web analytics

An economic plan for Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, September 7th, 2010 - 59 comments
Categories: business, tax, wages - Tags:

In a post scheduled for later today, I’ve written about the economic effects of the Christchurch earthquake and the rebuilding but I decided to split this section off for its own.

Christchurch needs a more ambitious rescue package than has been announced. Relying on EQC and insurance payouts to do the heavy economic lifting that will be needed is not enough. I would cancel for at least a year the top bracket tax cuts due to come into force in a month and use the half a billion that will be saved for a real economic revival plan for Christchurch.

I would use it to grant emergency bridging funding to businesses closed by the quake so that they can continue to pay their workers, meaning that their families don’t suffer and they can continue spending.

I would use more of the money to meet the damage costs of any uninsured people and announce that EQC levies will now be raised on rates, rather than home insurance, so that everyone contributes and is covered even if they can’t afford ordinary insurance.

It is crazy that the poorest are the most likely to be left out of pocket by the earthquake.

There would still be hundreds of millions left over to give Christchurch the long-term stimulus through spending on smart, green projects like modern state housing. Christchurch will need that longer-term investment get through this shock and the boom and bust of rebuilding to come (let alone the effects of a second global recession)

Remaining money should be used to reduce government borrowing. Last week, the IMF ranked the New Zealand government as the best able to handle new economic shocks (another round of applause to Labour for not cutting taxes based on cyclical surpluses like the Right wanted but cutting net debt instead). Since the figures that assessment was based on were issued, the Crown accounts have taken have taken two huge hits – first, the South Canterbury Fiance bailout and now an even bigger hit to get us back to where we were before the quake. It is absolutely nuts in this situation that the government is planning to borrow half a billion dollars a year to fund tax cuts for the wealthiest New Zealanders.

Update: I wrote this piece last night and this morning on RNZ I heard the Christchurch Chamber of Commerce asking the government for the kind of emergency wage grant I’m suggesting. Gerry Brownlee was interviewed immediately after. From his dissembling and rambling I think it’s safe to say the government won’t be coming to the party.

59 comments on “An economic plan for Christchurch”

  1. Key did offer to pay $5m into Parker’s Mayoral fund …

    The repair cost will be in the billions. There was that $1.75b cheque that Blinglish recently signed. Boy I bet he wishes he still had that money in the Government coffers.

    • TightyRighty 1.1

      amazing micky, for someone who bangs on ad nauseum about the moral good, you’ve missed the obvious parallels between SFC and the canterbury earthquake. I would be amazed if the Government wouldn’t help out to the tune of at least $1.75 billion, as they now have a moral obligation. and seeing as they will be clawing back at least $1.4b over the next few years from SFC assets they can fund the rebuild on an at need basis. rather than the labour “blank cheque” approach.

      it doesn’t make it right, but it does make it happen.

      • nzfp 1.1.1

        TR, I asked the same question to L, where does the Government get the money for the 1.6 Billion for SCF and the 1.75 Billion for the Christchurch Quake?

  2. happynz 2

    Yup, delay the tax cut that will come into play in several weeks. I can go along with that. What about the GST increase to 15%? Should that be kept in place?

  3. artist not on the dole 3

    not often we say this but… well done Telecom
    a sensible and ‘civic minded’ response to a terrible situation

    http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/free-phone-calls-quake-devastated-residents/5/61781

  4. smhead 4

    micky, pop question for you as a labour man.

    1. Which party was in government when the retail deposit guarantee was introduced?
    2. What position did labour take on extending the retail deposit guarantee scheme to finance companies?
    3. Having committed to the retail deposit guarantee scheme, and extending the scheme to finance companies, how consistent is it as a labour man to argue that the government shouldn’t pay out to companies included in the scheme?

    [lprent: As Akldnut said – unrelated. You seem to have avoided reading the post and not responded to anyone in particular. That looks like a troll-type line dropped in for no apparent reason into this debate. There are innumerable posts on the SCF that this would have been relevant in – do it there.

    BTW: I don’t like trolls (see the policy). Be warned. ]

    • Akldnut 4.1

      um that would be three questions – 1. off topic 2. off topic 3.not even close.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Well, on three, the government shouldn’t pay out to companies in the scheme if it’s activities don’t comply with the rules of the scheme. Oh, that would be SCF.

      • Craig Glen Eden 4.2.1

        And bang smhead is owned as Draco gives the simple explanation to the Dick head.

        Yup bet smhead voted National.

        [lprent: I don’t like the ‘owned’, ‘pwned’, or similar memes. The damn things usually just cause moronic flamewars because they imply ‘victory’. The appropriate way to view anything on the net is that it is an agree to disagree area (like most places). I ban people who use ‘owned’ in a preemptive approach to constraining idiotic flamewars. Be warned. ]

  5. ZB 5

    Key rushes to help SCF and save the assets. Skilled people are assets to a business.
    So what is Key doing to help skilled people stay in Christchurch? Remain
    connected to the businesses there? Emergency benefit to all employees who
    cannot go into work. Key knows that they will sign on anyway, he knows
    a few will look to find work and places for their families elsewhere, he
    could just do the right thing. Oh, wait, that would be government acting
    like a government, and we know how the right hate any government!
    When the cheap credit and cheap oil flowed, the market was very
    capable of quickly utilizing under capacity, now the madness of loose
    finance is over, so is the no government platform of the right.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    The government has already pledged $5m to the mayoral fund, and has said that that is just the beginning and is expecting to pay several hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuilding CHCH.

    I agree nixxing the taxcuts would be the best way to fund it, but it seems they are already intending to do as you’ve outlined in the post.

    smhead – all of your “pop questions” have been answered in detail in other threads already. If you want to know, the answer is that National re-extended the scheme for another year, and also deliberately included SCF as recently as April, even though it was clear at the time they didn’t meet the requirements of the scheme and after they were accepted they recklessly lent the money out to risky businesses, some would suggest purposefully to trigger a bailout. Don’t derail this thread.

    • nzfp 6.1

      L, “The government has already pledged $5m to the mayoral fund” but where did this money come from?

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        That’s the big question ain’t it. We can print as much money as we want but we still need the resources to do anything. That’s one of the problems with capitalism – once profits drop on creating real wealth, as they’re guaranteed to do, the capitalists look for more profit and they find it in the finance industry where the money goes round and round, picks up lots of “profit” but doesn’t create any wealth. Eventually it’s recognised as the Ponzi scheme it is and it all falls down.

  7. nzfp 7

    It has been estimated that New Zealand would require at least 2 Billion dollars to repair the damage done to Christchurch. This represents a great opportunity for the National Government to use the RBNZ to create 2 Billion dollars and inject it into a depressed economy and stimulate employment and production.

    Whether the Government decides to create the credit itself or borrow from foreigners, it is still a fact that only New Zealand itself can create New Zealand money and credit. It is merely a policy choice to let foreigners perform this task and extract income from New Zealand with its higher interest rates.

    Prime Minister John Key has two choices:

    1. Instruct the treasury to create the necessary New Zealand money and credit via the RBNZ to fully rebuild Christchurch.

    2. Instruct the treasury to create some of the New Zealand money and credit needed to do a half ass job of rebuilding some of Christchurch by borrowing from bankrupt American and British banks while paying high interest rates for the pleasure. Money paid as interest to foreign banks that should have been spent rebuilding Christchurch.

    It’s our choice, either we force Key to make the right descision or we let the foreign banks make the descision for him.

    • It’s our choice, either we force Key to make the right descision or we let the foreign banks make the descision for him.

      Just how do you propose to “force Key to make the right descision” NZFP?

      • nzfp 7.1.1

        If you like controntation:
        Protest, get in the streets…. Ask the Teachers union and the anti s4 mining protestors what they did. Ask the anti-apartheid protestors how they organised. Ask Tuhoe how they organised.

        If you’re like me and not into that:
        Email, Snail Mail, Fax, Call, or Visit your MP and ask them what their monetary policy is and when they tell you that borrowing is better then printing give them Professor Hudsons critique. This is what I do

        Learn about other economic theories – specifically those supported by empirical historical evidence as opposed to computer models. When you’re informed you are more likely to know if you are being lied to.

        Tell your friends about it – get the word around. Write about it on this site. Get as many people as informed as you can – it’s like the metaphor of the hundredth monkey. This is also what I do.

        Be open to other arguments, look for logical fallacies in the argument. It helps with your critical thinking abilities which makes you less prone to being BS’d to by Bill English. You’re already doing this otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this site.

        Be critical of media sponsored economists – especially the ones telling you the US economy is on the up when the empiricial evidence suggests the opposite. It’s important to know in the first place if there is a problem before you can begin to solve the problem. This is the situation many of our fellow citizens are in – they don’t know there is a problem.

        Can you think of anything else to add?

      • nzfp 7.1.2

        Hey Inventory2 I just thought of something else – something I’m not personally prepared to do but I’ll back you if you want to do it. Stand in your local body elections, or stand as a candidate for one of our political parties. You can bring monetary policy to debate in parliament and force the change that way.

        While you’re at it – lobby Christchurch’s mayor to create a “Bank of Christchurch” doing business as the city of Christchurch. As our second largest city it would have no trouble with capital requirements and with the 10/1 leverage accelerators of fractional reserve banking it could create all of the credit it needs to rebuild itself. Especially if the money is ultimately owed back to the RBNZ.

        • Rex Widerstrom 7.1.2.1

          I like the “Bank of Christchurch” idea, nzfp. Why, we could even have trustee savings banks in various areas, with strong ties to their local communities, and… oh wait…

          I wonder if soothing noises were made when those banks were flogged off to the multinationals, reassuring us we’d be no worse off as a result. If such platitudes were mouthed, now might be a time to be demanding they be honoured (but still going ahead with your plan, nzfp).

          first, the South Canterbury Fiance bailout

          Typical National government, giving handouts to the scions of rich Canterbury farmers who can’t meet their dowry payments…

          [Sorry 😈 ]

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      I agree, I think the government should just print the money. It’s not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things and would knock the dollar down. On the other hand, it might also result in a ratings downgrade (yet the US gets away with it just fine (except China has downgraded them)).

  8. Loota 8

    Marty G for Finance Minister.

    Is Labour going to put forward Christchurch’s case for economic revival?

    Cancelling the top tax cuts for 2-3 years and directing that money to Canterbury (and back into the EQC, since there are suspicions that a series of big quakes over the next 10 years may be a possibility) is the way to go.

  9. Bob Stanforth 9

    As anyone with even half an ounce of experience in situations like this will tell you – there is no point in coming up with detailed plans until you fully understand the scope of what you are dealing with. And that will take weeks.

    Knee jerk reactions result in poor outcomes. Planned and measured responses based on facts and needs provide for the long term.

    As has been pointed out elsewhere this morning, the knee jerk reaction to the uninsured (and unwarranted) vehicles that have been ruined in the events of the weekend – why should the taxpayer stump up for those? Would you want to? I know I wouldnt.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      I don’t know that anyone has been calling for uninsured *vehicles* to be covered. It comes more down to essential contents (clothes, some items of furniture) and houses.

      • Bob Stanforth 9.1.1

        OK, then lets follow that train of thought. How do you determine need? If its anyone, watch the insurers run a mile from NZ. Why insure when the government will pay? Do you means test?

        People chose to insure, or not insure. If you have chosen not to insure, you carry your own risk. And the cost of insurance is within reach of anyone who can plan and budget – and those services are free for anyone. If you can afford to buy beer or ciggies, as many can, you can afford insurance.

        And if you chose to not insure the essentials, then why the hell should the taxpayer stump up because the uninsured decide as a result of an event they suddenly want someone else to carry the risk?

        There will be genuine cases of need, I dont doubt it, but suddenly realising you’ve had an ah crap moment and the taxpayer can bail you out? Nah, sod off. SCF notwithstanding – legislated for, by “you know who”, you carry risk, or pass it off as a decision. Grown ups do shit like this all the time. Ignorantia legis neminem excusat.

        AS: crazy. Oh yeah.

        • roger nome 9.1.1.1

          Bob – i pay my taxes too. But if i have to go without a few luxuries so that other people get the essentials it doesn’t bother me. What gives you such a high opinion of yourself to think that your petty and ephemeral desires are more important than another person getting the chance to live?

          Surely it would take an ego approaching the size of Clayton Weatherston’s to hold that position (yes that does mean that i suspect that you are at least mildly psychopathic).

          • Bob Stanforth 9.1.1.1.1

            You assume a lot – I will assume you arent an arsehole, although there is strong evidence to suggest Im wrong.

            So many cliches, so little time. Think about for for 5 seconds:

            1. Define essentials.
            2. Who will provide them, let alone determine what they are – your essentials will be different to everyone elses.
            3. Who says you speak for all taxpayers? I assume you dont? Neither do I, but I can bet a substantial % would say what I did – the ones who pay for insurance, which is close to 95% of people.

            And whilst you are at it, confirm for me how this will all be administered.

            And instead of attacking me why not try grown up discourse, you might get a kick out of it.

        • Lanthanide 9.1.1.2

          My idea would be no more than $2k for contents and no more than $10-20k for houses. That is hardly much money, and anyone who hadn’t insured will still be faced with significant loss, so there’s no moral hazard of “oh, there’s no reason to insure because the government will just pay” when what the government does pay is only a tiny fraction of your total loss.

          • Akldnut 9.1.1.2.1

            Bob – so you saying the govt should pay only those with insurance out of the taxpayer dollars.
            Those uninsured are taxpayers too. Why should they have to pay for someone elses house to be fixed and not get some of their own tax money back

            If extra taxpayer dollars are to be dished out then they should go to all taxpaxpayers in need.
            Not just those who are insured – IMO that would be another case of the poor funding people wealthier than themselves

            • Lanthanide 9.1.1.2.1.1

              Akldnut – I’m assuming you’re talking about EQC payouts?

              EQC is funded through a levy added on top of everyone with private insurance. If you don’t have private insurance, you don’t pay towards EQC, and hence you aren’t covered by EQC. The government probably started EQC up with some seed money as well, but IIRC it’s been around since the late 1960’s so any initial input will have been dwarfed by the insurance levy and most uninsured people these days are unlikely to have been paying taxes back in the 60’s.

              • Vicky32

                Don’t count on it! I am on UB and newly uninsured (for the first time in years)- I can’t come up with the $500.00 lump sum needed for my insurance after 18 months on UB. I was paying taxes in the 1970s, and my parents in the 1960s… and I know there are people older than me, in the same position.
                Deb

                • Bob Stanforth

                  And every single insurance company will allow you to pay monthly, just ask.

                  And good luck with finding a new job. My parents paid taxes as well, as do I and my wife (and our kids) and we always will. 🙂

                  • Vicky32

                    “And every single insurance company will allow you to pay monthly, just ask.”
                    Unfortunately, there’s a price – paid monthly it comes to more than the yearly charge – and I am poised on such a knife-edge that it makes a real difference! 🙁
                    Deb

                  • Puddleglum

                    Bob, sometimes I think that the concept of ‘choice’ is one of the most malicious in the English language.

                    Do you understand that most people’s behaviour and ‘deliberate’ actions can in no way be characterised as a process of choice in anything like the way you are using it with this example of ‘choosing’ or ‘not choosing’ to be insured?

                    That goes for those who get insured as well as those who don’t. Most people, I’d wager, who get insured do it simply because ‘everyone does it’ or ‘it’s just what you do, isn’t it?’ Or, they’d feel ashamed or foolish if those they know found out they weren’t insured (after some accident). In other words, they’ve been socialised to do certain things and to think certain things are the ‘right’ things to do – they haven’t calculated the ‘costs’ and ‘benefits’ (I suppose you could say that human nature has done the ‘calculation’ for them by providing them with various social propensities and social motives.).

                    Similarly, those who don’t insure in the vast majority of cases haven’t made some parasitic calculation that they don’t need to because others will fork out if things go wrong (i.e., the red herring of ‘moral hazard’). Most don’t insure because they see their money in the hand, see what they need to buy and just can’t see how they can give money away as a safeguard against what might not happen. They just have this sickly feeling that if they had to pay out for this, that and the other insurance as middle class types tell them they should then they’ll be left with less than nothing for the basics. Part of that sickly feeling is the same as those who ‘choose’ to insure – they feel ashamed of their predicament and often feel like losers.

                    They ‘choose’ by virtue of how they perceive and respond to their circumstances – they don’t calculate. It’s ‘animal spirits’ as some economists call it, with that classically condescending tone.

                    And, worse still from your perspective, most people tend not to ‘learn’ by being exposed to the negative consequences of their ‘choices’.

                    Or, more precisely, what they learn is not the kind of thing you might wish they would learn (we can learn many things from the one set of circumstances). One thing they may ‘learn’ is that they live in a harsh world where others don’t care about them. Another thing they may learn is that they are just a hopeless case, too thick to live life competently. Another thing they may learn is that there’s no way out of their circumstances – that everything they do makes things worse. The kinds of things people typically ‘learn’ by being left to sink or swim only makes their lives worse, not better.

                    ‘Moral hazard’ is an utterly insignificant moral issue in all of this. The far more important one is how we treat each other; the kind of social world we create.

                    Try some humanity and some humaneness, Bob. Try to understand how so many perfectly ‘good’ people have come to see and live their lives in ways that mean they keep getting punched down no matter what they do.

                  • Loota

                    And your taxes will support the people in the community who need it most*.

                    Thanks Bob, job well done.

                    *Until the Tories find away to funnel more of it to their rich mates, leaving the wealth of the country for just a few.

    • nzfp 9.2

      “why should the taxpayer stump up for those” yes why should they – especially when they don’t need to!

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1

        It’s a pity we don’t hear more about NZDSC from the MSM. Oh well, just more evidence that they not up to the job or they’re so politically biased they purposefully don’t make mention of it.

        • nzfp 9.2.1.1

          Yeah it is sad,
          That doesn’t mean we can’t pressure the Maori party, ACT, The Greens – especially the Greens – to look closely at NZDSC monetary policy. I’m sure NZDSC supporters wouldn’t be upset if the other parties adopted their monetary policy. I ‘m pretty sure the Progressives (Jim Anderton) maintains an almost identical policy from his alliance days.

          As for the MSM pffftttt!!! When was the last time you paid to be propagandised?

          Oh by the way – Is it possible to add the NZDSC Media Rrelease as an article on this site?

    • Blighty 9.3

      The govt just effectively supplied insurance to its rich mates who took a gamble and lost on SCF but it won’t help the needy. That tells you what you need to know about the Nats’ values.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1

        Exactly

      • Bob Stanforth 9.3.2

        As I see so ofetn here, can you cite your facts and sources for the claim of rich mates? Im almost certain from what Ive seen that there are some, but defining your terms would help – such as rich? Is that someone who earns more than $60K per annum?

        Be interesting to know how you arrived at your conclusion, which without supporting facts is baseless really. Isnt it?

        • mcflock 9.3.2.1

          well, providing detailed references to support a political statement for somebody who has said that they’re “almost certain” you’re right but is still demanding sources and term definitions (the stalling tactic of the sophistical scoundrel). . . well, that’s pretty pointless really, isn’t it?

        • Vicky32 9.3.2.2

          “Is that someone who earns more than $60K per annum?”
          I’d say yes, though others may disagree… (I have worked out that with UB and casual work, I will still get less than $10K this year, so it’s all relative hey?)
          Deb

        • Loota 9.3.2.3

          Baseless? Just follow the money mate there’s $1770 million of it gone, even the fairy godmother couldn’t carry it all off without help.

          I’m amazed you’re supporting the legalised theft of almost $2B.

          But then again its going to the NATs rich mates so no wonder you aint putting up much of a struggle.

  10. Jenny 10

    Accept No Excuse for Homelessness!

    In any earthquake the most pressing need is for adequate shelter for those made homeless by quake, especially for those with families.

    #1. I see that the courts have postponed all disputes and tenancy tribunal cases, mainly due to the difficulty of convening the courts.

    #1./1 This moratorium should stay in place for humane reasons until the emergency is over.

    #2. All private evictions no matter the cause need to be put on hold. In this emergency there can be no excuse to make the homeless situation worse.

    #3. Housing New Zealand needs to step up to the plate.

    #3./1 Housing New Zealand has checked 650 of its properties in the area with problems ranging from plumbing issues to collapsed chimneys. A spokesman says several hundred need re-roofing, 20 need urgent action and they’re seriously concerned about six properties. He says there are around 50 vacant homes which will be used to re-house those without somewhere to stay.

    3./1.1 These 50 houses need to be immediately filled with those families now in temporary shelters.

    #3./2 As 79 percent of buildings in Christchurch have been initially estimated to be safe. Housing New Zealand should immediately and urgently be acquiring empty houses in the private sector to add to their stock. This is vital to be able to rehouse those state tenants who’s homes have been made uninhabitable by the quake as well as to house the many low income people in private rentals who have lost the roofs over their family’s heads.

    #3./4 If Housing New Zealand do not have the budget for emergency acquisition of empty homes from the private sector then the Government should immediately make the necessary funds available.

    There should be no excuse for any family to be left in a shelter or temporary accommodation by the middle of the month at the very latest.

    If there are, then serious questions of the Minister of housing need to be asked.

    capcha – “boat” that should read “ark”

    • Jenny 10.1

      Important notice for tenants in Christchurch From Housing New Zealand

      If you need help finding alternative accommodation because of damage to your home, please phone 0800 779 997.

      If you are experiencing health concerns following the earthquake, please phone 0800 611 116.

      HNZ doesn’t state whether this message applies only to their own tenants, or all tenants in need of emergency “alternative accommodation”.

      If you are a private tenant in need of urgent accommodation and you have rung this number what was the result?

      • Jenny 10.1.1

        If you need help finding alternative accommodation because of damage to your home, please phone 0800 779 997.

        In fact – if you are a HNZ tenant in urgent need of rehousing, what was the result from ringing this number?

        • Jenny 10.1.1.1

          I have just been informed that the phone number supplied by Housing New Zealand for tenants to ring is the general Government earthquake helpline.

  11. infused 11

    PM to announce quake hardship grants…
    An announcement about hardship grants to private sector workers who are not being paid after the Canterbury earthquake will be made this afternoon, Prime Minister John Key said today.

    He’s ahead of you Marty…

    • IrishBill 11.1

      First he follows eddie’s advice to stay at home and now he’s backing Marty G? Perhaps we should be invoicing his office 😉

      • Bill 11.1.1

        Can I punt for a possible trifecta and suggest that he…..nah. Never mind. He already is.

      • Lanthanide 11.1.2

        Actually both news items were available before either post went up on the standard.

        captcha: documented

        [lprent: Posts are usually written in the evenings and scheduled for a particular time the following day. Unless removed from the schedule they will run at that time.

        Most of us work during the day (unlike some of the well-known right bloggers who seem to have little to do apart from blogging :twisted:) which restricts our ability to read news or shift posts. So usually if it happens we leave the post up if it gets onto the main page and someone attaches an addendum to it if required. ]

    • just saying 11.2

      Saw on TV one that the govt was subsidising smaller employers to the tune of $300 (or was it $350?). What stuck me was that they used as an example a waitress earning $650 a week.
      It’s been a long time since I waited tables, but since when did waiting tables pay $33800 pa. Maybe the pay has vastly improved, but it struck me as typically way out of touch with how little the low paid actually get.

      • Vicky32 11.2.1

        Good grief, I hadn’t noticed that…
        JonKey is on TV3 right now, talkiing about the waitress! The money will go to the boss who will pay the waitress $150.00 + the government $350.00 – so she’ll get $500.00 of her $650.00… and as the waitress probably really gets considerably less than Key says, she might even be better off! 😀
        It all reminds me of Kathryn Ryan’s assertion that the ‘average wage’ is $55,000 pa. In which universe?
        Deb

        • Pascal's bookie 11.2.1.1

          The 3news report was a shocker. Basically ran a line that the money was a welcome handout to the employee, though the govt would give it to the employer to hand on, and that the govt would be happy glad if employers would top up the payment to make up the lost wages.

          Lawyer Guy on the RNZ panel was saying that employers are obliged to pay permanent workers their wages.

          I think it’s a good policy, maybe even a bit too stingy. Small employers will be hurting bad and the govt should be assisting in all sorts of ways to ensure that otherwise good businesses don’t go under, but, the policy a subsidy to those businesses and shouldn’t be sold as anything but that. Nor should meeting their obligations to employees be seen as doing them a favour. If employees want to and a re able to help the employer out by forsaking some wgaes for a time, then good on them. But credit where it’s due, and who is being subsidised to be made explicit please.

  12. roger nome 12

    What man? Lay of the Pilsner hey Bill? 🙂

  13. Murray 13

    The only rescue package Christchurch needs is already there “John Key”. In his steady unassuming style he,s solving all the problems as they crop up. Thank God hes in charge at this time.

    All the hysterical conspiratorial mealymouthed comments that typify The Standard cannot hide the fact that we are bloody lucky to have him there in these trying times.

    • Vicky32 13.1

      Oh, Murray, for a moment there I thought you were serious, but you are having a laugh, right? Please tell me you are being satirical! Pleeeeeeeeeese!
      Deb

  14. Jenny 14

    An economic plan for Christchurch?

    If there is a plan, with hundreds of people in shelters, addressing the accommodation crisis must be part of it, but I can’t even seem to find any proper assessment of the size of the problem.

    How many are homeless?

    How many of them were home owners?

    How many were rental tenants?

    Is there any plan to meet their different needs?

    If there is, what is it?

    Will there be a role for the Housing Ministry in the reconstruction?

    What does the Minister of Housing Phil Heatly see as his Ministry’s role in this crisis?

    Housing New Zealand is part of his portfolio responsibilities.

    What is Housing New Zealand doing?

    Do they plan to increase their rental stock?

    After all there are still many serviceable unsold homes on the private market, surely they should be buying them up to provide emergency housing?

    Why don’t Housing New Zealand have a dedicated help number?

    Surely housing is as much an essential service as power and water?

    Why is it not getting the same attention?

    Is it to early to ask these questions?

    Will they be answered tomorrow?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    12 hours ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    14 hours ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    16 hours ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    18 hours ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    20 hours ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    21 hours ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    5 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    5 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    6 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago