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Some cold day in hell

Written By: - Date published: 1:10 pm, March 5th, 2009 - 30 comments
Categories: act, maori party, national - Tags: , , ,

key-in-tieObservant msm spectators may have noticed this gem from TV1 news last night:

‘A radical shake-up of the controversial Seabed and Foreshore Act is on the cards it could result in new powers for Maori to test their rights in court, but John Key is vowing no New Zealander will lose their access to the beach’.

After the Section 59 Amendment, the Seabed and Foreshore Act has to be one of the most poorly reported pieces of legislation in our recent political history. TVNZ and TV3 continued that fine tradition of keeping Kiwis in the dark by utterly failing to even mention what the Act does or the broader implications of repealing it. So people could be forgiven for not realizing that the Seabed and Foreshore Act is about a little bit more than Maori getting a chance to meekly ‘test their rights in court‘ and absolutely nothing to do with John’s lame attempt at misdirection by suggesting it’s just about access to the beach for cricket and a barbie. (John seems to have unwittingly regurgitated National’s previous “Iwi/Kiwi” spin on the Act.)

Why many Maori got so annoyed with the Act was because it closed off any future possibility for claims, either within or beyond the Treaty settlement process, on the Seabed and Foreshore and all that’s in it. That includes claims on extraction rights for fish and minerals worth many billions over many years.

Yeah I can totally see National opening that door.

To its credit National has built up quite a bit of expectation amongst some Maori expectations that could quickly turn sour if it becomes apparent National aren’t really so sincere about letting their review of the Act result in opening up new claims. Not surprisingly ACT are all for the review because they know this can only end in tears for relations between National and the Maori Party, ultimately leaving the ACT tail in a very good position to wag the National dog.

So is a ‘radical shake-up” really “on the cards”? Well not for the Act, no – National aren’t likely to change any aspect of the Act that has significant commercial implications. Coalition relations on the other hand might well be in for a few changes.

30 comments on “Some cold day in hell”

  1. Tane 1

    I’m not so sure I agree. National in recent times has shown itself to be quite willing to co-opt rather than reject the Maori capitalist class and sees iwi businesses purely as businesses. After seeing the behaviour of Sealord I can’t say I disagree with them.

    ACT’s opposition to the F&S Act, based on private property rights, is a good example of this. They saw earlier than the iwi/kiwi racists in National that rather than fighting Maori the better option was to co-opt the Maori elite into an electoral ally.

    The Foreshore and Seabed will mean little in reality to most Maori – they’ll be harder hit by reductions in workplace rights, cuts to public services and high levels of unemployment. But for the Maori Party it is crucial.

    Remember, the Maori Party sold its soul to get the F&S Act repealed. They’ve voted to divert money from the poor to the wealthy with National’s tax cuts and served as a pliant PR prop for National’s right-wing agenda.

    They’ve pinned everything on this, and if they don’t succeed then that’s their credibility the drain, as well as their electoral chances in 2011.

    • MikeE 1.1

      Tane gets it right for once!

      “ACT’s opposition to the F&S Act, based on private property rights, is a good example of this. They saw earlier than the iwi/kiwi racists in National that rather than fighting Maori the better option was to co-opt the Maori elite into an electoral ally.”

      Though I’d remove the word “elite”

  2. Ianmac 2

    Actually the Seabed and Foreshore is that area below High tide isn’t it? Not a very good place for barbies and cricket.
    One of the changes if repealed would be the claim/fees payable on the use of the seabed for mooring or anchoring boats, or gathering shellfish or crayfish or…..

    • SjS 2.1

      Yeah you’re right, it is the ‘wet’ bit of the beach and the sea floor, which makes anyone saying that the F&S Act is about beach access, beach cricket and barbies a complete idiot.

  3. Lew 3

    Sprout, I don’t agree, either, but for different reasons to Tane.

    As I observed in a post at KP, it’s a very strong panel of people who are no fools as far as the issues in play go, and they have a very open brief. The main catch is whether the government will follow through on their recommendations.

    Tane, you say the F&S will mean little `in reality’ to most Māori – I think what you mean by `in reality’ is `in economic terms’. Other things are important, too.

    L

    • Tane 3.1

      Lew, yes, that’s what I mean. I understand the non-economic values at play, but I’m talking bread and butter.

      Captcha: Standard victory

  4. Tigger 4

    Look at the comments on right wing blogs about this – Key is treading a thin line trying to keep everyone happy here – t’will be an interesting debate if nothing else! I can see Key tying himself in knots trying to keep Maori and the hard right vaguely happy…

  5. I have always found this debate frustrating and the actual contents of the legislation was ignored by most of the commentators. In short the Act did not do what was claimed.

    Following are some provisions of the Act:

    3 Object
    The object of this Act is to preserve the public foreshore and seabed in perpetuity as the common heritage of all New Zealanders in a way that enables the protection by the Crown of the public foreshore and seabed on behalf of all the people of New Zealand, including the protection of the association of whanau, hapu, and iwi with areas of the public foreshore and seabed.

    4 Purposes
    The Act gives effect to the object stated in section 3 by—
    (a) vesting the full legal and beneficial ownership of the public foreshore and seabed in the Crown; and
    (b) providing for the recognition and protection of ongoing customary rights to undertake or engage in activities, uses, or practices in areas of the public foreshore and
    seabed; and
    (c) enabling applications to be made to the High Court to investigate the full extent of the rights that may have been held at common law, and, if those rights are not able to be fully expressed as a result of this Act, enabling a successful applicant group—
    (i) to participate in the administration of a foreshore and seabed reserve; or
    (ii) to enter into formal discussions on redress; and
    (d) providing for general rights of public access and recreation in, on, over, and across the public foreshore and seabed and general rights of navigation within the foreshore
    and seabed.

    The mechanism is set out in sections 33 and 35 of the Act.

    So the right to go to Court was there, Maori could go to Court to seek that the rights are recognised and there was a mechanism for seeking compensation. The concern was that a title could issue for a right, and once this happens then the right can be alienated and public access taken away.

    I am not sure Sprout about if the Act takes away the rights to minerals. Section 11 defines a customary rights claim as “any claim in respect of the public foreshore and seabed that is based on, or relies on, customary rights, customary title, aboriginal rights, aboriginal title, the fiduciary duty of the Crown, or any rights, titles, or duties of a similar nature, whether arising before, on, or after the commencement of this section and whether or not the claim is based on, or relies on, any 1 or more of the following:
    (a) a rule, principle, or practice of the common law or equity:
    (b) the Treaty of Waitangi:
    (c) the existence of a trust:
    (d) an obligation of any kind.”

    It is pretty wide. The rights to extract minerals may no longer be there but there is the right to seek recognition of such a right and to negotiate for compensation.

    I await with baited breath the further development of this issue …

  6. Tane 6

    I might be wrong, but I suspect the activist right will suck it up. The message from on high is that Maori, and the Maori Party, are no longer the ‘other’. How the rest of NZ will react, I can’t quite be sure.

  7. Graeme 7

    it closed off any future possibility for claims, either within or beyond the Treaty settlement process, on the Seabed and Foreshore and all that’s in it. That includes claims on extraction rights for fish and minerals worth many billions over many years.

    Other New Zealanders with property in fee simple in some land don’t have mineral or mining rights, so I’m not sure why one would think Maori gaining fee simple property in the foreshore or seabed would grant them such rights.

    After the Section 59 Amendment, the Seabed and Foreshore Act has to be one of the most poorly reported pieces of legislation in our recent political history.

    Section 59 was reasonably accurately described until the last-minute amendment, but I’d add the “three-strikes” law to the list – I have not seen a single piece of reporting which accurately reflects its content.

    Actually the Seabed and Foreshore is that area below High tide isn’t it?

    Yeah. The foreshore is the bit between high tide and low tide, and the seabed is the bit that’s always covered by water.

    • LawGeek 7.1

      But Graeme, they’re not claiming fee simple title. They’re claiming that native title was never extinguished to the foreshore and seabed. Don’t know what impact that has on mineral rights (none, I suspect), but fee simple title isn’t at issue. Didn’t you pay attention to Boasty :P?

  8. Will this law cover beachfront holiday homes in Hawaii?

    • sweeetdisorder 8.1

      No. Hawaii is not in New Zealand nor a New Zealand territory. A simple glance at an atlas would have provided you with the answer.

      You must hate it when what you thought was a question filled of wit and wonder exposes your lack of intellect and your inherent envy at those who have made some measure of success in their lives.

  9. I dont think no kiwi will ever lose beach access, can ya manage a handful of people trying to stop 5000 or six thousand people going to the beach? It just wont happen.

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      “I dont think no kiwi will ever lose beach access..”

      I’m not unconvinced that I won’t never disagree… 😉

    • Matthew Pilott 9.2

      Try driving through what used to be SH38 when the locals aren’t happy.

  10. LawGeek 10

    Sprout, is any of this more than reflexive anti-Nat ranting (I ask this as very definitely not a Nat voter)? The panel they’ve appointed, as Lew mentions, is very strong. Richard Boast taught me property law at law school, at the time that the Court of Appeal was considering the Ngati Apa case. He’s been arguing for Maori to be able to make claims about the foreshore and seabed for a long time, and has written a lot of well-regarded stuff about how the old precedent (90 mile beach) was rubbish. And the other two panel members are Eddie Durie and Hana O’Regan. You really think they’re going to be National Party shills? Come on, get serious.

    I’ve read every word of the Ngati Apa decision. I’ve had to teach it (as a tutor). I am very familiar about what it says, and Labour’s out and out lies about the effect of the decision, and why the Foreshore and Seabed Act was necessary is the main reason (Michael Cullen being the worst offender) I was unable to vote labour at the last 2 elections. It’s one of the most disgraceful pieces of legislation passed in the last decade, and if anyone wants to get rid of it, Nats, Act, Maori Party, Greens, all power to them.

    • Ianmac 10.1

      Lawgeek: I read your 2:54 post with great interest. I understand your strong wish for repeal but couldn’t quite see what the problem is, and what a repeal would do to fix it.

      • LawGeek 10.1.1

        Ianmac, essentially all Ngati Apa said was that Maori could actually go to the Maori Land Court and attempt to prove that they still had native title to various parts of the foreshore and seabed. Proving native title is very difficult, involving showing an unbroken history of customary usage of the foreshore/seabed since pre-colonial times. This is virtually impossible in most cases, as most maori sold/were hoodwinked out of/had confiscated their rights to that land, meaning that for obvious reasons they haven’t been using it continuously. Also, the effect of the 90 mile beach decision was that for 60 years, Maori were (wrongly) told that they didn’t have those rights.

        The end result of all of this is that the area of foreshore/seabed over which a claim could be proved in the Maori Land Court is very small. Labour, and especially Cullen, chose to buy into the racist Brash/Orewa meme of the time, and paint this as the Maaaaries trying to stop every man and his dog going to the beach. This was simply false. All that Ngati Apa mean was that Maori would be allowed, as we all are, to go to court and say “hey, I think I have a right to this property, what do you think, Court?” As I’ve outlined above, the chances for success were low. But Maori were denied even this small chance to prove their rights by Labour’s cynical political manouvering. THIS is why I think the foreshore and seabed act is a nasty, nasty piece of work. Repeal it, and let the substance of the arguments be heard.

        • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.1

          LawGeek

          I agree with much of the sentiment and principle here. I hated that f’ing law, and am either a hater, or a wrecker. Possibly both.

          But if I might play devil’s advocate for the LP here, I’d say that what you (not wrongly) call cynicism, was the most likely result of the larger political situation.

          It seems to me that if Labour had not done something very similar to what they did, then National would have run on the F&S issue, and quite possibly won the election. Their policy and rhetoric at the time was much worse than Labour’s.

          I’m not saying that Labour was acting in Maori interests. Rather that Labour was acting in Labour’s interest, which is to say, in the interests of Labour’s voters as a whole. If the calculation was something like, “If we do this, we lose Maori support as the price for keeping National out of government” then it is certainly cynicism, but it’s not only cynicism.

          I find it really interesting that so many of the successful minor parties under MMP have been LP breakaways. From National I can only really think of NZ First.

          Maybe, because the left under FFP was a coalition forced under one banner for strategic reasons, this breakup was inevitable as under MMP tensions had an outlet valve in the form of starting more ‘pure’ parties. Parties that will often be in strategic (or even ideological), conflict over particular issues will deal with them as they see best in terms of their supporters interests

          Which isn’t much of a defence I’ll admit.
          But there were much worse alternatives.

          • LawGeek 10.1.1.1.1

            I get your point and mostly agree about the political consequences. I still think they should have sold this without quite as many outright lies from Cullen, but that’s done now. What annoyed me, really, is the tone Sprout took to the issue – this is an evil cynical plot by National to… do I’m not quite sure what. No Labour supporter has the moral highground to be judgmental about a) the Act or b) political cynicism on this issue. Given the makeup of the panel, it really looks like National’s going to recommend repeal. Good on them (quite probably the last time I’ll say that about a National government for some time).

  11. mike 11

    You guys just don’t get it.

    Labour were on a hiding to nothing – if they allowed the foreshore to be contestable they knew they would be toast by playing right into the hands of the then iwi/kiwi Nat theme.

    National can now play the pragmatic card because they are not labour and don’t have the baggage of 9 years power.

    ..And the media will soak it all up and praise the new centre right for there fresh approach. God Keys good

    • LawGeek 11.1

      Mike – does that make it right? Put aside the political manouevering for a second. Is it the right thing to do to have the Government deny a particular group access to the Courts, and then lie about why they’re doing it? God knows I preferred a Labour government to a Brash one, but is this really the way we wanted to go about getting it? And do we really want to criticise the repeal of a blatantly unjust law?

      • mike 11.1.1

        No argument here – I’m a hard out tory just pointing out that all labour (and National ) were interested in was “political manouevering ”

        Most centre righties don’t give a shit about Maori having a say in the seabed & foreshore under the Nats – it was on top of all that PC “closing the gaps” type bullshit that labour introduced that woke the monster up.

      • Akldnut 11.1.2

        LawGeek IMHO I think Mikes right, Labour were on a hiding to nothing. If they had gone one way the European voters would have castrated them, if they went the other Maori would feel (some did and still do) another raupatu was happening but they tried to take a centrist path and appease both sides.
        Tell Maori they still have their customary rights and tell pakeha they still have the rights to access public beaches.

        It Led to the formation of the MP and splintered the labour vote.
        Being of maori descent I don’t believe that our people actually agree with what the MP have done or whether it has enhanced the mana of our people.

        Captcha – blade inches – feels like thats how far its gone in recently

  12. brick 12

    National is building a strong foundation.

  13. Lew 13

    In terms of political strategy, Mike is right – Labour were caught between the devil of Don Brash and the deep blue sea. Nevertheless, I believe there were options available to Labour which did not involve them circumscribing due process in such an imperious and paternalistic manner. Appealing the case was tricky, since the presiding judge of the Supreme Court (Sian Elias) was author of the Court of Appeal judgement they would have been appealing, and the Privy Council had gone west by then; nevertheless my non-legal brain believes that other judges of the Supreme COurt could have heard the case, and the primary motivation for Labour not taking this course was certainty they would lose. Taking a proactive stance with claimant groups would have been the best strategy, in my opinion – enabling them to negotiate customary rights and such, and making the process easy as long as they stayed within certain bounds. I think iwi of the time would have been amenable to this; they’ve not historically been unreasonable, and negotiation via the Waitangi Tribunal and other such means has been extremely effective at constraining the magnitude of tangata whenau redress.

    Fundamentally, though, in the long term I think Labour’s actions were a blessing in disguise. We now have the māori party, a cogent Māori political bloc within government and being treated as if their policy positions – or some of them, at least – actually matter. Most importantly, Māori are having to stand on their own two feet in politics, developing and implementing their own philosophical and policy agenda, and being given leave by their electorate to exercise a fair degree of autonomy. I’m not a fan of National, but John Key is at least treating with the māori party as if they represent an electorate who know their own minds – so far from the paternalism shown beforehand. Yes – the decision has hurt Labour, but it looks like it will be good for Māori in the medium term, as a bidding war for their votes emerges toward 2011. Labour will bounce back.

    More importantly than party politics, reconciliation between Pākehā and Māori in Aotearoa can only be a good thing. National is so far continuing that process, and that’s something they couldn’t have done with a Māori electorate wedded to the Labour party.

    L

  14. ak 14

    Wish you were right Lew: unfortunately, Mike’s comments reveal the true picture.

    As he notes, the party that coldly and deliberately picked the scab (and thus directly elicited F&S) with Orewa One “doesn’t give a shit” about that “closing the gaps – type bullshit”.

    And never has. Wee Johnny courted the MP solely to thwart the advantage of the electorally-toxic ACT – and spun it as “inclusiveness” for the personal PR hit he constantly craves above all else.

    That same festering pustule that erupted in 2005 is alive and well: ready to be ripped open at any time by something as paltry as the letter aitch. A smiley-faced band-aid on a seething culture of Mikes is but a temporary, surreal farce.

    The only positive development is the establishment of the MP: but they need to muscle up. Their window of opportunity is small, and further dithering near the infection site will be fatal: if they can’t close some gaps (or at least retain Labour’s gains in maori health, say) in the next two years, they’re toast. With “inequality” now taboo, the prognosis is shaky at this point.

  15. George.com 15

    Strikes me there are 2 issues being discussed here: what is good or NZ and how this will play out on the National party.

    For NZ, what will be good is for the FS&SB ‘issue’ to be resolved constructively for the whole country that will allow some of the wounds to start to heal. resolving and resolving it well is of benefit to us all.

    For National, they don’t deserve to get off lightly. Don Brash and National set this issue up to be divisive and damaging. Yes, Labour could have handled it better and secured a better outcome than the FS&SB. I’d have advocated a negotiated settlement is possible. However, Brash and National used the debate in a cynical manner for political reasons and desperation to secure power. Labour reacted (fairly badly at times) to that pressure. They copped it with the formation of the Maori Party. Karma dictates that National cop the flack from the redneck and conservative right that Brash so cynically courted.

    An outcome thats good for NZ is a little different from an outcome the National Party deserve. Unity and peaceful relations versus chickens coming home to roost.

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  • 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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, ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    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
    21 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
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  • 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
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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