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A lesson for the Secretary of Education

Written By: - Date published: 11:27 am, November 2nd, 2012 - 50 comments
Categories: class war, education, poverty - Tags: , , , ,

Audrey Young had a puff piece on Secretary of Education Lesley Longstone today. Wading through the fluff, we find an interesting insight into Longstone’s thinking. Longstone says:

…New Zealand is seventh out of 65 countries in the latest OECD Pisa assessment for 15-year-olds. But broken down, New Zealand Europeans are second, Maori are 34th and Pacific students 44th.

Some people attributed the disparity in achievement to poverty, she said.

“I don’t agree with that analysis. I do agree that poverty makes a difference, but what I don’t agree with is that that explains everything because all those OECD countries have poverty.”

There was already plenty of evidence about what affected education, and poverty was only one factor.

Longstone can’t deny the impact of poverty, but wants to downplay it. It’s “just one factor”, “all those OECD countries have poverty”. Hmmmm. Yes, poverty is just one factor, it is overwhelmingly the most important factor. Yes, all OECD countries have poverty, and yes the effect is the same everywhere. Even the most cursory scan of the educational literature will tell you this [all emphasis mine]:

The impact of poverty on educational outcomes for children

Studies emanating from successive waves of the NLSCY have repeatedly shown that socioeconomic factors have a large, pervasive and persistent influence over school achievement (14-16). Phipps and Lethbridge (15) examined income and child outcomes in children four to 15 years of age based on data from the NLSCY. In this study, higher incomes were consistently associated with better outcomes for children. The largest effects were for cognitive and school measures (teacher-administered math and reading scores), followed by behavioural and health measures, and then social and emotional measures, which had the smallest associations. …

It is worth noting that international studies have consistently shown similar associations between socioeconomic measures and academic outcomes. For example, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) assessed the comprehensive literacy skills of grade 4 students in 35 countries. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) assessed reading, math and science scores of 15-year-old children in 43 countries (21). At these two different stages of schooling, there was a significant relationship between SES and educational measure in all countries. This relationship has come to be known as a ‘socioeconomic gradient’; flatter gradients represent greater ‘equity of outcome’, and are generally associated with better average outcomes and a higher quality of life. Generally, the PISA and the NLSCY data support the conclusion that income or SES has important effects on educational attainment in elementary school through high school. Despite the results shown by the PISA and the NLSCY, schools are not the ultimate equalizer and the socioeconomic gradient still exists despite educational attainment.

Is the Class Half Empty? A Population-Based Perspective on Socioeconomic Status and Educational Outcomes

A child’s performance in school is strongly related to socioeconomic status. Children in families or areas with higher levels of education, employment and income (the major components of socioeconomic status) generally do better in school than children in families or areas with lower levels. Indeed, socioeconomic status is the single most powerful predictor of educational outcomes (Gorard, Fitz and Taylor 2001; Ma and Klinger 2000). …

This well-established relationship between socio-economic status (SES) and social outcomes is not just a case of impoverished children having poor outcomes when compared to others. Children from lower-middle SES families have poorer outcomes than children from middle-SES families, who in turn have poorer out- comes than children from upper-middle SES families. Each increase in socioeconomic status raises the likelihood of positive outcomes. This association between socioeconomic status and social outcomes is referred to as the socioeconomic gradient (Marmot et al. 1991; Willms 2003).

Our Impoverished View of Educational Reform

The OECD has instituted a three-year cycle for looking at reading, mathematics, and science for 15 year olds, called the PISA studies—The Program for International Student Assessment (Lemke, Calsyn, Lippman, Jocelyn, Kastberg, Liu, Roey, Williams, Kruger, & Bairu, 2001). Unfortunately PISA doesn’t do a very good job of breaking down the data by social class. So I report on ethnicity and race to discuss the effects of poverty on achievement. Given the high inter-correlations between poverty, ethnicity, and school achievement in our country, it is (sadly) not inappropriate to use ethnicity as a proxy for poverty.

Tables 3, 4 and 5 display the performance in 2000 of US 15 year olds in mathematics, literacy, and science, in relation to other nations. What stands out first is a commonly found pattern in international studies of achievement, namely, that US average scores are very close to the international average. But in a country as heterogeneous and as socially and ethnically segregated as ours, mean scores of achievement are not useful for understanding how we are really doing in international comparisons. Such data must be disaggregated. I have done that in each of the three tables presenting PISA data. From those tables we see clearly that our white students (without regard for social class) were among the highest performing students in the world. But our African American and Hispanic students, also undifferentiated by social class, were among the poorest performing students in this international sample.

Oh look – the same pattern as NZ. For a detailed analysis of poverty and PISA scores in 2009, see “Poverty and educational attainment” (ppt file) from the London School of Economics:

‘It is unarguable from the evidence presented to us that poverty is the biggest single indicator of low educational achievement.’ UK House of Commons Education and Skills Committee, 2003

The relationship between socioeconomic background and educational attainment holds in all countries participating in PISA (e.g. OECD 2001).

One final reference for good measure, check out this book: Education and Poverty in Affluent Countries.

Longstone either doesn’t know this stuff, in which case she’s incompetent, or she does, in which case she’s pushing an overt right-wing agenda at the expense of education in this country. It’s worth repeating, so I will. Longstone says that poverty “just one factor”, “all those OECD countries have poverty”. Yes, poverty is just one factor, it is overwhelmingly the most important factor. Yes, all OECD countries have poverty, and yes the effect is the same everywhere, it is damaging to educational outcomes.

50 comments on “A lesson for the Secretary of Education”

  1. PlanetOrphan 1

    Well said Anthony!

  2. One Tāne Huna 2

    Longstone fled the UK after the miserable failure of her agenda there.

    An obvious partisan political appointment, she is toxic to New Zealand education, as she was toxic to that of the UK.

    • Jane 2.1

      You clearly have no idea what you are talking about as Mrs Longstone was one of the most highly regarded Director Generals in the British education system

  3. just saying 3

    +1

    edit: this was in reply to “well said Anthony”.

    • ianmac 3.1

      +1 for me too Anthony.
      We all know the who is underachieving. The current Government is making a meal of it.
      But what are they going to do to help?
      Show me the money where their loud mouth is!

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Well sorted by AR, Longstone is just ‘spinning, spinning, spinning in her magic land’. Send her back to Hogwarts basement immediately. Experienced teachers are a resilient group but how they put up with the current shell of a Ministry is beyond me, a mere parent.

  5. onsos 5

    In a grimly unequal society like New Zealand, with high levels of relative poverty, poverty will become the decisive factor in poor education outcomes.

  6. Fortran 6

    How does she know about teaching children ? – she has never been a teacher.

    • onsos 6.1

      I don’t think that that is critical to knowing about teaching. It certainly isn’t critical to managing into place effective environments for teaching. Nonetheless, I think her ignorance of the matter is crippling–if she can’t acknowledge the most significant issues, then she is doomed to fail in fixing the problems.

      She sounds like an appointment from the school of discredited education ideologies, to me. I recognise the voice–very similar to the last public school principal I worked for, whose ignorance about what worked and what didn’t knew no bounds.

      Tory hacks will not improve education systems.

      • Dr Terry 6.1.1

        How come a Tory hack was imported for this position? There would be a more suitable New Zealander for the job, I am sure!

    • PM 6.2

      Maybe being married to one helps

  7. Dv 7

    From PPTA webstite
    “The secretary wants teachers to do better for all students and that is exactly what we have taken to the table. But all the ministry seems to be interested in is an accounting exercise and taking away long-existing provisions. None of their claims focus on student learning at all,”

  8. Uturn 8

    The disturbing thing about that Herald article is that it has a racist subtext and this is something I don’t think the reader can blame on Lesley Longstone, at least, they can’t prove that is her perspective. The journalist, however, chose which quotes to include, in which order and has manipulated a view attributed to Lesley which may not exist. The quotes stand as isolated from context or further explanation – a feature I would expect a good journalist to write about – sounding remarkably like the sentiment of political speeches given here from a Party eager to forget the past and move on.

    Instead, and presumably more importantly, we get a review of a man irrelevant to the subject of the article, who came here many years ago and then went home. The only purpose of such a specific colonial cultural reference is to state “she’s one of us, really”. For those of you who don’t know, it’s what us whities say to each other to each other to maintain some element of higher social status in environments not our own, so we don’t feel so insecure, because outsiders aren’t tolerated. Outsiders are less-than and that’s a bit tough for social climbers to contemplate for even an afternoon. “Oh yes my Grandfather holiday-ed here during the 50’s…what a beautiful view”. It’s nothing like Whakapapa.

    If Pacific and Maori children are not suffering from poverty related educational hurdles, then the reader is left to wonder… why? Unfortunately the story doesn’t help us out on that and also tells us we shouldn’t look for reasons, “blame” being a euphemism for reasons. Look how inferior they are as scholars compared to… who? European children: The only possible type of child category to compare anything to in NZ. Top of the table, compared top to bottom, since all world views regard the top as the zenith of human endeavour and starting point for diagnostic understanding of dynamic situations. Ahh, no. The story sets the scene for people to think they are dragging our education system down, that it isn’t anything to do with how we educate or raise children and that they could be…what… genetically flawed?

    There are ways to say things and ways to say things offensively. Blindness or ignorance often result in much the same effect, though ignorance in good faith is usually forgiven. If a person is concerned with meeting the educational needs of children, with deference to their families and ethnic or cultural realities, and then uses a word like whanau to prove genuine, existing and unassailable intent, but forgets the thinking processes detailed seconds before reflect no appreciation of an alternate world view, then there is a fundamental flaw in the whole premise. Was it a cynical manipulation or an ignorant mistake?

    It’s possible that a newly arrived and highly educated and socialised English woman knows a bit about phrasing her words so people can understand what she means, especially if she’s involved with education. How else would she have risen so far? It’s also possible she now attempts subterfuge, as pointed out by Anthony Robins, to maintain her obviously political position. The first is difficult to prove, the last easier and somewhat expected.

    But what excuse does a senior NZ journalist have, who knows enough about writing, the meanings of phrases both culturally and literally, who demonstrates an example of cultural phrasing and somehow disregards the tone that trigger phrases specific to our current political dialogue create?

    The journalist knows exactly who they are talking to, in what manner. Despite the immediate threat to educational efforts in NZ, the subtext just illustrates the overall malaise and I’m really sad I read this story.

    • tc 8.1

      Audrey young is a shill for NACT, pure and simple and daughter of a former Nat MP from memory.

      Lesley longstone is an abhorrent individual with zero teaching experience employed to be a hatchet women, Audrey young knows this and duely obliges her masters and idols.

    • Dr Terry 8.2

      Never mind about the Herald report. Seeing her interviewed on TV was quite enough! (Other than being a Tory, why did she remind me of Shearer being interviewed?)

    • insider 8.3

      The racism is in your head, not in the story.

      Note new Asian immigrants have lower incomes than new pacific island ones, yet asian educational results are significantly better.

      • onsos 8.3.1

        It is difficult to separate them, but parental education and household income (& deprivation) are the two biggest predictors of educational success. The story that she produces, then, is that schools and parents are failing kids, rather than deprivation produced through poverty and inter-generational lack of education.

        Blaming schools implies that they are racist. Blaming the parents of an ethnic group invokes racism.

        I would need to see evidence that Asian immigrants have lower incomes than Pasifika–but even if they do, they do not have the same levels of deprivation. Nonetheless, you have a point–in general, controlling for most measures of deprivation, Asian immigrant families do better than Pasifika immigrant families.

        Why do the children of Asian immigrants do better than the children of Pasifika immigrants? It’s a question worth asking. It cuts to the core of what inequality is about.

        You can locate the various things that Asian immigrants tend to do, but it won’t get you closer to answering the question. That’s how they achieve better outcomes for their children–but it begs the original question because it raises the question ‘why do Asian parents tend to do these things?’–which is why their children are more likely to succeed.

        (Interestingly, having taught in schools with very high Pasifika and Asian populations, there is no discernible difference in the level of commitment to education between Asiain and Pasifika parents.)

        What is different is that Asian parents tend to have less children and more degrees, even when they can’t use them to earn. Your Iranian taxi driver, who is actually a doctor who can’t practise, is highly likely to have kids who thrive in the education system–just like he did. This is the “why” that the education secretary is eliding from her story.

        • insider 8.3.1.1

          Department of labour has a large report on immigration and incomes over time http://www.dol.govt.nz/publications/research/migrant-types/migrant-types_08.asp. Asian income is significantly lower than all other migrants.

          Why is it racist to blame schools or parents yet you can quite blithely say “What is different is that Asian parents tend to have less children and more degrees”? And How can they be less deprived than PI families on substantially lower incomes? Standardista wisdom is that income and deprivation are directly linked. Sounds like you are blaming PI parents?

          • Colonial Viper 8.3.1.1.1

            Since you said it, it sounds like YOU are blaming PI parents.

          • McFlock 8.3.1.1.2

            erm – are we comparing Asian immigrants’ incomes with AsianNZ_immigrant educational achievement here?
            I.e. assuming all Asian students are immigrants? Or for that matter all PI students are immigrants?

             

            • insider 8.3.1.1.2.1

              Its a good question. Unfortunately the stats on education don’t say how long they’ve been here, but the migration data re low incomes flattens out after 15 years so if income were the determinant you’d expect that to show in more even achievement levels, but you don’t. Asians consistently overachieve no matter what their income profile.

              • McFlock

                Again, maybe it’s an Otago thing, but we have a sizable 8gen chinese community, too. Given they’re roughly 7% of the pop (istr PI 11% Maori20%) we might be looking at sample biases, as well as how you cut “migrant” (several schools and unis actively recruit Asian students who stay for 2yrs or more – enough for residency. Heck, if they’re on loans parental income or grants how does that affect the achievement levels and income proportions of the migrant population?)..

                And then how big is the difference? Is it even within a 95% CI?

          • onsos 8.3.1.1.3

            To answer your questions:

            The question for me is this: why do PI kids under-perform despite the fact that their parents are deeply committed to education? I gave some demographic reasons. It is very clear that people with strong educational backgrounds tend to support their kids’ education more effectively. It is also clear that household income is a strong predictor of educational success.

            Blaming schools is not racist; rather, and as I said, it implies that schools are racist. (Structurally racist, specifically.) There is a certain truth to this, but it is of very minor note. Blaming parents is crypto-racist: doing so suggests that a whole ethnic group is poor at parenting.

            I think you need to braden your understanding of deprivation. Income and deprivation are strongly linked–the causal framework is explicit. Other factors that exacerbate deprivation are health, number of children, access to non-financial resources, and financial commitments (like debt, or financial commitments to churches).

            Put simply, single young people who are pursuing education can have low incomes and not experience deprivation, while large families with low incomes and low levels of education can have higher incomes and be significantly more deprived. I would have thought this was obvious.

            Thanks for the links to that report. The analysis there reveals quite a different story to the one you are presenting. The age of immigrants, and the role that students play, distort this data considerably. As migrants stay longer, their income tends to increase (but less so for PI immigrants than other groups). Perhaps it would help if you read the articles you link to, to ensure they support the arguments you are making.

            • fatty 8.3.1.1.3.1

              “why do PI kids under-perform despite the fact that their parents are deeply committed to education?”

              Good question…I help some PI students, so what I am gonna say is from experience and I think it may be part of the issue, but I don’t have experience working with Asian students.
              I note that within both cultures they are family-centric, but they are so in contrasting ways. Some of the PI students I have worked with often have family commitments which get in the way of study – it appears to be a priority. I am assuming that Asians do not so this to the same degree. They are also family centric, but education comes before family.
              This is not to argue with what you’ve said above – “there is no discernible difference in the level of commitment to education between Asiain and Pasifika parents”…I have no doubt that is true…the students I’ve dealt with have talked a lot about the pressure to pass from their parents. But, in reality those same PI students do have excessive family commitments that come first.
              So I guess I see it not as PIs undervaluing study, but rather overvaluing family. (that sounds awful…I don’t see ‘overvaluing family’ as a bad thing, most people in this country need to start valuing family more, we are far too individualistic)
              The other issue could be one of study space, and having a home environment where study can be done, The PI students often say that home is too noisy and crowded to study…so a lack of resources does come into it even if economically there is little difference between the earnings PI and Asians.

  9. Gosman 9

    I enjoy this overtly partisan attack on a supposedly independent Public servant.

    This attitude can equally be applied to anyone appointed to a Public service senior management role that the right disagrees with the next time the left is in power. Are you all cool with that?

    • thatguynz 9.1

      I don’t see why not – god knows the right have run those attacks in the past so I would expect they would continue to do so.

    • PlanetOrphan 9.2

      It’s called debate not attack in some circles … so yes I’m cool with it M8!

      • Gosman 9.2.1

        That’s cool because it would ultimately end up in the independence of the Public service being compromised in a similar way to what happens in the US now during a change in administration. It is a valid way of managing the area though so I thought I would check you were okay with the concept.

        • PlanetOrphan 9.2.1.1

          Governance always needs an “eyes open” approach to it all.

          The “system(s)” need to cater too that.
          Which is a diminishing thing in society currently….
          Treat the masses like mushrooms/children etc ….

        • One Tāne Huna 9.2.1.2

          Weasel bullshit, Gosman – her appointment is evidence of precisely the corruption you pretend to abhor.

        • onsos 9.2.1.3

          The independence of the public service is not called into question when blog posts interrogate the statements of public officials. That independence is called into question when the government appoints partisan hacks, as it has done here, and as is done in the US.

          Reporting doesn’t compromise the independence of the public service; governments compromise the independence of the public service. Our current education secretary is a prime case.

        • thatguynz 9.2.1.4

          Nice try Gos..  You were intimating that if Labour does it from opposition, could National do it should it find itself in opposition.  My point was that they did it historically so why wouldn’t they in the future.

    • r0b 9.3

      If she gets to state her views in a newspaper, I get to reply on a blog. Fair?

      • Gosman 9.3.1

        It’s not the disagreement of the views she expressed I am discussing here. Everybody is entitled to disagree with the public pronoucements of public figures after all. It is the attitude expressed that she is politically partisan and, by implication, that she is unsuited to her role because of this.

        • onsos 9.3.1.1

          She is politically partisan, which makes her perfectly suited to her role. She was employed to implement a policy. However she implements that policy, however, it will not improve education in New Zealand–quite the opposite! In the meantime, she is speaking in crypto-racist terms and reality denying.

          I notice, though, that you are not defending what she has said–merely attacking the integrity of the people who are criticising it. Is this because, Gosman, you can’t defend it?

    • onsos 9.4

      In a clear and overt way, she has stepped into the political debate around NZ’s education system. In this sense, she has involved herself in the political debate. Her reason for doing this is to attack the teachers’ unions as part of their negotiations, and to prepare the way for a set of Tory reforms, which is what she has been hired to do.

      She may be ‘supposedly independent’, but she has been parachuted in because she is a Tory hack (c/w Paula Rebstock). I will note that the discussion here has thusfar focused on her statements as a professional and her professional background.

      Not only will similar attacks be justified when the next Labour-led government turns into a bunch of ideological numbskulls, they will be inevitable.

    • One Tāne Huna 9.5

      Lesley Longstone is being judged on previous results, Gosman, especially and particularly as she is implementing the same polices that led to failure in her previous role.

      This is the antithesis of public service, and yes, it would be nice if the right disagreed with it instead of encouraging and enabling it.

      • Gosman 9.5.1

        The issue is that she was appointed supposedly by an independent non-partisan body.

        The implication of what you state is that this body is neither independent nor non-partisan. This is quite a serious state of affairs.

        Is anyone on the Opposition benches making noises about this or are leftist posters on left wing blogs the only ones that can perceive this problem?

        • McFlock 9.5.1.1

          “The issue is that she was appointed supposedly by an independent non-partisan body.”
                 
          That’s not an issue at this stage: the criticism is about the performance and knowledge base of the successful applicant.
                     
          1: she might just be completely incompetent;
          2: the government policy criteria might have forced the self-exclusion of anyone who actually wanted to improve educational attainment of NZ children and young people;
          3: The appointment process might have inadvertently missed that she had a political bias;
          4: Requirements to maintain good relationships with ministers might have led to a selection bias in favour of unprincipled morons;
          5:…
                   
          Oh, I grant you that every single one of those points suggests some improvement is required in the SSC, but not half as much as is required in education, cera, DoL, msd, etc etc etc…
           

        • onsos 9.5.1.2

          You’re ignorant of the process, Gosman. You appear to have no understanding of independent appointment processes in senior government.

          She was appointed to do a job, defined in terms that are set by the government. The definition of the job necessitated the employment of a partisan hack, because it required implementing a policy which is contra-indicated by the evidence.

          The Minister is involved in the process. The position is appointed with ministerial approval. This is a part of the employment process, because it would be foolish to appoint an education secretary who works badly with the minister.

          There’s nothing for the Opposition to say about the appointment of the partisam hack. The policy setting which require the appointment of said hack, however, are another story. The Minister is responsible, as they should be, for the statements and actions of their senior officials.

        • One Tāne Huna 9.5.1.3

          That is precisely the claim that is being made, Gosman – political interference in the Ministry of Education – it took you a while, but well done for spotting it.

          • ianmac 9.5.1.3.1

            The whole issue of Education under National has been one of unprecedented political interference. Such a pity they are not basing proposed changes on good research or any research.
            Bit tough on those kids underneath a welter of political posturing. Canon fodder?

      • uk 9.5.2

        and what failure is that?

        free school numbers in the uk are performing better year on year and because of that their numbers are also on the increase.

        there are so many deluded posters on here claiming to know so much about Mrs Longstone but in reality you are just keyboard warriors

    • Dv 9.6

      No the attack is also
      related to competency.

      She does not appear competent.

  10. Don’t believe ‘the rights’ lies about Free Education, poverty and the blame the parents game is what National is using, they can’t see the flaw is their user-pays education model that punishes poor children with a lower standard of Education:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2012/01/19/a-free-college-education-for-all/

  11. Luke C 11

    This is a fascianting paper from UK, written by none other than Lesley Longstone. However she was then working under a Labour govt with a better understanding of the issues:
    http://www.changeforchildren.co.uk/uploads/DCSF_Lesley_Longstone.pdf

    “Long tail of under-achievement amongst young people from disadvantaged
    backgrounds, despite rising school standards; and rates of 16-18 NEET have
    remained largely the same”
    “Youth Matters set out three pillars of reform for young people’s services:
    – Improved IAG (via Connexions, schools and colleges)
    – Responsive targeted support for the most vulnerable
    – Major expansion of places to go and things to do”

    Seems reasonably progressive
    Which Lesley Longstone should we believe?

  12. Georgecom 12

    So trying and put some further clarity around Longstones comments, acknowledging that Anthony has provided a very clear and very well reasoned foundation already.

    Yes, poverty and deprivation are large drivers of underachievement.
    All countries have underachievement. Educational underachievement is not peculiar to NZ, it is global.
    On a comparitive basis, NZ does very well with its educational outcomes.
    Yes, there can be improvement in educational outcomes.
    Programmes like Kotahitanga and reading Recovery, indigenous education programmes, HAVE proven to be successful.
    Something as simple as schools providing children with breakfast every morning WILL help lift education achievement.

    Policies like National Standards, League Tables and Charter Schools have proven NOT to be panaceas to education underachievement.
    Any person who states such is talking rubbish.

  13. Fortran 13

    She can go back to UK after the 2014 election, when NZ becomes a Labour/Green/Winston coalition Government – but Winston will hold the control power so he needs looking after.
    Under MMP Nats cannot possibly win – even Nats supporters can see the writing on the wall (see David Farrer’s column).
    Within the coalition we can change and even reverse anything.
    Roll on 2014 – getting closer.

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

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