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A beautiful mind – read it and weep

Written By: - Date published: 2:45 pm, September 9th, 2009 - 53 comments
Categories: articles, uncategorized - Tags:

An email doing the rounds of the women’s networks found its way to me today. It’s link to an article about the late Sophie Elliott, fomerly of Otago University and the essay she wrote on equity and  and equality.

Sophie may have been heading to Treasury the week she was murdered but when you read this article and the passionate introduction from her lecturers it seems clear she certainly wasn’t captured by the right when she was studying economics at Otago.

“We found Sophie’s essay stunningly to-the-point, thoughtful and mature. Jean-Yves Duclos, editor of the Journal of Economic Inequality, wrote…’It is a remarkable piece of research for such a young person. In just a few paragraphs, the paper is able to strike right to the core of welfare economics and to grasp with many of its complex and philosophical and ethical issues. Elliott certainly had a beautiful mind.’

In Sophie’s paper, the reader may find many questions to ponder. Should a policy be about the the people who deserve to be treated equally rather than those who are treated equally…..Does the propserity of one person negatively affect the fortunes of some others?…..Are market-generated outcomes necessarily unfair? If so, is the lack of compensations for this unfairness morally wrong?

We have both felt Sophie’s loss, in this awful calamity, very deeply indeed. We are proud to have been her teachers and we commend her inspirational essay to the readers of Oxonomics. There was something magical about Sophie Elliott – everybody who knew her felt it, and everybody who knew her loved here, all but for one person. Rest in peace Sophie.

What a tragic, tragic loss on so many levels.

53 comments on “A beautiful mind – read it and weep”

  1. gargoyle 1

    Indeed a very sad loss to her family, friends and NZ…………… but why on earth do you feel the need to try and score a cheap political point ?

  2. vto 2

    “..it seems clear she certainly wasn’t captured by the right when she was studying ..”

    No, but what do you expect? Most every student bends left at that stage of life. It is later, once they have actual experience and realities which start to infiltrate that political positions change to reflect a more realistic state of play..

  3. StephenR 3

    Well ‘thank god’ she didn’t get ‘captured by the right’. :eye roll thing:

    The women’s networks should keep a closer eye on Kiwiblog posts! http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2009/07/sophies_paper.html

    Note I said posts, not comments, though the comments there are pretty good 🙂

    • Ag 3.1

      Are you folks serious? Did you read the paper? The final quotation is from Hayek and the paper seems to me to more or less follow a typical right wing line of argument (full disclosure: I did a graduate paper covering most of this stuff when I was in school), which is to point out the vast number of problems with various conceptions of equality (or equity) with the aim of removing any meaningful concept of equality from debate and letting the chips fall where they may (the final quote being from Hayek is not an accident).

      I’ve seen this strategy many times.

      Not to speak ill of the dead, but I think it is a good (actually a very good) summary of most of the positions on the issue (particularly Dworkin’s work). However, there’s nothing particularly original in it, or that counts as anything other than a summary of the literature, as far as I can see. If that’s a superb paper in the Otago economics department, then well…

      But this whole business is rather tasteless. Whatever this poor woman’s political views, it isn’t seemly to go about trying to capture her post mortem for “our side”, or indeed vilifying her for being the “enemy”. I’m sure she was a nice person whatever her political leanings (yes, even Hayek).

      • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1

        I’ve not read Dworkin, but from the paper, and wiki he seems closer to Rawls than he is to Hayek. Would that be right?

        • Ag 3.1.1.1

          Yes. Although there are a few differences (some of which I can’t remember), Dworkin’s view is more or less Rawlsian in the broad sense. He favours equality of resources against equality of welfare in the form of a hypothetical equal initial distribution of resources. The main problem is that it doesn’t really appear to work well as a theory of equality, since it allows vast inequalities of resources and welfare.

          IIRC the paper in question noted all the usual objections to Dworkin, although it’s a long time since I read Dworkin’s original paper.

  4. Ruth 4

    Is there nothing that cannot have a political label slapped on it?

    What bad taste.

  5. Ari 5

    Treasury really isn’t just a stronghold of righties. Just because they’re pretty weak on our priorities doesn’t mean they don’t snap up plenty of people who agree with us.

  6. StephenR 6

    Not having been through a Treasury appointment process i can only speculate, but seems unlikely they ask for opinions about grand macroeconomic theories from their graduate analysts and the like, just whether they’ve got the brains and attitude to handle the work that Treasury does.

  7. TightyRighty 7

    Horriffic bad taste. Harldy unsurprising though, even with the morale moral high ground claimed here over the”sewer” at kiwiblog

    [lprent: Very unfortunate typo – had me laughing for a few secs. I’ll fix it ]

    • felix 7.1

      Morale high ground?

      Are you John Key? (Not that I’d be overtly concerned if you were.)

      • TightyRighty 7.1.1

        No Grammar Dick. Im not. John Key is very busy doing a very good job. It’s only loser opposition mp’s who can take the time to constantly blog. Are you a teacher?

        • Tim Ellis 7.1.1.1

          Hey, TR, don’t let him get under your skin.

          • TightyRighty 7.1.1.1.1

            little people with their persistent nagging attention to little things that only matter in their little mind are one of the reasons this country lags behind australia. give them a voice and they think everyone listens.

            • BLiP 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Explains a lot: perhaps if more people on the right considered the difference between “morale” and “moral” something worth knowing the economy might actually be in a better place and/or those responsible for stuffing it up held accountable.

        • vto 7.1.1.2

          haha. But which is worse – being John Key or being a teacher?

          • gargoyle 7.1.1.2.1

            Felix = the Standard’s tame troll, occasionally amusing but usually just mindlessly belligerent vs anything that it perceives as being to the right politically.

            [lprent: Yeah, and also responds to my unsubtle hints. That is the only thing that prevents him from getting the warning bans that used to piss the ‘sod off so much. It is tiresome, but I leave notes on him only occasionally. The ones I have to keep doing it to get banned. Darwinian winnowing of people who waste my time. ]

        • felix 7.1.1.3

          Grammar? It’s a completely different word, cockhole.

          [lprent: careful…]

          • TightyRighty 7.1.1.3.1

            Nice one. why don’t you move to your true vocation, writing inane letters to editors that seldom get published as they rarely extend beyond two issues. Grammar and punctuation. If you can’t argue the argument, keep it to yourself grammar dick. i would call it grammatical, but it’s to small.

            • TightyRighty 7.1.1.3.1.1

              and thanks to lprent for the edit.

            • felix 7.1.1.3.1.2

              If you can’t argue the argument,…

              And the argument is what? Whether you think the post was in bad taste or not?

              Do forgive me for if I seem less than fascinated.

          • burt 7.1.1.3.2

            felix

            Are you a parking warden ?

  8. Tim Ellis 8

    I read this article some time ago. There is some quite excellent analysis in it.

    I didn’t read it as written in a left-right context at all. It certainly wasn’t left wing thinking.

  9. Tammy Gordon 9

    Wow. I’ve got a lot to learn. I didn’t mean to make a cheap shot about a young women’s lfie. I was moved by it, is all.

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      I don’t think there was a cheap shot in there at all Tammy, and say one thing about me, say I know cheap shots.

      If you liked a person’s ideas, and that person was passionate about them, I don’t think it’s inappropriate to celebrate that.

      There’s a bit of ‘concern trolling’ going on in this thread that’s all. (folks whose only comment is to show concern about the tone, or some other baseless nonsense)

    • gargoyle 9.2

      Tammy if you were to remove ..”t seems clear she certainly wasn’t captured by the right when she was studying economics at Otago.” it would be a fine post – that sentence cheapened it a bit from my perspective…just saying.

      • felix 9.2.1

        Oh and Tammy, the whole site would be improved by the gradual and systematic removal of any and all left-leaning political ideas and thoughts.

        • gargoyle 9.2.1.1

          “Oh and Tammy, the whole site would be improved by the gradual and systematic removal of any and all left-leaning political ideas and thoughts.”

          Indeed …especially on posts that commemorate a young life horribly cut short

          • BLiP 9.2.1.1.1

            horribly cut short

            What – taking the piss out of her death now? What a top chap you really are.

  10. Ruth 10

    Nothing wrong with celebrating Sophie’s life. What’s wrong is attempting to use her death for advantage in the political debate.

    Sophie’s death was not political ammunition. Using it in that way should quite rightly turn a few stomachs.

    I suspect you know that Pascal’s bookie.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      Who is doing that Ruth? Seriously.

      All Tammy said was that it appears to her that Sophie was not captured by a right wing view of economics. What on earth is offensive about that?

      This is no piece about ‘martyrdom’ or any of the other strawmen people are reading into it. It looks to me that the piece is about Sophie’s paper, which shows in the authors view, that Sophie was not captured by right wing economic thought. I suspect that tammy thought might want to talk about that paper, but here we are, all ‘concerned’ and indignant.

      Should we just ignore what a person said and did in their life just in case it ‘poiliticises’ it?

      For goodness sake.

      And as for this:

      “I suspect you know that Pascal’s bookie”

      If you are going to call me a liar, at least have the decency to use the word, but you are wrong, I do not think Tammy is using Sophie’s death as political ammunition at all.

  11. Herodotus 11

    With a comment as “Not captured by the right” the author is displaying what is wrong with left/right thinking. An idea should stand on its own merrit. The orgins of an idea should not be tarnished by were its orgins were derrived from.
    I agree with many contributors above that all that this has done is to display the shollowness of the author in the attempt to make cheap political gain. Shame on you!

  12. Tim Ellis 12

    The real maturity that Sophie showed intellectually was that she doesn’t appear to have been captured by the left or the right in her thinking. I think it is a bit of a mistake to try and make her a martyr of the intellectual left, however, which she clearly wasn’t.

  13. RedLogix 13

    Thanks for linking to the article Tammy, it’s an interesting read. As Pb has already accurately put it, ignore the concern trolls.

    As for the left/right wing context, well it’s plain that discussions around the notion of equality was never exactly the right wing’s natural comfort zone.

  14. Daveo 14

    Man, some on the right will pounce on anything to try and score points. What a pack of hypersensitive dickheads.

    • gargoyle 14.1

      Man, some on the left will write anything to try and score points. What a pack of insensitive dickheads.

      Easy to write trite drivel isn’t it ?

  15. lprent 15

    Get a life people who are ‘concerned’. From what has been said I suspect that Sophie would have also been concerned about the gender economics. Are the ‘concerned’ going go around saying that her death had little to do with that.

    There are more pretentious political prats on this thread…

    Not everything on this blog is posted for political reasons….

    • burt 15.1

      lprent

      With all due respect, I think Tammy will learn from this. Feel free to delete my comment here while deleting your own. Baptism by fire and all that is part of the process of understanding the lay of the land. I’m not trying to wind you up when I say this so please don’t take it the wrong way; Tammy seems quite capable of standing on her own two feet.

  16. lprent 16

    She almost certainly can. However my comment was not related to that. I read comments backwards normally, usually without reading posts. I’d been wondering what in the hell was going on when I warned Felix.

    Then I get on the bus, read the post in normal mode, and find all of the pious pontificating bullshit. So you get a comment in normal mode expressing what I think. Do I have to go back to using a different login so you know the difference between moderator and commentary?

    • burt 16.1

      lprent

      Others might not agree with me but I think your comments and your moderation are easily differentiated. My comment was more saying I didn’t think you needed to defend her, noble as it is. 😉

  17. rave 17

    It seems that Tammy rightly supposed that the Treasury is of the political right. But that Sophie was not…yet.

    That seems to be the point of the comment of VTO about how people grow up and cease to be leftists because reality weighs heavy.

    Students like Sophie can explore their interests a bit at Uni and question some of the more obvious defects of capitalism. Such as welfare economics which is basically designed to reconcile the inherent inequality of capitalism with some ideal of social equity or justice.

    Now Treasury has no such brief. Its brief is to oversee the smooth operation of the economy, especially the role of the state in acting as a regulator of the market. This may extend to costing intelligence services of course which is a form of market regulation. Perhaps it was another ‘Sophie’ who leaked those costings to the sovereign citizenry.

    As an employee of Treasury I think we can safely say that Sophie’s brains and idealism would have been used against her youthful ideals.

    Whether she would have become another VTO or a Standardista or even a Marxist with an analysis of the Treasury as the high church of capitalism we will never know.

    • Tim Ellis 17.1

      rave I haven’t worked in Treasury, but in a former job for the OAG I had a lot to do with Treasury people. The current Treasury secretary was a contemporary of mine at university, and he was a Labour man. His first job was working in Bill Rowling’s office. People who went to work in Treasury were invariably the cream of the crop for all the public service and were very bright. They often had strong opinions and could express them well, from all political sides.

      Miss Elliott leaned heavily on Dworkin’s theory of equality. Dworkin’s theories wouldn’t necessarily go down well in left wing circles, particularly that luck is arbitrary and that people are responsible for their moral choices.

      Nor could you say that Sen, Roemer and Sugden are left-wing or remotely socialist. Let alone Hayek.

      I get the impression that Tammy has assumed that just because Miss Elliott’s paper discusses welfare economics, that she must therefore not be right wing.

      LP, I don’t know where you form the view that Miss Elliott must have been, or would have been, concerned with gender economics.

      • rave 17.1.1

        On the strength of Sophie’s article I think that Tammy was right, she wasnt captured by the right. But given the ideological basis of higher education she was in extreme danger of being so in the conclusions she arrives at.

        John Roemer is an analytical Marxist who tries to argue for a redistribution of income to those according to their needs, and from those according to their work. She gives him a good hearing. It is not her fault that Roemer waters down his Marxism and doesnt mention that the reason that redistribution is necessary to equalise opportunity under capitalism is that a more subtle redistribution has already created unequal opportunity – its called the exploitation of wage labour.

        Thus we can’t blame Sophie for ending up with a quote from the high priest Hayek not to meddle with the miracle of the market, like the old AA saying, please lord teach us not to try to change things that we are taught we cannot change. After all her education was circumscribed by the neo-classical dogma Karl Marx called “vulgar economics” which is founded on a religious faith in the “hidden hand”.

    • vto 17.2

      you are an assumptious tud lady rave

  18. mike 18

    “seems clear she certainly wasn’t captured by the right when she was studying economics at Otago.”

    It’s a shame she wasn’t ‘captured’ though TG – we conservatives could have locked her away from those nut job leftie uni lecturer types. Slack post..

  19. lprent 19

    TE: I didn’t know one way or another. My point was that it would have only taken about three words by Tammy or Sophie and all of sudden we’d have had indignation and pontificating about that.

    Tammy wrote a good post about the work of someone and their work. What we get is a pile of pious pontificating. FFS

    • Tim Ellis 19.1

      LP, I think what you call piousness is the genuine outrage of people who think the Left are adopting somebody as their icon, for little more reason than that Miss Elliott wasn’t overtly right wing.

      I read Miss Elliott’s paper some time ago and my head ached. It is highly technical and deals with some very complex things, and as a non-economist even after reading it a third time, I didn’t come close to understanding it any more than I would understand about quantum mechanics. What I did understand from reading it, was some of the deeply complex thinking that goes into this stuff.

      Miss Elliott was a unique talent, without a doubt. I defy Tammy or anybody else here who has praised Miss Elliott for not being right-wing to point out where in her essay this is obvious. My reading of it, and as I say it comes from an ignorant position of not being a trained economist, is that Miss Elliott’s survey of the philosophy of equality is absolutely devoid of left-right ideology. It is a discussion that deals with the moral, technical and philosophical issues around equality in economics, from a position of orthodox economic analysis.

      In my view to make assumptions about what her ideology may have been based on this essay suggests that Tammy doesn’t have any grasp of the discussion.

  20. StephenR 20

    I think it’s perceived as cheap political point scoring because it was said by a poster on The Standard, which does it’s own thing from a partisan left point of view etc, fine. But that’s why.

    Anyhoo would be happy to see a discussion of the work which I am unlikely to understand and it won’t bloody load anyway so I can’t even see if I do understand it.

  21. Nick 21

    “t seems clear she certainly wasn’t captured by the right when she was studying economics at Otago.”

    Wow, no more or no less class that you’d expect from the standard, using a murder victim to score a political point

  22. lprent 22

    Oh dear. It looks like we’ve over-pavloved the comment-writers on the right. A post on The Standard and they start rushing around looking for the needle that is jabbing in their arm.

    FFS when a post is political on the site it usually pretty damn obvious. Most of the writers are as subtle as I am. In other words they don’t bother with the concept of inference, preferring to use a jack-hammer as a more obvious tool.

    So gargoyle makes a rather stupid reading of the post and the operant conditioned cows* blindly follow. How many of you bothered to read the post long enough to think.

    * what can I say – bugger the rats, at Waikato we used cows at Ruakura for operant conditioning

    • BLiP 22.1

      The “bewildered herd”?

    • burt 22.2

      lprent

      I’m going to agree with you here. Enough repetition of the same old junk is just crap. Start swinging the ban stick around for people who are scoring cheap points. Hell Tammy said she was sorry hours ago and unless she rips the whole fricken thread down what else can she do!

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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    4 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    5 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago