Bubble bubble toil and trouble

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, April 6th, 2021 - 42 comments
Categories: australian politics, chris hipkins, covid-19, health, Judith Collins - Tags:

An announcement on the Trans Tasman bubble is expected this afternoon.

From Radio New Zealand:

The government will today announce when the country will begin a long anticipated trans-Tasman bubble with Australia.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will make the announcement this afternoon, after meeting with Cabinet.

Ardern said the government had carefully worked through the framework of a trans-Tasman bubble, but she warned travelling would not be without risk.

“We will have a number of precautions in place ready to go if in the event we need to alter people’s travel, but anyone who is looking to book to travel to Australia will just need to factor in plans if there is something that happens on either side of the ditch,” she said.

The tourism industry is keen.  Again from Radio New Zealand:

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts was hopeful for a two-way bubble this month, but in the meantime said businesses needed more clarity on what would happen if there were outbreaks.

“How we look after our guests who are in the country in those circumstances and what messaging are we giving to people who want to come to New Zealand.

“If we have all that information provided by the government, then the industry will be raring to go,” he said.

He should be asking these questions of the Australian Government and of the six Australian states.  They will control who comes here and how and when they return.

And Judith Collins is having an especially spiteful morning.

National Party leader Judith Collins didn’t want to wait any longer and said she’d be disappointed if a bubble wasn’t in place this week.

“I’m sure the Australians can do it for six months, we should be able to do it,” she said.

Collins said the wait had been traumatic for many New Zealanders who have been unable to see family.

But the issues are complex and for the Tourism Industry I don’t think that the bubble will be the panacea that some operators think it is.

Sure there will be more Australians visiting.  But less Kiwis who will instead take the chance to head across the ditch rather than holiday here.  And who is going to afford the travel insurance, presuming that it is available.

And I am not sure that Australia has Covid completely under control.  Their systems appear to be inferior to ours as indicated by the fairly regular community outbreaks that are occurring.

Elsewhere throughout the world the virus is again surging.  The United Kingdom, thanks to a fairly strict lockdown and mass vaccination, have reduced daily new infection rates from 60,000 to 7,000.  But in other parts of Europe numbers are increasing and the UK variant of the virus, which is more transmittable, is becoming the dominant variant.  And there are concerns that the South African variant may be resistant to the current vaccines.

And the unholy scrap for vaccines continue.  National had criticised the Government for being cautious with its announcements concerning the roll out of vaccines and pointed to Australia where the roll out had been publicised with some detail.  But Australia’s roll out appears to be less than optimal.

From Shannan Molloy at the ABC:

Yesterday, four million Americans received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as the country continues to rapidly accelerate its rollout.

By comparison, that’s the same number of Australians who were meant to have gotten a jab by the end of March … a target that the Government fell short of by 3.4 million people.

Just two per cent of Australians have received a jab so far, compared to 30 per cent of the US population and 46 per cent of people in the UK.

A number of frontline health workers, hotel quarantine workers and vulnerable aged care residents remain unvaccinated, despite the significant risks.

Supply from overseas has dwindled, distribution of what the country does hold has been marred by issues, communication between authorities and the GPs tasked with administering jabs is chaotic, and fury is growing, experts say.

The basic problem is that Morrison overpromised, did not do the preparation work to make sure that the distribution and vaccination networks were in place and organised, and when Europe choked off Australia’s supply the program faltered.  However Europe’s actions are not an excuse.  The report is that a shipment of 250,000 vaccines was blocked but this is only a small part of the short fall.  There is a laboratory pumping out Astra Zeneca vaccines and the crisis is in large part self inflicted.

A bubble was nearly in place in February but Australia changed its mind at the last minute and negotiations continued.  Katie Scotcher from Radio New Zealand reported this in March this year:

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has, however, clarified that officials were close to reaching an agreement at the start of February.

In response to a written question from National MP Chris Bishop, Hipkins said the two-way quarantine travel could start when “the respective health authorities have determined that the rate of Covid-19 transmission and associated public health risk is acceptably low in both countries”.

He also revealed New Zealand and Australian officials had discussed the draft arrangement text on 4 February but Australia changed its mind, deciding it wanted to be able to make independent decisions.

“We were relatively comfortable with where things were heading, we were sort of on track. Since then Australia’s position shifted so we’ve had to recalibrate,” Hipkins said.

“Look, these things happen.”

The independent approach Australia wants to take will be more challenging for the government to manage and as Hipkins explained during Question Time, there is a lot for officials to work through.

“Issues that we’re working through include understanding the circumstances that could lead to a suspension of green zone travel on either side of the Tasman; what we would do with those whose travel is disrupted by the suspension of a green zone; testing requirements that may be put in place on either side; Australia’s current exit visa restriction that prevents Australians travelling to New Zealand without a visa; the state-by-state differences in decision making in Australia; decision making around expansion to other countries outside of the safe travel zone and who would make those, and whether New Zealand would have any input into that process; and contact tracing system interoperability, in the event that we needed to do contact tracing for people who had been in one country, and were then identified as being more at risk after they had travelled to another country,” Hipkins said in the House.

So it appears the trans Tasman bubble will be a thing in the near future.  But until both populations have been sufficiently vaccinated I suspect that a constant recalibration of arrangements will be required.  And I am sure that flare ups of the virus on either side of the Tasman is going to upset and test any arrangements reached.

42 comments on “Bubble bubble toil and trouble ”

  1. Treetop 1

    ED departments are already stretched in the warmer months. The winter is the flu season and capacity in the health system gets stretched. With a trans Tasman bubble it is going to be harder to detect a community case of Covid-19 over the colder months in both NZ and Australia, people might just think they have a winter virus and not get checked out.

    In saying the above is there not another way of doing isolation for people coming from Australia to NZ?

  2. Incognito 2

    It feels like an act of despair or denial to open up when both sides of the Tasman still have such low vaccination levels. It’ll put an immense trust in and responsibility on the people tasked with keeping us safe and on the people who (want to) travel. Can they handle this? Is it fair to them?

    As far as JC and National are concerned, they seem to want to play a game in which they think they cannot lose. Yes, I know I’m cynical here, but just wait till something goes wrong and National starts the barking and blame game again.

    • swordfish 2.1

      Yep … no high-risk elderly have been vaccinated here & (apart from rest-home residents) they are way back in the pecking order: ie Group 3 (which I find extraordinary).

      • Incognito 2.1.1

        May is not too far away so fingers crossed that nobody will miss the boat, so to speak.

        • swordfish 2.1.1.1

          May ? I have some doubts about the rollout schedule,

          • Incognito 2.1.1.1.1

            What doubts do you have and why, if I may ask?

            I think timing is important with the flu season at the door too.

  3. Stuart Munro 3

    For my own part I'd want a minimum vaccination level before establishing a bubble with Oz – and probably saliva tests on boarding and a swab on arrival. No doubt the health folk have been working through a few protocols. A single port of entry with a low population mightn't hurt – there might be a role for Queenstown after all. All up though, if we want increased visitor traffic, building another thousand isolation spaces might be the smarter move.

  4. mpledger 4

    Do people flying in from Australia come in planes with only Australians or Australian quarantined people?

    Or is a plane-load a mix of Australians and people traveling from other destinations e.g. France-Sydney-Auckland?

    Maybe bubblers can leave from Melbourne and arrive in Chch and non-bubblers can leave from Sydney and arrive in Auckland.

    • KSaysHi 4.1

      My concerns too.

    • froggleblocks 4.2

      They're called 'green flights'. Such flights already operate from NZ going to Australia and contain only NZ residents who meet green flight criteria.

    • Enough is Enough 4.3

      You won't be able to transit Australia and enter New Zealand.

      You will need to be in Australia for at least 14 days prior to travelling to New Zealand.

      Thats the same as applies the other way now, and has since October.

  5. RedLogix 5

    Couple of thoughts.

    The big risk is the appearance of new variants that may be more infectious and lethal. I'm reading of so called .P1 mutation which may be killing younger people.

    Also the possibility that it's going to have a permanent reservoir of carriers in species like rodents, cats etc. In which case we will never eradicate it and it will need booster shots as we do for influenza – forever.

    Then the possibility that vaccinating during a pandemic where partially immune people are going to become infected with wild viruses at the same time, has the potential to put the virus under evolutionary pressure to do unexpected things. Very unknown territory.

    The good news is that nations with strong border controls are getting better at managing this all the time. In particular the ability to genetically trace the sequence of individual infections is quite astonishing – it's a real game changer. The most recent outbreak in Brisbane this past week was stomped on really fast.

    From a COVID perspective Australia is really seven different countries, each state managing it's own isolation and containment strategy. And arguably they're getting better at it over time.

    Personally I think trans-Tasman travel should be deferred another month to six weeks, at least until we're deeper into the vaccination effort and we understand how that's going to play out. But otherwise I think it's doable then with minimal risk.

  6. Sabine 6

    so the near future then will be in 2022 at best, considering that Europe, England and the US will tell us over the near future in the next three to four month if the vaccines hold up in regards to the new strains. Oh, and Tokio now has their own strain too, yuppie!

    Another tax payer funded travel trip up and down tourism land for Stuart boy to tell everyone to just be kind, gentle, patient, and no the government is not here to help?

  7. Graeme 7

    A huge influx of Australian tourists in the next three months is highly unlikely. We’re headed into the traditional off season fir that market and the Australian government is spending north of a billion AUD subsidising internal flights to try and get people travelling. We’ll be well down the list.

    The bubble will take a lot of load off MIQ, which will be good. The main uptake will be visiting friends and family, good for airlines and airports but won’t do much for the wider industry. A lot of businesses need a pickup in business levels this month or it’s all over for them, especially if they don’t have a winter product.

    Winter could be good for those that have the product but it’s a fickle beast, if the weather doesn’t do the deed in a critical window in June we get rolled by the Australian ski industry and struggle to turn the season around even with good snow later.

    • Sabine 7.1

      Stuart will come and tell all those that are ready to die over the next few month to do so silently and out of mind and eyes of everyone, lest they make a spectacle of them, and we can't have that in our kinder gentler world.

      Gosh, imagine the government giving money to money less kiwis so that they too could have something nice and stimulate the economy and prevent hundreds of businesses from going bust all at once.

  8. Foreign Waka 8

    It is very reckless to allow travel without having at least 70 % of kiwis vaccinated. The powers to be had a year to get this done. Why are we so far behind the 8 ball? Equally, the flu vaccinations are not fully available yet. I have asked and it is only 65 and over that are being scheduled from mid April onwards. What is going on? Have we spend 16 billions to support shareholders and run out of money for any of the vaccinations? And why have we gone through those lockdowns with threats that you can be fined and yet it will only need one carrier to create another lockdown. But that is ok, cos we need those tourists, maybe we should be looking at resourcing enough to have a lock down with another 2 million to support. Its 101 on how to set a country truly into the sand.

  9. Corey Humm 9

    My dad has been in and out of hospital with heart problems the last few weeks and the professionals are amazing but the funding and lack of time they have is disgusting. The idea that some rich pricks who think they have a god given right to go on luxury travels around the world might bring covid no matter how remote the chance is and put our already stretched healthcare system at the brink and risk the economy in another lockdown due to their need to vakay in melbs and the GC makes me freak out with anxiety. Wait until there's a suffient number of vaccinated people to have any bubble.

    I agree aussie doesn't seem to have their house in complete order.

    • Incognito 9.1

      Good point. Government should consider beefing up protection of the vulnerable, e.g. people with lower immunity. This might mean more stringent visiting hours & conditions in hospitals and rest and residential care homes, for example. No point stressing out a large number of people just so that a few can have their avocado on toast on the other side of the ditch.

      • Enough is Enough 9.1.1

        Vaccinating the vulnerable in the next couple of weeks would be the beefing up I want to see.

        • Incognito 9.1.1.1

          Yes, but not everyone who ends up in hospital or residential care is necessarily considered vulnerable beforehand and some may not be able to be vaccinated (in time). We need an extra firewall, IMO.

        • Foreign Waka 9.1.1.2

          Good luck with that. I can already tell you that people with Asthma have to wait until at least end of May if not longer for their flu vaccine and you are not able to get the corona jab at the same time unless you want to kill the old, sick and infirm. Hang on, where was this happen before???

        • mpledger 9.1.1.3

          My understanding is that vaccination just makes the effects of covid-19 less severe in most people. I doubt it will be enough to save some vulnerable people from the fatal effects of covid-19.

          • The Al1en 9.1.1.3.1

            Perhaps Pharmac should be looking at this as a 'just in case' for the vulnerable.

            https://www.msnbc.com/transcripts/transcript-rachel-maddow-show-3-11-2021-n1261004

            "Two new clinical trial results reported yesterday showing for people who tested positive for COVID, people at high risk of getting sick and dying from COVID, take this drug, 85 percent and 87 percent reduction in your chance of getting hospitalized or dying. Two different drugs, one with an 85 percent reduction, one with an 87 percent reduction.

            One of these drugs, the 87 percent one, is already approved for use in the United States. It`s made by Eli Lilly. Eli Lilly says they can make a million doses of that in the next few months.

            The other drug is made by Glaxo, and a biotech company called Vir. They say they`re applying for use authorization in the United States right away on the strength of these clinical trial results. Their clinical trial was actually called off by the advisory board overseeing it because the drug was working so well, they decided the only ethical thing to do was to stop the trial.

            They decided it wasn`t ethically right to keep giving half the people in that trial just a placebo when the drug itself was working so well. It was showing an 85 percent reduction in people having to go to the hospital and in people dying. Among people who were COVID positive and at high risk of getting sick."

            • Andre 9.1.1.3.1.1

              They didn't bother to name either medication, which makes it a bit hard to find more information.

              But further down the transcript, Fauci talked about them being monoclonal antibodies, which almost always means $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, and that they need to be administered intravenously at an infusion centre.

              • The Al1en

                I don't mind paying my taxes, in fact, I'd be happy to pay a bit extra until we have the vulnerable covered. Certainly better value for money than what a flag referendum goes for, and gets you.

                • Andre

                  I'm picking the vaccination programme will be done and dusted at much lower cost long before either of these new treatments become any kind of viable option for New Zealand.

                  • The Al1en

                    Import a covid case from the Aus bubble, let it get in the community and do it's thing and these drugs become viable options for those most at risk of dying.

                    But let's hope with fingers, toes, eyes and legs crossed, you're correct on the vaccine roll out.

                    • Andre

                      From the limited information in that transcript, it seems they are still in quite early stages of clinical trials. Which means a long way away from even emergency use approval in the US, let alone Medsafe and Pharmac getting their chance to take a look at either of them.

                    • The Al1en

                      From the text above

                      "One of these drugs, the 87 percent one, is already approved for use in the United States. "

              • Incognito

                Yup, neutralizing antibodies and they’re not cheap but the trial results were strong although it was a small trial (BLAZE).

                https://investor.lilly.com/news-releases/news-release-details/lillys-bamlanivimab-and-etesevimab-together-reduced

                • Andre

                  Thanks.

                  That report makes it sound a bit further along than the Maddow transcript sounded like. But it is a talk-up from the developer company, so …

                  Scrolling down to the Authorised Use and Safety Information includes a lot of stuff that makes me go hmmmm …

  10. woodart 10

    travel insurance brokers are already saying they wont honour policies if borders are shut. so for any aussies trapped here, all round to judiths place .

    • Enough is Enough 10.1

      Kiwis and Aussies have been living with closed borders for over 12 months, and a very limited ability to actually get home when wanted. There is about a 3 month waiting list in both countries to enter MIQ.

      Being stranded on one side of the tasman or the other is not really going to be any worse than what has been happening for the past year.

      The message needs to be clear. You travel, we are not coming to help you if you get stranded, and Aussies stuck here is their problem

      • woodart 10.1.1

        I agree with you, but IF the borders shut again(and you would get good odds from bookmakers that WILL happen),there will be sob stories in media about uncaring polies etc. ..media SHOULD ,but wont of course, take some responsibility for overegging this situation. It amazes me that in this interconnected age, so many dont seem to have the ability to skype,zoom,conference call ,etc to friends and family overseas, but at the same time have the herald ,newdorkzb ,etc on speed dial ,for a whinge. the incessant whineing sounds coming out of queenstown wont stop, whatever happens. All of australia could visit and waste money in queenstown and there would still be moans about what could have been(could have been locked down for three months,like melbourne, thank you ,private enterprise eh?)

  11. gsays 11

    I would like to see at least 85 per cent compliance with the Covid tracer app/physical signing in before we extend trust to trans Tasman bubblers.

    If we can't do the bare basics ourselves, how do we expect others?

    • Incognito 11.1

      devil

    • Foreign Waka 11.2

      Tracer app wont protect you, but vaccination will. Laissez-faire…

      • gsays 11.2.1

        Not sure what yr getting at. Is there a sarc tag missing?

        Edit. Full dislosure, I am wary of the attitude that everything’s ok, we’ve got the vaccine…

      • mpledger 11.2.2

        It's not complete protection, you should certainly get vaccinated but still follow all the othe precautions – wash hands regularly, don't touch your face etc.

    • froggleblocks 11.3

      How do you know if there is 85% compliance or not?

      • gsays 11.3.1

        The DG of Health seems to know how many sign ins there are (apps wise), so let's the peak of that and go 85% if that.

        There are lots of folk with degrees and Doctorates that are better at implenting my reckons than me.😀

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac
    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation
    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...
    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz
    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    3 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again
    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister
    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    3 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.
    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won
    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16
    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16
    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother
    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?
    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    4 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)
    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.
    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1
    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor
    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15
    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15
    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?
    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    4 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution
    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?
    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ
    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    5 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response
    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment
    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President
    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Questions from God
    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence
    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    6 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago

  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals
    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset
    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • School attendance continues to increase
    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights
    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery
    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki
    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers
    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government creates MAG for retail crime victims
    The coalition Government is establishing a Ministerial Advisory Group for the victims of retail crime, as part of its plan to restore law and order, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee says.  “New Zealand has seen an exponential growth in retail crime over the past five ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
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