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Backwards to the future?

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, October 20th, 2012 - 50 comments
Categories: australian politics, capitalism, child welfare, david shearer, employment, feminism, greens, jobs, labour, mana, nz first, poverty, welfare, workers' rights - Tags:

In 1840 NZ workers won the right to an 8 hour working day.

Yet this Labour Weekend kicks off with news that Kiwis (on average) work longer hours (above 50 hours per week) than the OEDC average.  Times have certainly changed since 1840. Not only are there some old and new struggles for working men AND women, but all low income people, especially beneficiaries, are under attack from our current government. At a time when jobs are scarce, there is increasing pressure to be employed.

It is a positive move that Labour, the Greens and NZ First are uniting in an inquiry into the crisis in manufacturing, which includes looking to increase the numbers of jobs (now includes Mana). But David Shearer’s focus on the nobility of paid work implicitly undermines those unable to get work, for whatever reason.

As well as the focus on the crisis in jobs, there is a need to pay equal attention to the way responsibility for welfare and community well-being is being shifted from the state to the voluntary sector. This can be seen with Campbell Live’s well -intentioned focus on food for children in schools. His programme last Thursday, on a community initiative to provide free lunches to a Northland school, was moving. The efforts of the volunteers in the local community are inspiring.

However, the downside of this is that such unpaid wirk becomes the norm, and primary target for action. It is no coincidence that, on the Campbell Live report, while some of the volunteers in the kitchen were men, this unpaid wirk was done mostly by women – and one was a young woman who said she’s currently unemployed.  She felt it was a good use of her time to contribute something to the community. Ultimately this wirk benefits the community, the country and the economy. As well as campaining for more jobs and policies to improve the economy, Labour and the Greens, need to take the lead from Mana that is campaigning strongly around the range of policies that impact on all low income people.  The way we are headed, more of the necessary wirk that benefits society will be done for little or no payment, and largely by (increasingly unemployed?) women.

At the same time, it is interesting to note the aftermath of Julia Giallard’s widely reported speech on misogyny, Al Jazeera did a report on the debate generated in Australia, while also noting that Australia is at the lowly position of 23rd on the World Economic Forum’s 2011 Global Gender Gap rankings.

Actually the WEF report says 23rd is a relatively high ranking. NZ does better retaining its position at 6th. The rankings are derived from calculations using separate rankings for the gender gaps in Economic Participation and Opportunity (NZ is 11th); Educational attainment (NZ 1st equal with many countries); Political empowerment (NZ 8th; Aussie 38th); and Health and Survival (a real shocker, NZ is 92nd).

NZ has done well to decrease the gender gap in political empowerment in recent years. Currently there seems to be a bit of a backlash against this. The NAct government is dominated by men in the most powerful positions, while it has brought in many policies that  are bad for large numbers of women.  The opposition parties also seem to be currently seem to have predominantly men in the most powerful roles.

Labour Day celebrates, what was at the time, a cutting edge victory for working people.  But the struggles continue for men and women. We need to learn from the past, not repeat the worst parts of it.

[Updates]: Correction-  it was the right to an 8 hour working day that was won in 1840, not a 40 hour working week. H/T Tom Barker

Added link to explanation about the image.

50 comments on “Backwards to the future?”

  1. just saying 1

    Go Karol!
    Again.

    Shearer was betraying a particularly insidious belief that the relative rewards and punnishments, and one’s place on the socioeconomic ladder NZ is based on choice in a largely meritocratic NZ. (Apparently, any existing inequity of opportunity can be made up by a revamped education system). Papatoetoe boy likes to think very highly of his own abilities. Unfortunately, this sort of just-nation belief goes hand in glove with blaming the most misfortunate for their plights, writing them off as hopeless, and dividing them up into those that deserve some charity, and those that require “tough love” a la neoliberal dogma.

    Actually, I suspect that it is partly a smug over-confidence, rather than any lack thereof, that hinders Shearer’s ability to learn from his mistakes, and improve his performance. Shearer is oblivious to his obvious inadequacies, pleasant bloke, though he may well be.

  2. Dr Terry 2

    While I thoroughly agree with ridding the country of gender gaps, I have to wonder how many women would WANT to be involved with the degraded politics of today? I would hope (as with the males) that the calibre of person in a government might, in general, improve. When I look at the National Party women (and males) I have to confess that I shudder as I consider the likes of Bennett, Collins, Tulley, Wilkinson, Adams, and last but FAR from least, Parata.

    To balance this perspective, I much admire the quality of women represented in the Greens and Labour Parties.

  3. Tom Barker 3

    Labour Day does NOT celebrate the achievement of a 40-hour week. It celebrates winning the eight-hour working day, a very different matter. Workers were still paid only for the eight hours they actually worked – all meals and other breaks were in their own unpaid time, and working half a day on Saturday at standard pay rates remained routine well into the 20th century in this country.

    So – an eight-hour day equated, for almost all workers, to a 50-60 hour working week.

    Winning, and then maintaining, decent, fair and safe working conditions is an unfinished project, here and worldwide.

    • karol 3.1

      It celebrates winning the eight-hour working day, a very different matter.
       
      Thanks, Tom.  That was my 21st century distortion.  I’ve corrected the error.
       
      And agree that workers’ rights are an unfinished project.

  4. Rosie 4

    Hi Karol. No, we don’t have much to celebrate in NZ on Labour Day do we?
    In the first part of your article you referred to the stuff.co.nz peice which included OECD stats for NZ working hours compared with other nations. It was interesting to read this as I wrote an essay in ’08 on the topic of work life balance in NZ and the risk of long work hours as well as other contributing factors ( work conditions/context/content and stress levels) on personal and social well being. We are definitely much worse off here (in regards to wages, hours worked and risk factors) than in comparable nations. I’m not sure if it’s changed now but back then in NZ we defined “long work hours” from 50 hours per week upwards and research undertaken in NZ will use that figure as a point of reference where is in other nations “long work hours” started at 48 hours per week. From memory I discussed male Vs. female hours worked and pay scales as part of it. Can’t recall those exact figures right now but could dig them out if anyone was interested.

    One thing that I clearly recall is the high risk groups: Carers, hospitality and service workers. As a side middle management workers are also high risk as they have responsibilities in two directions, where as, according to the reference texts I used upper management has high autonomy and less responsibility so less stressors. And don’t we see this every day? Not so much accountability at the top.

    So spare a thought for all those workers who have to go into their job on Labour day, to serve us. They miss a day with their friends and family and only get 3 and half days with them per year. Personally I’d love to see our retail and hospo industry hours dropped. Our excessive consumerism affects the lives of others. But being open all hours is the norm in NZ now and it would be almost impossible to return to the days when shops were shut on Sunday and public holidays. Thats when I started my work life, in 1989. We used to get time and a half on friday nights, meal allowances for overtime and double time on Saturday a.m’s. Then it suddenly changed with the introduction of the ERA…………so here we are now. Working on a day that should be celebrated.

    • Rosie 4.1

      Oops. Duh!It wasn’t the ERA in 1990. It was of course the Employment Contracts Act, replaced in 2000 with the Employment Relations Act. Which only partially restored some rights but not all, and couldn’t undo all the damage.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        They could have made general strikes legal again in exceptional circumstances. They could have made workplaces compulsarily unionised if the majority of workers voted for it.

        But the 5th Labour Govt had to accomodate owners of capital.

        Personally I’d love to see our retail and hospo industry hours dropped.

        New Zealand workers work 135 hours more a year on average, than workers in the UK. That’s an extra 4.5 weeks work per year. If those average working hours were spread around there would be more workers employed, and workers would have more time with families.

        http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DatasetCode=ANHRS

        • Rosie 4.1.1.1

          Noted. They could have also got rid of that nonsense clause under section 20 that exempts work sites from allowing access to Union Reps, on the grounds of the business owner’s religious leanings. Pretty sure employers like Sanitarium would take advantage of this exemption.

  5. Fisiani 5

    More hysteria from the Left.
    Remember the Wall of Shame that would list the hordes of evil capitalists who would sack workers on day 89 of the 90 day chance to prove yourself law.
    Where is this Wall? It does not exist! It does not exist in reality or in theory.
    Remember the hysteria before every one of the badly needed reforms have been rolled out over the last 4 years. The sky has not fallen in as predicted. The deficit has been cut in half from approx 18 billion to 9 billion. The stimulus package and fiscal restraint of recent years to take the sharp edges off the recession and protect people has been openly acknowledged as the best in the world http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/top-obama-economic-adviser-says-nz-only-country-getting-it-right-bd-130942
    The current hysteria on improving workplace access to teenagers and beneficiaries and improving the lives of beneficiaries by promoting employment growth in the mining, fishing, farming and forestry sectors is equally ridiculous. Working is good for your health. Being on a benefit for some time carries the same health risks as being a 20 day smoker!
    Inflation is down to 0.8% Wage rises are thus outstripping inflation.
    Labour day is a day to celebrate the 8 hour day and a fitting time to acknowledge the fact that a John Key National led government has saved New Zealand from the 2008 inherited destiny of unending deficits and is leading us to the Brighter Future that record numbers voted for in 2011.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      The deficit has been cut in half from approx 18 billion to 9 billion.

      The deficit that wasn’t there before this government were elected and didn’t need to be there afterwards either.

      The stimulus package and fiscal restraint of recent years to take the sharp edges off the recession

      There was no stimulus package from this government (tax cuts for the rich aren’t stimulatory). Plenty of austerity though as wages for the many decline.

      Wage rises are thus outstripping inflation.

      Median wage down by 3% in real terms.

      a John Key National led government has saved New Zealand from the 2008 inherited destiny of unending deficits and is leading us to the Brighter Future that record numbers voted for in 2011.

      More lies and delusion from a RWNJ. As the 1970s and the last few years have proven – the unending deficits come from National led governments.

      • Fisiani 5.1.1

        You cannot rewrite history. The current account was technically in the black on election day but you have ignored the fact that on taking office the cupboard was not bare but instead contained a huge pile of unopened and undeclared debts. It’s a bit like a captain of a ship having deliberately steered the ship to the rocks who then gets kicked off the ship by all the passengers and then complaining that when ejected from the ship 100metres from the shore it was still at sea. You are trying to blame the rescuers for the crash!

        • PlanetOrphan 5.1.1.1

          That’s a completely fabricated delusion Fisiani.
          Ask CV for the link, we’ve been running in the red forever, still are, and will continue.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2

          National aren’t “rescuers”, they’re plunderers! More of our national wealth for the rich!

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.3

          You cannot rewrite history.

          I’m not, You are. It’s this government that a) cut taxes and b) went on a spending spree (SFC, RoNS) while cutting essential services. What a Labour led government would have done is pure speculation but a)we already knew that the last Labour government was going to make changes to the budget and b) history going back to 1935 would tend to indicate that they would have run a more balanced budget than any National led government.

          You are trying to blame the rescuers for the crash!

          In this case, the rescuers are worse than the situation that pertained before hand.

    • Colonial Viper 5.3

      Inflation is down to 0.8%

      that’s a quarterly figure, dickhead

      Wage rises are thus outstripping inflation.

      And wage rises for the top 1% are out stripping inflation 10 to 1.

      • Fisiani 5.3.1

        You might want to have a chat with the EPMU who agree with me.

        [lprent: fixed missing ‘h’ in the link. ]

    • Tiger Mountain 5.4

      Fizz is just “spinning, spinning, spinning in his magic land”…

    • The Bigoted approach you take to commenting is disgusting Fisiani.

      There is no such thing as “Left” or “Right”.
      There is Civilised and Bigoted.

      Stop putting words in peoples mouths,
      There is only one “hysterical” commentor on this thread “Fisiani”.

      • Fisiani 5.5.1

        I agree. All of the National Party could comfortably fit within the Democrats in the USA.
        So there is just the Left and the Centre in NZ
        We actually dont have the equivalent of the Republicans in NZ or God forbid the Tea Party in any significant numbers
        Actually my comments above are paraphrasing those of Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize Winner who visited NZ and made this keen observation.

        • Fisiani 5.5.1.1

          big·ot   /ˈbɪgət/ Show Spelled[big-uht]
          noun
          a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

          Note my words “I agree” Stop being childish.

          • PlanetOrphan 5.5.1.1.1

            Forcing anyone into another grouping (i.e Left , Right, Center)for the sake of ridicule is bigotry and insulting.

            It’s your emotions that are getting away on ya Bud 🙂

        • PlanetOrphan 5.5.1.2

          Well,

          I’d counter that “Good Civilised” has an outlook that could be Left,Center or right as required.

          A qualified government would simply tell us the real numbers and it would be an obvious thing.

          Of course “Good Civilised” means we understand that everyone will wake up tomorrow and everyone should have a dry bed and a good breakfast to look forward too.

          How we achieve that is up to us , not Law,Legislation,Right Wing dictatorship or even Left Wing dictatorship.

          Our civilisation is the “Parent” of Society, are we gonna send our kids to a park bench starving?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.5.1.3

          Actually my comments above are paraphrasing those of Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize Winner who visited NZ and made this keen observation.

          Which just goes to show that getting award doesn’t make someone right. National would quite happily work with both US political parties (I’m using the presidential candidates as proxies) both of which are hard right and authoritarian.

  6. ak 6

    None of my bloggy business, but how about a ban for blatant and persistent liars? Three strikes and they’re out? Otherwise I fear they’re just using this forum as training for future right-wing prime ministers.

    [lprent: We tend not do do that because “liars” often actually believe what they say and can often point to material supporting it. Of course often it is misinterpreted or distorted – but exposing that is what online forums can do best.

    However the pattern of behaviour of making assertions of fact without attempting to argue for and/or support their assertion tends to draw a swift response from moderators. That is trolling and not discussion. Similarly wallpapering an opinion in posts out of context also draws strong responses. This tends to keep the mindless trolls and dumb flamewars at bay…

    But societies do need their dissidents from accepted interpretations to be able to air their views in public. A lightly moderated forum with limits on trolling like this in front of a skeptical audience is a damn good place to do it. The reason that the skeptical audience is here is because they like debate. And to have that you must first have something to dissect. So there are posts, and then there are people with contrary opinions…… 😈 ]

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      In Canada you can prosecute media for being deliberately misleading or for lying.

    • Fisiani 6.2

      ‘The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man’ from Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen, 1793.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        It’s especially true that the ideas and opinions of corporations and billionaires be protected and freely communicated.

    • ak 6.3

      Quite true Lynn. All God’s maggots and fisianis have their place and I must admit to a wistful retrospective admiration for hapless wee burt of the kiwiblogblog and Robinsod days…..

  7. millsy 7

    One of the reasons why we are working longer is because there is literally so much to do and so little time.

    Over the past 7 years in my work place, the technology improvements have made doing tasks a lot simpler and faster however more tasks have ended up needing to be done.

    • karol 7.1

      Ironic, millsy.  Of course, if the income was more fairly distributed, more people could be employed, each working a reasonable amount (not too much) and getting a living wage.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Nice idea. Which political party has the guts to deliver.

        For starters, 1.5x pay applies after 35 hours worked in a week. Increasing annual leave entitlements to 5 weeks per year.

        All the while ensuring far more money is spent into the NZ economy and not exported outside it.

        • infused 7.1.1.1

          Yeah fuck that. It’s hard enough paying for it as it is. Employees have it so good it’s not funny.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            infused – billions in capital gets exported out of NZ every year as dividends to foreign shareholders.

            If only a fraction more went into the local service economy through spending and wages, our country would lift to a different level.

            Employees have it so good it’s not funny.

            If you said CEOs, I’d agree. Everybody else seems to get much smaller pay rises though.

            • infused 7.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s not pay I’m talking about. It’s in a general sense.

              Remember, most businesses in NZ are small businesses. The CEO deal is very far in between. Most CEOs I deal with are within the 100-120k mark. Hardly extraordinary. Most of them work very long hours too.

              4 weeks annual leave is already a huge burden. I support ‘mondaynising’ holidays over doing something like that. The problem with annual leave for small companies is when the employee leaves suddenly with a huge amount of leave owing.

              Yes you can save for it, but you need to save for everything else too. Terminal, Provision, ACC, GST etc.

              It’s never ending.

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh I agree. Insurances, business rates, bank, EFTPOS and credit card fees, etc. All the big organisations like to bite a financial chunk out of SMEs.

                And a simple 5%-10% lift in revenues would be like finding an oasis in the desert, to most small businesses. Taking a lot of them from being borderline to being truly profitable.

                • infused

                  Actually, it’s mostly govt taxes that bite. Have one good year then a bad year then hold on to your ass and enjoy the ride.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You’re a business person who is more worried about costs and taxes than about growth, innovation and revenue.

                    You’re not the only one by far, and I don’t blame you for it.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    That provisional taxes which, IMO, need to be dropped and replaced with real time PAYE for businesses. The old provisional taxes are a throwback to a time that was before cheap, effective computing and networking.

              • Jim Nald

                “Employees have it so good it’s not funny.”

                Yeah, we know that is what a certain someone thinks on his Planet.

                • infused

                  Yeah, my planet eh.

                  • Jim Nald

                    Since that is the case, do write to John Key and Bill English and encourage them to say that in their next lot of speeches.
                    That would be much welcome in some quarters, especially when coupled with something like ‘there is no crisis …’ eh

              • Bill

                So use genuinely collective/co-operative business structures that dispense with the vertical division of labour instead of orthodox authoritarian ones. Y’know? No employer/employee relationships/ divisons. And those ‘problems’ basically vanish.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  +1

                  It’s amazing that the business types just don’t seem to grok that. Of course, most of them are of the authoritarian bent so they probably can’t as they really do think that a single person, preferably them, be in charge.

    • muzza 7.2

      One of the reasons why we are working longer is because there is literally so much to do and so little time.

      I expect its mostly because there are less people in work carrying more load, and that combined with job loss fear, wanting to put in additional “face time” means we are a nation of overworked underpaid fools!

      Over the past 7 years in my work place, the technology improvements have made doing tasks a lot simpler and faster however more tasks have ended up needing to be done.

      When you say simpler, does that also involve using your brain less? By that I mean that in many cases the technology has removed the latitude for creativity, and when standards, frameworks, best practice and all that sort of the buzz wordy crap, dumbs entire industries down to a notch above base level.
      This when the tech at the same time, speeds up the expectations that human beings can in fact multitask, and operate at the speed of a cpu!

  8. xtasy 8

    “It is a positive move that Labour, the Greens and NZ First are uniting in an inquiry into the crisis in manufacturing, which includes looking to increase the numbers of jobs (now includes Mana). But David Shearer’s focus on the nobility of paid work implicitly undermines those unable o get work, for whatever reason.”

    I do not get David Shearer, to be honest, we may as well hand over opposition leadership to Norman or even Peters, who do the REAL opposition in the House. I have done some work in the background, and I hope it will soon pay off. This government is criminal and shit bad, are Kiwis really so dumb to put up with this. I am sorry, but I learned the hard way somewhere else. There is always time to “wake up” and take action.

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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
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    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
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    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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    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
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days 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
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    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
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
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    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks 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
    2 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
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  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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