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Aussie workers worse off under Howard

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 17th, 2007 - 47 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

A new report (PDF) by the University of Sydney shows Aussie workers are doing markedly worse under a Howard government.

His desperate bid to buy them back this week with the offer of tax cuts doesn’t address the deep unfairness they’re being subjected to by his doublespeak-ish “Work Choices” legislation.

The Australia@Work study, published this month, surveyed more than 8000 workers and concluded that those on Howard’s individual work contracts earned on average $106 a week less than those on collective agreements.

Howard’s “Work Choices” legislation is a lot like National’s Employment Contracts Act of the 90s. It’s designed to abolish collective bargaining and undermine the rights of workers. In Australia it has allowed bosses to cut overtime payments, public holiday pay, maternity leave and meal breaks.

To add insult to injury it looks likely that Aussie workers will now be subjected to further steep interest rate rises as a result of Costello’s cynical bid to buy back their votes.

The ABC reports that his tax cuts “will make the Reserve Bank nervous and could push interest rates higher”. A senior economist is quoted as saying “It certainly means interest rates would be higher than they would otherwise be… I cannot imagine were it not for an election the Treasurer would be contemplating these tax cuts of this order.”

There have already been five interest rate rises since the last Australian election and mortgage repayments are up sharply there – somewhere in the order of $65 a week on average.

The combination of tax-cut fueled interest rate rises and draconian employment relations legislation makes things look decidedly grim for workers across the Tasman.

If I was a worker there I’d see Howard’s tax cuts for what they are: a desperate attempt from a government trailing in the polls – in large measure as a direct result of its unrelenting, decade-long assault on the rights of workers.

47 comments on “Aussie workers worse off under Howard”

  1. Wodger 1

    Obviously we will be able to see a sudden reversal in the trans-tasman immigration flow as all those hard-done-by aussie workers abandon “The Lucky Country” and move to Godzone “The Workers Paradise” were those rich bastards are made to pay!

  2. Sam Dixon 2

    But aren’t tax cuts all you need?

    The blank faces when you try to explain the macroeconomic effects of tax cuts that appear on tories’ faces are truely worrying.

    Of course cutting tax and increasing borrowing, bringing in money from overseas, is inflationary. The last term in Australia has proven that yet Costello is claiming that this latest elction bribe somehow won’t be inflationary

  3. Benodic 3

    I wonder what National’s industrial relations policy is? For something they’re “very passionate about” they’ve been very quiet about it lately.

  4. The inflationary effect of tax cuts depends on their impact on the labour supply. As both NZ and Aussie are short of labour, an increase in labour force participation from tax cuts would put downward pressure on inflation, which would partially counter-act the upward pressure on inflation from the increased fiscal stimulus.

    In fact, if you cut taxes and spending by a corresponding amount, the increase in labour force participation would be the only relevant factor, and so inflationary pressures would ease.

    In terms of NZ, if we cut taxes and not spending I’m pretty sure inflationary pressures would increase, as I don’t think labour force participation would rise considerably on the back of tax cuts.

  5. Another thing. I’m not sure this article is saying “Aussie workers are worse under a Howard government”, it is just saying that workers in collective agreements (so they have market power) get higher wages, which is obvious.

  6. Conor Roberts 6

    You think the NZ media will give as much prominence to these revelations that they have given to Howard’s tax scramble?

    Or is it easier to repeat the mantra that everything is easier in Aussie and we are overtaxed?

    (also leaving aside all state taxes, Medicare, compulsory super, stamp duty…)

  7. Conor
    When the surplus was announced, TVNZ’s Guyon “I don’t think the Hollow Men will impact Don Brash’s role as Leader of the National Party” Espiner, managed to get in 14 references to tax in a 2:30 story supposedly about budget surpluses, that’s once every 11 seconds.
    I suspect he’s competing in the BRT-sponsored competition to see how many times a journalist can insert the phrase “tax cuts” into a single story. Not that they or their editors have a personal agenda mind.

  8. r0b, yes I agree, our participation rate is 68.8% which is pretty danged high. That is why I said that I though a straight cut would increase inflationary pressures. However, if taxes and spending were cut (I’m not saying they should be, I realise that the majority of people do not want both cut) then inflationary pressures would fall for two reasons:

    1) A slight increase in the labour supply, increasing productive capacity
    2) The fact that private spending is less inflationary than public spending, because of the type of goods that private spending produces.

    I’m not advocating a tax cut or a cut in government spending (I’m an economist not a politician). I’m just saying that if taxes were cut and not spending inflation would rise. If taxes and spending were cut by an even amount, inflation would fall.

  9. r0b 9

    “I wonder what National’s industrial relations policy is?”

    They are quiet aren’t they. Understandable I guess, as talking about their policies doesn’t seem to go so well for them. Anyone want to take bets on a return to an Employment Contracts Act (ECA) type regime?

  10. r0b 10

    “The inflationary effect of tax cuts depends on their impact on the labour supply.”

    “In fact, if you cut taxes and spending by a corresponding amount, the increase in labour force participation…”

    Hi Matt. So the theory is that cutting taxes usually leads to a significant increase in employment (because people are more motivated to seek employment?). There doesn’t seem to be much scope for that effect in NZ right now, with near record low unemployment.

  11. The whole private vs public inflation business seems to be about how ‘productive’ different sectors are, so how much output you can get from a given input. Say with health spending, the government puts a lot of money in, but in the extra ‘output’ that is created from that spending is quite small. As this additional spending has created little extra output, the people that get paid to produce this small amount of output will put pressure on the price of other goods when they try to buy things.

    Now this doesn’t mean that we should suddenly slash government spending or anything, after all there are social benefits etc etc that have to be weighed up with what you believe. But the fact that the areas where government spend money are less productive does imply that additional government spending will be more inflationary than additional private spending.

    If you are interested in health outputs, there are some people on my blog that discuss it under health economics, but thats not my specialty, so I won’t be able to answer much on it 🙂

  12. r0b 12

    “I’m an economist not a politician”

    Pleased to meet you. I’m neither, but I’m willing to learn.

    “private spending is less inflationary than public spending, because of the type of goods that private spending produces.”

    I have never understood this claim – can you elaborate on why this is so?

  13. Sam Dixon 13

    Matt, welcome to the Standard. Isn’t it good to see a blog where the message boards have calm discussion and informed debate? sucha contrast to the days when kiwwiblog was king.

    For myself, I’ve never brought the argument that the private sector is inately more efficent than the public sector. I think there are a few relevant points:

    1) measuring prodcutivity is a real challenge, eespecially for goods and services paid for via govt revenue, rahter than a purchase price
    2) The govt does a lot of things that the private sector simply doesn’t do (emergency healthcare, police, courts, prisons, defence, welfare), and likewsie the priavte sector does a lot the govt doesn’t do. So we’re not really comparing apples with apples (same point applies to public vs private sector wages – of course public sector wages are higher, the govt doesn’t employ labourers, taxi drivers and other low-paid employees)
    3) Any very large organsiation suffers from diseffiencies of scale from under utlisation of employees’ capacity, you see it in both the public and private sector (and the public sector does have a high proportion of large monolithic organisations by its very nature)

  14. Santa Claws 14

    Sambo: “Matt, welcome to the Standard. Isn’t it good to see a blog where the message boards have calm discussion and informed debate? sucha contrast to the days when kiwwiblog was king.”

    Wow Sambo, you must have missed this jewel of calm discussion from Robespierre a couple of days ago…
    “Hey santa – you made your stupid joke an said your goodnights now fuck off. Oh and it’s not about a gay image you dick it’s about the cyberbullying of a fifteen year old boy by a middle aged man. Sorry if a general disgust with that seems out of order to you. But seeing as it is you can just fuck off (did I already say that?)”

    Here’s Tane being calm:
    “And don’t give me your shit about low income workers.”
    “Honestly mate, you’re shameless.”
    “you’re talking crap”

    Even you get into into the area of on-topic, calm-promoting issuances (btw didn’t realise you were such a fan of Dean Kamem)
    “some racism, some mysgyny, some strange EFB segways, some beneficairy bashing, some xenophobia and a bit of ill-informed rubbish about the strike wing and legal aid.”
    “I despise people like you.”

    Really, you and your slimy attack poodles will have to take a chill-pill if you want to promote calm discussion.

  15. Tane 15

    Santa, we can all pull quotes out of context, but some of us are more interested in constructive discussion. Do you have anything to add, or are you just here to troll again?

  16. r0b 16

    Really, you and your slimy attack poodles will have to take a chill-pill if you want to promote calm discussion.

    Online culture is notoriously thoughtless and abusive. This is a shame, because it tarnishes what could be a brilliant medium. The Standard is not perfect in this respect, but I think it is better than most, and I hope that it remains so. Alas Mr Claws, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  17. Robinsod 17

    “Robespierre”? I kinda like that – it makes me sound all kinda tough and scary. Thanks claws.

  18. r0b 18

    “As this additional spending has created little extra output, the people that get paid to produce this small amount of output will put pressure on the price of other goods when they try to buy things.”

    OK, I think I can make sense of this if by “the people that get paid to produce this small amount of output” you mean not “people” (as individuals their purchasing power is not increased), but rather “institutions”. So crudely, if schools and hospitals have more money to buy stuff with then prices go up. Is that it?

    I don’t see how such an effect is likely to be any more or less inflationary than we consumers going out en masse and purchasing more imported goodies.

    However, I’ll stop bothering you for further details, I’ll visit your blog, and I’ll move economics further up my list of stuff I really should learn more about.

  19. Santa Claws 19

    Tiny

    “but some of us are more interested in constructive discussion.”

    Nice to see the hypocrisy coming through strongly there, and so early in the day too.

    Just pointing out that the same supposed paragons of reasoned debate on here aren’t shy abut being nasty elsewhere.

  20. Robinsod 20

    Hey Santa – what part of “fuck off” don’t you understand?

  21. and it makes you sound frenchie…everyone wishes they could be a bit more ‘continental’.

  22. Nih 22

    I forget – is a continental breakfast good or bad? Why couldn’t they just call it Awesome Bacon Breakfast or Shitty Cereal Tossoff?

  23. continental is like a…”if i was gonna pay for brekie why would i pay fo this crapolla” kinda brekie

  24. Santa Claws 24

    Robespierre, I’m sure they are missing you witty repartee over at KWB

    ho ho ho!

  25. Robinsod 25

    Santa are you David Farrar?

  26. Sam Dixon 26

    But Santa, I do despise people who call hardworking people working crappy jobs for minimum wage ‘freeloaders’.

    Have to say that I actually think you prove my point if that’s those are the worst quotes you can come up with – (must have taken some digging too, that first quote from me was days ago … are, are you stalking me Santa? I’ve never had a stalker before, let alone one that can tell if you’ve naughty or nice)

  27. Sam Dixon 27

    hey robinsod – re: your ‘Santa Claws are you David Farrar?’, that reminds me of an edit my mate made to DPF’s wikipedia page the other week, it got taken down within 10 minutes (DPF doesn’t sleep) but you can still see it here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=David_Farrar_(New_Zealand)&oldid=159358554

    scan down to ‘Appearence’

  28. Nih 28

    That was pretty funny. You should probably keep the jibes above belt though. We really don’t have to sink to him and his buddies’ level to kick their asses all over the blogosphere.

  29. Sam Dixon 29

    Nih – yeah I know, bit of the H word but, still, funny.

  30. This research is very sophisticated because it disagregates the labour market by the level of engagement and monitors wage effects accordingly. Buchanan and his colleagues are some of the smartest labour market analysts around and their conclusions, that Workchoices has reduced wages of the most vulnerable, have resonanted widely across the electorate because they’re coherent with people’s experience. The Minister, Hockey, tried to discredit them but he’s pushing it up a hill frankly.

    Australia may have near record levels of participation but you need to examine the nature and extent of that participation closely to see that a lot of it is in poor quality and low value jobs – non-standard work – in the retail and service sectors where careers are limited and churn is high. There remains significant levels of disengagement – young women, mature men, people with disabilities, some migrants – and tax cuts alone will do bugger all to increase their participation – the reasons for this are too complex for this posting…

  31. r0b 31

    Great to have your comments on this mardypants.

    “and tax cuts alone will do bugger all to increase their participation – the reasons for this are too complex for this posting”

    Where can I go to learn more?

  32. Mardy pants I’m also interested in why you think that tax cuts will do little to increase labour market participation. I feel like they won’t have a great affect on participation rates, but I’m not really sure what the reason would be.

    If a large proportion of current labour demand is for unskilled labour, then the incidence of the tax should be fully borne by the employer (as the employer will only want to pay new employees at their reservation level). As a result, any cut in tax will increase labour demand. Implying that the change in the quantity of labour will depend on the elasticity of labour supply. As Aussie has a participation rate in excess of 65% I would expect labour supply to be fairly inelastic, which would suggest a relatively small labour market response to any tax cut.

  33. Pascal's bookie 33

    This is related to something that puzzles me about the constant comparisons between Aus and NZ.

    Why is it that we always hear about the tax rates and kiwis leaving and blah-diggiddy-blah, with wage rates getting a smaller share of the discussion? And the discussion we do get about comparitve wage rates never makes the rather obvious point about the comparative extent and experience with labour market reform vis-a-vis union participation and individual contracts.

    Am I completely fncking stupid in believing that the 20 odd years headstart we have had on the aussies in ‘labour market flexibility’ type reforms have had at least a discernable influence on the wage gap?

    If not, then why doesn’t the Labour party make more noise about this aspect? Is it that they are too scared too push back against those reforms for political reasons?

    Or am I missing something really obvious?

  34. burt 34

    This “new report”

    Sponsored by:
    Unions NSW
    Australian Research Council

    This report was published by the Workplace Research Centre at The University of Sydney

    So this is taken as an impartial report?

  35. Nih 35

    Who did you want to sponsor it? McDonalds? Coca-cola? Someone has to pay for it, it might as well be someone interested in seeing the results.

    Not everything is a sign of corruption.

  36. burt 36

    Nih

    No, not everything is a sign of corruption. But should I just read that report (sponsored by the unions) or should I compare my time there under the Hawke Govt, my time there during the transition, or my more recent experiences under Howard?

    Spin it how you like, it’s been good in some areas, it’s been bad in others. But the bottom line is that that the flow of trained people is flowing in one direction and has been ever since they did something silly and started to pay better salaries and tax less.

  37. Nih 37

    There’s a vast pay gap between skilled white-collar jobs and factory floor employees.

  38. Burt, you’ve posted a suggestion that the ARC and/or UnionsNSW are partial and that their partiality influences this report – did you plan to back that up? Are you actually across the report and/or its methodology (or for that matter the approval process)? I am.

    What a frankly soft response to the findings. The Liberals could have responded in numerous ways but instead they decided to declaim the obvious – how unbelievably stupid. Are you looking for a conga line of suckholes? If so, I think you’ve found it.

  39. burt 39

    Union density seems to be falling everywhere really except for Finland and Sweden.

    See page 45 (8 of 12).
    ( Union Memberships )

    So we can’t replicate the Irish model because… Oh I know – they have tax cuts and they are racing along. Aussie model, no tax cuts and growing well, Oh I know, lets pick a model thats working under completely different economic conditions that we cannot replicate.

  40. Nih 40

    We can’t emulate Ireland because most of our population is stupid. If we’d had 300 years of bar-room Darwinian evolution we’d all be ruthlessly intelligent as well.

    Also, the captcha has just had me transcribe a medical term for “penis”. Dirty, dirty captcha.

  41. Seamonkey Madness 41

    “There’s a vast pay gap between skilled white-collar jobs and factory floor employees.”

    There’s are a word in that sentence that is the entire reason behind it.

    Skilled.

    (Okay, maybe I’m being a tad pernicious. ‘Factory floor employees’ have to have certain training and skills to operate specialist machinery – and more power to them. But the ‘white collar jobs’ have to (more often than not) obtain a tertiary (i.e. NOT Whitirea) qualification in order to get into that job.)

    It’s not me, it’s the reality out there.

    Also Nih, can I question your choice of language in that sentence? Why white collar ‘job’ and factory floor ’employee’? Why not apply worker, job, employee, position or staff to both?
    I am honestly interested to know.

  42. Nih 42

    Do you even have a serious question?

    Some people troll. Others try to be cunning about it but fall into the trap that they’re asking a serious question AND trolling.

    This is self-deception. You’re not coming across as half as smart as you think you are.

  43. Seamonkey Madness 43

    Nih,

    It was an honest-to-god question.

    I am trying to be a serious commenter. I put, what I consider to be, an honest question across and all I get back is abuse (albeit, without coarse language – I can at least thank you for that!). 😛

  44. Nih 44

    Are you seriously questioning the interchangeability of language? I try my ass off not to use the same words more than once and I get questioned for it? Don’t be so boring! I don’t think I’ve ever lept down D4J’s throat for his atrocious grasp of english. Sort of sets a standard for you to aim for, don’t you think?

    As for your other question, my comment was in response to burt alluding that the brain-drain was an indication that the study was incorrect. I was pointing out that the study and the brain drain target different areas of employment. Your question did expand on my point though.

  45. Matt/rOb

    In the Australian context, or more particularly the NSW context, the specific barriers to labour market participation faced by the not-engaged cohort are not strictly wage related, they’re access to childcare, lack of skills, changes to industry (skill redundancy) and tax disincentives (the family tax credit drops out too low).

    There’s been lots of recent work in NSW on strategies for improving participation for different groups – most recently by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal – a link to the report, which focused on improving the quantity and quality of skilled labour is here – http://www.ipart.nsw.gov.au/investigation_content.asp?industry=5&sector=current&inquiry=94&doctype=7&doccategory=1&docgroup=1

    Also, the Tribunal commissioned a useful piece of work that examined the mismatch between the supply of skills and demand/utilisation – this is here http://www.ipart.nsw.gov.au/files/NCVER Final Report – Matching skills and development opportunities in NSW – 31 July 2006 – Website Document.PDF

    Always happy to talk through these issues – no single intervention will address the problem of course which is why the Nat’s tax mantra is so frustrating.

  46. The second link may not work – access to the report is available via the first link (go to consultants reports).

  47. r0b 47

    Thanks mardypants…

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    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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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? ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

  • 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
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    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
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