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Against the atheist bus campaign

Written By: - Date published: 12:11 pm, December 11th, 2009 - 105 comments
Categories: religion - Tags:

uk_atheist_bus_imageI’m sorry, but I just can’t see the point of this atheist bus campaign. New Zealand is one of the most secular countries in the world. Religion here is seen as a private matter and apart from a few fringe idiots we don’t have a problem with political religion.

Kiwis just don’t have the temperament for that sort of thing. In fact, the best way to discredit a political cause is to associate it with religion. That’s why the religious extremists behind the smacking lobby had to dress up their latest campaign as a ‘march for democracy’, and even then they only got a handful of supporters.

The fact is the vast majority of Christians in New Zealand are decent, tolerant people who see religious belief as a private concern. They don’t bother me about my beliefs and I don’t bother them about theirs. That’s as it should be.

We don’t need imported culture wars. It’s not the Kiwi way.

105 comments on “Against the atheist bus campaign”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I heard that guy on national radio this morning, and was thinking “um, NZ is probably the most secular first-world country in the world, what exactly are you trying to achieve here?”.

    It seems like a rather stupid thing to do anyway. It’s not actually going to make anyone change their mind about anything. Atheists will laugh and say “haha, stupid theists”, while theists will either be offended or ignore it.

  2. IrishBill 2

    As a longtime atheist myself I agree this is unnecessary, counterproductive and dull. I’d prefer to see a campaign against the free-market theists. “There’s probably no invisible hand” would be the best thing written on a bus. Ever.

  3. ieuan 3

    ‘It’s not the Kiwi way.’

    And here’s me thinking the kiwi way is to have a good robust debate about things rather than quietly hiding them.

    It’s a free country people, I don’t think they need the permission of the writers at the Standard to run their campaign.

    I’ve donated $20 to help them their message out (which is ‘it’s OK to not believe in a God’ – if your asking).

    • Eddie 3.1

      Dear oh dear. No one’s trying to deny you the right to put up a billboard. Knock yourself out. I just don’t think it’s particularly productive or helpful.

      • ieuan 3.1.1

        Actually you said ‘it’s not the kiwi way’.

        Maybe you would like to explain what the ‘kiwi way’ is?

        • Eddie 3.1.1.1

          Importing culture wars, trying to impose your private religious beliefs on other people. Kiwis generally have better things to do than proselytise, and that’s the way I like it.

          • ieuan 3.1.1.1.1

            Your reading a hell of a lot into a fairly simple, straightforward message.

            Then again the writers at the Standard are great at adding 2+2 and getting 5.

            • Eddie 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I find it hard to believe this campaign is not connected to the wave of militant atheism inspired by Dawkins and Hitchens that’s grown up as a response to Christian fundamentalism in the US and to a lesser extent in Britain.

              • Pascal's bookie

                militant?

                Nah. Strident perhaps, or hectoring.

              • snoozer

                militant is Dawkins’ term I think.

                I’m a fan of Dawkins’ writing. But I don’t see what good this campaign does. It’s insulting, rather than educating.

              • The Baron

                Sorry Eddie, we evidently forgot that hectoring and telling people what to believe is the sole preserve of you and the Labour party.

                The amount of injustice, intolerance, bigotry, hatred, agression, discrimination, war, famine and death has been caused by religion throughout history is a tragedy. Some of us consider a small stand against that as something important – sorry that you find it so offensive, because it came from “over there”.

                And then to close things off with your own import – a kiwi take on “unamerican”, to back up your case. If that ain’t hipocrisy, I don’t know what is!

          • Deus ex Machina 3.1.1.1.2

            Sure, your thoughtful, intelligent, intellectual liberal would allow us all the arrive at our own religious, or non-religious, beliefs after careful meditation and perhaps discussion on the subject. That’s as it should be.

            But for a great many people their religion is a matter of cultural default. they go with the stream. They will be aware of alternatives but know nothing about them, and likely have neither the tools, time nor inclination to bother about the matter. Such ‘religion’ is worthless – like voting National because ‘Labour’ is Socialist, and “Socialist” sounds creepy, or because that was the way your father voted.

            This advertising campaign is intended to rattle that mind-set. It is aimed at those who would call themselves ‘Christian’, ‘Moslem’ etc. because that was how they were brought up, but who might harbour doubts about it. It’s saying to them, “It’s OK to think these thoughts. There’s another, quiet mainstream that thinks that way too.” It’s just an invitation to take the first step on a journey to a ‘true’ religious or non-religious view of the world for anyone who wants to take it.

  4. Tammy Gordon 4

    I was just invited to join this campaign on Facebook. I won’t be. One of the things that seems so incredibly pointless and mindbooglingly harmful throughout history, is the intent of organised religion to impose its views on other people with different views. So as an atheist (and I resent even having to name my beliefs, to me it’s like declaring that I don’t believe in the Giant Pumpkin) I’m fundamentally – no pun intended – opposed to proselytising.

    • I had to laugh Tammy when I read your post.

      I am a Christian myself but had always thought if I was a atheist what would be the point apposing a belief when you don’t believe its foundation concept exists as you have nicely said. Pumpkin analogy was good by the way.
      Just goes to show even those who don’t agree can agree.

  5. outofbed 5

    Does an atheist bus know its destination?

  6. Gosman 6

    So we’re one of the most secular countries in the world eh?

    So why does our National Anthem implore a supreme deity for protection?

    Why is our Head of State intricately linked with a State sanctioned faith?

    Why are religious rites actively encouraged in national institutions?

    I say until these abhorent behaviours are stopped campaigns like the one on the buses are not just acceptable, they are vital.

    • Eddie 6.1

      It’s my view that none of that symbolism really matters compared to the bigger issues. I’d support getting rid of it, but I’m not going to waste my time or money doing so. But like I say, if it really matters to you then knock yourself out.

  7. felix 7

    …apart from a few fringe idiots we don’t have a problem with political religion.

    Yeah, but why do you have to view this through a political lens? You might as well ask ‘what’s the point’ of any number of endeavours which don’t address a specific political concern. The latest Dimmer album for instance – what’s the point?

    As ieuan says, “it’s OK to not believe in a God” is a valid message and it might be one that a lot of people benefit from hearing.

    • Gosman 7.1

      Oh my god!

      A topic we are in agreement on.

      Perhaps the end of the world is ny after all. 😉

    • Eddie 7.2

      The reason I bring politics into it is because this movement is largely inspired by the rise of political Christianity in recent years. But I doubt there are many people out there who don’t see atheism as legitimate. We’re not in bloody Texas.

      • Gosman 7.2.1

        I disagree. Even in NZ Atheist and Humanists are seen as reather bizarre and fringe.

        The Humanist movement is always fighting to get the same sort of official involvement in various state activities whereas the Religious organisations are actively courted.

        • Eddie 7.2.1.1

          Not my experience, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

          I don’t know why the humanist movement would want official involvement in state activities anyway.

    • IrishBill 7.3

      Felix, I like the new Dimmer album. Somewhat ironically I’m particularly fond of “Bless”. Regarding the validity of the messages, yes it’s valid but it’s promotion in this manner risks giving the batty christians more oxygen.

      • felix 7.3.1

        Yeah I like it too. I was just saying that because something doesn’t have an obvious political context is a stupid reason to dismiss it. Most worthwhile things in life don’t.

        However I’d go further and suggest that we do have a problem with extreme religious nutters in politics in NZ, and that problem is the same as the problem with the other types of fringe nutters in politics – that supposedly “centrist” or “moderate” politicians give them the time of day.

        As for the oxygen, that’s probably a good point. I’d note that they seem to breathe ok without it though.

  8. The fox 8

    I kind of see your point about it not being the Kiwi way and all, but try telling that to the likes of Wishart who imported the culture wars very successfully a long time ago. Cultural isolationism is no excuse for ignoring the global memes of the fundamentalists. This campaign may seem a little self indulgent but at a time when rational science is being rabidly attacked by creationists, shrugging your shoulders and saying nothing to with us is a bit of a lame response really.

    • Eddie 8.1

      I’d support the campaign if it was somewhere like Arkansas where the god squad are an actual threat. New Zealand? Not so much.

      • Gosman 8.1.1

        Every where there are visible presence of Religious people and symbols actively involved in State sanctioned activity it is a threat.

        • Eddie 8.1.1.1

          I don’t take such an extreme position. No one’s forcing me to believe anything or do anything against my will. It’s not ideal, but hardly worth worrying about.

          I’m also not sure whether the western view of secularism is all that chop anyway. Amartya Sen has some interesting things to say about this. But that’s a whole different argument that I don’t have time for.

          • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1

            Yet it was you who started this topic.

            For someone who has little interest in something you sure have expended an awful lot of effort on it.

          • Con 8.1.1.1.2

            No one’s forcing me to believe anything or do anything against my will. It’s not ideal, but hardly worth worrying about.

            So because you weren’t religiously indoctrinated as a child, you have no sympathy for those who were, or who still are suffering in this way? That certainly is less than ideal.

            • Eddie 8.1.1.1.2.1

              I was referring to religious symbolism like the Parliamentary prayer or the mention of God in our anthem. I doubt anyone has ever become a Christian as a result of the Parliamentary prayer.

              • felix

                Nice strawman, Eddie, and by “nice” I mean “preposterous and infantile”.

                The religious traditions and symbolism woven through the very fabric of our society may seem harmless enough on their own (parliamentary prayer for example) but they don’t exist on their own. They form a self-reinforcing mechanism in which each supports the validity of the next.

                For those indoctrinated at a young age into religious belief these symbols are constant reminders, on both conscious and subconscious levels, of the correctness of that indoctrination and when functioning correctly the illusion is that no indoctrination has taken place.

                I don’t for a moment believe that you don’t already understand how this works.

              • A Nonny Moose

                I doubt this sort of campaign is speaking to the fundamentalists, but more to the people who haven’t used church on a weekly basis in their lives. We are socialized from the beginning of our lives to accept god/religion in our every day lives before we have even formed an opinion on our own personalities.

                Baptized as a baby – you don’t get a choice. Religious instructions at school – you don’t get a choice. God/prayer in school/national anthem – you don’t get a choice.

                It’s not fair that religion should get a free pass as the moralization of our society. Some people live by tradition or honest fear of questioning. They should be let known, in the kindest of way, that it’s OK to question.

                Calling it wussy? Well, an atheist doesn’t really want to succumb to the thundering levels of rhetoric that theists are allowed.

                Oh, and Atheism Bingo 101: atheism is not a belief – it is a lack thereof.

              • Eddie

                Dude, I’m not defending Christianity or the use of Christian rituals by the state. My position on this is apathy. I’m sorry if I don’t see the odd bit of symoblism as a grave injustice, but I just don’t.

                Maybe it’s a matter of different life experiences colouring our reactions to these issues.

              • felix

                With all due respect Eddie, nothing you’ve said today would characterise your position as apathetic.

                When you say things like:

                I doubt anyone has ever become a Christian as a result of the Parliamentary prayer.

                you’re actively defending the use of religious symbolism and ritual by the state, and on extremely flimsy grounds.

              • Eddie

                I’ll make it clear then – I don’t think the state should favour one religion, and I oppose the mixing of church and state. I don’t think symbolic issues like the Parliamentary prayer are worth dying in a ditch over.

              • felix

                Again with the strawmen, Eddie.

                No-one’s suggesting “dying in a ditch”. It’s some billboards on buses.

                And you’ve spoken out rather strongly against them so far.

              • Eddie

                You’re conflating my comments about billboards with my comments about the Parliamentary prayer. Different issues.

                The prayer shouldn’t be there as it technically contravenes the separation of church and state, but in my view the prayer is just symbolism and I’m not going to waste my time trying to remove it (like I would, say, enforced church attendance or the teaching of creationism).

                My view on the bus ads is explained in the post. People’s private religious beliefs are their own and I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business.

              • felix

                No-one’s suggested dying in a ditch on either issue, Eddie. It’s a strawman which ever way you want to apply it.

                If anyone it’s you who seems to be conflating them. I don’t see anyone else here claiming that the billboards have anything to do with parliamentary prayer.

                No-one’s suggested that parliamentary prayer will turn people into christians either. In fact it’s hard to see anyone else even mentioning parliamentary prayer, hence another strawman.

                My view on the bus ads is explained in the post. People’s private religious beliefs are their own and I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business.

                But that doesn’t wash in light of your further commentary, Eddie. If you’re quite happy having religious ritual, symbology and iconography embedded deeply into the culture then it’s absurd for you to take a stand against these billboards and still pretend to be an uninterested bystander.

                You’ve picked a side whether you know it or not.

              • Eddie

                This is getting tedious. The prayer and the billboards are different arguments from different sub-threads in this discussion.

                Regarding the prayer, there’s a difference between being ‘happy’ with something and thinking it’s stupid but not worth wasting time and effort on. My view is the latter.

                Regarding the billboards, like I’ve said a hundred times, I think people’s personal religious beliefs are their own and I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business.

              • felix

                Regarding the prayer, there’s a difference between being ‘happy’ with something and thinking it’s stupid but not worth wasting time and effort on. My view is the latter.

                Who is suggesting otherwise, Eddie? You made up the ‘dying-in-a-ditch-over-parliamentary-prayers’ bit yourself. Get over it.

                Regarding the billboards, like I’ve said a hundred times, I think people’s personal religious beliefs are their own and I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business.

                But they’re not just “personal” beliefs, Eddie, they’re deeply embedded social constructs supported by layers and layers of assumptions.

                As I have to spend large parts of my life dealing with people and institutions who are working within the framework of these assumptions and constructs it most certainly is my business.

                You’ve been arguing all day that people shouldn’t waste their time challenging these assumptions, Eddie, and you brought it up with the post. That’s not the way uninterested apathetic bystanders generally spend their time.

  9. OOB; nice haiku, though a little bit EJ Thribbish!

    Actually I
    Am of the opinion
    That the bus stops here.

    My only complaint about the campaign is that it’s so wussy. ‘There is no god, enjoy your time alive’ would be more apposite, I reckon.

  10. ieuan 10

    ‘The fact is the vast majority of Christians in New Zealand are decent, tolerant people who see religious belief as a private concern.’

    Like the Family First’s and Larry Baldocks of the world?

    Didn’t they just force a $9M referendum on us that asked a stupid question that something like 90% of people supported?

    How do they fit into your nice little view of kiwi Christians Eddie?

    • Eddie 10.1

      Baldock and co are not the vast majority, they’re a fringe minority who have to hide behind words like ‘democracy’ to push their ideas, and even then only get a handful of supporters.

      If you’re looking to undermine the likes of Baldock you need to wedge them from mainstream Christians and make it clear what a fringe character he is. Nothing about this billboard campaign will achieve that.

      • ieuan 10.1.1

        Like the 300,000 who signed their petition? That fringe minority, that handful of supporters?

        • Eddie 10.1.1.1

          I don’t think you can plausibly argue they were signing anything to support political religion. They were reacting to the myth that the police would be breaking down the doors of good parents and confiscating their children over a light smack. The organisers were fringe extremists, the people signing were only guilty of ignorance and fear.

  11. Bill 11

    Methinks these pussyfooting atheists are ‘probably’ agnostics.

  12. Janice 12

    I heard a little old lady the other day refer to Bishop Brian and his 700 obedient sons as “the Density Church”. I wonder if the sons are going to be seconded to clear the banners off the buses. I can’t see the point of discussing it, many years ago most of the people in the world considered the earth flat, it didn’t make it so.

    • outofbed 12.1

      Its not ?

      • felix 12.1.1

        Turtles all the way down I’m afraid.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.1.2

        Don’t listen oob, It’s a fucking plot mate, first they tells you it’s ball shaped and they show you pretty pictures. Next thing you know it’s ‘leap years’ and there’s an extra fucking ‘day’ added to the calender. Is it a holiday? Is it fuck.

        • ieuan 12.1.2.1

          Miles off topic but: Bang on, I’ve never understood why leap year day is not a holiday. If you’re on a salary you work it for free.

  13. Bill 13

    One potential upside might be if some kids from fundi families who have been trained to take the existence of god as a given and taught that everyone thinks ‘thus’ and are ‘protected’ from any and all contrary view points read the bus and paused for thought or had that seed of doubt silently planted in their mind….

  14. tc 14

    God forgives and saves sinners……..in fact he’s saving a few for a boys weekend away woo hoo.

  15. randal 15

    god lives and he loves YOU!
    dont worry be happy.

  16. I’m a bit perturbed that commenters here are focussing on the effect on Christians. I’d prefer a world sans all religious faiths, Christian, Muslim, Pixie, whatever.

    And while I’m at it, why are the Scientologists still allowed a tax free status? Not even close to being a religion in any spiritual sense.

  17. randal 17

    ieuan.
    even better.

    • ieuan 17.1

      You might be happy with your God being a ‘she’ but if that was the case it would stuff up every organised religion out there. They pretty much all have the man as the centre of the universe and the woman as a second class citizen.

      That’s the nice thing about religion, it’s always been a power game, just ask Brian Tamaki.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    I’m wondering if I should donate to them. I don’t think it’s a great idea but at the same time I understand why the message needs to be out there.

  19. outofbed 19

    No, buy someone a goat for xmas instead

  20. Camden Whelk 20

    If you take out the imported culture wars there is bugger all left to the Kiwi Way. We are an English-speaking European-descended post-Enlightenment Global Western culture. The only thing that makes us unique is our connection with Maoritanga, and the original owners might like that back at some stage. Everything else is imported.

  21. Scott 21

    What is the problem with this campaign? If religious groups are allowed to promote their beliefs, then why shouldn’t atheists be allowed to?

    I personally think religious belief is completely irrational. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to see a sign or billboard that supports and gives comfort to my view?

    When I can walk down Queen Street without some proselytising fool trying to give me books, and when people peddling religion stop banging on my front door, then maybe I’ll be able to agree this campaign isn’t needed.

    Besides, what do religious people have to fear? My kind are all going to hell anyway.

  22. Ag 22

    A more telling blow against NZ religion would be struck by having the billboard accuse Brian Tamaki of wearing a hairpiece.

  23. Rex Widerstrom 23

    Atheist buses? That cannot end well.

  24. Eclipse 24

    Looking at the number of responses this thread has attracted (which I haven’t read all of), I can’t help but feel the campaign is already achieveing its primary purpose – encouraging debate

  25. Westminster 25

    I agree, although the recent section 59 debate may have created the first few cancerous cells of a militant Christian tumour. Nevertheless, I think it’s premature to be battling culture wars like this right now.

  26. Adam Jarvis 26

    I think many people are taking the thrust of Eddie’s post too far. Leaving aside the contradiction in tone between his claim that the signs are simply unnecessary and “We don’t need imported culture wars. It’s not the Kiwi way.”, i’ll go with the first interpretation.

    He doesn’t think it is needed. New Zealand is apparently a highly secular country with no problems with religion to speak of. I disagree.

    People have brought up our dear Bishop and Larry Baldock. What about the exclusive brethren (and others) attempt to hijack our democracy only 2 elections ago? What about the not insignificant proportion of our country that votes for the party espousing ‘Christian family values’? Ray Comfort hails from New Zealand!

    While I could go on, I realise these things are relatively minor. We do have a mostly secular country. The need for this campaign pales in comparison to the need for it in the states. Yet, we could do with a dose less religion on the national stage. That alone, justifies the small inoffensive message that it is, in fact, ok not to believe in a deity.

    Even if the campaign were to have no effect nationally, I would still support it. This might be the first time many indoctrinated kids are exposed to this point of view. If some kids become, at the very least, more accepting of non believers (and perhaps less likely to accept religious BS), it is money well spent.

  27. NickS 27

    Lawl, the poll on Stuff for this got utterly Pharyngulated:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/oddstuff/3149823/Theres-probably-no-God-coming-to-a-bus-near-you

    Beware the minions of Myers.

    • Adam Jarvis 27.1

      Oh come on… PZ would never do such a thing 🙂

      Clearly 86.7% of New Zealanders don’t believe in God. Exactly the same proportion who like beating their children.

      Coincidence? I think not. This is clear evidence atheism leads to child abuse.

  28. Connie Mist 28

    I work in a profession (social work) where it is “normal” to open a meeting with a prayer and close with a hymn.

    Any I protest I may make must be silent lest I am accused of insensitivity; I welcome the bus campaign to offer a platform for debate…

  29. illuminatedtiger 29

    As long as it boils the blood of the Exclusive Brethren and Destiny Church I’m all for it!

  30. Craig Ranapia 30

    I’m a devout Catholic.

    I enjoy my life, and things I worry about are worth the investment of emotional capital and not the result of faith-based neurosis.

    I also avoid patronising atheists of my acquaintance as unhappy neurotics who need to find God and cheer the fuck up because one religious principle I do my best to live is “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

    And as I’ve said elsewhere, if you want to be noxiously reductive and patronising towards millions of people, how about this:

    ALLAH PROBABLY DOESN’T EXIST. NOW STOP BLOWING SHIT UP, AND CHILL OUT.

    Islamic fundamentalism deserves to be challenged and exposed, but not by soundbite patronage of a billion human beings whose fundamental beliefs I don’t share, but are no faith-based Borg Collective by any stretch of the imagination.

    • ieuan 30.1

      ‘one religious principle I do my best to live is “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

      That’s the ‘golden rule’ and while adopted by most religions is not a ‘religious’ principle, it is far more universal than that.

      Bit sad if the only atheists you have met are ‘unhappy neurotics’, maybe most atheists you know would rather not tell you about their non-religious stance and given the rest of your comments it is no surprise.

  31. Richard 31

    Did you hear the one about the agnostic dyslexic insomniac?
    He lay awake at night wondering if there really is a Dog.

  32. rave 32

    There’s definitely no kiwi way.
    captcha: ridiculous

  33. Craig Glen Eden 33

    God this discussion was boring!

  34. Camden WHELK MAKES THE POINT THAT: ‘If you take out the imported culture wars there is bugger all left to the Kiwi Way. We are an English-speaking European-descended post-Enlightenment Global Western culture. The only thing that makes us unique is our connection with Maoritanga, and the original owners might like that back at some stage. Everything else is imported.’

    Hmmmm… it’s been an interesting recent development in a couple of schools I know that staff are required to stand for recitation of karakia and join in singing waiata before daily briefings, and and students in assembly are also required to join in the singing of waiata.

    Lyrics translated as all about dawns and mountains and such, with a bit of ‘Great Spirit’ thrown in. Pantheism perhaps.

    Now, what should we put on the sides of our school buses?

  35. Unfortnately, this is one of the side-effects of the vitriol and militancy of the hardcore Christian fundamentalist lobby. It does tend to spark off equally vocal antagonistic responses. Actually, I felt that hoarding was a model of restraint, compared to other pro-secularity messages that I’ve seen. And hey, we live in a pluralist society of mixed and happily co-existent religious and secular philosophies. So give them their right to free speech and expression.

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    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
    2 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    2 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    3 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    3 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    3 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    4 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    5 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago