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Another big empty promise

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, March 20th, 2010 - 40 comments
Categories: education, same old national - Tags: ,

Education Minister Anne Tolley made quite an extraordinary statement on Wednesday. You can watch it at Red Alert, or see the transcript here. Tolley said:

New Zealand elected a Government that promised to introduce national standards so that every single child could read, write, and do maths when they left school. That is what the country voted for. No matter what the briefings say, no matter what the Opposition may say now, almost one in five children failed. They failed under the previous Government. [My emphasis].

There’s quite a bit here that I want to respond to. Some of it will have to wait for a second post early next week. Here I want to consider the big promise. Every single child to reach acceptable levels of literacy and numeracy. That is huge!

If we take the promise at face value then of course we would all love to see National deliver. But they won’t, because it isn’t possible. Primary education doesn’t produce a perfect result in any country. For all the supposed faults of primary education that National have been banging on about incessantly for years*, the facts are that we have a system that produces average results for below average funding. Consider this recent Ministry of Education summary:

State of Education in New Zealand: 2008

The State of Education series is an annual publication. State of Education in New Zealand: 2008 is the third issue in the series, with most of the data relating to the previous year (2007). …

Reading literacy achievement
In 2005/06, the second cycle of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) found New Zealand Year 5 students, on average, performed significantly higher than the international PIRLS scale mean. The data also show: .. the performance of many New Zealand Year 5 students was relatively strong compared with their international counterparts in 2005/06. For example, approximately 13 percent of New Zealand students achieved scores 625 or higher (i.e. reached the Advanced International Benchmark). This was the ninth highest proportion internationally and nearly double the international median of seven percent …

Mathematics achievement
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) showed that in 2006, New Zealand Year 5 students performed higher on average than 12 of the 36 participating countries. Furthermore, there was significant improvement in the mean score of New Zealand Year 5 students between 1994 and 2006. The range of scores between the highest and lowest-performing groups of students reduced between 1994 and 2006, largely because of the increase in scores of students in the lowest performing group. …

Science achievement
Between 1994 and 2006, the average science performance of New Zealand Year 5 students remained about the same as measured by TIMSS. In 2006 the mean performance of Year 5 students was significantly higher than 13 of 36 participating countries.

That’s a strong win on literacy. We are in a statistically indistinguishable low/middle group on mathematics and science (“However, by the time these students are 15 years old they will be performing, on average, above the international means for mathematics and science”). Significantly, this is achieved despite — Labour should have done so much better here — poor investment in preschool and primary education. A 2009 OECD report finds, according to this summary, that NZ has “limited spending on children 5 and under (less than half the OECD average)” and “annual student spending is below the OECD average at prim[a]ry, secondary and tertiary level”.

In short, our primary education is producing average or better results with below average funding. It is cost effective. Yes there is room for improvement – significant improvement. But (1) if National were serious about improving primary education then they would use methods that are likely to work (increased funding, improved pay and conditions for teachers, more teacher training and support). They wouldn’t run an ideological bandwagon like standards, which far from helping will probably cause great harm. And (2) primary education can never be perfect. Only a lunatic would promise that it can be.

Sadly then, National’s promise cannot be taken at face value. While Tolley may be daft enough to believe it, of course her handlers do not. This is just another example of National’s highly effective two pronged campaign strategy – run negative issues to associate with Labour, and make big empty promises. Run negative issues like emigration to Australia, red tape hampering business, growth in the public sector, or children failing primary school (the aptly named “New Zealand sucks campaign“). Make big empty promises like tax cuts North of $50, closing the gap with Australia, a cycleway to rescue the economy, or having every child succeed at primary level. National never deliver on their promises. They can’t possibly deliver on this one. It is desperately cynical politics. But they’ll keep doing it as long as it keeps working.

[* National are absolutely full of praise for our education system when it suits them: “If you’re moving to New Zealand with children, you’ll want to know they’re going to get a good education here. And they will. New Zealand’s education system is world-class, modern and responsive. It combines proven, traditional principles of education with innovation, creativity and fresh thinking to produce leaders and citizens equipped for the 21st century. From a child’s first day at school, our government-funded schooling system provides a comprehensive curriculum of academic, sporting and skills-based learning options in a positive environment.” Sounds fantastic doesn’t it!]

40 comments on “Another big empty promise”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    Hi Marty,

    You don’t think that Tolley might have been engaging in a bit of obvious hyperbole rather than intending her statement be taken literally?

    Comparing stats with a basket (case) of other countries is not really an argument if all we are doing is pointing out that we are less mediocre than some other countries in respect to literacy, numeracy etc. I am not qualified to comment on whether national standards are a good thing or a bad thing. However, what I can say from my personal experience when marking undergraduate papers during my post grad years several years ago, is that the standard of literacy I observed in the papers I was marking was very bad, especially from people who are supposed to be our brightest hopes for the future.

    Rather than comparing us with a basket of other countries in the same quagmire, what would be interesting would be for you to do a comparison with literacy/numeracy between now and say the 60’s,70’s to see whether our standards in this respect have advanced or degenerated compared to earlier generations.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      You don’t think that Tolley might have been engaging in a bit of obvious hyperbole rather than intending her statement be taken literally?

      No, I believe that she, just like you, has NFI what she’s talking about.

  2. RedLogix 2

    New Zealand elected a Government that promised to introduce national standards so that every single child could read, write, and do maths when they left school.

    Looks like a fairly concrete and measureable promise to me ts.

    Still that’s a line we’ll have to tuck away for future use; anytime a govt says one thing and does the opposite we can just put it down to a spot of “obvious hyperbole”.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    RL “we can just put it down to a spot of “obvious hyperbole’.”

    Yeh. In the same way that I’ve told my kids a million times not to exaggerate.

  4. Name 4

    A result close to it is probably possible to achieve if that’s all you do. If a class full of children of varying capabilities and enthusiasm is reduced to the level of the slowest and least enthusiastic who become the target, focus and ‘measure of success’ you can turn out children who can at least read, write and have basic numeracy. But that’s all, and the capabilities of the quickest and brightest will have been wasted, their enthusiasm withered by boredom and lack of challenge.

    It’s a return to Dickensian schooling, aimed only at producing competent ‘hands’ to man the factories we no longer have.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      That’s it exactly and what you’d expect from a conservative government – a return to the failed past.

    • Descendant Of Smith 4.2

      “But that’s all, and the capabilities of the quickest and brightest will have been wasted, their enthusiasm withered by boredom and lack of challenge.”

      Couldn’t agree more. Part of the deal at NPBHS when Merv Wellington gave us the new gym was that classes were no longer streamed and students were all mixed up. This was imposed on myself in the sixth form where the pace of the class slowed to the pace of the slowest and we were rarely challenged.

      The saving grace was that in classes such as physics there was generally only the brighter ones there and we were still challenged. In some other classes we rarely went e.g. Economics.

      Part of me understands what was trying to be attempted in the sense of a view of treating all students equally and not having some some set up as elite. It’s the failure to differentiate between equal and equitable that is the problem. At the end of the day it wasn’t my fault I was good at Maths and English and Science.

      On the other hand I have great admiration for those students who were not good at these subjects but who could draw, and engineer, and build things cause all those things I’m pretty crap at.

  5. RedLogix 5

    I know their behviour in the House can be discouraging at times, but when it came to policy thinking here was I imagining that we could hold Ministers of the Crown to slightly higher standards than your kids ts.

  6. jcuknz 6

    I think it is an excellent target to aim for and without a target how can we progress? But I remember that the schools don’t want tests to show that not all are equal and results may hurt the loosers, whereas others believe tests are a spur to greater effort when handled properly. Applied to the children and their teachers. The problem is the media who simply don’t have the time/room for the full details. So we should prohibit media involvement in school results ….. now that is a slippery slope!

    • RedLogix 6.1

      But I remember that the schools don’t want tests to show that not all are equal and results may hurt the loosers, whereas others believe tests are a spur to greater effort when handled properly.

      The ‘winner takes all’ competitive model works effectively when considering how evolutionary forces allow species to adapt to changes in the environment.

      But humans have firmly planted one foot beyond competition; we are a ‘post-Darwinian’ species whose rational capacity allows us to co-operate as well as compete. The fabulously complex social structures that our unique capacity for co-operation allows us to develop, has made humans the number one dominant species on earth…strongly suggesting that co-operation is the more powerful model.

      It’s also the best model for educating our youg.

      • Bill 6.1.1

        “The ‘winner takes all’ competitive model works effectively when considering how evolutionary forces allow species to adapt to changes in the environment.”

        Yikes! (symbiotic and other such relationships not withstanding)

        Considering how we are viewing evolution from within a culture that puts so much store by competition, it might simply be that we have a skewed view of evolution….and much besides.

        What do you reckon competition would do in a wide open savannah where you and I are the first item on the lunch menu for most carnivores? I’m up for integrating with those chappies over there who are exploring cooperative ways to stay off the menus. Nice knowing you.

        Or what if you imagine standing in 1800 and having the present day described to you as brought about through a worship of competition. Is the description adding up to a utopia or a dystopia?

        So why have school children worship at the alter of competition, praying for a success as defined by others? (And just to say, I see nothing wrong in competing per se. It has it’s place, but when it’s central to ‘everything’ then it’s become something immensely stupid.)

        What’s the chance of some intelligent shit? How about the Summerhill model? Founded in 1921 still ahead of its time

        Nah, can’t allow those pesky kids the space to sick their heads up over the parapet of ‘normalcy’ and realise there’s a whole world of infinite possibility out there. They might leave the compound ffs!

        • RedLogix 6.1.1.1

          Bill,

          Maybe I was just being too brief or you totally misread me.

          • Bill 6.1.1.1.1

            I only disagree with the statement I cut and pasted.

            The rest I agree with. ( maybe not the terminology)

            But why come to what you say from a contradictory premise?…You argue for cooperation to be built on top of a supposedly more basic and successful evolutionary ‘winner takes all’ competitive view…I’m arguing that the competition as primal driver view or whatever is highly questionable and probably completely wrong.

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1.1

              But why come to what you say from a contradictory premise?

              In the interests of friendly co-operation, I’ll take that point on board. It’s probably a habit of mine that I’ve never thought about.

              You argue for cooperation to be built on top of a supposedly more basic and successful evolutionary ‘winner takes all’ competitive view

              Yes, that was probably what I had in mind. I guess this discussion speaks to the heart of our dual human nature, a strange melding of heritage mammalian/reptiliam instincts and our uniquely developed capacity to reason with abstract concepts.

              At any given moment we have the choice to which aspect of our nature we listen to, the instinctive or the rational… but no matter how frequently we choose one over the other, I would imagine that in this life while we are still attached to these physical bodies, both natures must co-exist…however uneasily.

              But we rather digress….

              • Bill

                Aye. So digression aside…although I don’t think it was irrelevant…there is the question of Summerhill and other similar educational environments which do not force kids on bended knee before the alter of competition to pray for success.

                It’s rhetorical, but why are states that provide education not looking at these highly democratic educational models since we do, after all or at least so they say, live in democracies?

                Here’s a quote from the link I provided above which cuts, I believe to a certain heart of the matter.

                “Today, all over the world, education is moving towards more and more testing, more examinations and more qualifications. It seems to be a modern trend that assessment and qualification define education.”

                “If society were to treat any other group of people the way it treats its children, it would be considered a violation of human rights. But for most of the world’s children this is the normal expectation from parents, school and the society in which we live.”

                http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/pages/index.html

                Further to this point was the idea that kids sjhould get ‘credits’ towards qualifications for cultural activities or whatever. I mean, what the fuck ever happened to extra curricular activities being valuable on their own merit….

  7. Ms X 7

    What’s next? “And all New Zealanders will live happily ever after”?

  8. Cnr Joe 8

    un-frikken-believable. I just read the link to the immigration site re: education

    “If you’re moving to New Zealand with children, you’ll want to know they’re going to get a good education here. And they will.

    New Zealand’s education system is world-class, modern and responsive. It combines proven, traditional principles of education with innovation, creativity and fresh thinking to produce leaders and citizens equipped for the 21st century.

    From a child’s first day at school, our government-funded schooling system provides a comprehensive curriculum of academic, sporting and skills-based learning options in a positive environment.”

    Make Tolley read this! in fact I shall email it to her

  9. randal 9

    I vulnable tooo.
    have trubble with multivlication at skul MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    can the beroccasee do anfing?

  10. Mike 10

    No, it cannut be anfing? Life with it! They will lye period!

    [lprent: You realize that lye is sodium hydroxide. I’m puzzled how you think that chemistry fits into the national standards debate – it is a bit advanced for the wee kiddies. Possibly in national waste debate? ]

  11. Descendant Of Smith 11

    Reading great – and let’s support that by supporting programmes such as Books In Homes and by building libraries in poor communities so children have access to these – particularly those that are bright. Maybe we could innovative and ensure they get access to a free newspaper everyday. Maybe we could have night classes at the schools for parents to learn to read as well so they can help their children. What about some classes to teach some teachers how to spell. I did have an anal tendency to send my kids marked essays back with corrections on them where the teachers had not corrected their spelling. Maybe we could put our best literacy teachers in those communities where there is a problem rather than have them in the so called best schools.

    We want to improve reading it’s more than about the school.

    • Ianmac 11.1

      Dof S: “I did have an anal tendency to send my kids marked essays back with corrections on them where the teachers had not corrected their spelling.”
      You know the story of … but give them the means to catch their own fish…. how about giving writers the tools to identify errors and self-correct? Ownership – audience defined and not just writing for the teacher. The days of teachers identifying errors with a red pen are gone. My guess is that you yourself have learned to self correct though there are 2 minor errors in your piece. 🙂
      “Maybe we could put our best literacy teachers in those communities where there is a problem rather than have them in the so called best schools.” Too right. Excellent idea. Agreed.

      • Mac1 11.1.1

        Ianmac, you were at the Blenheim Tolley meeting? What was the story of the questioner who made reference to stomach stapling as reported in today’s Dom Post? Was the turn out and the report of the meeting significantly different from the Marlborough Express report?

        • Ianmac 11.1.1.1

          Yes Mac1. I was there. There were about 40 persons. There were clearly a few supporters. My belief in speaking briefly to about 10-12 of others afterwards was that they were not convinced.
          The woman who asked about the stomach stapling was not a heckler. She simply asked, (paraphrased) that if a person such as the Minister felt pressured enough to get surgery to bring her weight down because she did not match the average expected by others, wouldn’t kids who were told that they were failing feel anxious in the same way?
          Anne let the question run but looked angry. Her answer seemed to miss the drift/intention of the question, and didn’t deal with it.
          My question was that “my grandson was not doing well but his parents and teachers were discussing where he was at, and some plans as to what to do about it. How will Nat Testing help Ricky?” She congratulated the school but did not answer the question.
          Finally, I think that Anne Tolley would really like the tail dealt with but I don’t think that Nat Testiong will help at all. Wrong remedy.

      • Descendant Of Smith 11.1.2

        “My guess is that you yourself have learned to self correct though there are 2 minor errors in your piece.”

        That’s much more a reflection of my typing that my punctuation and spelling. I’m also watching the cricket and playing Mass Effect 2 at the same time.

        As a parent I played a part in teaching my children good usage and grammar but had some ability to do so. This ability was in part however clearly as a result of teachers making the effort to make this important and to instill in me a wonder about how language could when used with some degree of competence inspire, move, educate, express ideas clearly and so on.

        I had some good teachers in my time that taught students rather than simply teaching subjects.
        I also had the bad but it’s the good I remember.

        There is also an emerging (although it’s been around for a while) model of working to people’s strengths that is having some success with disadvantaged youth and is starting to be used in management as well in various organisations.

        Trying to fit everyone against the same measure is counter productive to such an approach. I know my eldest son went from top of the class at primary school to near bottom at intermediate and high school in part due to constant harassment and disparagement about his hand writing. No matter that he has a disability that effects his co-ordination ( and no effect on his intelligence ) and that this was well documented in school records and at teacher’s meetings. He was expected to be like everyone else.

  12. jcuknz 12

    Since we are doing relatively better than other countries with reduced funding then it is obvious that further reductions in funding will result in further improvement in results. Less messing around with fanciful subjects and a concentration on the factors that make for useful employer fodder. The three R’s.
    There is a vaste difference between maintaining standards and “winner takes all”. Judging from what I hear when listening to National and Concert Radio, I abhor commercial stations, I think standards are slipping with just the few older staff intelligable. So reduced funding could well help there.

  13. jcuknz 13

    You might like to break away from the interlectualising of this thread to read about something which is really wrong.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-into-the-terrifying-world-of-pakistans-disappeared-1923153.html

  14. Ianmac 14

    The definition of what is average is interesting. (I met an Australian teacher who had been seconded for a year to moderate/mark samples of kids writing from all over. Few could agree with her marking because of the huge range of variables. She gave up exhausted!)
    One way for Anne to achieve the “every child will succeed” is to shift the goalposts. Since the standards are not provable as “right” then shift the standard steadily downwards and you can prove at the next election that statistics show that there are only 2.43% in the tail and not 20%. Yay!
    Needless to say I have been contracted as a consultant to Anne to start the planning and the annual fee of $475,000 is exaggerated. (It is only $473,000.)

    • Paul3 14.1

      There are a lot of interesting things around assessing children’s writing – here are some.

      Grading the writing against a scale or standard does nothing in itself.
      Grading writing (mostly done at present against exemplars) is really hard and an inexact art. Moderation ends up being a discussion about each moderators perspective and understanding.
      In my experience teachers who do this best don’t consider a single piece of writing but rather all the child’s writing – not by reviewing it all but by building up knowledge of a child’s writing ability as the year progresses.
      Deciding what it is ‘quality writing’ is pretty hard too – think about adults differing attitude to writing (before you say it is the mechanics of writing that are important and should be judged this is only a part of the story).

      The best use of writing samples and exemplars is to use them to guide teaching (seeing where improvements can be made) – to do this teachers need PD – which costs money and takes time.

      • Bill 14.1.1

        “..before you say it is the mechanics of writing that are important and should be judged this is only a part of the story.”

        Nah. I’m right in favour of caps “which suppress curiosity and creativity and leave the recipient placid and docile, incapable of dissent.” but perfectly able to read and write and spell and do sums!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tripods

        Actually, I’m right in favour of ‘The Tripods’ being a stock standard read in all primary schools (as it was in mine) as a good basic intro to critical reading and critical reasoning

      • Descendant Of Smith 14.1.2

        “Further to this point was the idea that kids should get ‘credits’ towards qualifications for cultural activities or whatever. I mean, what the fuck ever happened to extra curricular activities being valuable on their own merit”

        But this seems inevitable with the private sector’s insistence on schools producing qualified people and their premise that you are not worth anything unless you have qualifications. A bit of paper to your name is totally a sense of your value to society.

        Remember you must only do things that enable you to earn a living. Get qualifications, get qualifications. Preferably get your qualifications off my business even though they aren’t worth jack straw and I simply sit you down in front of a computer or send you a CD so you can self learn.

        Art is not valued unless you can sell your art works, playing rugby / soccer / cricket is not valued unless you can play professionally. Experience and skill have been devalued – qualifications have a perceived value way beyond their real value.

        We seem to want to sort and sift our population based upon their bits of paper.

        I find it quite amusing that my other son gave up a mainstream subject to do a barista course. He has got much more work from that course and his barista certificate than he ever has from getting the 7th form physics prize in the sixth form.

        There’s plenty of people skilled at kapa-haka working in tourism. Should they not have a bit of paper to recognise their skill and the level at which they perform?

        Having placed so much importance on these bits of paper in our workplaces it seems such a logical progression to issue them for all sorts of skill sets.

        • Bill 14.1.2.1

          For the sake of coherence, it’s probably worth pointing out that “further to this point” was a point made way up yonder and in relation to this link contained within this comment

          • Descendant Of Smith 14.1.2.1.1

            Appreciate that but there was no further reply option on the last post so plonking it at the end seemed the next logical option rather than add it on to the reply option on the next post below.

            In hindsight I should have also linked back.

            • Bill 14.1.2.1.1.1

              No need.

              You just go to the last available ‘reply’ on that portion of the thread and your comment will automatically attach itself to the foot of that portion.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Ta. I thought another post said there was a limit so I just thought that limit had been reached. Much appreciated.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2.2

          I’m somewhat of the opinion that the piece of paper is Bills’ “caps”. It signifies that you’ll do as you’re told to get a possible reward later and the suggestion is that that possible reward is to become a capitalist.

      • Ianmac 14.1.3

        Exactly Paul 🙂 Actually if we were asked to assess say Rob’s writing above on a 10 point scale he would earn umm….. Range 1 to 9.5
        Face features
        Context
        Persausiveness
        Humour
        Spelling
        Credibility
        Structure
        Too hard actually – though I’d give you a 10 Rob.

  15. prism 15

    “New Zealand elected a Government that promised to introduce national standards so that every single child could read, write, and do maths when they left school. That is what the country voted for.”

    This is a statement made regularly by elected politicians. What the voter hoped to get in policy outcomes from their chosen party cannot be known. The voter chooses a party and won’t want all its policies, but in a choice has decided on that party as the best or the least worst, IYKWIM.
    National government electors will be interested in getting good education I am sure, whether national standards will underpin it and supply the greatest outcomes, which would come from raising the lowest levels, is doubtful and all voters should be wary of such blanket policies that are at distance from the politicians control and untargeted, so they can blame others (education sector) if they don’t get the results they wanted.

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    . . 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
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    4 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    5 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    6 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    7 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks 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
    3 hours 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
    2 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
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