Covid-19 – a political problem

Written By: - Date published: 11:08 pm, March 14th, 2020 - 103 comments
Categories: australian politics, health, International, us politics - Tags: ,

I always enjoy the The Juice Media videos for their unvarnished and deadly accurate satirical analysis of politics.

This one on the essential facts about the spread of Covid-19 concentrates on the United States. Personally I’m picking that country, by the end of the year, as being the biggest medico-political screw up world wide after Iran. Early wishful thinking and a lack of transparency cost lives.

In particular, notice the reasoning about how politicians can make a difference. By their decisive effective actions (something foreign to Trump skill sets) early in the spread they can make the difference on the loads at the medical facilities by reducing the spike of community spread. That requires tests and transparency. Pathetic bullshitting simply doesn’t help.

103 comments on “Covid-19 – a political problem ”

  1. Sabine 1

    Personally I’m picking that country, by the end of the year, as being the biggest medico-political screw up world wide after Iran

    well, one could argue that Iran has been under sanctions now for many many years, and that the western world has had no issues starving Iran of medical equipment under the guise of 'no nukes for Iran' while the US simply has no reason for its fuckuppery.

    So i would give Iran a pass, in fact i would like to ask where we would be if we had to live under the same sanctions as they do.

    Fwiw, i consider the Iranians as more compassionate towards their own citizens then the US elite currently in government.

  2. A 2

    Iranian people largely ignored their govt's pleas to avoid large gatherings (including prayer time at mosques) and took the days off for holidays instead of self isolation. Even so I think they will end up better off than the US due to coping mechanisms developed during years of sanctions.

  3. Paaparakauta 3

    I beg to differ. Tehran, as I remember it, has very high population density in contrast to a dispersed rural population. This variant of influenza will affect it as with any other large urban settlement.

    This is now a global problem, beyond ideology or religion. If there is an upside it is that it forces us to work together to find a solution.

  4. A 4

    I hope it's ok I post this here instead of Open Mike…

    Political problem..was wondering why WHO behaved as the did. WHO could have prevented much of the spread early on but instead minimized the risks and put out advice that almost guaranteed spread.

    Could be that due to his connections with Eritrea where he was born and Ethiopia that the political leanings of Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus meant that under the slightest of pressure from China he was willing to put their interests above the rest of the world?

    https://www.who.int/antimicrobial-resistance/interagency-coordination-group/dg_who_bio/en/

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Yes, Tedros has a controversial past and his blatant refusal to declare a pandemic when it was obvious that a lack of immediate proactive action would ensure one would happen is utterly baffling on the facts.

      Hell ordinary people like you and I knew about the nature of this virus and the real threat it posed back in late January, that our so-called experts and leaders who are supposed to be smart, informed people have so egregiously failed, is indefensible.

      This is not just Trump's Katrina moment, the failures are widespread and even if we manage our way through the medical and economic crisis, the body blow to our already battered trust in our political institutions could well be the worst impact long-term.

      • Wayne 4.1.1

        Iprent,

        This is the worst crisis in our lifetimes, by far. The Standard is one of the more significant political blogs in NZ. I reckon as authors you need to be quite careful. All countries have got the governments they have got. And by and large the public will need to back them as they try and deal with the crisis. Oppositions have got an obligation to back off from normal partisan politics. They are going to have to hep the government. That is what happened in 2011 in the months following the earthquake.

        I get it that commenters to the various items need to sound off. But as authors you shouldn't fan the flames.

        This crisis is going to test us to the limit. Not just the government, but all of us. There is going to be massive economic dislocation, and we are going to have to help our friends and family get through. Hopefully NZ will not get the pandemic in the way that Italy has, but it could easily get a lot worse than now.

        I imagine the virus will burn out in a few months, but that could easily be 12 months. It is going to be a tough few months ahead.

        • SPC 4.1.1.1

          It's more a case of nations having lockdowns whenever there is sufficient public spread to require this (to protect the health system), and how we adjust our border policy in response to what is going on overseas.

          Hopefully the north will contain this by their summer, with minor levels of new cases through summer – at that point emulating the active response now being applied in East Asia. If they get as good at it, it might suffice next northern winter (that might be as good as this gets).

        • Anne 4.1.1.2

          I appreciate your effort to sound a note of caution Wayne. And yes, it is sound advice and one I hope all will agree with.

          But it is very difficult not to get angry with the current American Administration and the need to sound off about them is as strong among authors as it is with ordinary commenters.

          America and the Trump team in particular have put the rest of the world in serious jeopardy due to their intransigence, their ignorance and their inability to act appropriately in the face of a growing crisis. And when you have a president who tried to cover up their internal failures by blaming Europe for the pandemic and single them out for specific 'punishment' then it isn't surprising some will want to express frustration in whatever way available.

        • weka 4.1.1.3

          Wayne I agree with your general cautions, but are you saying that Lynn shouldn't have been rude about the US administration? Or that he shouldn't be critical?

          Someone's probably going to write about what the UK just did, and that's not going to be pretty.

          • Wayne 4.1.1.3.2

            Weka,

            The constant mocking of the US in the current circumstances is probably not helpful. There are lots of times when it is justified in relation to Trump, but is this one of them? Are they really being that hopeless?

            I am sure the NZ govt will be co-ordinating their response with the US, and with other states.

            As I have said, this is going to get pretty bad. People will need confidence in their government if we are to get through in the best shape possible.

            Obviously the government is not immune to criticism. From time to time they will deserve it. But the item posted by Iprent was at the level of saying that nothing they do is any good. Thats fine for the most partisan blogs, but I have always thought that The Standard is more responsible than that.

            • KJT 4.1.1.3.2.1

              I think you need to say this to the current National MP's.

              Hardly been helpful in the last few weeks

            • weka 4.1.1.3.2.2

              "People will need confidence in their government if we are to get through in the best shape possible."

              I agree, but this is why I think the US is the exception to the rule. Many, many Americans don't have confidence in the current administration and that's not about political partisanship, it's people being really scared of what that administration is doing, long before covid.

              I do think they are really that hopeless. Honestly and seriously. I'm also highly critical of what Boris Johnson did this week, but as bad as his politics are from my left wing point of view, I don't think they are in the same category (yet) as the US.

              For me it's not about the stupid tweets and stuff, it's about not having testing in place, and doing things like banning press from recording statements about cv. That's just dangerous. Even the running down of the health system and the pandemic team could be put aside if they changed their tack now, but they haven't.

              I think your points make sense for NZers talking about NZ govt, although if National were in power and doing what the US are doing I wouldn't hold back. Locally I'm more concerned about the number of lefties saying that the MoH response is shit and undermining that way. But few people in the US are going to be reading Lynn's post.

            • Sacha 4.1.1.3.2.3

              Are they really being that hopeless?

              Yes.

        • KJT 4.1.1.4

          Actually. Well said, Wayne.

    • Paaparakauta 5.1

      This is what happens when a real estate consultant tries to manage an epidemic.

      • Sacha 5.1.1

        Or a lazy con artist tries to manage an enema.

      • Andre 5.1.2

        He's managing it very well, thank you. It's going to be much biglier and more poweful than it could possibly have been with anyone else in charge. The bestest epidemic ever!

        • RedLogix 5.1.2.1

          Sighs … he really is a total goat of a man. Personally I think this is Trump's Katrina moment, but orders of magnitude worse. There is a small but non-zero chance he wont even make it to the election.

          He's pulled off an impossible series of political victories (at a terrible cost), but this fubar is of a different nature. The American people can be baffling and weird, but when they finally react it will be decisive and brutal.

          • Andre 5.1.2.1.1

            With Katrina, it's at least arguable that Shrub's pre-disaster actions were reasonable and the biggest failings were at the state level. So arguably, Shrub's personal failures were were more to do with the aftermath of a force majeure event out of his control.

            Whereas COVID-19 is a slow-motion disaster whose magnitude is entirely dependent on actions taken or not taken by the demented orange doofus.

  5. Karl Sinclair 6

    Would suggest NZ Inc needs to lock down now

    Stop the none essential travel abroad or into NZ

    Its not political….. it’s nature, and she don’t care

    Suggest powers that be read this article

    https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca

    With everything that’s happening about the Coronavirus, it might be very hard to make a decision of what to do today. Should you wait for more information? Do something today? What?

    Here’s what I’m going to cover in this article, with lots of charts, data and models with plenty of sources:

    • How many cases of coronavirus will there be in your area?
    • What will happen when these cases materialize?
    • What should you do?
    • When?

    When you’re done reading the article, this is what you’ll take away:

    The coronavirus is coming to you.
    It’s coming at an exponential speed: gradually, and then suddenly.
    It’s a matter of days. Maybe a week or two.
    When it does, your healthcare system will be overwhelmed.
    Your fellow citizens will be treated in the hallways.
    Exhausted healthcare workers will break down. Some will die.
    They will have to decide which patient gets the oxygen and which one dies.
    The only way to prevent this is social distancing today. Not tomorrow. Today.
    That means keeping as many people home as possible, starting now.

    • Paaparakauta 6.1

      "The UK is not going into lockdown or for dramatic social distancing measures that many other nations are putting their faith in.

      Why? Because the government thinks that this virus cannot be stopped.

      As one of those at the heart of the government’s efforts explains: “A lot of the international response is, how do we stop coronavirus?

      “But that cannot happen: It is a global pandemic.

      “What we are saying is, we can’t stop it; but we can mitigate it and save as many people as possible.”

      The Government’s approach is going to be controversial.

      The consensus on how to handle this pandemic is already beginning to break down with Labour and the former Tory leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt calling on Boris Johnson to do more."

      https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11171355/boris-johnson-coronavirus-nhs-overwhelmed/

      • Paaparakauta 6.1.1

        According to this source total UK CoV19 infections were 798 and death toll 11 at time of publication.

  6. Wayne 7

    Iprent,

    A completely unhelpful and useless satire. Says absolutely nothing about what is actually being done, and just uses Covid 19 as yet another opportunity to bash Trump.

    I would have thought The Standard (and you in particular) might want to make serious political commentary about the various national responses, not just have yet another partisan bashfest.

    For instance is our current "self isolation" requirement for all people better than an actual ban. Will it in fact the outcome be the same? Who will book tickets to NZ if they know they have a self isolation requirement, or will it have little effect with large numbers of arrivals just ignoring it? Will there be way more testing at the airport?

    Serious questions, requiring serious debate.

    We and the world, are in uncharted territory. Both medically and economically.

    Nothing like this (the level of restrictions both here and elsewhere) has happened in my lifetime. The last time international travel basically stopped (except for soldiers) was WW2. The world was way less interconnected then. Most people did not travel anyway.

    So I certainly hope the iris either burns out soon, or an effective treatment developed. Because I reckon our economy is going to retract by around 20% with hundreds of thousands out of work (say 10 to 15% unemployment). After all who is buying anything except the essentials?

    I reckon the govt will need around $40 billion in economic stimulus over the next twelve months. Current annual govt receipts are around $100 billion. These will drop to $60 to 80 billion as the economy retracts, but the govt will need to spend at least $120 billion, instead of the planned $100 billion.

    It will push up govt debt to around 50 to 60% of GDP.

    But there is no choice.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      not just have yet another partisan bashfest.

      Wholeheartedly agree. A good comment and I appreciate the attempt to put some hard numbers on this event. They are of course up for debate, but any pragmatic discussion needs some starting point.

      Aside the medical and economic crisis, this is going to be a tough event politically. After all most govts around the world have badly failed to proactively manage this threat, when they had every opportunity to do so. The whole of the Chinese people have isolated for over a month now and in doing so potentially bought the rest of the world some time, but we mostly threw the opportunity away. There will be political repercussions in the long term, but avoiding the destructive ‘bashfest’ is going to be a difficult balance to achieve.

      • AB 7.1.1

        The thing to watch is where the "economic stimulus" goes – be it $40Bn as Wayne suggests or any other number. It's good that it's not a National Party government making those determinations – as they would likely get a diminished bang for their buck by being ideologically conditioned to distribute it largely at the top of the wealth-power pyramid. They'd do that because they are either deluded into really believing, or are merely disingenuously claiming, that it would trickle down.

        • Wayne 7.1.1.1

          I think you need to remember the first few months after the Christchurch earthquake. The whole Parliament was onboard with what was being done. I suspect that current government will be using that as a guide

          • observer 7.1.1.1.1

            That is true. Both Bob Parker and John Key were supported by political opponents in their respective responses.

            But then, Phil Goff was not calling John Key a "part time PM". Sure, there was the usual nastiness on the fringes, but it didn't come from the opposition leadership.

            Simon Bridges might regret listening to his Trumpy advisers telling him to go nasty, but it's a bit late now.

            • Wayne 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you are already seeing a change of tone.

              • Sacha

                The polling results have come in, yes.

              • Incognito

                Less electioneering and more collaboration would be a refreshing and necessary change in times of crisis. One would not need results for (internal) polling and focus groups to figure that one out. In fact, ignore all of those and start thinking about and acting on behalf of the country and the people instead of the party. Thanks.

    • barry 7.2

      Self-isolation will almost completely stop inbound tourism, but still allow migrants and long term visitors to come. It is significantly less severe than an outright ban.

      It should also allow for a loosening on the restrictions form China. It might be a bit late for most students this semester, but at least gives universities some home for the next.

      It is clearly better than reacting to the latest outbreak by banning countries individually and is politically more acceptable than banning people from US and Australia.

      Yes, it is going to hurt our economy and some measures to protect the worst affected will be necessary. However, an Italian style lock down will be far worse, so strong measures are needed.

    • Poission 7.3

      After all who is buying anything except the essentials?

      I expect the current account deficit to decrease in absolute terms,due to both demand and price decrease in fuel for example.

      The NZ economy safety valve is the depreciating $,which is around 15% better off since the end of January.

      Protein demand for NZ exports,is starting to occur (especially out of China and Australia) and a decrease in both seasonal and migrant workers will enable opportunity for NZ based workers to increase their participation rate (as was evidenced following the Chc eq.)

    • SPC 7.4

      At the moment it is the two week isolation for us and foreigners coming in.

      We can ramp it up to a ban when nations have rates like China, Italy and Iran. And we can even end it for those coming/returning from nations with low incidence (such as Oz, South Africa, India – where their inclusion is very proactive).

      On the economic side, action will have to be reactive – given we cannot yet know the effectiveness of measures taken overseas which will impact how long we maintain our border policy.

      • SPC 7.4.1

        where their inclusion/exclusion is very proactive and successful in preventing community spread.

    • Sacha 7.5

      A completely unhelpful and useless satire.

      I'll defer to one of our best science communicators on that.

      https://twitter.com/SiouxsieW/status/1238746733804318721

      • SPC 7.5.1

        Medical criticism of the American response and capability.

        Back on March 1

        Worryingly though, there are now a few countries around the world in which there are people with COVID-19 that aren't linked to known hotspots and where it looks like the virus has started to spread out in the community. How this outbreak plays out on the global scale in the months to come is going to depend on whether they are able to get this transmission under control.

        While most of the world is looking at how the situation is developing in the Middle East, Italy, and South Korea, one of the countries I'm most concerned about at the moment is the US. They've just announced several cases in California, Oregon, and Washington State with no history of travel or known contact with another case.

        We are soon going to see what happens when this coronavirus meets a woefully underprepared national response in a country that for all intents and purposes despises socialised healthcare. It's not going to be pretty. And it could put us all in danger.

        Back in 2018, President Trump's administration basically axed the executive branch team responsible for coordinating a pandemic response and did not replace it.

        Now he's put the vice-president, Mike Pence, in charge of the Coronavirus Taskforce. The first thing Pence seems to have done is in effect gag all the experts who have been speaking out about COVID-19. He then jetted off to Florida to do some fundraising. And not for his task force. The vice-president doesn't have a great track record in the area of public health. When governor of Indiana, he oversaw the fastest HIV outbreak in the country's history, with his combination of budget cuts to healthcare and social services, and belief that the state shouldn't hand out "drug paraphernalia". At the time, public health officials were pleading with him to make clean needle exchanges available to try to reduce transmission of the HIV virus.

        This, combined with the fact that so many Americans don't have access to affordable healthcare and paid sick leave, leaves me wondering how on earth they can stop COVID-19 going viral, so to speak.

        Case in point, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar (a former drug company executive and pharmaceutical lobbyist) has said there is no guarantee any vaccine developed would be affordable to everyone who needs it. Hell, they haven't even managed to properly sort out country-wide testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus yet, despite the World Health Organization making all the protocols freely available.

        https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/20 … es-me.html

      • Poission 7.5.2

        And if the curve is a lie?

        The Curve Is a Lie

        These suggestions are dangerously wrong, and if implemented, will lead to incredible suffering and hardship. Let’s try to understand this by putting some numbers on the axes.

        https://twitter.com/yaneerbaryam/status/1238753409907470336

        • McFlock 7.5.2.1

          The curve isn't a lie. Saying the flatter curve is claimed to bring the pandemic to manageable levels is the lie.

          Hospitals are already frequently overwhelmed in NZ winters. Basic flu can still push us past 100% occupancy.

          The point to flu vaccines and "flattening the curve" is that it's the difference between an overwhelmed system where dozens/hundreds (maybe even thousands) more people die than usual in a given year, and a fucking society-decimating catastrophe with mass graves dug in public parks and outbreaks of mob violence over the course of a few months.

          • Poission 7.5.2.1.1

            What they are saying is,if social actions do not work the curve will not flatten.Cordon sanitaire was the only option weeks ago,as was social distancing.

            Good personal hygiene such as good handwashing,restricted contact etc will have the effect of constraining CV and the flu as well as most transmittable diseases as in Hong Kong.

            https://www.ft.com/content/ad7ae6b4-5eab-11ea-b0ab-339c2307bcd4

            • McFlock 7.5.2.1.1.1

              And if lifting your foot off the accelerator doesn't work, the car will not slow.

              But what's the mechanism for this measure not working? And how do you define whether something "works"? As I say, it's not about stopping an endemic outbreak and then eradicating it. It's about slowing the incidence of disease.

              Sure, it'll knock a fair amount of influenza, gastro, and common colds on their head as well, but we will still see an often-overwhelmed system become even more seriously overwhelmed..

              • RedLogix

                You are assuming the medical system will not react and adapt. Over the next few months it will ramp up it's capacity to deal with this. If at the same time we 'flatten the curve' sufficiently, the two may just close in on each other.

                • McFlock

                  It's a ray of light to hope for, but everyone is trying to ramp up at the same time as the ramp engineers are getting sick.

    • Macro 7.6

      A completely unhelpful and useless satire. Says absolutely nothing about what is actually being done, and just uses Covid 19 as yet another opportunity to bash Trump.

      Because up until a day ago in the US absolutely nothing was being done by the Federal Govt. Trump was boasting that anyone could get a test. How many tests were carried out by the CDC? – None. Almost all of the testing that has been done in the US (at around 23 tests per million and one of the lowest testing rates world wide) has been done by private labs at a cost of over $1000US per test. So yeah absolutely available to anyone.

      Trump BTW in 2018 disbanded the one Federal agency specifically designed to deal with such an emergency – because? Well Tax Breaks for the rich himself included.

      Pence tells workers to stay home if they feel sick. Pelosi in communication with the WH is able to cobble together a Bill that will cover around 20% of workers. Major employers such as Amazon are let off scot free. And McConnell chooses to have a 3 day weekend rather that introducing it to the Senate.

      So Yes! This post points the finger precisely where it should – at an incompetent, and lying Administration whose ability to deal with this crisis is simply to worry about how they can continue to feather their own nests.

    • weka 7.7

      I think you are conflating two things there. What is happening in NZ and the need for coverage of important questions (try Newsroom or the Spinoff), with the political issues underpinning the problems in the US which are going to kill people. Which isn't the travel ban, it's fuck up around the testing issues and the problems with the health system.

      I'm curious what the rw blogs are saying about Labour's handling.

      • Sacha 7.7.1

        Farrar is running the same line as his client party's current leader, and his ragtag reactionaries agree it's time for that woman to go so real men can take charge. Polishing their guns..

        • weka 7.7.1.1

          Christ. What has Wayne said over there re non-partisanship?

          • Sacha 7.7.1.1.1

            Doubt anything would register with the inmates. Twisted ol David Garrett is right up in there. Like a bad flashback.

          • Sabine 7.7.1.1.2

            politeness and civility are only a thing for the left and independents, the rightwingers have no such hang ups. Bi-partisan is only ever for others. Why does anyone care what Wayne has to say anyways. Fwiw, he is retired, useless and not helpful. Might as well ignore him.

            • weka 7.7.1.1.2.1

              He has a long history of bringing important debate to the site (preventing echo chamber), he's got governmental and political experience that many here don't (myself included), and if we don't talk to conservatives we will lose (nearly half of voters still support them)

              • Incognito

                Under normal circumstances, I would have pulled him up for his specific and incorrect comments about TS and what Authors should or shouldn’t write (about). But these are not normal circumstances and we need to have healthy [no pun] non-partisan conversations more than ever.

                • weka

                  For some reason that didn't bother me this time. Maybe because of the increased need for tolerance, but probably also because Wayne obviously put some thought into it rather than just dropping a few sentences of criticism.

                  • weka

                    which isn't an encouragement for people to write long criticisms of authors, lol, but I did find it easy enough to engage with the ideas Wayne presented.

                  • Incognito

                    Some criticisms comments lack context and nuance and are just negative rants. Wayne’s comments generally don’t fall in that category 😉

    • Dean Reynolds 7.8

      Wayne, in one post you have just destroyed the whole basis of your 'neo lib, free market, small government, privatisation, low taxes' ideology. You have confirmed what we Social Democrats have always known – every civilised society needs a strong, active, well resourced government, with a strong tax base, at all times, especially in times of crisis such as this. You have a short memory – just 2 weeks ago, in support of Simon Bridges, you strongly argued in a number of posts, for more tax cuts. Now you're telling us the government will need to spend an additional $20 B in the next 12 months to get us through this crisis.

      One outcome of this crisis will be to prove for all time, the stupidity of your whole right wing 'small government' belief system & proving this stupidity, will torpedo National's re-election chances in September. It's an ill wind…

    • lprent 7.9

      FFS Wayne – did you actually watch the video long enough to understand its points? When I say it was accurate I mean that it was fucking ACCURATE!

      The problem with this particular bug is the long incubation period which causes issues with reaction times. That makes it relatively easy for the bug to get inside a community and spread exponentially, then pop up a few weeks later as being a series of local epidemics.

      The key to dealing with it is to test and isolate by groups of contacts – in other words be isolation. Obviously this is different to the pandemic in 1919 with a 1-2 day gestation period. It relies on a lot of testing in the way that the South Koreans are do

      As far as I can see, the absolute worst responses are various forms of denialism. So far wherever this has happened, we get an infection growth curve that was best measured in Italy.

      That is exactly the infection path that the US is following because of incredibly late and inept reponses. As the video pointed out, that is directly related to their elected monarchy.

      That was the point of the video and was my point as well.

      Instead of looking at the medical interface with the political direction, you start prattling on political crap that has no functional purpose – when it comes to pandemics. Instead you, like Trump, appear to be looking at economic damage of the trying to prevent a pandemic ravaging a connected world population. Frankly that is something we can look at after we make sure that the disease doesn’t go exponential.

      Incidentally, our ages aren’t that different, so I never saw a decent pandemic either – no-one has seen a really wide-scale one like this since 1919. My interest in them came when I started training as a medic for obvious reasons. There are plenty of examples of pandemics in history – time constrained by transport at the times. I did quite a lot of reading on the history of them back in the 1990s – for a paper on epidemics. Hopefully we are better prepared to handle them than they were before the 20th. Especially dealing with the data required to trace contacts.

      Our current government is doing pretty much what is required to ameliorate the local epidemic to the point that our medical facilities should be able to handle it. There will be a lot of economic fallout. However that should not be the immediate concern.

  7. halfcrown 8

    I think America is going to end up a major cot case over this virus thing with massive deaths not only caused by the virus but also deaths as the homeless, unemployed and others possibly going bankrupt unable to afford the medical treatment

    This article in the New York Times is rather scary, I can see the pharmaceutical companies drooling with the thought of a new way they can make a "killing" over this virus.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/18/opinion/pricing-hiv-drugs-america.html

  8. Sanctuary 9

    I think one of the reasons we have now got a blanket 14 day stand down is we didn't want to upset the Americans by singling them out.

    • Muttonbird 9.1

      Gave Australia the hand-off, too.

      That was somehow satisfying, but…this hysteria is going to damage a lot of lives. Far more lives that the virus itself.

      Disappointing to see our government fall for, and react to Opposition baiting.

      • Sacha 9.1.1

        Full respect for the decision-makers weighing up harms to livelihoods vs deaths, both on huge scales. Those working flat-out to plan NZ's response will not have had the energy to heed the reckons of opposition politicians.

        • Muttonbird 9.1.1.1

          Bad flu strain. If we stop the globe every time this happens we'll be driving horse & carts inside 20 years.

          #backtoworkeveryone

          • SPC 9.1.1.1.1

            One that those vulnerable and health workers cannot be vaccinated for. Thus is a threat to the health system.

            There are three approaches

            1. Passive. Allow spread (economy first) and apply lockdown only when the health system is overwhelmed.

            2. Delaying a choice. Active containment by isolation of the infected and contacts. Failure – community transfer – results in lockdown while the health system is still functioning.

            3. The Wall. Block border intrusion to keep it out (accept the economic risk from harm to the tourism economy).

            We have gone from 2 to 3, because now its spreading in Europe and North America we cannot take in tourists.

            • Muttonbird 9.1.1.1.1.1

              It's more than just the tourism industry. Any industry which involves the movement of people for business purposes is now in total shut down as of yesterday.

              Like I said, if we stop the globe every time this happens…and it's going to happen a lot more frequently…dark ages before we know it.

              Got to come up with a better plan than this.

              • Sacha

                One world government.

              • mauī

                Spoken like a true globalist… you would probably be happier in an odious right wing country.

                • Muttonbird

                  Yeah, I know how it sounds, but I get the feeling those who are ok with this shut down are those who aren't impacted by it much, those with nothing to lose.

                  Tens or hundreds of thousands of lower-income people are going to have severe financial stress, housing stress, family stress for months or years because of this avalanche of restrictions we don't even know are necessary.

                  • Sacha

                    Who should decide whether it's worth it?

                    How many jobs saved per death?

                    • Muttonbird

                      Deaths from other strains of flu are not tallied and compared in this way so why should the latest strain be?

                      I did read today 500 New Zealanders die from flu each year. I am hoping the number will not be increased this winter but it does put this hysteria in perspective.

                    • Sacha

                      If you have not been paying attention to what is distinctive about this outbreak, why are you still here talking nonsense?

                      Do you seriously think governments all over the world would be taking such drastic steps if they did not need to?

                      Please educate yourself. Not helping.

                    • Muttonbird

                      I won't say what I'm thinking right now.

                    • weka

                      @Muttonbird

                      "Deaths from other strains of flu are not tallied and compared in this way so why should the latest strain be?"

                      There are a number of reasons, but this is probably up there as the most important. If we don't Flatten the Curve, then the rate at which this *new virus infects people and makes a significant number of them very ill, will peak above what our health system can handle. Think people lying in hospital corridors dying of cytokine storms and not able to breath, and medical staff having to triage the people into groups that will be left to die and groups they will try and save, because there aren't enough ICU beds.

                      What Sacha said. Things changed fast in the last week, but please get up to speed with this, because the whole hand washing and social distancing thing will save lives and a shit load of stress for people working in health. Pop into FB and talk to ICU nurses if you want to see what they say about the pandemic played down. You can also look at what medical staff in Italian hospitals are saying.

                      Additional reasons: the death rate is higher than the flu. We don't yet know what it is going to do once widespread in the population. Respiratory infections cause disability in some people if they don't kill them outright.

                      Flatten the Curve animation: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Covid-19-curves-graphic-social-v3.gif

                  • Anne

                    Tens or hundreds of thousands of lower-income people are going to have severe financial stress, housing stress, family stress for months or years…

                    Many of us went through it in the 1990s after the mass restructuring of the economy and I'm still trying to work out what benefits actually accrued as a result.

                    The Public Service department I worked for nearly went to the wall because of the changes. Suddenly we went from providing an essential service to becoming a profit driven organisation. The new management closed down regional and urban stations then wondered why we couldn't do out jobs properly. It was a shambles. Fortunately sane minds eventually prevailed (under the Bolger Govt. I might add) and brought things back under control.

                    Edit: Btw, having said the above I’m not suggesting there is much correlation between the two and that we don’t need to take drastic steps. We do.

                    • Sacha

                      The benefits accrued to a certain group of people. We need to watch out that does not happen again this time.

              • pat

                the only plan is to cope until such time as a vaccine is developed….everything else is wishful thinking

                • Muttonbird

                  I get that but does 'coping' every time there's a virulence out of China mean paralysing the world?

                  Hoping people come up with better solutions for next time.

                  • pat

                    out of china or anywhere else the response will be the same…coping

                    • Incognito

                      We need to become much more resilient in future, like it or not; CC has not been replaced by CV but the threat is more immediate and up close and personal. I know it is too early, but we have to get better at disaster planning and coping with global disasters.

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.2

            I suspect the government's efforts have less to do with the opposition's bleating than the evolving situation.

            This has the potential to be "a very bad flu". Like, 1919/1920-level flu. Millions dead, with some regions getting off lightly and others getting hit bad – Western Samoa had 20% of its population die in less than a year.

            Basically, all our closest trading partners now have community spread of it. It might have a hold here, with the two latest cases being unconnected with each other or previous cases. Imported, yes, but in the last week how many more have come?

            That having been said, if we get in early with the social distancing we can make the pandemic a lot less lethal and less economically painful. The actual level required is a balancing act between enabling infections and the problems you have outlined.

            So no, if you have an illness, not "back to work". Stay home. I say this as someone involved with two organisations that have large-ish gatherings as contractual obligations and even reasons for existence. The next year is going to be especially tough for the wee theatre, but it's only a little one so we might be below any crowd restriction. But box office will still be low.

            And remember, don't shake hands: "live long and prosper" vulcan hand sign instead.

            https://www.todayifoundout.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Spock_vulcan-salute.png

  9. joe90 10

    During the Black Death in Europe the rich fled the cities, spreading the disease to other places. And today, the hot-spots seem to originate from those who assumed they could trot the globe with impunity and it wasn't their behavior that needed to change to avert a pandemic.

    https://twitter.com/kaitlancollins/status/1238681643935809538

  10. SPC 11

    Political criticism of Trump and the GOP way.

    Daily Telegraph UK By: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

    The world’s geopolitical order will be unrecognisable once Covid-19 has done its worst. Long-standing regimes will be badly compromised.

    Political systems that have never fully recovered from the Lehman crisis will suffer a second body blow. Those Western democratic governments that have been most complacent or incompetent will be torn to shreds by unforgiving electorates.

    ….

    America is about to face a grim reckoning. The US has the best healthcare in the rich world, and the worst.

    Pandemics exploit the worst. Trump can still avert disaster if he invokes executive powers to extend testing and care to the uninsured, and if he switches to lockdowns and wartime policies. But that is not happening.

    So the crowded rallies go on and the contagion will go exponential. I fear that the coming news cycle will be gold dust for Chinese propagandists.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/03/08/complacent-governments-will-torn-shreds-coronavirus-quake-reshapes/

  11. Karl Sinclair 12

    The government’s response is called a travel ban….

    you would expect that to mean …. ban people from travelling to or from NZ… but it does not. Instead “self isolate”. It’s a weak response. Watch out Jacinda, WHOever is advising you maybe giving you a hospital pass.

    Come on NZInc…. STOP, don’t pretend to do something, cut out international travel to and from NZ

    Quote:

    https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca

    You might have fears today: What if I overreact? Will people laugh at me? Will they be angry at me? Will I look stupid? Won’t it be better to wait for others to take steps first? Will I hurt the economy too much?

    But in 2–4 weeks, when the entire world is in lockdown, when the few precious days of social distancing you will have enabled will have saved lives, people won’t criticize you anymore: They will thank you for making the right decision.

  12. dv 13

    A query about the case(s) on the cruise ship.

    How do they actually test for the virus?

    Where do they get the test kit?

  13. Andre 14

    Italy's health system nearing breaking point and switching to limp mode. Plans have been drawn up to abandon over 80s to fend for themselves.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120292050/italy-may-abandon-over80s–and-sick-to-their-fate-as-crisis-grows

    For comparison, the over-80 proportion of the population is:

    Italy 7.3%

    UK 5.1%

    US 3.9%

    NZ 3.9%

    China 1.8%

    https://www.populationpyramid.net/new-zealand/2019/

    • SPC 14.1

      Another factor is the number of smokers with damaged lungs – 50% of Chinese men smoke.

      • Andre 14.1.1

        Smoking rates are highish in Italy too, though not quite at that level.

        • Muttonbird 14.1.1.1

          Italy also has a very high number of adult children living with their elderly parents. Not sure about China but probably they are similar.

          Just think the two massive spikes in deaths in China and Italy are attributable to these factors which don't apply to New Zealand other than the Pacific community perhaps?

          I would hope the infectious diseases experts around the world would be doing a lot of research on this stuff…

  14. Dawn Trenberth 15

    This is an interesting site on covid 19 which shows the number of cases and deaths per country and also the number of cases and deaths per one million Italy has the worst rate per million people and the US is nowhere near this. Of course as time moves on things may get a lot worse. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR3lK1J5dfViBZmUs6XCUNPk0DjubTLZKM_JEC2DXCMRBn2cizdGTIlnxUc

  15. SPC 16

    What happens when you introduce testing at airports?

    This story is for NZME – and all those stories from those concerned there was no testing at our airports.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51895246

  16. aj 17

    About 20 aircraft crossing the Tasman towards NZ as we speak, that’s potentially 20×250 people = 5,000. Flight Tracker.

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Fortunately many of those flights will be running at well below capacity … but yes. If 14 day self-isolation proves insufficiently robust, then a total travel ban is on the cards.

      Incidentally Australia implemented the same 14 day isolation rule this evening.

    • SPC 17.2

      Imagine the chaos if they were all tested when they arrived? That is what happened in Chicago.

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  • There’s gold – or rather, energy without carbon – in that rock, but Jones reminds us of the Tr...
    Buzz from the Beehive Oh, dear.  One News tells us an ownership spat is brewing between Māori and the Crown as New Zealand uses more renewable energy sources. No, not water or the shoreline.  Ownership of another resource has come into the reckoning. The One News report explained that 99% of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Bad faith from National
    One of the weird features of the Zero Carbon Act was its split-gas targets, which separated methane, produced overwhelmingly by farmers, from carbon dioxide produced by the rest of us. This lower target for methane was another effective subsidy to the dairy industry, and was the result of a compromise ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Israel’s murderous use of AI in Gaza
    This may seem like a dumb question– but how come Israel has managed to kill at least 33,000 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including over 13,000 children? Of course, saturation aerial bombing and artillery shelling of densely populated civilian neighbourhoods will do that. So will the targeting of children by IDF ...
    Gordon CampbellBy ScoopEditor
    5 days ago
  • Total Eclipse of the Mind.
    All that you touch And all that you seeAll that you taste All you feelAnd all that you love And all that you hateAll you distrust All you saveEarly tomorrow morning as the sun is rising in Aotearoa many people across North America, from Mexico to Canada, will be losing ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • So why do that degree… here?
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    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The hunt is on for an asterix for farm emissions
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: Aukus or not, New Zealand’s foreign policy is being remade
    This could be a watershed week for New Zealand’s international relations. Winston Peters, the foreign minister, is heading to Washington DC for a full week of meetings. The surprisingly lengthy trip just happens to coincide with a major trilateral summit of leaders from the United States, Japan and the Philippines. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • The Kaka’s diary for the week to April 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to April 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is scheduled to hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4 pm today. The Climate Commission will publish advice to the Government this evening.Parliament is sitting from Question Time at 2pm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #14
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, March 31, 2024 thru Sat, April 6, 2024. Story of the week Proxy measurement via Facebook "engagement" suggests a widely welcoming audience for Prof. Andrew Dessler's The Climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Their Money or Your Life.
    Brooke van Velden appeared this morning on Q&A, presumably paying homage to Margaret Thatcher. The robotic one had come in an 80s pink, shoulder-padded jacket, much favoured by the likes of Thatcher or Hosking. She also brought the spirit of Margaret, seemingly occupying her previously vacant soul compartment.Jack asked for ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Truth pulls its boots on
    It's a lot easier to pull off a lie if people don't know much about what you're lying about.Sometimes, watching Christopher Luxon, you get the impression he doesn't know all that much about it, either.​​ That's the charitable interpretation. The other is that he knows full well.He was on the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Those of a certain vintage in this country will recognise that as a paraphrasing of the much celebrated Paul Holmes sign-off from his nightly current affairs show, yes, he of the “cheekie darkie” comment infamy (that one aimed at then-UN Chief Kofi Annan, and if unfamiliar with what followed in ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Are You Missing Kindness Yet?
    In my last newsletter I asked how is Luxon this out of touch? Many of you, quite wisely, don’t do the Twitter thing so I thought I’d share a few of the comments from the cross section of humanity that you encounter there.The comment from Clandesdiner@boglyboohoo, not sure if that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • How NZ and Taiwan differ in disaster preparedness
    Peter Dunne writes –  Taiwan and New Zealand are two small island states with much in common. Both are vibrant, independent democracies, living in the shadow of an overbearing neighbour. (Admittedly, Taiwan’s overbearing neighbour has far more aggressive tendencies than our at-times overbearing neighbour!) There is a strong ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Why Shane Jones sunk the Kermadecs Marine Sanctuary
    Bryce Edwards writes – Did vested interests prevent New Zealand from establishing a world-leading environmental marine reserve? There are strong signs that in killing off the proposal for a Kermadec Islands Marine Sanctuary, Shane Jones has been doing the bidding of several industries and groups that he’s closely ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Nearly a month of it
    Hello! There has not been an omnibus for about three weeks because covid and bereavement got in the way.Here’s what you may have missed if you’re not a daily reader.Life’s Little Victories - I think I’ve dodged COVIDTwo Bar Blues - I haven’t Relentlessly Negative - Things seem to be ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Coastal court action flies under the radar
    Graham Adams says NZ’s coastline may end up under iwi control. Former Attorney-General and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson is known for his forthright and sometimes combative language. In 2022, in discussing opposition to co-governance, he referred to “the sour right” and “the KKK brigade”. Last week, in ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    1 week ago
  • Does a Fiscal Debt Target Make Sense?
    Do we treat the government finances with the common sense that household’s manage theirs?It is a commonly held view that we should treat the government as if it is a prudent household. We don’t when it comes to its debt. Currently the government says it wants to constrain its net ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Why Shane Jones sunk the Kermadecs Marine Sanctuary
    Did vested interests prevent New Zealand from establishing a world-leading environmental marine reserve? There are strong signs that in killing off the proposal for a Kermadec Islands Marine Sanctuary, Shane Jones has been doing the bidding of several industries and groups that he’s closely connected with. As Oceans and Fisheries ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Spite destroys success
    The clean car discount was a real policy success in pushing electrification of transport. It worked so well that EV adoption was running five years ahead of the Climate Commission's targets, giving us a real shot at decarbonising light transport. National killed it out of pure spite. And as expected, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Government redress for Te Korowai o Wainuiārua
    The Government is continuing the bipartisan effort to restore its relationship with iwi as the Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith. “Historical grievances of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua relate to 19th century warfare, land purchased or taken ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Focus on outstanding minerals permit applications
    New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is working to resolve almost 150 outstanding minerals permit applications by the end of the financial year, enabling valuable mining activity and signalling to the sector that New Zealand is open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says.  “While there are no set timeframes for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Applications open for NZ-Ireland Research Call
    The New Zealand and Irish governments have today announced that applications for the 2024 New Zealand-Ireland Joint Research Call on Agriculture and Climate Change are now open. This is the third research call in the three-year Joint Research Initiative pilot launched in 2022 by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ireland’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tenancy rules changes to improve rental market
    The coalition Government has today announced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to encourage landlords back to the rental property market, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The previous Government waged a war on landlords. Many landlords told us this caused them to exit the rental market altogether. It caused worse ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting NZ’s trade and agricultural relationship with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay will visit China next week, to strengthen relationships, support Kiwi exporters and promote New Zealand businesses on the world stage. “China is one of New Zealand’s most significant trade and economic relationships and remains an important destination for New Zealand’s products, accounting for nearly 22 per cent of our good and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Freshwater farm plan systems to be improved
    The coalition Government intends to improve freshwater farm plans so that they are more cost-effective and practical for farmers, Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay have announced. “A fit-for-purpose freshwater farm plan system will enable farmers and growers to find the right solutions for their farm ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Fast Track Projects advisory group named
    The coalition Government has today announced the expert advisory group who will provide independent recommendations to Ministers on projects to be included in the Fast Track Approvals Bill, say RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones. “Our Fast Track Approval process will make it easier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pacific and Gaza focus of UN talks
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says his official talks with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York today focused on a shared commitment to partnering with the Pacific Islands region and a common concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.    “Small states in the Pacific rely on collective ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government honours Taranaki Maunga deal
    The Government is honouring commitments made to Taranaki iwi with the Te Pire Whakatupua mō Te Kāhui Tupua/Taranaki Maunga Collective Redress Bill passing its first reading Parliament today, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “This Bill addresses the commitment the Crown made to the eight iwi of Taranaki to negotiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Enhanced partnership to reduce agricultural emissions
    The Government and four further companies are together committing an additional $18 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on us getting effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 110km/h limit proposed for Kāpiti Expressway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will begin consultation this month on raising speed limits for the Kāpiti Expressway to 110km/h. “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and this proposal supports that outcome ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Awards – Winners announced
    Two New Zealanders who’ve used their unique skills to help fight the exotic caulerpa seaweed are this year’s Biosecurity Awards Supreme Winners, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard. “Strong biosecurity is vital and underpins the whole New Zealand economy and our native flora and fauna. These awards celebrate all those in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Attendance action plan to lift student attendance rates
    The Government is taking action to address the truancy crisis and raise attendance by delivering the attendance action plan, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today.   New Zealand attendance rates are low by national and international standards. Regular attendance, defined as being in school over 90 per cent of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • World must act to halt Gaza catastrophe – Peters
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Gaza to halt the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.    “Palestinian civilians continue to bear the brunt of Israel’s military actions,” Mr Peters said in his speech to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to United Nations General Assembly: 66th plenary meeting, 78th session
    Mr President,   The situation in Gaza is an utter catastrophe.   New Zealand condemns Hamas for its heinous terrorist attacks on 7 October and since, including its barbaric violations of women and children. All of us here must demand that Hamas release all remaining hostages immediately.   At the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government woolshed roadshow kicks off
    Today the Government Agriculture Ministers started their national woolshed roadshow, kicking off in the Wairarapa. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said it has been a tough time for farmers over the past few years. The sector has faced high domestic inflation rates, high interest rates, adverse weather events, and increasing farm ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PM heads to Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines this week (April 14-20), along with a senior business delegation, signalling the Government’s commitment to deepen New Zealand’s international engagement, especially our relationships in South East Asia. “South East Asia is a region that is more crucial than ever to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister launches Government Targets
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced further steps to get New Zealand back on track, launching nine ambitious Government Targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders. “Our Government has a plan that is focused on three key promises we made to New Zealanders – to rebuild the economy, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Natural hydrogen resource should be free of Treaty claims entanglement
    Natural hydrogen could be a game-changing new source of energy for New Zealand but it is essential it is treated as a critical development that benefits all New Zealanders, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones is seeking to give regulatory certainty for those keen to develop natural, or geological, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government responds to unsustainable net migration
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand on stage at global Space Symposium
    Space Minister Judith Collins will speak at the Space Symposium in the United States next week, promoting New Zealand’s rapidly growing place in the sector as we work to rebuild the economy. “As one of the largest global space events, attended by more than 10,000 business and government representatives from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $4.9m project completed with marae reopening
    A significant marae has reopened in the heart of Rotorua marking the end of renovations for the Ruatāhuna Marae Renovation Cluster, a project that provided much-needed jobs and regional economic stimulus, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones was at the official reopening of Mātaatua ki Rotorua Marae today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pure Tūroa Limited to operate Tūroa ski field
    Ko Tahuarangi te waka – Tahuarangi is the ancestral vessel Ko Rangitukutuku te aho – Rangitukutuku is the fishing line Ko Pikimairawea te matau – Pikimairawea is the hook Ko Hāhā te Whenua te ika kei rō-wai – Hāhā te whenua is the fish (of Māui) whilst under the ocean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Methane targets to be independently reviewed
    Rebuilding New Zealand’s economy will rely on the valuable agricultural sector working sustainably towards our climate change goals.  Today, the Climate Change and Agriculture Ministers announced that an independent panel of experts will review agricultural biogenic methane science and targets for consistency with no additional warming. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ and Nordics: likeminded partners
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has highlighted the strong ties that bind New Zealand and the Nordic countries of Northern Europe during a trip to Sweden today.    “There are few countries in the world more likeminded with New Zealand than our friends in Northern Europe,” Mr Peters says.    “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First New Zealand C-130J Hercules takes flight
    The first New Zealand C-130J Hercules to come off the production line in the United States has successfully completed its first test flights, Defence Minister Judith Collins announced today. “These successful flights are a significant milestone for the New Zealand Defence Force, bringing this once-in-a-generation renewal of a critical airlift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to rephase NCEA Change Programme
      The coalition Government is making significant changes to the NCEA Change Programme, delaying the implementation by two years, Minister of Education Erica Stanford announced today. “Ensuring New Zealand’s curriculum is world leading is a vital part of the Government’s plan to deliver better public services and ensure all students ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Ngāpuhi investment fund Chair appointed
    Ben Dalton has been appointed the new board Chair of Tupu Tonu, the Ngāpuhi Investment Fund, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Finance Minister Shane Jones. “Ben brings a wealth of experience in governance and economic development to the position. He will have a strong focus on ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Education should be prioritised ahead of protesting
    Students should be in school and learning instead of protesting during school hours, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “If students feel strongly about sending a message, they could have marched on Tuesday when there was a nationwide teacher only day, or during the upcoming school holidays. It has become ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Delivering on Local Water Done Well
    Cabinet has agreed on key steps to implement Local Water Done Well, the Coalition Government’s plan for financially sustainable locally delivered water infrastructure and services, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says.  "Councils and voters resoundingly rejected Labour’s expensive and bureaucratic Three Waters regime, and earlier this year the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Peters to visit New York, Washington D.C.
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will engage with high-level United States Government and United Nations officials in the United States next week (6-12 April).    The visit, with programmes in New York and Washington D.C., will focus on major global and regional security challenges and includes meetings with US Secretary of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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