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Child friendly

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, October 17th, 2010 - 56 comments
Categories: families, labour, leadership - Tags:

The Labour conference this weekend is expected to release new “policy directions”. One of them is out already — and it’s good. What could make more sense than putting children first:

Labour focuses on children

Labour deputy leader Annette King says the party will put children at the centre of social policy.

She today told delegates at Labour’s annual conference that New Zealand was not doing as well for children as are other comparable countries. “We sit in the bottom third in OECD rankings for most child indicators. Many of our children are left behind. Their early life experiences are harmful and on-going and many Māori and Pacific children have poorer life chances than other children the same age.”

“The next Labour Government will put children at the centre of policy in areas including health, education, social development and housing,” Mrs King said. Labour sees a focus on children as the most effective way to reduce harm and costs in later life…

TVNZ fills in some of the initial details:

Labour’s initial plan is to give parents more options to stay at home, expand the 20 hours free childhood education already provided by the government and get all children enrolled with a Well Child Provider to give parenting advice. King said there would be milestones set to ensure the agenda was achieved.

See the whole speech here.

I think (no surprise here!) that this is great policy from Labour. It is simple, easy to sell (perhaps we’ll see a campaign like the Green’s iconic “Vote for me”), hard to argue with. But even better, it puts the focus where it belongs. On children. On lifting children out of poverty. On education. On the future. If properly done, the payoffs will be huge. Some of them won’t be felt for decades, but Labour and the Left in general has always been much better at planning for the future than the Nats. Go for it!

From the initial reports (see first link), the plan has “three main components”:

• Legislation and structural change
• Crucial early phases in children’s development, aged 0-2 and 3-5 years
• Breaking the cycle of socio-economic deprivation

The one thing I would like to add, the missing piece which has to be part of this picture, is providing for the future. If we’re thinking about children then we’re thinking long term. Making plans, economic and especially environmental, that look well beyond the usual three year electoral cycle. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a government that was doing that…

56 comments on “Child friendly”

  1. Thomas Forrow 1

    I think we will see Labour adopt a whole raft of Green Party Social Justice policies over the coming year,they have taken their time to come on board, but good on them 🙂

  2. QoT 2

    It’d be great if there weren’t that whole “but we didn’t extend Working For Families to beneficiaries even when we got slammed for it, because letting kids starve is a great “incentive” to make their parents work!” skeleton leaning out of the closet.

    … What’s that, Sooty? Annette actually holds up WFF as a grand achievement of the previous government and blames National for the increase in child poverty since then? Even though the effects of rising unemployment during a recession could probably have been mitigated by the programme being extended to beneficiaries? You don’t say.

  3. burt 3

    So the next Labour govt will move us into the top half of the OECD rankings…..

  4. just saying 4

    Thumbs up, good progress. There seems to be a committment to restore all the supports and resources, such as the Training Incentive Allowance that have been stripped by National, and broaden them. (But there seems to be a bit of fudging around whether there would be significantly more funding for them).

    In regards to beneficiary families and poverty, there’s some good stuff starting with:

    “There will be recognition that caring for young children in families is work and is a valuable contribution.”

    And this:

    “Forcing parents into unstable, low paid jobs or dependent unstable relationships is a recipe for trouble. Part time work can also assist a sole parent through transition and help reconnect them to the workforce. But there has to be jobs for them”.

    And a clear indication that benefits levels for families are inadequate, and need to be increased:

    “Labour does not want a New Zealand where large numbers of children are growing up with stigma and poverty. Current benefit arrangements (in particular the DPB) doesn’t do what is needed, it doesn’t provide adequately for the children affected, their needs and development, especially in long term benefit families. It doesn’t provide either an adequate income or a pathway through the transition back to stability, education and good paid work. The costs of this are clear as I set out previously”.

    The devil’s in the detail but, hopefully Labour is taking some important steps towards tackling intergenerational deprivation.

    More like this please.

    • QoT 4.1

      “Seems to be” would be the key phrase there. And I cannot agree with you on the sole parents comment – sure, there have to be jobs available which are flexible to allow for school holidays and school hours.

      But as soon as someone starts framing the discussion as “but work is GOOD for solo parents!!!” I frankly need to see an acknowledgement that some parents cannot work, and some parents need protection in place against discrimination, and society in general has to do a shit-ton more in terms of childcare provision and flexible work arrangements, and a fucking firm commitment to not punishing those parents who simply are not able to live up to our insane “the only valuable work is paid word” philosophy.

      That paragraph of Annette’s simply does not address any of these things – so bad work is bad – but good work is good! – but mean old National hasn’t provided the good work ’cause they’re evil. Not buying it.

      And Jesus fucking Christ could Labour Head Office hire someone to proofread their speeches, the noun/verb disagreements are killing me.

      • just saying 4.1.1

        Astute as always QoT.

        Agree with what you say.

        But I’m making a big effort to keep my depressive realism at bay today, and there does seem to have been some progress in Labour’s position, and if so I applaud it.

        It wasn’t long back that Goff’s response to the hate campaign against sole parents was along the lines of the “sins of the parents shouldn’t be visited on the children”. So, you know, – progress surely?

        • QoT 4.1.1.1

          I’m with you on hoping for progress from Labour, JS – I think my own depressive realism may be winning today though.

      • Carol 4.1.2

        There is this in King’s speech:

        “There will be recognition that caring for young children in families is work and is a valuable contribution. Those taking time out to care should not be harshly penalised.”

        She said Labour also recognised some parents needed, or want, to work.

        So, while she does seem to be implying that paid work is the norm, she is saying that child care is work that makes a valuable contribution (presumably to the country). But, as with most of the policy outlines so far, the full impact depends on the more detailed policies announcements to come.

        • Luxated 4.1.2.1

          There will be recognition that caring for young children in families is work and is a valuable contribution. Those taking time out to care should not be harshly penalised.

          Almost a perfect quote from Annette, only needs one change.

    • Vicky32 4.2

      Yes, it’s very refreshing! (From what I heard on Nat Rad this morning.)
      Deb

  5. Mac1 5

    Just saying,
    I would be interested to know the context and the actual words that you say Goff used.

    The interpretation that you give your version I would share your concern with, too.

    I wonder whether the alternative, as I read your version, along the lines of ‘that children should not suffer because their parents cannot live together,” was what Goff meant?

    Context and actual words would clear up what could be a misinterpretation.

    • just saying 5.1

      Mac1,
      I’m trying to track down the clip. It was the tv news, he was responding to some dpb bene bashing by Bennett I believe. And it was as much that he didn’t stand up for the sole parents as much as the comment he did make.

  6. The Chairman 6

    Where is this policy heading?

    All children are to be enrolled with a ‘Well Child Provider’ and will be monitored and evaluated in areas including health, education, social development and housing to ensure they meet the criteria set out by the state.

    Will an overweight child be seen as a form of parent abuse?

    Is an overweight child really in the right family environment if the family fails to conform after numerous interventions?

    To reduce harm and costs in later life will the child then be removed?

    • infused 6.1

      If a child is overweight, the parents are to blame to be honest. Like father like son… look at most fat families. The parents are always overweight.

      • The Chairman 6.1.1

        So will kids be removed from the family and sent to privately run fat camps? And what will be the consequence of continual failure to reform?

        • Bill Browne 6.1.1.1

          Yes, of course they will.

          And people who fail to reform will be sent to the gas chambers.

          Happy now?

          • The Chairman 6.1.1.1.1

            I’m curious on how they plan to get recipients to conform?

            • QoT 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Well obviously we’ll just put them on one of those diet and exercise programmes which everyone KNOWS works, and which are totally sustainable and successful and have AMAZING track records of people not gaining all the weight back within 5 years.

              Just as soon as they find them.

        • bbfloyd 6.1.1.2

          T.C..they will be threatened with having to recite your pep talks over and over until they cheer up.

      • QoT 6.1.2

        If a child is Maori, the parents are to blame to be honest. Like parent like child … look at most Maori families. The parents are always Maori.

        [Psst, it’s called GENETICS. If we *didn’t* so often see fat kids with fat parents there might be a point to obesity-panic.]

        • Puddleglum 6.1.2.1

          It’s not quite that simple QoT. Genes don’t predetermine phenotypes like obesity. It requires a particular kind of social and economic environment (i.e., one like ours) for genes that predispose someone to lay down increased numbers of fat cells during development to actually result in obesity. They are not destiny.

          Also, weights have been increasing across the genetic board and have been increasing at all age levels, so while some bits of DNA make some people ‘canaries in the mine’ it misses the point to claim that obesity is principally genetic. Identifying genes might help at the individual, medical level but that should not overly influence policy choices related to the population level phenomenon (causes at the individual level can be quite different from causes at the population level – it’s an epidemiological point.).

          • QoT 6.1.2.1.1

            And you might totally have a point, Puddleglum, and this could totally springboard us into a discussion of the hilarious OBESITY EPIDEMIC RUN FOR YOUR LIVES, if I weren’t directly replying to a It’s All The Parents’ Fault comment.

            [Seriously, though? 1. Weight is more determined by genes than height is. 2. “Obesity” is an ill-defined panic-button. 3. Correlation is not causation. 4. Any discussion of the HEALTH DANGERS OF THE FATTIES which doesn’t immediately focus on the serious, proven, dangers of yo-yo dieting and acknowledge the complete lack of a predictable, sustainable weightloss method is not a discussion worth having.]

            • NickS 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Well genetics comes into it, but the main issue, if memory serves me right, is that the body gets used to having a certain amount of body fat, and any attempt to reduce that leads to the yo-yo fun.

              Basically adipose tissue releases a hormone that acts on a part of the brain, where hormone levels are related to not just the number of fat cells, but also the amount of fat stored. And some wiki-fu* shows that the hormone concerned is leptin, which messing with it’s levels only treats individuals with leptin related mutations, and no one else. Though there’s a modified version of leptin that does show more usefulness in mouse models, and will probably work in humans, except of course they need a delivery method that doesn’t involve needles and need long-term evidence that it’s not going to lead interesting side effects. But I’d actually need to get some sleep and read the paper on it first + it’s citation trail/tree to be of any more use.

              *You’d think leptin would be linked to straight from “adipose cell”, but no… But if it was WH40K related, you can bet it would be linked. /grumble grumble

          • KJT 6.1.2.1.2

            Its called natural selection. If you are going on long boat voyages with little food than those with the most body fat survive. Unfortunately an adaptation which served humanity well in times of variable food supplies is a disadvantage in the modern world.

    • bbfloyd 6.2

      T.C…it sounds like you’re looking for reds under your bed… try looking in your closet. they’ll be trying on your top hats for size.

  7. big bruv 7

    Classic!

    Labour now want to cure the supposed problem of child poverty, the very same problem they created in the first place.

    What a bunch of hypocritical tossers they are, and what a bunch of idiots you lot are for swallowing this partisan bullshit.

    • r0b 7.1

      I did wonder which would be the first troll to tell this lie. No surprise to find it is BB.

      Here’s a couple of news snips from 2008.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10503896

      Child poverty rate falling in NZ
      Monday Apr 14, 2008 By Simon Collins

      Child poverty is finally on the way down in two of the three rich countries where it increased the most in the 1980s and 90s – Britain and New Zealand.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/4606691a10.html

      Children lifted out of poverty
      By TRACY WATKINS – The Dominion Post | Friday, 04 July 2008

      Fewer children are living in poverty – but working-age singles are increasingly the new poor, according to the Social Development Ministry.
      And the gap between rich and poor appears to be narrowing for the first time in decades, the ministry says in a report.

      The government-commissioned survey shows that while the median household income grew by 6 per cent in real terms between 2004 and 2007, the incomes of those in the low-to-middle band went up the fastest, at 12 per cent, compared with just 2 to 4 per cent for those on higher incomes.
      The Government’s Working for Families boost to low- and middle-income families with dependent children is a major factor – Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson said it was a key driver behind the survey finding that 130,000 children had been lifted out of poverty. More people in paid work was the other reason.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        The 4th Labour government brought in the neo-liberal economic paradigm which set the basis for rising poverty in NZ (and elsewhere). Now, the 5th Labour government did do a bit to reduce poverty but Labour still hold some of the blame for increasing it in the first place and for not throwing out the neo-liberal paradigm that keeps poverty as a component of the socio-economic system.

        Still, NACT have done a hell of a lot in the last two years to increase poverty so that NACT could lower wages as they promised.

    • QoT 7.2

      You are so right, bb. Poverty never existed before the last Labour government, and the Great Depression was just a brief period of people feeling annoyed because they only had cake to eat.

  8. No one can discuss the future of children in New Zealand while ignoring this report http://oilcrash.com/articles/wake_up2.htm
    When 90% of the industrial food supply is dependent on oil and natural gas http://oilcrash.com/articles/eating.htm
    What is the point of discussing anything if the kids don’t have food?

    [lprent: You’re rapidly approaching my toleration levels for both thread-jacking and link-whoring. I suspect that it is time for you to study the policy and figure out how not to attract my moderating attention. ]

    • infused 8.1

      Simple. Eat your kids.

    • George.com 8.2

      Robert. A very significant part of the solution to what you have put up is income equalisation. The potential of an oil peak, shortage & price spike is significant on our political-enviro-economy. Income equalisation will form part of any progressive response, it has to.

  9. The Chairman 9

    Will Whanau Ora be incorporated into this new scheme?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Annette King seemed to think it was possible.

      • The Chairman 9.1.1

        Yes. And I see it is modelled off family intervention systems currently being used in the likes of the UK, Ireland, Victoria (Australia) and Manitoba (Canada).

        Gordon Brown planned to introduce a model that would see 50,000 families sent to behaviour correction centres.
        http://tinyurl.com/yb2lozj

        • QoT 9.1.1.1

          I’m almost bereft of a non-Godwin-citing response.

          Seriously, does no one in British politics read their own country’s sci fi?

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.2

          To be honest I’m a little concerned about some of the stuff that they’ve mentioned. Supporting the parents and family is good. Forcing them to go is worrying.

          We, as a society, do have responsibility to the children – to ensure that they have the resources to grow and aren’t in abusive situations. We also have a responsibility to the parents (and for everyone else for that matter) for the same. This means that we need some reliable way to keep these responsibilities which I think is where Labours ideas are headed. However, people shouldn’t be forced but leaving it as voluntary is going to have some people not take in the help available and it’s most likely to be the people who need it most who refuse.

          That said, I really don’t see any way of preventing it. Just so long as it truly is at “arms length” as a means of training, support and help it shouldn’t be bad. We’ll just have to watch that it doesn’t cross the line into attempted control which is, of course, why we need open and transparent government.

          • The Chairman 9.1.1.2.1

            Saving the children sounds like a great cause. However, in politics, a great cause is often used as a front to help slip through unpopular policy.

            Who can say no to saving the children?

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.2.1.1

              And hence my last paragraph.

              • The Chairman

                Rebuilding Christchurch was another great cause – and we all know what got pushed through with that.

                Watching them is one thing, stopping them is another.

  10. illuminatedtiger 10

    About bloody time. I’m sick of the anti young person (unless you goto a private school) agenda of this tory government.

  11. The Chairman 11

    As the private sector also seems to be involved, this will become fiscally driven, hence the business model will look to find fault and expand its services required. Moving away from the social need to the need to grow returns.

  12. Jeremy Harris 12

    and get all children enrolled with a Well Child Provider to give parenting advice.

    Dear Lord, a massive expansion of de facto foster kids… Becuase a paid state employee will always care about someone’s kids more than the parents do…

    Another giant waste of money enroute…

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      I do find it interesting how Right Wingers can happily position initiatives to help parents and children succeed together as ‘giant wastes of money’ and to do so bare faced.

      Perhaps making Justice and Corrections the biggest parts of Government spending in a few years time as an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff approach would be more productive, according to the Right Wing?

      Newsflash – plenty of parents, wealthy and not so wealthy would be happy to pick up free expert parenting advice, just like they would be happy to pick up free expert advice on pregnancy and on breast feeding.

  13. Jeremy Harris 13

    Except it’s not free CV, it’s paid for out of taxes and we have massive shortfall in Health spending at the moment, not to mention we are borrowing $240,000,000 a week…

    Those in the horribly named “underclass” – sure give them a support person – but to have a compulsary state employee looking into the personal lives of majority of good families on the taxpayers dime..? Even alarm bells should be wringing in your brain…

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      I thought as a Right Winger you would be familiar with a financial concept known as “Return on Investment”.

      Helping parents and children succeed together will reduce the pressure and cost of ambulance at the bottom of the cliff health services. Interesting that you talk straight faced about a massive shortfall in health spending even as the PM and the Deputy PM awarded themselves several hundred dollars worth of tax cuts per week.

      Doesn’t it strike you as really odd how the current Government in power can afford to bail out financial speculators to the tune of a billion dollars plus over the course of a month or two, but you say that they cannot afford to help ordinary parents achieve more success with their children?

      And I thought the Righties were all pro-aspiration and all that neat stuff. But its clear that its going to take a change in Government to actually deliver material results to ordinary New Zealanders.

      • Jeremy Harris 13.1.1

        CV, may I suggest reading comprehension classes…

        I’ve repeatedly stated on many blogs that tax cuts make no sense with these deficits and if you are going have them it should be to introduce a tax free threshold that benefits all equally and will simulate some retail sales…

        If you think I’m in favour of bailouts you obviously never read any of my posts, you just see my name and load your socialist nonsense typing programme…

        Tell me where the return on investment is by creating a massive new government programme to teach the majority of excellent parents the same techniques they are already using and that is making the assumption that these state trained advisors don’t teach the usual H & S mad, all cultures are equal nonsense they usually do…

        Is there any government programme you don’t approve of..? Any infringement on personal privacy you wouldn’t put up with..?

      • Bunji 13.1.2

        A number of points Jeremy.
        – Well Child Providers are not generally State Employees currently (Plunket being the biggest Well Child Provider), nor was there a suggestion that they need to be – so people can put their irrational fears of the state aside.
        – CV is very right on the return on investment. This level of ‘intervention’ in early childhood has ridiculously huge returns on investment. By finding problems and fixing them early on the hugely reduced jail and health bills in 30 years time dwarf any additional cost now.
        – In 2030 there will, for the first time in history, be more 65+ citizens than under 15s. Every child now is going to have to support a large number of old people – we cannot afford for one of them to fail. If you look at the ethnic profile of future populations, we specifically cannot have Maori and Pasifika children failing – and currently far too many do.
        “Becuase a paid state employee will always care about someone’s kids more than the parents do”: How does giving parents advice and help mean that you care more about their child? You’re providing a resource that they need, not judging them.

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    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    3 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    3 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    4 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 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, ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    6 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
    1 week 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 week 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
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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