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Charles Stross: The High Frontier, Redux

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, December 28th, 2010 - 32 comments
Categories: climate change, science - Tags:

If you haven’t read this blog post by Charles Stross yet, and you’re a science and/or science fiction nutter (or just interested), then you should probably do so.

I’m going to take it as read that the idea of space colonization isn’t unfamiliar; domed cities on Mars, orbiting cylindrical space habitats a la J. D. Bernal or Gerard K. O’Neill, that sort of thing. Generation ships that take hundreds of years to ferry colonists out to other star systems where — as we are now discovering — there are profusions of planets to explore.

And I don’t want to spend much time talking about the unspoken ideological underpinnings of the urge to space colonization, other than to point out that they’re there, that the case for space colonization isn’t usually presented as an economic enterprise so much as a quasi-religious one. “We can’t afford to keep all our eggs in one basket” isn’t so much a justification as an appeal to sentimentality, for in the hypothetical case of a planet-trashing catastrophe, we (who currently inhabit the surface of the Earth) are dead anyway. The future extinction of the human species cannot affect you if you are already dead: strictly speaking, it should be of no personal concern.

Stross then looks at the energy requirements required and the reasons for exploring, but throughly trashes the idea of interstellar travel without “...technology indistinguishable from magic — magic tech that, furthermore, does things that from today’s perspective appear to play fast and loose with the laws of physics…“. He then runs through the same types of issues for colonizing the planets.

We’re human beings. We evolved to flourish in a very specific environment that covers perhaps 10% of our home planet’s surface area. (Earth is 70% ocean, and while we can survive, with assistance, in extremely inhospitable terrain, be it arctic or desert or mountain, we aren’t well-adapted to thriving there.) Space itself is a very poor environment for humans to live in. A simple pressure failure can kill a spaceship crew in minutes. And that’s not the only threat. Cosmic radiation poses a serious risk to long duration interplanetary missions, and unlike solar radiation and radiation from coronal mass ejections the energies of the particles responsible make shielding astronauts extremely difficult. And finally, there’s the travel time. Two and a half years to Jupiter system; six months to Mars.

Now, these problems are subject to a variety of approaches — including medical ones: does it matter if cosmic radiation causes long-term cumulative radiation exposure leading to cancers if we have advanced side-effect-free cancer treatments? Better still, if hydrogen sulphide-induced hibernation turns out to be a practical technique in human beings, we may be able to sleep through the trip. But even so, when you get down to it, there’s not really any economically viable activity on the horizon for people to engage in that would require them to settle on a planet or asteroid and live there for the rest of their lives. In general, when we need to extract resources from a hostile environment we tend to build infrastructure to exploit them (such as oil platforms) but we don’t exactly scurry to move our families there. Rather, crews go out to work a long shift, then return home to take their leave. After all, there’s no there there — just a howling wilderness of north Atlantic gales and frigid water that will kill you within five minutes of exposure. And that, I submit, is the closest metaphor we’ll find for interplanetary colonization. Most of the heavy lifting more than a million kilometres from Earth will be done by robots, overseen by human supervisors who will be itching to get home and spend their hardship pay. And closer to home, the commercialization of space will be incremental and slow, driven by our increasing dependence on near-earth space for communications, positioning, weather forecasting, and (still in its embryonic stages) tourism. But the domed city on Mars is going to have to wait for a magic wand or two to do something about the climate, or reinvent a kind of human being who can thrive in an airless, inhospitable environment.

Colonize the Gobi desert, colonise the North Atlantic in winter — then get back to me about the rest of the solar system!

I’ve been reading science fiction for a long time because it stretches my mind more than any other type of fiction does. Normal fiction I can usually deduce the plot early from the very limited numbers of plot lines that humans have so far invented. I drive people nuts watching films and doing the same thing. Non-fiction is ok, but being fed on a diet of facts is as boring as eating one of those diets designed to prolong life by slowing down the metabolism – dead boring. Science fiction is fun to read and even more so now I’m using Stanza and Project Gutenberg to read my way through classic SF written before I was born.

But science is science and of course Stross is correct. His dismal analysis isn’t good for the romantics. But without a mythical magic kit there is no escape route.The implication is that there isn’t any way that we want to risk screwing up our only viable living space. So why are we stupidly attempting to change the climate that we depend on with our greenhouse emissions?

32 comments on “Charles Stross: The High Frontier, Redux”

  1. jcuknz 1

    It is fun to read about space colonies and Crystal Singers, last one I read, a paperback for a dollar outside a bookstore .. but reality is it is not going to happen for more than a very small elite. The rest of us have to survive back here. Paul Krugman today http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/27/opinion/27krugman.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a212
    suggests we are going to learn to pay higher prices .. I suggest the solution is to reduce population to a level that Earth can sustain at whatever level that is … far fewer than the current population for sure. Could be the answer is both, higher prices and lower living standards until we stabilise the population at a sustainable level.

    • pollywog 1.1

      I suggest the solution is to reduce population to a level that Earth can sustain at whatever level that is … far fewer than the current population for sure. Could be the answer is both, higher prices and lower living standards until we stabilise the population at a sustainable level.

      ..and funnily enough

      HUMAN GUINEA PIGS

      Years before Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft made population reduction the official foreign policy of the United States Government, the Rockefeller brothers, in particular John D. Rockefeller III, or JDR III as we was affectionately known, were busy experimenting on human guinea pigs… JDR III made Puerto Rico into a huge laboratory to test his ideas on mass population control beginning in the 1950’s. By 1965, an estimated 35% of Puerto Rico’s women of child-bearing age had been permanently sterilized, according to a study made that year by the island’s Public Health Department. The Rockefeller’s Population Council, and the U.S. Government Department of Health Education and Welfare – where brother Nelson Rockefeller was Under-Secretary – packaged the sterilization campaign. They used the spurious argument that it would protect women’s health and stabilize incomes if there were fewer mouths to feed…

      With population control, Rockefeller and others in the establishment believed they had finally found the answer to mass, efficient and effective negative eugenics. The founding meeting of the Population Council…was attended by Detlev W. Bronk, then president of both the Rockefeller Institute and the National Academy of Sciences. JDR III arranged for the conference to be sponsored under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences to give it a quasi-scientific aura…Dr. Bronk was sympathetic to the agenda of population control. Being promoted was the same unvarnished eugenics racial ideology, veiled under the guise of world hunger and population problems.

      http://rachels-carson-of-today.blogspot.com/2009/11/brotherhood-of-death-william-engdahl.html

      …sure we’re carrying a lot of deadweight on this planet but nature has a way of selecting for those fittest to survive without any extra help from genocidal fatcats.

      “…technology indistinguishable from magic — magic tech that, furthermore, does things that from today’s perspective appear to play fast and loose with the laws of physic. And while I won’t rule out the possibility of such seemingly-magical technology appearing at some time in the future…“

      Neccessity is the mother of invention. We need fast loose meta physical magic tech so it will come to pass. It really is that simple. It’s just a case of when, not if and i’m pickin it’ll be way before the doom and gloomers worst case scenario climate changes can happen or before the energy barons can monopolise the technology.

      One thing i can’t rule out though, is seemingly-magical technology appearing all throughout history in the form of extraterrestrial visitations. Only they’d be foolish to share any next level tech secrets with us while were nothing more than cavemen with laptops.

      Imagine man in his current evolutionary stage with a magic wand of infinite power ?..gone before lunchtime is what we’d be, and i mean gone as in dead, not off terraforming new planets.

      Nature is ought but the will of God. Let it run it’s course and have faith that we are fit to live long and prosper. And let God take care of itself for we’ll meet it soon enough, if only in our dreams…

      🙂

      • Bored 1.1.1

        Interupting my holiday to say Top of the Season to you Polly…keepem coming.

      • jcuknz 1.1.2

        I should have known that somebody would bring this subject up, awhile back I was accused of being an old guy past it and wishing to deprive the younger. Really I am hoping, not that I will see it I guess in what is left of my life, but common sense prevailing by common consent. With socialism providing the counter measures to endless procreation by care for the helpless by those with the ability.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Humanity needs to invent artificially intelligent, machines with human-like cognitive abilities to work in these hostile environments and to do the dirty work that people don’t want to do. The great thing is, we can let these machines do all the fighting and working for us, we won’t need to pay them, and they won’t complain if we mistreat them, it’ll be great. The future of humanity.

    • Bill 2.1

      “…we won’t need to pay them, and they won’t complain if we mistreat them, it’ll be great. The future of humanity.

      Hmm. Let’s go back a hundred years (give or take)….Mechanisation of the means of production. It’ll be great. The future of humanity. Oops. Living it. Not that flash.

      • Bored 2.1.1

        I was supposed to get a lot of leisure as a result….we did when the machines took away our jobs and incomes….

        • RedLogix 2.1.1.1

          Exactly… as I said before, the fruits of 30 years of high tech productivity have been stolen from us by a tiny elite.

          I want it back off them before I let them have more ‘magic’ to play with.

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      The war began when humanity’s robotic creation, the Cylons, turned on their “parents” after years of slavery. During the course of the conflict the Cylons used Raiders and basestars, while the Colonials developed the first battlestars and the renowned Viper Mark II.

      😀

      http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Cylon_War

  3. Lanthanide 3

    It’s easier to live in Antarctica, or the Sahara, than it is to live on Mars or the Moon, because while they’re both inhospitable in their own way, they have air and relatively easy contact with other humans if required for an emergency. Look at our success in colonising both of those places, and that’ll give you an idea of how desperately we want to get to Mars and the Moon (hint: not very).

  4. Zorr 4

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” — Arthur C. Clarke

    It is true that the idea of interstellar travel or colonization of other planets is far out of our grasp but to say that it is impossible as the required level of science is that of “magic” compared to our current level of understanding of the universe just makes me laugh because it assumes that we already have a significantly advanced understanding.

  5. joe90 5

    Word Lens looks like something Roddenberry dreamed up.

  6. Oscar 6

    ” So why are we stupidly attempting to change the climate that we depend on with our greenhouse emissions?”

    Indeed. Especially when we don’t know anywhere near enough about the atmosphere after just 30 years of analyzing it.
    Why, a believer even said to me the other day that it’s global warming that’s making the ozone holes bigger.

    • NickS 6.1

      Why, a believer even said to me the other day that it’s global warming that’s making the ozone holes bigger.

      Yes, because you’ve so shown yourself to be a trustworthy source of information….

      Aka I’m presuming you’re making shit up as per usual.

      Indeed. Especially when we don’t know anywhere near enough about the atmosphere after just 30 years of analyzing it.

      Correction: You know nothing about climate science.

      Also climate science has been around for far longer than 30 years, and we know more than enough to understand and explain the impacts of greenhouse gases on climate at regional scales and over decadal time spans.

      • Eddie 6.1.1

        the understanding that humans putting more of certain gases into the atmosphere will cause it to retain more heat has been around for at least 114 years http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_climate_change_science

        Svante Arrhenius’s calculations were amazingly good for a first try (he spent years on them), close to what modern modelling shows

        • Oscar 6.1.1.1

          Thats only the understanding. Nothing to do with the composition of the atmosphere.

          We know Nitrogen and Oxygen are the two permanent gases making up 99% of the atmosphere. We know their composition now, but we have no way of knowing what the original composition was like a million years ago.
          Except tp theorise it was probably nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Lethal to us, but certainly beneficial to the algae in the sea.

          • NickS 6.1.1.1.1

            Even if it wasn’t super-happy fun insomnia time your attempt at a post still wouldn’t bear any resemblance to reality.

            Why? One word, One Field, One Concept to bring them all and bind… Wait… Fucking Tolkien.

            Anyhow: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoclimatology

            Reconstructing paleoclimate, and also historical atmospheric make up is not exactly difficult, and once more of course, you’re shown to be full of shit.

          • lprent 6.1.1.1.2

            Oxygen – a permanent gas in the atmosphere? I’d guess from that statement that you’ve not done any chemistry. The only thing that I can think offhand of that is more reactive is flourine. The average residence time in the atmosphere of oxygen would be measured in decades at the outside. Apart from everything else rocks love sucking up O when they weather. Without constant replenishment from plants there would be no free oxygen in the atmosphere.

            CO2 on the other hand is quite chemically stable and once resident in the atmosphere will hang around for thousands of years. The only thing that sucks it are plants (and they are constrained by water and soil fertility) and water. Currently both are using it at full capacity, and the atmospheric CO2 keeps rising.

            I see nick has already looked at paleo atmospheres. But I’d add to his comments that you appear to be too gullible to ever understand science. You pick up these shit ‘science’ ideas from somewhere and drop them here without bothering to think them through at all. There are always great gaping holes that you could drive a truck through that anyone who was even slightly skeptical would have seen.

            • jcuknz 6.1.1.1.2.1

              I think you missed the word ‘not’ out of your first sentence …. OH! that there were more like you and fewer or better none like NickS
              Your science paints a horrifying picture I was not aware of having not done Chem at school or since.
              We obviously have two targets … to maintain the world in a state that can support homo sapien and restrict HS to levels that the world can support … anything else is dreamland … not to say that dreamland cannot exist if we can conceive it but until it arrives it is not a basis for sensible action.

              • lprent

                I did miss the not. Irritating. It is what happens when writing in bed just after bestirring

              • NickS

                OH! that there were more like you and fewer or better none like NickS

                Quit Tone Trolling.

                And it appears you can’t read time stamps, otherwise you might have inferred that someone writing a post at 3:41am in the morning might not be in the mood and mental fitness to do anything more than a punctual cluebat.Because deep cluebatting would involve a literature hunt and given prior experiences of doing that while I can’t sleep have resulted in sweet fa and makes me even more disorganised and late for say this thing called “work”. But yeah, ablism and tone trolling ftw!

            • Oscar 6.1.1.1.2.2

              Turns out that even the IPCC seem to think that CO2 half life is 5 – 15 years so not sure where you’re getting the idea that it hangs around in the atmosphere for thousands of years. But it’s something that NOAA say is true, so it must be!

              I note that the paleo atmospheric conditions all point to far far higher levels of CO2 than currently exist. And of course not everything in the atmosphere has an equilibrium with what’s on the ground. Atmospheric changes happen far more gradually than changes on the ground.

              And of course atmospheric CO2 is rising. Do you not believe that it wouldn’t when we’re still technically coming out of an ice age?

              And the Believers also leave some great gaping holes too. It’ll be a sorry day when CO2 levels drop below 300ppm and humans start wondering why plant life is dying. Not long after that, O2 levels drop, humans start dying. Perfect cycle.

              In any event, what CO2 we create when we burn oil and coal was already in our atmosphere, thousands of years ago. The difference is that we need to ensure that there’s enough plant life around to take in the additional CO2 getting released. In the northern hemisphere = problem.
              Southern, not so much due to the Amazon and NZ forests taking up much of this CO2 that’s burnt.

              No greater enemy of man, than man himself.

              • lprent

                Oscar, you are a bullshitting idiot. That paper is not from the IPCC. In fact it is not even a science paper. It talks about a discrepancy in the 1990 IPCC report – the first and rushed one. The last IPCC report was released in 2005 – 15 years later

                If you want to look at the IPCC report then go and read it. Do not try and pass off a paper written by a engineer who knows as much about the atmosphere as you, that uses a reaction chamber for a simulation (try putting oceans into that), and is published in a non-peer reviewed energy trade magazine as being credible science. I notice the backing paper is written by a mechanical engineer and again in a bullshit rag.

                We know that the atmosphere changes over time. Rather than natural vulcanism and weathering, humans are changing it now. They are doing it a a rate that is massively faster than any natural processes over decade periods. What is your point? You don’t appear to have one.

                You are a waste of bandwidth. Is there any reason that I should not think of you as being a ignorant troll who has absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

                • Oscar

                  I understand you did Earth Sciences some 40-50 years ago Lynn :D, but not sure whether you keep up to date on it.
                  I’m interested in the whole area, hence why Im being rather obtuse. Just because you’ve been there, done that, doesn’t really mean that you can dismiss my observations offhand, just because I can’t necessarily find anything relating to my viewpoints – probably because the science hasn’t got there yet.

                  Im of the mindset that the IPCC is government funded, and they’ve changed their tune over the past 15 years, as is their wont due to the vagaries of science as a whole.

                  Personally, I think “climate change” is very much a wait and see scenario before we even start the political discussions around taxes and carbon trading. If AGW is affecting the climate at a faster rate, then really, what’s 5 – 10 years on top of the 40 years of atmospheric sampling so far?
                  It’s hardly likely to kill us to wait a little bit longer and actually prove once and for all that CO2 IS deadly to Earth, considering the fallacy of that argument which the believers seem to be perpetuating.

                  • lprent

                    30 years ago, and I keep any eye on it as I do with everything that I learn. Sure science changes especially in what was an under researched area like the climate. But in the 20 years since the IPCC started issuing reports, the risks of an irreversible climate shift (at least over the next few thousand years) have kept increasing and the scale of probable damage get worse. This reflects both the better modeling (trying to model chaotic systems was in its infancy 30 years ago) and the closer examination of past climate shifts has shown how close the climate is to tipping points to different climate states.

                    Anyone who does earth sciences has little worry about the earth as a whole. It’d only take thousands of years to restabilize. The issue is if humans are going to maintain something like our current civilization.

                    The problem that you do not look at the risks to our civilization (especially food production) and your grasp of the basics of earth science is clearly pretty poor. As far as I can see your attitude is to simply ineffectually attack the science without showing a flaw.

                    The issue with waiting is that this is a forward loaded system where CO2 fills the buffers in the slow ocean currents and heat builds up in water and ice.. Those release over time. It is a laggy system that we have been feeding at an accelerating rate for the last couple of centuries. The shit is starting to hit now in terms of climate shifts and will increase at an accelerating rate over the next few centuries.

                    In the next decade at current rates of increase in use of fossil carbon we will excrete as much as we have in the last couple of decades. The question at present is how to reduce that rate of increase to reduce the problems further down the line because the buffering appears to be getting full and anything we add now will affect us rather than our children and grand kids.

                    So delaying is an expensive option

              • NickS

                It’ll be a sorry day when CO2 levels drop below 300ppm and humans start wondering why plant life is dying. Not long after that, O2 levels drop, humans start dying. Perfect cycle.

                *blink*

                wtf? Do you even understand how photosynthesis works? Different genera of plant’s have different evolutionary and developmental tools to deal with lowering CO2 concentrations. For example C4 plant’s can deal with sub 200ppm CO2 concentrations easily due to how the plant’s cellular morphology and biochemistry concentrate CO2 close to RuBisCO, and while C3 plant’s will grow slower, as leafs develop the lower CO2 concentrations will trigger the development of more stomata. Basically, 200ppm concentrations would cause would be slower plant growth, rather than plant death. And less plant growth means changes in heterotroph biomass due to less food. But given human stupidity, a drop to 200ppm while a global, industrial metaculture is extant is rather fucking unlikely, more so given that the oceans, one of the major carbon sinks are nearing max CO2 concentrations.

                Anyhow, during the depths of the big Ice Ages, CO2 concentrations did drop to 200pm and lower, and yet there’s no major loss of plant biomass/diversity from the tropics and other areas that has been separated from droughts from the available proxies. That and you’re ignoring that the photosynthetic plankton produce much, much more oxygen than terrestrial plants and their habitat is mainly restricted by high ocean temperatures and light intensity.

                But none of this is surprising, given your evident, utterly total stupidity when it comes to anything more complex than using a web browser.

              • RedLogix

                Just in case anyone actually reads Oscar’s ideas on carbon half life … here is roughly the real story. What Oscar is drivelling on about is a totally misunderstood bit of very basic chemistry.

                What he is doing is completely failing to distinguish between the individual path of carbon atoms … and the en-mass equilibrium of all the carbon in the atmosphere.

                Individual atoms have a relatively short half-life, cycling around various paths of the carbon cycle quite quickly. This is well known and totally uncontroversial.

                However the total increase in carbon in the atmosphere is driven by a completely different mechanism and is also well-known to have a half-life measured in tens of thousands of years. Again this is well known and totally uncontroversial.

                The physical basis of these two parameters is quite different and fundamental. Oscar’s repetition of this idiot mistake (that even a Chem 101 student should not make) reveals nothing but the depth of his willful ignorance. It’s really not worth wasting politeness on this drongo.

                • Oscar

                  So are you talking about C or CO2 having a half life of thousands of years?

                  Because see, Lynn says “CO2 on the other hand is quite chemically stable and once resident in the atmosphere will hang around for thousands of years”

                  Now you say “carbon in the atmosphere is driven by a completely different mechanism and is also well-known to have a half-life measured in tens of thousands of years”

                  Im not disputing the fact that C hangs around, but CO2 is a completely different matter.

                  • lprent

                    I’ve been doing family in chch with poor links for the last week which has been restrictive

                    But the best overview I’ve read recently (certainly the most accessible) on various gas and aerosols impacts on heat retention was this. It is a discussion on alternative strategies for reducing greenhouse effects in the short and long term. The comments were fun to read.

                    What was really interesting to me was the commentary about the rapid breakdown of methane CH4 to CO2 (and probably water). While methane is a better greenhouse gas, it isn’t as much of an issue longer term. That is important because all agriculture produces methane in varying amounts, and we require increasing agriculture to prevent the catastrophic dieback. In other words it is a lot easier to reduce use of fossil fuels than it is to reduce food production.

                    All bets are off if we manage to trigger the feedback for methyl hydrates though by warming and moving ocean currents. If that happens, the climate shifts are likely to be rapid and finding climates stable enough to grow food will be the issue

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    3 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
    3 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • A good first step
    Today the government announced a financial package to deal with the effects of the pandemic. So far, it looks good: an initial $500 million for health to deal with immediate priorities, wage subsidies for affected businesses, $585 a week from WINZ for people self-isolating who can't work from home, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    11 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    4 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    1 week ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    1 week ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    2 weeks 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
    10 hours 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
    12 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
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    3 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
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    6 days ago
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    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago