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Another week another banking scandal

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, February 12th, 2015 - 91 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, class war, tax - Tags: , , ,

One law for the rich, another for the poor.

If you’re a regular person with a regular job, governments will chase you to the ends of the earth for their taxes. In the case of our own Nats, up to and including paper boys/girls. But if you’re one of the super-rich, well, different rules apply. In the latest scandal:

The HSBC files: What we know so far

On Monday, the Guardian, the BBC, Le Monde and 50 other media outlets reveal that HSBC’s Swiss banking arm helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of dollars of assets, doling out bundles of untraceable cash and advising clients on how to circumvent domestic tax authorities. The HSBC files consist of thousands of pages made available via the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Covering the period 2005-07, they amount to the biggest banking leak in history, shedding light on some 30,000 accounts holding almost $120bn (£78bn) of assets. Many of the accounts belonged to prominent figures in business, film, music and sport, and the heads of royal families.

In particular:

HSBC’s Swiss private bank:

• Routinely allowed clients to withdraw bricks of cash, often in foreign currencies of little use in Switzerland.

• Aggressively marketed schemes likely to enable wealthy clients to avoid European taxes.

• Colluded with some clients to conceal undeclared “black” accounts from their domestic tax authorities.

• Provided accounts to international criminals, corrupt businessmen and other high-risk individuals.

The New Zealand connection:

IRD keeps mum on Swiss tax bills

New Zealanders who savoured the privacy of their Swiss HSBC bank accounts will continue to enjoy it from Inland Revenue, which won’t reveal whether information from leaked files lifted any locals’ tax bills.

IRD confirmed yesterday it had already investigated the information in the files, which were made public this week by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and showed HSBC helped wealthy customers around the world avoid taxes and hide millions of dollars.

[there are] 110 people or entities linked to this country that had Swiss HSBC accounts holding as much as US$152 million in total in 2006/2007.

The consortium [of journalists] said that legitimate uses for Swiss bank accounts exist and it did not intend to imply those in the files had “broken the law or otherwise acted improperly”.

Don’t expect the government to spend any time looking in to this.

91 comments on “Another week another banking scandal”

  1. Chooky 1

    …this is really international very wealthy white collar crime…What is the Labour Party and Green Party and NZFirst policy on this?

    ie opening the IRD books ?….asking questions in Parliament?

  2. Ad 2

    I noted this one a couple of days ago. Well worth a proper discussion.

    This is how multimillionaires stay multimillionaires.

    They should pay their tax owed, or Shame on them all.

    • Colonial Rawshark 2.1

      They should pay their tax owed, or have their assets confiscated and face criminal prosecution.

      fify

      “shaming” these people gets you no where.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        +1

        You can only shame those with a conscience and those people are probably already paying their taxes. It’s the people without a conscience that mostly will try to avoid paying them.

      • Northsider 2.1.2

        replace
        “or” with “and”

      • Murray Rawshark 2.1.3

        “They should pay their tax owed, and have their assets confiscated and face criminal prosecution.”

        Fixed it for you, CR.

        • Richard McGrath 2.1.3.1

          Do readers see a difference between minimising tax obligations through the claiming of expenses, rearrangement of one’s tax status and other legitimate strategies, versus the wilful non-payment of the full amount of tax due?

          • Murray Rawshark 2.1.3.1.1

            Why are you asking me? No one reads what I write. Personally, given that a 1% government decides what’s legitimate, I don’t see a significant difference.

      • fisiani 2.1.4

        Shame on Unite Union,,tax dodgers

        • tricledrown 2.1.4.1

          Chaneling WO now trying to shift the blame lame.
          Its a pity you don’t mention dishonest John.

        • linda 2.1.4.2

          i note that china executes finical criminals and Iran hanged a billionaire and china’s president would like 400 thieves who stole government money returned to china to face the firing squad iam thinking there right there disease and the rope is the cure .

    • linda 2.2

      bbc panorama hsbc

  3. KJS0net 3

    And the National supporters harp on about welfare abusers who cost the state 26 million. What about the tax dodgers, these wealthy con artists who are costing the state 1 to 6 billion per annum. National were quick to ‘fix’ the former, but where are they on the latter? They wouldn’t dare touch it. The real fraudsters here are their biggest meal ticket.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      National and their supporters are probably the biggest tax dodgers and so, no, they won’t fix this.

      Neither will Labour though as to fix it requires bringing in massive monetary controls again and that’s anathema to all main political parties.

      • Richard McGrath 3.1.1

        One of the biggest moves to address tax avoidance (if that is seen as a problem), and save the wasted energy of tax accountants and wealth redistribution bureaucrats, would be a flat low income tax rate equal to the corporate rate, with complete exemption for those on incomes below a fixed threshold (say $50k).

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          What a load of bollocks. A flat tax won’t change tax avoidance at all as the rich people will still be avoiding paying the taxes that they owe. Tax avoidance is enabled by the loopholes in the tax law and not progressive taxation.

        • Rolf 3.1.1.2

          A very good suggestion, and that is almost exactly what successful nations as Hong Kong or Singapore is doing, even China. In Hong Kong a family business can earn up to about NZD 50,000 tax free, and then pay 7% tax, and the social services are better than New Zealand, and still the state get so much money that they literally hand it back to people, tax free. There is no GST or other hidden taxes in Hong Kong

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.2.1

            Citation needed.

            After all, there’s nothing to see in Hong Kong. Not even umbrellas. Nothing going on in Hong Kong involving umbrellas whatsoever. Umbrellas are against standing orders.

  4. Sabine 4

    but as I am always assured by those that know, it was the poor peoples poor spending habits and not living within their means that caused the debt problem.
    it has had nothing to do with rich, very rich, sickly rich and filthy rich people and business owners not paying their due.

    the rot is in and needs to be removed.

    • Richard McGrath 4.1

      @Sabine: “…rich, very rich, sickly rich and filthy rich people and business owners not paying their due.”

      A few questions to ponder:

      Exactly how much should a “rich” person pay in tax? Governments keep changing the top marginal tax rate. In my lifetime, it’s been as high as 66% and as low as 33%. The goalposts keep moving. Who is right?

      At different times a person in the top bracket of income paying 50% of it to the tax man would be either overpaying his tax or indulging in tax evasion. How can the same action be legal one minute, illegal the next, then legal again?

      Should a tax rate of 100% be imposed on incomes over a certain level?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        Yawn very much.

        Who cares how many questions you can concoct?

        Should post-natal abortion be an option for Objectivists?

        • Richard McGrath 4.1.1.1

          My questions were worded politely, motivated by a desire to understand readers’ viewpoints on taxation. Your snide answer speaks volumes about your willingness to engage in good-natured debate/discussion with someone whose views differ from yours. This is tribalism of the first order. Sad really, as I often find stimulating, well- written comments on this blog.

  5. Molly 5

    The paper boy/girl tax was particularly petty, and in line with changes that made their income part of the household income for anyone on benefits.

    That means any child whose parents were receiving a benefit who decided to go out and earn some money of their own, would often result in a direct reduction of income available for the household, as soon as that income went over the allowed limit.

    Not only petty, but incredibly spiteful and malicious.

    • freedom 5.1

      “You are left wondering, as you see the enormity of what has been going on, what it actually takes to bring a tax cheat to court,” Hodge told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “If it had been a benefit cheat it would have been up for court years ago.”
      http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/09/margaret-hodge-accuses-ex-chairman-lord-stephen-green-over-hsbc-files

    • Barfly 5.2

      wow…that is just….

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.3

      Note in comparison how the Left is too gutless to bring in taxes which put any kind of pressure on the 10% of upper middle class households. (Which their own MPs and partners live in).

      • Jones 5.3.1

        Isn’t that the difference between being in power and not being in power? It should give an indication of who is really calling the shots.

        • Colonial Rawshark 5.3.1.1

          Good observation. Even when the political Left is “in power” how much power is it really in. And even when the Right is “out of power” one notices that they still exercise plenty of power.

      • Richard McGrath 5.3.2

        It’s the MPs that bring in law changes, and they all love their perks and hate paying more tax.

    • Atiawa 5.4

      Isn’t it incredible how we have come full circle with child labour. The only difference nowadays is that instead of cleaning chimneys, school kids are working after school & Saturdays and Sundays at your local supermarket to support themselves or the household income.
      During the 60’s & 70’s we had after school jobs but invariably the money earned was used to purchase something for ourselves that we could otherwise not expect to have.
      I suppose the luck of being born a baby boomer continues.

  6. freedom 6

    Maybe a recent UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment can help answer some questions http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/09/margaret-hodge-accuses-ex-chairman-lord-stephen-green-over-hsbc-files

    It does seem like he was in a position to know a few things about HSBC’s endeavours
    https://www.gov.uk/government/people/lord-green-of-hurstpierpoint 2011-2013

  7. Colonial Rawshark 7

    Two points:

    1) All the large investment banks are doing exactly the same as HSBC. HSBC got fingered because it is not one of the core US investment banks.

    2) HSBC helped launder billions in Mexican and Columbian drug cartel money. These bankers are corporate accessories to death and misery.

    Some additional detail from Zero Hedge:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-09/if-your-name-list-prepare-be-audited-or-worse

    • Jones 7.1

      I am sure we can expect to see more of this in the future. With the BNP Paribas fine last year and the MF Global heist by JP Morgan in 2011, I wonder if these are the small beginnings of a shakedown in the financial sector by the TBTF Wall St behemoths. I have no doubts they are angling for more banks (and nations) to fold so they can continue to asset-grab in their desperate pursuit of solvency.

      Closer to home, the sales of our power generators and now state houses are local example of these asset-grabs. The banks will be in there somewhere. Throw in the fact that John Key used to head the FX Committee for the NY Fed, he meets with Lloyd “Doing God’s Work” Blankfein of Goldman Sachs whenever he’s in NY, and Goldman Sachs have a legacy of seeding technocrats in Governments around the world. It should be pretty clear to all who John Key is still working for.

      They really are merchants of death and misery.

      • Colonial Rawshark 7.1.1

        Very well paid merchants too, which allows many of the participants to turn a blind eye to the role they are playing in the bigger picture.

        And you make a good point – just like the over-extended Roman Empire, these financial institutions will fall over if they don’t keep consuming, expropriating and expanding.

      • The Murphey 7.1.2

        Quite correct Jones the pray item is everything not currently under banker control

        The consolidation will continue and gather pace as the cannibalism exerts exponentially negative impacts on humanity and our life support system planet earth

        The power behind the world of finance is the epicentre for negative energy

        The question is ‘ when and how does it end ‘

      • thechangeling 7.1.3

        That’s pretty damning stuff. Just have to join the dots in a simple way and find a good clear medium to get the message across and maybe all New Zealanders will finally understand why Key is so very corrupt and has to go to purgatory for his sins for eternity.

  8. adam 8

    The difference between us and the Greeks – The Greeks, go out to the streets and break things. We however, cry into our cuppa.

  9. tricledrown 9

    CR a good percentage of the $100 billion Bill English had borrowed is this money.
    So we are accesaries to corrupt banking practices.
    These banks were up to all sorts of ponzi schemes,corrupt loan practices,libor,insider trading etc etc.
    Virtually none of the players have been charged with any offence.
    That is those in power are in their pockets very deep.
    Tories have recieved hundreds of thousands in campaign funds.
    Like wise Greek politicians no doubt NZ politicians are on the pay roll.
    Even after all their crimes money lost on the international Casino markets.
    These toewrags are still getting bailed out and disgustingly large bonuses.
    They are the Monetary Mafia running rackets of all kinds above the law.
    Having bought of the Politicians that count in all the Major countries.

    • Colonial Rawshark 9.1

      Agree. But both Left and Right in this country are wedded to the concept of using debt to supply money into the NZ economy.

  10. Wayne 10

    I am pretty sure the IRD will be fully across this one.

    • tricledrown 10.1

      The IRD has branches in taxhavens sure wayne.
      Don’t forget the bailout John Key recieved from the US govt for BofA ML shares more than US$5 million welfare for the rich conmen!!

    • The Murphey 10.2

      Q. What do you by that comment Wayne ?

      Ambiguity intended would be at short odds

    • Weepus beard 10.3

      Don’t think so. The IRD can’t tie their own shoelaces if the quality and reliability of their online service is anything to go by.

  11. Anne 11

    Don’t expect the government to spend any time looking in to this.

    Of course not. A few people generous with their donations to the National Govt. were (note I said ‘were’) likely on the list of suspects.

    • Jones 11.1

      At the most there will be fine in the 10’s of millions… something which I’m sure they will have already budgeted for. It is my understanding that JP Morgan budget’s for these fines into the 10’s of billions… easy to do when you have a direct line to the money printing presses.

  12. Jones 12

    Russell Brand’s take on the Trews…

    Who’s F*cking Us Over – HSBC Or Immigrants? Russell Brand The Trews (E253)

  13. Northsider 13

    John Key is in the same clique as the banking leaders who drives these activities. This is probably the next career he will pursue.

    Stephen Green was CEO and Chairman of HSBC Group, as well as the HSBC Swiss private bank, when all of this was happening. David Cameron then made him Minister of State for Trade and Investment from 2011 to 2013.

    John Key attended an APEC CEO Summit in 2009 at which Green was a speaker. In 2013 they met up at Asia House in London for a networking session.
    http://johnkey.co.nz/archives/1725-New-Zealand-and-the-Asia-experience-Speech-to-Asia-House,-London.html

    HSBC is in the frame because a staffer shared data with the French tax authorities. Many many other banks will be playing the exact same game.

  14. grumpystilskin 14

    Russell has hit the nail on the head (on the broadcasting front), I’ve been in the media (tv) for over 25 years and It’s a load of bollocks. NEVER trust a TV producer or what you see. In case you’re wondering, I don’t watch it anymore either as I prefer to read non fiction..

  15. Northsider 15

    A post a few days ago from Nadis in response to the query: are NZ banks engaged in similar behaviours.

    “Yes, but prob not via the banks. Lawyers trust funds are currently exempt from the new anti-money laundering regs. Go figure.
    NZ is one of the most sympathetic jurisdictions for trans national money laundering. Trusts domiciled in NZ but with the the settlors and beneficiaries offshore are not taxed or regulated in any serious way, shape or form. The large law firms around town make an absolute killing by facilitating the flow of offshore money through NZ trusts and into new homes.
    Here’s an example of how it works. Company incorporated in Malta, and ultimately owned by a trust in NZ buys a bankrupt tourist resort in Croatia or Greece – cash business right. The resort produces accounts and everything, pays staff, suppliers etc but it’s all bogus. Cash is banked in to the system, washed through the NZ trust – not taxes – and then disbursed to trust beneficiaries as fully legit NZ sourced income. Fully laundered. Source of money hidden forever by the NZ trust.”

    Open mike 09/02/2015

  16. DH 16

    One of the biggest tax scams is foreign ownership of NZ businesses. Foreign owners ‘lend’ the NZ companies capital, at fairly high rates of interest, from an office located in a tax haven. The NZ company makes bugger all profit & pays little tax, instead the owners make a healthy tax free income from the interest.

    An interesting tax scam was when the management of Transpower ‘sold’ the Sth Island National Grid to a US tax dodger. In the USA a 99 year lease is, legally, ownership whereas in NZ it’s still just a lease. Transpower leased it to the US tax evaders, who claimed tax rebates on the basis of ownership, while denying here that they’d sold it. The grid literally had two owners; one in the US and one here in NZ.

  17. Rolf 17

    Everyone should pay the same tax, the real problem is that they don’t. Governments all over the world are persecuting the most hard working and successful people for more money just because it is there and easy to grab. To hide your money it is no different from hiding from terrorists. The result is that most Kiwis either leave the country, 40% of the most skilled already gone I hear, and everyone knows that when a Kiwi reach the level of a “boat, bach and BMW” they don’t want to earn more buy working hard as everything goes in tax, so they move to speculation as real estate, which is tax free. Now the government is reaching for peoples Super and savings called the SS after a well known force of the past. The solution is to lower the taxes and make it worth working.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Generally speaking, the rich aren’t hard working and the poor are. In fact, the only way to get rich is to steal from the poor usually through interest and shareholding. The two biggest forms of bludging in the world. And once a person or family is rich they don’t have to work at all.

      A story that was in the news a couple of years ago was about a retired couple who won $8m on lotto. They were already reasonably well off – had their own house, car, and retirement income with no debt. Within two years that $8m had turned into $10m without them having to do a single days work. They said in the article that they just just couldn’t spend their income fast enough.

      • Rolf 17.1.1

        The ”rich” got there by hard work. It did not come through lottery gains. Most poor are 9 to 5, long vacation, and boosing the rest, too busy making a living to make some money. The “rich” started their lives working three shifts, one shift to make money enough to pay the bills, another to pay the tuition fees to get the third shift and education and get ahead in life. The poor joined the unions. The richest man in the world is said to Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA), he is dyslexic and started selling pencils door to door as a teenager. Poor Kiwi kids binge drink instead. The poor wants his hard earned money via taxes. Not quite always, but let it be a pointer to everyone.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.1

          I know you’ll reject this out of hand, and cling to your false beliefs like a cry-baby:

          Wealth is delivered by luck, not hard work.

          Now deny it and run along: boring delusions are boring and unoriginal.

          • Rolf 17.1.1.1.1

            Hard work has nothing to do with luck. Your comment made me think of one Chinese woman I know personally. She was born into the culture revolution, grew up separated from her family and parents, was critically injured as a child, but survived, she ate cabbage and potatoes for food, at 11 years of age she could not read or write, she ate rice for the first time, she worked three jobs for years, got a university degree, started several businesses, today she is a millionaire, own her own home and car, and have employees. That is the “lucky people” you want to tax so the lazy and laidbacks can have their beach vacation and weekly boosing.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.1.1.1

              If wealth is the product of hard work, then why aren’t nurses and coal miners all rich?

              Like I said, though: this is one of your deeply held beliefs: learning the facts will just make you cling to it harder. It isn’t easy to let go of a security blankie.

              PS: and please, Rolfie, drop the facile conceit that you have the first idea what I “want”.

            • Jones 17.1.1.1.1.2

              It has everything to with luck. I understand luck as being in the right place at the right time, though I believe that you can create your luck and some people have the talent, perhaps by being more aware and focussed than others, to read the world in a way that will bring them luck. But they are the few and they’re the examples you’re citing.

              For the majority of the “rich”… their wealth is inherited in some way, extracted from someone else (sometimes to that person’s detriment), or born into it. Regardless, they have access to more resources (knowledge, contacts, money, time) and access to more resources increases the probability of being lucky.

        • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1.2

          The “rich” started their lives working three shifts

          I’m sure that some of them did most of them though got rich through inheritance. In other words, a lottery.

          The richest man in the world is said to Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA), he is dyslexic and started selling pencils door to door as a teenager.

          So, what did he do to become rich because I can assure you it wasn’t selling pencils door to door. There’s only one way and that is to exploit as many people as possible. In other words, theft.

          • Rolf 17.1.1.2.1

            He was actually selling a pencil, that is the way he started. He continued selling all kinds of stuff as stationery, then later furniture, and gave thousands of people jobs. He still continued to live a frugal average middle class life, because he liked it that way. Jack Ma, the owner of Alibaba, is another example. He is now 50, and just said that he will now devote the rest of his life to teaching others to be rich and lift their lives, and he seems true to his word.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.2.1.1

              Is he going to teach according to the evidence, or the self-serving anecdata?

              For every individual who got lucky there are thousands who didn’t. They all worked hard; let go of the fantasy.

    • Naturesong 17.2

      So this string of cliches, ignorance, conjecture and dogma passes for argument where you’re from Rolf?

      • Rolf 17.2.1

        Rather most personal experiences. But I do dislike tax bludgers who want to tax working people harder to pay for their Friday night boosup. .

        • One Anonymous Bloke 17.2.1.1

          Of course you do. After all, the high priest convinced you they exist, and you always follow the leader.

          • Rolf 17.2.1.1.1

            Follow the leader, as joining Key’s Club. No thanks.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 17.2.1.1.1.1

              Nope, I’m picking you follow a twisted Randian Friedmanist miscegenation, coupled with self-made man theology.

              We get you people around here all the time, with your ‘if we do this then that will happen’ wittering. You all lack that one special thing: a place on Earth where anything you claim ever came true.

    • Colonial Rawshark 17.3

      Rolf you’re day dreaming mate.

      The super wealthy capitalists have made off like bandits while working people are left with hard graft being paid fuck all, enough to cover their weekly cost of living if they are lucky.

      The truly evil taxation is private taxation – the corporate profits made by ticket clipping rentiers taken out of this country making all of us poorer.

      • Draco T Bastard 17.3.1

        The truly evil taxation is private taxation – the corporate profits made by ticket clipping rentiers taken out of this country making all of us poorer.

        QFT

        It is the rentiers that we need to get rid of as Piketty has proved (but has held back from actually saying so).

        • Rolf 17.3.1.1

          The corporates don’t pay any tax at all. For them tax is just another coast they add to the price, and we pay the price. If they don’t make a profit they increase the price, or close down and go elsewhere, leaving the unemployed behind. Best way is to reduce state tax and costs.

  18. tricledrown 18

    Rolf Rolf a barking mad right whinger.
    We have some of the lowest taxes in the OECD.
    Lower than Australia where most of our people move!
    Lower than the UK where the next cohort go!
    The reason why well educated gaduates and professionals leave is because of better pay better career advancement oportunity.
    Rolf your BS politics is what a party called ACT,currently they are polling at •5% less than the margin of error which puts you in the fundamentalist looney nut job terriTory.Research in psychology shows that those following extemist views such as you do are mentally ill.
    Rolf time to have a good evaluation of yourself and why your belief system is so selfish aloof and out of touch with the mainstream.

    • Murray Rawshark 18.1

      Saved me saying it. There is some truth to talented people leaving Aotearoa, but that’s usually because they want to be paid for doing something useful, rather than for being a speculator.

    • Rolf 18.2

      That is not true. We don’t have the predatory taxes that countries like Denmark or Sweden has, where a small business owner may pay 80% in tax, but include all that the state and local collects, hidden taxes, everything that is not called just “tax”, as “User Pay but No Say”, and New Zealand has a very high tax burden. Do your own homework before you shoot off your mouth.

  19. Neil 19

    I wonder if Key is one of the 110.

    • Chooky 19.1

      ….certainly worth thinking about …probably what everyone is wondering….this is why questions should be asked in the House …ie .reassurances and assurances …and what is the Nact Govt going to do about further investigations as in other countries?..

  20. BlueSky 20

    Tax should be on Assets and non-time related income eg interest, dividends, capital gains, rent.

    Time related income should be tax free. That is if you really want justice for the working class and reduce inequality.

    • Rolf 20.1

      The soviet communists tried that, and nobody wanted to work and earn any money to build assets. Try taxing lazy laid back beggars who don’t want to work instead.

  21. linda 21

    working people cant escape taxes no tax havens for us we pay the honest in society pay .right wingers say there is no free lunch on the war on the poor.
    well there the one getting the the free lunch and its about time it stopped i wonder how much tax the top 10 percent have stolen theft is theft they need the be treated as thieves.
    i guess we will not see much action from the John key government since its supporters that are the biggest crooks.

  22. Tom Gould 22

    Not that I know many seriously rich people, but I know a few, and they all say to me that once you get to a certain level of international wealth that “tax is optional” and pretty much always has been.

    • Rolf 22.1

      Probably some truth in that, people make money and they can only eat three meals a day and live in one house etc. so they invest the money to make more money, create more jobs and are able to pay better salaries, and when the make more money they invest that too so more people get a job and get paid, etc. Now, instead of handing the money over the politicians and bureaucrats as tax to be squandered, they make more jobs. Does New Zealand want these investment and jobs???? Stop fleecing the investors then, because then they go elsewhere and invest and create jobs.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1.1

        Roll up, roll up, the tent is busting, here he comes, the one and only Mr. Gish.

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    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

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

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