Feb 20, 2018 - PM to Tonga, Samoa, Niue, and the Cook Islands. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand government’s Pacific Mission will take place from 4-9 March and travel to Tonga, Samoa, Niue, and the Cook Islands.
Feb 16, 2018 - Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed the bright-line test on residential property sales will be extended from two years to five years in legislation currently making its way through Parliament.
Feb 15, 2018 - The Government’s decision to rule-out funding for embattled company Fletcher Building is a refreshing change from years of corporate welfare and a bad habit of taxpayers’ money being used to bailout private businesses, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says “The previous Government used our money to bail out Solid Energy, Rio Tinto, and even Mediaworks. It’s great news for taxpayers that the new Government is starting their term by refusing to continue that policy.”
“Company bailouts are socialism for the rich. Shareholders don’t have to face any risk for their investment and the average taxpayer ends up footing the bill.”
“Sometimes taxpayer groups are accused of always being negative. Here we want to applaud David Parker and his Government for making the principled, moral, and right decision.”
| A taxpayers Union release || February 15, 2018 |||
Feb 12, 2018 - The government are planning to sign the re-branded Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Chile on March 8th 2018.
“The TPP might have been re-branded as the CPTPP but it's still the same bad deal”, says Professor Jane Kelsey, New Zealand's expert on international economic regulation.
Professor Kelsey will speak on the current situation of the CPTPP at a public meeting today, Monday 12th February at 6.30pm, in the Ellen Melville Hall, 1 Freyberg Place, Auckland CBD.
Rebranding it as "comprehensive and progressive" doesn't make it any better when it still contains the discredited ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) provisions which allow foreign investors to challenge the laws and policies of the New Zealand government in off-shore investor-state dispute settlement tribunals,” Professor Kelsey says." “ISDS is unchanged from the original text; it's only some peripheral enforcement options that have been suspended."
The suspended clauses and more could be reinserted into the TPP-11/CPTPP, as it appears there is interest from the US in rejoining. At the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Donald Trump raised the possibility that the US might rejoin the new TPP.
Also speaking will be Dr Burcu Kilic from Public Citizen, Global Trade Watch (US), and Laila Harre, who will speak about the issues confronting the unions, and her assessment of the problems and solutions.
Prior to last year’s election, Labour, New Zealand First and the Green Parties all said that they would not support ratification of the TPP. During the parliamentary examination of the text, Labour cited concerns about sovereignty, secrecy and inadequate economic modelling leading to uncertainty in projected outcomes. The Greens added that the TPP is an obstruction to the imperative of sustainability. New Zealand First focused on the anticipated dangers of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). What has changed?
Local activists remain firmly opposed to the CPTPP. TPP Action Auckland spokesperson Lisa Er says that the concerns about Treaty rights, ISDS, environmental protection, constraints on climate action, and affordable healthcare are issues for all New Zealanders.
In the past there has been much concern from the public. The 3 News Reid Research Poll in November 2015 found, 87 per cent of NZ First voters, 84 per cent of Greens, 73 per cent of Labour, and 23 per cent of National voters opposed the TPP."
"CPTPP is an old-fashioned agreement that privileges multinational corporations over sustainable businesses," Er says, "TPP is not a sustainable agreement for the 21st Century."
Come and hear Professor Kelsey explain what this will mean for New Zealand. There will be an opportunity for questions afterwards.
The Auckland event will also be live streamed from 6.30pm on The Daily Blog at this link for all those who may not be able to make it along to a meeting.
For the details of meetings in other centres, please visit Its Our Future.
Feb 04, 2018 _ The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union has today released the full breakdown (available here) of Callaghan Innovation’s entertainment expenses for 2015/16.
Earlier this month, we revealed Callaghan spent $304,000 on ‘entertainment’ in 2015/16. We can now confirm this was mostly purchases at cafes, bars and restaurants, and we have obtained receipts and explanations for the biggest purchases, showing booze forms up to 40% of a typical Callaghan dinner bill.
Feb 2, 2018 - The completion of the Government’s 100 Day Plan today demonstrates its commitment to setting the direction for a stronger and fairer future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
Feb 1, 2018 - Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau mā Iwa—Pike River Recovery Agency in Greymouth today.
“The mining disaster at Pike River was a national tragedy. After seven long years it’s critical that we make every effort to safely recover the Pike River mine drift, to better understand why 29 men never came home.
“The launch of a new agency, dedicated to achieving that, is a major step towards giving the Pike River families overdue closure and peace of mind.
“Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made it a priority to establish this agency in the first 100 days of her government. We have achieved that in partnership with the families.
“We will continue to include the families at every stage, and will be transparent with all New Zealanders about the progress we make and the challenges we face.
“Basing the agency in Greymouth, on the West Coast, is appropriate and upholds our commitment to create government jobs in the regions.
“Now we look forward to seeing work on developing a robust plan for manned re-entry progressing at pace. I don’t expect this to be straightforward, but the agency will be running a thorough and transparent process, drawing on expert advice and the families.
“When I make the final decision on whether to re-enter the drift, it will be based on a technical assessment of the risks and advice that risks can be reasonably managed.
“I want to acknowledge the unwavering support for the families and the recovery effort by Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, and the New Zealand First and Green parties,” Mr Little said.
Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau mā Iwa—Pike River Recovery Agency was established as a single purpose, stand-alone government department today, by Order in Council signed on 11 December 2017.
It is expected that the new agency will execute a plan for recovery of the Pike River mine drift by the end of March 2019.