web analytics

Covid, the US President and the Evangelical churches

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, September 10th, 2020 - 123 comments
Categories: covid-19, Donald Trump, religion, uncategorized - Tags:

Some interesting news both locally and internationally over the past few days.

Bob Woodward has written a book that suggests that for political reasons associated with his re-election chances Donald Trump downplayed the severity of the Covid threat, even though he was well aware of what the risks were.  From CNN:

President Donald Trump admitted he knew weeks before the first confirmed US coronavirus death that the virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious and “more deadly than even your strenuous flus,” and that he repeatedly played it down publicly, according to legendary journalist Bob Woodward in his new book “Rage.”

“This is deadly stuff,” Trump told Woodward on February 7.

In a series of interviews with Woodward, Trump revealed that he had a surprising level of detail about the threat of the virus earlier than previously known. “Pretty amazing,” Trump told Woodward, adding that the coronavirus was maybe five times “more deadly” than the flu.

Trump’s admissions are in stark contrast to his frequent public comments at the time insisting that the virus was “going to disappear” and “all work out fine.”

The book, using Trump’s own words, depicts a President who has betrayed the public trust and the most fundamental responsibilities of his office. In “Rage,” Trump says the job of a president is “to keep our country safe.” But in early February, Trump told Woodward he knew how deadly the virus was, and in March, admitted he kept that knowledge hidden from the public.

“I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Woodward on March 19, even as he had declared a national emergency over the virus days earlier. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

Panics caused by the spread of a crippling pandemic that causes multiple fatalities are obviously bad for re-election chances.

And the United States influence has been shown recently with news that a New Zealand church with links to the US evangelical movement being blamed for the continued spread of the virus locally.  From Anusha Bradley at Radio New Zealand:

Health Minister Chris Hipkins has said some of the 43 people linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship church cluster in Auckland were sceptical about the seriousness of the pandemic, as church and community leaders say they face a battle to check the spread of false information.

Pakilau Manase Lua grew up in the Seventh Day Adventist church and said his own friends and family were guilty of spreading conspiracies and false information about Covid-19.

“I’ve personally received lots of private messages regarding information that people think is useful but is purely disinformation, either about the virus itself or fear around the vaccine,” he said.

Lua, who is the chairman of the Pacific Leadership Forum’s Pacific Response Coordination Team, said this spread was especially rife among those with links to conservative evangelical or pentecostal churches in the United States.

“It’s been spreading like wildfire through social media.”

There is a report that the police shut down a gathering at the church which was in breach of Covid restrictions and leaders were warned they could face prosecution if they gathered again.

The leaders of the church need to get this under control.  Covid is clearly is not part of a conspiracy.  It is a deadly virus that has caused the deaths of at least 900,000 people world wide.  Locally we can beat it.  But everyone needs to follow the advice of people who know what they are talking about.

Social media, especially Facebook has a lot to answer to and has been central in the spread of anti science information that is threatening to undermine .  Kathy Errington in Stuff explains why:

Conspiracy theories are highly engaging content online. It can be politically useful to get them behind your cause because they will relentlessly push your key messages out again and again. Yet they are leading people all over the world to ignore the necessary public health measures in place to protect their lives.

In a crisis this severe humans are hard-wired to be drawn towards conspiracy theories – we like big problems to have equally big causes, a term psychologists call proportionality bias. Surely something as catastrophic as COVID 19 must have an equally large, dark and complex origin story? Can it really be just a bat that likely caused all of this?

Well, yes, that’s it. There is no sinister world government involving Bill Gates and the United Nations getting together with governments globally to invent a pandemic. I worked in government long enough to say with certainty no government could ever pull this off. Even in the ‘before times’ it took months of planning for the Prime Minister to simply leave the country for a day and go to a rugby match.

This puts Gerry Brownlee’s just asking questions episode into perspective and shows how damaging to collective action it was.

For a local example of a political movement attempting to take advantage look no further than Jami Lee Ross’s and Billy Te Kahika’s Advance NZ Party.  The party has recently had a complaint concerning donations sent to the Serious Fraud Office then forwarded to the Electoral Commission. No doubt this will be regarded by some of further evidence of deep state action to suppress dissenting voices.

We can hold the virus at bay.  But we need to not follow the leadership or example provided by the United States.  Especially its current President.

123 comments on “Covid, the US President and the Evangelical churches ”

  1. Ad 1

    It amazes me that the Ministry of Health hasn't cottoned on to the ways in which Pacifika communities prefer to communicate.

    The Ministry of Pacific Peoples appear to be doing a better job, but it is not yet effective.

    The nodes for engaging with Pacifika peoples are not that hard to find and are incredibly influential.

    We have been expected to be calm and rational for far too long – when we know it's the Pacifica peoples who have the most to be afraid of.

    – The South Auckland Pacifika family who were infected a few weeks ago were utterly vilified by New Zealanders on social media, which makes the rest of them afraid

    – Pacifika in South Auckland are among the poorest and least healthy of peoples in New Zealand, so they are highly at risk personally from infection

    – Pacifika people are afraid of being targeted as overstayers, when those whose permits have stopped are not able to actually get back to the island homes they came from – no matter the assurances from government about this

    – Pacifika peoples are now unable to re-contact their relatives in the islands, or even conduct ceremonies in other than virtual form, or otherwise keep their communities and cultures cohesive

    – Pacifika people are poorly represented in the higher levels of the Ministry of Health

    – Pacifika people are one of the most highly vulnerable groups to unemployment at this time, and the jobs they have are mostly manual or poorly paid

    So Pacifika peoples have every reason to be afraid. New Zealand's entire society is not working for them and in many senses works against them.

    No one should expect people to be rational all the time in that context.

    This is exactly the wrong time to vilify Pacifika people or the churches to whom they belong. Everyone needs to keep just talking to each other, as softly and kindly and patiently as possible.

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      Nope. Lock these rule-breakers up.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        start by closing the churches down that tell the congregation that 'god' is above 'government'.

        at the very least revoke the tax free status they so enjoy.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      Agree entirely about the Pacifika community and I have very carefully avoided any mention of ethnic background and concentrated solely on the source of the belief. This post is not an attempt to vilify anyone but is urging the church leaders to be more cooperative.

    • peterh 1.3

      Check out the trustees of the church, not a Pacifika name mybe blame in wrong quarters

    • Shanreagh 1.4

      Pasifika is the usual spelling. Please can we use this. Nothing worse than having one's name etc spelt incorrectly – (from one who knows whose surname has been incorrectly spelt by others for generations) .

      'There has been some dispute over the correct spelling of Pasifika, sometimes spelt Pasefika, Pacifica, Pacifika. TAGATA PASIFIKA is generally accepted as correct and publicly reinforced by the Television New Zealand programme now also known by the same name but was previously spelt TANGATA PASIFIKA'. Wiki

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1

        Pasifika is the usual spelling.

        No, really, it isn't.

        pacific (adj.)
        1540s, "tending to make peace, concillatory," from Middle French pacifique, from Latin pacificus "peaceful, peace-making,"

        The Pacific Ocean (1660 in English) was famously so called in 1519 by Magellan when he sailed into it and found it calmer than the stormy Atlantic, or at least calmer than he expected it to be.

        The spelling you suggest seems to be cultural misappropriation by the People's of the Pacific to make them seem more important than they are.

        • Shanreagh 1.4.1.1

          Just pointing out the usual name for the people of the Pacific, as they are known in NZ. I was not speaking of the adjective pacific or Magellan.

          I am not sure just what you are talking of in the last sentence but it sounds pretty awful to me. Hopefully you were kidding?

          We in NZ have much to be thankful for our Tagata Pasifika neighbours and our fellow NZ citizens who are of Pasifika origin. All races and cultures in NZ are important to me. Is there a list somewhere that has ratings of the relative importance of the various races on it?

          • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1.1.1

            Just pointing out the usual name for the people of the Pacific, as they are known in NZ.

            That's just it – its NOT the usual name.

            Hopefully you were kidding?

            No, I wasn't. Māori and others get upset when other peoples misappropriate their culture. Am I not allowed to get upset when they misappropriate mine?

            We in NZ have much to be thankful for our Tagata Pasifika neighbours and our fellow NZ citizens who are of Pasifika origin.

            Repeating the misspelling still doesn't make it right.

            • Shanreagh 1.4.1.1.1.1

              Not sure what the relevance of the Whanganui debate is. Our family with its the years of people spelling our name incorrectly welcomed the correction to Whanganui. Sure if you want to keep calling our Pasifika peoples, Pacific or Magellan people whatever you want to call them, that is fine. Just don't try to tell me that correcting spelling from Wanganui to Whanganui is cultural appropriation.

              And what did you actually mean by this?

              …….People's of the Pacific to make them seem more important than they are.

              Don't you agree that Pasifika people have a place and importance in NZ? Just as Maori do & Ngati Vikitoria and all later arrivals.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Not sure what the relevance of the Whanganui debate is.

                The Wanganui debate was about the misspelling of Whanganui and how it was culturally bad.

                Well, now we have Pacific people's purposefully misspelling Pacifica in the same way. If the misspelling of Whanganui was bad then the misspelling of Pacifica is also bad.

                Don't you agree that Pasifika people have a place and importance in NZ?

                No more than anyone else which seems to be the problem as they seem to think that they're more important. As your misspelling of Pacifica is proof of your double standard.

                The word Pacifica is not part of any Polynesian language so stop misspelling it.

                • Shanreagh

                  Reading Stuff this morning I note that twice the reference was to Pasifika people, not Pacifica, Magellan, PI.

                  'Pasifika Medical Association chief executive Debbie Sorensen….'

                  'Auckland councillor and former police officer Alf Filipaina said authorities had to be careful not to create the perception that people who needed to be contacted were in trouble.

                  He would not want to see police knocking on doors or making calls.

                  He did not have a particular problem with an officer offering advice in the background, saying they could have good techniques for talking to people and getting information.

                  But they should be Pasifika – like many of those in the cluster – because they would know the best way to approach the community, he said.'

                  So looks like this part of the media does use this word in reporting people who does identify as Pasifika. '

                  https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300104634/pacific-health-leaders-unimpressed-with-police-involvement-in-covid19-contact-tracing

                  Living in Wellington in a suburb I share with Pasifika people I wondered if Wellington was an aberration as I see the word Pasifika in many places. I then looked up Pasifika, without the Tagata and find this

                  Pasifika is a term that is unique to Aotearoa and is a term coined by government agencies to describe migrants from the Pacific region and their descendants, who now call Aotearoa home.2014

                  and this

                  Pasifika in British English

                  (pəˈsɪfɪkə) Australian and New Zealand

                  PLURAL NOUN

                  1. people from the islands of the South Pacific and their descendants

                  ADJECTIVE

                  1. of or relating to these people or their culture

                  Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers

                  Word origin

                  C21: from Niuean

                  So the word Pasifika comes from Niuean.

                  Our family, with its surname chronically spelled incorrectly, is sensitive to the words that people use to describe themselves. My dad used to say the biggest compliment is say people's names with a smile on meeting and to spell it correctly from thereon. I reject utterly and totally trying to describe people by names they do not use themselves or to criticise those names when they are used. I reject utterly that Pasifika people

                  seem to think that they're more important

                  The virus that started the second wave is one not seen in NZ before.

                  Notwithstanding the restrictions and levels and requests for testing we still rely on, as well, a hearts & minds/information sharing approach. Hopefully this has borne fruit with the majority of the church congregation having been tested by 8.00am yesterday.

                  This thread has made me uneasy, very squirmy, very sad with the assigning of attitudes to race or culture rather than belief systems and with an unwillingness to call Pacific people by a name that is used in NZ and that is used by them to identify themselves as a group.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And just when did the Niuean have Pacific in their native tongue?

                    The answer, of course, is that they didn't.

                    Like Wanganui, it's a misspelling.

                    My dad used to say the biggest compliment is say people's names with a smile on meeting and to spell it correctly from thereon.

                    So did mine.

                    I reject utterly that Pasifika people

                    seem to think that they're more important

                    The problem, of course, is that they do. It was that self-importance that had them stopping the ocean sanctuary at the Kermadecs which they had no right to do.

                    But they should be Pasifika – like many of those in the cluster – because they would know the best way to approach the community, he said.’

                    Applied racism.

        • cathy-o 1.4.1.2

          if you’re so concerned with being pedantic why do you use the greengrocer’s apostrophe for a simple plural?

      • jimekus 1.4.2

        What's wrong with Pacificx to go with the newly invented term of Latinx?

  2. Red 2

    I agree to point but Pacifica people also need to take personal responsibility and accountability. They are not all children and I suggest many of them find it patronising how they get lumped into group all the time and treated like a kindergarten Cohort by so called do gooders

    • Andre 2.1

      In this instance, it's starting to look like some of them may have behaved like a kindergarten cohort.

      • Red 2.1.1

        True, hence treat them accordingly like any one else, dont lump every Pacific Islander as a child that needs special attention or kid gloves By the far the majority are bloody good citizens and pulling just as hard as every other kiwi

  3. EE 3

    Religious people believing conspiracy theories.
    Isn’t a belief in god the ultimate conspiracy theory?
    Some invisible supernatural being pulling all the strings.

    • Ad 3.1

      You don't recognise the fact-free conspiracies that pertain right across ordinary life. Conspiracy and fact-free behaviour change campaigns are all around us – they are certainly not specific to religious communities.

      But top work for attacking our human rights.

    • Dennis Frank 3.2

      Yeah, but facts can be ascertained. In this situation, investigators ought to find out if any religious leaders told the congregation to ignore the govt rules because that was god's will. Such people are traditionally inclined to declare the will of god so their followers will see them as authorities.

      When the public interest lies in adherence to govt rules, to maintain public health, disobedience authorised by a god is a significant problem.

      Fact-finding is therefore essential. I predict neither National or Labour will demand it. Postmodernism created a culture in which facts are a matter of opinion. They go with that flow…

  4. If fucking religion, whether Pacifica or otherwise, is responsible for the continuation/spread of the virus in NZ, I would metaphorically burn down every fucking church in the country.
    Note: metaphorically!

    • greywarshark 4.1

      TonyV You can't take this attitude, after reflection. It is a human response of behaviour showing anger to another human behaviour that is disagreed with. If the first behaviour is regarded as irrational, then a quick, reactive response to it is also irrational. We are an irrational species, inclined not to sit down and nut things out but to respond emotionally especially in large groups where the thinkers label the behaviour as a 'contagion'.

      Emotional Contagion in groups

      This study focuses on emotional contagion, "a process in which a person or group influences the emotions, or behavior of another person or group through the conscious or unconscious induction of emotion states and behavioral attitudes" (Schoenewolf , 1990: 50; emphasis added), in particular, the contagion of "everyday" … https://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1101&context=mgmt_papers

    • Ad 4.2

      This is the kind of attitude that shot and killed 50 people in Christchurch.

      Nice work for siding with terror.

      • Muttonbird 4.2.1

        You do know what metaphorical means, don't you?

      • I was at pains to state 'metaphorically.' Of course I over-reacted and, in the best traditions of parliament, I stand, withdraw and apologise,

        But take their tax free status off them, seize their property, close their places of worship.

        If they can't act in the best interests of our 'team of 5 million,' then make it clear to them that their behaviour will not be tolerated.

        • Muttonbird 4.2.2.1

          But take their tax free status off them, seize their property, close their places of worship.

          Yep. These guys sell god for profit and profit they do. $1.8million tithing in the collection bag last year and none of it goes to the health budget which has to clean up their mess.

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12363638

          • Adrian 4.2.2.1.1

            This is a shitload of money from the 321 adult and children that are required to test so tithing represents $5607 per person say 20k per family.

            Fuck me thats a lot, How can I start a church? thats right I can't do it, I've got christian values.

              • karol121

                "Once I receive your money, I will only take half, purely for "admin costs" such as a mansion or two, luxury transport, bible seminars at flash resorts, flash clobber, security staff with earpieces stuffed into their canals wearing very dark shades, and other incidental expenses so that I can keep spreading the good word for y'all.

                The other half, I will collect up in cash, which I will throw it into the air in the good lord's direction. If he rejects the offer by not catching the cash, I will keep it as an indication that he does not need it immediately, and that he is entrusting me with his portion"

                I see that one commentator (Hugh Yonn) posting on this video clip reckons he was in booby with a guy who milked one enterprising evangelist loot gatherer for about 8 mil over a 4 year period.

                He, he, he! Talk about swimming with sharks.wink

        • weka 4.2.2.2

          I can't really see a good reason to use covid to advance anti-religion positions. All that will happen is religious alt people will radicalise away from progressives even further. This is a key in what is happening with the BTK crowd, and the left ignoring, ridiculing and ostracising those communities is a massive mistake.

          The point's been made that the state overreacting will cement anti-state ideology. This doesn't mean not acting, it means acting in ways that actually work for the people involved. eg my first response to this news was that the police should be used. But this is a poor stand alone response. I've been thinking already that we need a covid warden system, of trusted people in communities who can step in and deal with situations in context.

          Police are always there as a back up and obv should be used in situations like people absconding from Q. But we need to get more nuanced in how we call people into the need to work together. Imo you can't force communities to do this, you have to work with them.

        • Ad 4.2.2.3

          Why the tax status of a church is relevant to preventing the spread of Covid-19 is something you will have to explain to us.

          • greywarshark 4.2.2.3.1

            It's part of selling religion being a business, yet still being tax-free even when they are a force to be reckoned with! That means that many new churches or church movements are operating for a buck, and there may be little actual moral suasion available to appeal to. This is part of the religious matrix that capitalism has thrown up in these days of money worship.

            (I looked up suasion to see if it is different to persuasion and I thought the example that came up was relevant:
            persuasion as opposed to force or compulsion.
            "the clearing banks found the use of both moral suasion and direct controls particularly irksome")

        • RedLogix 4.2.2.4

          And some people come all over anxious when I use the phrase 'the authoritarian left' … devil

          Yes a pandemic requires temporary measures that are more restrictive than usual, but it's not an excuse to go full metal Jacobin on us.

          • AB 4.2.2.4.1

            "some people come all over anxious when I use the phrase 'the authoritarian left'"

            I think the anxiety (or bemusement?) comes from your extrapolation of a few intemperate blurts from a handful of individuals on The Standard, into the existence of a whole political movement that is poised to impose 'Marxism' on us by force.

            • RedLogix 4.2.2.4.1.1

              And when challenged on these ‘intemperate outbursts’ the individuals involved are doubling down, strongly arguing for their authoritarian vision.

              And given how there are no Marxists I find it quite astonishing how much push back I get when I suggest maybe, given it's appalling track record, that it's time the left drew a line under marxist thinking and moved on.

              And I’m stopping here, lest we go further OT again.

        • JohnSelway 4.2.2.5

          " But take their tax free status off them, seize their property, close their places of worship."

          The tax free bit bothers me the most. Fucking Sanitarum foods don't pay any income taxes.

          • RedBaronCV 4.2.2.5.1

            I too have a problem with some of the "tax free" religion. When a religion provides community or welfare services that are generally available to all according to their need for the service that feels okay but when the service is only provided based on the adherence of the recipient to the service provider's views then it feels not okay. I'd suggest tax free status based on an internal/external test of recipients.

            But didn't the charities commission chase Greenpeace instead?

            Also some of the tithing undertaken can affect families financially.

            Not that any of this has much to do with covid unless long term decreasing of resources means less money to spend on disinformation.

  5. greywarshark 5

    I wrote the other day about reading a 'faction' novel on the effect of the bubonic plague on Eyam in England in the 16th century. There was a political changeover at the time from Cromwell's Puritanism back to one of their kings, could have been Charles Second.

    The Puritan minister was very into finding it a retribution or punishment that came to those who had not kept to the rules or outright sinned. And they had so many rules. People felt helpless and examined themselves to see what they might have been guilty of in thought, word or deed.

    That minister called on Psalm 91 according to the author. It is a sort of prayer of promise of what goodness will come to people who live right. It is really one of hope that life will be good to them. But it was interpreted as a statement from God and people who hadn't understanding of how this terrible plague spread, were mystified and terrified. It is bad when this style of preaching is adopted in the 21st century when we know so much and have had to adjust our Christian beliefs to incorporate these understandings.

    https://www.kingjamesbible.me/Psalms-Chapter-91/

    These are lovely words – from the King James Version, poetic and uplifting. But really a prayer, a desire for good, which no-one can be sure will be granted.

    6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
    7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
    8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

    9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
    10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
    11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
    12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

  6. joe90 6

    Arseholes deliberately flouted alerts, met illegally, played silly-buggars over testing and failed to cooperate with contact tracing efforts. Little wonder abuse thrives in these fundie outfits. Fuck ém.

    • weka 6.1

      "Fuck ém."

      Nek minit, another outbreak. People who don't trust the state won't trust it more if they're ostracised.

      • Sabine 6.1.1

        so what to do then?

        And why don't they trust the government? Maybe because preachers in these churches are given talking points from the US to use here? Women to be stay at home daughters until married, then to be stay at home wifes? God above government? Etc?

        If one were to care one could follow the talking points all the way back to a rightwing 'evangelic' think tank somehwere in the States.

        honestly i agree, fuck em. The whole world is currently suffering and we will charge people a 300NZD instant fine if they dare to sit on a bus without a mask of sort, but there…..lets be kind n gentle lest there is another outbreak?

        • woodart 6.1.1.1

          if they dont trust the state, obviously they dont wont ANY help from the state when the shit hits the fan, be we know that isnt true. its just another bunch of selfish buggers taking advantage of a team of five million. if they dont want to be part of a team of five million, they should be honest enough to bugger off and start their own team, in their own sandpit.

  7. tc 7

    We have a usa problem mickey. The zuck is effectively backing this on stalkbook, his recent wibbling comedians will devour.
    He should just front in the bathrobe like in the movie to add some flair.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    The ironing is strong with these ultra right-wing god-botherers. Nearly super-spreader and defender of all things conservative, Duncan Garner, says the Mt Roskill Evangelical Church and the Bay Roskill Rugby League Club are so closely related they are the same organisation.

    The deliberate rule-breaking and lying to health authorities is the very thing stopping community and kids' sport from resuming in Auckland. They have essentially destroyed the remainder of the winter season across all codes not only for themselves and their own kids but for everyone else and their kids too.

    So, so community minded, aren’t they?

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/09/duncan-garner-mt-roskill-evangelical-church-not-secret-sect-of-wealthy-elites.html

    • Ad 8.1

      And those Jews right?

      And those Muslims! Forming groups. Doing engagement.

      We should actively root out all communities because of their superspreader risk.

      Let's scorch the earth with blame.

      • Muttonbird 8.1.1

        False equivalence. Try again, hotshot.

        • Ad 8.1.1.1

          Unchecked rage from the masses comes to them all.

          Check it building on ZB and on Facebook right now.

          The same untrammelled rise of hate.

          • Muttonbird 8.1.1.1.1

            Another nice try. People do get angry without being right wing. You do it yourself about some pretty esoteric, meaningless shit.

            • Ad 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Getting angry at people for getting infected with Covid 19 is wrong.

              Doesn't matter their social or political affiliation.

              Completely and utterly the wrong approach.

        • RedLogix 8.1.1.2

          False equivalence. Try again, hotshot.

          The second wave outbreak in North Melbourne substantially originated in the Muslim community there, some of whom expressed skeptical, dismissive or casual attitudes towards the virus.

          But Dan Andrews state govt was at pains not to make the community the problem, rather it focused on communicating better with them and sorting through the multiple issues in front of them. The govt and most of the media made a real effort to avoid vilification and scapegoating.

          The equivalence in this example is 100% valid.

          • Ad 8.1.1.2.1

            Dan Andrews is walking a principled line, without much Federal support.

            • Muttonbird 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Headed up the very worst Covid response in the Pacific region. We'll be like Melbourne too if communities are allowed to make up their own rules.

              • greywarshark

                So right Muttonbird – cool line of logic can't be faulted.

              • RedLogix

                So should we be 'metaphorically' burning down mosques as well?

                The root cause the failure to deal early and effectively with the outbreak in Victoria is widely recognised as being the more to do with the highly fragmented and commercialised nature of their health system … a legacy of previous liberal state govts.

                For instance when you go into a hospital in VIC, it's more like a building housing a collection of small businesses, than an integrated operation as kiwis would expect. Much the same applies across the whole state, and while it works OK at handling individual cases, it's a system that struggles to handle community wide pandemics.

                By contrast the health system here in QLD works a lot more like the one we have in NZ, and the relative outcomes reflect this.

                Plus I think we should also acknowledge the role of Vitamin D plays in protecting people becoming serious cases of COVID. That's a factor that needs to be understood before we start blaming people for becoming ill.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  For instance when you go into a hospital in VIC, it's more like a building housing a collection of small businesses, than an integrated operation as kiwis would expect.

                  Went to a physiotherapist a while back and the building was most definitely a collection of small businesses than an integrated operation which, as you imply, is another failure of capitalism.

                  Health should be a state monopolly.

                  Plus I think we should also acknowledge the role of Vitamin D plays in protecting people becoming serious cases of COVID.

                  I recall a news item from last century. A young couple had their first born who was constantly sick. Turns out the problem was that they'd followed all advice on covering from the sun to prevent skin cancer and thus the child just was getting enough sunlight to generate the vitamin D that she needed.

                  Yes, people, to actually be healthy you need sunlight.

                  • JohnSelway

                    "Health should be a state monopolly."

                    If there is a public option available but people want to pay money to have private healthcare why not let them?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Because it results in a misallocation of resources and thus leads to long queues and avoidable harm being caused all for the selfishness of those few.

                    • JohnSelway

                      How does it result in misallocation of resources? As far as I am aware the private hospitals have to source their own resources and are not government provided.

                      How does a private hospital cause long queues at a public hospital?

                      How is it selfish to pay for your own healthcare instead of going through the public hospitals?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      JS, even during times of teacher shortages, private schools never seem to have too much trouble sourcing the teachers they need. I suspect it's much the same with medical specialists and the proportion of time some choose to allocate to public vs private practice. Never mind that in NZ most doctors and nurses receive their initial training in publically-funded institutions; private practices remove some of that indispensible health service 'resource' (clinicians, nurses, etc.) from the 'pool' available to public hospitals.

                      If NZ resourced our public health services adequately, and put more $$$ into university medical schools, then maybe more wealthy individuals would choose to be treated in our (still) excellent but congested public health system. But where do the $$$ come from?

                      I'd prefer to live in a society where an individual's financial wherewithal didn't determine the quality and timeliness of the health services and treatments they could access, but that's just me.

                    • RedLogix

                      @DMK

                      The socialist left has very successfully used universal access to both education and health as an indirect and effective means of mitigating inequality. So when we see wealthy individuals bypassing the system to purchase more than the usual share we quite understandably get anxious about it. It feels like they're cheating.

                      The problem we run up against is that providing 100% coverage (in other words the very best health or education services) to 100% of the people 100% of the time is beyond our resources. It's partly a law of diminishing returns; a decently developed nation can provide say 80% coverage at a cost of around 5 – 10% of GDP. But as we approach 100% the costs accelerate in a non-linear fashion that no nation has been able to afford or politically sustain.

                      This creates an intractable gap between what can be universally provided, and the potential demand. It forces the system into some form of rationing at the margins; the public sector does it by often arcane and non-transparent waiting list rules, the private sector by a market mechanism. Which of these mechanisms is morally preferable isn't obvious to me and would make for a good debate. Although I can probably safely say that from the perspective of the person suffering and needing urgent medical treatment, if they can afford to pay for it the choice would be a lot more clear cut in the moment.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      RL, I understand it's not realistic to eliminate all unmet health needs in any society. I'm ideologically opposed to healthcare 'services' in which access to timely critical healthcare is determined even in part by a market mechanism, and that's the system we have in NZ – a system where those that can afford it may purchase private healthcare services and live longer with a better quality of life (on average) as a result.

                      I believe that ideally preventable gaps of this type should be minimised, and as such that any and all proposed changes to the public health service (at least) should be analysed for the possibilty that they might exacerbate inequality of access and health outcomes. I'll leave it to those of a more pragmatic persuasion to scrap over the acceptable sizes of the many and varied gaps that exist in our society, but IMHO those gaps are plenty wide enough already – please let’s try to close them, or at the very least not let them get any worse.

                      In her essay below, Liang describes poverty as a “heritable condition” that perpetuates and amplifies through generations: “It is also not hard to see how individual poverty flows into communities and society, with downstream effects on economics, crime and health, as well as many other systems. Loosen one strand and everything else unravels.

                      A Kete Half Empty

                      Poverty is your problem, it is everyone’s problem, not just those who are in poverty. – Rebecca, a child from Te Puru

                      https://www.noted.co.nz/currently/currently-currently/poverty-new-zealand-kete-half-empty

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      How does it result in misallocation of resources? As far as I am aware the private hospitals have to source their own resources and are not government provided.

                      Except that they don't. They grab public hospital doctors and use them thus taking them away from the public queues.

          • Muttonbird 8.1.1.2.2

            All the more reason to manage those communities properly! Govern, ffs.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2.2.1

              Not so much manage those communities but ensure that they're properly communicated with.

              Something that we seem to have forgotten in this age of the Information Super-highway. People still need to be informed from reputable sources and the community needs to ensure that people have that information.

  9. Andre 9

    The superspreading event for this latest outbreak may be religion-related. But what were they earlier this year?

    A wedding leer-up. An industry conference. An ordinary everyday function at an ordinary everyday pub in an ordinary everyday town. A school. Aged-care community homes.

    What all of these have in common (except the rest-homes) is large numbers of people gathering close together making loud mouth-noises at each other for long periods of times.

    Let's keep the attention on the actual behaviour that's risky. The motivations and demographics of those that tend towards those behaviours is very much a secondary thing, to be considered when figuring out new ways to meet their needs in ways that remove or reduce the transmission risk.

    • weka 9.1

      I agree, although we're not in March now. We know what works, and we have communities and groups of people deliberately working against that. In addition to the behaviours around covid we're going to have to address what to do about the conspiracy, low science literacy, anti-govt stuff.

      • Sabine 9.1.1

        Anti government types – Better and more honest government that actually works for the people – and the current options are not doing a stellar job here – considering that the poor and very poor and soon to be really poor working class are getting nothing but lipservice from the no – mates party, the labour party and all others. One can't even call it crumps what falls of these tables.

        Low science literacy – maybe provide the same funds to the seriously underfunded schools where these people live, rather then just shoveling money into the schools for the children of the very rich and politically connected?

        Conspiracy – in absence of a better narrative from government conspiracies are growing, besides its only a conspiracy until its proven correct.

        • Peter 9.1.1.1

          The current options are not doing a stellar job all right. People being told to social distance, not be in close quarters big gatherings, wearing masks, hand-washing and so on aren't working at stellar levels.

          It's a blame society so who to blame for the Mt Roskill outbreak? Ardern? Hipkins? Bloomfield? They didn't do a stellar job.

          Do you expect them to do stellar jobs for every individual everywhere including all churches.

          Ardern cannot beat the Bible. Ardern cannot beat the power of the daily dependence some people have on their bible and their pastor. Ardern cannot harness or change the ignorance which has been captured by others.

          • Sabine 9.1.1.1.1

            i have not said a word about hte actions of the government in regards to Covid. Firstly.

            Secondly my remarks are in regards to Wekas comment, which also has nothing to do with the actions of the Government in regards to Covid.

            Ardern can't beat the bible, but she could have put enough money in the pockets of the poor to not be so poor as to be reliant on churches not only for the souls but also for the physical aspect of living. Many of these churches are the first places people go to when they come into issues with money, housing, food insecurity etc. And on this the government has done a job that is less then stellar.

            Ardern cannot harness or change the ingnorance captured by others, true, but she can fund low decile schools, build classrooms where kids now sit in prota coms without heating or cooling, can fund a lunch programm for every kid every where and not just a wee program here and there, she can fund literacy classes for adults, she can fund free tampons and other female hygiene products to be dispensed in low decile schools so that girls can go to school without fear of running around with blood patches on their nether regions, but we only get a little trial in the Waikato (thanks to the Greens btw) and so on and so on and so on, and all of that is part of the Government not doing a stellar job, and the void is filled by Churches, Temples and Qanon.

            And last but least, yes i expect the Government to do a stellar job for all and not just a few. And if we can charge people on a bus a instant 300 NZD fine for not wearing a mask, then the government can charge a fine to churches who don't obey the rules, or even revoke their tax exempt status. Its not as if the government does not have tools to use.

            • Peter 9.1.1.1.1.1

              She should change history but she can't. She should have pushed through all sorts of social-economic policies to dramatically change the face of the country which sees it as it is. You can't do that when you get 38% of the votes.

              Don't worry the Collins led Government will be more stellar the Ardern's. And don't worry about kids in unheated portacom classrooms. With Act's education policy the woes will be a thing of the past:

              • "Provide every child with a Student Education Account. A child will receive $250,000 of taxpayer-funded education over their life, but parents have little choice in how it’s spent. ACT will empower parents by placing this money in a Student Education Account. Parents will be able to use it at any registered educational institution that will accept their child’s enrolment, public or private."
    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      The motivations and demographics of those that tend towards those behaviours is very much a secondary thing,

      I'd consider those things to be a primary consideration. Its those motives that's driving the faulty behaviour.

  10. Treetop 10

    Trump was probably hoping that Covid – 19 would taper off like SARS did or a treatment or a vaccine to be found.

    The message needs to be safety first when the actions of others can have a deadly impact or cause long term harm to health.

    Strength to face uncertainty, percieved unfairness, be willing to do what needs to be done to be safe and keep others safe is required and more…

    • mauī 10.1

      It appears Covid does taper off as Sweden has found (unless it comes back in winter). Also the US and the UK are quickly returning to their baseline death rates.

      • Treetop 10.1.1

        Good news re the tapering off. You raise the winter period, government leaders would be bracing for this.

        Do you know what the factors involved for the tapering off are?

        I am interested in whether or not a strain of Covid – 19 is weakening. There are people out there who will have both flu and Covid – 19 at the same time. The out look for the latter part of 2020 is a worry for northern hemisphere countries.

  11. Muttonbird 11

    This is why funerals should never, ever be exempted from gathering limits. Breeding grounds for Coronavirus.

    People die. In a pandemic, deal with it.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300103658/why-new-subcluster-has-officials-on-orange-alert

    • Treetop 11.1

      Managing to track and trace community cases at level 2 or 2.5 is bullshit.

      I cannot name a country where community spread has extinguished under a level 2 or 2.5.

  12. Anne 12

    Pacific leaders – and I mean the real leaders not the fundamentalist upstarts – should be taking the lead here. They probably are behind the scenes, but there is an element of urgency now. These individuals (and they're not all of Pacific origin) are effectively holding the rest of NZ to ransom. They need re-education but that takes time.

    In the meantime a bit of stick to bring them into line is essential. I hope the police together with community leaders can achieve something very soon.

    Fury over their behaviour is building fast – as evidenced by Lisa Owen's comment that Checkpoint had received many texts and emails from around the country expressing anger at what has transpired.

    • Muttonbird 12.1

      Fury is building fast and it could impact the election if the government doesn’t get it right. Perhaps this is what the right wing fundamentalist christians want – deliberate spread…

      When this Americold outbreak began were told a community health response was the right one, rather than a one-size-fits-all health response, which was racist apparently.

      Well, turns out the community health response doesn't work, and the Auckland region is paying a heavy price.

    • Ad 12.2

      I know it's counterintuitive, but the left need to defend the poor not attack them right now.

      • Muttonbird 12.2.1

        The left need to get the country moving again, not pander to right-wing fundy nut jobs.

        • Ad 12.2.1.1

          The government is managing this just fine without the help of you or any other part of the raging mob.

          • Muttonbird 12.2.1.1.1

            No it's not. The dangers of spread by people who flout the rules, lie to health authorities, don't isolate when told to, are well known by now.

            This cluster wasn't watched closely enough and Auckland is paying dearly.

          • Sabine 12.2.1.1.2

            ;hahahahah, no the government is not managing this fine. The poor are poorer now then they were three years ago, and while one can blame Covid for it, it is the current government that is not doing a single thing to help the poor. Specifically it is not giving the poor the money they need to not be poor.

          • Treetop 12.2.1.1.3

            How would you decrease the infections stemming from the main cluster?

            Covid – 19 is a serious issue and the majority of people are making Covid the issue and would not berate people for their beliefs.

            There needs to be consequences for breaking the law even if people think this is unfair.

            What should the consequences be for transmitting a terrible virus by not naming contacts or isolating?

        • Gabby 12.2.1.2

          The Fellowship doesn't seem to be particularly poor.

          • Muttonbird 12.2.1.2.1

            They are not. They can afford $183 per parishioner per week in tithing. This is probably why Ad is so attracted to them.

      • Anne 12.2.2

        I'm not attacking the poor Ad. To the contrary. The majority are doing their best to abide by the rules. I think that when we come out of this time they should be specifically rewarded for their efforts. I believe they will be – provided this govt. stays in power.

        My gripe is with the stupid and naive who (as I said @ 12) are not confined to South Pacifica. In the short term they need the long arm of the law to bring them into line. In the long term they need re-educating.

        • Ad 12.2.2.1

          Agree.

          Ardern has done pretty well to stand up to the disquiet so far: she is a true leader on this one.

          The longer the leaders stay rational and don't start on a witch hunt, the more society will be protected.

      • Peter 12.2.3

        Inferring you comment is about the church people in Mt Roskill. I don't know if they are poor, but your comment has me thinking and trying to see things from a different angle.

        Defend the poor's right to spread Covid-19?

        Defend the poor's right to religion?

        Defend the poor's right to be educated?

        Defend the poor's right to do whatever they like regardless of everyone else.

        Defend the poor's right to accept that while they are entitled to 'different views' so are others?

        • Ad 12.2.3.1

          Definitely defend their human rights.

          Which you can read about in our Bill of Rights Act.

          Definitely defend the right of the poor to be educated. Dialogue tends to work, even if it's more complex than enforcement.

          Defend the right of all of us to be free from disease.

          Defend the right of people to hold irrational views – definitely this is a free and open society the last time I looked.

          I'll just get you to imagine for a moment they were a group of anarchists, holding equally irrational views about state intervention.

          I'd defend them, as well as defending us, as well.

          • greywarshark 12.2.3.1.1

            You are so noble Ad.

          • RedLogix 12.2.3.1.2

            This is a good example of what I mean when I say 'give a person a bit of moral authority and it's instructive to see what they do with it'.

            Sure there is every reason to be angry and disappointed when this kind of misinformation and wrong-headed thinking puts everyone, and everything NZ has sacrificed so much for, at risk. It certainly feels like there is a bit of moral high ground over there just begging to be stood on. Fair enough.

            Now having gotten everyone's attention, what are you going to do with it? That's the question which reveals whether or not a person can be entrusted with real power.

  13. Tricledrown 13

    Fundamentalist religious cults breed ignorance to keep followers inline.Brian Tamaki,Bert Potter etc etc.Trump is feeding them to create division.

  14. Tricledrown 14

    Ad fundamentalist evangelicals vote right wing anti abortion, union, science,antivax ,state education etc.

  15. Whispering Kate 15

    It is unfortunate that Pacifica people are involved with this Evangelical Church. These fundamentalist churches attract people of all races, and all kinds of levels of our society. I know well educated white folk who are life long followers of the Pentecostal religion and they sure do have some whacky beliefs and once you are suckered in its a lifetime for some. Head shaking really but then we all have some funny ideas about things in life. Who are we to judge.

    This doesn't however give them carte blanche to ignore the Government's effort to tackle a serious public health situation. The police going in and "gently reminding them" of their responsibilities hopefully will defuse the situation. Their tendency within the church to look up to a dominant entity/leader may just be enough for them to heed the seriousness of the situation. The police saying if they transgress again "they may" be fined though wasn't enough. The police should have said they "would be" fined imo.

    • Muttonbird 15.1

      One of the best comments on the thread, Kate.

      I’d one occasion to be close to a church like this kind of recently and there was a very broad range of ethnicities. The groom was white and the bride was Tongan. The minister made an explicit point that marriage was between a man and a woman. Edgy, but whatever. Ministers don't make these pointed comments by accident…

      The groupings were a fraught but healthy mix of both lively young and dour old Kiwis. They had fringe beliefs and that is fine. But in this environment they need to control and educate their looser units. They have not done that and Auckland is fed up. I can say this because I am one.

      If they can’t communicate, the government must. Neither happened this time and it has affected a million people plus.

      • Whispering Kate 15.1.1

        Thank you Muttonbird. No matter what your beliefs are nobody is above the law. Public Health safeguards are a serious matter for everybody. Why these fundamental churches/conspiracy theorists big so deep into the dark web I have no idea. They become so consumed that everything in the end is a conspiracy. I have a niece bless her heart who has such seriously out of whack beliefs that I just cannot comprehend it. Being cynical is one thing but the ludicrous conspiracies she believes in I cannot fathom.

        Hopefully the church elders and pastors will talk sense into their congregations. At least they are getting them all tested. Worrying times indeed.

        • Muttonbird 15.1.1.1

          It's not good news from Auckland though with Pacific health leaders pushing back against Police involvement.

          They claim their way is best. Well, they had their go and fucked it up. Time for some proper oversight.

  16. Andre 16

    This may be better in Open Mike, but since the topic here is religious loons and covid …

    A prominent Ukrainian church leader who previously said the Covid-19 pandemic was "God's punishment" for same-sex marriage has tested positive for the virus.

    The 91-year-old made headlines in March when he told a Ukrainian TV channel that the coronavirus crisis was "God's punishment for the sins of men, the sinfulness of humanity."

    "First of all, I mean same-sex marriage," he added.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/09/europe/ukrainian-leader-covid-same-sex-marriage-trnd/index.html

  17. karol121 17

    "In the gull icon corner we had; Muttonbird weighing in, and in the primrose icon corner; Ad"

    And an interesting wrestle it was indeed. There were no holds barred.

    And well done to both champs!

    At a basic level though, reason might prevail in relation to any one individual's post life beliefs.

    I would hope that in a progressive society, the common ground would be that you can believe what you like, but if you then take such a belief (or concept) and attempt to weaponize it, you pretty much make a statement that your own imagination (or faith) has precedence over anyone else's in relation to their expression or position on such topics.

    Is this healthy?

    Taking this one step further, in relation to compliance during a crisis (such as when temporary emergency powers/measures are introduced-whether loved or hated), there would be many left with the impression that a blatant breaking of assembly restrictions by various, simply based on "faith", would be likened to such congregations asserting that their concept takes precedence over mandated restriction and requirement requirements because a preacher or pastor says that a god tells him or her that it’s OK.

    While I personally might congratulate certain groups of individuals engaging in non-compliant activities (such as) if or when they believe such measures are representative of deep rooted concerns culminating in episodic civil unrest, I get the impression that most New Zealanders probably balk when it comes to public health concerns relating to a pandemic being challenged by a congregation insisting that their beliefs and actions are more important than the (widely presumed) health of the public generally.

    Sure. "You gotta have faith" (in something), so how about having faith in common sense when it is seriously needed, and leave the religious concept actions to a time and a place where it is tolerated and supported in New Zealand.

    Personally, those who have faith in one concept or another, culminating in the ignoring emergency measures, please don’t stop expressing what you feel simply because you feel outnumbered in this regard, which you are. But please, in the meantime, comply with disliked, but reasonable enough, temporary legislation.

  18. gsays 19

    Be miffed, disappointed, upset, angry even. But keep it to yourself.

    As the PM has said a few times, be kind. While it was in a different context, she also said "They are us". This applies to church folk and NZers returning to these shores who don't look like me/us.

    As has been pointed out already, if we ostracise or persecute folk, a'la the Americold/Tokoroa family, they will be driven away to where they can't be helped.

    • Shanreagh 19.1

      Good points gsays and that was why I was heartened to read that the majority (213 of 332) of those in the church at Mt Roskill have been tested as at 8.00am today. Perhaps a mix of carrot, stick and information has done the trick. No matter what religion or race or culture these are OUR people. PI people have had a heap of denigration over the years, they are poor in many cases and we do not want to drive them away.

    • karol121 19.2

      Well put, gsays and Shanreagh.

      Correct. If they get driven away or go underground, many will feel that they are in a physical world of their own as well, and will likely feel as if it is the rest of society as de facto non believers of their version of reality against them, both individually and collectively.

      Definitely a thumbs up from me and probably many others for your posts here.

    • mary_a 19.3

      @ gsays (19) … well said.

Leave a Comment

Use WYSIWYG comments on next comment (inactive new feature)

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Labour super exploitation
    This is the second in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation. Here he looks at Marini’s theory of labour super-exploitation and Capital ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 hours ago
  • Small asteroid to make near-miss of Earth in NZ skies tonight
    Sorry for the late notice on this one, but I only just heard myself, in common with most of the human race. A small asteroid, somewhere between the size of a truck and the size of a house in dimensions, will hurtle past the Earth tonight, dipping closer to ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    10 hours ago
  • This is not what accountability looks like
    When someone commits trespass, assault with a weapon, and kidnapping, you'd expect them to be prosecuted, right? But apparently the rules are different if you wear a blue uniform: A police investigation has found officers in Northland trespassed on a man's property, then unlawfully pepper sprayed him and arrested ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Cycling: head injuries ignored because of entrenched macho culture
    Howard Hurst, University of Central Lancashire and Jack Hardwicke, University of Winchester Competitive road cycling is a demanding and unique sport. One where crashing is inevitable – especially at the professional level. While the risk of head injury is relatively low in cycling – approximately 5-13% – compared to contact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    12 hours ago
  • The coming US shitshow
    Today President Trump once again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the US election. Coincidentally, The Atlantic has a long article on exactly what that means, from voter suppression by armed thugs in the name of "ballot security", to refusing to allow the vote ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • A moral void
    That's the only way to describe the SIS, who - like their British counterparts - decided to look the other way on child abuse: The SIS knew a young woman was being sexually abused by her father but failed to lodge a complaint with the police, effectively allowing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • When will Goldsmith resign?
    The National Party’s campaign has gone from bad to worse with a further two large miscalculations being uncovered in their alternative fiscal plan. Firstly, National’s economic spokesperson and list MP, Paul Goldsmith, used May's Budget figures instead of last week's PREFU numbers, and came up with a whopping $4.3 billion ...
    14 hours ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Part IX
    The initial session was a struggle. Annalax and Magni tried sorting out the details with the Isaac twins (the people pursuing the mountain trip). Annalax happened to mention his devotion to Lolth… whom the Isaacs, being ...
    15 hours ago
  • This is bullshit
    On March 13, three plainclothes police officers kicked in Breonna Taylor's door under a no-knock warrant targeting another person. When a person inside reasonably assumed they were home invaders and (this being America) started shooting, they shot up the place and everyone around them - killing Taylor. Today, one of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    18 hours ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    19 hours ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    20 hours ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    20 hours ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 day ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    1 day ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    3 days ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    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... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    4 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    4 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    5 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    6 days ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    7 days ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    7 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    1 week ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
    Rebels In A Wrong Cause: The truly frightening thing about Jami-Lee Ross’s and Billy Te Kahika’s success in persuading thousands of New Zealanders that Covid-19 is just another trick, just another way of stealing away their power, is realising just how many of them once marched at the Left’s side. ...
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    1 week ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
    Media Statement For Immediate Release 10th September 2020 The income and wealth inequality lobby group, “Closing the Gap” thinks the Labour proposal a great start says Peter Malcolm, a spokesperson for the group. But they need to be aware of what many of the rich do and of what do ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
    ACT is pushing a "no-nonsense climate change plan". What does it involve? Repealing the Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme, reversing the fossil-fuel exploration ban, and allowing mining on conservation land. In other words, repealing any policy which might actually reduce emissions. Which is the very definition of nonsensical. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    1 week ago

  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
      A Proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch has been given the go ahead. Hon Poto Williams, Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, has approved the Proposal, which was prepared and submitted by Regenerate Christchurch. Minister Williams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting a thriving wānanga sector to benefit Māori learners
    As part of the Government’s focus on building closer partnerships with Māori and enhancing the quality of, and access to, Māori medium education, a payment of $8 million will be made to Te Wānanga o Raukawa in partial recognition of its Waitangi Tribunal claim (WAI 2698), Associate Education Minister Kelvin ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature boosts efforts to restore Kaimai-Mamaku
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced a $19 million investment over four years in an important forest restoration project involving a partnership between the Department of Conservation, iwi/hapū, the Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regional Councils, community conservation groups and organisations such as Forest and Bird across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand first in the world to require climate risk reporting
    New Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The changes build on the huge progress this Government has made to tackle the climate crisis. “Today is another step on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economic data highlights impact of Auckland moving out of Level 3
    Economic activity across the Auckland region and the country bounced back to levels experienced under Alert Level 1 following Auckland’s move out of Alert Level 3, analysis in the Treasury’s latest Weekly Economic Update shows. The analysis of economic data since Auckland’s move out of Level 3 shows: Auckland card ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM statement on Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level review
    Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin.  This week is the Māori Language week and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More mental wellbeing services for young people in regions
    More mental health and addiction services are available for young New Zealanders in Rotorua and Taupō, Wairarapa, South Canterbury, Dunedin and Southland from next month, Health Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter say. “The Government is serious about making sure New Zealanders struggling with mental health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government joins forces with Central Otago communities to clean up waterways
    The Manuherekia catchment in Central Otago is the third exemplar catchment to be targeted as part of the Government’s plan to clean up waterways by supporting community-led programmes.   Environment Minister David Parker said the Manuherekia catchment is vitally important to the people of Central Otago.  “The Manuherekia rises in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government confirms new Dunedin Hospital design
    The Government has agreed on a preferred design for the new Dunedin Hospital featuring two separate buildings, and has provided funding for the next stages of work.   Minister of Health Chris Hipkins says Cabinet has approved in principle the detailed business case for the new hospital, giving people in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago