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Ardern’s announcement about the new 4 level alert system for coronavirus

Written By: - Date published: 12:31 pm, March 21st, 2020 - 97 comments
Categories: health, jacinda ardern - Tags: ,

Like most of us I’m pretty stressed, and struggling to keep up with the rapidly evolving situation. I’m going to ask here that we be extra kind to each other, or at least respectful.

RNZ’s livestream

(Ardern’s announcement at midday, commentary via RNZ, a second announcement and Q and A from Ardern around 12.30pm).

New government website http://covid19.govt.nz/ (currently overloaded)

Key messages:

Most people who get covid will have a mild illness. We need to protect the  smaller number of those that are at high risk.

We’ve now moved from Level 1 to Level 2 (see below). This means limiting movement, locally and including non-essential domestic travel.

At risk people, the elderly, people with lung or immune issues, need to stay home now as much as possible.

Please check in with neighbours and others in our community to make sure people are ok.

Everyone try to limit distance between people to 1 – 2m. Keep on with the hand washing.

Please shop normally, so that supermarkets can keep up with supplies (we don’t have food or medicine shortages, just excessive demand in places).

The Four Level Alert System

The four levels give everyone clear guidance on what we can do at each stage.

We can move back and forth between levels, depending on how well we adhere to requirements. See Newsroom link below.

NZ is now at alert level 2.

Some countries went from level 1 to 4, we’ve had more time to prepare and slow that down.

NZ’s four levels (from the Spinoff)

1. Where Covid-19 is here but contained.
A preparation phase. Measures include border measures, contact tracing, limits on mass gatherings.

2. Where the disease is contained but risks are going.
Move to reduce contact. Measures include further border measures. Cancel events. Ask people to work remotely where possible and cancel travel.

3. Where the disease is increasingly difficult to contain.
Step things up again. Close public venues. Ask non-essential businesses to close.

4. Where we have sustained transmission.
Eliminate contact altogether. Maintain essential services but ask everyone to stay at home until Covid-19 is under control.

High definition PDF of the four level chart.

Newsroom piece NZ’s new Covid-19 strategy explained, from the 19th (Thurs), with graphs and explanation that I think address how we might move up and down the levels.

My personal view at the moment is that we need to bring everyone into the discussion if possible, because this will enable communities being able to work together. We’re a diverse bunch here and often tend to knock opposing ideas down. But we know from the past that TS can be a place of deeper and more considered discussion and debate even across disagreement. Let’s aim for that again.

97 comments on “Ardern’s announcement about the new 4 level alert system for coronavirus”

  1. weka 1

    There's a lot of really good information in there, including critique of the govt approach. Interviews about school closure processes and what employers can and are doing.

  2. bwaghorn 3

    Is level 3 where they shut the schools 

  3. observer 4

    The alert system is sensible. It clarifies the more general advice, and will become part of everyday language.

    Some towns/regions will be at Level 3 soon, and everyone will know what it means. Or at least, have no excuse not to know.

  4. Poission 5

    No mention of an enhanced testing regime.Random community sampling should be undertaken to fulfill the null supposition.

    Where full community testing has been undertaken (with  quarantine measures) we see better outcomes.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-21/one-italian-town-is-bucking-the-countrys-coronavirus-curve/12075048

     

    • weka 5.1

      Twitter said this morning that testing has now jumped up to our 1500/day test limit.

      • veutoviper 5.1.1

        Did Twitter actually say that 1500 per day was the limit of our testing capability?

        Dr Bloomfield, D-G of Health,  confirmed that 1500 tests were completed yesterday and overnight at his press conference at 11am when he advised that:

        • a further 13 cases had been confirmed in the last 24 hours bringing the total to 43, and
        •  as yet, they cannot rule out community transmission in two of the new cases.

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/412278/coronavirus-ministry-of-health-announces-13-new-covid-19-cases-in-nz

        As well as the new NZ Govt  https://covid19.govt.nz/ website, I find the RNZ dedicated COVID-19 page on their website which is updated regularly a good main site for news etc.  

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/covid-19

        RNZ Checkpoint with Lisa Owen had an hour special from midday to 1pm with a further session scheduled for 5pm today. 

        Earlier today Kim Hill on her Saturday Morning show on RNZ National had a couple of indepth interviews on Covid-19.  

        I found the first of these with consultant clinical virologist (and Naked Scientist) Dr Chris Smith of particular interest. It covered a lot of questions that people have been raising, including the questions that arose on Open Mike this morning vis a vis the relationship to the COVID19 situation of encouraging early and widespread uptake of flu vaccinations here in NZ.

        This link to the overall episode this morning has links to the various relevant interviews and audio of these – and also some that were interesting and NOT about Covid 19! 

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          'Twitter said' is twitter speak for 'someone on twitter said that I consider to be reasonably reliable'.  Always good to fact check.

          The 1,500 limit was from wider this week. I'm sure it will increase as they scale up labs and gear. I also assume they're making priority decisions about who to test and when based on that. It's not like they could have tested tens of thousands of people in Feb.

          • veutoviper 5.1.1.1.1

            I spoke briefly on the testing capacity to a neighbour in the know in this area – high up in the pathology area (practical and medical school) – who did not say what it was but indicated that it has been and is being ramped up as a top priority. She will be directly involved from now on, along with many of her colleagues in this area as the med school moves to online teaching.  

            All part of the overall NZ Pandemic Plan which was revised in 2017

            https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/new-zealand-influenza-pandemic-plan-framework-action

            This in turn is part of the overall emergency management  planning for the health sector as per this 

            https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/emergency-management

            The above are just the tip of the iceberg in relation to overall NZ government planning for national, regional and local emergencies, which underwent a major overhaul just three plus months ago in Dec 2019 as a result of a 2017 Ministerial review into better responses to natural disasters and other emergencies, commissioned after the November 2016 earthquake and tsunami and the 2017 Port Hills fire. 

            I will try to throw a short comment together on this overall change to NZ emergency management and post it on OM tomorrow.  I have one or two other very interesting – and very busy – neighbours involved in this side as well! 

            • weka 5.1.1.1.1.1

              From 4 days ago,

              "On March 12 laboratories across the country could handle 550 tests a day, Ardern said the daily capacity would soon reach 1500."

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120331916/coronavirus-increased-testing-capacity-is-there-its-now-up-to-the-doctors-pm-says

              Yes, I am assuming it will be increasing over time. But the idea that is going around that we could be testing tens of thousands of people doesn’t seem real to me.

              • Incognito

                There should be more than enough primary and auxiliary equipment around in various labs around the country and these need to be checked for performance criteria. It will take time to train extra staff to handle the samples, which is fairly critical, and the instruments. The kits and reagents could become a limiting factor as the whole world is using these and AFAIK there’s a limited supply chain. Another factor is the whole logistics chain and managing (centralising) the data flow.

                • weka

                  Yes, multiple factors all having their own constraints, some more easily resolvable than others. I'm seeing lots of people basing their ideas on not understanding the physical limits of our society and global economy. I guess we are so socialised into if you want something and have the money you just buy it.

    • Incognito 5.2

      This was a small village that went into complete isolation and lockdown and everyone (3,300) was tested and tested again. It was a drastic action and in a way a large experiment on a small scale. The problem is that it cannot be linearly scaled to a nation-wide scale. It would mean completely isolating the country and immobilising all of its inhabitants. At national level, the practical limitations become almost physical limitations.

      • weka 5.2.1

        I doubt we would have enough test kits or lab space either.

        • Incognito 5.2.1.1

          It is ramping up but you simply cannot test and monitor (i.e. repeat testing) the whole population of NZ like they did in Vo whilst having everybody in complete lockdown.

    • patricia 5.3

      Testing stations have been set up in many communities.

    • mauī 5.4

      The good news is that I think the Chief Doc said we did 1,500 tests yesterday and on a population basis that is equivalent to what South Korea has been doing, and they seem to have a handle on it.

  5. Corey Humm 6

    "bring everyone into the discussion" do you mean on a government level? If so no, absolutely not,  the only people who should have any voice in the decision making process are health experts and cabinet and perhaps civil defense I don't see what diverse voices in decision process will do when we are simply acting on medical experts advice, noone cares or wants to know what rwnj talkshow hosts or woke Twitter thinks about a pandemic.

     

    If it's a conversation of how do we cope with those decisions or how do we cope with losing our jobs or loneliness and isolation without social contact then sure! 

     

    But the "they should be doing this , lock the country down , close the borders, we're all gonna die" "it's 5g" "give everyone a thousand dollars right now" "jacinda needs to grow a spine" from dramatic unqualified people is getting draining. 

    • bill 6.1

      I'm just going to throw in what I believe to be indicative of a bureaucratic/political mind set.

      When Ed Miliband was the UKs Minister for Climate Change (or whatever the exact title was), Kevin Anderson (eminent climate scientist), approached him with the news that 2 degrees was slipping out of reach. Miliband's response was that "they" couldn't let on because they'd already invested too much in the narrative.

      Right now, politicians (insofar as they are "managers" of society) should be taking direction from virologists (or whatever the proper title might be) and not allowing any economists or others into the room.

      And when their directions impact on another field of expertise, then people from that field should then be elevated for those decision processes.

      Don't expect anything so sensible though.

      Expect bureaucratic clusterfuck just as in the aftermath of Chernobyl, Christchurch, Fukashima – and just as is happening in the face of AGW.

    • weka 6.2

      "bring everyone into the discussion" do you mean on a government level?"

      No I meant on TS. I'll edit to make that clearer. It's mostly me saying that everyone will have thoughts on what is going on and we can foster good conversation rather than fractious conversion that shuts some people out.

    • woodart 6.3

      totally agree corey . to many sideline experts wont improve anything. just drags out any decisions while talkfests happen.

  6. bill 7

    To protect supermarket workers – open the places to the public only between stints of shelf stocking and no more "checkout chicks".

    To protect older and more vulnerable people – as in some UK supermarkets, have times set aside when they can shop in a less busy and possibly less contaminated environment.

    To protect yourself – shop at the local dairy (or equivalent) where fewer people will have passed through.

    To protect the homeless – government needs to requisition motels and such like now (as already done in California)

    To protect the poor – that fucking $1000 recurring payment needs to be made to everyone yesterday (tax it back off the richer later)

    To protect small retail food outlet workers – treat the retail space as a kind of warehouse space. Take orders 'at the door', collect them and pass them over at the door or out through the door.

    To protect yourself – be cautious around public transport.

    If those $1000 recurring payments ever eventuate (unlikely), think on whether the function of your job is meaningful in a wider context, and if it isn't, long finger the fucker.

    Like others, there are people in my life, some closer than others who, should they get infected, I likely won't be seeing this time next year. Fuck all the bureaucratic monkeys and MPs who prioritised spinning the plates of commerce over people and their well being – fuck them all. -end-

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.1

      "…prioritised spinning the plates of commerce…"

      Yes. Folks with short memories and a desperate need for a Benevolent Leader to follow blindly will forget that pause…

      Time to dig out Colleen McCulloch 's "A Creed for the Third Millenium" out of storage.

      All the best bill. 

      Don't let the bastards etc etc…

    • Sabine 7.2

      seconded. all of it. 

  7. RedLogix 8

    Some good news from Italy:

    Around 3,300 people were tested, even if they had no symptoms.

    "We tested everybody," Andrea Crisanti, professor of microbiology at the University of Padua, told the ABC's The World Today.

    • Incognito 8.1

      And now what?

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        Checkout the link embedded in my first sentence.

        Essentially they tested everyone and found all the silent cases as well as the active ones. Then treated and/or isolated all the cases.

        Vo, in the region of Veneto, is right in the middle of what Italy is calling its coronavirus red zone.

        But local officials say there hasn't been a new case of COVID-19 there since March 13.

        • Incognito 8.1.1.1

          I’d already read it before your comment appeared (see /arderns-announcement-about-the-new-4-level-alert-system-for-coronavirus/#comment-1693339 and my reply). You haven’t answered my Q 😉

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.1

            Well yes it's an obvious question, can this village maintain their isolation until the pandemic ends globally? Can whole countries do this? NZ and Aus could, but a much tougher ask in places like Africa.

            Testing is one of the four legs on which our strategy will stand on; testing, contact tracing, isolation and mitigation. This article demonstrates just how vital extensive testing is, although logically it cannot stand on it’s own.

            In my career in process automation, there is a very common maxim "you can't control what you haven't measured". And the more you measure the more accurately and rapidly you can control.

            The exact same applies here.

            • Incognito 8.1.1.1.1.1

              You can achieve reasonable control of a stand-alone closed system if you know and measure the key parameters. The current pandemic is not equivalent.

  8. A 9

    We need to level up and lock this shit down for 3-4 weeks and at the end we can get on with living having cleared the most significant time gap.  NZ is already at a higher rate of infection per capita than Taiwan ffs.

     

  9. adam 10

    1. We have been here before, but  many of y'all don't want to recognise that. AIDS – yeap that old epidemic. And one thing we learned from that is you can pretty trace transmission through inequality. 

    2. The last 40 odd years have been an exercise in growing inequality via economic terrorism. 

    3. Coupled with the purity of liberalism that has been rammed down our throat – we have had decades of underinvestment in public health, wealth, wellness and mutual understanding. Do you know your neighbours? 

    4 The poor are going to suffer in this – the poor are going to suffer more than anyone  other group in society. And what makes me mad – our politicians know this. They know how epidemics work – they know the science, and they know how vectors of transmission work in society. They also know that most people can not cope with financial burden that is coming. That poor people in particular can not and will not be able to cope.  

     

    • Climaction 10.1

      Despite the madness, I’ve seen more acts of kindness in the last week than I’ve seen since the Christchurch earthquake.

      everyone reaching out to neighbours, friends, family, making sure they’re ok and understand they can reach out. 

      trying to implicate politicians and rich people in some Anti-poverty conspiracy is as bad as the anti-climate change movement conspiracy that is running through the white upper class suburbs

      • woodart 10.1.1

        +100 climaction. too many people needing someone to have a grudge against. 

      • adam 10.1.2

        Fuck off with trying to make what I said a conspiracy theory Climaction.  Just the usual dumb assedness technocrats who are really quite fucking stupid. I'm a firm believer in cock up theory. My guess you just don't want know how bad things stand within the health infrastructure because of cuts, efficiency drives and general shit fuckery of ideological hacks.  

        I'm pointing what happens with epidemics – go have a read of how AIDS hit those  in unequal places of power. The link I gave you has a good collection of historical pieces to get you head around how it works. 

        As for the false equivalence with anti-climate movement – how much of a dumb c*&k can you be?  

         

        • Incognito 10.1.2.1

          Climaction’s comment was fair enough and neutral. Please tone down your language and keep your angry outburst under control, thanks.

        • Climaction 10.1.2.2

          Brother works at middlemore and sister at shorecare. Brothers view on middlemore is that it’s so fucked up with entrenched factions it’s it’s own worst enemy. Can’t blame 9 years of national for everything

          its not fake equivalence. It’s very real equivalence

          • adam 10.1.2.2.1

            9 years have you got you head in the clouds, the rot has been longer than that (at least 40 years of madcap far right economic ideology) with ample evidence to back up my statement

            My wife works in a hospital, my family have worked in healthcare for the last 60 years – and the decline in the last 40 is going to be put on display very soon. 

            Don't know about  where you live, but they have been telling people to not go to hospital with a fever up here because they can't cope already.

            So poor people dying is nothing to worry about, because climate change is the only issue for you Climaction?

            • Incognito 10.1.2.2.1.1

              So poor people dying is nothing to worry about, because climate change is the only issue for you Climaction?

              That’s not at all what Climaction said or implied and you seem to be twisting words for the sake of having an argument (AKA flaming). Can you please cut it out, thanks?

              This is the second time I’ve asked nicely and said “please”.

              • adam

                Twisting words – his whole comment was twisting what I said. 

                FFS get some balance. 

                Please and nicely.

    • Incognito 10.2

      They [the politicians] know how epidemics work – they know the science, and they know how vectors of transmission work in society.

      It is ok to be angry right now but please don’t base your anger on nonsense. Most politicians don’t know shit about these things.

      • adam 10.2.1

        Hasn't this crisis been been building for over a month?

        Are you saying that the minister of health, the PM and  Cabinet are not getting the best possible advise, and present? 

        That they are not being told how epidemics work by scientists? 

        Are you saying the degrees that the politicians have, mean nothing in their ability to comprehend scientific and historical data? 

        So why are they there? Why do we have them if they "don’t know shit about these things"? 

        • Instauration 10.2.1.1

          We need behave and do exactly as the PM, Cabinet and MOH have requested. This is imperative.

          However

          The PM and Cabinet are issuing guidance and directives as if they are law.

          "should" is guidance not law.  Cabinet minute is not law (thankfully)

          "must" without targeted legislation or declared "State of Emergency" is not law.

          "Will face legal consequences" is bravado.

          The Government is relying on puny interpretations of powers under Public Health and Health and Safety legislation to convey Cabinet advice as "directives" punishable by law.

          Why bother Parliament to decide abortion legislation if it is simply up to the Cabinet to arbiter abortions as a public health issue ?

          That is scary.

          Have some courage Jacinda – pass legislation that reflects Cabinet intentions – or declare a State of Emergency

           

        • Incognito 10.2.1.2

          Relying on experts and getting a crash-course doesn’t make them experts, not even close (AKA they don’t know shit with the possible exception of the Minister in charge of a specific portfolio). They act on expert advice (or reports and recommendations from working groups and review committees), which requires trust. You’ll be aware that there are still many unknowns about this virus and pandemic and that even the experts disagree. This time, it is mainly medical science and research. Other times, it is about the economy, for example.

          https://www.pmcsa.ac.nz/

  10. Climaction 11

    It’s great to have a measurable scale of how bad the government thinks things are.

    this might finally remove the media “experts” from the opinion scene and allow the real experts in the professional health community the airtime we need to understand what is actually happening. 

  11. A 12

    It's not like we would have as much difficulty with nationwide quarantine as the US where this is happening now…

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/breaking-trump-eyes-2-week-quarantine-only-drug-grocery-stores-open

    The federal government has been reluctant to order a “stay in place” order. But officials have said that the administration has been briefing Congress, states, and industry leaders about a potential shutdown that could start next week and after the president taps the Stafford Act that some say allows a national quarantine.

    The goal, said officials, is to stop the spread of the virus and potential deaths.

    The unknown: The administration hopes that the number of cases of the coronavirus does not surge too much.

    A knowledgeable source said that Department of Homeland Security officials are telling states that it is ready to mobilize the National Guard and dispatch them with U.S. military and first responders.

    The goal is to have them dispatched before any call for a national quarantine. The reason: Stop looters and other violence.

    They will announce this as soon as they have troops in place to help prevent looters and rioters and will announce before the end of the weekend.

    NZ is a small fraction of the population and land size. No need for our nation to ever get to the point the US is at now, however we should be preparing our low income earners + welfare recipient without further delays (Bill styles above) so it can be called by end of next week with minimal suffering.

  12. barry 13

    The plan for community transmission should be to ensure that the average transmission rate is less than 1. Then it dies away like in China.  Then we can go to work, play sport and socialise again.

    If it gets much more than 1 we have exponential growth and end up like Italy.

    It means testing (even when we have no cases), tracing contacts (keep on going to 3 or 4 degrees of separation), and following up on isolation.

    Once we get good at it, we gradually open our borders (with isolation for entrants starting with long term arrivals.

    It will probably be years before the rest of the world gets their numbers low enough to allow tourism on the scale that we had before.  Maybe we don't want it like that again.  That means that there is no point in supporting all the workers to stay in the industry.  Some operations will have to be allowed to close, and the sooner the better for everyone.

    • weka 13.1

      This is what I suspect too. And when we get to talking about climate change again and how we dropped out GHGs globally so fast, I think there's going to be much more capacity to build a post-carbon economy. I doubt that many people are ready for that conversation yet but I don't think we can leave it too long. I too think sooner we face that the better, but while some of us have been thinking about these things for a long time for others it's very new and takes time to adjust to.

      I also want us to build a resilient society because covid is unlikely to be the last challenge to the global economy.

    • SHG 13.2

      Then it dies away like in China

      We don’t know anything about what’s happening in China, because the Chinese government is our source of information about what’s happening in China.

    • McFlock 13.3

      The plan is to get the transmission rate to zero.

      The reality is "as low as possible".

      There are two factors at play regarding longer term effects on global travel.

      The first is whether the virus evolves to be less lethal, which can happen over time: the patients who have more mild symptoms for longer infect more people than the patients who get obvious serious symptoms or.. whatevs very quickly.

      The second factor is whether we get a decent vaccine in a year or so. In which case it becomes like the flu: annual shots to lower the effect of each infection season.

      The issue this year was that we have no vaccine and doctors were essentially treating in the dark, with no knowledge of which drugs were more effective than others. Our treatment knowledge is improving, but vaccines are often silver bullets if we can find them.

      • SHG 13.3.1

        The issue this year was that we have no vaccine and doctors were essentially treating in the dark, with no knowledge of which drugs were more effective than others.

        Not entirely true. We (the human race) have been testing vaccine candidates for lots of things for a long time. Some of the reasons that vaccine candidates were labelled failures were things like “we thought this vaccine would prevent Ebola but it only seems to prevent coronaviruses, dammit”. We’ve got to go back through all those failures, but it’s not treating in the dark.

  13. CarolynS (@Carolyn_nth) 14

    People in the media are saying the alert levels have made things clear – well they mainly seem to be talking about workers and businesses, which is no small thing, and to be welcomed for the running of the country & workers.

    For this 70 yr old, things are far from clear and is just creating anxiety.  On the one hand the PM says people over 70 should stay at home.  She also said people should shop at supermarkets as normal.  So which is it for 70 yr olds?  Go to the supermarket or not? If not, there should have been a clear system for us to get home deliveries.

    Tried Countdown's home delivery or order online & PickUp from my local store.  You can book up to a week in advance, with warnings slots are filling up.  All the day-time slots for PickUp say "closed".  There's slots for home delivery during the week, but when I click on them, it doesn't register and I get a message to select a slot.  Tried it with 3 different browsers.  Nothing works.  Won't let me go to checkout without selecting a slot.

    Bloody useless.  And the costs for home delivery will make it impossible for some pensioners on low incomes.  I'm fortunate as I can last a week without getting anymore groceries in – not an option for . It's cheaper for orders over $200.00 (so benefits the wealthy).  I figure I can bare the cost of about a 2 weekly order over $200.00.

    Of course the supermarket situation has been made worse by those not in much need, health or age wise, bulk buying & clearing the shelves.  They now have restricted hours, meaning physical distancing has been made harder.

    End of rant

    • weka 14.1

      I think it's going to be hard for many. At this point it's all advisory, so more at risk people who have no choice will have to go to the supermarket. I'm hoping that over the next few weeks/month we will see new systems being set up. Lots of places communities will pick up the slack, but lots of other places that won't be possible.

      There's going to be lots of people needing work soon, a shopping service could be one new operation we see, with state funding for low income people in the same way that we do for homehelp.

      Good to see you Carolyn.

      • CarolynS (@Carolyn_nth) 14.1.1

        Thanks, weka.  Hi to you, also.

        And I have more time at home now, so will be online more.

        Yes, apparently it is only an advisory.  But some MSM headlines give the wrong impression eg I think it was Stuff with an earlier link saying over 70s to self isolate.

        Anyway, it's clarified on this RNZ article:

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/412294/concerns-elderly-people-not-getting-covid-19-messages

        Tuffnell wanted people to know that the government's latest advice on staying home was not mandatory, but a suggestion.

        Also he's recommending an hour in the mornings for us oldies to use the supermarket.  The supermarkets dismissed this idea last week because Grey Power told them seniors wanted to be able to shop at any time.  But that was before the restriction of opening hours.

        I have emailed Countdown with my concerns.

        I have had a couple of people offer to shop for me, but the people who live closest are not people I know so much.  Also I prefer to be independent.  I wouldn't mind ordering home delivery more often, if it were easier and cheaper, or store pickup if it wasn't so quickly booked in advance.

        I've been socially/physically distancing myself where possible, but many people in public don't seem to practice it, especially young people.  Had to go to the bank earlier this week, the guy who queued behind me was closer than 1 meter. Shops and banks should promote physical distancing, in queues, etc.

        • weka 14.1.1.1

          "Also he's recommending an hour in the mornings for us oldies to use the supermarket."

          That's a great idea. Could be extended for other higher risk people too.

          Emailing Countdown was a good idea. Fingers crossed they'll get a bit more responsive and creative.

          I reckon things will get clearer next week as people start getting over their shock. I really wish some of the MSM would stop amping up everyone's fear.

          • veutoviper 14.1.1.1.1

            Woolworths introduced this from 7am to 8am in their Australian supermarkets last week for elderly and people with disabilities etc. Countdown here is part of the Woolworths group but did not intend to introduce it here according to their management a few days ago. 

            Maui posted on this here on TS http://mauī Comment:Open mike 16/03/2020

            Sacha was nor impressed at the time of day for this initiative, but I can understand that trying to close off these large stores to general customers at any other time of day would be difficult.

            However, are you aware of Countdown's Quiet Hour shopping for people with autism and other conditions where the bright lights, noise etc can be upsetting?.

            After trials in a few stores first, this was introduced across all but two of their stores in Oct 2019 from 2.30 -3.30pm on Wednesdays (with a few exceptions to these hours).

            Australia Woolworths stores have done this for a couple of years.

            https://www.countdown.co.nz/news-and-media-releases/2019/october/countdown-s-low-sensory-quiet-hour-to-be-offered-nationwide

            Countdown are also progressively introducing pharmacies into their stores throughout NZ, with about 30 stores now having them.  They are open seven days 9am – 8pm (although presumably hours may change in current circumstances) AND a few months ago they dropped all prescription charges except for scripts issued by specialists. Previously they had dropped the per item charge to $2.50, but the new nil charge means a lot of people who could not afford the $5 or $2.50 per item are now able to fill their prescriptions for nothing.

          • CarolynS (@Carolyn_nth) 14.1.1.1.2

            Yes.  I think things will get clearer over time.  I think the people bulk buying and clearing shelves has put unexpected pressure on supermarkets. All systems are under strain.

            I logged into Countdown fairly early this morning.  They had opened up a new day (next Sunday) for home deliveries.  There were a couple of slots saying "available".  There weren't any like that yesterday, just some blank slots.  I was able to put in a pretty big order for next Sunday.

            I can do that fortnightly if necessary. 

            The hardest thing is keeping a supply of fresh fruit and veges in my little flat and fridge.  I'll take up an offer from a nephew on the other side of town, and ask for a mid weekly delivery of fruit and veges.

            But it's still going to be very tough for the vulnerable, age and health wise, to keep up regular grocery shopping, especially if they are on low incomes. Countdown's delivery charges are $14.00 for an order up to $199.00 and $9.00 for an order over $200.00 – this privileges the well off, and families over singles.

    • peterh 14.2

      Don't talk rot, she is telling the young to look after the old, PICK up their shopping and deliver it

      • CarolynS (@Carolyn_nth) 14.2.1

        A call to be kind and helpful, is not a comprehensive system. And according to Grey Power Nelson, many seniors do not have internet connections, so are not well informed of the current alert.

        It's easier to follow in small towns eg I understand somewhere in the Wairarapa, people are going door to door and checking on people over 70 yrs.  That's much harder in a city like Auckland.

        Not all of us have relatives or friends nearby, and I am one of those who doesn't have children.

        Thanks for your kindness and understanding in these anxiety-making times.

  14. Rosemary McDonald 15

    "Surely not", said I when told that the SOP at a certain hospital in the North Island is not only not providing face masks for frontline doctors and nurses but also  actively discouraging these vital personnel from wearing masks they have purchased themselves.

    Something about 'creating panic'.

    Hmm.  Funny, really, when you think about it.

    I'd be positively orgasmic if the medicos treating me were wearing the full PPE…panic has a face in this wee drama…those Chinese doctors and nurses collapsing on the job. 

    FFS, ?DHB take better care of your greatest assets.

    Sigh.

    Still they're obsessed with the messaging.

     

    • CarolynS (@Carolyn_nth) 15.1

      Do they have masks available for doctors and nurses, or is that statement a cover for lack of them?  Getting the right kind of masks seems to be pretty difficult/impossible for the general public. Also there are warnings about using them "correctly" if using them.

      • Rosemary McDonald 15.1.1

        Very good to see you here again Carolyn_nth. 👍

        My friend told me that the nurses are not allowed to wear even masks they have purchased themselves…purchased because they are not supplied as routine issue…like, say, the packets of latex gloves that adorn the walls of practically each clinical space at the hospital.

        Gloves practically mandatory during patient contact but definitely not masks?

        It was definitely about scaring the patients, which to me is nonsensical.

        Atishoo, atishoo we all fall down…we learned this at our mother's knee.

        Mind you, my friend is Asian…and what would they know about infection control? (/sarc in case it isn't obvious)

        In another few weeks the face mask thing will be de rigueur here…for those who can get them.

        (Lots of folk are making their own. Some patterns are of suspect quality, but others not too bad. Hopefully there will be a reliable supply of top quality kit for hospital staff…and the rest of us can DIY and add to the endless youtube content.)

        Interesting times.

         

        • CarolynS (@Carolyn_nth) 15.1.1.1

          Gosh.  Sounds awful of the health board.  I have masks allegedly to filter paint fumes – didn't work so well.  Can they be converted to anti-Covid-19 masks?

          • I Feel Love 15.1.1.1.1

            Health care workers know what they're doing, if anyone does, they do. There is no conspiracy.

            • Incognito 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Agreed. You don’t need to wear a face mask when dealing with a broken collar bone.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Sigh.

                Because of course we all know you can't have a broken clavicle and coronavirus.  At the same time. And be infectious and not symptomatic. 

                Sighs again and wonders when people will learn that hospitals are cesspits of infection.

                Trust the frontline staff to take the precautions they feel necessary. 

                They'll all be wearing as much PPE as possible soon enough.

                • weka

                  They may not have enough masks, and be saving them for once CV is in the community/hospital.

                  I'm guessing the masks are made overseas, probably in Asia, and there is a worldwide demand. Someone correct me if I am wrong please.

                  • CarolynS (@Carolyn_nth)

                    Some news reports from January and early March report shortages of protective gear, including masks, for the general public and for nurses.

                    This from 31 January. Reports of shortages and profiteering

                    Pharmacies have reported that people are buying boxes of N95 masks to ship back to Asia, where there is an "acute shortage" as it is mandatory to wear them in Wuhan, the centre of the deadly virus and home to 11 million people.

                    And this from March 6: Reports of nurses concerned about lack of protective gear in NZ health services.

                    Nurses are raising concerns about the availability and adequacy of protective equipment in hospitals, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases grows. 

                    The nurses' union, New Zealand Nurses Organisation, said staff were becoming increasingly anxious about their safety and how well prepared district health boards were to handle the illness. 

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    Absolutely no reason we can't make masks here. I bet you'd be able to round up hundreds of geriatrics happy as to run a manual production line.

                    Eye protection…came across a brilliant clear plastic full face shield clip on YouTube the other day…

                    Gloves…humm.. just got Peter's  supply of medical type stuff from the local dhb.  Surgeon's latex gloves(super sterile) and pre packaged and sterile catheterization packs cut by 2/3.

                    We anticipated this, so are not panicking. 

                    Usual order of vynil gloves and other stuff.

                    Weka, my friend was wearing her own mask at work at the hospital, for her protection and that of her patients. She thought it strange that she was told by her superior not to wear a mask…because of 'scaring the patients'.

                    She sees it as a human rights issue.

                    • weka

                      Patients should be able to ask to have a masked medical person too.

                      I'm sure there's an ironing out process all round at the moment. My sense is that even though we knew this was coming, last week was a big wake up call for NZ, and there's been a fair amount of stress in all systems. I definitely noticed it at the GP level, they weren't as well prepared as I had assumed.

                      I've seen homemade mask instructions online. Am waiting for ones that have some level of authority with them. I don't think we are at the stage of hospitals needing them (and they have good reasons for not), but definitely need to be preparing for that.

                      What Incog said about autoclaving too. No idea to what extent that tech/process still exists in hospitals.

                       

                    • Incognito []

                      Plenty of autoclaves around in NZ, small and large, but not all gear/equipment can be autoclaved and remain functional. The convenience of disposable materials has been pushed along with the argument that it is more economical in the long run. Of course, it works as long as supply chains can keep up with demand.

                  • Incognito

                    The problem is that much gear used in hospitals, and not just in hospitals, is disposable. The amount of medical waste (as in disposed stuff) is phenomenal. If they can switch to masks that can be autoclaved and sterilised, that might help.

                    • RedBaroncv

                      i think i saw somewhere in the USA was using UV light to sterilise a type of mask so it could be reused not dumped

                    • Incognito []

                      Interesting, but I doubt how effective it would be as UV light works well with smooth flat surfaces or air and, less so, water flows as it doesn’t penetrate into tissues and materials.

                      Ok, it seems the brainy people have already engaged their brains 😉

                      Conserving Supply of Personal Protective Equipment—A Call for Ideas

                      https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2763590

                      I hope NZ health practitioners, DHBs, and MoH take note.

  15. Sabine 16

    we need to stay the fuck at home. 

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/coronavirus-boris-johnson-uk-doctor-victims-intensive-care-ventilator-italy-a9415356.html

    and the government needs to assure that people who stay at home don't lose their lively hood. 

     

  16. Muttonbird 17

    Driving around Auckland today getting gas supplies and taking the boy for a 1v1 football session I did see a lot over over 70s flouting the Prime Minister's directive.

    I can only assume these are old people who think they are invincible and these concerns don't apply to them. Or they are right wing nut jobs who hate anything Jacinda Ardern does.

    Probably both.

    • Incognito 17.1

      They are not in lockdown and it is meant to keep them safe.

      The announcement was at noon and do you think the ‘house arrest’ commenced immediately? Give the oldies a chance to arrange their affairs, please.

      How can you tell if someone is over 70?

      • Muttonbird 17.1.1

        I know what it's meant to do. The Prime Minister explained that.

        While the rest of us have had our livelihoods removed to protect older people they might want to do as they are told…

        • Sabine 17.1.1.1

          well, you might want to watch the link i posted and then you might want to re-adjust your thinking of 'protecting the older'. 

          this lung disease kills young and old, it just kills the older first and faster. 

          We should all be at home, all of us. For at lest three weeks. And here we are and we are pretending as if this is just a flu. It ain't. Its a deadly lung disease. So why would the oldies pay any more attention then the very young ones? because we have are at level two on the scale of 4? lol. 
          when we reach level 4 this virus will run rampant and hurt and kill indiscriminate.

        • Rosemary McDonald 17.1.1.2

          Seriously Muttonbird???

          Take a deep one  and think about it.

          Those over 70s most likely know the risks and that the risk is to themselves.

          They probably know that a la Italy, extreme medical intervention will be rationed and they will not make the cut.  Perhaps being out and about helps with the whole accepting your mortality…bearing in mind that unlike the Younger Folk…being out of doors is their happy place, rather than indoors glued to a screen.

          You and your ilk will inherit the earth soon enough…practise a little empathy  before the burden lands on your shoulders.

          • veutoviper 17.1.1.2.1

            Well said, Rosemary

          • Stunned mullet 17.1.1.2.2

            'You and your ilk will inherit the earth soon enough…practise a little empathy  before the burden lands on your shoulders.'

            You must have missed these from the other day Rosemary.

            Daily review 17/03/2020

            Daily review 17/03/2020

            Frankly Muttonbird should isolate himself from thestandard if he's unable to control these outbursts.

            • Muttonbird 17.1.1.2.2.1

              Oh, I have a fan club. Do you have an archive with all my comments?

              • Stunned mullet

                Just those two in particular which stuck in my mind – I would hope you would take the chance to resile from them now given the situation in Italy and around the world.

        • Incognito 17.1.1.3

          People fear for their lives and for their livelihoods.

          Don’t pick on a single group, or a few individuals of such a group as they are not representative, because these measures are to protect all of us but most of all the most vulnerable. It is focussed/targeted and judicious use of rules & regulations and resources. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

          Your comment comes across as ‘sour grapes’ – understandably so, may I add – because you feel helpless and have no choice and control over your own situation while they ‘flout the rules’ (they don’t).

  17. Andre 18

    Here's the view from a front-line doctor dealing with COVID-19.

    If you still think it's just like the flu and we're all over-reacting, you need to read it.

    If you're already freaked and panicking, don't read it. Seriously, don't.

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/03/lung-fluids-coronavirus/

    • weka 18.1

       I won't. Are you seeing many people not taking it seriously now? I'm not seeing that online, but I'm guessing there will be people who aren't online who haven't been paying attention.

  18. greywarshark 19

    How things are going over there, over there, the virus is coming….  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/03/19/coronavirus-deaths-rising-faster-uk-italy/

    One stark stat:   In the last week active cases in Italy have risen by 171 per cent.  That compares to almost 300 per cent in France, 500 per cent in Spain, 550 per cent in Germany and 480 per cent in the UK.    From 21 March at 2pm, Dominic Gilbert at The Telegraph – Data Journalist.

    Major Covid-19

     

  19. Macro 20

    US is in deep trouble. tRump was warned on the 3rd January that things were going to get rough but fobbed it off until far too late.
    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/3/21/21189179/coronavirus-trump-intelligence-reports-warned-pandemic

    Here is a running total of Covid_19 cases by country.

    No other country has been as far into the pandemic and still had the number of cases growing at the rates the U.S. is seeing.

    20

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  • 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 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
    2 weeks ago