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Absurdistan

Written By: - Date published: 7:09 am, August 2nd, 2015 - 39 comments
Categories: accountability, class war, journalism - Tags: , , ,

An excellent piece by Graham Adams – well worth reading the whole thing in Metro, but here are some extracts:

How bizarre

Is New Zealand becoming the Absurdistan of the South Pacific? Graham Adams reflects on the slow unravelling of a small democracy.

Absurdistan was first used in English in the Spectator in 1989, to describe the bizarre life of Czechs in Czechoslovakia. … Lately, I have begun to feel much the same about New Zealand – that it is becoming an Absurdistan: an odd little South Pacific nation where many things have stopped making sense to many of its citizens, even those normally enthusiastic about its idiosyncratic traits and national character, which has long been marked by tolerance, egalitarianism, a sense of fair play and a willingness to protest against injustice and inequality.

Perhaps what brought it to a head was the strange election in 2014 that saw voters mightily indignant that a trio of famous foreigners came to warn us (in person or by videolink) that we were being spied on by security organisations. Instead of being grateful, many were outraged Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange were meddling in our domestic affairs.

Or perhaps it was the Dance of the Seven Hats later performed by John Key in Parliament, where he claimed to be several people at once and accountable to no one when Opposition politicians wanted to know what contact he’d had with blogger Cameron Slater. It’s possible this approach would go down well in Colombia or Argentina, where there is a tradition of magic realism, but New Zealanders are known to be a nation of pragmatists. However, in Absurd­istan you can assert anything you like, apparently, and make it true.

Increasingly, we are asked to believe a multitude of things we suspect (and sometimes know) to be untrue. These include: there is no bubble in the Auckland housing market; overseas Chinese buyers are not pushing up house prices; anyone can benefit from a university education; education standards are not falling; the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be good for us (but we can’t be told what’s in it, even though 600 mostly business representatives in the US get to examine its proposals); nothing can be done about overseas tourists driving on the wrong side of the road and killing themselves and us; voluntary euthanasia can’t be adopted as a government measure because it is too “divisive” (even though more than 70 per cent of us support it in opinion polls).

Something over the past few decades has happened to New Zealand to dull our spirit for protest and political reform and engagement in our democratic process. … part of the explanation no doubt lies in the news media’s willingness to trivialise important news and indulge in what Britain’s Daily Telegraph recently described as a tendency to prefer “froth to facts; nit-picking to policy”. It doesn’t help that newsroom staff numbers have been repeatedly slashed, with senior journalists laid off in favour of cheaper juniors (and many good journalists being lured into better­-paid PR), with an inevitable drop in editorial stan­dards, including human-interest stories too often replacing analysis. There is also the relentless, senseless noise from parts of the mass media, including by “personalities” such as Mike Hosking, who brings to mind those intellectuals Lenin dubbed “useful idiots”. …

Go read the full article for plenty more!

39 comments on “Absurdistan”

  1. Rodel 1

    My favourite expressions in Graham Anderson’s article are:
    ‘useful idiots’
    ‘ distinctions in John Key’s mind as suddenly wondrously elastic’

    A good read. Thanks.

  2. les 2

    its now reality T.V politics endorsed and promoted by the MSM.

  3. Charles 3

    Metro is geared towards a certain type of mind/socio-economic group. In order not to blow a foo-foo valve, I have to remember it’s just that kind of magazine, with all that it entails. Not only does his “Cuba doesn’t make sense to tourists!” spell it out in the opening paragraph, but his unexamined list of “…a multitude of things we suspect (and sometimes know) to be untrue…” demonstrates his lack of logical/critical reasoning/ ability and the worldview he holds and promotes. If he was a general commenter here, I wouldn’t bother saying anything about it. Hell, my opinions are as crazy as his but in the alternate extreme. For someone so against “mantras” and ambiguous waffle, he sure lays out a few good kilos of it himself – failing (for whatever reason) to distinguish between (situational) truth and his (and his type) preferences.

    If he wanted to prove the dominant voice/mindset in NZ media/society is absurd, he did it via self-parody. It reminds me of the last Metro article I read, where a writer interviewed his lawnmower and dreamt of picking up litter in the local mangrove estuary. I guess I’m just not well-heeled enough to appreciate the subtle “social conscience” of such allegories.

    So my question is, how do I get a good paying side-line job writing tripe/opinion like his for a well-known magazine? Sounds like fun.

  4. Wayne 4

    No doubt this is how the Hard Left views New Zealand. The clues being the anti-TPP rant and the comments on ISIS.

    Of course in the eyes of the Hard Left it must be really weird that we rank so highly in just about every international indicie around corruption, quality of government, and most important of all quality of life. Most of the measures have New Zealand in the top ten.

    Of course it could be that the Key govt is so cunning that it has successfully perpetrated a giant con, not just on centre-right voters, but on the rest of the world as well.

    • Clemgeopin 4.1

      “Of course in the eyes of the Hard Left it must be really weird that we rank so highly in just about every international indicie around corruption, quality of government, and most important of all quality of life.”

      What do you have to say about the police decision not to prosecute Slater in relation to his behaviour regarding the Labour party website? Do you think that it was not a criminal misdemeanor?

      • hoom 4.1.1

        Those indexes are dependent primarily on News coverage and actual Police prosecutions.

        This means those indexes are incapable of detecting a Dirty media & Police who don’t prosecute with apparent political bias favouring one side of the political scale.

        I do expect those indexes to show rapid reduction of NZ ranking over the next few years though & I believe we already started to slip in most recent releases.

    • freedom 4.2

      “The clues being the anti-TPP rant and the comments on ISIS.”

      Are you suggesting the ISIS mess is not as complicated as the situation on the ground appears to be?
      Are you suggesting Saudi money is not funding ISIS?
      Are you suggesting ISIS did not arise from the detritus of other countries’ disruptive foreign [military] policy in the region? Policies that for over a century have been largely driven by a greed for oil reserves and shrouded by the belief it is the unquestionable responsibility [&the right] of the west to preserve strategic trade and military control of the area?

      More importantly though…
      Are you attempting to promote some perverse idea that people opposing the TPPA are somehow supportive of ISIS?
      ================

      As for “Most of the measures have New Zealand in the top ten.” well in case you forgot, we didn’t get those standings by selling out our people every chance we got. If you haven’t noticed we are slowly losing ground in most of the indices that you put so much stake in.

    • Lanthanide 4.3

      Have you noticed that on stuff.co.nz (and I assume theherald.co.nz) the overwhelming majority of comments on any TPPA story have been against the TPPA?

      Do you think the commentators on those sites represent left-wing NZ, or the mainstream every-day NZer? Because there are certainly a lot of stories on there where the majority of comments would fall squarely on the right of the spectrum of comments here at The Standard.

    • RedBaronCV 4.4

      Okay Wayne according to you we are a minority with severely deluded views about everything you hold dear. ( or James Shaw’s speech must have struck a positive note with people).
      Oh and about TPPA – we are told by the leader that ” nothing to fear nothing to hide” so where are the agreement details again?

      So remind me why do you want to come here to hang out with us?
      Why don’t you want to be with those who think you are great? Or once again is this a job for you? Are you being paid to be here and if so how much and by whom?

      • Lanthanide 4.4.1

        “Or once again is this a job for you? Are you being paid to be here and if so how much and by whom?”

        Ah, this old tired chestnut. I’m pretty confident that 99 times out of a 100 that this accusation is made, the person being accused of being a paid shill, is simply expressing their own opinion for their own purposes and there’s no employment going on at all.

        Basically it’s a form of arrogance – our website is so important, that the opposition is *paid* to come and spread their lies and sow dissent!

        In NZ it is even more woeful a claim to make, because clearly anyone on the right who was willing to spend money to get their own perspective out into the blogosphere, would be paying Whale Oil to do it (and we know that many have).

        • RedBaronCV 4.4.1.1

          I’m sure most of us who do come on here are not paid and are just expressing an opinion sometimes for and sometimes against and sometimes just discussing.
          But we have some people who appear here the minute certain topics are raised, whose views are repeated without any attempt to qualify or really engage in the discussion ( maybe trying out certain spinlines? to see the reactions engendered – using the site as lab rats essentially) but who also promote the view that this site is a tiny minority – which may be correct – do we really know?

          But the point is – that the attitudes and comments feel discontinuous – either TS is small and insignificant, so why bother to comment at all in a relatively ideas hostile enviroment or there is some other less obvious agenda. ( money being one of them). And yes of course WO takes paid content but why confine paid discussion only to that site? Bear in mind that Wayne has a well paid day job so why bother with this site?

          But I take you point maybe I should have asked – what is the hidden agenda ? Not whether there is payment involved.

          • Lanthanide 4.4.1.1.1

            I don’t think there has to be a ‘hidden agenda’ either.

            • RedBaronCV 4.4.1.1.1.1

              I struggle with the idea the an avowed right winger comes over here out of the goodness of his heart to help a bunch of people -whom he seems as generally deluded- find a better intellectual place.

              • Lanthanide

                “I struggle with the idea the an avowed right winger comes over here out of the goodness of his heart to help a bunch of people -whom he seems as generally deluded- find a better intellectual place.”

                I agree, because that would be an agenda.

                I expect people come here to argue and have fun. Some might be to try and expose themselves to other opinions.

                I doubt (m)any of them are coming here with an expectation that they’re going to change other people’s opinions, or sway their opinions in a particular way.

                • RedBaronCV

                  “I doubt (m)any of them are coming here with an expectation that they’re going to change other people’s opinions, or sway their opinions in a particular way.”

                  Which brings me back to the original point – why does he come here?

                  What is the agenda?

                  • I suspect with Wayne it’s because he reads the standard sometimes, and occasionally he thinks “God dammit!! They’re wrong! And I’m going to tell them why!!

                    Which is pretty much like the rest of us.

                    I am glad he comments here. It’s good to have opposing viewpoints (and oblique ones as well!).

                    One thing that often surprises me though, is the shallowness of his arguments and dearth of evidence to support them.
                    But then again, he was minister in a National government so the bar is pretty low 😯

                • ianmac

                  I strongly suspect that some “stirrers” do so because they do get a kick out of throwing molotov cocktails into the discussion and then watch the angry reaction. Rather fun I expect. Puckish Rogue for example has a sense of humour lurking and I can almost hear his chuckle. So does Matthew Hooten though he usually ignores the taunts and insults. Sometimes genuine commentary but he must be amused out the outbursts.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.5

      Of course in the eyes of the Hard Left it must be really weird that we rank so highly in just about every international indicie around corruption, quality of government, and most important of all quality of life.

      Measured as perceptions – perceptions that are driven by a biased MSM and thus not to be taken as truth.

      • Anno1701 4.5.1

        +100 to this !

        its all about “perception” when these indices are put together

        quite often the “quality of life” index is based on the opinions of ex-pats living in said country , hardly your average citizens !

    • What do you mean by hard left?

      My understanding of that term would describe the folks at Redline, but not any of the current political parties in power.

      New Zealand politics run from Far Right (pure laissez faire) in the form of ACT (Nationals very own political sock puppet) through to the Centre Left (Social democrat) of the Greens.

      If you could be so kind as to explain why your understanding of that term differs so much from what it actually means?
      It just looks like you are trying to create an insult by using a term which means one thing to describe something it is not.

      • swordfish 4.6.1

        “What do you mean by hard left ?”

        Wayne’s just very lazily employing the sort of banal rhetorical device much favoured by various Right-leaning media commentators like Jane Clifton, Hosking, Ralston, Leighton Smith etc

        Anyone even remotely to the Left of Phil Goff is instantly labelled “Hard Left” – as in cold, unfeeling, robotic, extreme, unreasonable, dogmatic, doctrinaire.

        Normally, I’d assume that former Cabinet Ministers like Wayne wouldn’t be quite so dishonest or intellectually-lazy. But, then again,…….how to account for Paula Bennett ?

        • Colonial Viper 4.6.1.1

          Wayne does seem to be letting himself down here.

          John Michael Greer contends that a major problem with the western elite now is the “senility” of their leadership. Basically, an inability to connect with reality and a preference to immerse themselves in their own imaginary constructs.

        • Naturesong 4.6.1.2

          It’d be nice to have a couple of Tony Benn’s in parliament though wouldn’t it.

          Make for far more compelling viewing of question time I reckon.

    • emergency mike 4.7

      Wayne, you’d be even more persuasive if you capitalized all the letters in HARD LEFT. Use the caps lock it’s easy.

    • newsense 4.8

      Nothing more hard left than John Roughan and Fran O’Sullivan. And Metro, the magazine of Auckland’s affluenza.

      Wheels coming off. Like McCully talking about 5th columnists all those years ago.

    • newsense 4.9

      Also have talked recently to a centre right voter who I don’t think would ever vote Labour who has a very large sense of betrayal about us not having any reporting or checks on foreign ownership. Used the words ‘I trusted Mr Key’. First time I’ve seen them remotely perturbed about politics.

      • Tracey 4.9.1

        cue a vote for NZF

        • newsense 4.9.1.1

          A loss of innocence, but I think in this case that if they have lost so much faith (and I don’t think they have quite) that they would rather not vote

    • Tracey 4.10

      Don’t be bitter Wayne.

  5. red-blooded 5

    Hey, those rankings aren’t just a product of the last few wondrous years, with our amazing Mr Key. NZ has ranked highly in those lists for decades, spanning both National and Labour led governments. Having said that, we also rank highly in domestic abuse rates (5th in the OECD), levels of imprisonment, obesity, murder rates… Perhaps all of these should also be attributed to the inspiring leadership of the current government?

    In fact, of course, these sorts of complex problems also span across governments of different leanings (although it’s worth noting that many of them are exacerbated by increasing levels of inequality, which as we know is also a measure that NZ loses out by scoring highly in…). As I understand it, inequality rose sharply from the late ’80s on, dipped with the intervention of Working For Families, but is now rising again, especially when the impact of housing costs are factored in.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/261349/nz-gap-between-rich-and-poor-growing
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68600911/income-inequality-how-nz-is-one-of-the-worst-in-the-world
    http://www.inequality.org.nz/understand/

  6. Pat 6

    …in addition the corruption index is a measure of the perception of,not demonstrated acts of …I would bet a couple of bottles of plonk to a tug on a ponytail that the domestic perception of corruption over the life of this current government has changed significantly…and not for the better

  7. newsense 7

    Also I do think it is absurd to compare Julie Christie and Goebbels.

    (beat)

    Goebbels was elected.
    Also hated cooking shows, a-not-commonly known fun fact.

    (I of course couldn’t ever tell this joke. Frankie Boyle of NZ where are you?)

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • 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

  • 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    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
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago