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Botulism scare products

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, August 5th, 2013 - 109 comments
Categories: health - Tags: ,

The information on which products are at risk from the Fonterra botulism scare has taken far too long to come out. Thanks 3 News for this list (so far):

Several products have been recalled in New Zealand, including two of Nutricia’s Karicare formulas. … “None of the products tested and sold in New Zealand indicate any contaminations. However, given the new information supplied by Fonterra, we have taken the decision to make a precautionary recall on specific products.” Nutricia says consumers with the specified batch numbers should not feed their babies with the products. If infants show any signs of illness they should be seen by a doctor as a “precautionary measure”.

Products recalled in NZ:

Karicare Infant Formula Stage 1 (0-6 months) with batch numbers 3169 and 3170
Karicare Gold+ Follow On Formula Stage 2 (6-12 months) with batch number D3183
Small amounts of NZAgbiz calf milk replacer – not made for human consumption – sold in the North Island

Products deemed safe:

UHT, yoghurt and soft drinks produced by Wahaha, Coca-Cola and Vitaco.

Update: All batch numbers are to be avoided, see comments.

109 comments on “Botulism scare products”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    A total bungle of the basics of corporate PR. Can’t understand what the hell corporate head office was thinking. But it looks incompetent.

    • Sanctuary 1.1

      They seem to spend most of their time trying to scheme up ways to privatise the business by stealth, rather than focusing on what matters.

      • Tim 1.1.1

        That’s an interesting and salient comment Sanctuary – I think it was Hooten on “from the Right & from the Right” this morning who even pointed out just what a bugger’s muddle Fonterra is/has become.
        It seems its board/administration has been more preoccupied in recent times with dreaming up ways of destroying a functioning co-operative in order to allow cronies to get a slice of the cake, rather than representing farmers’ best interests (and NZ’s interests at that). The whole scheme of share trading of any profit gained by a farmer, the listing on the Stock Exchange et al seems to have guzumped what cudda shudda wudda have been a long term, respected, trusted NZ Co-op based on nothing other than ideology and greed!.

        I find it really difficult to feel any sort of sympathy for the buggers other than for those farmers that have been royally conned. (Various banks having ‘MIS-sold certain options for a start! I think that Damien fella has that as one of his hobby horses). Even those farmers I know of, I have the same sort of empathy for as I do for the likes of Bruce Tichbon who tried to buy into a Sydney Harbour Bridge deal – for the second, or maybe third time with a conman.

        But even aside from that! and taking a step back …..
        Here, NZers are expected to pay international prices in that ‘global free-market’ (NOT, nor NEVER) for dairy products whilst already having paid a premium through
        – paying for the costs of the cleanup of polluted rivers and streams (which of course farmers often state they’re not responsible for – even tho’ it only started happening on implementation of their buzzniss modil)
        – subsidizing any sort of carbon tax/ETS scheme because farmers have been exempted
        – paying for various irrigation schemes that benefit dairy farming and don’t recognise that the resource is finite
        – paying for Crown-owned research nstitutes researching ways of eliminating the effects of cow burping or farting
        – conning us all by insisting they’re the backbone of the economy and TINA (well Jack – just look at us now ……
        All the while …. the rest of the world hasn’t had to pay those costs!

        Worse still when one jumps on a plane, and 3 or 4 hours later discovers NZ dairy products being sold in duopolistic supermarket outlets for LESS than they are sold in NZ.

        Well sorry chasps! More fool you for behaving like a load of entitled rich pricks (whether you are or not), void of any social responsibility or even community concern, because maybe a bank salesman has conned you, and Fonterra’s ideologically-driven management have conned you and destroyed your Co-op. Tuf cowshit!
        Don’t expect this ‘Tex payer’ to be happy with bailing you out. Sell an SUV; have a go at your Natzi mates and Fonterra management and CEO; look at ways you might further comply with some basic initiatives to protect the environment; start to understand that bigger is not always better; that there IS a difference between sustainED growth and sustainABLE growth; and a few other things before you come grovelling to Tex [payer]/citizen to bail you out.
        Oh ….. and maybe Fonterra’s CEO ….. you reckon he’ll deserve his next bonus?

        Personally, I’d recommend you’d be better off taking your Co-op back from the Cowshit Artists and telling them their management abilities and tempting schemes that have failed should come out of their over-inflated salaries. I wouldn’t try blaming MPI either. They laid it on the line early on, and your Fuckedteria management all went along (even assured everyone) that self-regulation and de-regulation was the way to go. Pike River!

        Right now, I couldn’t actually give a damn it you’re going to be up Cowshit Creek without a paddle.
        That sustained environmental scorched Earth growth you put your money on, doesn’t look quite so hot now aye!

        Cudda Shudda Wudda.

        BTW – Hoots did his best to push the agenda this morning – but, self-serving as usual. Perhaps he’s got a potential spin-meister job in mind trying to rectumfy the situation.

        • Rosetinted 1.1.1.1

          Tim You make more sense than Hoots for sure, and do more hard thinking. What about offering yourself as the left wing guy for Radionz politics time and give Mike Williams a holiday.

          • Tim 1.1.1.1.1

            @Rose – I couldn’t possibly. I’m hampered by the fact that I’ve had criminality amongst family members, as well as other family members being part of the “Spy” cohort. I’d be fighting to many battles on a daily basis before any MSM lazy journalist kicked their own arse enough to be able to do their job.
            Some poor bitch I’m related to actually still works for the buggers and I’m not sure whether the mortgage has been paid off yet.

            There are others more competent though than I – they express themselves in ‘spaces’ (to coin the trendy) such as “the Standard” and “The Daily Blog” … and elsewhere.

            My only hope and wish is that things don;t actually get to the point of the “Arab Spring” when the sleepy eventually wake up. They are starting to wake.
            Reminds me of that Bullshit Sky TV promo (if you’ve seen it) – promoting a programme dealing with the 4th Estate. There is Ted Turner’s ‘missus’ saying “the chips are falling”.

            They sure as hell are.

            • Rosetinted 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Tim
              You’re pretty much out there. Have a good day, and may the sun shine on you etc.

              That business about waking up. I heard a story about a bloke who was an alcoholic and would go off to sleep blotto. If he was woken suddenly he would be aggressive and violent. I hope that is not the analogy for NZs future. Waking up before one goes too far into degeneration, that’s the best for us all.

              • Tim

                Tx Rose …. and you.
                Right now I’m watching Campbell Live re the Fonterra gig.

                There is some spinmeister okker all contrite and regretful.

                All I can say is FFS farmers – take back your co-operative – but as you do, and as I said above, don’t expect sympathy from me.

                ….. and IF the nuZull konomy collapses or goes through turmoil – so be it. It’s an indicator of greed in progress, and the self-regulatory/de-regulatory programme.

                Btw…. good on JC for asking the question – “was this really down to a contaminated pipe?”

                I can see a ‘rebranding’ exercise in the smelly wind.

                Whereeeeeeeeeeeee’s Johnny?

                • Arfamo

                  I watched that: it was Gary Romano, managing director of New Zealand milk products for Fonterra. Sounded like an Aussie. Christ he was awful. Campbell couldn’t get a straight answer out of him about what products should be avoided and how it all happened. It was the most inept piece of corporate PR circular bullshit I’ve seen for years. God help Fonterra if anyone from Russia or China was watching that. They’d be left with the conclusion the company’s in the hands of irresponsible fwits who’re obfuscating like crazy to cover something up.

    • i think it looks more contrived than ‘incompetent’..

      ..remember…they just had a share float..

      ..what better reason to keep quiet about a botulism-batch..?

      ..and if freedom of information requests reveal this..?..

      ..whoar..!

      ..a new benchmark will be set for shit-hitting-fan..

      ..then there is the mstter of the recently departed/highly-paid-off fonterra-man..eh..?

      ..he must have known..

      ..was that a factor in his departure..?

      ..so many questions still unanswered..

      ..phillip ure..

      • Saarbo 1.2.1

        Who recently left Fonterra?

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.2

        ..remember…they just had a share float..

        ..what better reason to keep quiet about a botulism-batch..?

        Great. So Fonterra executive management has just exposed the company to massive lawsuits from new investors, by ‘not disclosing all material knowledge, information and risks pertinent to the current and future financial performance of the company’.

        First international legal action gets announced in 48 hours I reckon.

  2. Dv 2

    Apparently advice from MPI
    The correction was made on Morning report and repeated on the 9 news.
    Karicare Infant Formula Stage 1 (0-6 months)
    Karicare Gold+ Follow On Formula Stage 2 (6-12 months)

  3. vto 3

    Just gotta re-post this…

    Trusting in self-regulation / deredgulation / the interests of individualism / supply demand to ensure that surrounding sector requirements are met has been proved yet again to not work. Thanks Fonterra for exposing the failures of this aspect of neoliberal religion.

    At least with Fonterra’s failure nobody died like at Pike River…

    … oh, hang on, Fonterra’s actions did kill small children in China with its melamine….

    The policies of this national government and the attitudes and philosophies that are subsequently encouraged in private business results in

    1. 29 Men being killed at Pike River
    2. 4 men being killed in forestry so far this year.
    3. Babies being killed in China.
    4. Babies almost being killed through botched Fonterra botchulism.

    Deaths.

    Killed people.

    That is the result.

    And yet Joyce and Key want to push the same approach onto the heaviest trucks on NZ;s roads with a form of self-regulation in vehicle safety and compliance. What is it that these people don’t get?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1

      Evidence. They don’t get evidence.

    • Rosetinted 3.2

      Wasn’t Fonterra totally non-responsible for the melamine business in China? I thought it was totally a Chinese initiative.

      It doesn’t do to throw mud around willy-nilly vto. Just coping with the factual evidence of bad practice now is bad enough without piling on other assertions with no evidence. Source for the China tale and link please.

      • vto 3.2.1

        I don’t consider it throwing mud willy-nilly. I would suggest it is the same approach that resulted in the babies being killed in China. (no time to locate and research links so feel free to discount accordingly).

        The main point stands though, as I see you have similarly posted below.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.2.1.1

          Pipes simply do not leak under governments who do not follow neo-liberal policies. Why, the former Soviet Union was famous for its food safety. As was the Byzantine empire, especially under Justinian the Great.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.2.1.1.1

            Good to know that the Byzantine empire and former Soviet Union are your benchmarks.
            That explains a lot.

            • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Don’t knock the Byzantines. Their empire lasted a long time. Far longer than our global civilisation is going to last.

              As for the USSR. Most commentators assume that the USA won the Cold War, with the collapse of the Soviet. I’m not so sure nowadays.

        • Private Baldric 3.2.1.2

          I agree with private VD.

          It is all the gentries’s faults.

        • Rosetinted 3.2.1.3

          vto
          Just stick to the facts man. Don’t diss the main business that keeps our country going and keeps you in a living. Don’t spread partly incorrect stories with a negative spin just to make your point. It is not helpful to me or you as NZ citizens for you to have rants about sensitive matters that aren’t completely true. There is plenty of rant material available about factual matters.

          • vto 3.2.1.3.1

            I understand your point there Rosetinted and appreciate what effects exaggerations and the like can have on a point being made and on the point-maker. Don’t see no rules against it.

            But this here …… “Don’t diss the main business that keeps our country going and keeps you in a living.”

            Horseshit. Absolute crap. Flush it down the dunny.

          • g spot 3.2.1.3.2

            ‘keeps the country going and keeps you in a living’
            buhahahaha… think dairy industry is mentioned to contribute 3% to nz gdp in cnn report i just watched. They mightn’t be keeping the country going much longer regardless. I don’t see any NZers enjoying the price of milk. I think Saddam even made petrol cheap in Iraq?
            You are a muppet. Not Kermit either.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.2

        Wasn’t Fonterra totally non-responsible for the melamine business in China? I thought it was totally a Chinese initiative.

        Just like Union Carbine (USA) was totally non-responsible for the Bhopal business of Union Carbide (India). Isn’t it great to see our business people learning from the best in the corporate world.

        PS the Chinese authorities were pissed off last time around and they have long memories.

        • vto 3.2.2.1

          Yep, that’s it.

          I understood Fonterra’s ownership in the Chinese business (san lu?) was 50%. If so, then that makes it as responsible as if it was a 100% owner imo.

          • Pasupial 3.2.2.1.1

            @VTO

            Fonterra had 43% ownership in Sanlu. Though, to be fair, they had less control over the production facilities where that adulteration occurred (which was adding melamine to boost protein counts as fraud) than the NZ plant where the current bacterial contamination happened. Also it wasn’t just Sanlu; 21 other Chinese companies were then shown to be running in the same scam.

        • Tim 3.2.2.2

          Yep CV. Union C were so ‘non-responsible’ for Bhopal that their CEO, when visiting the site afterwards had to do a runner and get out of the country as quick as he could. Extradition was attempted unsuccessfully – the US wouldn’t agree.

          YET – when they get turned down for the likes of Snowden and Assange extradition – they just can’t cope and try to remember their morals.

          Maybe they should not have set the precedent.

          As we’ll soon see here in NZ (well hopefully soon *) with Key, GSB, SIS, Polis et all, what’s source for the goose is sauce for the gander. It might take just an eensy weensy bit longer (actually as long as spin-meisters are able to tell even more semi-credible bullshit and kick the can down the road a bit further), but they’re beginning to forget the bullshit they originally told, and it doesn’t tally with the latest round. It’s what happens when lying becomes pathological.

          * It may take a bit longer – I think they’ve still got a few stooges to blame. Trouble is that when the stooges begin to outnumber the operatives, they become deeply imbedded in the load of kaka they deserve.
          Hopefully the MPI stooge is off their agenda – they declared their stance early on.

          Gosh though aye! I’m frikken heartbroken! This could devstate the konmy. I jiss saw Johnky on Skoi News – he ekshly searnded drunk – it took a double pass for me to unnastan wot he wiz torkin beart.

          Anne … we even hed Camrun Begry on NinetoNoon this morning conceding we should have diversified and not relied on farting cows so much.
          (Closing down those railway workshops might not have been such a good idea for a start).

          Let her roll though – the chips are falling. Key and Joyce are spinning, Soimun Brudgizz, Nathan Ididn’tinhale Guy, Pulla Bent, HekYea Parata et al are having to learn new rimming techniques to turn their Leader on.

    • Honest Abe 3.3

      VTO sometimes it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    Morning Report had the same batch numbers, and corrected it within 30 minutes to say that a government department (Internal Affairs maybe? don’t recall) has advised that none of these products, regardless of batch number, should be consumed.

    Be worth editing the story with this note.

    • r0b 4.1

      Done, thanks.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        Thanks.

        Ministry of Primary Industries: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/9001765/Threat-to-dairy-exports-widens

        MPI said two types of infant formula – Karicare Infant Formula Stage 1 for babies from birth and Karicare Stage 2 Follow-on Formula for children from six month old – should be avoided.

        Nutricia, a brand owned by food giant Danone, has previously said only certain batches should be avoided.

        Gallacher admitted parents would find the advice contradictory.

        “The Ministry for Primary Industries has not been able to fully trace and track through Nutricia’s supply chain which specific batches of its products may contain the contaminated whey protein and which do not.”

  5. Rosetinted 5

    Fonterra seems to have attended the same business management school as the Pike River coal lot. I keep thinking NZ hasn’t got a chance of surviving as a developed country going by the continual and observable mismanagement, poor financial and economic controls and stuff-ups. I want to be shown to be WRONG, WRONG. But I fear not. Enough to make a thinking person weep.

    Think of our NZ country, Aotearoa, as an infant in a big world of grown-ups that don’t care about infants, and the harm that may befall real babies from contaminated food and then the harm that will befall our little country and its population, and they are similarly alarming.

    • weka 5.1

      “and the harm that may befall real babies from contaminated food and then the harm that will befall our little country and its population, and they are similarly alarming.”

      How many recorded cases of infant botulism have there been in NZ?

      Zero.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        When something goes wrong and it is badly handled, a doctor’s patient doesn’t have to actually die for the community to lose trust in the doctor.

        Remember in China, babies did actually die from Fonterra (San Lu) product. And we might have only had a few mentions of that in our news media at the time, but it was headlines throughout China, and is still causing headaches for Chinese health authorities today.

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          Bad cut and pasting on my part. I was focussed on the ‘babies might die’ bit. As far as I can tell the risk is very small. I’d like to see someone who knows what they are talking about make a statement about this, and am surprised that it hasn’t been discussed yet, but honestly, leaving aside the trade issues, it’s not a good idea to misinform the public over public health issues like this, and talking about babies dying is emotive in a really unhelpful way.

          The Clostridium bacteria is common enough, botulism is pretty rare in NZ. There are reasons for that. If you promote food safety as being the preserve of big corporations (who cannot in fact ensure food safety) then you put more people at risk. Better to inform the public about good home hygiene so that they don’t create botulism (most botulism happens from food prepared at home).

          The whole thing points to the ridiculousnees of the industrial food systems we now have, and the ‘babies might die’ narratives just increase risk aversion to the point where it is non-sensical and counter-productive.

          The lack of depth information in this saga, and the willingness of people here to express strong opinions when we don’t have that information yet, is alarming.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            Its a weird thing risk and probabilities, as I mentioned elsewhere. You’re going to be a hundred times more likely to die on the roads than through any kind of dairy food poisoning, and no one is stressing out about driving home tonight.

          • karol 5.1.1.1.2

            It has actually crossed my mind that Fonterra has been targeted by some sort of “industrial sabotage”.

        • Don't worry be happy 5.1.1.2

          When babies die they leave behind a life time of heart ache for their families….

          And for those sickened by melamine, painful difficult to treat, kidney ‘stones’ made of PLASTIC, Fonterra when asked about compensating their parents, promised to build a hospital, instead.

          So how’s that going Fonterra? Should be well and truly built by now? Where is it?

          Or was that a bit of quick spin/deliberate lies to get out of a paying a fair sum to the affected families?

    • Tim 5.2

      @ Rose
      “I want to be shown to be WRONG, WRONG. But I fear not.”
      You’re right to be fearful. Unfortunately a culture has developed whereby competency is directly proportional to salary paid, such that it is assumed the higher the salary – the more competent the candidate is (and along with that …. the more trust, the more respect, the more comfortable we should feel). Trouble is that alongside that, there’s been this whole “we’re competing in a global market for CEO expertise” bullshit going on – i.e. we have to be competitive with salary to attract candidates).
      How well has that served us? Pike River? … ekshly there was a TV3 ‘operative’ from memory years ago – high order Cowshit Artist – that should have alerted us (but it didn’t)
      What’s worse is that our Public Service got corporatised and the same conditions apply. (Ekshly I alluded to rellies in a previous post – one such once told me that their primary mission was checking out the credibility of PS CEO candidates under a regime of ‘political correctness*).
      No point in fear though.
      They’re generally such utter fuckwits, incompetents and bullshit artists that they usually fuck themselves up. It’s just unfortunate that they sometimes rise to the heightened ranks they do – to the extent they jeopardise an economy.

      *The one I’m thinking of specifically had my rellie alerting his ‘whoevers’ – including his propensity to pretend to be a political supporter of the party in power, all the while leaking cabinet papers et al – plus the usual (i.e. taking all credit for the successes of his public servant underlings,
      but blaming them and shifting shit to them when things went wrong).

      Oh how I once wished for a “Funny thing happened on the way to the Forum” thread.

      Never mind. It really would have been Catholic Church stuff (and Tory Street sauna, WCC admin mafioso former head of gubbamint department/nurses uniform/leaky building/ dangly earing- wearing-bene-bashing-wholier-than-thou-attitudinal/ former Speaker-of-the-house-Wellington College student ‘tutoring’ [in what only we know] – Grass/Hay Street residing, once were Labour Party-now-no-need Oike Williams, usuers-of-trade-union-now-‘better-than-that’ stuff)

      Come to think of it though – it might have been too much like Truth newspaper – even though one of its former editors is rolling in his grave at the rise of the fascist in NZ

  6. weka 6

    What is the risk of botulism from whey protein contaminated with Clostridium?

    • northshoredoc 6.1

      Vanishingly small.

      However notification and withdrawal of all products that may potentially be affected is the correct course of action.

      • weka 6.1.1

        Thanks, that’s what I thought.

        Notification and withdrawal, isn’t that what Fonterra are doing?

        • northshoredoc 6.1.1.1

          Yes. The media do like their lead stories to be as sensational as possible however.

          Until we have more information it is difficult to comment on whether there have been unacceptable delays in notification or foreseeable/avoidable hygiene errors at the plant in question.

          I could be naughty and hazard a guess that NZ milk powder with potential clostridia contamination is probably still a safer and better product than many of the milk powders in countries around the globe…. especially in those that will act to prohibit Fonterra product.

          Certainly this incident is far less of a risk than the Chinese company that was tainting formula with melamine a couple of years back.

          • weka 6.1.1.1.1

            Until we have more information it is difficult to comment on whether there have been unacceptable delays in notification or foreseeable/avoidable hygiene errors at the plant in question.

            Yep. I’m not sure the MSM have even figured out what the questions are yet. I don’t see many on ts asking either.

            I could be naughty and hazard a guess that NZ milk powder with potential clostridia contamination is probably still a safer and better product than many of the milk powders in countries around the globe…. especially in those that will act to prohibit Fonterra product.

            Heh.

  7. Adrian 7

    Listening to Wills and Groser on Natrad this morning I could not believe how supposedly well educated 50+ year olds could speak in such convoluted contorted cliches and imbecilic jargon mixed in mangeled syntax. I would much rather listen to an 18 year old.
    It was a great example of how education standards have obviously soared in the last 30 years.

  8. Rosetinted 8

    I keep thinking NZ hasn’t got a chance of surviving as a developed country going by the continual and observable mismanagement, poor financial and economic controls and stuff-ups. I want to be shown to be WRONG, WRONG. But I fear not. Enough to make a thinking person weep.

    I’ll repeat myself as so far I have read nothing of sense and value from people who have decided comment on this thread. What I said applies even more after reading the nonsensical ideas about our produce, trade and exports that have been written so far by other commenters.

    • weka 8.1

      With Peak Oil, Climate change and the Global Financial crisis, no country will be able to survive as a ‘developed’ country, if by that you mean that we can all continue down a path of increasing growth and population using industrial/capitalist models of production. None. The things you want NZ to be better at, are completely and utterly unsustainable, both at the national and global level.

      Further, I’m not sure who you are comparing NZ to, but the US, which has a more complex and ‘advanced’ industrial food production culture than NZ routinely has food contamination. The bigger and more complex you go, the less safe the production and supply lines become.

      The current diary boom is stripping fertility from NZ soils that took tens of thousands of years to build up, and is exporting that fertility to China. At the same time, it is removing trees and using other industrial farming practices that are destroying soil resiliency, and contaminating water. It is doing all that not to grow food for NZers, but to make money. It’s all completely fucked, and it won’t last because eventually the environment will not support what we are doing, and the economics will no longer be viable as we try to prop up the farms artificially.

      • vto 8.1.1

        “The current diary boom is stripping fertility from NZ soils that took tens of thousands of years to build up, and is exporting that fertility to China. At the same time, it is removing trees and using other industrial farming practices that are destroying soil resiliency, and contaminating water. It is doing all that not to grow food for NZers, but to make money. It’s all completely fucked, and it won’t last because eventually the environment will not support what we are doing, and the economics will no longer be viable as we try to prop up the farms artificially.”

        Agree weka. NZ’s forests and land sat pretty much undrained for thousands and thousands of years – forever in fact. It is one of the reasons these first few farming generations are able to produce so much from our soil – because it hasn’t been drained before.

        But draining it is what these first few generations are doing.

        Short term thinking for short term gain. NZ farms will end up as drained as those parts of the world that have been farmed for millennia – check out Europe’s fertility.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.2

        The current diary boom is stripping fertility from NZ soils that took tens of thousands of years to build up, and is exporting that fertility to China.

        You got it in one.

        The worst part is, we are exporting our real resources, energy and effort, in exchange for electronically magicked-up increments in online bank account numbers. It’s a mad system.

  9. Pasupial 9

    “[Fonterra] could not say how much of the 38 tonnes of potentially contaminated whey protein had been consumed.

    On Wednesday, test results indicated the potential presence of bacteria in a product sample, but the firm first identified a possible ”quality issue” in March. ”

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/267427/botulism-scare-helpline-flooded-fonterra-criticised

    14 months after the contamination incident, knowing of a possible issue since March, the testing protocol employed still allowed the potentially contaminated product to be distributed in this country for a month. This is inadequate!

    “…Karicare Infant Formula Stage 1… was on sale from July 2, and Karicare Gold+ Follow On Stage 2, on shelves from July 18. “

    • Saarbo 9.1

      Yes. So had Fonterra done a recall in March, product would not have even hit the Consumer shelves (for the NZ customer)…I wonder why this didn’t happen. And why did a batch that was produced in May 2012 take until March 2013 to discover it was contaminated? Seems bizarre. And given the contamination was discovered in March, how did they know it was isolated to one 38 tonne batch. And given the contamination was discovered in March, how did Fonterra determine that the problem was caused by a particular pipe. Lots of questions here…

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        So had Fonterra done a recall in March, product would not have even hit the Consumer shelves (for the NZ customer)…I wonder why this didn’t happen.

        It would have spooked investors in Fonterra’s share offer this year, and potentially cost them a hundred million dollars.

        From the timing, it appears that Fonterra decided to prioritise obtaining maximum money from investors, ahead of making a consumer safety announcement which may have put investors off buying shares.

        This thing is going to bite them in the ass big time.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10886441

        • Saarbo 9.1.1.1

          Yes CV, that provides a plausible explanation, incredibly unethical but plausible. Watch this space.

          • Saarbo 9.1.1.1.1

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10908454

            This from The Herald tries to explain why there was such a delay. It will be interesting to know if other Dairy manufacturers test for clostridium botulinum, as Professor Brooks from AUT seems to think this testing is rare. If this is the case, then Fonterra may be able to claim some high ground. But given the time delay in confirming, if the manufactured product does cause botulism, then consumers will probably die before it is discovered.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1.1

              But there wasn’t really any explanation was there? The material was manufactured in May 2012, a bacterial contamination detected in March 2013, and the particular bug fully typed in July 2013. Nothing new there, and still plenty of questions. Especially that food microbiologist saying that modern methods should have identified the specific bacteria far faster (I am thinking a couple of weeks, max).

              The biggest thing Fonterra had going on in 1H 2013: maximising the value it got for its share float.

  10. Rosetinted 10

    What a strange business world we operate in. There is a good side to the bad from this great error on Fonterra’s part, as our other exporters gain a price advantage.

    Because our golden rise in dairy products has halted, our exchange rate has gone down which means that exporters who have already sold product, will receive more dollars at home. And if trying to obtain orders, can offer at a lower price because of the increased NZ dollar effect. So instead of, for example, item A selling at 88 cents in foreign currency for a return of $NZ1, now it can be sold at around 75 cents, for $NZ1.

  11. infused 11

    Whatever way you cut it, it’s bad.

  12. amirite 12

    I’m wearing my tinfoil hat now and I’m thinking – how convenient, this scandal with Fonterra right at the time when the PM got himself and his office in a major pickle.

    • weka 12.1

      That’s some pretty incredible foresight on the part of the team NACT.

    • infused 12.2

      How is this good for the govt?

      • Rosetinted 12.2.1

        infused
        It deflects attention. Isn’t that obvious to you? If not, why?

        • infused 12.2.1.1

          deflects attention to a massive fuckup which doesn’t do anything good for govt?

          Yeah ok… better go stock up on the tinfoil.

          • Rosetinted 12.2.1.1.1

            infused
            I don’t think you have the right sort of mind to understand politics. Better to go and do something that is straightforward and requires linear thinking.

            Simply, it is a case that Fonterra gerfuffle is better for Key because he can blame someone else and the attention deflects off the murky shoup that he is stirring in the Beehive. He has to realise that he is never going to get his own chef spot on TV and do something useful with his life.

  13. captain hook 13

    how do you like my tie?
    hooton got some of it right.
    fonterra needs a culture revitalisation!
    too many tight underpants there at the moment.

  14. Treetop 14

    This is economically serious for the country and the potential for botulism being lethal to a baby/toddler/child, in particular when their immune systen is weakened or compromised.

    I am waiting to see if the stage 3 Karicare will be withdrawn. I recently brought a tin.

    For Fonterra to have known for over a year and to not have acted this has to be investigated.

    There are a number of Nutricia Karicare products and there appears to be a lot of information as to which product is best for each age of feeding.

    http://frugalfamilyresources.weebly.com/which-formula-is-best.html

    • Treetop 14.1

      Correction batch was produced in May 2012 and a potential problem was known in March 2013.

      • amirite 14.1.1

        So they’ve been keeping quiet on this for several months now? Why?

        • Treetop 14.1.1.1

          I heard 13.5 billion in exports is dairy and about 3.5 billion goes to China. With the recent meat export botch up to China and the time it took to get the paper work done possibly the meat would have been rejected were there also a whey/dairy problem.

          Other reasons see:
          Rosetinted @ 5 (incompetent management)
          CV@ 9.1.1 (Fonterra shares taking a dive)

          May be Key could get the GCSB onto finding out why no action was taken in March 2013!

          When it comes to the Crafar farm deal some of the farms were sold to China so that milk formula could be produced here by the Chinese to be exported to China. A similar problem could occur with contamination and this would also give NZ dairy a bad name.

          The whey (Karicare 1 and 2) was produced here, then it went to Australia for processing and then it came back for exporting as milk formula.

          Did anyone else hear this on morning report this morning?

          Did the Australians do any testing for contamination?

          • Rosetinted 14.1.1.1.2

            Treetop
            Not unless they were asked. But I heard this morning that Oz was affected by the alert action as well.

            Also I heard, while we are mentioning about meat export botch up, that there was $1 million of it in China at one time waiting to be dealt with.

            I have also heard that Telecom and Vodafone? have a dedicated civil servant in Moby.
            If true, how come we can have that and not someone who babysits each of our important export markets as their only job?

            The trouble is that NZ can get in amongst the big boys, and then we think we’ve got it made and we’re accepted in the big league, and if we really aren’t we can bluster away to the people for domestic political advantage, and say something different when the pollies go overseas.

        • weka 14.1.1.2

          The way I read it yesterday was that it took time to test the contamination down to the specific strains of Clostridium that can cause botulism in humans (not all do). Whether that is true, and whether it is reasonable to take that long to discern the strains, I don’t know.

  15. Rosetinted 15

    Saw that it also has affected a small amount of calf feed. All our young ones using it are potentially affected.

  16. I agree with Matthew 16

    Probably not good idea to drink the milk of another species, unless absolutely necessary.
    Human milk is always best for humans, funny that.

    • Pasupial 16.1

      @IawM

      Neither funny nor accurate.

      What is funny is the image of a 30yr old man [may not be accurate depiction] suckling dementedly while cackling: “Human milk is always best for humans”.

    • Colonial Viper 16.2

      🙂

    • weka 16.3

      “Probably not good idea to drink the milk of another species,”

      Why not?

      • Colonial Viper 16.3.1

        Not very good for you. As evidenced by the shitloads of people who find dairy derived products toxic to their bodies.

        • RedLogix 16.3.1.1

          Agreed CV. Haven’t touched the stuff in three years now. Never looking back.

          While I’m sure we can tolerate cows milk to some degree (which varies widely among the population) … equally a lot of people simply function better to some degree without it.

          Generally it’s ok if it’s really well fermented or turned into a good cheese … but otherwise I’m happier without.

        • weka 16.3.1.2

          “As evidenced by the shitloads of people who find dairy derived products toxic to their bodies.”

          But not as evidenced by the shitloads of people who find that raw, organic dairy, esp fermented, isn’t toxic to their bodies and the people who find that eating raw, organic, fermented diary removes health problems.

          Then there are the traditional cultures where (raw, organic) milk is a staple that have much better health outcomes than we do.

          By all means avoid milk if it doesn’t work for you, but don’t condemn all dairy because of the experience of part of the population. Some people do very well on dairy.

          • Colonial Viper 16.3.1.2.1

            I can’t argue against the position that for some people, dairy is great for them. But it’s not most people, by a long shot.

            Raw organic fermented dairy is a different issue again, as its already partially digested and has a much lower proportion of lactose. But what you are talking about is a tiny miniscule fraction of 1% of the dairy which is produced and consumed in NZ.

            Young children almost universally produce lactase and can digest the lactose in their mother’s milk. But as they mature, most switch off the lactase gene. Only 35% of the human population can digest lactose beyond the age of about seven or eight (ref. 2). “If you’re lactose intolerant and you drink half a pint of milk, you’re going to be really ill. Explosive diarrhoea — dysentery essentially,” says Oliver Craig, an archaeologist at the University of York, UK. “I’m not saying it’s lethal, but it’s quite unpleasant.”

            http://www.nature.com/news/archaeology-the-milk-revolution-1.13471

            • weka 16.3.1.2.1.1

              You are essentially saying that industrially produce milk is bad for many people, which I agree with but I think it’s better to be specific about that rather than condemning dairy as a class of food (which is what the original comment was). Many people who can’t tolerate cow’s milk do ok on goats milk too btw.

              “Only 35% of the human population can digest lactose beyond the age of about seven or eight”

              Globally that might be true, but I doubt it is true in NZ.

              • Colonial Viper

                You’re painfully fair minded weka.

                Admittedly I didn’t feel like making an exception for the <1% of NZ dairy consumption which is high grade organic and unprocessed, and tomorrow I still might not.

                BTW if you are not of European decent the chances that you are lactose tolerant completely nosedive.

    • karol 16.4

      Actually the issue is more about whether young children are best breast fed or fed infant formula which uses powdered milk.

      The wikip link above shows there tends to be more use of infant formula by parents/children of lower socio-economic backgrounds. I also seem to remember something I read years ago about how milk companies in relatively wealthy countries actively promote powdered milk for babies in poorer countries, as a way to increase their market reach and profits.

      it was probably something like this article from 2007:

      It was in 1977 that campaigners first called for a boycott of Nestlé because of its aggressive marketing of formula milk in the developing world. Thirty years on, have Nestlé and the other baby-milk firms cleaned up their act? Joanna Moorhead travels to Bangladesh to find out
      […]
      According to Save the Children’s report, infant mortality in Bangladesh alone could be cut by almost a third – saving the lives of 314 children every day – if breastfeeding rates were improved. Globally, the organisation believes, 3,800 lives could be saved each day. Given that world leaders are committed to cutting infant mortality by two thirds by 2015 as one of the Millennium Development Goals, protecting and promoting breastfeeding is almost certainly the biggest single thing that could be done to better child survival rates.

      But the formula companies, despite the international code, continue to undermine campaigners’ efforts. Throughout the west as well as in the developing world, the amounts spent on “breast is best” campaigns are dwarfed by the amounts food manufacturers spend on promoting their products: in the UK, for example, Save the Children reckons that for every £1 spent in 2006-7 on breastfeeding promotion, £10 was spent by manufacturers on advertising and promoting baby milk and foods.

  17. Pasupial 17

    At least one maternity ward uses Karicare products for neonates while waiting for maternal lactation to establish. Did they purchase any of this potentially contaminated Karicare Infant Formula Stage 1 in the period from 2/7 to 3/8? Did any other maternity ward in NZ?

    Fortunately my basupial wasn’t administered formula by the lactation consultants in the month of July, nor has he had that brand since he was a week old. But the thought was bad enough on Saturday that I might have been inadvertantly poisoning my child. It must be worse for those who don’t know yet… Best Wishes to them.

    • weka 17.1

      What is the risk of getting botulism from whey protein with the Clostridium bacteria in it?

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        Well we do know that humans are useless at rationally evaluating possibilities. But in this case there is real uncertainty and fear (terror?) involved.

      • Pasupial 17.1.2

        @ Weka

        The risk of contracting botulism is greater for these Karicare products than for those testing negative for Clostridium Botulinum contamination.

        Not even Fonterra is suggesting that they should knowingly sell contaminated milk. My main problem is with the length of time it has taken to test the product, and Fonterra being unwilling to disrupt their supply chain soon enough to prevent the products reaching the shelves.

        Just because no one is dead yet (or on breathing machines for a month if they get to a hospital in time), doesn’t mean there is no problem.

        • weka 17.1.2.1

          I’m not suggesting that the milk not be recalled. I’m saying if you are fearful then educate yourself about the actual risk. Knowledge is power. Scaremongering by the MSM isn’t.

          I haven’t read the news today. Is anyone looking at what the actual risk is yet?

    • Rosetinted 17.2

      It used to be thought that newborns should just suck on water till the mother’s milk settled down. Mixing formula was frowned on. Now do they keep the mothers in hospital long enough to ensure all is well? It can be quite difficult getting a routine going.

  18. BLiP 18

    I blame John Key for all this, of course.

    • GregJ 18.1

      Well it would be nice for him to take the f&*king blame for something – there is plenty he is actually responsible for that he is happy to palm off to someone (everyone?) else. 😡

      • BLiP 18.1.1

        Well, he is responsible for the mess in some regards. It was his personna which ushered in the “Brighter Future” for New Zealand. At last we were to become that shareholding, capitalist-lovin’, eager participant in the ashpuhrational NZ Inc. No need for expensive public servants, we all care about each other’s safety, don’t want any red tape controls interfering with getting the job done. “What ever it takes” was John Key’s message. New Zealanders’ attention was then herded towards an imaginary mineral bonanza and booming stockmarket which would become the financial transactions ticket-collector and information-storage hub of the Pacific. Yippeee.

        As part of sparking up the stockmarket, John Key starts looking around for some assets to flog off. The one his international mates want the most is Fonterra but its being run like some sort of Marxist commune. “I know,” says Financial Whizz Kid John Key, “lets pretend that by giving away a piece of future profits farmer’s get to keep the obviously idiotic form of governance and ownership?” “Great,” say the bankers, “make it so”. And thus Fonterra swaggers into the New Zealand Stock Market Casino . . . ooops. Kinda reminds me of John Key’s plan to sell state asssets to the “mums and dads”.

        • GregJ 18.1.1.1

          Yep – my father (now retired) and my brother are dairy (factory) workers – don’t even get them started on the “privitisation” of Fonterra and (some) farmers’ short-sightedness on the issue. Haven’t touched base with them yet about the current crisis – although my brother works at Waitoa rather than Hautapu I’m sure he’ll have some tales to tell!

    • infused 18.2

      of course you would. I would be worried if you didn’t.

  19. swan 19

    I think there is a lot of dust to settle yet before we can say one way or the other what damage this might have caused. Time will tell, but there is certainly a lot of jumping to conclusions going on.

    • GregJ 19.1

      I live in the Middle East – a lot of NZ milk products sold here and already locals whom I work with are telling me they are avoiding NZ dairy products. If it drags on new habits are formed and brand loyalty forgotten – plenty of competition here from European, Chinese/Asian & South American producers.

  20. RedLogix 20

    If the root cause is what I think it is (a faulty CIP circuit or logic) …then all I can say is that Fonterra have had this coming for some years. Lots of very good and capable people work for the NZ Dairy Industry, but they’ve been spread too thin. And as a result there were lots of unmanaged risks.

    Yet the stupid part is that for the most part the industry in this country is still WAY better than it is in most of the rest of the world. They do not measure nor report their product failures to anything like the standard we generally do.

    • vto 20.1

      RL… “Yet the stupid part is that for the most part the industry in this country is still WAY better than it is in most of the rest of the world. They do not measure nor report their product failures to anything like the standard we generally do.”

      Why is it that we in NZ think our shit don’t stink? Or that we think we have the best farmers in the world? The best scientists in the world? The least corruption? The best democratic system? The cleanest rivers? The best fishing?

      The bit you have stated there RL……. pardon me if I don’t believe it.

      Most of the other similar kiwi myths are steadily collapsing under their own rust ……..

  21. Rich 21

    “how can u tell ur baby has bees affected by botulism? ”

    They twitch, turn blue and die.

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    5 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    7 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    7 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago

  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago