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Brief thoughts on the 9 day fortnight

Written By: - Date published: 6:04 pm, March 11th, 2009 - 53 comments
Categories: economy, wages - Tags:

The 9 day fortnight scheme has finally been announced but I’ve got a few questions:

Why do the taxpayer and the worker have to pay but the employer not?

What about free training? Surely that would fit with the productivity argument National’s been making?

Does anyone realise that those on the average wage would take a greater than 6% pay cut under this scheme?

There’s $20m put aside. That’s less than half the cycleway. Or 30 job summits. What kind of commitment to keeping people in work is that?

If this government is all about how important small business is then why is it only companies with more than 100 workers that are eligible for the scheme?

You get 10 workers on the scheme for every one you can prove you needed to make redundant. Who checks the books? Will there be an expanded bureaucracy to do it?

Will workers on sites with no union be forced by their employers to take this pay cut?

If not, where is the provision to stop that happening?

Why doesn’t the scheme extend to the public service? For example, the Environment Ministry?

Why is the CTU backing this?

Update: I just heard John Key on the radio saying he “hoped” employers would top the rate up. John you don’t have to “hope” if you design the scheme so employers have to pay some kind of top up.

John’s problem is he doesn’t want to do anything centrist like make employers share the pain with their workers but he doesn’t want to be seen as the right-wing guy that made sure it’s taxpayers and workers that foot the bill.

I say actions speak louder than spin.

53 comments on “Brief thoughts on the 9 day fortnight”

  1. Quoth the Raven 1

    I personally don’t like it at all. We should not be propping up large businesses at all in any manner. I know 100 employers isn’t particularly large, but the crisis we are in is a symptom of centralisation and we ought not to privelige large businesses. Let them fail.

  2. Bill 2

    If the company is looking at genuine redundancies and enters in to a ‘deal’ where they can lay off 1 in 10 for one day a fortnight on the proviso that no-one taking up the deal can be made redundant while on the scheme and then goes belly-up three months down the track….?

    As for the CTU backing it, it really does sound like workers are being encouraged to join their union so they can lose a days pay! I’m sure there has been commentary to the effect that only a union could broker a one day off deal because of the complexity of deciding whether the company is being genuine.

    If a company is going to go belly up then it will go belly up. If it isn’t then it wont. If it is looking at making some workers redundant, then is it not better to argue that net profits should take a back seat to workers continuing in employment?

    The whole thing strikes me as a pile of shit. I notice that at least the EPMU has demanded some bottom lines with regards employer top ups, but that has been contrasted with Kelly welcoming everything with open arms in the Herald. Yeah, I know, it’s the Herald and the piece is possibly misleading and the EPMU are not as isolated as the article implies.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10561053

    • Bill 2.1

      Edit not working.

      That last line should read “…and the EPMU possibly not as isolated as the article implies”

  3. SPC 3

    One wonders why the Environment Ministry did not apply this policy rather than lay off workers.

    The whole point is/was to share the burden and prevent the lay off of workers – which is why the focus is on larger employers – who can instead of cutting one job -reduce the hours of work of 10 (instead of losing 10 jobs reducing the hours of 100 etc).

    As for the issue of re-training – this would be better left to a focused programme offering the laid off/unemployed skills training in return for work.

  4. Johnty Rhodes 4

    QTR – the business will not fail, it will make people redundant first to try & cut overheads. In reality, business should be allowed to go to short weeks if it will save jobs in the long run, don’t you think? Employees will be better off doing this instead of being unemployed. This is the real crux of this debate. We live in unique times.

    However, letting business like Kiwirail fail is a great idea though. It does not even start to make money and road can carry the slack. I wonder what it’s NPV is? I agree with you there QTR:) If the idiot Cullen did not buy it in 2008, think of how little it would be worth now, Toll may of been in a position to offer $1 for it. Even then it would be a dog of a business.

    • Quoth the Raven 4.1

      Employees will be better off doing this than being unemployed in the short term. But what about the long term? We have a systematic failure and the system needs to change. Governments and large corporations are trying their best to stop the state-corporate plutocratic system from toppling. I don’t particularly like my tax dollars going to prop up poor business models and keeping up the profit line of large corporations. Thus is captialism though.
      We don’t live in particularly unique times it’s just that the terrible exesses of our corporate masters have been laid bare and the synergy between these corporates and the state is there for all to see.
      This is a clear cut case of privilege. Do you like privilege? This is capitalism at work not the market.
      Selling Kiwirail is not allowing it to fail if that’s what you mean. Kiwirail has no competitors anyway. Selling it would just provide a monopoly to a state favoured corproation. So hardly different from a state monopoly.

  5. Daveo 5

    The difference is the CTU doesn’t have members who they’ll have to sell this too, whereas its affiliates do. In my view Helen Kelly’s been co-opted. But that’s just my view.

    • Lew 5.1

      Daveo,

      The difference is the CTU doesn’t have members who they’ll have to sell this too, whereas its affiliates do. In my view Helen Kelly’s been co-opted. But that’s just my view.

      Not just your view.

      L

      • Daveo 5.1.1

        I don’t share Pablo’s views. He reads like the typical kind of armchair radical idiot who’s never had to organise workers in his life.

        You hear a lot of these types attacking the union movement based on ignorance and bigging up Unite because they’ve read McCarten’s ill-informed columns. Little do they know the guy’s a laughing stock in the broader movement with only 600 paid up members and the rest subsidised by McDonalds. He’s still riding Simon Oosterman’s successes with the Supersizemypay campaign.

        Before Pablo gets too excited about Unite’s results he should start asking what they’ve actually achieved, beyond a column in the Herald. Same goes before he bags the rest of the movement as ‘party apparatchiks’ and ‘sellouts’.

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          And in the words of a ‘class betrayer.’ (Pablo’s words)

          The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union said the pay out was “underwhelming”.

          “Unless employers are willing to meet this subsidy with a substantial top-up of their own it’s unlikely to be accepted by workers,” national secretary Andrew Little said.

          “As far as the EPMU is concerned, this will be a bottom line.”

          Mr Little said the amount was “miserable”.

          “Five hours at the minimum wage is a miserable level of subsidy for a day’s lost pay and our members simply won’t wear that sort of loss.”

  6. SPC 6

    As for creating jobs, which is more relevant in a downturn – the Job Summit missed out on two of the better ideas.

    Government finance to farmers to do the work required to get the effluent and nutrients out of our waterways – farmers can pay back the loaned money. It’s work that needs doing asap and not just for the jobs it would create.

    The other is completing some of the building projects that have been stopped because finance has been cut off. The government can increase its housing stock – let them out to those on the waiting lists and then later sell them when the market recovers. This would sustain jobs in the building sector and mitigate the boom bust cycle.

    PS Bill English has replied to my 2008 letter on funding the Super Fund – he says that to sustain the present level of NZ Super in the future we need to establish a reserve now to mitigate the rising cost to taxpayers. He says the government is committed to continuation of the Fund as an effective vehicle for pre-funding NZS costs. All very bi-partisan in tone.

    As to my idea of transferring state assets into the Fund rather than cash, he says the government will not sell state assets and says the Fund would need to be able continue trading in its assets to maximise profits – so they must reject the option of passing on state assets into the Fund (I suggested the Fund only off-load them in the longer term to Kiwi Saver funds so they stayed in local ownership).

    Given todays news the most interesting thing to note is this

    “Indeed, the Funds liquidity in a time of economic downturn is one of its advantages in the marketplace, as it is able to exploit opprotunities to acquire assets while company stock prices are low relative to future potential earnings”.

    Which is an argument to use ones ability to borrow money and maximise opportunities now – not to reduce ones financing of the Fund …

  7. mike 7

    “Why do the taxpayer and the worker have to pay but the employer not?”

    IB – the whole point of this is to take pressure off the employer during the downturn to minimise redundancies. Should a worker not have a choice between sacrificing some pay to keep his job?

    • Quoth the Raven 7.1

      I bet if Labour had announced this you’d be saying “Shouldn’t the taxpayer have a choice?”

      • gingercrush 7.1.1

        And the counter-argument would be that many on the left would agree with such decision making. Partisan politics plays both ways QtR. Maybe the hard-left wouldn’t have a bar of it. But I have no doubt that moderate left voters would agree with this. Maybe some of them do now. But certainly had this been a Labour policy, all those soft left voters would be saying, “Well done Labour”.

        I take note that if you go to the right-wing blogs, the majority of them are saying they hate this idea and that workers should get nothing. So it plays both way. I don’t think its perfect. But anything that can save jobs surely is a good thing.

        • Quoth the Raven 7.1.1.1

          Absolutely correct. I bet many Labour supporters would like this. I don’t.
          But anything that can save jobs surely is a good thing.
          No not necessarily so at all. There are numerous ways to save jobs and I’m sure many would be better than this. Saving jobs by privileging large businesses is not the way to go.

        • Quoth the Raven 7.1.1.2

          I take note that if you go to the right-wing blogs, the majority of them are saying they hate this idea and that workers should get nothing.

          I just had a look at Kiwiblog and the righties over there don’t like it. That’s bloody funny. This is a big slip up for National. Their incompetence is being laid bare.

          • gingercrush 7.1.1.2.1

            Yeah but I don’t think the majority of users that comment on blogs are that reflective of National or Labour voters. Blogs on the whole tend to attract the harder voters. So people that will vote Act or the Green party. That isn’t to say many are Labour or National voters.Just that I don’t think many reflect those two parties.

  8. djp 8

    Why do the taxpayer and the worker have to pay but the employer not?

    Er, the whole point was to reduce costs to businesses so they wont make people redundant

    Not that I am a fan of this idea at all.

  9. Jum 9

    Johnty Rhodes
    March 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm ‘letting business like Kiwirail fail is a great idea’. Reading the arrogant slop you consider to be comment is proof enough of your selfish rightwing dysfunction.

    There are two things that will make National redundant once again in 2011 and that is ruining Kiwirail preparing for selling off, and the other is the effect on those who cannot drive, who cannot afford a car, who don’t feel able to drive in cities and those who are forced to transport the above to where they need to go all at 100% extra cost as opposed to the wonderful free travel for the olds. (Unless NAct is planning to quash that too.)

    ‘Unique times’ – nonsense. Whenever people are becoming satisfied with life and gaining some control over their own lives and are less dependent on their employers’ goodwill, we have a ‘unique’ financial disaster… funny that. Moneymen-made disasters are never unique, never accidental and never in the interests of the vulnerable.

    • Johnty Rhodes 9.1

      dum jum – National redundant in 2011, red nose day is it? phil-in as our PM, LMAO. Kiwirail was fucked before 8 Nov. Remember, Labour had only $120M set aside for it when it needs $2bn. So no-one in their right mind would not buy KR, even Cullen would not buy it twice, on second thoughts…………

      Remember, it is these private businesses that have given us employment & reasonable wealth over the years, not the government. To come out the other side after this mess is sorted out we will still need private business to employ.

      Remember comrades, the Soviet Union was a real great place to live in, Tui Billboard.

  10. Bill 10

    How many possums we got? How many rabbits?

    And we’re going to have how many unemployed?

    In no way would this be a goer for everyone, but….

    Free market ideology says you find a niche; exploit and export….

    Where else has possums? All that fur for a clothing industry (foreign based, of course!)….and food…..and rabbit is way over $30 per kg at the supermarkets right now. Free range (possibly or probably) organic.

    So set aside x million $ and split it by the number of possum culled in a season. As time goes by and possum numbers fall, the fund level is maintained and possum is worth…..lets just say, very worth while.

    Same for rabbits…or farm them instead of or as well as sheep.

    Crazy idea, right? But any more crazy than a fucking cycle way? Or compelling people to take time off work so they can stay in work?

    • gingercrush 10.1

      My father does possuming in the winter. As of late the price of fur has been down from what its been. And of course its not always consistent so you need some good savings when things get tough. He’s at the freezing works at the moment.

      Possuming nor rabbits are a solution in themselves. But I’m sure there are people in rural communities that with a bit of money to help them out could make a real go at possuming.

      • Bill 10.1.1

        Neither possuming, rabbits, cycle ways nor a nine day fortnight.

        Probably not massive bailouts either. Nor slash and burn and privatisation at basement bargain prices.

        Maybe, and not unrealistically, there is no solution and capitalism really is in a death spiral.

        And the old style socialism is not a solution either as it was predicated on there actually being resources to exploit and distribute more equitably.

        Meanwhile…

        • Quoth the Raven 10.1.1.1

          Exactly, Bill.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.2

          Capitalism is a failed system – we just haven’t come up with the solution (or, that could be, not a solution TPTB will permit) yet so capitalism is the fall back option.

    • Tigger 10.2

      Maybe workers can shoot possums WHILE building the cycleway…

  11. Richard 11

    This whole idea reminds me of carless days – seemed like a good idea to some, a pain in the arse to most, and totally ineffective.
    Any employer who thinks redundancies are going to be necessary in the next six months will never sign up to this. Those who do sign up will not be expecting redundancies, but wouldn’t mind cutting wage costs by 10% over the quiet winter months.
    As far as jobs go, I expect more jobs to be created in administering this scheme than will actually be saved by the scheme itself. Yes, thats right John Key – more evil beaurecreats!

  12. I must say, political stereotypes are being completely turned upside down at the moment. Here’s a National govt saying they’ll bill taxpayers to sub me $60 so I can spend one day a fortnight down the pub. WTF? Not even the Alliance came up with anything like that!

    Which leaves poor old Phil Goff yet again left with no avenue of attack beyond declaring it doesn’t go far enough – “The govt must subsidise more pub days!” Sucks to be him.

    • IrishBill 12.1

      No, it’s the national government saying they’ll use taxpayer dollars to sub employers out of their payroll obligations. And they’ll provide a vehicle to reduce workers’ take home pay as well. That sounds like exactly the crony capitalism I’d expect from them.

    • The aim is supposedly to prevent redundancies and keep people in employment – ie, taking some weight off the employer’s payroll is exactly what it’s intended to be about. If it works I don’t have a problem with it, given that the alternative would appear to be to hold employers to their “payroll obligations” and watch them announce redundancies, outsource the jobs or go under. Also: it won’t be offered to me, but frankly I’d take 9 days’ work per fortnight for 9 days’ pay and no taxpaer subsidy like a shot.

      • IrishBill 12.2.1

        You’re lucky you can survive a pay cut. Plenty of people can’t.

      • Psycho Milt 12.2.2

        Can they survive redundancy and unemployment better?

        I’m skeptical about this kind of circus myself – as somebody pointed out already, it could just amount to taxpayers working to ensure the sustainability of poor business practices. But on the offchance it does turn out to work, that’s some people’s jobs saved. If you’re saying the decent thing is to stand staunch for full hours on full pay or no hours on no pay, it doesn’t seem to me the people who end up on no hours and no pay would be likely to thank us for it.

        • IrishBill 12.2.2.1

          No, I’m saying the decent thing to do would be to make employers pay 50% of the shortfall.

  13. Bill 13

    Just realised that WINZ are going to love this!

    If a qualifying factory worker is on min wage, then every second week they will earn $384 before tax plus $60 top up (also taxed?).

    So, every second week they will have to recalculate entitlements such as housing supp and so forth.

    Maybe redundant workers could apply for a job at WINZ to help with the increased workload?

    • Lew 13.1

      Bill,

      (also taxed?)

      Yes, any top-up will be paid as salary/wages and taxed accordingly. This is as it should be, else it would be better to take the 5h top-up than to work 5h at minimum wage.

      L

      • Bill 13.1.1

        It’s 8 hours lost wage, not 5. Anyway…

        • Lew 13.1.1.1

          It’s three hours’ lost wage, assuming minimum wage. But the point of taxing it is to avoid a moral hazard where people would be more inclined to take the money than to work.

          L

          • IrishBill 13.1.1.1.1

            There’s no moral hazard if there is a strict criteria for access to the scheme. I’ve still not seen any sign from National of how that will be administered.

            Cap: “Rough year”. I think it will be a little longer than that.

  14. Jum 14

    Johnty Rhodes
    March 11, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    The fact you can somehow turn the obvious disadvantages to people not able to use public transport into communism proves your dysfunctional state yet again.

    Kiwirail will cost less in the future than roading will. (The taxpayers are paying all the roading costs and if ppp will be paying all the social costs.) Typical of a right extremist to imagine it is cheaper to transport by truck (private firm), instead of rail; cheaper to repair all our roads from constant damaging use (private firm), instead of repairing rail tracks or laying new ones. Yes the obvious of course is private businesses get more money out of the taxpayers and the taxpayers get nothing out of the government like subsidised transport for school children, stress free travel, the social aspects and tourism of relaxing while travelling long distance, etc.

    As usual the extreme righties don’t consider others; it’s all about ‘take’ in your language, and you have learnt nothing about conserving the future unless its yours. Selfish prxxks.

  15. Mike 15

    What happens to the 8% holiday pay for that missing day? And the employer’s Kiwisaver contributions?

    This poorly thought out scheme seems to be based more on public relations than actual outcomes.

  16. rainman 16

    “This poorly thought out scheme seems to be based more on public relations than actual outcomes”

    Ah, I see you’ve met our government then.

    It will be a long three years, that’s for sure.

  17. sally 17

    “This poorly thought out scheme seems to be based more on public relations than actual outcomes.”

    Welcome to the Crosby|Textor Coalition.

  18. Rachael Le Mer 18

    I will hire more gals for the influx of bored men expected to frequent my establishment. How exciting, life is one big holiday for me.

  19. Rich 19

    I just did the sums,.

    $20 million will pay for the subsidy for less than 8,000 workers. Since 10 workers need to be on this scheme to save one job, this will *save* less than 800 jobs (even assuming that every firm using the scheme was actually going to make people redundant).

    By some reckonings, the coming depression will wipe out 150,000 jobs in NZ.

    Like the cycleway, this is just a bogus scheme that gives the impression of doing something.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      It’s unlikely that one policy will save 150k jobs. Not that I think NACT are trying to save jobs though.

      • Tane 19.1.1

        Best case scenario is 2,500 jobs saved. That’s based on a Government prediction of 25,000 people taking up the scheme on the basis of ten people per one job saved, and the scheme having a 100% success rate in saving jobs.

  20. gobsmacked 20

    John Key’s Big Idea …

    “Fishing Friday”.

    • Bill 20.1

      Very Catholic that.

      Maybe phase two will involve being reconciled with our place in the scheme of things, saying words over our Friday fish and looking forward to our righteous heavenly reward.

      Except…been in phase two for a few generations now. So the reinstatement of fish on a Friday it is then. Followed by dessert of pie in the sky. Oh how we progress!

  21. BLiP 21

    John Key’s 9 Day Fortnight = Titanic + Deck Chairs

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    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
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    3 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days 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
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    7 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week 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
    2 hours 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 hours 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 hours 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 hours 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 hours 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
    8 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government working to keep air freight moving
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  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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