web analytics

Climate change – New Zealand not even a fast follower

Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, August 13th, 2015 - 48 comments
Categories: australian politics, climate change, Environment, global warming, national/act government, sustainability - Tags:

Remember climate change, that almost irreversible process that is already causing havoc to the planet and will eventually make most of the planet uninhabitable?

Originally New Zealand wanted to be a leader in the area and Helen Clark set an aspirational goal that New Zealand becomes carbon neutral.  Then there was talk about us being a fast follower.  But for the important Paris talks later this year it appears that we are becoming a slothful bludger.

Analysis performed suggests that our proposal is that bad we are behind even windmill hating Tony Abbott’s Australia and the only nation we are ahead of is tar sand loving Canada.  From stuff:

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who made an election promise to drop the controversial tax, pledged on Wednesday to cut Australia’s greenhouse gases by 20 per cent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. That contrasts with the 11 per cent below the 1990 target, set by the New Zealand Government last month.

Newly released figures on nine countries and regions show New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pledges are the second-weakest. Only Canada will take a less ambitious goal to the United Nations December climate change conference in Paris, according to a table by independent think-tank The Climate Institute.

Victoria University Climate Change scientist Jim Renwick is scathing about the Government’s efforts.

“Australia are not actually doing particularly well either, but New Zealand is doing worse … It is not a good look. New Zealand already has a rather poor reputation in these meetings and negotiations, in my understanding.”

The comparisons contradicted the Government’s description of its target as “fair and ambitious”, Renwick said.

“It’s unimpressive and it is not fair, because it is not fair on future generations. As this becomes more and more important, this is going to hurt us, economically.”

This Government has talked up its commitment to addressing climate change.  Tim Groser last year described our proposal as the only game in town and the recently released Government discussion document claimed that we are committed to doing our fair share and taking responsibility for our emissions.

But the Government keeps saying that because of Dairy we can do nothing.  If the cost of producing milk is the devastation of the planet then it is clear that we need to change what we produce.

48 comments on “Climate change – New Zealand not even a fast follower”

  1. Bazza 1

    You mentioned Helen Clark wanted NZ to become carbon neutral, but carbon is not a green house gas.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      It was the phrase used and the idea clearly is to stop the net increase in CO2 levels from New Zealand sources.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      When someone tells you to “jump off a bridge”, do you understand they are talking metaphorically?

      • weka 1.2.1

        lol.

      • Bazza 1.2.2

        When I read a news article about some one jumping of a bridge I would like to know if it was a bungy jump, base jump or suicide. a PM should, when making statements be clear or was she going for carbon as to most people that is a black dirty thing – think soot where as CO2 is critical for plant growth.

  2. Bob 2

    Has anyone taken into account CO2 emission per head of population basis? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita

    It is one thing to say we are only going to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 11% from 1990 levels compared to Australia’s 20%, but Australia produced 250% more CO2 per head of population in 1990 than we did, so they are ‘committing’ to drop to approx 13.8 tonnes of CO2 per capita, we are ‘committing’ to drop to 6.3 tonnes per head of capita, and we are the ones not pulling out weight???

      • Macro 2.1.1

        Here is an even better one:
        https://ecotricity.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/150721-NZ-EMISSIONS-appliance-growth-UPDATED.jpg
        and to confirm that Aussie is at the moment an even greatest emitter per capita than NZ:
        https://ecotricity.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/150721-NZ-EMISSIONS-per-capita-UPDATED.jpg
        Neither of these graphs show us or Australia in any great light.

        • RedLogix 2.1.1.1

          So NZ has more than doubled it’s emissions since 1990 – making us one of the worst offenders. Of course a huge lump of this relates to the fact that our population has increased 50% or so in that time, and the rise of dairy probably puts a massive methane component in there.

          And at the third highest tons/capita number we cannot hide behind that figleaf either.

          The simple truth is that NZ and Australia (especially with Abbott’s increasingly bizzare antics attracting attention to this corner of the world) – are in the worst category of the lot. We pay facile lip-service to the issue, while actively pursuing policies which are only increasing our emissions.

          http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/aug/12/tony-abbotts-hubris-is-staggering-uks-climate-adviser-on-emissions-target

          Meanwhile the rest of the world is slowly getting it’s shit together on this – there is the very real risk we will face severe sanctions when they notice we aren’t even followers – we are wreckers.

      • Macro 2.1.2

        The “sustainable” amount of carbon emissions per capita is calculated to be around 2 tonnes of CO2 per person. It is obvious that we can never reduce it to zero. 2 tonnes per person would be equivalent to the normal sequestion rate of Carbon from the environment.

        • weka 2.1.2.1

          Is that per year? A global average?

          • Robert Atack 2.1.2.1.1

            Its bollocks

          • Macro 2.1.2.1.2

            Yes that is per year on average. Robert thinks its bollocks but then he is of the opinion that we are all off to hell in a handcart anyway. (he may be right – but I have to have hope that the science is accurate and that if we can act fast enough we can limit the catastrophy to such an extent that humans can adapt – I have to have that hope otherwise I would be in absolute despair for my children and grandchildren). CO2 is naturally sequestered into the oceans and the soil – see here:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon-cycle-full.jpg
            At present our emissions are way bigger than what is being sequestered so we must reduce them to at least 2 tonnes per person.
            As an example of what that means in terms of living conditions and can we as a species survive and fuction at that level?- we can see from the example of Cuba that, yes, a fair functioning society can survive at that level. There are many smaller countries that function very well at lower levels as well.
            http://www.tradingeconomics.com/cuba/co2-emissions-metric-tons-per-capita-wb-data.html
            this is also useful reading
            https://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions-basic.htm

            • Robert Atack 2.1.2.1.2.1

              We are way past trying to reverse what is happening.
              I don’t get what people don’t understand ??
              The environment is at 402 ppm CO2, and nearly 2 ppm CH4.
              Its a bit like when you first burnt your hand as a child on something hot, the same ‘science’ is in action ie when something gets hot you burn, or when the environmental amounts of CO2/CH4 get to a certain amount – the planet ‘burns’. We are there now.
              CO2 hangs around for about 1,000 years. The environment will not see less than 400 ppm for a very long time, even if we stopped emitting ALL CO2 tonight.
              400 PPM CO2 = no ice, no ice = massive CH4 ‘burps’. And it will not take all the ice going for the CH4 to appear, as we are seeing NOW FFS
              This guy spells it out nice and calmly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xdOTyGQOso
              Water reaches its maximum weight at 4.5C, that warm water is sitting down at about 200? meters below the surface, not only causing the CH4 clathrates to melt off the coast of Gisborne, but all around the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, where according the one of the only group of scientists that actually have hands on experience (ie they have been going out on the ice for the past 10 years or so, taking measurements of the ‘escaping’ methane) ‘we’ are looking at a 50 GT burp “any day now”
              50 GT of CH4 = more CO2 than human have put into the environment in the past 200 years.
              And for the past 15 – 20 years we have been putting something like 400 years worth of planetary growth (meaning CO2 sequestration via trees, animals, and humans) through our smoke stacks, exhaust pipes, and The Warehouse every year = something like 3 cubic kilometers of carbon, just from oil. That is everything that has grown on the planet since Christ has been burnt and added to the environment in just 5 years.
              We are all fucked, as Jason Box said about a year ago. http://motherboard.vice.com/read/if-we-release-a-small-fraction-of-arctic-carbon-were-fucked-climatologist but what would Jason know? he has only been studying this shit most of his professional life?

              • weka

                Unfortunately Robert, a while back you started citing Cowspiracy as a valid and reliable source of data, despite it being biased, ideologically based propaganda with so little proper referencing as to be useless and unreliable. So I have to take your whole process of understanding source material and interpreting it with a grain of salt.

            • weka 2.1.2.1.2.2

              Thanks Macro. My sense is that 2 tonnes is still too high, but it might serve as a goal post for people in the west to get their eye on.

              However from what I understand from what Bill is saying, we need to reduce FF use to zero because of the excess already in the atmosphere. So I’m not sure how that fits in (FF and CO2 not being the same measurements).

              (I think this is also the basis of Robert’s argument, but I disagree with him as well, he’s not god and he doesn’t know everything. He’s taken his own and other people’s interpretation of data and now makes out that they are the ones who know and everyone else is wrong. i.e. he is mistaking his beliefs for the truth).

              The regenag and other sustainability land management people are making some pretty hefty claims around intentional carbon sequestration (more than the natural cycles). I don’t think the role of agriculture, positive and negative, has been fully appreciated yet.

              • lprent

                The problem with sequestration in agriculture and forestry is that it is so damn transient. Even in the best possible case it is unlikely that it’d sequester anything much for more than a couple of hundred years or so. That is a blink of an eye in terms of CO2 which has a residence time in carbon cycle of thousands of years.

                And we have poured trillion of tonnes of fossil carbon into our volatiles layer in the oceans and atmosphere that needs reducing. Sequestration to be effective has to hold the stuff for at least tens of thousands of years. The longer it can be sequestered for, the less we have to reduce the natural releases of CO2/CH4 production.

                Just locking up carbon for decades in plants, soils and trees is useless.

                BTW: The most effective use of land to sequester carbon using biologicals, is to engineer large areas of descending anaerobic swamp land (and we have no idea how to do that) and then keep stuff growing on the top (and not harvest it).

                • Macro

                  Yes Carbon sequestration in agriculture is limited and only temporary. Reforestation is urgently needed – but even that won’t solve the problem and there is a need to feed people as well. Furthermore with the loss of much of the planets highly productive land through sea level rise – we need to be looking at transferring our preferred diets. Dairy for instance is going to become environmentally unsustainable if not already.

                  • weka

                    “Yes Carbon sequestration in agriculture is limited and only temporary”

                    How so?

                    • Macro

                      Soil carbon is a major component of the terrestrial carbon cycle. The soils of the world contain more carbon than the combined total amounts occurring in vegetation and the atmosphere. Consequently, soils are a major reservoir of carbon and an important sink. Because of the relatively long period of time that carbon spends within the soil and is thereby withheld from the atmosphere, it is often referred to as being sequestered. Increasing the capacity of soils to sequester C provides a partial, medium-term countermeasure to help ameliorate the increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere arising from fossil fuel burning and land clearing. Such action will also help to alleviate the environmental impacts arising from increasing levels of atmospheric CO2. The C sequestration potential of any soil depends on its capacity to store resistant plant components in the medium term and to protect and accumulate the humic substances (HS) formed from the transformations or organic materials in the soil environment. The sequestration potential of a soil depends on the vegetation it supports, its mineralogical composition, the depth of the solum, soil drainage, the availability of water and air, and the temperature of the soil environment. The sequestration potential also depends on the chemical characteristics of the soil organic matter and its ability to resist microbial decomposition. When accurate information for these features is incorporated in model systems, the potentials of different soils to sequester C can be reliably predicted. It is encouraging to know that improved soil and crop management systems now allow field yields to be maintained and soil C reserves to be increased, even for soils with depleted levels of soil C

                      my bold
                      From the Abstract for a paper on Carbon sequestration in soil by Roger Swift
                      http://journals.lww.com/soilsci/Abstract/2001/11000/SEQUESTRATION_OF_CARBON_BY_SOIL.10.aspx
                      Note that it is a medium term countermeasure, because:
                      a. the total limit that any soil type can retain varies for a number of factors, and
                      b. once that limit is reached, your not going to be adding any more – that which you do add will drive out Carbon already stored. An equilibrium state if you like.

                    • weka

                      That doesn’t explain why it’s considered temporary.

                      I agree there is a limit, simply because there is only so much surface area (see my comment below, although it might be possible to argue that soil depth can keep being increased therefore the limit isn’t about that. And if it can keep being increased, why can’t it continue to sequester carbon?).

                      But the issue isn’t the limit, it’s whether the amounts sequestered before equilibrium is reached, multiplied by the area, are significant or not.

                      The variability strikes me as irrelevant. It just means it’s not the same everywhere. Why is that a problem?

                    • Macro

                      When soil is exposed in tillage or other forms of cultivation it is oxidised releasing the carbon stored.
                      But yes there is potential for a massive sink here:
                      “According to Rattan Lal, director of Ohio State University’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, the world’s cultivated soils have lost between 50 and 70 percent of their original carbon stock, much of which has oxidized upon exposure to air to become CO2.Now, armed with rapidly expanding knowledge about carbon sequestration in soils, researchers are studying how land restoration programs in places like the former North American prairie, the North China Plain, and even the parched interior of Australia might help put carbon back into the soil.”
                      http://e360.yale.edu/feature/soil_as_carbon_storehouse_new_weapon_in_climate_fight/2744/
                      Incidentally last year I was fortunate enough to visit the campus of Ohio State and was shown round their “Prairie”. North America has virtually lost all of it’s Prairie, even the plants are just about gone. Ohio States Prairie is about 2 Hectares and is a plant sanctuary with plants rescued from roadside verges and little outcrops here and there.
                      https://osumarion.osu.edu/initiatives/outreach/prairie/

                    • weka

                      Ok, thanks, I think that clarifies that the usual thinking on this is referring to conventional agriculture. Regenerative agriculture (regenag) and other sustainable systems don’t till. That’s the whole point. They use techniques that lock carbon deeply into the soil and it doesn’t get disturbed again.

                • weka

                  “Even in the best possible case it is unlikely that it’d sequester anything much for more than a couple of hundred years or so.”

                  How so? The regenag people are talking about deep soil sequestration (ie there is no significant carbon held in the top few inches), and not tilling again. Some of those systems mimic the big plains/herd animals that evolved in places like the US and Africa. Historically they were very stable systems. I can’t see why theoretically they can’t be again (whether humans will actually allow that is another matter).

                  They’re also talking about (and demonstrating) building soil much much faster than is currently accepted by the mainstream as being usual. This is already being done.

                  Obviously there is going to be an upper limit on the area of land that can do that (which is why we also need to reduce emissions). And there is an issue on quantity (do the claims stack up in relation to the amount already released)?

                  I’m less clear about forestry, but am unsure why it’s not considered that useful. If a new forest is created, once that becomes a climax forest, isn’t that amount of carbon fixed relatively permanently assuming the forest isn’t cleared? i.e. it won’t sequester any more, but the amount of of carbon sequestered over that 30 to 100 years is bound into that system in addition to what then cycles naturally? Or am I missing something?

                  Both those scenarios (new forests, new plains systems) rely on restoring land that has been cleared, which is a lot of land. We could add into that the reduction in emissions from stopping conventional agriculture (mostly the ploughing, soil-destroying behaviours that release GHGs).

              • Macro

                Yes weka totally agree with this. There are some considerations that make it impossible to reach zero emissions – steel making, maintenance of roads (whether for carrying electric vehicles or not), manufacturing of batteries, concrete production, agriculture (rice as well as animals). The best we can aim for is to be Carbon Neutral as the first step and then think about how to start stripping CO2 from the atmosphere and hoping we can do that before it is too late.
                There was a peer reviewed study done in 2010 by Mathews and Weaver which looked at the possible result of what would happen if we were able to reduce carbon emissions to zero overnight. The conclusion was that the resultant overall max temperature would be 1.3 degrees C. I think that that is probably on the low side – especially in the light of more recent observations, however it does give some hope that we are still in with a chance, and that is the conclusion of most climate scientists today. But all (apart from the manic few in total denial like Currie, and our own de Freitas and de Lange spring to mind) agree that the world needs to act strongly and immediately to avoid disaster.

    • Crashcart 2.2

      So by your own maths Aus are planing to reduce their emissions by more than twice NZ per capita. Yes they will still be producing more per capita however they will have done more per capita to address the issue.

      • Bob 2.2.1

        Conversely you could argue that NZ started addressing CO2 emissions much earlier (hydro / Geothermal electricity) so we shouldn’t be expected to have to reduce our CO2 at the same rate as Australia, or the majority of the developed world for that matter.

        • Sacha 2.2.1.1

          If only that were the way global climate agreements worked – but it isn’t. Being seen as shirkers on the world stage does not benefit this nation in any way.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    If the cost of producing milk is the devastation of the planet then it is clear that we need to change what we produce.

    Wow, what a radical idea – applying actual, real, economics.

  4. Bill 4

    All this ’20 by 30 below 90′ or ’11 by 30 below 05′ crap?

    I really wish people would refuse to use those as yardsticks. They are one sure fire way to introduce confusion and shoals of dirty little red herrings into any debate.

    The only time we should reference them, in my opinion, is when a government minister rolls them out. And we should hold up the Copenhagen Accord (one paragraph) and ask if their ‘x below y by z’, guarantees keeping below two degrees (it won’t) and whether it means zero fossil fuels by 2050 (it must).

    It’s then up to them to explain on our simple terms, rather than us tearing our hair out trying to figure what their nonsense actually means.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      They are one sure fire way to introduce confusion and shoals of dirty little red herrings into any debate.

      That would be why National brought in the 30% by 2005 crap when the normal measure is a comparison to 1990.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        1990 or 2005 makes no difference. Both are meaningless unless they incorporate a year on year target. Minus the yearly target, ‘30% below 1990 levels by 2030’ allows for nothing to be done until 2029. Assuming that something would be done, there still isn’t any accountability – no yardstick or aspirational target to compare or judge action on – for the years preceding 2030.

        Zero by 50 from energy, which is what the science is calling for, implies and indeed insists that year on year reduction targets be set and achieved.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Cheap, energy dense fuel is a drug which makes modern economic and social life much easier and more comfortable. I like having a couple of hundred energy slaves running around looking after my needs moment to moment.

          How can people be convinced to give up what they have been indoctrinated to believe as their birthright?

          And surely no politician is going to try.

          • Bill 4.1.1.1.1

            Well, I’d say not to directly challenge the use of those energy slaves. But how about challenging the ridiculously reductionist notion of life that underpins most of that energy slave use?

            We’re inculcated with it from early on. Got a talent? Well, that’s all very nice, but you have to earn a living.

            Shall we have children? Well, maybe when we can afford it.

            What do you do? Well, we all know that actually means, What do you do to earn money?

            Success? Usually comes with $ signs attached to count as ‘real’ success.

            And so it goes.

            But that elevated money centric world view that we measure our own and others’ worth by isn’t just vacuous nonsense, it’s the thing that compels us to utilise those energy slaves. No longer ‘chasing a buck’ with all the otherwise pointless activity that endeavour entails? Energy needs and therefore energy use plummets.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              This is the massive structural change and re-orientation which we need in our society before it is forced upon us (in some kind of dystopian subsistence/survival mode).

              Yet you have political parties like Labour talking about creating more employment with better pay as the future of this country. It’s like a rerun of the 1970s/1980s/1990s and the expectation of keeping up exponential growth from within a very finite country and planet.

              • maui

                Looking around I don’t see any political groups wanting to change our economy/monetary system in a hurry. Maybe it’s going to come from places like community gardens where everything is exchanged for free. Apparently there’s this quote that “Permaculture is revolution disguised as organic gardening”. heh

                • Bill

                  All political parties, in the final analysis, exist to service the status quo. It can’t ever be any other way. Even revolutionary parties – and this is inevitable – re-create a parody of the system they over-throw.

                  The change in culture or fundamental attitudes will come from below if it comes at all.

                  Failing that, the austerity machine will keep pumping: bubbles will inflate and burst in an endless process that concentrates wealth in the hands of a tiny elite. And the corresponding impoverishment of society at large will just get deeper and more widespread.

                  I believe that’s what will result in the dystopian future CV mentions.

                  Throw in AGW, resource depletion and all the rest of it, and yeah…’Everybody!… Say “whoop”.’

                  • maui

                    Whats your take on where we’ll end up? Do you think the whole world will end up like Greece, with countries asset stripped and people crushed by poverty and the state? Or will people break free of the system and create their own? Just curious. The trouble I see in NZ (probably the whole western world to be fair) is that people are so dumbed down and comfortable in this consumerist, apathetic lifestyle that it could take a long time for them to wake up, want change and make a stand.

              • weka

                Just picked this snippet up but haven’t had time to verify it yet. Apparently Bill Mollison, the co-founder of permaculture (and who btw was recognising CC for what it was in the 70s and has spent the time since building a sustainable production system of food and other human needs), said this,

                The shift from conventional agriculture to true sustainable systems like permaculture is going to reduce the use of petroleum by 95%. Corresponding with this is a x 20 increase in the amount of people needed to grow food (see, more jobs right there, and interesting jobs too).

                The main inconveniences there for most people in NZ are going to be not being able to eat fresh tomatoes in the middle of winter (i.e. we will have to eat seasonally), and adjusting to a diet that is local (less rice, more oats kind of thing). But many people find that eating fresh, organic produce is worth that trade off (plus, you know, saving the planet). We will also probably have periods of time where certain staples are in short supply. These are not great hardships, but they do assume that we reduce emissions globally and end up dealing with a less extreme CC. Once that reality is understood, that’s a powerful incentive – eat differently but well, or watch your kids starve.

                That’s really just an example of how there are people already doing the transition work. I could probably find similar examples in transport, housing, etc too. I think we need to be looking at that work and figuring out how to integrate it into the political sphere (transition people tend to be averse to conventional politics for very good reasons).

  5. katipo 5

    Like a lot of ‘scary’ issues that need to be addressed the Nats know it’s in their best interest to to as little as possible because when Labor are back in power and action is finally taken they know it will be unpopular, especially with Nat supporters and they can use this as a stick to beat Labor with come next election.

  6. b waghorn 6

    If the nats keep running things into the ground like they have with solid energy we might get to zero emmisions by accident.

  7. This http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2015/08/discussing-abrupt-climate-change-with.html
    is a good interview of Paul Beckwith from Ottawa Uni
    near the end of part 2 (20 min?) they talk about the political situation in Canada, and the ‘Prime Minister’s Office’ something like 3,000 people from all over the world work in this department, and we think we got problems, well apart from run away climate change lead extinction )

  8. Smilin 8

    The climate change that is most damaging to NZ is the one of the period from 2005 to the the present and sooner we remove it the better hopefully by 2017

  9. NZ Groover 9

    Thanks Micky, that’s awesome news. When the government annouced the target I was worried about the impact this would have on the economy. Sounds to me it’s “sufficently vague” to tick the box while not actually doing anything. Great outcome for a non-problem like climate change (whatever the hell “climate change” means).

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    53 mins ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    54 mins ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    2 hours ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    2 hours ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    17 hours ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    20 hours ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    23 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    2 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    3 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    3 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    3 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    4 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    5 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago