s all the fault of the right, the capitalists, the bosses,

        Yes, it is, as they do they damnedest not to be held to account or to have rules applied to themselves. They also want to strip all the resources the country has and sell them off leaving the country (that’s us) with nothing just so that they can have a larger bank account.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.3.3

        The Rena captain has been arrested , same for Costa Concordia. Try to not change the facts next time.

      • muzza 1.3.4

        What is it with you fucken – “You can’t take the land with you” base level idiots!

      • McFlock 1.3.5

        The comment about butts and lighters comes from the inquiry, it is not spin.
        It is spin when you use it to try to absolve management of any blame for letting things get to that state.

        Perhaps the pilot of the Mickael Lermentov (local, wasn’t he?) should have been jailed along with Whittal,
        It seems that in order to save their own arse, the harbour board and NoT decided that the pilot was not acting as a pilot at the time. Possibly something to do with the overwork he’d had previously impairing his judgement and making them liable. Smacks of cover-up. The captain was charged by the Soviets and given a suspended sentence.

        The Rena Captain etc? 
        The Rena captain who’s currently facing charges, you mean?

        In fact,why don’t we jail John Key and everyone in the Nats (maybe all the voters too) as everything is always their fault, no?
        Well, if it was up to me I wouldn’t have a problem with that, given that their policies kill people.

        Why the hell do you have difficulty understanding the word “responsibility”? If someone is in charge, then they are responsible and should be held responsible if something goes wrong. The issue we have today is that too many bosses are given bonusses if things go right, but aren’t held responsible if things go wrong – captains, pilots, CEOs and prime ministers all included.

        • Lynne 1.3.5.1

          The ciggies and lighter issue is irrelevant to the explosion, if the mine was safe those items would not matter however silly it was. The fact of the matter is that shortcuts were made to cut costs and time , the mine had only one viable exit , the methane levels were being ignored ,and the ventilation fan was in the wrong place and dangerous ,(it is a possible ignition source).
          At the end of the day nothing will bring these men back to their families but the course of the explosion must be discovered to prevent this ever happening again to do this they must enter the mine with a safe plan .

    • flossie 1.4

      The contraband found in the mine was years ago – before the mine was a ‘working’ mine – when it was just a tunnel being built. Not relevant to what happened at the time. It was back in 2007.

  2. Benjamin B. 2

    +++

  3. Eduardo Kawak 3

    You could get the govt to make up some rules to allow to NZ to become a haven for convicted white collar criminals from overseas just cause they’re rich and then make taxpayers foot the bill for their extradition when international authorities catch up with them? We’ll just make sure you don’t these rich ex-cons buy any land. The govt can make up some other rules to sell that to totalitarian Chinese psuedo-govt companies.

    oh..

  4. johnm 4

    You got it Zetetic
    The Plebeians in NZ get their Commonwealth sold off for the benefit of wealthy investors. Honest workers are victimized in the name of efficiency basically treated with contempt(Port of Auckland). Up and coming Welfare Reform will institute harassment of sickness beneficiaries to find non existent jobs.The elites dole out more cash to themselves with tax cuts. Child poverty is ignored as if it were in another country. And the man who could have protected those miners lives with respect and good safety procedures, but didn’t lives like King Shonkey in his own dreamworld cut off from the lower orders of existence,the only explanation for such an outrageous assertion that he can advise on mine safety.

  5. fender 5

    Another CEO who hasn’t learnt their limitations despite huge cost paid by others.
    Surely a total change of industry would be more appropriate “going forward” for Peter after having gone so backward of late. Or how about a change from being in the top job to starting over in the lowest ranking duties in the mining industry.

  6. debatewatcher 6

    Coming up next: the captain of the Costa Concordia becomes a consultant for safe sailing practices.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    I think he is certainly an expert in what not to do so far as mine safety is concerned. I would be surprised if his venture got very far considering his record with Pike must be public knowledge around the world.

    However, in his defence, I would say that there were severe financial problems with the mine that must have constrained his ability to implement safety systems at the mine, especially if that required capital expenditure. So, it is probably unfair to overly demonise the guy, although obviously he has a lot to answer for.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      What a load of double talk.

      Any financial constraints at the mine can only be blamed if Whittall can be shown to have championed investment in safety and safe practices at the mine and was repeatedly turned down by the Board.

      This is not the case.

    • The Voice of Reason 7.2

      TS, if PRC couldn’t afford to operate safely, then they should never have operated at all. The same applies to any industry, any company, anywhere.

      • Lanthanide 7.2.1

        Yes. Given the apparently $1b worth of coal, I’m sure they could have gotten enough capital to set the mine up properly. If banks weren’t willing to lend then I’d suggest it was a problem with the mine’s operators.

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          Yes. Given the apparently $1b worth of coal

          Ahem. 17.6M tonnes of coal very conservatively priced at $250/tonne. That’s $4.4B worth of coal.

          So yeah, an extra $0.05B spent on safety would have been a good idea.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      However, in his defence, I would say that there were severe financial problems with the mine that must have constrained his ability to implement safety systems at the mine, especially if that required capital expenditure.

      He was the CEO. If such limitations existed he should have closed the mine.

  8. vto 8

    This in fact perfectly shows up Whittal’s incompetence. Like the Pike River criminally negligent deaths of 29 men.

    That Whittal cannot see that perhaps he is not capable in this role and will probably get no work as a mine safety consultant kind of says it all.

    And you can add to that the lack of perception that taking on such a role would be like rubbing salt into the wounds of the victims families.

    It appears the man is blind. Mind you, look at the leadership we have – what is expected? I tell you what is expected – it is that the people are expected to live up to a higher standard than our so-called leaders. Duh.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      That Whittal cannot see that perhaps he is not capable in this role and will probably get no work as a mine safety consultant kind of says it all.

      The old It’s not what you know but who you know* applies which means he probably will be hired.

      It appears the man is blind. Mind you, look at the leadership we have – what is expected? I tell you what is expected – it is that the people are expected to live up to a higher standard than our so-called leaders.

      Our ‘leaders’ like to set the standards that others have to adhere to but don’t like any standards set for them.

      * This actually applies massively in NZ. 70% of positions are filled through social contacts.

    • The Voice of Reason 8.2

      “Mind you, look at the leadership we have – what is expected?”
       
      Well, this photo shows the sort of dynamic, thoughtful and caring leadership Whittall looks up to. Literally.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        Link is erroneous.

        • The Voice of Reason 8.2.1.1

          Cheers, Draco. Something to do with the URL length.
           
          The photo is of Whittall looking at Key like a kid looks at an ice cream. If readers can be bothered, just put Whittall in Google image search. It’s one of the first up. The big tongued ass image at the top of the post features on page 4 of the results, but for some reason, if you search for Whittall + Key the ass moves up in popularity to page 2!

  9. randal 9

    more malice in blunderland.

  10. Roy 10

    I predict his consultancy will crash and burn. I suspect he won’t understand why.

  11. RJL 11

    He certainly does have experience managing a mine during an emergency. He probably has useful things to say about what did and didn’t work.

    So, while it does read like a bad joke, he probably does have something to offer on mine safety.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Here’s a clue: don’t give the Captain of the Titanic another command, using the excuse “he must have learnt something from the monumental fuck up”.

      • RJL 11.1.1

        His value as a consultant would be for exactly the same reason that he was questioned by the Royal Commission and for exactly the same reason he will face criminal charges.

        He was there. He knows (some of) what happened. He was responsible for (some of) what did and didn’t happen.

        Whether he has anything significant to offer that won’t be merely be in the Royal Commission document is questionable. But he clearly could be considered an “expert” in what happened in a mining disaster.

        • seeker 11.1.1.1

          Your comment is poorly reasoned and distasteful. This man incompetently ran a mine which saw 29 precious men lose their lives and you talk of his “value as a consultant” …in that “he clearly could be considered an “expert in a mining disaster.” Disingenuous or what? Get a grip RJL.You are trying to defend an indefensible mining tragedy.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2

          I love it. The bigger the fuck up under their watch the more these types think they deserve to be paid. The fact that our society acquiesces is problematic indeed.

    • Zetetic 11.2

      He certainly can advise mine bosses on how to spin themselves into the victim and the heroif any of their workers die

  12. Zetetic the country aint going nuts. This is what the bosses do when they run Rena onto the reef. They rush for the lifeboats taking whatever provisions for survival they can grab. We can stop that, toss them overboard, before they run the ship aground.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 12.1

      The bosses at PRC rushed for the lifeboats all right. They put the business into receivership quick smart and sailed off leaving the costs to someone else.

  13. burt 13

    I don’t think putting Whittall in a place where he has any form of responsibility for mine safety is any different to putting Jim Anderton in a place of responsibility for drug and suicide policies. But hey it was different for Jim eh….

    • burt 13.1

      Oh, but for the record. I think Whittall is as completely unsuitable for this role as Anderton was for the one he had. Difference IMHO is that companies are not forced to listen to the incompetence of Whittall like the country was with Anderton.

    • ak 13.2

      Pretty low even for a tory moron burt. Take this sort of filth over to the sewer if you can’t hold it in, or reap what you sow.

  14. Wayne 14

    The media fawning over Whittall just after the tragedy was unbelievable.

    Here was the CEO, responsible for all aspects of safety in the mines (as described on his company website), who had 29 guys die under him. The buck stops with him. And under the H&S Act 1992, he as the principal bears ultimate responsibility for the incident.

    Yet he was made into a media star by a press sucked in by his glib presentations. And still now, incredibly, he denies any responsibility for what happened. It does not say much for the character of the man.

    • Fortran 14.1

      He had only been CEO for 6 weeks.
      Where is his predecessor – in a good mining job in Australia.

      • The Voice of Reason 14.1.1

        Whittall was the Mine Manager before he was CEO. He oversaw the design, budget and build of the mine, including Ok’ing a one entrance/exit strategy and the provision of inadequate safety training, sub standard ventilation and a culture of bullying. 
         
        I note the ‘support Peter Whittall’ fb site hasn’t had any traffic since July last year. Isn’t it about time you woke up, too?

  15. Rich 15

    Coasters! You have the same people:
    1. demanding that people be sent into the mine to recover corpses, irrespective of professional opinion as to the extreme hazard involved
    2. complaining that the mine wasn’t run in a safe fashion with regard to professional opinion

    Ironic, really.

    • McFlock 15.1

      Not really. A lot of the people wanting the bodies recovered are mining professionals themselves. 

      It can be mined with an acceptable level of safety, and the bodies recovered with an acceptable level of safety. You just need the equipment and the procedures in place to minimise the hazards in the mine. That takes money and will.

      • Rich 15.1.1

        I wasn’t aware that Tony Kokshorn was a professional at anything other than being a dick.

        • McFlock 15.1.1.1
          • McFlock 15.1.1.1.1

            pithy response apparently killed in editor.
             
            Pithy response being “I wasn’t aware that Tony Kokshorn was the only Coaster saying that the bodies were able to be recovered”.

  16. Jenny 16

    About time coal mining was left in the 19th C. where it belongs.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Problem Jenny is that is not going to happen. The world wants high quality coal, they will pay good dollars for it, and we have it here, lots of it.

      Coal mining is, for better or worse, the way of the future – that will become clear once a barrel of oil is US$160 and petrol is $3/L.

      And steam engines are going to make a comeback. Coal fired steam engines and steam plants.

      • vto 16.1.1

        Quite. And remind me again why John Key wants to sell Solid Energy?

      • Jenny 16.1.2

        The world wants high quality coal, they will pay good dollars for it, and we have it here, lots of it.

        Colonial Viper

        Let’s all bow down to the great god of profit.

        If the mercenary motive is your excuse for putting mining coal, above wrecking the environment, Why not apply it to other things for which the world “will pay good dollars for”.

        Deep sea oil drilling? Fracking? What other destructive industries would you support for a buck?

        Why not asbestos mining, we have mountains of the stuff?

        Why not mill all the native beech forests? The world wants high quality wood, they will pay good dollars for it, and we have it here, lots of it.

        While we are about it; Why not let New Zealand become the world centre for Heroin and P production and export, after all, our back yard chemists are world leaders in this industry.

        And if making money is your top priority why stop at the 19th C. let’s go back to the 18th C. and bring back slavery, this industry alone could eliminate our foreign debt.

        To much

        Over the top?

        Crazy?

        CV you may not be able to bring yourself to admit it, but none of above crazy examples I have listed are even half as insane as what you are suggesting. That we trade away the environment which sustains us, for money?

        How many levels of crazy is that?

        None of the examples I have listed above, (even bringing back slavery) could possibly create even a fraction of the death and destruction, experts have determined climate change will cause.

        Of course you could take the intellectually lazy way out and deny that climate change induced by burning fossil fuels even exists.

        So what is it CV?

        Are you a climate change denier, or is it, that you just don’t give a damn?

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1

          Please note. I am not ‘recommending’ a course of action. I am just suggesting what the most likely eventualities are.

          To give you some piece of mind, I personally think that we need to individually and societally go back to a 1940’s and 1950’s level of physical resource and energy use. However I also believe that physically, politically and economically we will not do that as an advanced western civilisation until we are absolutely forced too.

          So let me ask you a few questions.

          1) How many years until the majority of people choose to give up their personal automobiles and imported consumer items?

          2) How many years until politicians speak the truth and tell the middle classes that the lies must stop, global economic growth is ended or must be ended.

          3) How many years before we as a nation choose to go back to working on the land and living simple lives of low environmental impact?

          I have the answer for you:

          Not until we are absolutely forced too. The doddery and delusional middle classes and upper middle classes will not hear of anything else.

          • vto 16.1.2.1.1

            I suspect that your number 3) may be the first mover, if it isn’t already (I think it is).

          • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2.1.2

            1.) 4 to 5 years.
            2.) Never
            3.) After our land can no longer support us.

            Not until we are absolutely forced too. The doddery and delusional middle classes and upper middle classes will not hear of anything else.

            QFT

            • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1.2.1

              Basically right all round. As someone said to me today – it doesn’t matter how much money the elite think they have today, they’re as fucked as the rest of us.

              • Jenny

                – it doesn’t matter how much money the elite think they have today, they’re as fucked as the rest of us.

                Colonial Viper

                Couldn’t have said it better myself. (not with the same level of profanity anyway).

                It was this message that Churchill gave to the ruling elites of England in 1939.

          • Jenny 16.1.2.1.3

            Please note. I am not ‘recommending’ a course of action. I am just suggesting what the most likely eventualities are.

            Colonial Viper

            Most likely, but not inevitable, my old Colonial Boy.

            Remember, evil only triumphs when good people do nothing.

            Unlike you, I am recommending a course of action. Based in the real world on our common shared experience and history

            As bad as trading the destruction of the environment, for a quick buck: – defeatism and fatalism, that accepts that mercenary BAU is inevitable and unstoppable.

            Nothing can be done.

            Nothing can be changed.

            Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.

            I would like to thank for listing your rationales for your fatalism. For giving me the opportunity to counter them with concrete real world examples that prove the opposite.

            1) How many years until the majority of people choose to give up their personal automobiles and imported consumer items?

            How about virtually overnight, if given a better alternative.

            The city of Hasselt in Belgium had (and still has) the highest private car ownership in Europe. It was a gridlocked hell, with one ring motorway system and plans for another.

            But instead of ploughing billions into another new motorway, the city of Hasselt decided to put the billions earmarked for motorway construction into making all their public transport fare free.

            In a very short time public transport use went up by an unheard of one thousand percent. Commuters left their cars at home.

            The land set aside for the new ring motorway was turned into a green belt instead.

            2) How many years until politicians speak the truth and tell the middle classes that the lies must stop, global economic growth is ended or must be ended.

            Well, if they started now. The answer is again almost overnight. If you have read many of my comments you would know that I often try and channel the Churchill spirit.
            At a time when the whole leading British establishment fatalistically accepted that a facist take over was inevitable. And that all that remained was for England to make it’s peace with Hitler. Churchill instead of appeasing the facists demanded war, calling on the people of England and the world to rise up against fascism.

            His call was answered.

            Against all accepted wisdom, Churchill’s singular lead was taken up.

            Churchill promised the people of England nothing but blood, sweat, toil and tears and delivered on his promise. Yet in giving a vital lead against fascism at a crucial time, Churchill despite being a rabid imperialist and anti working class tory, was recently voted the most popular Britain of all time.

            If even one politician, I don’t care from which party starting railing against climate change in parliament the way that Churchill railed against facism, If only one politician denounced and appeasers to the fossil fuel lobbyists, and condemned them roundly for cowardice yet at the same timeappealing to their best instincts to change their ways.

            3) How many years before we as a nation choose to go back to working on the land and living simple lives of low environmental impact?

            The answer to the threat of runaway climate change has often been called the World War II solution.

            In World War II – Energy use was rationalised, gardening for the war, became a government policy. The blackout as well as being a defensive move, reinforced in the minds of millions of people the severity of the crisis. The land army was mobilised to feed the population. Strategic heights of industry and the economy was nationalised.

            All these changes happened within weeks and months.

            I have the answer for you:
            Not until we are absolutely forced too. The doddery and delusional middle classes and upper middle classes will not hear of anything else.

            Colonial Viper

            Colonial I disagree with your cynical answer. Our recent history informs me that the middle and even the upper middle classes, are prepared to mobilise themselves enmass alongside other New Zealanders for issues of principle not involved in their immediate self interest or gratification. Anti-war, anti-apartheid, anti-nuclear, anti-schedule 4 mining.

            All that is missing is a strong and gutsy political lead, that is prepared to bravely lay out the magnitude of the threat but not be intimidated by it.

            Here are some links to some organisations that are trying to give such a lead. Hopefully they will be joined by more and more people and even get buy in from some in the established political leadership.

            http://coalactionnetworkaotearoa.wordpress.com/

            http://farefreenz.blogspot.co.nz/

            In New Zealand our main contributer to CO2 emmissions is transport. Mainly because we prioritise the private motor car over public transport.

            We currently spend a billion a year on motorway construction. For a fraction of that money we could fund Auckland wide free public transport for 25 years. From there public transport could be made fare free nation wide.

            When public transport is made free tens of thousands of commuters will flock to use it.

            In Hasselt when public transport became free it became more efficient and safer as the drivers didn’t have to juggle cash boxes and fiddle with change and clip tickets. Journey times were shortened significantly, and became more pleasant. Public transport was flooded with people unlike here where most buses are only partially full.

            Will all this make a difference to global CO2 emissions? No, but like Churchill’s war time Britain, it will inspire the rest of the world to follow our example.

  17. Jenny 17

    Coal mining is, for better or worse, the way of the future – that will become clear once a barrel of oil is US$160 and petrol is $3/L.

    And steam engines are going to make a comeback. Coal fired steam engines and steam plants.

    Colonial Viper

    Prepare to kiss the climate goodbye.

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

  • 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
    22 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    6 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
    7 days 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