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CTU’s Alternative Economic Strategy

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, October 12th, 2010 - 15 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags: , ,

The CTU has just released its Alternative Economic Strategy. Well, they call it ‘alternative’ but it’s not like the Nats have one beyond Key smiling and waving. Anyway, the CTU’s Economic Strategy is an extremely impressive document. It goes through the current problems and suggests 100 reforms for a more successful, fair economy and country.

There’s so much worth reading in the document itself that I’ll restrict my comments to brief asides in indented italics:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Capitalism has never been fair, nor has it cared for the environment. But under the neoliberal policies followed in New Zealand for the last quarter of a century not only have these conditions got worse but the policies have failed in their own terms. Those policies are rooted in the idea that less government is better government and that “the market” if left to itself will lead to faster.

We do not believe these unsustainable and unconscionable trends are necessary, nor do they reflect what is good in New Zealand.

It was the growth of a finance sector far beyond the needs of the real economy that encouraged and inspired neoliberal ideology, along with the powerful economic forces of corporate globalisation which demanded the increasing deregulation and undermining of the social functions of government which have been so damaging. They said “leave us alone and the world will be a better place”. In fact the financial sector enriched itself at the expense of the rest of the economy, taking absurd risks, too often behaving unethically and criminally, harming hundreds of millions of hard working people and causing huge damage to the real economy which blameless workers will be left to pay for in lost income and taxes.

In New Zealand these policies

§ stripped away collective employment and union rights so that workers’ wages have fallen behind their increasing productivity and workers are increasingly forced into vulnerable temporary or contractor jobs;

§ privatised swathes of services and assets whose new owners neglected infrastructural investment, failed to create new infrastructure such as broadband, and ignored needed services such as community banking;

§ slashed benefits to poverty levels, especially affecting families;

§ hamstrung social and economic use of the monetary system by limiting regulation to the control of inflation through interest rates, hindering development of the real economy;

§ grew banks that accelerated New Zealand’s international indebtedness and the housing price bubble, and a non-banking sector riddled with instability and fraud; and

§ entered international trade and investment agreements which removed much of our ability to manage our international economic relationships and made many of these actions difficult or impossible to reverse.

Despite the propaganda, New Zealand’s economic growth and international competitiveness have stagnated.

This Strategy is a response to these failed policies.

We seek a coherent alternative to current policy principles and institutional structures which will improve the position of working people and New Zealand. Current economic policies and principles have demonstrably failed. A new approach is needed which learns the harsh lessons of not just the financial and economic crisis, but the trend of economic events that led to that calamity. We also need to learn from New Zealand’s recent history and the unsustainable degradation of the environment. We want policies which work together to strengthen each other and are sustainable, not only from the point of view of government finances, but also because they create and nourish a healthy economy, a healthy society and a healthy environment.

They lay out three goals of a successful economic strategy:

Sustainable economic development

Decent work and a good life

Voice: real participation in decisions in the workplace, economy and community.

First off, they suggest measures to tackle the current employment crisis:

With unemployment forecast to remain high for two to three years, more government action is needed. This could include

§ Action some of the large range of possible initiatives which would both have long term benefits for the economy and quickly create jobs which the CTU put forward for the Job Summit.

§ Stop cutting government jobs.

§ Expand the Job Opportunities scheme, continue with Community Max, significantly increase Task Force Green and other environmental work.

§ For those unemployed over 13 weeks, an entitlement to a Skills Investment Fund Booster package that adds to the normal level of the Skills Investment Fund support to take to new employment, and provides access to individually tailored skills audits.

§ Co-finance projects with local government to bring forward infrastructural and environmental work such as water and sewerage projects.

§ Bring forward more national infrastructure spending such as investment in schools and hospitals, and green retrofitting of government buildings.

§ Increase spending in tertiary education to allow more people to increase their skills and education, with additional support to unemployed people and beneficiaries who wish to enter tertiary education.

§ Accelerate the rollout of tourism initiatives.

§ Government and SOE purchasing that assists New Zealand manufacturers and services.

§ Back New Zealand jobs in KiwiRail projects.

§ Partially underwrite bank lending to businesses according to agreed criteria in return for a guarantee of job retention for a specified period.

§ Build more state houses, and support iwi and local government housing initiatives.

§ Invest further in home insulation and clean heating.

Then, it’s down to the reform agenda:

Economic Development

§ A strategic approach to sustainable economic development

If no-one’s directing the ship, it’s not surprising that it doesn’t end up where we want it to go. As things stand, we haven’t even agreed where we want to go.

§ Priority to chosen sectors such as ICT, high level processing of agricultural products

Why shouldn’t we, through the democratic system, choose winners? The market has proven incapable. And the fact is that time and again, here and abroad successful innovation has come from government leadership (eg the Internet)

§ Strong powers preventing or regulating market power that is not in the public interest

The neoliberal model turned a blind eye as private monopolies or oligarchies were allowed to develop or government monopolies were sold into private hands. Unregulated capitalism trends towards monopolies. Any monopoly that is allowed to exist should be collectively owned.

§ Support the development of co-operatives, especially worker co-operatives

It’s an under-acknowledged fact that our largest exporter is a cooperative. Quite rightly the dairy farmers have resisted attempts to destroy their cooperative because they know the result will be profits going offshore. Cooperatives can be very successful business models because workers have a real incentive to contribute to the business and they get the just reward for doing so.

Infrastructure

§ National and regional infrastructural plans

§ National physical telecommunications network owned by central or local government

§ Buy back Telecom’s physical network priced to reflect its short life and long neglect

§ Begin to buy back the privatised electricity system to optimise it in the public interest

Leaving vital national infrastructure in the hands of private companies that do not have the same interests, or the long-term outlook, as the country is a recipe for disaster. It leads to underinvestment and asset-stripping, with the owners knowing the government will be forced to bail them out if everything comes apart.

§ Port and shipping strategies for better use of ports, and coastal shipping’s survival

§ Develop urban public transport and support local suppliers of bus and rail equipment

All the more important in the age of peak oil.

§ A “human infrastructure” fund for tertiary education and workplace training

It’s unbelievable that National is cutting education. It’s like a farmer eating the seeds for next year’s crop.

Innovation, Research and Development (R&D)

§ Support for R&D through shareholding, intellectual property ownership, or tax credits

§ Encourage open ownership of intellectual property or co-ownership with researchers

§ Preference for centres of research excellence and capability funds over contestability

§ Extension services to form a knowledge bridge between researchers and firms

I’d like to see universities be given a much more prominent role in tech development and holding on to the rights to the innovations they develop.

Government Procurement

§ Use government and state owned enterprise procurement to develop local industry

§ Tender conditions to reflect national benefit rather than narrow “value for money”

§ Commission products in sufficient numbers to support firms to develop scale

§ Responsible contracting policies to encourage adoption of good practice

With government spending totalling nearly 50% of GDP, the government can have a huge impact on the market if it chooses to. Why shouldn’t the government use that power to demand best practice in employment and environmental standards? It’s better than fluffing about with indirect measures like tax credits and grants.

Māori

§ Continuing support for Treaty settlements including capacity building and training

§ Support Māori co-operatives such as in the seafood industry

§ Greater support for housing on Māori land and assistance for community housing

Education and skill development

§ National network of high quality publicly owned early childhood education centres

A public system means we’re not having taxpayer money funding someone’s profits, while equality of access and quality control is easier to ensure.

§ Continuing professional development for teachers to maintain top educational practice

§ Tertiary education available to all with a reasonable likelihood of benefitting from it

§ Lower fees for learners willing to be bonded to work in New Zealand

§ Employer workplace training funding conditional on skill recognition in pay scales

§ Support life-long learning by right to one year of fees and allowances in every five

Financial System

Stability

§ Require regulatory approval for high risk financial services, sourced locally or abroad

§ A Financial Activities Tax (FAT) on profits and high-level remuneration

§ Reduce reliance on foreign funding; stop other risky behaviour demonstrated overseas

§ Define bailouts and deposit guarantees in statute; fund by a levy on institutions

§ Scale up Kiwibank to same size as the big four; move government accounts to it

The government accounts themselves aren’t highly profitable, but the huge increase in deposits they represent would allow kiwibank to upscale itself to be a major player

§ Ban offshore outsourcing of financial system infrastructure

Social responsibility

§ Increase public accountability of the sector reflecting its dependence on government

§ Require charges to be related to real costs; create a Financial Consumer Agency

§ Encourage the expansion of trustee banks, mutuals and co-operatives

Finance for economic development

§ Government owned development finance agency with public and private funds

§ Long term Kiwi bonds for infrastructure

§ Encourage NZ Super and Kiwisaver funds to invest more locally

These ideas could be brought together with the buying back of major assets in a New Zealand Future Fund mandated to secure this country’s economic sovereignty by buying key assets here and abroad. It would mean fewer profits heading overseas.

Monetary policy, exchange rate

§ Give the Reserve Bank the role and power to peg the exchange rate for stability

New Zealand’s is one of the smallest free-floating exchange rates. It’s madness that we have the tenth most traded currency in the world, it’s nearly all speculation and hot money.

§ Ensure the Reserve Bank has sufficient powers to manage international capital flows

§ Review Reserve Bank Act, and Fiscal Responsibility part of the Public Finance Act

§ Reduce reliance of monetary policy on interest rates (e.g. use capital ratios, liquidity)

The OCR is a blunt and increasingly ineffective tool – it doesn’t do its job and it causes too much damage as side-effects

§ Terms of reference to take account of employment, living standards, exchange rate

International economic relationships

§ Support moves to increase international financial regulation and end tax havens

§ Support an international Financial Transactions Tax (“Tobin Tax”)

Some countries have passed laws so that a Tobin Tax will come into effect in their country when other countries pass similar laws. New Zealand should join the club to ratchet up pressure for an international Tobin Tax.

§ Controls on foreign direct investment to enable selection of beneficial investment

§ No further concessions in international agreements that conflict with this Strategy

§ Remove constraints on development and stability in international agreements

§ Stronger international union collaboration and labour agreements

Taxation

§ A tax-free band and/or tax rebate for people on incomes under $35,000

§ Tax rates of 38% on income above $100,000 and 45% on income above $150,000

My own preference is for a negative tax/guaranteed minimum income which would also, by and large replace the benefit system

§ Reduce GST to 12.5% and progressively replace it with other forms of tax

Personally, I’m not so against GST in general. I agree with taking it off food but my priority would be less taxation of income and saving, not consumption.

§ Increase royalties on commercial use of resources; tax polluting/greenhouse emissions

§ Ensure lower income people do not pay an unfair share of pollution taxes

§ Change trust and company tax rules to cut tax dodging; restore company taxes to 30%

The neoliberals want to believe there’s some race to the bottom on corporate rates and we have to be part of it or companies will go elsewhere. Rubbish. Any decent company doesn’t make decisions of that scale on a basis of a couple of percent of tax.

§ Capital gains tax or a “Risk Free Rate of Return” assets tax, exempting primary home

Good stuff. But what about Gareth Morgan’s idea of a capital tax? It could be used to do away with a lot of income tax.

Environment and measuring progress

§ Comprehensive approach to ensure a “just transition” to a more sustainable society

§ Support for workers displaced as a result of the response to climate change

§ Invest in skills for the new economy; research and information freely available

§ Provision for assistance when a whole community is affected by climate change

§ Participation by workers in the approaches taken to climate change in workplaces

§ Adopt alternative measures of progress to use alongside GDP to guide priorities

GDP doesn’t actually measure anything very important. National Disposable Income is an existing measure that is more interesting. The Genuine Progress Indicator deserves more development work. Even just looking at changes in our net national wealth provides a more informative picture than GDP alone.

Decent work and a good life

Employment and Unions

§ Extend union coverage and collective bargaining to wider groups of workers

§ Mechanisms for national and industry level standards setting

§ Living Standards Review Authority reporting to a Tripartite Social/Economic Council

§ Full employment a central objective of government policy

Full employment and decent wages, the evidence shows, are the key foundations of a healthy society.

§ “Flexicurity” providing security of employment alongside flexibility for firms

§ Retain 90% of prior income for up to 12 months unemployment

§ Conditional on commitment to acquire new skills and job search

§ Fund through compulsory employer levies and taxation, underwritten by government

Not sure I agree. Seems likely to encourage abuse and most favourable to high wage people who lose their jobs. It would reduce the multiplier effect of recessions, though, were job losses cause a big drop in income and spending, sparking further job losses.

§ Active support to acquire new skills and find new jobs including relocation assistance

Social Security, Retirement, Housing, Equity, Inequality

§ Review benefits to eliminate poverty; set base rates proportional to average wage

§ Return ACC to a social compensation scheme funded on a pay as you go basis

§ Maintain NZ Superannuation and resume Fund contributions as soon as practicable

How many millions have we lost so far from the Nats’ short-sighted decision to cut the Cullen Fund’s contributions?

§ Kiwisaver enhancements after an appropriate inquiry could include:

§ Compulsory employer contributions of 6% phased in over 4 years

§ Compulsory employee contribution 2%; Government top-up 2%

§ Government contribution for women and others with low life time incomes

Kiwisaver has the potential to generate a massive domestic capital pool, reducing our reliance on foreign capital, which we pay interest on.

§ Create National Housing Strategy

§ Expand Housing New Zealand Corporation’s (HNZC) housing stock by 20%

National’s big plan is 30 houses were you can buy the land later. 30. Oh, and they slashed the money for building new state houses.

§ Encourage affordable housing in new developments

Shouldn’t that say require?

§ Reform tenancy laws to give greater security to tenants

§ Phase out accommodation supplements in favour of other assistance

§ Support public rental and third sector housing programmes

§ Subsidise home lending in tailored programmes for targeted and low income groups

§ During downturns, consider low interest Reserve Bank funding for new housing

I think the government should led in building new, eco-smart homes, rent them through Housing NZ but also be prepared to sell them to first home buyers with the condition they can’t be rented out privately.

§ Right for workers to require a workplace Pay and Employment Equity assessment

§ Extend paid parental leave to 52 weeks, raise pay to 66% of average weekly earnings

§ Increase the minimum wage rate to 66% of average ordinary time hourly earnings

Good. There’s no reason why it can’t be that high. It was in the past.

§ Electricity pricing entitling every household to a certain amount of low cost electricity

Get rid of daily charges and have a rising price scale per kw/hr.

Voice: real participation in decisions

Consultative structures, Worker Participation, Media

§ Government consultation with unions, business and others on all policy development

§ Active citizenship in the workplace: access for community consultation with workers

§ Recognise increased worker participation assists increased productivity

§ Firm, industry and national participative structures to sustain worker participation:

§ Involve unions in processes of change in workplaces and in skill development

§ Consider worker representation on boards and on-line workplace consultation forums

§ Encourage trust-owned “public service” non-profit newspapers and other media

§ Fund investigative print journalism through the equivalent of “New Zealand On Air”

I think they need to look at combining RNZ and TVNZ’s resources to create a single 21st century, cross-format media outlet with one goal: provide the best news service in the world.

15 comments on “CTU’s Alternative Economic Strategy”

  1. Bored 1

    I like what I have read so far, its a very balanced approach. What worries me is that (as I constantly state) we will have a long period of deflationary economic decline to a more “energy balanced future”. This will constrain any growth which raises the questions of how to implement our future economy fairly, and achieve the aims of this document. That said, its a good start.

  2. nzfp 2

    § Review Reserve Bank Act, and Fiscal Responsibility part of the Public Finance Act

    What exactly do they want to review? The Public Finance Act is one of the few pieces of New Zealand legislation that provides mechanisms for Direct Government Funding via the RBNZ without incuring debt – specifically interest charges to foreign banks.

    While I believe there is much good here, it’s what I don’t see – as a monetary reform evangelist – that concerns me. What I don’t see is Government responsibility for the creation of our money supply. Until we have full control over our money supply, we are doomed to parasitical financialised business cycles as demonstrated with computer models by Australian economist Steve Keen.

    I am also concerned that the Tax policies do not address the financialisation of assets as prefered tax status (homes, property) and that there is a focus on “tax polluting/greenhouse emissions” rather then taxing economic rent (land, resources) and using regulation to curb environmentally harmful behaviour.

    Otherwise – yeah it’s better then the system we have now – and its a start – and it encourages debate in the important areas of our society – so good on CTU for that.

  3. Roflcopter 3

    Pointless without all the $$$ involved in implementation, and where the $$$ is supposed to come from.

    • Bright Red 3.1

      the point is that we already have the wealth as a country. it’s just a hell of a lot of it is going on luxury consumption by the elite.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Capitalism has never been fair, nor has it cared for the environment. But under the neoliberal policies followed in New Zealand for the last quarter of a century not only have these conditions got worse but the policies have failed in their own terms.

    Well, they certainly got that bit right.

    § Co-finance projects with local government to bring forward infrastructural and environmental work such as water and sewerage projects.

    Stop borrowing money and start printing it and then spending it directly into the economy. Bailouts don’t work as they just ensure that the rich stay rich and don’t help anyone else as well as keeping an uneconomic unit going.

    § Bring forward more national infrastructure spending such as investment in schools and hospitals, and green retrofitting of government buildings.

    This is the stuff that should be happening anyway. It shouldn’t need a recession, caused by the collapse of the financial ponzi scheme, to initiate it.

    If no-one’s directing the ship, it’s not surprising that it doesn’t end up where we want it to go. As things stand, we haven’t even agreed where we want to go.

    Believing in the “invisible hand” is probably the most irrational thing about the free-market. If we want something, we have to plan for it. Every single self-help book I’ve read and business course I’ve done agrees with that.

    § Long term Kiwi bonds for infrastructure

    Not needed, a government never needs to borrow and should never do so. they just need to print the money and then use taxes to maintain monetary value (ie, removing excess money from the market).

    These ideas could be brought together with the buying back of major assets in a New Zealand Future Fund mandated to secure this country’s economic sovereignty by buying key assets here and abroad.

    If we demand economic sovereignty for ourselves then by what right do we deny that to anyone else?

    § Retain 90% of prior income for up to 12 months unemployment

    This is something that has been bugging me lately. People with a good job go out and buy a house and then the market crashes and they lose it through no fault of their own. This should not happen. A policy such as this will help prevent such injustices from happening.

    How many millions have we lost so far from the Nats’ short-sighted decision to cut the Cullen Fund’s contributions?

    How many are we about to lose when the double-dip into a full depression happens? Paper money is not wealth.

    § During downturns, consider low interest Reserve Bank funding for new housing

    All housing should be financed with 0% interest loans from the RSBNZ. These loans will have strict limitations on them to prevent a housing bubble.

    § Right for workers to require a workplace Pay and Employment Equity assessment

    What does that mean?

    § Electricity pricing entitling every household to a certain amount of low cost electricity

    Similar to my thoughts on the matter. Base plans with x amount of electricity for x amount of dollars with any extra used being charged at about 10x (or more) the present rate. This would both supply cheap electricity (the base amount) as well as encourage energy savings (because going over the base amount will be damned expensive). And, of course, bring the electricity sector back into full single entity government ownership so that it can be rationally managed.

    § Government consultation with unions, business and others on all policy development

    Make workplaces co-operatives (yes, a legislated change that removes ownership) instead of the dictatorial capitalist system and you get to have consultation between business and government. A lot simpler and more cost effective as you’ve removed the parasite element (the capitalists) that works hard to prevent rational discourse and planning.

    • Nick C 4.1

      “Stop borrowing money and start printing it and then spending it directly into the economy. Bailouts don’t work as they just ensure that the rich stay rich and don’t help anyone else as well as keeping an uneconomic unit going.”

      Hows that working out in Zimbabwe?

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        How’s countries borrowing all their money from banks working out in Greece? In Ireland? In Iceland? In the UK? In the US? In Japan?

        Try again Nick C.

  5. Bill 5

    There are some fine sounding words in there.

    I’m only going to comment briefly on two points that are suggested. (Actually, one is suggested and the other is implied by the language that is employed.)

    Second point first, then.

    The Alternative Economic Strategy Summary’ states: “We want a society that is fairer, that tolerates neither poverty nor the human costs of high inequality, and where people are no longer disadvantaged by being women, Maori or Pasifika.”

    Which is okay as far as it goes (there are many more identifiable criteria that attract disadvantage, but that’s beside the point). The implication is that the CTU as a body, currently accepts those very things that it wishes society didn’t tolerate. Read the quote again if you’re not sure what I mean. Was it unthinkable for the CTU to have stated something connected and vital…maybe along the lines of : “We are not willing to tolerate the human costs of high inequality such as poverty. And we are not willing to tolerate women or Maori or Pasifika being disadvantaged”

    Anyway. My second point, which was my principle one is simply this.

    Their particular brand of consultation is a recipe for being co-opted. There is no point at all in having worker reps sitting in on management. It does nothing to empower workers and everything to empower and deepen managerial cultures of exploitation and exclusion. There is a bloody good reason for unions, or any other worker body for that matter, being at arms length from bosses in a hierarchical work environment.

    The document also calls for worker co-operatives to be encouraged. And yet I’ll wager that there are no people in the union movement with any experience of setting up or sustaining co-operative ventures. If there were, then propositions for worker buy outs of businesses that were considering redundancies would be commonplace instead of unheard of.

    So anyway. There is no strategy. The whole thing, disappointingly, looks like a pot-pourri of fine sounding words and shopping list/wish lists with no concrete underpinning.

    Best I’d hope for is that it might generate debate that could eventuate in a strategy. And if anybody from within the CTU wants to engage me on matters of genuine worker participation, as opposed to the lip service type suggested in the documents, and/or the formation and ongoing viability of worker co-ops and collectives, I’m all ears.

    And not holding my breath. Because I suspect that the documents are being viewed as an end in themselves and therefore as reason enough for some gratuitous backslapping on a job well done on the way to a celebratory jar.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      If there were, then propositions for worker buy outs of businesses that were considering redundancies would be commonplace instead of unheard of.

      The unions should have been looking at that option from the 1990s but I doubt that they’ve thought beyond the hierarchical model enough, if at all, to do so. Even if they did they’d probably keep it as “union owned” rather than as a true co-operative.

  6. Green Tea 6

    Like most things CTU its big on words but low on action.

    • Craig Glen Eden 6.1

      Unlike National and John Key who have been so sucksessful in closing the wages gap with Australia!

      Stop smoking the green tea green tea.

  7. JD 7

    “Like most things CTU its big on words but low on action.”

    But they do stand outside (albeit the wrong venue) and wave placards which does constitute ‘action’.

    I think you meant to say they were low on influence.

    BTW have they managed to drive the filming of the Hobbit to eastern europe yet?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      BTW have they managed to drive the filming of the Hobbit to eastern europe yet?

      Try standing up for fellow NZ workers for a change instead of backing the corporates by insisting that we compete on the same basis as low wage countries with no minimum working conditions.

    • Eddie 7.2

      The CTU is trying to negotiate a solution (even if the govt is trying to claim the credit). The dispute is between MEAA and the producers, not the CTU.

      I think the protesters at the Nat party conference you’re referring to were Unite.

      captcha – distinguish (i love this thing)

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    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    2 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    2 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    3 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    7 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago

  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
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  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
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  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
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  • Government working to keep air freight moving
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  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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