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Building Nations

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, August 16th, 2018 - 72 comments
Categories: economy, Economy, employment, infrastructure, labour, overseas investment, phil twyford - Tags:

The Building Nations event hosted by Infrastructure New Zealand, held in Auckland is happening on Thursday and Friday this week. Here’s the agenda.

It was sold out months ago, at $2,000+ per head. It’s the peak event for construction and infrastructure funders including banks, global top-twenty constructors and utilities, top consultancies and construction lawyers and other service industries, officials galore from Ministries and public commercial entities, and of course politicians major and minor.

Phil Twyford is the keynote this morning. Sure, it’s one conference among many in a calendar. But it’s quite a gathering.

He laid out the challenge to them all: this government will wrestle with transport and real estate as one, towards rebuilding large parts of cities, at scale, on behalf of whole percentages of New Zealand’s deprived population. Has has specific governance machineries in mind to do it.

It is ambitious, organized, and about as risky as the state’s interventions get. The big question is how to spend the $28b effectively, efficiently, gaining as many policy multipliers as can be got.

There are implied rebukes in there of the “business confidence” foolishness.

No more than perhaps five Australasian firms can take this set of challenges on. It will need the Spanish, the Chinese, the Germans and the French to contest – as well as any local who can still lift a spade.

To give a sense of the challenges, at the NZTA light rail briefing last week, the room was packed with over 200 people representing the biggest and the best the world has to offer. But NZTA had little fresh to add, and are nowhere near a procurement process. Nor any sign yet of the mechanisms to integrate light rail with housing redevelopment into attractive deals. Ripe for an impatient interventionist Minister.

HLC (Housing Land Community) and HNZ (Housing New Zealand) are rocketing away with their redevelopment challenges. They will be coming out with a preferred decade-long alliance for civil works in the next few weeks.

Every era is different, every context needs fresh instruments and policies. It’s not the same as Michael Joesph Savage’s time.

But as ever in this country, the left succeeds for people when it corrals and teams the largest businesses to common ends. It’s now.

With these people around me here.

This government knows it will stand or fall on whether citizens get real dividends within one term from all this expenditure, all these deals. Once elected, that’s what you rise to.

Most in this conference room today will make fast money, and slow money, through boomtime and downturn. From what I see here, they can see it will be worth their while – if their risk machinery is sufficiently tuned, their capacity-engines gunned, their commercial partnerships trusting and profitable for many years. And … and … if this government lasts.

Phil Twyford is the Minister confronting, engaging and tilting the whole of NZ real estate capitalism. Apart from real estate brokers, that is the sum of what is here. Row upon row, this is the core of the useful business-government relationship.

Beyond redistribution, what this sixth Labour-led government can do is build.

To be honest it’s exciting as government gets.

72 comments on “Building Nations”

  1. Gosman 1

    And it is a recipe for being a complete flop. Already there is resistance building to what is required.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/106252851/550-lettuces-if-fertile-pukekohe-land-turned-into-houses

    Given the Greens are anti-development on Green field sites the Government will be massively constrained in what it can effectively do

    • Ad 1.1

      The cabbages are revolting.

      And your kind are just not in the room.

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        Do you think rural land in Pukekohe should be protected from Urban development?

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          Are their cabbage leaves enough shelter for the homeless under bridges?

          Three years of highest homelessness in the OECD.

          • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1

            Do you think that farmland near Pukekohe should be protected – yes or no?

            • Ad 1.1.1.1.1.1

              That depends on whether it is better to protect the homeless under bridges more.

              In my view that is the more pressing problem for New Zealand.

              At the moment the Unitary Plan has specific provisions about sensitive land. So of course, that issue is not binary and the regulatory framework is sensitive to it.

              • Gosman

                And I agree with you. However the problem for Phil Twyford is that a lot of people support the idea of protecting the farmland. That is why this is a recipe for a cluster f##k

                • Ad

                  Bill Cashmore the Auckland Deputy Mayor whose family have been farming inthe south of Auckland since the 1870s, was also speaking this morning and had a completely different view to you.

                  The Unitary Plan and the Auckland Plan hearings heard all these complaints ad nauseum.

                  But when it came to making money, the Winstones and all the others in the Franklin area sold out and fucking ran.

                  All the way to the fucking bank.

                  All that matters in the end is the right amount of money at the right time. I’m expecting a grand paen to the history of the Pukekohe Onion in a minute.

                  • dukeofurl

                    Winstones ? Dont you mean Stephensons and wasnt the sellout in Drury not Pukekohe

                  • Molly

                    Since I live here, it would may be of interest to note that many of those primary producers out here actively sought landzone changes.

                    I know of some longtime growers who have participated in subdivision for residential purposes, now complaining that their son cannot easily find leasehold land for continuing the family business. Also, they are against further conversion, but not necessarily when it is friends or business associates. Therein lies the problem.

                    Bill Cashmore may talk well, but I’ve noted that his conversation and conviction can seem to relate a different perspective depending on the audience. Advocated quite passionately for a fencing fund for farmers to be provided by Auckland Council though, which it was, without requirement for any standards compliance.

            • Kevin 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Are you saying farmers should not be allowed to realise on the one major asset they own?

              Supply and demand, that IS the market Gos.

              • Gosman

                Of course I’m not. Hence why I oppose protecting farmland from being converted to urban housing.

                • left_forward

                  Yeah good one Gos, let’s build our houses on our most fertile land!
                  Meh – who needs planning?

              • Jilly Bee

                As a relative newcomer to the Matamata area, one of the first things I noticed was farmland which is now leased out or purchased by Willcox (potatoes) and whichever firm grows and harvests onions – many hectares are now market gardening as has been in the Pukekohe area for yonks. Actually we were cautioned against purchasing on the north side of Matamata as it becomes a continuous dust bowl during the onion harvest.

          • Stunned Mullet 1.1.1.1.2

            ‘Australia, the Czech Republic and New Zealand report a relatively large incidence of homelessness, and this is partly explained by the fact that these countries adopt a broad definition of homelessness.

            In Australia people are considered as homeless if they have “no other options to acquire safe and secure housing are without shelter, in temporary accommodation, sharing accommodation with a household or living in uninhabitable housing”.

            In the Czech Republic the term homeless covers “persons sleeping rough
            (roofless), people who are not able to procure any dwelling and hence live in accommodation for the homeless, and people living in insecure accommodation and people staying in conditions which do not fulfil the minimum standards of living […]”.

            In New Zealand homelessness is defined as “living situations where people with no other options to acquire safe and secure housing: are without shelter, in temporary accommodation, sharing accommodation with a household or living in uninhabitable housing.” ‘

            • andrew murray 1.1.1.1.2.1

              you do see what’s implicit in your comment?

            • Ad 1.1.1.1.2.2

              You can read those definitions out to the families in cars in the park.
              It’ll be sure to warm them up.

              • dukeofurl

                Would those people living in cars be suprised to hear they are classified the same as ‘sharing accommodation with a household’, ie roof over their head , beds to sleep in, washing facilities.

            • Gabby 1.1.1.1.2.3

              You have a problem with those definitions stunted munter?

          • Siobhan 1.1.1.1.3

            Access to cheap vegetables is an issue for all people on benefits and low wages, having cabbages flown in from Aussie or grown hydroponically would be a disaster for people on limited/no budgets. Feeding programs and food banks are also fairly centralised, and those few lost and lonely carrots and onions you get in the average food bank parcel would completely disappear if we relied even more on imported veggies.
            We need an inspired team of architects and urban planners to design human friendly housing that goes upwards…not outwards.

            Not to mention, shoving the poor to the fringes of a city creates even more issues around transport and air pollution.

            Surely, living poor in the city, when you can walk to centralised health and welfare services beats trying to scramble together the bus fare.

            Building future slums on prime fertile soil is something a Government looking for permanent positive change should absolutely put an end to.

            • Ad 1.1.1.1.3.1

              Don’t bother falling for complaints from the usual suspects.

              Those same usual suspects have held on to their land and sold it to housing developers when they felt the price was right. You can see it all through Karaka and Pukekohe now. They took their cheque and ran.

              At the moment we subsidise the housing market through social welfare to the tune of $3 billion per year. We should expect every single city in New Zealand to have fresh developments around it.

              Just to put your mind at rest however, the new Urban Development Agency will be primarily concentrating on brownfield and inner city developments.

              • Siobhan

                Those new housing developments will for the most part still eventually end up in the hands of landlords. The Bill for propping up the profit of private businesses ie landlords, will keep growing. I personally do not see any policies that will reverse the trend of landlordism.
                the Market is King. We are a long long way from a Government willing to end that particular bubble once and for all.

                Even the houses aimed at the first home buyer through kiwibuild, seem to be designed to prop up and encourage ‘The Market, hence there is only a requirement to own them for 3 years before you can sell them for a nice increase in capital gains..

                Turning AK into LA is a crappy future for us all.
                Those fresh developments tend not to stay fresh very long, especially given we insist on houses that have a “minimum lifespan requirements of just 50 years for the building’s structure and 15 years for the durability of the exterior cladding.” . And we wonder why we end up with Global warming.

                ***Really, that is an issue that should be key in this conference. Stop building McMansions, or McApartments (?). Lets go crazy and build houses that don’t start falling to bits and looking crap before the mortgage gets paid off.***

                My mind is not at rest at the thought of the UDA given this Government’s commitment to historically low spending and debt.

                No one is suggesting we pay money to people who ‘took the cheque and ran’. I’m not even sure how that would work. They’ve gone, and they are probably dead keen to invest that cash in the sprawl of Auckland.

              • Molly

                Better planning documents were not provided by the Unitary Plan, that would have considerably helped with housing Aucklanders. Not provision of housing for investors – either here or overseas.

                I have little confidence that unless the essentials are tackled ie. changes to planning, social housing provided as a long term tenancy, improved taxation and rates policies etc. that the housing crisis for many Aucklanders will be solved.

    • lprent 1.2

      Gosman…

      Is it my imagination, or have I started noticing you getting first comment on a lot of posts recently? And in arguably these seem to just be diversion comments largely unrelated to the posts.

      Get the same in Open Mike with the early morning birds..

      I may have to write a diversion of the diverters routine. Easy enough to do. Just add a random number of seconds between 0 and 2600 seconds to the time stamp of any top ‘first’ comment on a post.

      I’d be amused by people gaming that.

  2. adam 2

    Wow two threads your trying to derail with your hard core ideological puffry gosman.

    Funny if that half baked ideology you keep pushing actually worked, there would be no housing crisis, because the hand of the market would have fixed it. There are faires at the end of the garden too mate.

    • Gosman 2.1

      The problem with housing is due to over regulation not with a failure of the market. In fact the market is acting exactly as you would expect in such a situation.

      • millsy 2.1.1

        So how are you going to force all these landowners to build houses then?

        • Gosman 2.1.1.1

          Make it easy for them to turn non-residential land in to residential land and allow builders to build without too much red tape.

          • Kevin 2.1.1.1.1

            And we all know what happened last time that builders had free reign. Leaky building anyone?

            • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Then you need to ensure builders take responsibility for doing a good job. A decent insurance scheme should enable that. All house builders should be required to purchase insurance around the build quality of a house that will last beyond the lifetime of their company. This will also reduce the need for building inspectors from the council as the Insurers themselves are going to want to make sure the work is of a good quality.

      • Bill 2.1.2

        So new builds and current housing stock are both up to a standard required to withstand the climatic effects of climate change? And if they aren’t, then that’s because there has been too much regulation preventing “the market” from providing suitably insulated and configured housing with, of course, requisite shade factored in (architectural design and suitable tree plantings) alongside the ubiquitous roll out of autonomous power generation (solar panels etc)?

        You’re right enough that “the market” is acting exactly as expected – “fuck it all and gimme the cash”.

        • Gosman 2.1.2.1

          Allow developers to build both Climate change friendly and unfriendly options and advertise the resulting properties to people. Then they can decide if they want a cheaper house that won’t cope with Climate change or a more expensive one that will.

          • dukeofurl 2.1.2.1.1

            Do you have an air conditioned car Gosman ?

            of course you do , as there is no other kind. Driver comfort in all climatic conditions is seen as essential. Why not houses.

      • adam 2.1.3

        Sheesh Gossy straight to the ideological talking point you lot have been running with for months.

        Calling BS. Utter and complete BS. You lot are greedy, and therein lies the problem. Regulation so people don’t die in newly built houses is needed exactly because of muppets like you, who did build houses which killed people.

        You know the worst part of your ideology Gossy, you worse than a Stalinist in your blind faith, and let’s face it, Stalinists are a collective of very sick puppies.

        • Gosman 2.1.3.1

          Except the regulations protecting people from “dying” (how many deaths were occurring by the way?) have meant that houses aren’t being built quickly enough and now we have people being forced to live in even worse conditions than before. I believe it is called the law of unintended consequences.

          • adam 2.1.3.1.1

            Now your just an ideological hack at’s it’s vuluge worse. You say people should live in bad condition, because that what the market produces, and it’s better than being homeless. Which by the way, is what the market (as you lot have constructed it) produces.

            But thanks for proving my point of you having ideological blinkers on.

          • Bill 2.1.3.1.2

            how many deaths were occurring by the way?

            Paris. Heatwave of a few years back. Numbered in the thousands if my memory serves me correctly.

            Hundreds in the uk over the past few months.

            Back to thousands in India and Pakistan over the past few years.

            And all of the above just the official figures attributed to excess heat…

          • KJT 2.1.3.1.3

            How many people left with horrendous repair costs, due to the last ideological, deregulation and privatisation burp?
            Christchurch. The effects of cheap labour cowboys coming home to roost, as we speak.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1.4

        Ah yes – the housing problem is due to too much (governmental, public service and local body) regulation and red tape. Leaky homes, anyone? No worries, the ‘market’ will fix it!

        To market, to market to buy a fat pig

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    @Gosman,
    NZ Household debt is out of control, NZ is becoming a nation of debt slaves, which I know sit’s in fine within National Party ideology, but then National have always left NZ with more debt and/or decrepit and unmaintained public services/infrastructure along with all sorts huge social problems to fix when they leave the beehive.

    Fair weather friends would be the kindest way to describe National…

  4. bruce 4

    Why look at farmland far from jobs and existing infrastructure, why not look at all the car yards and other underutilised space, Station Rd in Penrose or between New North Rd and the Railway line from Mt Albert shops to Pak n Save for a couple, low rise and terrace houses . Whatever the current owners want for the land would be cheaper than developing green fields miles from anywhere.

    • Ad 4.1

      And indeed they are doing exactly that.

      The Minister bought 30 hectares from Unitec in April, and has his eyes on bunches more areas within Auckland.

      HLC is also in process of redeveloping large parts of Northcote, Mt Roskill, Oranga, and Mangere. It’s by far the biggest urban redevelopment programme we’ve ever seen.

      Anyone who’s a member of an inner city golf club should also expect plans to start being drawn up.

      And all of that before a single lettuce leaf gets pulled from the ground in Auckland’s deepest rural south.

      • Molly 4.1.1

        Pukekohe is undergoing immense greenfields development, with more on the cards. I don’t know where you are getting your information from.

        • Ad 4.1.1.1

          Not by the state. Which is what was supposed.

          • Molly 4.1.1.1.1

            Until I became disillusioned, I went to a few of these public housing forums. There is a failure of the national government to direct councils to address the housing crisis in an effective manner – not more of the same.

            The state and council (via Panuku Developments) are selling off public lands, that could be developed to provide social housing by themselves. Instead they are entering into PPP agreements, which assume some form of private profit must be made in order to deliver housing, instead of looking at it from the perspective of housing our own.

          • Gosman 4.1.1.1.2

            The State is not building many houses that I am aware of. Most of the extra housing is being provided by the private sector as most housing has always been in NZ.

  5. RedLogix 5

    Another great OP Ad. Hope the conference goes well for you; it really does sound inspiring; at least as much as these things ever get 🙂

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    I see the problem as partly one of industry experience and culture. Our construction sector is relatively volatile, and characterized by broken promises and bankruptcies that never reach the perpetrators, who frequently decamp with the money.

    Were I to try to commission a four story apartment building – the height of ordinariness in many countries, I could not approach many NZ companies with confidence. Twyford has his work cut out. Doing an infinitely better job than Nick Smith isn’t particularly taxing, but resolving the housing crisis will take decades – it took decades to stuff everything up.

    • Gosman 6.1

      Yes ever since the RMA was passed.

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.1

        I think even you will remember cowboy firms before then.

        If it were just the RMA the Gnats would’ve fixed everything by non-enforcement – same as they did for any number of other inconvenient laws.

        The RMA didn’t create the leaky homes for example.

        You need a better example to validate your prejudices. More than one really.

      • dukeofurl 6.1.2

        RMA ?

        We had the Town and Country Planning Act before that…. we werent Cambodia you know

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    It was sold out months ago, at $2,000+ per head.

    Because having obviously poor people having a say is obviously not what they want.

    This is not how we build a democracy/functioning society. Great way to build a dictatorship/plutocracy though.

    No more than perhaps five Australasian firms can take this set of challenges on.

    Our government could do it all – just need the MoW reinstituted. Even the big foreign firms will just be using local resources and so aren’t needed and just become another siphon of money from the country.

    Most in this conference room today will make fast money, and slow money, through boomtime and downturn.

    So, they’re bludgers.

    • Ad 7.1

      Its a for-profit event. No, it’s not free. But it is the most powerful intersection of politicians, policy, and infrastructure policy around.

      The MoW will never be reinstated. Each historical context is different. Instead NZTA and HLC and the upcoming UDA will do a similar set of tasks.

      This wasn’t the entrepreneurial set today. This was the people who join stuff up, fund it, and make it happen.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Yeah, fully anti-democratic.

        Quoting Why we can’t afford the rich:

        Yet challenging big business is the last thing neoliberal governments want to do, for they are its servant and defender. One of the features of the neoliberal era is the attempt by governments to make individuals responsible for providing for themselves where previously the state did this. It’s clearest in attempts to reduce state provision of education and health and to blame the unemployed for job shortages. Some sociologists, never afraid of coining an ugly word, call this ‘responsibilisation’. Treating our response to global warming as one of individuals becoming more responsible in their choices is entirely consistent with this. In this way, governments can avoid blame if things don’t work out at the same time as they not only avoid challenging big business but deliver new customers to them through privatisation. Focusing purely on individual consumers depoliticises things.

        • Ad 7.1.1.1

          The conference participants are all there for public sector clients. Representing public expenditure and public assets. $28b of transport funding, $24b of Ak Council family funding, about $12b of housing land and funding.

          There was also discussion about taxing property owners in a variety of instruments.

          I know you love your little book. You like quoting verses out of it ike a Sunday School teacher. Avert your eyes, there’s actual money being spent.

          You’re really bad at understanding the intersection of public policy with the world, and you make no effort to do so.

          This was not a conference you would understand.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            The conference participants are all there for public sector clients.

            Proving that the government has the necessary scale to do this in house. That being the case we could do a better job or save 10% or possibly more if profit taking.

            You’re really bad at understanding the intersection of public policy with the world, and you make no effort to do so.

            I understand it fully including how the rich steal from the rest of us and take away our ability to govern ourselves.

            I know you love your little book.

            And that’s just you refusing to even think about how things could be different and better.

      • RedLogix 7.1.2

        Exactly. It’s a mistake to underestimate the personal energy, skills and competency that it takes to get things done at this scale. I know it sounds a bit Randian, but us despised engineers really do make the modern world tick. Not on our own of course, but without us it would be a very primitive place indeed.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1

          I would be surprised if there was an engineer at that meeting. They would all have been bureaucrats.

          And I even accept the need for them as well – to a limited degree.

  8. Brutus Iscariot 8

    The issue of the Pukekohe soils is a national security as well as an environmental issue. These factors should override any other concerns or considerations, legitimate though they may be.

  9. CHCOff 9

    The foreign buyers ban is a good start.

    Essentially the thing is, ultimately, in principle and practise, that living in a house is ownership of that home. That’s the standard which all the wonky political haggling needs to be subservient to when it comes to economics.

    Then New Zealand can be a real progressive world leader showcasing the benefits of market supply and demand, as society moves away from the rorting lobbying model to that of added value lobbying calling the shots via the great and efficient power of capitalistic democracy.

    NZ1st!

  10. coodale 10

    If the lifespan of these houses is truely a laughable 50 years, why not a 49 year lease on the land, govt holds land ownership in a transition title, ear-marked for return to agriculture. They could also impose garden as major part of housing development.

    Let me guess, we’ve signed a deal with Oz, to say we cant use that form of ownership law? Time to bypass the country and go to the sate govts? They trying to trick us into joining Oz?

    49 year leases for agriculture, the right can call it the t-pee camp policy.

  11. eco maori 11

    This Government will be in for more than one term enough said

  12. Jenny 12

    Busting Nations

    It was sold out months ago, at $2,000+ per head. It’s the peak event for construction and infrastructure funders including banks, global top-twenty constructors and utilities, top consultancies and construction lawyers….*

    *And all the other bottom feeders gathering at the smell of government largess. J.

    One thing is for sure. At $2,000+ per head, all the orphan volunteer agencies struggling to deal with homelessness at the grass roots level, will not be getting a seat at this glittering table.

    It is ambitious, organized, and about as risky as the state’s interventions get. The big question is how to spend the $28b effectively……

    risky as it gets“, is right. As the Ebert’s collapse shows. Not to mention how similar large housing infrastructure schemes ended up in Ireland and Spain

    Largely because, yes, while there is a housing crisis, there is no housing shortage.

    So hang on a minute, before we go spending $28b on corporate welfare for the faltering building sector.

    We need to ask ourselves; Do we really want our politicians sucking up to the private sector, or do we want Courageous and Creative independent thinking Civic Leaders that dare to challenge the market driven housing crisis?

    If our Central and Local Government Politicians were truly serious about addressing the housing crisis….,

    Maybe the the first thing they should do, (before putting huge social effort and resources into building lots more private dwellings, which first off, lines the pockets of the developers and land speculators, and in the case of Pukekohe and Paerata developments, eats up irreplaceable agricultural land, while adding to the Southern motorway congestion woes) – Our political leaders could be doing what Vancouver’s Courageous Civic Leaders are doing to deal with the housing crisis.

    No Right Turn: Dealing with ghost homes
    Notices and Features – The Standard, August 4th, 2017

    How to persuade the world’s wealthiest people not to leave properties empty is a conundrum that is not confined to London – other major cities around the globe have also been grappling with the problem of buy-to-leave.

    Higher rates of tax for owners and buyers seem to be the preferred choice. In Vancouver, where an estimated 20,000 properties were lying empty all or much of the year, a new tax on empty homes was introduced at the start of this year. The city is now charging 1% of the value of any property left empty for at least six months a year. Owners must declare that this is the case, or face fines of up to $10,000 a day if they do not and are found out. On a property worth £500,000 the annual bill is £5,000 and as the property rises in value, so does the penalty for leaving it unused.

    In the days running up to the first taxes kicking in, six months into the year, local media reported that homeowners were caught in a “scramble to rent”, or considering selling up to avoid the tax. The response suggests that the threat of taxation was having the desired effect.

    Which is what we want: we want houses to be homes for people to live in, not gold bars for the rich. If they want to stockpile wealth, they can do it in a way which doesn’t fuck up the rest of our lives, thanks.

    The ghost house epidemic and the invisible hand
    Anthony Robins – The Standard, June 13th, 2016

    ‘Ghost houses’ hit Auckland renting market

    Ghost houses aren’t haunted, but could prove to be the stuff of nightmares for would-be renters in Auckland’s overheating housing market.

    A ONE News investigation has revealed houses across our largest city are being bought and deliberately left empty by investors who refuse to rent them out, instead looking to sell them for huge profits without the hassle of finding tenants in the interim.

    Building and Housing MinisterNick Smith doesn’t think the number of ghost houses is rising, and there is no way of knowing how many of Auckland’s 22,000 unoccupied properties are being deliberately left empty [my emphasis].

    However census figures show the percentage of unoccupied dwellings in some desirable Auckland suburbs has surged in the past 10 years, with more than one in 10 Takapuna homes empty. …

    One year later:

    Rise of the ghost homes – More than 33,000 Auckland dwellings officially classified empty

    More than 33,000 Auckland dwellings are officially classified empty as the city grapples with a crisis of affordable housing and homelessness.

    Auckland’s 6.6 per cent vacancy rate is higher than either Sydney (5.2 per cent) or Melbourne (4.8 per cent), where there has been an uproar over “ghost houses” deliberately left empty by speculators trading on a soaring market. …

    I don’t know whether the methods used to calculate the 2015 figure (22,000 unoccupied properties) and the 2016 figure (33,000 officially classified as empty) are directly comparable, but on the face of it that looks like a 50% increase in one year. At the very least I think it’s safe to say that the problem is getting worse, not better (and that Nick Smith, as usual, is utterly wrong).

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    14 hours 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 ...
    14 hours ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day 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
    2 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, ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks 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
    6 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
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    5 days ago
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    5 days ago
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
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    5 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    6 days ago
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
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    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
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    2 weeks ago
  • More support for wood processing
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    2 weeks ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
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    2 weeks ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
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    2 weeks ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
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    2 weeks ago