web analytics

A bribe is not a plan

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, June 15th, 2009 - 38 comments
Categories: national - Tags:

As recently posted here, there is a vast gulf between National’s rhetoric and the reality on tax cuts. Before the election National sold its tax cut programme as the answer to every question. Tax cuts were the centrepiece of National’s economic plan and its response to the economic crisis:

Key: Tax cuts are a top priority for National. They are an essential part of our five-point plan for the economy to make New Zealand a wealthier, more successful country.

National never truly believed this rhetoric or it would never have cancelled tax cuts in the budget. The reality is that tax cuts were just an election bribe.

Tax cuts don’t cause growth (though they may sometimes be coincidentally correlated with it, allowing this specious claim to continue). The April 1st tax cuts (which National did not cancel) certainly did not cause any growth in NZ:

Tax cuts leave retailers cold

Tax cuts were an April Fool’s joke for retailers – sales went down, not up.

Statistics New Zealand figures showed core retail sales, excluding vehicles and fuel, dipped 0.1 per cent in April despite the tax cuts. The benefit from tax cuts, falling mortgage interest rates in the past year, rising migration, and a pick-up in housing sales in recent weeks have come to less than nought.

People are being more cautious, saving their tax cuts or paying down debt because of rising unemployment, economists said.

Some economists had expected a 1 per cent lift in core sales figures because of tax cuts from the start of April. But the positives had been overwhelmed by the negatives of rising unemployment and lower wage growth, economists said.

The benefits of the April 1 tax cuts went to the wrong people, the better off, who put the money in the bank. Tax cuts in and of themselves don’t cause growth, and National knows this, which is why it cancelled the future cuts when they became unaffordable. The way to get growth is to invest in jobs and wages, education and training, research and development, export incentives and other forms of targeted stimulus – and on these terms the 2009 budget was a whole heap of fail.

So what is National’s plan for the economy? It isn’t the tax cuts – that bribe got cancelled. It isn’t real investment in growth – the budget cupboard was bare. So what is it? Does National have a plan at all?

38 comments on “A bribe is not a plan”

  1. Maynard J 1

    At least they cancelled the proposed ones, knowing they will be ineffectual. They could have carried on regardless and on an ideological bent, so credit to English and National for doing the right thing there – even if it was clearly one round of tax cuts too late.

    • r0b 1.1

      I quite agree!

      But now what? Once you’ve chucked away “an essential part” of your “five-point plan for the economy”, what happens next? What’s the new plan?

  2. Kevin Welsh 2

    Maynard J, I do not believe for one minute that they EVER planned for them to go ahead.

    This was good old vote buying at its best. If not, then Bill English and John Key are probably the two stupidest financial people in the world. The writing was on the wall before the 2008 General Election only they chose to ignore it.

    If someone like me can read the signs that were appearing on an almost daily basis, why couldn’t they?

  3. OhPlease 3

    “tax cuts don’t cause growth”. I am disappointed at TheStandard’s continuing push that economic growth is the be all and end all. The highest growing regions are China and India – go live there and see how it feels. Whether tax cuts cause or retard growth is not the issue. Tax cuts undermine social security- that’s the problem.

    [lprent: “The Standard” is a dumb machine – it doesn’t have either brains or an opinion. This site has a hell of a lot of people posting under either pseudonyms or Guest Posts. It’d be rare to find more than a few with a common opinion on anything.

    You could talk to the author of the post(s), but I’d suggest that talking to a dumb machine is just likely to diminish peoples opinion of your intelligence. Please read the about and policy. ]

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      China and India are the highest growing areas because they have the most growth left to do. Duh.

    • r0b 3.2

      Lynn, or one of the posters here, would probably remind you that the views of individual posters are not the views of “The Standard” (whatever that means!).

      But I agree that the growth fixation is a bad thing. See what’s wrong with GDP as a measure, and stuff on the alternative measure of GPI (here here).

      Now that’s a debate I’d love to see in this country!

    • Anthony Karinski 3.3

      “”The Standard” is a dumb machine – it doesn’t have either brains or an opinion. This site has a hell of a lot of people posting under either pseudonyms or Guest Posts. It’d be rare to find more than a few with a common opinion on anything. ”

      The “dumb” Standard machine must be showing some signs of AI as I’ve seen it write several posts lately. such as this: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/boniface-hits-the-mark/ You guys should get ready for a trip to Stockholm and collect that Nobel price 😉

      [lprent: So what you are saying is that you have no ability to observe.

      It you did have, then you’d have noticed that what goes up under “The Standard” are public notices or direct intact copies of material from elsewhere on the web.

      The authors on this site don’t want to take credit for other peoples work. We seldom even do an “Indeed” level comment on those types of posts so they go up under a generic poster name “The Standard”. So there is not real content from people on this site.

      We failed to find a better name for the task so that is what it defaulted to. ]

      • jarbury 3.3.1

        I’m not a particularly big fan of anonymous guest posts. Generally if someone takes the time and effort to put together a post for The Standard (as I did once) then chances are they are a regular commenter here and should have the guts to put their name to what they write.

        Just my 2c

        • lprent 3.3.1.1

          That is pretty much a matter of personal preference. I’d prefer that they used a pseudonym to distinguish themselves from the other guest posts. But I’m not a great believer in “real names” simply because I’ve been around the nets for decades, and whatever you say persists. It simply aids the stalkers and refuse eaters like Whaledreck. However a good pseudonym carries weight after you’ve built it up through sheer force of good opinions.

          But really I’m more interested in presenting the content and ideas. The comments section will analyze it to death anyway. There have only been a few times that we have amended a post and those were not for being objectionable. They were for being offensive in the eyes of the moderators.

          People cannot try to say what the authors should be writing about. But they analyze (ie using brains to criticize) why the author was daft to write what they did. A bit of a training exercise for the author.

        • r0b 3.3.1.2

          I’m not a particularly big fan of anonymous guest posts.

          I’m interested in other people’s opinions on this.

          I’ve written quite a few unsigned guest posts. My reasoning is that its good to have a fair volume of such posts going through the system so that other people, who might feel more shy about writing, might be encouraged by example to make their own contributions.

          I don’t feel any need to put the name “r0b” on these things because its the ideas and the debate that matter to me, not the name attached to them (and of course the name is pretty meaningless in my case anyway – a “tribute” to Muldoon, who got me in to politics, “bless him”).

          But if the majority feel, like Jarbury, that this is copping out in some way, then I’d think again about my position on this.

          • jarbury 3.3.1.2.1

            I think where I’m coming from is that an opinion piece (which blog posts clearly are) is someone’s opinion on a matter, so I think it is quite important to work out whose opinion it actually is.

            I do understand the thinking behind wanting to make the issue the big deal, rather than who posted it, but generally as people aren’t using their real names I doubt that the identity of the poster will end up being the focus of the conversation.

            In fact you could end up with a situation where I read a guest post, don’t really agree with it but get to the end and find out that it was written by someone whose comments I usually do agree with. That might make me think twice about my original interpretation of the post and really try to understand the point they were getting across. Furthermore, if I have a question on the post it’s quite good to know who of the commenters is actually going to respond to it.

      • Anthony Karinski 3.3.2

        Fair enough. But I think most people would say that the usage of the moniker “The Standard’ implies a bit more than bits and bytes on a server. Presumably it’s used collectively by several authors on paste and copy pieces. As such I would consider it akin to a newspaper editorial, which often is anonymous and authored by different journalists and editors over time. The editorial thus conveys the “collective’ opinion of several jurnos (although a number of them are likely to disagree with other jurnos’ editorials) that together make up a paper like the NZ Herald.

        We’re well aware that the printing machines at the Herald don’t write the editorials themselves. Still the Heralds editorials, just as the Standard pieces, are considered by most readers the views of an entity representing the collective voice of the people using the moniker. Thus the pieces “The Standard’ chooses to highlight, and to some extent comment on, communicate messages you as a group are comfortable publishing under the same name.

        • Eddie 3.3.2.1

          I’ll put it this way:

          Where an opinion piece is marked with “The Standard” as the author it is the editorial line of The Standard. However, I think we’ve only done that once, when we called for a referendum on the super city.

          Where a copy and paste job of someone else’s work is marked as “The Standard” all you can really read into that is that an author at The Standard thinks it’s worth passing on.

          Anything else is the personal opinion of the individual author it’s been attributed to.

          • r0b 3.3.2.1.1

            I think you’d have to agree that those two uses of “The Standard” can be confusing Eddie, and there was also that bunch of posts on “the standard line” a while back – I can see how its all very confusing to newcomers.

            I wonder if, as The Standard grows and evolves, the writing team want to revisit this and editorial policy in general every now and again, see if they want to make any changes, and make sure everyone is on the same page.

  4. Maynard J 4

    “I do not believe for one minute that they EVER planned for them to go ahead.”

    It is hard to prove a negative – but remember that they could have found a way if they really wanted to. Only (“only”..oh well, anyway) $500m was cut from Crown expenditure. If they really wanted to, they could have found a lot more, to find tax cuts.

    I also think that people’s recollection of events can become somewhat compressed. At the time of the egenral election things were bad, but it was a very fluid and rapidly worsening picture – National would have had to change their policy in mid-campaign. Realistically, that would be virtually impossible and I am not sure it was as bad as you suggest at election time.

    You could be right, but I would not be confident in making that call myself.

    rob, that is indeed the question. It shows what reliance on tax-cuts as a platform does – and makes you wonder why people wanted a long-term (virtually permanent) solution to a short term problem (if you consider surpluses a ‘problem’). Labour countered that argument poorly, but it was a simple one – “there is extra money, now give us some”. Counter: “there will not always be extra money” or “while there is extra money now, if we give you some that will expose us in the future” and so on.

    The other four points, and are they as flawed as the one already discarded:

    Bringing discipline to government spending.
    Tackling bureaucracy and red tape.
    An unwavering focus on lifting education standards.
    Boosting infrastructure to help this country grow.

    1 – rhetoric and lip-service to the right.
    2 – economic growth at the expense of society and the environment. So 1800s
    3 – Like adult education? Or forcing focus on kids passing exams, not actual teaching? Hmmm.
    4 – Seven big roads. National cycleway. So a few jobs in construction, eventually, and maybe some tourism a few years down the track, so to speak.

    Looks like a half-point plan to me.

    What about education for the newly unemployed? A new green deal? Investing in people, instead of some tar-seal?

    • r0b 4.1

      Nice summary!

      A green new deal – oh yes please. One thing that Obama is at least starting to get right.

      The Obama administration is using Earth Day for launching another all-out effort to sell the American public and key lawmakers on “green jobs” as the solution for the United States’ environmental and economic woes.

      It has become increasingly clear that the administration’s central theme — not to mention its pitch to key lawmakers — is that energy-related legislative priorities are based not only on environmental merits but on their ability to create jobs.

      Both Obama’s allies and his critics say such a message is aimed at broadening the constituency for such initiatives — rallying the traditional “green” vote as well as blue-collar workers and the U.S. manufacturing base.

      “This is the kind of ‘for everybody Earth Day agenda’ that the Obama administration stands for,” White House Council on Environmental Quality adviser Van Jones said yesterday. “There’s a wingspan on these jobs goes from GED to Ph.D.”

      Jones added, “The administration is committed that green jobs be good jobs, and there’s a strong commitment to make sure that it actually happens.”

      Full credit to our own Greens on this:

      The Green New Deal


      Now that’s what a plan looks like!

      • Maynard J 4.1.1

        That document from the greens was a piece of work alright. I was disappointed there was no shadow budget from Labour, or at least a few suggested policies. I guess that they are unlikely to have been able to forumulate something detailed so soon after being relegated to the opposition (and the inevitable “but you had nine years rigamarole”), and hope for more next budget. It is just a shame that there was nothing, given the special circumstances of this budget.

  5. Lew 5

    Is it redundant to point out that a tax cut is no more a “bribe” than interest-free student loans or regular minimum wage increases?

    ‘Bribe’ is just a propaganda term in this usage; it clouds the policy issue rather than making it clearer.

    L

    • r0b 5.1

      Is it redundant to point out that a tax cut is no more a “bribe’ than interest-free student loans or regular minimum wage increases?

      Not at all, it’s point well worth discussing. Two important differences I think between (A) tax cuts and (B) loans / wages.

      First, I think the case for the social and economic benefits of B are much clearer than the benefits of A.

      Second, B was actually delivered, and A was not (at least not fully). The promise of A going in to the 08 election was unrealistic.

      ‘Bribe’ is just a propaganda term in this usage; it clouds the policy issue rather than making it clearer.

      I disagree. Let’s call a spade a spade. When you promise something with no realistic chance of delivering it, which is what National did with tax cuts, it isn’t a real policy, it’s an election bribe. Propaganda is what National did with it’s unrealistic promises, it isn’t propaganda to point that out.

      • Maynard J 5.1.1

        I also point out that A is a direct payment from the Government to people, B is not. that makes a difference as to whether it is a ‘bribe’.

        “When you promise something with no realistic chance of delivering it, which is what National did with tax cuts, it isn’t a real policy, it’s an election bribe. ”

        I am not sure this criteria is right, r0b. Would a bribe not be a bribe whether it is paid out or not?

        I see Lew’s point – there are differences between the two, and I agree that there are social benefits from B that are not received from A, but the term ‘bribe’ might not help – would working for families count?

        So, the connotations of a bribe are an illegal (or morally dubious) payment as an inducement for a favour. This was merely a promise of a stupid payment for a favour, and perfectly above board in a legal sense. Morally dubious? Debatable (endlessly) – but does that make it a bribe? Grey area emergning in my mind. Adopting a fence sitting position for time being.

        • r0b 5.1.1.1

          Well no it’s not a “bribe” in the sense of an illegal secretive payment, but isn’t “election bribe” a general enough concept?

          • Maynard J 5.1.1.1.1

            Maybe I am taking a too literal view. But I am coming from the direction of it being a term that promotes a cynicism in politics – anything that a party wants to do for you is just a bribe to get your vote so that they can get power, their real goal.

            Kind of like PC – there is a correct application for the term that got lost years ago. You could argue this specific case either way really (well that is stating the obvious isn’t it, since that is what is happening right here!).

          • r0b 5.1.1.1.2

            But I am coming from the direction of it being a term that promotes a cynicism in politics

            I think that’s a really interesting point – you should do a guest post. What is the role of cynicism in politics? Is it something we on the left should rise above, or something that we have to use of we want to win elections? Do we have to fight fire with fire?

            Watching the way the last Labour government was eventually brought down by 1000 little cynical lies I must admit that my attitudes have hardened considerably in the “cynacism with cynacism” direction (not lies, but robust language and debate). Perhaps I’m wrong. Convince me!

          • Lew 5.1.1.1.3

            MJ,

            a term that promotes a cynicism in politics … Kind of like PC there is a correct application for the term that got lost years ago.

            This is exactly what I mean by ‘propaganda term’ – a term whose actual meaning is so divorced from its usage as to confuse an issue or render it less easy to understand, rather than clarifying it. A term where you come away with the valence (positive or negative) but no actual understanding of what’s being discussed.

            I’ve been meaning to do a post on common propaganda terms in NZ discourse for ages – I just haven’t had time as yet. A good start would be a list.

            L

        • vto 5.1.1.2

          Maynard “I also point out that A is a direct payment from the Government to people”

          How wrong, how wrong.

          It is in fact the complete opposite, but the perception of A as how you describe it Mr Maynard undercuts the whole debate about tax and its place. This is a Cullen view of tax.

          People need to learn that tax cuts are not a payment by the govt. Until that is understood all debate is rather pointless on this issue.

          • Maynard J 5.1.1.2.1

            yeah yeah, I was arguing the difference between a direct transfer of wealth versus indirect.

            If you pay a phone bill and your line rental is reduced, then it is not a ‘payment by the phone company’. I am sure we agree there.

            You are arguing that it is as simple with the government. It is not. The term was one that brooks objection such as yours, but there is plenty of room for debate here and it is not something the left (sorry, “people”) needs to realise, as you suggest. Also wrong.

            Suggesting that until people see things your way there is no point having the debate is a touch of the absurd, is it not?

          • vto 5.1.1.2.2

            Sorry, sometimes I only get time for a quick snap at someone’s heels and interfere annoyingly with a bigger debate… Feel free to ignore.

            But I would be interested mr maynard to hear what the argument is for tax cuts in any way being a payment from the govt to the taxpayer. You disagreed with me but offered no support for that disagreement.

          • Maynard J 5.1.1.2.3

            That is ok vto. Was not trying to respond fully, just say that a payment from government might not be the correct term, but nor is the converse (letting people keep their own money). The latter implies that your whole pay packet is yours, and that it is wrong to have any of it taken in tax but it sort of has to happen.

            Given that we are paying for various services over the course of our working life, neither is strictly true. I like to think that what is taxed is the correct amount due for living in society, and since I would not have that money without society, it woul be wrong to think of it as all ‘my’ money in the first place. I appreciate how truly abhorrent that view is to some people!

          • vto 5.1.1.2.4

            Partial, partial M J. You say “The latter implies that your whole pay packet is yours, and that it is wrong to have any of it taken in tax but it sort of has to happen.”

            The second part of that sentence of yours does not necessarily follow. I think most people would consider the first part correct but not the second and are in fact happy to pay to the govt an amount for the necessary services.

            I imagine most people consider themselves part of society and that they need to (and want to) contribute. But that does not mean that their daily toil is not their own. Contribution is made by the simple act of going about daily business as well as all other forms of contribution such as taxation.

            Anyway, perhaps I getting all tanglemangled in pedantry…

            (Tho I do stand by my original point that tax cuts are not a payment by govt)

          • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1.2.5

            vto, would you agree, perhaps, that when ‘tax cuts’ are implemented without a cutting of spending to compensate the crown accounts for the foregone revenue, then that could be classed as a ‘payment by the government’?

            Or rather, a tax on the future taxpayers for the benefit of those who get tax cuts today. A transfer payment if you like, from our grandkids to ourselves.

            Not saying this in relation to the here and now, necessarily, but just as a principle.

      • Lew 5.1.2

        r0b, heh, an early draft contained a similar sort of discussion of the relative merits, but then I thought the relative merits redundant : )

        Let’s call a spade a spade. When you promise something with no realistic chance of delivering it, which is what National did with tax cuts, it isn’t a real policy, it’s an election bribe.

        So is a characteristic of an ‘election bribe’ that it not be delivered? I’m not so sure about that. I don’t think this is so much calling a spade a spade as calling a shovel a fork.

        L

        • r0b 5.1.2.1

          So is a characteristic of an ‘election bribe’ that it not be delivered?

          I wouldn’t have thought so – some election bribes get delivered and some don’t. But when you promise something and don’t deliver it, I think that raises the odds that it was a bribe, that you weren’t committed to it.

          Anyway, if you’re looking for Labour’s bribes, I think their tax cuts is a much more obvious example than loans / wages.

          • Lew 5.1.2.1.1

            r0b,

            But when you promise something and don’t deliver it, I think that raises the odds that it was a bribe, that you weren’t committed to it.

            Ok. So a bribe in this usage is something offered as a convenience or inducement to the electorate, rather than for its policy value. Need something have no policy value to be a bribe, or is it a matter of intent on the campaigning party? Because I can roll out plenty of people who reckon the tax cuts had legitimate policy value, and the examples I cited for Labour’s side (and WFF) all have manifest policy value as well. I think this is what makes ‘bribe’ a propaganda term – it contains implicit speculation as to the motives of a political actor, which commonly run counter to their stated motives or their motives in principle. That’s contentious, and a political question of judgement rather than one of actual factual fact.

            L

          • r0b 5.1.2.1.2

            That’s contentious, and a political question of judgement rather than one of actual factual fact.

            Well yes, of course. Pedantio ad absurdium?

            As per most discussion on political blogs, you can make a case, but ultimately the “facts” are largely unknown or unknowable. Pending the release of a time machine to go back and listen in on National in 2008, or a mind reading machine, then we are indeed speculating “as to the motives of a political actor”.

            But some speculations are sounder than others. If tax cuts really were an “essential part” of an economic and recovery plan, if they really did provably cause desirable growth, then you’d have to be mad to cut them. The gap between the rhetoric and the reality here is too big (at least for me) to believe that the rhetoric was ever sincere.

            Got to go for now…

          • Lew 5.1.2.1.3

            r0b,

            But some speculations are sounder than others. If tax cuts really were an “essential part’ of an economic and recovery plan, if they really did provably cause desirable growth, then you’d have to be mad to cut them. The gap between the rhetoric and the reality here is too big (at least for me) to believe that the rhetoric was ever sincere.

            Right. But that gap doesn’t make it a bribe, it makes it a broken election promise and deliberate misleading of the electorate.
            The definition is important: ‘bribe’ implies the bribed got something for their trouble. That isn’t the case here, so it obscures the facts of the policy and the nature of the deception behind it.

            I can see why ‘bribe’ is being used because it’s a nice shorthand for a lot of bad stuff which folk would like to tag National – a stronger propaganda term to use here than ‘broken promise’ because the latter puts Labour and its supporters in a bind as they can be seen to now be calling for the tax cuts they opposed. In fact, they’re not, they’re calling for truth in campaigning and calling attention to wider matter of National’s cynical politics and the lack of trustworthiness – but that message has been pretty well lost because the tactical matter of tax cuts being wrongly framed confuses the issue.

            L

  6. OhPlease 6

    Oops! Sorry – my mistake. New to this. Should have rephrased as “my problem with the poster’s argument is that he/she assumes that if tax cuts were growth enhancing, then they would be acceptable. I disagree. “

  7. r0b 7

    Oops! Sorry my mistake. New to this

    No worries, good on you for joining the debate. I for one think your point is perfectly valid, hence the GPI links above.

  8. Akldnut 8

    Well I believe that a bribe is not dependent on whether or not you get the amount or item that is offered, as long as the person/organisation gets from the “seduced” a result from the offer. (Not necessarily the result that they were after)

    When there is no payout it is then deemed
    1. A Lie
    2. Fraud
    3. A Bribe
    4. Politicing

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    51 mins ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    1 hour ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    2 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    4 hours ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    20 hours ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    20 hours ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    21 hours ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial 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... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    1 day ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    1 day ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    3 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    4 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    4 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    5 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    5 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    5 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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