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A rolling maul or treading water?

Written By: - Date published: 5:58 am, June 30th, 2009 - 33 comments
Categories: economy, john key, national/act government - Tags:

In the face of widespread criticism that his government is asleep at the wheel, John Key has boldly relaunched some tired old spin. See, we’re meant to believe the reason why our government, alone amongst the developed countries, has done bugger-all to save and create jobs is that, rather than a ‘big-bang’, Key has adopted for a ‘rolling maul’ of initiatives.

Would it be impertinent of me to ask just where this wonderful rolling maul is and what it consists of?

Key said there were ’40-50′ ideas from the Job Summit sent t0 ministers for development (you can see the list of ideas and the ministers assigned here) but they nearly all seem to have sunk without trace, and are mostly small beer anyway. We’re meant to believe that there’s all kinds of work going on ‘behind the scenes’ that will (eventually) lead to policy. Bollocks.

The ministries are focused on trying to carry out their existing responsibilities with less money and fewer staff. And they’re leaking like sieves. At the moment, there’s not the capacity to develop these supposed wonder ideas and if it were happening, we would have heard about it. Far from developing exciting new policies, Ministers aren’t getting the basics done. Chopper Tolley, for example, hasn’t even replaced the new ECE regulations due for July 1, which she binned back in November, and hasn’t announced the new ECE funding rates, also due on July 1.

The truth, the scary truth, is the reason the government has lost control of the political agenda and shows no signs of regaining it, is that they’re out of ideas on the economy. They came into power with a smattering of policies – tax cuts, some anti-PC populism, and some gifts for their mates but have found themselves tasked with confronting the challenge of a generation.

It’s clear that they’re just not up to it. Key is way out of his depth. English is an ideologue, more obsessed with slashing government like in the 90s than doing what works. Smith and Hide are liabilities. Bennett, Wong, Collins, Coleman, Heatley, Tolley, Brownlee etc are empty suits with no ideas. Sharples and Turia are in dreamland. The good ministers – Finlayson, Power, Groser – are sidelined.

It’s not going to change. Incompetent ministers aren’t suddenly going to become competent. Key, who always just wanted PM on his CV, isn’t suddenly going to develop the vision and drive to lead us out of this economic mire. This is a government treading water, and slowly running out of energy for even that.

33 comments on “A rolling maul or treading water?”

  1. infused 1

    I’m quite happy for them to do nothing. A lot of the jobs created during the last 7 or so years were only here because of a booming artificial economy. Look at the countries that are pumping billions in to their economy, nothing is happening. I’m glad the National govt is not wasting our money.

    • Bill 1.1

      Maybe if those unspecified countries you are referring to pumped money into the real economy instead of throwing taxpayer billions at the banks in the forlorn hope of some trickle down?

      Which is surely the argument. Not ‘to stimulate or not to stimulate’, but ‘to stimulate at the bottom and wait for a percolator effect, or to stimulate at the top and wait for a trickle down’.

      If the government is not going to attempt governance at all ( as seems to be becoming the case) then maybe it’s time we gave it a crack ourselves? Except I suspect you’re not keen on that idea either.

      So government devoid of governance it is then.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    Our unemployment rate is actually quite good compared to a lot of countries. Therefore, it could be argued that there has not been the same need to mortgage our futures on dubious stimulus packages.

    However, the government has done some quite good things that are not as spectacular but never-the-less quite effective.

    An example is the movement of the GST threshold for going onto the payments basis. This has been lifted from 1.2m to 2m. For us this has meant an input into cashflow of about 10k through the adjustment that occurs when changing the GST calculation method. This is approx 1/5 a salary. So, when multiplied across the country, this move in itself has probably saved quite a few jobs

    • felix 2.1

      Bill and John have been telling us for eight months that they’re spending more on their stimulus package, by population, than just about any country in the world.

      You don’t believe them I see.

      • jarbury 2.1.1

        Was that before or after they canned the tax cuts?

        Australia has probably had one of the largest stimulus packages – and (surprise surprise) they’re one of the countries least adversely affected by the recession.

        • gingercrush 2.1.1.1

          They were also not in recession before the world-wide recession hit. They’re also heavily involved in mining which will always cushion them. Not to mention much of what they export are going to countries who themselves are not facing large recessionary pressure.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1

            They’re also heavily involved in mining which will always cushion them.

            Really?
            Seems that reality disagrees with that statement.

            The Trouble With Energy
            Part 1
            Part 2
            Part 3
            Part 4

      • gingercrush 2.1.2

        That is because New Zealand stimulatory practice isn’t through constant borrowing unlike nearly every other country. Our stimulus on the whole is fast-tracking existing programs. Its still a stimulus hence why the OCED and the World Bank have both said New Zealand has reached its limit of what they can do to provide stimulus to the economy.

        • jarbury 2.1.2.1

          What has been fast-tracked? A few roading projects, a couple of schools…. and a very small number of state houses?

  3. I think the fact that unemployment hasn’t hit 8% (yet) has only meant there hasn’t been quite the same political pressure for the government to do more.

    It’s not much consolation for the 1000 people a week losing their jobs though, or the tens of thousands more who are worried about losing their jobs.

  4. gingercrush 4

    I do find it hilarious that there is always constant talk of the National Party being arrogant. Yet anyone reading this can smell the arrogance of those on the left. But you go on thinking what you believe. We’ll be laughing back at you in 2011.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      Coming from the guy that reckons Krugman, Stiglitz, Keynes et al are wrongity wrong wrong about economics, but won’t explain why.

      Any way, this arrogance you see. Is it more or less than the arrogance in this:

      We’ll be laughing back at you in 2011.

      Perhaps you could give me an example.

      • gingercrush 4.1.1

        ….

        I never said they were wrong about economics. I just simply do not agree with borrowing millions of debt on stimulus.

        As for why this post is arrogant. That is obvious. When you believe just three people in National are talented. You clearly don’t even know what you’re talking about. I don’t think you’ll see DPF rolling out a post declaring everyone in Labour talentless. Even though if you’re going to talk about talent. You should be looking at Labour. Because while they have some good members. Many on their side have clearly been politicians for simply too long.

        • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.1

          I never said they were wrong about economics. I just simply do not agree with borrowing millions of debt on stimulus.

          So you disagree with them, but think they are right? Surely not.

          Surely you disagree with them because you think they are wrong? Do you think that those guys, with their fancy degrees and book learning, and prizes from the nobel people are unaware of the debt issue? Just saying you disagree with them is itself arrogant as all hell unless you can show why they are wrong to think the debt is worth incurring.

          As for the rest,. how arrogant you are, just saying that obviously National has a lot of talent and that such an idea just goes without saying, and that I should be talking about the things you think I should be talking about and what have you.

          But anyway, do you think the post is more arrogant, or less arrogant than this:

          We’ll be laughing back at you in 2011.

          • gingercrush 4.1.1.1.1

            Do grow up PB. How many neo-liberals have degrees. Indeed how many neo-liberalists teach economics. Would you agree with everything they have to say? Would you agree with them at all? What about bank economists. Do you agree with much of what they say? After all, according to your pathetic analysis. Failure to agree with anyone that has either a Nobel Prize or a University degree wihout an explanation makes you arrogant. You’re pulling at straws PB. I have stated numerous times why I didn’t agree with borrowing millions/billions of debt. Its called an opinion. I guess we’re not allowed opinions anymore.

            • Ari 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Opinions are like assholes- they’re not useful unless they’re connected to some plumbing that makes them work. 😉

              I don’t personally mind you disagreeing about something, but you should at least be willing to put up a reason for everyone and defend it.

            • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.1.1.2

              hahaha. What a load of straw. You burst in laughing at how arrogant we are and skiting about how National has already got 2011 sewn up, and now you’re crying about the mean old bookie calling you out.

              Heat. Kitchen.

              I don’t agree with some things neoliberals say, and I do state why I disagree with them, I point out where I think they are wrong and I point out who I do agree with.

              You tend to state your opinions as if they are fact. I’ve seen you say as fact that Obama’s plan has already failed, (are you aware that it is hardly even started yet? that most of the money is yet to be spent?), and then claim that this proves Krugman wrong. Are you aware that Krugman predicted Obama’s plan would be too small. Do you actually read the people that you claim are wrong?

              Please point me to where you have said why you think the stimulus plans are a bad idea. All I remember seeing from you is statements about how it will lead to debt. No one disputes that, so it is irrelevant. You need to explain why it is wrong to think that the debt will be a worse problem. ie, you need to explain why Krugman, Stiglitz, et al are wrong. And yes, they know all about the debt.

              You are perfectly entitled to think they are wrong of course, no one has said otherwise.

  5. Bill 5

    Was it Hooten on Radio NZ yesterday arguing that the government should do nothing because if they did something and it didn’t work then that wouldn’t look good?

    Maybe next time somebody should set up the ‘Paper Cut Out Party’?

  6. Jasper 6

    Where’s the boot camps?

    Keys State of the Nation speech from January last year stated that he had a comprehensive outline of how to effect that policy. So far, so dull.

    It’s got merit, but rather than “boot camps” why not take the idea one step further and expand it to include all those who are not in work, training or study and aged between 17 – 30, and send them off to a training camp for 6 months.

    Training camp will cover all the physical requirements for the police, army, navy, and airforce. At the end of 6 months, all trainees can choose which path they want to take. If they don’t want to go into the defence force, but look for work, all well and good but they won’t be eligible for the dole (because 6 months at training camp will be paid for.. much like 6 months at police college is paid for at the moment)

    This boosts our defence force, and with an expanded navy we can get a host of smaller boats patrolling our shores, getting rid of illegal trawlers, and poachers.

    The Army can be used to conduct dawn raids and kick out those 12,000 PI overstayers who are bleeding us dry and not giving anything back.

    Leechers and bleeders need to be kicked out and sent back home. Immigration don’t have the power, the army can conduct searches for illegals.

    Our police force will be expanded as in recession crime escalates, as proven on this site, when unemployment rises.

    On joining one of those forces, people sign up for an initial three year contract. One year training, one year overseas doing peacekeeping missions, and one year back in NZ. Upskills our country, and starts clearing out the dreck and muck.

    I acknowledge that kicking out overstayers is a contentious issue, but seriously, 12,000 sucking off our teats and giving nothing back is crippling. New Zealand does need to crack down.

    • Bill 6.1

      How many teats you got there Jasper? Might I suggest cabbage leafs for the sake of relief? Perhaps after your nipples have settled your comments will be less painful too!. I honestly thought your comment was misfiring satire until the penny dropped.

      • Jasper 6.1.1

        Last time I looked I had three teats.

        One for the SO, one for the kid and one for the government.

    • I’ll leave your disgusting bigotry for others (maybe you could train up some special soldiers to deal with those darn overstaying darkies, SS has a nice catchy ring to it?) to deal with, but how exactly do you expect someone to survive if you cut off their payments once you kick them out of your training camp, where they have been locked up unable to go look for work.

      Thats the thing about you tories who have never even been close to living in a situation like that. You have no conception of no money. You may know what its like to have “no money” for a new car or fridge, but you’ll likely to have never been anywhere near, no money for food and shelter. And for all you’re sides talk about “the real world”, it really is quite a laugh.

      • Jasper 6.2.1

        What? Me Tory?

        Kitno, you didn’t read the point I made where those in training camps are getting paid to be there. As it’s highly unlikely they’ll ever get a chance to spend that money while at camp, as food, and shelter is provided free, they will have more than enough to survive off while looking for work.

        If they can’t find work, the option is still there to get into one of the forces as long as its within a set time period – say three months. Didn’t put that in there.

        Assuming we pay a going rate of $30,000 a year, after 6 months at camp that’s still a good 10K to live off for a couple of months.

        But unlike sitting at home sending off multiple CVs for jobs that have hundreds of applicants, they’re getting some value out of exercise.

        As for the teat suckers, why are they here? Seriously, Labour forgot that it’s a party that was created by workers, for workers. When it’s attentions focused inwards and on the lower rung of society it succeeded in alienating a large bloc of middle class workers.

        Riddle me this: You didn’t say anything against my points, except to say I’m a bigot on ridding the country of overstayers.
        When was the last time any overstaying PI set up a business, hired locals to work for them? None. When was the last time an overstaying asian set up a business and hired locals to work for them? None, cos they’re not overstayers when they have a business.

        There’s logic in there somewhere to my flu addled brain.

        • Bill 6.2.1.1

          Since I’m over 30 jasper, can I join your version of the Home Guard? And as you will no doubt be Captain Mainwaring, can I be Private Frazer?

          Just send me your measurements and we’ll get you all fixed up.

          • Jasper 6.2.1.1.1

            So why is it good to have 12,000 overstayers contributing nothing to our society?

        • “When was the last time any overstaying PI set up a business, hired locals to work for them? None. ”

          Maybe that is because it is illegal, and it is in their self interest to stay here, and starting a business is a pretty quick way to get caught.

          • Jasper 6.2.1.2.1

            Ok, now turn it around into a legal PI

            Any of those legal immigrants set up their own businesses? I know ONE. Just one, and they hire white kids cos they admit privately they wouldn’t hire any PI teens as they’re “too lazy”

            So whats really the biggest drain on our society? Maori or PI?

            • felix 6.2.1.2.1.1

              Jasper,

              Are you seriously saying that of all the Polynesian immigrants legally in NZ only one has started a business that you know of?

              Are you further suggesting that this shows anything apart from your lack of contact with Polynesians?

              Is this a serious statement that you expect rational people to engage with?

  7. Ari 7

    I think you do the Maori Party a bit of disservice by saying they’re asleep.

    More like they’re trying to figure out how to challenge National to give them more when they can’t threaten to paddle their waka alongside Labour instead.

  8. Zaphod Beeblebrox 8

    Arguing about who has talent, who knows what they are talking about etc etc is pointless. In the end all you get is one lot saying our beliefs are better than theirs.

    The questions should be- Is who has the better ideas to brand and position NZ for sustainable economic, ecological and social progress? Who has the creative talent to foster new ideas?

    We know what is coming ie world wide food, energy and water shortages, The ability to envisage new ideas or at least attempts to think outside the square will be the most important factor determining our future.

    Labour weren’t great at responding to changes going on around them, It is painfully obvious that this government has a lot of catching up to do to reverse the decline of our research, environmental, social and educational capital. Cutting back in these areas will set us years back.

  9. Bill 9

    Sorry. Replied in wrong place

  10. Tom Semmens 10

    Jasper, Jasper! Nice of you to conveniently package all the Shibboleths of the teh interweb right in one post!

    First of all, if everyone between the ages of 17-30 is going to be employed by the various organs of state repression, how do you propose to uphold the libertarian ideal of freedom? All those armed soldiers, sailors and airmen with nothing to do…
    And I hope you don’t mind the tax increase to pay their wages whilst they idle about in their barracks doing nothing. Actually you probably won’t get a say, because shortly after you employ the army to routinely engage in internal policing, they’ll probably just take over running the whole place. Nice blow for freedom, you fuckwit.

    And if we are going to pay all these young people a considerable wage whilst training to become permanently employed on the state payroll, would it not be better to just train them to be teachers, nurses, firefighters, you know, useful things that don’t involve miltarism? Or are you attracted by the idea of all those hunky men in uniform? It is O.K. to admit that here. You are amongst liberals now.

    Honestly. As i said, you’ve displayed all the shibboleths of right wing posters. Kneejerk, unfocussed and inchoate anger over something – anything! – Racism (how many whites are overstaying here, have you ever wondered?), an apparent yearning for an authoritarian hierarchy (how DID your potty training go anyway?) – except for yourself – and a desperate desire to punish people to, presumably, make yourself feel a better and more superior person.

    Go away and don’t come back until you’ve grown up and matured into a real adult.

    • Jasper 10.1

      Tom Tom! Calm down fucks sake.

      Surely you know by now I just like to rark up members amongst the left simply as I don’t believe that the left should be all cushy and molly coddle those who choose to live here at the expense of others who already do. I’m sorry but that’s exactly what’s happened over the past 4 years.
      Labour was a party founded by workers, for the workers, which has been forgotten by them. Too focussed on washing out the swill from the pig bucket to make it pristine and clean without realising it’s just going to get dirty again in a matter of minutes.

      It’s not everyone as you believe, just those who aren’t already in school, work or training. I.e. those on a benefit.

      They won’t be sitting around doing nothing either.. If New Zealand can actually get peace keepers overseas, it’ll heightens our standing in the world.

      Sure, my targets the PI’s for now as they’re in my community and I see first hand the effects the overstayers have in my community. Thats not to say my beliefs dont extend to asian, australian, filipino, brazilian, american, african, british, and european overstayers. They’re all tarred with the same brush if they aren’t contributing to our society.

      Felix – I work with Polynesians in community groups and at the churches so it’s a bit off for you to suggest I have a lack of contact with them. When the news broke about Otimis Hapu scam, many in my area wanted to see him until it was explained it wouldn’t help their family members, many of whom claim benefits as it’s too easy for them to do so.
      Rankles against my beliefs. If they were here legally, it wouldn’t be an issue, but to be an ii, and claim benefits that’s fucking pathetic.
      As for those who set up businesses, yes, only ONE I know of actually has a business that employs other people outside of themselves or their immediate family (who may or may not be ii). If there are others, then sure, I’ll update my listings, but the fact remains, I don’t know any other PIs who’ve set up a business and hired external staff. Do you?
      This is disregarding all those who get into franchises as to my mind, that’s not starting your own business. You’re simply taking the IP from someone who’s set up the company and applying their methodologies to call yourself “Jims Mowing Ltd”

      Of course the other alternative is to set the benefit (any benefit) claimant age from 25 and be done with it. At least then that gets those between 18 – 25 off welfare, and into the real world instead of putting their hand out at the age of 18 in the expectation of being looked after by WINZ.

      Believe me, I know this is whats happening having worked at WINZ, and perversely, being on the other side of the counter at WINZ a couple of years apart.

      The current cradle to the grave situation doesn’t work, and is far more damaging to NZ’s economical and societal interests in the long term, so it’s time to get real and think radically.

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    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    4 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    4 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    5 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    5 days ago
  • Outsiders.
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    5 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    6 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    7 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    7 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
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  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
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    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago

  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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