Beefing up the border – expensive and essential

Written By: - Date published: 11:31 am, December 21st, 2020 - 30 comments
Categories: covid-19, Economy - Tags: ,

From a few days ago (it seems like an eternity), RNZ reported “Govt to pump almost $3 billion into its Covid-19 response after report identified failings“. There are several points I’d make about the border controls and generally with our border and the long slow process that we and the world will have over the next few years constraining this pandemic.

They’re expensive. This extra funding consists of about $3 billion over several years.

The funding announced today will pay for a series of Covid-19-related health activities to June 2022.

It’s committing about $1.1 billion until June 2022 to bolster testing and contact tracing – and roughly $1.7 billion for the managed isolation regime.

RNZ: “Govt to pump almost $3 billion into its Covid-19 response after report identified failings

That isn’t to expand the MIQ quarantine facilities. It is simply to reduce the risk of leakages through the staff. Expanding the number of places, staffing them, and maintaining close control over all parts of the operations is way way more expensive than doing with this closing of loopholes does.

The reasons for the loopholes were the classic issues that every organisation faces. Despite the best effort of all concerned, the classic SNAFU (Situation Normal, All Fucked Up) is the normal. I’ve seen it in every workplace I have ever been in. Some critical pieces of every enterprise fall through the cracks because they aren’t the direct responsibility of any particular organisation or sub unit or even individual. Everyone thinks that it is being handled elsewhere and/or that it especially doesn’t apply to them.

Senior advisers Heather Simpson and Sir Brian Roche were urgently commissioned in August to review the regime after revelations many border staff were not being tested for Covid-19.

The report found problems with communication, accountability, and clarity in the testing framework.

It also found that despite clear expectation of ministers there would be structured testing of border facing workers, and regular advice stating that such testing was occurring, in reality little testing was happening at the time.

“There appears to have been a reluctance on the part of some agencies to contemplate mandatory testing regimes, there was a general lack of forward planning with respect to testing, there was a reluctance to work with employers about how testing could best be implemented at particular sites,” the report said.

Read the full report

Read recommendations and progress

The report noted there was also a lack of clarity about who was in charge of implementing and monitoring the testing regimes.

In a letter to the minister by the committee co-chairs it said that the current model is improving, but it’s is not fit for purpose over a longer time period.

“We don’t have a status quo model which is well understood and could serve effectively for the next 24 to 36 months,” it said.

RNZ: “Govt to pump almost $3 billion into its Covid-19 response after report identified failings

In this case, it was accentuated because there was (and still is) the stupid idea that ‘this will all be over soon‘. Yeah right… Clearly the people in our population need more education about the historical process and progress of pandemics and epidemics. Perhaps the journalists could do some actual research and stop writing some of the complete crap that I keep reading from their opinions? This is going to take years to deal with. If we’re lucky…

This correctional cost pales in comparison with the costs of a lock down. Not having a lock down improves our productivity a lot. At present I’m looking at zoom colleagues working in the UK winter struggling to hit project deadlines under lock downs. Those contacts bring back the sense of total frustration that I was getting in the first and even the second lock down trying to get gear and support for the things that I’m useless at.

You’d think that a computer programmer like myself would be insulated from a lot of the issues. I’m used to working remotely with other people, have the gear already at home, have big bandwidth, and generally I’m as anti-social as possible when I’m working.

But I program a lot with bespoke hardware. I’m also all thumbs when it comes to doing basics like soldering 1-2mm wires together. I rely on those strange people who like hardware to do that kind of work because they can do without a very large bobble of solder. Plus first of course I had to get a the solder, soldering iron, magnifier for my ageing eyes, and to argue with my partner about using the kitchen bench to do it. Just getting around that problem caused me weeks of project delay during the first lock down.

Those kinds of screw up magnify out throughout our export economy. Along with the specialised batteries that I needed to code the gas gauge for for couldn’t be shipped to here. And there were a lot of other frustrating productivity sapping lock down issues.

But with the exception of the tourism, student and immigration sectors – it has been notable for how little damage the underlying economy has suffered.

As Liam Dann opined (probably paywalled) at the Herald…

The last full working week of year delivered a flurry of upbeat economic news.

If you woke up from a year-long coma on Monday and only read the business pages (which seems reasonable to me) you’d be forgiven for thinking the economy was in great shape.

It started on Tuesday, with the Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence survey showing a strong upward surge.

We are feeling more optimistic about the state of the economy over the next few years, it found.

New Zealanders were also feeling more secure about their personal financial position.

Remarkably, business confidence is even stronger and is now at its highest level since 2017.

On Tuesday we got a double whammy.

The country’s current account – the net balance of trade and investment capital flows – is in it’s best shape since 2001.

Later that day, the Half Year Economic Update from Treasury showed a positive revision to all the economic forecasts and news that we’ll be borrowing $20 billion less than we planned over the next four years.

Of course, at that point, some of the numbers ought to be looking a bit odd to our post-comatose reader.

On Thursday we got the big one. Third-quarter GDP figures, record quarterly growth – a staggering 14 cent surge in economic activity.

NZ Herald: “Covid 19 coronavirus: Liam Dann – Content or complacent? New Zealand’s happiness dilemma”

Basically the economy took a hit. Much of which is still to come – especially inside the domestic economy of NZ. Anyone who has been hanging on desperately hoping and relying on a travel bubble to save their flight dependent business is probably clean out of options.

Six days ago, there was a lot of hype on the order of :-

Trans-Tasman bubble to help reunify families, business – Melbourne University epidemiologist
Trans-Tasman bubble finally set to go ahead“.

My immediate thought on reading and listening to it was that it was premature. Not only was it only an agreement in principle with a lot of the detail still to be dealt with. It was also far too susceptible to lock down and tracing issues. I follow the material about the pandemic, and I don’t think that we have a handle on covid-19. We probably won’t until late in 2021.

To put it bluntly it is still too damn dangerous to open up to Australia or the islands. The probability of getting an outbreak and spreading it is just far too high. It will be until we get well over 60% vaccinations and at least our current level of outbreak control.

Personally I’m not willing to accept the risk that others could put me back trying to solder my own wires and drop my personal productivity by half just so that that other can have a quarantine free holiday or to see family.

As importantly there were really high risk values for all concerned. What if I wind up transmitting the disease from the Auckland entry point to my 81yo father in Rotorua? What happens to the aussie tourist who arrives in Queenstown and who can’t fly back after an outbreak happens on the ski fields there?

I was talking to one of my work colleagues the other day who hadn’t seen his kids for a year. They were living with their mother in Australia. I have a lot of sympathy. But definitely not enough to put myself or my family and friends at risk for him.

As for the selfish gits who just want a beach to lie on…. Please – can we de-citizen them? They really need to go to the home of selfish, self-entitled, and ignorant. They will be given a great maskless welcome.

It’s looking increasingly likely that the much discussed trans-Tasman bubble is finally on the way.

Cabinet have agreed in principle to quarantine-free travel in the first quarter of 2021.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said officials were working on contingency plans in the event of an outbreak.

The decision is dependent on Australia’s agreement and no major change in circumstances in either country.

RNZ: “Trans-Tasman bubble to help reunify families, business – Melbourne University epidemiologist

In recent days, we’ve had an rapidly expanding outbreak in Sydney that has caused virtually every other Australian state to put in travel restrictions. I suspect that doesn’t fit the criteria of “no major change”. Personally, I suspect that there are enough dickheads in Aussie to keep expanding periodic outbreaks right up until they get a jab in the arm. And they will be whinging about needing to get that.

While the expanding variant in the UK doesn’t really worry me for pretty much the reasons outlined in Robert Hicks post at SciBlogs “The virus that stole Christmas“. It doesn’t look like it is any more pathogenic than the another five major variants. It just looks like it spreads faster when people ignore public health advice.

So keep using the covid-19 tracing application – now updated with optional and supplemental bluetooth peer tracking. Keep planning on dealing with the next outbreak here.

30 comments on “Beefing up the border – expensive and essential ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    But with the exception of the tourism, student and immigration sectors – it has been notable for how little damage the underlying economy has suffered.

    One point worth making is that if this had hit a decade earlier the economic impact would have been much worse; consider how much business activity has been kept going because people have been able to work remotely from home.

    • lprent 1.1

      Sure. The capability has been there for a while. In the late 90s and early 00s, I was running a team of development programmers and interfacing (aka interfering) with support staff and our offshore customers from home. I used to go to work once a month. I did that for about 8 years until I started interfacing more with hardware.

      We were building systems using instant messaging, vpn to version control systems, email, and web systems. Essentially the same set of solutions.

      The real difference now is that the courier physical delivery systems are much better and most services are web accessible. Like package tracking. Also managers are a lot better at dealing with employees who aren't physically present.

      • froggleblocks 1.1.1

        The actual real difference now is the fibre broadband rollout with unlimited / very high data caps for practically everyone who wants it.

        One thing the last National government managed to get right, although entirely by accident because the main benefit they touted for it was "you can watch television over fibre internet" rather than "if there's an epidemic, people will be able to work from home".

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          It makes it easier (ie less technical) and less expansive. But I was doing the same things in the 90s on copper ISDN dialup, and then ADSL.

          Hell, I was streaming video well before I got fibre in 2012 when it finally arrived at my apartment in central Auckland.

          The fibre just makes the volumes of data in video streams for things like Zoom easier. That makes it easier for people who aren't that focused on text (ie not programmers was my immediate translation of that statement 🙂 ).

          • froggleblocks 1.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, so 95% of people trying to work from home during lockdown then.

            That's why the actual change between now and 10 years ago that means huge numbers of people working from home during lockdown was feasible now whereas it would have been a disaster 10 years ago, is the broadband infrastructure, principally fibre.

        • Incognito 1.1.1.2

          You can watch TV over ADSL, you can have Zoom meetings over ADSL, and there is plenty of ADSL packages/plan that are uncapped. My Upload max. is ca. 1 Mbps and Download max. ca. 14 Mbps. That said, connectivity can be crap at times, particularly in School Holidays.

          • froggleblocks 1.1.1.2.1

            That said, connectivity can be crap at times, particularly in School Holidays.

            And just imagine how much worse it would have been 10 years ago if we had a pandemic and everyone was trying to work from home.

            Or during level 4 lockdown this year if we didn't have the fibre rollout.

            • Incognito 1.1.1.2.1.1

              In my neck of the woods fibre is being rolled out as we speak although not yet to my street 🙁

              So, it is today what it was like 10 years ago except for all the gamers and YouTube addicts, i.e. basically any human being over the age of 7.

              Anyway, working from home doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be on-line 100% of the time even though you might be on a device nearly 100% of the time.

              Zoom meetings quickly became as useful as face-to-face meetings, many were recorded anyway for later viewing, and audio-only is usually sufficient and less distractive. Enough said.

  2. Twas only 10 years ago when IT upgrades proceeded via projects and big overnight outages.. kind of fun to be a part of.. now it's all continuous delivery, incremental releases, cloud stuff. And 20 years ago offices were full of reams of A4 paper

    • lprent 2.1

      I'm always surprised when I use paper these days. Quite convenient for checking off large checklists or when I have immense tables of line definitions.

      I had the shock the other day of trying to find a stamp, envelope, and a post box. All were missing. The latter I had to look up on my phone after the last location I used to use had disappeared.

  3. Treetop 3

    Managing Covid has come a long way. Just what the end point managing Covid will be and for how long is unknown.

    • lprent 3.1

      Just what the end point managing Covid will be and for how long is unknown.

      That is the key point. Just spreading vaccines worldwide, let alone learning their effectiveness, will take years. There are a lot of potential cusp points in there as well. It looks like the UK just found one. The rate of transmission appears to have increased within the bounds of their existing reduce transmission model – and invalidated that model.

      By the time everything settles out, the business models will have adapted and the social expectation of people themselves will have changed into a new normal. It isn't likely that behaviour is going to miraculously revert fully back to where it was in December 2019.

  4. Incognito 4

    I assume and hope that some of the funding will go towards looking after personnel looking after MIQ facilities.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300184874/covid19-hundreds-of-military-staff-need-psychological-checks-after-miq-incidents

    Government would be well advised to beef up INZ too because they don’t seem to be coping well with workload ‘re-prioritisations’ as I can attest through experiences at work as well.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/12/life-in-limbo-couple-in-nz-stressed-frustrated-as-wait-for-work-visa-passes-4-month-mark.html

    • lprent 4.1

      It sounds like INZ are just way way behind at present and were for the last couple of years.

      • Craig H 4.1.1

        Ignore residence delays, they were caused by the NZ residence programme (number of resident visas the government wants granted in a 2 year period) being much lower the number of residence applications actually made and there being no legal ability (until recently) for INZ to stop accepting applications. Since most residence categories are uncapped (partners of NZ residents, for example – an example of a capped category is the refugee quota), the only way for Immigration NZ to manage the number of resident visas actually being granted is to set the number of immigration officers assessing residence applications at a level which avoids granting more than the NZ residence programme target. Not surprisingly, when applications received are much higher than allowed visas, the queue gets rather long.

        Other visas have been more variable depending on season, pandemic issues (most of the overseas branches have been closed since March) and a large increase in fraud – apparently, the more INZ look, the more they find.

        • lprent 4.1.1.1

          Good points.

          I suspect that part of the problem from my perspective is that the time taken on the residence and citizenship applications is excessive. Personally I'd just cap most of the categories and draw some of them from a hat of successful candidates to fill a quota.

          Make providing false information to the INZ a simple criminal offence for anyone doing it (including immigration 'consultants') and grounds for immediate deportation for the persons making the application. Make it so there is immediate mandatory rejection on insufficient supporting documentation (they can put in another application). Of course this would require that the INZ specifies the required supporting documentation a bit more clearly than they do now.

          That should reduce a lot of the fiddling especially after jailing and fining a few immigration consultants.

          But the time taken after receipt of application before it is accepted or rejected needs to be capped at something like 3-4 weeks and essentially based only on the documentation in front of officer. Reject applications with suspicious information immediately and refer to a separate enforcement unit to check to see if charges need to be laid before a court – and fund that unit well.

          I've run across people who have skills that we want and need who have literally taken a years and thousands of dollars in fees to have an application lie on the INZ desks. That is a complete waste of time and effort. Win or lose they'd prefer to have certainty rather than sitting with a finger up their arse.

          I also think that they should get rid of the bloody stupid points system. Who cares if they have a degree? What they should be interested in is if they have a real skill. We need bugger all nuclear physicists. But we're continually short of crane drivers and other skilled construction workers.

          BTW: I have several completed degrees BSc in earth sciences, MBA on operations management – none of which I directly use in my current profession of ancient geek programmer. I entirely rely on other people with skills to solder the damn wires on bespoke cables, or to delicately place a large steel beam from a great height into an apartment building site. Don't need them to have degrees – and we're really short of those skills (and mine).

          • Incognito 4.1.1.1.1

            Agreed.

            Incomplete applications should simply not be accepted into/by the system. Of course, this needs to be accompanied by INZ information and assistance that makes it as clear and simple as possible. However, not every overseas applicant has the same resources to fill in and complete their application.

            I guess that checks on the accuracy and veracity of provided information take time as well as other ‘background’ checks as/when required.

            In my view, INZ is inefficient and poorly resourced and it is costing us time & money further down the pipeline. In some ways, it is a perverse system but then again, many central and local government as well as institutional systems are.

            • Craig H 4.1.1.1.1.1

              See my answer to LPrent about the acceptance of incomplete applications, and forms and guides are about as accessible as it's possible for them to be given the complexity of the subject matter. It's definitely the case that verification of documents, especially overseas in countries with poor systems, can take a long time. INZ has no control over how well-funded another country's public service is, or isn't.

              INZ isn't poorly resourced for verification, compliance and investigative work, it's just that the more they look, the more they find, which creates more work, and a lot of the work has to be through overseas channels which is often slow (as above).

              • Incognito

                Crikey, that’s a shed load of information!

                From the client side, INZ is unacceptably slow causing employment contracts, et cetera, to be delayed and on hold for far too long. When they have things on file, they shouldn’t have to take as long as they do. So, if they’re not under-resourced then they should review their deadlines as targets, e.g. process the ‘straightforward’ cases with priority and expediency. This is fairly essential service/infrastructure.

                • Craig H

                  There's not really any such thing as straightforward, or at least, not in anything to do with employers. Employers have to be compliant with employment and immigration law and financially sustainable, all of which are potential speedbumps, and for the main work visa category, also have to provide evidence of being unable to find a NZ citizen or resident (which comes with a set of rules and guidelines based on reasonable practice and attempting to avoid common issues), while the visa applicants/employees have to be of good character, health and bona fides (i.e. not going to breach conditions of a visa – this is how previous visa breaches are taken into account, as past history informs likely future actions), which can also be potential speedbumps.

                  That's without the ever increasing amount and sophistication of immigration fraud, which while it's not rife, is a lot more prevalent than it once was. Fake jobs, payment for jobs and job inflation (making jobs appear more skilled than they actually are to qualify for residence) are all issues, and all target a lot more industries than in the past e.g. IT used to be a safe, low-risk industry, but it is heavily targeted now, so while some of it is still safe and low-risk, there is a lot more to check than in the past.

                  All that aside, complete, low risk work visa applications were prioritised and were mostly in and out in a week or two pre-Covid. Covid has created a lot of issues with sustainability (how sustainable is employment now?), compliance (a lot of non-compliance over lockdown that is being unravelled still) and the labour market itself has shifted a lot, so a lot of previous shortages potentially weren't shortages any more. Economic impacts are starting to become better-understood, but it's only really the last month or less that we have started to see a much better picture emerge than originally predicted.

                  Something else that is coming from INZ will the employer accreditation requirements, which should land in July – this has been signalled well in advance, but is basically employer vetting/licensing done on a regular basis so that it doesn't have to be done each time an application is received, and can be revoked and employers effectively banned from supporting work visas until they have tidied up their act. This should speed up actual work visa applications significantly since that is a major issue currently as I hope my notes above briefly explained.

          • Craig H 4.1.1.1.2

            These are good ideas although they are mostly in place already.

            Incomplete applications generally aren't accepted – the concept of what INZ refer to as lodgement requirements has been part of the system since 1991 and these are currently set out in the Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010: https://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2010/0241/latest/DLM3148101.html. (this set of regulations also includes all the various visa waiver categories)

            However, rigidly holding to lodgement requirements can cause issues, so the minister and INZ also have the ability to waive requirements for applications – a current example of that is to waive lodgement requirements to produce foreign government documents such as foreign police certificates or passports where Covid-related shutdowns/delays of the relevant foreign government department have caused delays. These still have to be produced at some point, but by accepting the application for processing and putting it in a queue, an interim visa can be generated if applicable and other documents don't go stale.

            Providing false or misleading information in immigration matters is the oldest immigration-related criminal offence and dates back to the Immigration Act 1868 (s4) i.e. 152 years ago. It is currently covered by s342 of the Immigration Act 2009. In line with normal criminal law, mens rea (intent) has to be proven and the person has to know the information was false or misleading – accidental provision of false information is rare, but it does happen e.g. a fraudulent birth certificate obtained by an applicant's parents where the applicant has had no obvious reason to question the information.

            Providing false or misleading information or concealing material information from an application is also grounds to decline the application whether deliberate or not, per s58 of the Immigration Act. This also covers the requirement to update INZ of "material changes in circumstances" e.g. breaking up with one's partner while applying for a partnership-based visa.

            The other item covered in s58 is the requirement to provide all relevant information and that INZ is not required to seek further information and can make a decision on the basis of what was provided with the application. However, this is subject to the common law requirement to observe fairness and natural justice in decision-making by the government, so in most cases an applicant will be given at least one opportunity to explain or rectify matters, especially for residence applications where the stakes are higher, so INZ is required to more strictly observe fairness and natural justice requirements.

            Deportation on the grounds of these is covered by ss156-158 – respectively, obtaining a visa under a false identity, deportation of residents for fraud etc, deportation of temporary visa holders for cause which includes these issues. Deportation liability for residents under these sections is automatic if determined to be the case either by a court or the minister or their delegated decision-makers. The minister and delegated decision-makers can suspend or cancel liability for deportation as they see fit and potential deportees can appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal to do the same. Decisions not to deport someone for these will usually be based on humanitarian grounds of some sort e.g. children here.

            The Skilled Migrant Category (the points system for residence based on employment) could definitely do with an overhaul, although the system as designed was meant to allow for skilled migrants to get residence here based on likely success factors, not the current job or industry so much since that tends to be cyclical while residence is indefinite. It's a lot more employment-focused now than when it was originally designed, it must be said, as now a job is required to get residence (it wasn't originally) or an applicant has a Masters or PhD with at least 2 years study in NZ. A big change that came in a few years ago was to allow applications from people of any occupation if their remuneration was at least 1.5 x the median wage, which gets crane operators and the like into consideration. Priority is also given to applicants in occupations with registration being required, and where the salary/wage is double the median of $25.50 i.e. $51/hr or $104,000 p.a.

  5. "

    "Johnson said on Saturday that a fast-moving new variant of the virus that is 70 per cent more transmissible than existing strains appeared to be driving the rapid spread of new infections in London and southern England in recent weeks.

    But he stressed "there's no evidence to suggest it is more lethal or causes more severe illness," or that vaccines will be less effective against it."…..i would like to see evidence that this IS actually the case……we have done very well so far AND been lucky…..lets hope we can keep our eye on the ball…..merry christmas to you all

    • Incognito 5.1

      The formatting of your comment is crap, which makes it hard to read, and there’s no link for the quoted text angry

  6. Foreign Waka 6

    In todays news

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/123773849/new-covid19-variant-hasnt-yet-been-identified-in-new-zealand-but-expert-says-likely-to-get-here

    "Epidemiologist Michael Baker said he expected someone travelling from the UK would bring the new variant to New Zealand."

    If that happens than the last year was not just a waste of time but also a waste of resources, effort and pain.

    I wonder whether we have a better program in place to prevent food and pest imports than containing a potential new infection. We allow sports people, entertainment, "important" people exemption. The virus does not differentiate and with this increased demand for more "exemptions", which effectively is an "open the boarder" cry, its just a matter of time until we have again a total lock down.

    [lprent: Selective quoting on one of my posts if a dangerous activity. The next paragraph / sentence to the quote was

    But it would only be a problem if it got through the border and started a community outbreak, Baker told RNZ on Monday.

    You comment assumes that to arrive on out shores is for it to create a outbreak. The reality that your crazed and extremely stupid fantasy appears to have overlooked is that most of the known strains of the virus that have arrived here haven’t got past the quarantine.

    I treat selective quoting and making presumptions based on them as being a form of deliberate lying. You are effectively putting words into the mouths of others. If I see you do it again, I will ban you. This is your warning. ]

    • Maurice 6.1

      Another total lock down is virtually impossible as it would have to be policed by police wandering about, quarantine personnel going to and from home and isolation facilities and medical persons treating the ill. ALL infection carrying vectors.

      Not to mention "essential" workers and trips to the supermarket. Kiwis have already become really inventive at avoiding being herded into their homes – if they have them.

      Let alone any protest at further destruction of income earning and the decreased possibility of widespread government subsistence 'payments'

    • Drowsy M. Kram 6.2

      Almost all NZers survived the effects of a one-month (level 4) lockdown (25 Mar – 26 Apr). Community spread of a (much) more infectious strain of COVID-19 in NZ might push us into level 4 restrictions again – if such a precaution is judged to be necessary then just do it.

      IMHO our Government, health professionals and others providing essential services have done spectacular work to keep us relatively safe under extremely trying circumstances – long may that continue.

      U.S. Resilience Ranking Drops (Dec. 21, 9:00 a.m. ET)
      According to Bloomberg’s COVID-19 Resilience Ranking, the U.S. dropped 19 places to 37th position. The U.S. authorized two cutting-edge mRNA vaccines this month and hundreds of thousands of doses have been rolled out, but that is yet to translate to an easing of the devastation on the ground. New Zealand remains [comfortably] in the top position, and the U.K. dropped two places to 30th.
      https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-resilience-ranking/

      We don't know how lucky we are…

    • lprent 6.3

      Please read my note and moderate your behaviour accordingly.

    • Incognito 6.4

      If that happens than the last year was not just a waste of time but also a waste of resources, effort and pain.

      How so?

    • Foreign waka 6.5

      Hi lprent

      This was not the intention as I purposely added the link at the start. I am very certain most people read the article. Europe is currently facing exactly that scenario. It is complacency that will get us once more in the same predicament. I will add though that, freedom of expression is not just the reserve of a few. But I am happy to leave the site because being banned for observing what the worst case scenario is just takes it a bit in the realms of unreasonable.

      Thank you.

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    This post was originally published on Linked In by Nicolas Reid. It is republished here with permission. Here’s the thing: the City Rail Link is almost certainly going to be overcapacity from day one, with crowding on the trains at peak times. In the simple terms of popular transport ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    9 hours ago
  • You can’t always get what you want
    Grant Robertson is leaving Parliament for two new careers, having been frustrated and blocked from achieving some of his biggest political ambitions. So, he is returning to Dunedin, and, unusually for a former finance minister, with seemingly no ambitions to enter the business world. Instead, he will become Vice Chancellor ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    11 hours ago
  • At a glance – Was Greenland really green in the past?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    20 hours ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    23 hours ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    23 hours ago
  • Then why did she do it?
    Earlier in the month, Cancer Minister Casey Costello was caught lying to the media about whether or not she had requested advice on cutting tobacco excise tax to benefit the cancer industry. She repeated her lies in Parliament. But today, she stood up and pretended to apologise for "causing confusion" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • Is Applying “Tough Love” To A “Fragile” Nation The Right Answer?
    The Question Christopher Luxon Needs To Ask –  And Answer: How was it possible for a nation of barely three million citizens to create and maintain an infrastructure that functioned, schools and universities that turned out well-educated and enterprising citizens, a health system that kept its people healthy, and a workforce ...
    1 day ago
  • The limits to realism.
    Realism is a school of thought in the field of international relations (IR). It provides a theoretical framework for analysing the behaviour of States in the world political system. Like other theories (which in the IR literature include idealism, liberalism, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • UNSOCIAL MEDIA – Following the Trolls
    From TODAY FM archives — Wilhelmina Shrimpton and Simon Morrow take a deep dive into trolling and cyberbullying. From the high profile to the general public, Kiwis across all walks of life are being targeted, and some are paying the ultimate price. So what drives us to troll, who is ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 day ago
  • Govt prescribes stiff medicine for some beneficiaries while easing access to drugs containing pseudo...
    Buzz from the Beehive One of two new announcements on the government’s official website  – given plenty of publicity by the mainstream media over the past 24 hours – has been pitched as the first steps in a “reset” of the welfare system.  Stiff medicine for beneficiaries, in effect. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 day ago
  • We’re not as fragile or as lazy as Luxon says
    Luxon says his government is one that is “prepared to make those hard decisions”. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has adopted the language of Ruth Richardson before her 1991 ‘Mother of All Budgets’ in arguing for benefit sanctions to bolster the Government finances, which ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Talking over the Silence.
    Please open the doorNothing is different, we've been here beforePacing these hallsTrying to talk over the silenceIf I was to describe what I do, or at least the way it sometimes feels, then talking over the silence wouldn’t be a bad way to do so.Not that there aren’t other voices ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: National needs to go further
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – In today’s State of the Nation speech Christopher Luxon talked repeatedly about getting young people off welfare. It seems that National has devised a traffic light system which will use increasing levels of sanctions – welfare deductions – when beneficiaries fail to meet their ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National spreading panic about the economy
    It is a political strategy as old as time. Scare the public with tales of disaster and stampede them into supporting your ideological agenda because they believe There Is No Alternative. Yet, if the NZ economy truly is as “fragile” as PM Christopher Luxon says it is… Then how come ...
    1 day ago
  • The promise of passive house design
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Sarah Wesseler Imagine a home so efficient that it could be heated with a hair dryer. That’s the promise of a passive house, a design standard that’s becoming increasingly popular in the architecture community for its benefits to occupants and the climate. ...
    1 day ago
  • Deep in the Uncanny Valley of AI
    Hi,Before we get started, some very big fun Webworm news. I am launching a new journalism fund called Big Worm Farm!A really great thing that’s happened with Webworm over the last four years is that it’s grown. That’s great for a few reasons.Firstly — it means the work here gets ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 day ago
  • Introducing: Big Worm Farm
    Hi,I’m excited to tell you about Big Worm Farm.Put simply, the main aim of Big Worm Farm is to support investigative journalists from around the world to be able to devote dedicated time to research and report on a specific story, to be published on Webworm.The stories will capture the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 day ago
  • Why Massey is broke
    The Tertiary Education Commission has named the two universities it says are at high risk financially. They are Massey and Victoria. The Commission appeared before Parliament’s Education Select Committee yesterday and offered a revealing and rare insight into the complex world of university economics. Its Briefing to the Incoming Minister ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • You keep Luxin' when you oughta be thruthin'
    Christopher Luxon’s campaign to win last year's election continued yesterday with a speech.Channelling possibly Bruce Willis in Die Hard, he was all, I'm not going to dress it up, I'm going to level with you guys: the state of the nation is fragile.The thing he’s maybe missing is that it ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • The PM spoke of the need for tough choices – and then opted to beat a retreat when gays and Gaza a...
    Buzz from the Beehive The PM’s State of the Nation speech – according to a Newshub headline – was a ‘buffet of buzzwords’ and full of ‘nonsense’. Fair to say, the quoted words were attributed to Opposition politicians, who were unlikely to say the speech was visionary and inspiring: PM ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • Keynesian Wisdom.
    When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Puffing policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. Brian Easton writes – In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Is 2.8% per year population growth too much?
    TL;DR: The Government is reviewing migration settings that produced 2.8% population growth last year and is looking at a longer-term strategy of matching population growth to the ‘absorbtive capacity’ of Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure.Our population grew last year at its fastest rate since 1947, when large numbers of troops returning from World ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Tough Choices & Tough Love.
    I've been trying to hurt youI've been holding you tightI've been learning to love youAm I doing it right?How are you still breathingWith my hands all over your heart?How do we start healingIf we can't keep out the dark?Yesterday the Prime Minister delivered his State of the Nation, for no ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Will the 2024 RLTP be yet another debacle?
    A couple of years ago, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport found themselves in court over the 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). A non-profit alliance for transport decarbonisation, All Aboard Aotearoa, argued that among other factors, the RLTP was unlawful because it failed to give effect to the 2021 Government ...
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #07
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 11, 2024 thru Sat, Feb 17, 2024. Story of the week Based on mission alignment, our Story of the Week is certainly Can we be inoculated against climate ...
    3 days ago
  • Immigration Issues.
    Help is comingI heard a whisperWhite caps turningThe breath of summerA distant drummingAnd liar birds callingEscape the anguish of our pastAnd prayOne of the major challenges of the the 21st century will be the mass migration of human beings around our globe.Some seeking economic opportunities, others fleeing repressive regimes, war ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Trust us, we know what we’re doing
    The best trick the National Party ever pulled was to fabricate their reputation as the responsible ones.This would be the National Party that denied us the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme that—Brian Gaynor wrote back in 2007would be worth more than $240 billion today and would have transformed the New Zealand ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • The Left’s Timidity
    It is not just Karl Marx – even the most enthusiastic supporters of the market economy (not least Adam Smith) will concede that its normal operation inevitably leads to a concentration of wealth in relatively few hands. Some, at least, of these enthusiasts will accept that such a concentration is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • OLIVER HARTWICH: Absurd – NZ courts can now decide on climate change
    Oliver Hartwich writes – The World Justice Project ranks New Zealand 7th out of 142 countries on its ‘Rule of Law Index’, narrowly ahead of Australia’s 13th place. However, Australia still has hope – if only because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy
    Graham Adams writes — Last week, Mihingarangi Forbes made an extraordinary claim while interviewing David Seymour on Mata Reports, a taxpayer-funded current affairs programme which, she says, looks at events through an “indigenous lens”. She asked him about Act’s links to the Atlas Network, which fosters connections between centre-right ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    5 days ago
  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    5 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    6 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    6 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    6 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    6 days ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for five Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn: Parole (Mandatory Completion of Rehabilitative Programmes) Amendment Bill (Todd Stephenson) Goods and Services Tax (Removing GST From Food) Amendment Bill (Rawiri Waititi) Income Tax (ACC Payments) Amendment Bill (Hamish Campbell) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    7 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    1 week ago

  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
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