Children: the pandemic has only just begun

Written By: - Date published: 11:09 am, April 5th, 2020 - 113 comments
Categories: covid-19, david clark, Economy, health, International - Tags: , , , , ,

I’m always intrigued at the capacity of most humans to be self-delusional in the way that they favour to believe regardless of facts. Nothing else could explain the delusional idiots like David Farrar and his mischievous minions like Sean Plunket and Heather du Plessis-Allan wanting to go back to their business as usual – their ministerial scalp collection.

It also appears in the odd statement and comment wanting to drop the lockdown sooner rather than later. Their presumptions about relative economic damage of the lockdown compared to letting the virus rip through the healthy younger parts of our workforce show a serious disconnect from reality. 

Oh well, I guess I’ll have to point out the obvious level of dumb stupidity. But first lets review the global situation..

While New Zealand has, so far, we’ve appear to have been pretty good at making sure that we have contained, for the moment, the spread of covid-19. But that just puts us in the middle of the pack. Have a look at this New York Times article on reported cases. Obviously there will be some testing discrepancies.

Then you look at the outbreak countries.

The charts are not without limitations. Each country may have different reporting guidelines, which makes precise comparison among countries difficult. Some countries may be less proactive about testing or reach a limit in their ability to test, which could cause their numbers to be understated.

Still, these charts provide a way to measure the overall trajectory of the coronavirus in each country and give insight into which ones are far from controlling the virus.

All of these countries below have seen an average of more than 2,000 cases per day in the past week, and most of them are not showing any signs of a slowdown.

Basically there is no real difference between the progress of reported cases in most of the countries. Mostly rapid climbs, occasional signs of drops – like South Africa or Taiwan or Lebanon, and signs of outbreaks after a drop or constraint as the epidemic gets out of control again – like Japan.

The only real sustained differences are for China and South Korea, both of whom currently appear to have constrained the outbreaks for significiant .

They have a distinctive shape. Sustained drops with potential outbreaks being constrained.

When you look at the detail about who is getting sick and why, then the best place to look right now is in New York with its transparent reporting. For instance this BBC article “Coronavirus: The young doctors being asked to play god“. My italics, but I see this kind of report out of all of the hotspots worldwide.

And this medic, in her early 30s, tells me the stress is intense. Nearly everyone who arrives at the ER needs to be intubated and put on a ventilator. That would normally be a job done in the Intensive Care Unit. But they are overloaded.

These people need “pressors” – meds that will keep blood pressure up. And that is a job normally done by specialist nurses. But there aren’t the nurses to do it. So people who are untrained are having to do it. “How can I not worry when there are patients not getting the care that they need?”

And she says it is not just the old who are falling prey to this. “There are patients in their 30s and 40s with no pre-existing conditions. Equally, we had a 90-year old man the other day who was brought to the ER after he had fallen at home. He had a broken leg – but he also tested positive for coronavirus – even though he was exhibiting no symptoms.”

It is a confounding virus, is Covid-19.

So when I see calls like this following comment, I really have to ask why the media reporting in NZ is so poor that this mindless ignorant fool simply doesn’t understand the risks to our economy they are calling for. 

The facts in NZ are:

Nearly 1000 cases, one death, a handful in hospital with the numbers decreasing.

The one death was from someone in the high risk group.

The evidence here is that for the vast majority the disease is relatively harmless. It seems reasonable to assume the reason that we don’t have more serious cases is that the vulnerable groups are benefiting from the general self-isolating, and hence not getting sick.

Taking all this together, wouldn’t the sensible thing to do be to isolate the at-risk people, and let everyone else get on with getting the economy running again?

Which ever side of the political spectrum we are on, surely we should all be concerned about the massive loss of jobs, and want to see the current situation loosened as quickly as possible.

I am not meaning stopping all the measures. Rather we should increase the testing, and isolate any sick people. And also isolate the at risk people. Then let everyone else go back to work.

Now there are so many false understandings in this comment, that you have to wonder what sewer he has been hiding it. Probably kiwiblog where out many of our most deluded dimwits live in NZ.

Basically this was a line being spun a month ago before the evidence of how the disease actually operates in population who know about it came to light. It isn’t the unexpected onslaught that we saw in China or Italy where the disease spread well before detection.

If you look at where the outbreaks have been happening recently – the people who are most at risk are mostly the healthy and mid-age who are still working. That is because in places like the US, UK, Germany or here, the vulnerable and aged have generally self-isolated themselves. People without adequate support systems like the US have left their people working in a stew of ever increasing exposure levels. So when they get exposed enough, their immune systems can collapse and they get sick. 

Only a simpleton or someone extremely resistant to reading could still think that there is no risk to children, teenagers, 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s. But I guess there are still some of them around. While it may be a lower probability than the over-60s, the probability is still there. And as the level of virus load in the population increases, so will the number of younger people having their immune systems compromised.

We don’t even know for sure yet if the auto-immune responses actually do activate enough to prevent reinfection, yet this commenter wants to test that with most of the population of NZ. 

In avy case, with each of these workers falling sick, there will be a pile more of their colleagues, friends and family having to self-isolate because testing can’t identify if they are infected until up to a week after they have been infected. As someone who has run a  number of workplaces – I can’t think of anything more damaging to the economics of the country of having workplaces going up and down like a yo-yo.

Talking about fools. You only have to look at idiots making potshots at Ministers of Health for something that has little to do with their job – like this fuckwit statement from Sean Plunket this morning – related only to David Clark going for a ride on a safe track on a offroad bike. 

The question of this Minister’s removal is not a debateable point.

At a time when our government and authorities need to have a moral high ground and exercise an unimpeachable authority to ask great sacrifice of citizens this Dr of Theology’s fall from grace is beyond redemption.

Of course it is debatable. Changing ministerial coordination in the midst of a pandemic is a potentially major problem when we haven’t gotten near to controlling the epidemic here. Plunkett should take some time to read the history of exactly how much the lapses of control by key people during the epidemic in 1918 crippled the ability to  

What isn’t debatable is that Sean Plunkett is an idiot who really should be fired as being a paper weight in a crisis. Too stupid to actually understand the risks. Too irresponsible to avoid doing unnecessary harm.

But then again, I think exactly the same about my colleague who made the same call in a post yesterday. When I finally read his ridiculous rant, I couldn’t find a single reason that I could recognize in the post why David Clark should have been fired apart for some kind of simpleton moralistic bile. Basically the same rant that Sean Plunket repeated.

Or David Farrar with a similar level of cabin fever and hobbydom. Look at this pile of false equivalences yesterday on testing. Remember that what he is talking about is the nationwide testing capacity in an environment when air flights are extremely limited. And then he compares national tetsing levels to testing at a very local area a long way from other testing labs..

It is simply nuts that the Government keeps saying we are only testing at 50% of our capacity and that we want to test, test, test yet 50% the Southern DHB lab is refusing to test 50% of swabs.

So he made that statement with absolutely no idea about what the actual level capacity of testing in Southland is. It isn’t in any of the material that he referenced. In all likelihood, since both he and the article referenced only the solitary testing lab in Invercargill, the tests were being rejected there because they didn’t have capacity to all of the swabs from local doctors. So they triaged them as they should do.

Nor did he apparently check the flights out of Southland to areas with a higher testing capacity.  It doesn’t matter how many testing kits are issued in a DHB area. What matters is the capacity in that area to process the kits.

Southland, because of a series of events, has a high outbreak number. So does Otago at a lesser level. That is why the Southern DHB has the largest number of cases in the county despite having a smaller population of 330 thousand. The Auckland DHBs of Auckland and Waitemata and Counties Manakau have  about 1.6 million and have mere kilometres of driving between their testing stations. The distance between Invercargill and Dunedin is about 360km.

The point of the post appears to be the final paragraph.

This is why the Minister of Health should be in Wellington. He should be angry. He should be threatening to fire people unless this is sorted.

For instance the administration of the Southern DHB is in Dunedin, which is where David Clark is. What good would he do ringing from Wellington that he couldn’t do with a local phone call.

David Farrar is another willfully stupid partisan idiot who doesn’t bother to check the available data. It is the kind of dumbass sloppiness that you come to expect when he is irresponsibly practicing mischief. More interested in his ministerial scalp collection than facts or the potential harm he causes.

All of the evidence to date is that where is sufficient level of infection and no lockdown, we get classic epidemic conditions. Everything spirals out of control overwhelming the medical systems. We’re not close to getting to the point where we can make a decision on how to start to end the immediate lock-down without causing outbreaks.

Could the children in the room, please take some time to educate themselves and stop being bored and mischievous? This is a serious outbreak – contain your boredom and hobbies until we get over it. Otherwise you’ll just cause serious harm to yourself and others.


113 comments on “Children: the pandemic has only just begun ”

  1. Poission 1

    The alarm and solutions to the CV outbreak came from experts in complexity theory,it is still necessary to listen to them.

    Our top recommendations for governments:

    1. National Lockdown

    In much of Europe and North America, the explosive growth of COVID-19 means that a 4-6 week strong lockdown is necessary to stop the outbreak. Such lockdowns may be politically difficult to implement, and they always entail significant short-term economic and social costs. But their effects are dramatic, and their duration is short. Two months after China imposed its lockdown, China has virtually eliminated local transmission of COVID-19. Wuhan is now safer than London or New York, and China’s economy is on the path to recovery. Without China’s strict lockdown, the economic harm to China from COVID-19 would have been orders of magnitude greater.

    During a strong lockdown, regions which are less affected by the virus can help provide resources to those in need. The lockdown also gives time to dramatically scale up the supply of COVID-19 test kits and capacity to process them. If the number of infections is dramatically reduced using the lockdown and a massive testing regime is initiated, COVID-19 can be controlled after five weeks without extreme social distancing measures. A strong lockdown would minimize both the harm to individuals, as well as the economy.

  2. Andre 2

    There's a lot of commentary flying around about perceived inadequacies in our testing regime here.

    I'm sure the actual experts have a handle on it, but one metric this armchair epidemiologist can easily pull is the ratio of tests performed to cases. By that metric we've tested a lot, and we started quite early in our epidemic.

    NZ 35:1 (950 cases, 33,116 tests, 6867 tests per M population)

    Oz 50:1 (5550 cases, 285,675 tests, 11,203 tests per M)

    South Korea 45:1 (10,156 cases, 455,032 tests, 8,875 tests per M)

    US 5:1 (306,854 cases, 1,570,108 tests, 4,743 tests per M)

    Spain 2.5:1 (124,870 cases, 355,000 tests, 7593 tests per M)

    • lprent 2.1

      I've been moderately impressed on the way that they've actually been able to scale up. It will always be lumpy because on one side you have public calls like test, test, test.

      On the other side you have test centres that have a limited and uneven ability to increase capacity. They are scattered all across a large area country with limited travel and freight. To scale they require equipment that comes from warehouses that have limited stock and competing demands. And you also require to get reasonably skilled staff who unevenly distributed.

      I haven't seen anything on how they've been doing it. But to go from a nominal 1500 capacity to a nominal 6000 in two weeks is more akin to a miracle than most people probably realize. You only have to look at the amount of time it took to setup the original testing system to realise how long these things can take.

      I'm just hoping that they aren't overstressing their staff because we will need them for quite a while.

  3. peterh 3

    The rant about the economic harm is coming thick and fast, they know a very good job by all concerned to halt this virus is seen by most NZrs, so they are gearing up hit the Govt on economic issues

  4. weka 4

    I hope this is boredom and not political strategy.

    • lprent 4.1

      I just applied Hanlon's razor.

      Hanlon's razor is an aphorism "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity", known in several other forms.[1] It is a philosophical razor which suggests a way of eliminating unlikely explanations for human behavior. Similar statements have been recorded since at least the 18th century. Probably it is named after Robert J. Hanlon, a person who submitted the idea to a joke book.

      Generally I find that it gives a better explanation for our dilettante mouth pieces around the media than malevolence.

      If I start to consider something to be deliberately malevolent then my reactions tend to be somewhat more focused. Less on scratching the tick and more focused on eradication – like whaleoil or lauda finem.

    • Chris 4.2

      Even the government is letting out noises along these lines, couched in caution, but it must just feed the right wingers champing at the bit for anything to support an easing up of things. I don't think the government at this stage should be so forthcoming with such messages, not right now.

  5. Wayne 5


    Calm down. People are allowed to have views that don't agree with yours.

    • KJT 5.1

      They should have some basis on fact, However.

      Although Iprent expressed it in his own way, he is right about the foolishness.

      The stuff from right wing inclined shock jocks is totally irresponsible.

    • lprent 5.2

      I am aware that people have views different to mine. Hell I have bill’s post that I completely disagree with on my server. That doesn't mean I can't express my views about their views as well. So I do. Why do you have a problem with that?

      I actually use facts in my posts. Bloody hard to find those when you read David Farrar or Plunket or whats her name eh? The only point that I could see to their posts was that they were bored.

      But please entertain me – in the points I raised on Farrar's testing post – wht possible justification could you make to support that piece of false fact fatuous trash? That was just outright irresponsibility.

      • Wayne 5.2.1

        I don't have a problem with you having a different view. It was your approach, with a quite bit of abuse thrown in ("wilfully stupid partisan idiot") that nothing DPF or Plunket have to say has any sense. I suppose it was the sense of entitlement of "I am smart, they are dumb" that annoyed me.

        Both DPF and Plunket are smart people. In fact DPF has been pretty supportive of the great majority of the government measures. Him having a flick at David Clark was pretty reasonable in the circumstances. It didn't call for the level of abuse that you heaped on him.

        • Morrissey

          Both DPF and Plunket are smart people.


          I've counseled Wayne before that he is now released from the yoke of Cabinet irresponsibility and is therefore free to stop telling lies. Obviously he's mentally still in what the likes of another habitual liar, Matthew Hooton, calls "the Beltway."


        • lprent

          …nothing DPF or Plunket have to say has any sense…

          I couldn’t see any real sense in the 4 posts / articles I referenced. What I saw was a group of people looking to grab a scalp at any cost.

          Both DPF and Plunket are smart people.

          Smart isn’t the same as intelligent or knowledgeable or appropriate. Someone could be smart by doing something the removes a minister based on some kind of insane moral stance, but complete stupid removing the head of a crucial ministry at a crucial time with the consequent issues that fall out of the coordination.

          If you read the historical material on what happened in the 1918 epidemic in NZ with key figure removal – you’ll find some particularly useful examples on how ‘smart’ that is. I read them up at the War Memorial Museum decades ago. It was a sobering experience. Mind you reading about generals who ‘won’ their battles and lost their wars was in the same mould.

          I’m not ‘smart’ and I tend to be mildly irritated by those who are. They have a tendency to take idiotic shortcuts that I wind up having to fix up at some point. I’m surrounded by smarter people than me all of the time. My skill is to be knowledgeable about systems in general and the number of ways that systems can screw up. That is after all my underlying profession I get employed for – even if it is current expressed as code and radio frequencies.

          But I notice that you haven’t noted anything in my post that was incorrect apart from, effectively, my ‘tone’. Is there anything substantive that you have a problem with?

        • Psycho Milt

          Both DPF and Plunket are smart people.

          That makes their playing "gotcha" for shits and giggles in this case all the more reprehensible. And it makes DPF's propaganda against the people running our testing laboratories a despicable act that should see him getting called way worse than lprent has.

        • Gabby

          It's difficult to conceive a level of abuse of the malign gnome that would be undeservedly high.

    • dv 5.3

      What a great well reasoned answer Wayne.

      Any thing to say of substance?

    • Peter 5.4

      Maybe you might enjoy:

      [You have used 6 different user names in 17 comments. Pick one user name and stick with it, thanks – Incognito]

    • Anne 5.5

      C'mon Wayne, its just lprent's style which admittedly is more robust than most. 👿

      • lprent 5.5.1

        I have had my meeting style described at least once as 'blunt force trauma' (and blogs are pretty much meeting places). Meetings with me are usually short as I like working on whatever the current project is rather than talking.

        I'm only interested in processes and results. I tend to find that expressing what I mean clearly gets those as clear as possible as fast as possible. If it offends some peoples sense of dignity, then I'm reasonably confident it usually won't be fatal. I'm also sure that progress will be faster next time.

        But what else do you expect from ex-production manager turned programmer (with a accidental sideline in blogging).

        • Incognito

          I thought it was a strong post and despite the subtle language and nuance, you managed to get the message across.

        • Anne

          Just in case I have been taken the wrong way – its happened before – my comment was in jest.

          I actually like lprent's style because there is little ambiguity and he's non-partisan. I've been on the receiving end once or twice. The moral of the story? Don't say anything too silly when lprent is around. smiley

    • Chris 5.6

      You're not aware of how ridiculous that sounds, are you?

  6. observer 6

    The best possible outcome is that the NZ government is accused of over-reacting because not enough people get sick and die.

    It's idiotic, but I wouldn't want to be in the experimental group where the government's measures are proved right by implementing the alternative.

    • lprent 6.1

      🙂 exactly.

      The 20:20 hindsight crowd can get screwed by a fence post for all I care about their opinions. I keep looking at New York or Ecuador for the alternative and not liking it.

    • Chris 6.2

      That's a key message right there that the money pricks need to have shoved down their throats.

  7. Peter 7

    It's a bit unfair to criticise Sean Plunket for being an idiot. It's simply a career choice which he continues to practise. At least credit him with mastery.

    David Farrar? The same.

  8. Full marks to Jacinda and her team: I thought she got the balance absolutely right when she said at her presser today something along these lines – we can either have a health system or an economy. If we come out of level 4 too soon we'll have neither.

    Contrast with Trump – we can't let the cure be worse than the problem. 'Merica's fucked!

  9. Propagandists like DPF will have it both ways: if the government's approach fails (ie we get a swamped health system and many deaths), they'll rail against government incompetence in not closing the borders early enough, not forcibly quarantining people etc; and if the government's approach is a success (ie health system copes OK, few deaths), they'll rail against government incompetence for subjecting us to lock-down and wrecking the economy in a big fuss over nothing. Basically their writings on the subject are malicious in intent and should be seen as such.

  10. adam 10

    I'm confused why you think it's so hard to replace a minister at this time. The role of associate ministers are there for just that reason. Also what happens if a minister goes down with the virus – are you saying we can't replace them? The system should have more flexibility to cope with the unexpected, and incopentance. I know we all got use to incopentance under the last government – that's no excuse to tolerate it in this one.

    Please note: I have issues with Clark and the MoH on the treatment of disabled in this crisis – which in my humble opinion – has been utter crap. So if the minister I have a bone to pick with, makes a mistake somewhere else – I'm more than happy to have a go, and add it to the list of fubar's by a minister.

    The government has done the right thing keeping us at lvl 4 and the longer the better I say. I can see us going out, and back into lvl 4 over the next couple of years. This virus is not going to go away quickly if the SARS outbreak of 2002-2004 is a guide. It has all the hallmarks of not being a quick fix.

    I do wonder if the call to go back to work is not fear speaking at a sociological level. A type of hysteria to prove everything is not that bad, and if we only got back to acting 'normal', then everything will be OK.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 10.1

      I do wonder if the call for Clark to be stripped of his ministerial responsibility for the health 'portfolio' is not fear speaking at a sociological level. A type of hysteria to prove everything is not that bad, and if we only got back to acting 'normal' (calling for ministerial 'heads' to roll over inconsequential mistakes), then everything will be OK.

      Continuing to give Clark's mountain bike ride 'air' might result in very slight harm – just imagine the harm done if ‘we’ had remained unaware!

      If the health minister goes for a mountain bike ride during a level 4 lockdown, and there's no-one there to witness it, does it really matter? Tick tock…

      • weka 10.1.1

        As adam mentioned, there are those for whom Clark has long been considered a liability and that he shouldn't have the job. The reasons for that are valid. I disagree with removing Clark over the bike thing, and also disagree that replacing a Minister is an easy/light thing, but that's different from whether Clark should be Minister at all (I don't have an opinion about that).

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Weka, I agree with almost everything you just wrote, and like you I don't have an opinion on whether Clark should be Minister at all.

          I agree with adam that relieving Clark of his ministerial portfolio immediately would be easy to do, but have doubts that it would be wise under the circumstances.

      • adam 10.1.2

        Your tribalism is showing Drowsy M. Kram.

        I took the bike fuck up, as a chance to remove dead wood. But if you want to support a minister whose actions have put many disabled people in – at best – risky situations, at worst – effectively issued a death sentence. So feel free to miss my point.

        But get this – politics is harsh taskmaster and when disabled people die on Clark's watch. I will not be calling for his firing. I'll be calling for his arrest and imprisonment.

        • bill

          I don't think Clark's wankery is anything like the threat that would come from the following thinking catching hold here Adam.

          Andrew Cannon is the CE at Voyage Care – supporting adults with physical and learning disabilities, brain injuries and autism.

          Also today, three services (in Somerset, Derbyshire and East Sussex) where GPs have contacted the teams to say that they have deemed the people we support should ALL be DNR. No consultation with families, no best interests. Mostly working age adults. We will fight this.

          — Andrew Cannon (@VoyageCEO) April 1, 2020

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Yes bill.

            And here in Godzone just the other day we had everyone's favourite Uncle Ashley stating categorically that it was his understanding that paramedics would not be performing CPR on anyone who had Covid 19.

            A hasty near retraction from St. John's…talk about 'reviewing their guidelines.'

            Of course, who's to know if the person gasping their last is infected? So one who have to conclude that the Precautionary Principal would apply and none would get CPR.

            Your link also led to others…like the aged care facilty residents who suddenly had DNAR forms attached to their files.

            We have all absorbed the not so subtle messaging about 'triage', and doctors having to make 'difficult decisions' about who gets the ventilator and who gets to grasp their last in a lonely side room.

            Already we have doctors standing over a 68 year old with a disabilty and try and scare him into signing a DNR form.

            I will never trust a doctor I don't know again.

            It's not looking good Bill for the past it and less than perfect.

            Not looking good at all.

            • weka

              "Already we have doctors standing over a 68 year old with a disabilty and try and scare him into signing a DNR form."

              Was that in NZ?

              • Rosemary McDonald

                That happened to my partner last June. I was there. Peter had an alarming episode of syncope which found him in A&E. By the time Dr DNR arrived with his precious form they had found no obvious clinical explanation for the faint. Heart, lungs, blood, brain and cognitive function all normal.

                Yet, according to the doctor, CPR would most likely entail breaking his ribs and possibly damaging internal organs, he would get pneumonia and ICU mught not even accept him as s patient.

                We had heard of similar happening to other disabled people.

                Some doctors and nurses are ok. Peter has had long term relationships with a few.

                Others simply don't see you as a life worth living if you have an obvious disability.

                And Ardern banging on about kindness ain't going to change that. Folk a lot of the time aren't kind. And it's easier to be unkind to someone who is different.

                Here in the margins…

                • weka

                  thanks Rosemary. Was that the A and E doctor that was treating Peter, or someone else tasked with presenting DNRs?

                  Why would ICU not accept him as a patient?

                  There are a lot of what ifs in that doctor's list 🙁

                  What does the HDA or commissioner say about being presented with a DNR form in that situation? Or hospital protocols?

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    Yes. It was the same doctor. The doc who had told Peter there was nothing obviously wrong with him to explain the fainting thing, and the same doc who ran him through the cognitive impairment test. Which Peter passed with flying colours.

                    When he was trying to get Petervto sign the form after listing all the horribleness that would ensue from performing CPR and over interventions I interjected..and was told by the Good Doctor to butt out. I had suggested that this was something we could discuss at a later date…

                    Peter negotiated a 15 minute attempt to save his sorry arse should shit get real…but neither of us would expect that would be respected by all doctors.

                    Weka. Peter and I have spent way too much time in hospitals dealing with non disability related health issues. We have experienced the best and the absolute worst of attitudes towards disabled patients and their loved ones.

                    We have little trust in the system as a whole because of the lottery…you simply don't know which type of health professional your going to strike on the day.
                    I would strongly recommend people with disabilities avoid hospitals like the proverbial.

                    • weka

                      I hear you. It's similar for me, because of other kinds of experiences (not life threatening, but life wrecking if you know what I mean). Trust has to be earned, person by person. NZ is still so naive about health system culture and power dynamics.

                      Seems like a conflict of interest for the treating doctor to be presenting a DNR form in that situation. I'd expect a third party to do it, where the patient's rights are clearly centred.

        • bill

          I can forgive myself wondering if Clark (or much of the rest of the government) are actually calling the shots at the moment. Or put another way, I wonder if it might be the case John Ombler (All of Government Controller) and the teams built around him are the ones calling the actual shots, with NZs elected representatives relegated to a supporting role that provides the political legitimacy that's necessary to "sell the programme".

          About a week back I tried to find info on John Ombler. All I know is that he's a very long serving and high ranking civil servant – a mandarin.

          As to who appointed him, a description of his job title, who he accountable to, what his powers are, or who's accountable to him – I can find precisely zip, zilch and nada.

          If it's the case that important facets of governance have been ceded to technocrats, then Clark's role (like others) is more show than substance….superfluous to the real job of governance at this time.

          • Incognito

            I think you’re on to something there.

            • McFlock

              Not really.

              In regards to Ombler's title, it's sort of a "these are my credentials" situation. The PM authorises it in a time of emergency, so it goes. FWIW, including the state services commission to coordinate all-of-government response alongside DG Health and Civil Defence seems to plug a wee organisational hole in the pandemic response plan. I didn't see much about financial assistance and evaluating how "essential" specific services are last time I read it.

              As for the role of ministers, no they're not interchangeable in an expert-led response, because sometimes experts hyperfocus and make basic errors just like all our keen "Monday morning epidemiologists" online. Someone familiar with the situation needs to maintain oversight and recognise when an important tangential factor hasn't been addressed, or see the signs that the experts are gradually getting out of their depth. Not least of all, to also be in a position to see why a recommended action is important without an upteenth briefing on the same topic because the fifth-replacement minister hasn't learned what makes a good diagnostic test unsuitable for mass screening.

              Frankly, there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between governance and management. Whether that leads to (or merely handily justifies) the idea that ministers are interchangeable, I don't know or even particularly care.

              • lprent

                What McFlock said. I was trying to explain the way that our government actually works to my partner last night. I kind of lost her when I started to discuss the make up of the Executive Council and why Civil Defense, the Military, and the Police aren't actually controlled by cabinet.

                • bill

                  So can you supply the information around (or a source explaining) who would have appointed him, and a description of his job title, including who he's accountable to, who's accountable to him, and what his powers are?

                  I'm looking at all this and a part of me is thinking "Christchurch" – when the Labour Party happily endorsed the National Party throwing away democracy (its oversights) and vesting "everything" in NZs own Henry VIII wannabe.

                  I'm not saying this is the same. But apart from the fact it's not a cabinet minister sitting as the apparent head of things, I'm not really seeing the difference either

                  • lprent

                    He will have been appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Executive Council.

                    He will be accountable to the Crown. And specifically to the State Services Commissioner.

                    Whoever it is will report to a minister, in this case probably the Prime Minister or the Minister in charge of State services.

                    None of this is anything that I have to look up, it is the case for all senior public servants and part of our constitutional underlying basis.

                    But what you have to remember is that this isn't a republic – it is a monarchy albeit a representational one.

                    For his job description, I'd have to look up the legislation and/or whatever was presented to the GG describing limits to whatever is in the Act. But I suspect that it will be in the civil defense act(s) or health act(s). I'm working today, so I won't start digging down for the specific wording.

                    • bill

                      This spaghetti from the National Security Handbook is the closest I can find to any notion of an All of Government Controller….the term or position simply doesn't pop up in any search of any act or document I've looked at. (Which makes it kinda difficult to find an answer to the questions I have)

                      New Zealand’s “Coordinated Incident Management System” (CIMS) is a framework of consistent principles, structures, functions, processes and terminology that agencies can apply in an emergency response.It enables agencies to plan for, train and conduct responses in a consistent manner, without being prescriptive.

                      CIMS relates to the management of a response; the Officials’ Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination (ODESC) structure sits above this if the situation is significant or complex enough to demand a coordinated strategic response at the national level.

                      The lead agency under the CIMS framework would also be the lead agency with respect to the ODESC response.

                      The “Controller” (a formal CIMS designation) should expect to have a role briefing Watch Group (comprised of 'senior officials') and ODESC meetings.

                      Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) ( National Security System Directorate [NSS Dirctorate]) will also appoint a liaison officer to manage the interface between the operational response (CIMS) and the strategic response (ODESC).

                    • lprent

                      Looks likely. It is a coordination function.

                      Yawn – off to bed after I get this upgrade to my mail system complete.

              • Incognito

                Thank you for that explanation. I confess being quite ignorant about these things 😉

                FWIW, I did not have in mind interchangeable ministers, this never occurred to me (was it in Bill’s comment? If so, I should read it again). I was more thinking about David Clark not front footing the press conferences, just as Stuart Nash, for example, is nowhere to be seen.

                I hinted at this earlier:



                • McFlock

                  If they're "superfluous", as Bill suggested, they're interchangeable.

                  The PM fronts up regularly for the policy stuff. The mandarins front up for the actual management of that policy. Everybody keeps things as clear as possible, and there are fewer people to provide mixed messages, and nobody has to screw around with zoom at the media conferences.

                  The MoH started dedicated covid pages quite early in the piece, and seems to have worked into the govt covid adoption quite well. When the media start pushing tests and masks in detail, with specifics on availability, and any other systemic issues that might crop up there might be more for ministers to actually front up to.

                  • Incognito

                    Ah, I see, Bill used “superfluous”. My bad.

                    Yes, I agree with your comment. If I’m interpreting it correctly, you’re saying that it is about clear delineation of responsibilities and duties (and less about politics, thank God). Nobody wants others to put a spoke in one’s wheels 😉

                    • McFlock

                      Especially at the moment. Having a couple more people authoritatively sticking their oar in about what constitutes "allowed out during isolation" would be the icing on a shitcake.

                      Everyone's basically saying the same thing: "stay home as much as possible and don't be a dick about it". But the edge cases of "can I drive 500m before I start biking? What about 550m?" are tending towards dickishness. But then some cops seem to upping their own dickishness as well.

                    • bill

                      Superfluous to? Well, that would be the real job of governance at this time – ie, making the decisions and calling the shots. That's not "interchangable" regards their role of securing public confidence in the lock-down. And please also note the note that caveat comes with, aye?

                      McFlock is simply, and yet again, engaging in bad faith.

                    • bill

                      But the edge cases of “can I drive 500m before I start biking? What about 550m?” are tending towards dickishness

                      Hey McFlock. You do understand that Clark wasn't looking to go on a bike ride for exercise, right?

                      If he had hooked the bike on the back of his van and driven off Opoho because the hill's too steep to cycle up, then fine. I for one would have had no problem with that whatsoever.

                      His motivation was no different to a surfer driving to the beach for a surf – not exercise, but pleasure. The difference being that "Jo" going surfing isn't up there telling everyone they have to forego a multitude of everythings because there's a crisis needing dealt to.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh ffs, Bill, just because I think you're completely wrong to catastorphic levels doesn't mean I'm arguing in bad faith.

                      If a minister is superfluous to the functioning of government then individual ministers are interchangeable and we can fire and swap them with no impact on government. And your ill-advised demands for Clark to be fired would be fine because acting as a figurehead to maintain public confidence in the lockdown would be his only damned job.

                      Well, here's a surprise for you: it's not. Even if actual experts are managing the government response, that's simply business as usual for our system of government. Civil servants manage the operations, ministers set the policy boundaries of those operations and determine whether the policies are producing the desired outcomes. That's their primary fucking job. And it's an important one for democracy.

                      And I don't get why you're incapable of understanding that principle.

                    • lprent []

                      And I don’t get why you’re incapable of understanding that principle.

                      I think that bill is getting on to the aristo people in power thing fallacy. That doesn’t apply here particularly. If someone does something stupid, then you look at what they are required to do in their role rather than being a prurient Mrs Grundy.

                      Which is why I really don’t get this level of righteous moral indignation.

                      Going biking has absolutely nothing substantive to do with his job any more than (takes an example from the history of this site) Shane Jones wanking in a hotel room does. Both are individual choice, not illegal, a lapse into stupidity, and at best a minor PR faux.

                      With Shane Jones the issue was that he was using paying for the damn porn with a government credit card. That was a clear breach of his contract and duties as a government employee. That was what got him dropped as a minister. That it was about the 3rd or 4th time that he’d done something monumentally stupid was what led to most of the authors and labour commenters on this site pushing for him to be dumped out of cabinet.

                      But just calling for a firing because of a minor lapse of judgement. Well my view on that is expected for journalists to do to fill out a dead news day and for mischief makers do because they’re irresponsible dimwits uninterested in good government or anarchists and revolutionaries because they want to break the system to force fundamental shifts. Doesn’t mean that I’m interested in it – nor probably is McFlock.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, and get over the damned bike ride already.

                    • joe90

                      His motivation was no different to a surfer driving to the beach for a surf – not exercise, but pleasure.

                      Four out of every five times surfers drive to the beach it's to grovel in small, shitty on/cross-shore chop. Grovelling is an absolute chore but it's key to attaining and maintaining the skill/fitness levels that make surfing pleasurable.

                    • KJT

                      Something wrong with actually trying to do some things for "pleasure" during the lockdown.

                      I thought the idea of flagellating, wearing hair shirts and praying, to cure plagues, went out in the Middle ages. Apart from Texas and Washington, of course.

                    • bill

                      As I said further down thread (10.2.2.), if a country's Chief Medical Officer can be stood down "because hypocite" on actions taken around a lock-down, then there's no compelling reason why a cabinet minister involved in the exact same public messaging in the same situation can't be too. Yes?

                      And again. I've no problem with someone going for a bike ride and have repeatedly said as much, including in comments below my post.

                      @ Lynn

                      On Ombler (I can't decipher "the aristo people in power thing fallacy." btw) – are you suggesting there's something wrong with seeking an understanding of how power is arranged and exercised?

                    • McFlock

                      Clark was given a police warning for clearly violating explicit terms of the lockdown? No, none of the above, he was just photographed pushing the limits of a couple of gray areas in the NZ lockdown (how far to go for exercise and what exercise types should be undertaken).


                    • bill

                      A cabinet minister doing shit that carries the potential to undermine public confidence is a real thing son – just as is the case for a Chief Medical Officer.

                      If you genuinely view the issue as being about a bike ride, then the actual issue's way beyond you, and you probably need to simply go away and interact with people who agree with you a simple bike ride is a thing worth any to-ing and fro-ing over.

                    • McFlock

                      Bill, you're reminding me of a dysfunctional workplace I once had. A few dozen people, most of them incorrigible gossips. Every other month there was some comment about how someone had made a major mistake at work, and they were absolutely going to be fired because of it. Such an offence is unforgivable by any employer!

                      Some people were stood down. Some people had no visible repercussion whatsoever. The one dude who was fired was kicked out quicker than the gossips had time to distribute the news of his infraction.

                      Dude fucked up. Not overly essential to the role, and he's getting shit for it anyway. Boss spoke to him, he did a mea culpa, they moved on.

                      The lockdown hasn't been cancelled because he screwed up. Everyone commenting on it thinks he screwed up. So he hasn't damaged public confidence or whatever the fuck. And his error was significantly and clearly less than that of the Scottish CMO's – therefore his punishment is less.

                      tl:dr yeah, it pretty much is about mountain biking.

                    • weka

                      Hey McFlock. You do understand that Clark wasn't looking to go on a bike ride for exercise, right?

                      If he had hooked the bike on the back of his van and driven off Opoho because the hill's too steep to cycle up, then fine. I for one would have had no problem with that whatsoever.

                      His motivation was no different to a surfer driving to the beach for a surf – not exercise, but pleasure. The difference being that "Jo" going surfing isn't up there telling everyone they have to forego a multitude of everythings because there's a crisis needing dealt to.

                      There are apparently good reasons to drive not bike the access and to drive instead.


                      Pleasure is an important part of exercise (mentally and physiologically). Pleasure is also a crucial aspect of managing mental health and stress. It’s also central to managing the pandemic beyond the moment. I think you're really stretching things here.

                      Even just looking superficially, there are obvious differences between Clark and the Scottish situation. If we're talking about public perception, then a Minister of Health treading a grey area and then apologising for overstepping, is not a problem because it clarifies the boundary and what is appropriate behaviour.

                      Blatantly breaking the rules (the Scottish situation) is another matter. If Clark had gone to his bach for the weekend, I would expect more consequences than the bike thing.

                    • bill

                      It's the same behaviour being indulged in by two people in very similar positions with regards to their relationship to the public and their potential impact on perceptions and wider public behaviours.

                      The bike has got nothing to to with it. Neither has the holiday home.

                      It's public figures making demands on the general populace, then disregarding the very same demands they've made of everyone else.

                      If "Jo Nobody" had driven up to that bike track and gone for a bike ride, I'd have been sympathising with them if they'd got into any trouble as a result – because they aren't public figures making demands on the behaviours and actions of others.

                    • McFlock

                      Joe Nobody took the photo. No repercussions whatsoever. Because it wasn't clearly against the rules. Because the extent of the "demands" wasn't clearly applicable to mountain biking at that stage. Unlike the Scottish CMO.

                      The demands weren't clearly applicable to that situation because the extent of possible harm isn't clear. The rules are in place to limit the extent, speed, and distance of infection spread. The risk from solitary and hazardous activities is to first responders. That is why the rules have since been made more clear.

                      So there's no clear breach and no demands expected of others but not followed himself. Unlike the Scottish CMO.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Tribal is as tribal does. Where would any of us be if every inconsequential fuck up resulted in the 'removal' of "dead wood"?

    • weka 10.2

      I'm confused why you think it's so hard to replace a minister at this time. The role of associate ministers are there for just that reason. Also what happens if a minister goes down with the virus – are you saying we can't replace them? The system should have more flexibility to cope with the unexpected, and incopentance. I know we all got use to incopentance under the last government – that's no excuse to tolerate it in this one.

      I haven't seen anyone say a Minister can't be replaced if necessary. I've also not seen anyone calling for Clark to be fired give a decent explanation of the impact of changing Minister at this time (which should be part of the decision). Without an explanation of that how would we know how hard it is? And I've not seen a decent discussion about who might replace him (also relevant so we don't end up with someone worse at the job).

      • adam 10.2.1

        If we look at the associate ministers:

        There is Jenny Salesa who holds 2 ministerial positions already. Minister for Building and Construction and Minister of Ethnic Communities – Not heard any negative comments about her in those roles. She attended the local church for community events regularly when I lived in Onehunga.

        The other is Julie Anne Genter, who holds one Ministerial position. Minister for Women. Julie did a good job in taking over from Twyford after his brain fade. Only downside is her young family, but she has proven herself very capable so far. And like Jan Logie, a tad under utilized.

        Look the position is in some ways symbolic, and in others it is a harsh roll where no one is ever happy. My issue is simple, that the relationship between disabled and the Ministry is quite bad, and has only got worse with this crisis. In a purely symbolic gesture Clark could have said or done somthing to make the MoH pull it's head out of it's ass. Or in the harsh taskmaster roll, he could have ordered them to do somthing constructive to improve the relationship, or lose their jobs.

        I say he needs to be replaced, because he in M.I.A, offers very little in the way of leadership, sparse on the comment front, prone to lapses in judgement, and as such is hardly a minister with his hand on the wheel.

        • weka

          Yep, something needs to be done about the MoH sooner or later and Clark has had his chance. I'm still not convinced now is the time for a change, although it's hard to see when would be given everything going on.

          I'm sure Genter would be more than capable. Not sure that Labour can give her the full position given the whole coalition agreement thing, don't know how that works, and they may not want the Greens to have that position of power especially in election year. Otoh, strong L/G leadership would work very well for the left going into the election.

          Don't know much about Salesa.

          • lprent

            Genter would probably make a hash of it. Public health is essentially a rationing system with an extremely careful hand needed to balance it and the people in it – some with personalities that make Genter’s ego look like a fledgling. Moderation and consensus has not been a notable part of her nature.

            It is good training for her in government. But really she is probably better learning there and excelling elsewhere.

            But basically, every Minister of Health is widely hated and viewed as being incompetent. It is the nature of the role. I’m not sure that Genter would survive it.

            • weka

              Interesting. Was Helen Clark hated?

              Do you mean Genter would be better off out of parliament altogether eventually?

              I'm not sure why the MoH is such a hard problem to solve. My impression of the disability sector issues is that as with WINZ, putting the budgeting issues aside for a minute, there are hefty cultural issues. How people get treated matters and there's really no good reason that I can see for either department to keep treating people like shit, other than its entrenched in the culture and we haven't had a Minister willing to do something about it. Some of that will be a hangover of the doctor/nurse knows best attitudes. Maybe Ministers get picked to match that.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            An indication of where a Minister's heart and interest lie and where they seek their information is to have a look at their Diaries.

            JAG had AssMinHealth disability and was swapped out for Salesa.

      • bill 10.2.2

        If a chief medical officer can be let go their hypocrisy, then I'm sure a mere cabinet minister can be relieved of their portfolio for theirs, no?

        Scotland‘s chief medical officer has resigned from the government after breaking coronavirus lockdown rules by visiting her second home.

        Dr Catherine Calderwood agreed to step down just hours after “unreservedly” apologising for the trip to Fife and withdrawing from giving public briefings.

        She said that she took the decision following a discussion with first minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said that the issue “risks undermining confidence” in the government’s advice.

        “I am deeply sorry for my actions and the mistakes I have made,” Dr Calderwood said in a statement.

        Or to take what Lynn has written (puzzlingly, given his reaction to commentary) a step further – the children need to simply just leave the room.

        Could the children in the room, please take some time to educate themselves and stop being bored and mischievous? This is a serious outbreak – contain your boredom and hobbies until we get over it. Otherwise you’ll just cause serious harm to yourself and others.

  11. Muttonbird 11

    I'm sure he's competent enough so perhaps the reason for David Clark's apparent low profile is that he doesn't agree with the policy the government is taking.

    • Incognito 11.1

      Operational independence and avoiding interfering with Ashley?

      • Anne 11.1.1

        The most likely scenario and good on him for having the intelligence to recognise it. He is the Minister of Health (known for being the most thankless portfolio of them all) and he is not a medical expert. The Director General of Health is the one who should be front footing the day to day updates to the crisis and he is doing so with flying colours.

        Clark’s job was to lock in place the government agreed process to be followed – which he did – and then step back in favour of the medical experts. When the time comes for the gradual move out of lock-down and back into something akin to normal then I expect we will be seeing more of him.

        The bike ride was probably a post-emergency activity to help relieve the stress that must have been building up inside him over recent weeks.

        His detractors would do well to think about that instead of jumping in all guns firing.

        • In Vino

          I agree Anne, except that it always seemed to me that Minister of Education was an even bigger kiss of death than Minister of Health..

          • Anne

            I suspect every new Minister of Education and Health are convinced they are the one who gets these portfolios sorted once and for all and they will be heroes. It never happens. 😉

        • Muttonbird

          I could go along with that I guess.

          Must say I've always had an issue with ministers not being particularly experienced in their portfolios.

          Key used to rotate his front bench a lot, so much so that it appeared a deliberate strategy to move mistakes on, and to avoid scrutiny.

          I found that meant most ministers in his government had little or no continuity, or even idea about what they were doing beyond the very basics of management. They were politicians answerable to Key’s ideology first, and familiar with their field last.

        • Incognito

          The bike ride was probably a post-emergency activity to help relieve the stress that must have been building up inside him over recent weeks.

          IIRC, Clark said it was his only chance for some exercise between his (work) commitments. That seems to have been ignored/lost.

  12. Foreign waka 12

    As expected, lots of politics everywhere.

    Now by what I see in the "boring" world of everyday people working in "essential" services is this:

    I try to limit my movements so that I am not getting infected, not the other way around.

    But since we all need to eat, one trip I do need to make is to the Supermarket.

    Getting groceries is becoming slowly the most hated activity. When I arrive after already 12 hours in the churn there are long lines of people who have all day to get this done. But no, they have to go at a time when those who still work have to do this. Why do I know that they have choices? Flip flops and a T-shirt is not working attire.

    When I finally get into the store, I can see a lot of chocolate and Coca Cola but no bread, and I mean NONE. No flour, baking ingredient so that you can make you own? NONE. Shelves are empty and I am getting really p…. off with those hoarders.

    I was standing there last time looking at completely empty bread trays and a couple of ladies (nurses?) looking at one other horrified. We have to feed families too.

    I hope they bring the military in to sort this because it is not right that those who work in essential industries/services are now being "punished" by not getting any basic food.

    • weka 12.1

      That's a good point about rationing for people that can only shop at certain times. I doubt it needs the military, supermarkets could be organising several shifts in a day of putting out essential items.

      Might be good to email the supermarket if you have time and point this out to them.

      Fwiw, and this may not help, but some of the shortages will be people spending more time at home and doing more baking.

      • KJT 12.1.1

        Flour is a packaging problem.

        Mills ran out of the retail size bags.

        Flour to non retail outlets was in large bags, 20 kilo.

        And. Of course we are all doing baking.

        Expect it to be sorted soon.

    • Carolyn_Nth 12.2

      Or request that the online click & collect "PickUp" system be for essential workers only?

      You select a time you'll collect the groceries in advance. That means the supermarket workers can ensure essential workers get essential items put aside for them in advance.

  13. Carolyn_Nth 13

    The human cost is evident in reports from some of the global hotspots where the situation got out of control before the government took measures: hospitals overwhelmed in Italy, New York and the UK. Elderly people in rest homes in Spain abandoned by their carers, and military found old people dead in their beds.

    Some doctors and nurses in the UK dead from Covid-19. And Unite UK is reporting that 5 bus workers have died with it.

  14. DSpare 14

    I gave up commenting a few years ago, though I do still occasionally browse the site. Too busy, and political engagement is a fair time-sink. But I seem to have plenty of time on my hands again, for some reason..

    Lprent made a few typos here that I would like to see clarified. I skimmed the comments, but they seemed to be mainly diverted onto the Clark issue. So if I skipped over clarification there, it would still be good to amend the OP.

    1/ [paragraph after Plunket quote ends] "… crippled the ability to"

    2/ [parag by South Korea graph] likewise lacks conclusion; “…constrained the outbreak for significant”

    3/ Distance from Invercargill to Dunedin is 215km not 360km (maybe referencing DN to CHCH distance by mistake?)

    4/ "avy" instead of "any" – which I am surprised the spellcheck let through (is that even a word?)

    • lprent 14.1

      I’ll have a look at them after my next round of code tests.

    • weka 14.2

      the problem with the spell check here is that it uses US English. I'm in the habits of ignoring the underlines for misspelled words because there are so many that aren't misspelled.

  15. Observer Tokoroa 15

    Don't Mind R & B

    What has soured sweet Rosemary McDonald in old age?

    Is it her loving appreciation of Bill, who lives on a strange planet ? I know they are both happiest when they can rubbish intelligent people who do valuable work.

    It's a pity though. It really is about time they cleaned up their own mess.

    • left for dead 15.1

      Iprent,mcflock OT,etc,

      A day is a long time in a blog, Clark will be gone by the years end,maybe Hodgson can take over the mantle again, Churchill did.

      Mine you he was mostly unloved in the end.

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    Now that he’s back as Foreign Minister, maybe Winston Peters should start reading the MFAT website. If he did, Peters would find MFAT celebrating the 25th anniversary of how New Zealand alerted the rest of the world to the genocide developing in Rwanda. Quote: New Zealand played an important role ...
    3 days ago
  • “Your Circus, Your Clowns.”
    It must have been a hard first couple of weeks for National voters, since the coalition was announced. Seeing their party make so many concessions to New Zealand First and ACT that there seems little remains of their own policies, other than the dwindling dream of tax cuts and the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 8-December-2023
    It’s Friday again and Christmas is fast approaching. Here’s some of the stories that caught our attention. This week in Greater Auckland On Tuesday Matt covered some of the recent talk around the costs, benefits and challenges with the City Rail Link. On Thursday Matt looked at how ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    3 days ago
  • End-of-week escapism
    Amsterdam to Hong Kong William McCartney16,000 kilometres41 days18 trains13 countries11 currencies6 long-distance taxis4 taxi apps4 buses3 sim cards2 ferries1 tram0 medical events (surprisingly)Episode 4Whether the Sofia-Istanbul Express really qualifies to be called an express is debatable, but it’s another one of those likeably old and slow trains tha… ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Dec 8
    Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro arrives for the State Opening of Parliament (Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)TL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s political economy that we wrote and spoke about via The Kākā and elsewhere for paying subscribers in the last week included:New Finance Minister Nicola Willis set herself a ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Witchcraft Laws: 1840/1858-1961/1962
    Sometimes one gets morbidly curious about the oddities of one’s own legal system. Sometimes one writes entire essays on New Zealand’s experience with Blasphemous Libel: And sometimes one follows up the exact historical status of witchcraft law in New Zealand. As one does, of course. ...
    3 days ago
  • No surprises
    Don’t expect any fiscal shocks or surprises when the books are opened on December 20 with the unveiling of the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU). That was the message yesterday from Westpac in an economic commentary. But the bank’s analysis did not include any changes to capital ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #49 2023
    113 articles in 48 journals by 674 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Diversity of Lagged Relationships in Global Means of Surface Temperatures and Radiative Budgets for CMIP6 piControl Simulations, Tsuchida et al., Journal of Climate 10.1175/jcli-d-23-0045.1 Do abrupt cryosphere events in High Mountain Asia indicate earlier tipping ...
    4 days ago
  • Phone calls at Kia Kaha primary
    It is quiet reading time in Room 13! It is so quiet you can hear the Tui outside. It is so quiet you can hear the Fulton Hogan crew.It is so quiet you can hear old Mr Grant and old Mr Bradbury standing by the roadworks and counting the conesand going on ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • A question of confidence is raised by the Minister of Police, but he had to be questioned by RNZ to ...
    It looks like the new ministerial press secretaries have quickly learned the art of camouflaging exactly what their ministers are saying – or, at least, of keeping the hard news  out of the headlines and/or the opening sentences of the statements they post on the home page of the governments ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Xmas  good  cheer  for the dairy industry  as Fonterra lifts its forecast
    The big dairy co-op Fonterra  had  some Christmas  cheer to offer  its farmers this week, increasing its forecast farmgate milk price and earnings guidance for  the year after what it calls a strong start to the year. The forecast  midpoint for the 2023/24 season is up 25cs to $7.50 per ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • MICHAEL BASSETT: Modern Maori myths
    Michael Bassett writes – Many of the comments about the Coalition’s determination to wind back the dramatic Maorification of New Zealand of the last three years would have you believe the new government is engaged in a full-scale attack on Maori. In reality, all that is happening ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Dreams of eternal sunshine at a spotless COP28
    Mary Robinson asked Al Jaber a series of very simple, direct and highly pertinent questions and he responded with a high-octane public meltdown. Photos: Getty Images / montage: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR The hygiene effects of direct sunshine are making some inroads, perhaps for the very first time, on the normalised ‘deficit ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: Oh, the irony
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – Appointed by new Labour PM Jacinda Ardern in 2018, Cindy Kiro headed the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) tasked with reviewing and recommending reforms to the welfare system. Kiro had been Children’s Commissioner during Helen Clark’s Labour government but returned to academia subsequently. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Transport Agencies don’t want Harbour Tunnels
    It seems even our transport agencies don’t want Labour’s harbour crossing plans. In August the previous government and Waka Kotahi announced their absurd preferred option the new harbour crossing that at the time was estimated to cost $35-45 billion. It included both road tunnels and a wiggly light rail tunnel ...
    4 days ago
  • Webworm Presents: Jurassic Park on 35mm
    Hi,Paying Webworm members such as yourself keep this thing running, so as 2023 draws to close, I wanted to do two things to say a giant, loud “THANKS”. Firstly — I’m giving away 10 Mister Organ blu-rays in New Zealand, and another 10 in America. More details down below.Secondly — ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The Prime Minister's Dream.
    Yesterday saw the State Opening of Parliament, the Speech from the Throne, and then Prime Minister Christopher Luxon’s dream for Aotearoa in his first address. But first the pomp and ceremony, the arrival of the Governor General.Dame Cindy Kiro arrived on the forecourt outside of parliament to a Māori welcome. ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • National’s new MP; the proud part-Maori boy raised in a state house
    Probably not since 1975 have we seen a government take office up against such a wall of protest and complaint. That was highlighted yesterday, the day that the new Parliament was sworn in, with news that King Tuheitia has called a national hui for late January to develop a ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Battlefield Earth – How War Fuels Climate Catastrophe
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). War, conflict and climate change are tearing apart lives across the world. But these aren't separate harms - they're intricately connected. ...
    5 days ago
  • They do not speak for us, and they do not speak for the future
    These dire woeful and intolerant people have been so determinedly going about their small and petulant business, it’s hard to keep up. At the end of the new government’s first woeful week, Audrey Young took the time to count off its various acts of denigration of Te Ao Māori:Review the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Another attack on te reo
    The new white supremacist government made attacking te reo a key part of its platform, promising to rename government agencies and force them to "communicate primarily in English" (which they already do). But today they've gone further, by trying to cut the pay of public servants who speak te reo: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • For the record, the Beehive buzz can now be regarded as “official”
    Buzz from the Beehive The biggest buzz we bring you from the Beehive today is that the government’s official website is up and going after being out of action for more than a week. The latest press statement came  from  Education Minister  Eric Stanford, who seized on the 2022 PISA ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Failed again
    There was another ETS auction this morning. and like all the other ones this year, it failed to clear - meaning that 23 million tons of carbon (15 million ordinary units plus 8 million in the cost containment reserve) went up in smoke. Or rather, they didn't. Being unsold at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Government’s Assault On Maori
    This isn’t news, but the National-led coalition is mounting a sustained assault on Treaty rights and obligations. Even so, Christopher Luxon has described yesterday’s nationwide protests by Maori as “pretty unfair.” Poor thing. In the NZ Herald, Audrey Young has compiled a useful list of the many, many ways that ...
    5 days ago
  • Rising costs hit farmers hard, but  there’s more  positive news  for  them this  week 
    New Zealand’s dairy industry, the mainstay of the country’s export trade, has  been under  pressure  from rising  costs. Down on the  farm, this  has  been  hitting  hard. But there  was more positive news this week,  first   from the latest Fonterra GDT auction where  prices  rose,  and  then from  a  report ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    5 days ago
  • ROB MacCULLOCH:  Newshub and NZ Herald report misleading garbage about ACT’s van Veldon not follo...
    Rob MacCulloch writes –  In their rush to discredit the new government (which our MainStream Media regard as illegitimate and having no right to enact the democratic will of voters) the NZ Herald and Newshub are arguing ACT’s Deputy Leader Brooke van Veldon is not following Treasury advice ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 for Wednesday, December 6
    Even many young people who smoke support smokefree policies, fitting in with previous research showing the large majority of people who smoke regret starting and most want to quit. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Wednesday, December ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Eleven years of work.
    Well it didn’t take six months, but the leaks have begun. Yes the good ship Coalition has inadvertently released a confidential cabinet paper into the public domain, discussing their axing of Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs).Oops.Just when you were admiring how smoothly things were going for the new government, they’ve had ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Why we're missing out on sharply lower inflation
    A wave of new and higher fees, rates and charges will ripple out over the economy in the next 18 months as mayors, councillors, heads of department and price-setters for utilities such as gas, electricity, water and parking ramp up charges. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Just when most ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • How Did We Get Here?
    Hi,Kiwis — keep the evening of December 22nd free. I have a meetup planned, and will send out an invite over the next day or so. This sounds sort of crazy to write, but today will be Tony Stamp’s final Totally Normal column of 2023. Somehow we’ve made it to ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Has the greenhouse effect been falsified?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealaders  have  high expectations of  new  government:  now let’s see if it can deliver?
    The electorate has high expectations of the  new  government.  The question is: can  it  deliver?    Some  might  say  the  signs are not  promising. Protestors   are  already marching in the streets. The  new  Prime Minister has had  little experience of managing  very diverse politicians  in coalition. The economy he  ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    6 days ago
  • You won't believe some of the numbers you have to pull when you're a Finance Minister
    Nicola of Marsden:Yo, normies! We will fix your cost of living worries by giving you a tax cut of 150 dollars. 150! Cash money! Vote National.Various people who can read and count:Actually that's 150 over a fortnight. Not a week, which is how you usually express these things.And actually, it looks ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Pushback
    When this government came to power, it did so on an explicitly white supremacist platform. Undermining the Waitangi Tribunal, removing Māori representation in local government, over-riding the courts which had tried to make their foreshore and seabed legislation work, eradicating te reo from public life, and ultimately trying to repudiate ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Defence ministerial meeting meant Collins missed the Maori Party’s mischief-making capers in Parli...
    Buzz from the Beehive Maybe this is not the best time for our Minister of Defence to have gone overseas. Not when the Maori Party is inviting (or should that be inciting?) its followers to join a revolution in a post which promoted its protest plans with a picture of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Threats of war have been followed by an invitation to join the revolution – now let’s see how th...
     A Maori Party post on Instagram invited party followers to ….  Tangata Whenua, Tangata Tiriti, Join the REVOLUTION! & make a stand!  Nationwide Action Day, All details in tiles swipe to see locations.  • This is our 1st hit out and tomorrow Tuesday the 5th is the opening ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Top 10 for Tuesday, December 4
    The RBNZ governor is citing high net migration and profit-led inflation as factors in the bank’s hawkish stance. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Tuesday, December 5, including:Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr says high net migration and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Nicola Willis' 'show me the money' moment
    Willis has accused labour of “economic vandalism’, while Robertson described her comments as a “desperate diversion from somebody who can't make their tax package add up”. There will now be an intense focus on December 20 to see whether her hyperbole is backed up by true surprises. Photo montage: Lynn ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • CRL costs money but also provides huge benefits
    The City Rail Link has been in the headlines a bit recently so I thought I’d look at some of them. First up, yesterday the NZ Herald ran this piece about the ongoing costs of the CRL. Auckland ratepayers will be saddled with an estimated bill of $220 million each ...
    6 days ago
  • And I don't want the world to see us.
    Is this the most shambolic government in the history of New Zealand? Given that parliament hasn’t even opened they’ve managed quite a list of achievements to date.The Smokefree debacle trading lives for tax cuts, the Trumpian claims of bribery in the Media, an International award for indifference, and today the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Cooking the books
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis late yesterday stopped only slightly short of accusing her predecessor Grant Robertson of cooking the books. She complained that the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU), due to be made public on December 20, would show “fiscal cliffs” that would amount to “billions of ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Most people don’t realize how much progress we’ve made on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The year was 2015. ‘Uptown Funk’ with Bruno Mars was at the top of the music charts. Jurassic World was the most popular new movie in theaters. And decades of futility in international climate negotiations was about to come to an end in ...
    7 days ago
  • Of Parliamentary Oaths and Clive Boonham
    As a heads-up, I am not one of those people who stay awake at night thinking about weird Culture War nonsense. At least so far as the current Maori/Constitutional arrangements go. In fact, I actually consider it the least important issue facing the day to day lives of New ...
    7 days ago
  • Bearing True Allegiance?
    Strong Words: “We do not consent, we do not surrender, we do not cede, we do not submit; we, the indigenous, are rising. We do not buy into the colonial fictions this House is built upon. Te Pāti Māori pledges allegiance to our mokopuna, our whenua, and Te Tiriti o ...
    7 days ago
  • You cannot be serious
    Some days it feels like the only thing to say is: Seriously? No, really. Seriously?OneSomeone has used their health department access to share data about vaccinations and patients, and inform the world that New Zealanders have been dying in their hundreds of thousands from the evil vaccine. This of course is pure ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • A promise kept: govt pulls the plug on Lake Onslow scheme – but this saving of $16bn is denounced...
    Buzz from the Beehive After $21.8 million was spent on investigations, the plug has been pulled on the Lake Onslow pumped-hydro electricity scheme, The scheme –  that technically could have solved New Zealand’s looming energy shortage, according to its champions – was a key part of the defeated Labour government’s ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: The Maori Party and Oath of Allegiance
    If those elected to the Māori Seats refuse to take them, then what possible reason could the country have for retaining them?   Chris Trotter writes – Christmas is fast approaching, which, as it does every year, means gearing up for an abstruse general knowledge question. “Who was ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON:  Forward to 2017
    The coalition party agreements are mainly about returning to 2017 when National lost power. They show commonalities but also some serious divergencies. Brian Easton writes The two coalition agreements – one National and ACT, the other National and New Zealand First – are more than policy documents. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Fossils
    When the new government promised to allow new offshore oil and gas exploration, they were warned that there would be international criticism and reputational damage. Naturally, they arrogantly denied any possibility that that would happen. And then they finally turned up at COP, to criticism from Palau, and a "fossil ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • GEOFFREY MILLER:  NZ’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    Geoffrey Miller writes – New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the government’s smokefree laws debacle
    The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out – for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable ...
    1 week ago
  • Top 10 links at 10 am for Monday, December 4
    As Deb Te Kawa writes in an op-ed, the new Government seems to have immediately bought itself fights with just about everyone. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Monday December 4, including:Palau’s President ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Be Honest.
    Let’s begin today by thinking about job interviews.During my career in Software Development I must have interviewed hundreds of people, hired at least a hundred, but few stick in the memory.I remember one guy who was so laid back he was practically horizontal, leaning back in his chair until his ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he left off. Peters sought to align ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Auckland rail tunnel the world’s most expensive
    Auckland’s city rail link is the most expensive rail project in the world per km, and the CRL boss has described the cost of infrastructure construction in Aotearoa as a crisis. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The 3.5 km City Rail Link (CRL) tunnel under Auckland’s CBD has cost ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • First big test coming
    The first big test of the new Government’s approach to Treaty matters is likely to be seen in the return of the Resource Management Act. RMA Minister Chris Bishop has confirmed that he intends to introduce legislation to repeal Labour’s recently passed Natural and Built Environments Act and its ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago

  • Ministers visit Hawke’s Bay to grasp recovery needs
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon joined Cyclone Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell and Transport and Local Government Minister Simeon Brown, to meet leaders of cyclone and flood-affected regions in the Hawke’s Bay. The visit reinforced the coalition Government’s commitment to support the region and better understand its ongoing requirements, Mr Mitchell says.  ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity
    New Zealand has joined the UK and other partners in condemning malicious cyber activity conducted by the Russian Government, Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau Judith Collins says. The statement follows the UK’s attribution today of malicious cyber activity impacting its domestic democratic institutions and processes, as well ...
    3 days ago
  • Disestablishment of Te Pūkenga begins
    The Government has begun the process of disestablishing Te Pūkenga as part of its 100-day plan, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Penny Simmonds says.  “I have started putting that plan into action and have met with the chair and chief Executive of Te Pūkenga to advise them of my ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend COP28 in Dubai
    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will be leaving for Dubai today to attend COP28, the 28th annual UN climate summit, this week. Simon Watts says he will push for accelerated action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, deliver New Zealand’s national statement and connect with partner countries, private sector leaders ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to host 2024 Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins yesterday announced New Zealand will host next year’s South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting (SPDMM). “Having just returned from this year’s meeting in Nouméa, I witnessed first-hand the value of meeting with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security and defence matters. I welcome the opportunity to ...
    4 days ago
  • Study shows need to remove distractions in class
    The Government is committed to lifting school achievement in the basics and that starts with removing distractions so young people can focus on their learning, Education Minister Erica Stanford says.   The 2022 PISA results released this week found that Kiwi kids ranked 5th in the world for being distracted ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister sets expectations of Commissioner
    Today I met with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to set out my expectations, which he has agreed to, says Police Minister Mark Mitchell. Under section 16(1) of the Policing Act 2008, the Minister can expect the Police Commissioner to deliver on the Government’s direction and priorities, as now outlined in ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a strong and stable ETS
    New Zealand needs a strong and stable Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that is well placed for the future, after emission units failed to sell for the fourth and final auction of the year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says.  At today’s auction, 15 million New Zealand units (NZUs) – each ...
    5 days ago
  • PISA results show urgent need to teach the basics
    With 2022 PISA results showing a decline in achievement, Education Minister Erica Stanford is confident that the Coalition Government’s 100-day plan for education will improve outcomes for Kiwi kids.  The 2022 PISA results show a significant decline in the performance of 15-year-old students in maths compared to 2018 and confirms ...
    6 days ago
  • Collins leaves for Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins today departed for New Caledonia to attend the 8th annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ meeting (SPDMM). “This meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security matters and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Pacific,” Judith Collins says. ...
    7 days ago
  • Working for Families gets cost of living boost
    Putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families is a priority of this Coalition Government, starting with an increase to Working for Families, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “We are starting our 100-day plan with a laser focus on bringing down the cost of living, because that is what ...
    7 days ago
  • Post-Cabinet press conference
    Most weeks, following Cabinet, the Prime Minister holds a press conference for members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. This page contains the transcripts from those press conferences, which are supplied by Hansard to the Office of the Prime Minister. It is important to note that the transcripts have not been edited ...
    7 days ago
  • Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme scrapped
    The Government has axed the $16 billion Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme championed by the previous government, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “This hugely wasteful project was pouring money down the drain at a time when we need to be reining in spending and focussing on rebuilding the economy and ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ welcomes further pause in fighting in Gaza
    New Zealand welcomes the further one-day extension of the pause in fighting, which will allow the delivery of more urgently-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of more hostages, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said. “The human cost of the conflict is horrific, and New Zealand wants to see the violence ...
    1 week ago
  • Condolences on passing of Henry Kissinger
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today expressed on behalf of the New Zealand Government his condolences to the family of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has passed away at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut. “While opinions on his legacy are varied, Secretary Kissinger was ...
    1 week ago
  • Backing our kids to learn the basics
    Every child deserves a world-leading education, and the Coalition Government is making that a priority as part of its 100-day plan. Education Minister Erica Stanford says that will start with banning cellphone use at school and ensuring all primary students spend one hour on reading, writing, and maths each day. ...
    1 week ago
  • US Business Summit Speech – Regional stability through trade
    I would like to begin by echoing the Prime Minister’s thanks to the organisers of this Summit, Fran O’Sullivan and the Auckland Business Chamber.  I want to also acknowledge the many leading exporters, sector representatives, diplomats, and other leaders we have joining us in the room. In particular, I would like ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Keynote Address to the United States Business Summit, Auckland
    Good morning. Thank you, Rosemary, for your warm introduction, and to Fran and Simon for this opportunity to make some brief comments about New Zealand’s relationship with the United States.  This is also a chance to acknowledge my colleague, Minister for Trade Todd McClay, Ambassador Tom Udall, Secretary of Foreign ...
    2 weeks ago
  • India New Zealand Business Council Speech, India as a Strategic Priority
    Good morning, tēnā koutou and namaskar. Many thanks, Michael, for your warm welcome. I would like to acknowledge the work of the India New Zealand Business Council in facilitating today’s event and for the Council’s broader work in supporting a coordinated approach for lifting New Zealand-India relations. I want to also ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government unveils 100-day plan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has laid out the Coalition Government’s plan for its first 100 days from today. “The last few years have been incredibly tough for so many New Zealanders. People have put their trust in National, ACT and NZ First to steer them towards a better, more prosperous ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    3 weeks ago

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