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Dancing on a head of a pin on asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, June 5th, 2010 - 59 comments
Categories: capitalism, election 2011, national, privatisation - Tags: ,

On Wednesday, Jim Anderton asked John Key about two times when he explicitly ruled out ever selling Kiwibank and asked him how that meshed with his promise not to sell assets in the first term, with the clear implication that they will sell them in a second term (if they get one). Yesterday, Labour followed up with half a dozen more examples stretching over two years of Key explicitly ruling out selling Kiwibank.

So, once Kiwibank was definitely off the selling table forever, now it’s only definitely off for another year or so. A major reversal of past policy and a clear signal that the Nats are planning to sell it, eventually but not now.

After banging their heads together for a while, Key spinmeisters have come up with a little semantic trick to align the two positions: Kiwibank will never be sold, unless Key changes his mind.

In other words: I will never break my promise to you, unless I decide I want to.

Now, in all fairness, Key has said he will campaign on the issue at the next election if they decide to go ahead with sales. Probably. The term ‘seeking a mandate’ is a funny one. Doubtless, National will argue they have been mandated to allow mining on some areas of Schedule 4 land, for example.

Actually, I think what we’ll see is sales that aren’t sales. There’s more than one way to skin the public assets cat.

The government could require SOEs to issue non-voting shares or bonds and pay the proceeds to the crown. Or SOEs could be forced to parcel their assets into subsidiary companies that will then be sold. The ownership of the asset would stay with the crown but the ownership of the profit stream would go to the private buyers (mums and dads like Michael and Sarah Fay). Effectively, we’re left owning an empty shell but the Nats would argue they haven’t actually sold the ownership of the company so it isn’t an asset sale.

Expect more dancing on a head of a pin on this issue. National really, really wants to sell assets – it’ll be worth a fortune to their rich mates who can’t seem to generate any success on their own without a government hand out. But the public is firmly against asset sales. It would be an election losing campaign issue. So, National will play a game of ambiguous promises and confusing financial moves to sell without appearing to sell.

59 comments on “Dancing on a head of a pin on asset sales”

  1. Lazy Susan 1

    Agreed Marty G. National’s contortions around asset sales are extrordinary.

    Breaking News – Key’s flipped, or flopped, or fudged, or dodged on Kiwibank again. Now it’s no sale of Kiwibank “under my leadership”

    I’ve posted about this in Open Mike

  2. Jim Nald 2

    Yippee, now my wonderful National Party can claim to be aspirationally ambitiously ambiguous.

  3. Geo 3

    The real question is ,does J Key know something we don’t??
    Is there going to be a leadership change?

    “Prime Minister John Key has changed his position on the sale of Kiwibank and now says there will be no sale or part sale while he is Prime Minister.”

    capture:changed

    • Lazy Susan 3.1

      I don’t think so before the next election but this is a strong signal he will go if Nats win a second term.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        Which is especially crazy as Key was one of the main reasons they won the last election with as many seats as they did.

        That’s quite a bait and switch, unless of course they “seek a mandate” to change leadership in the election, too.

        • Lazy Susan 3.1.1.1

          That’s why he would stay to fight the 2011 election.

          No need to “seek a mandate’ to change leadership though – Key would hang on for 6-9months then just say something like “my work is done… time to move on… allow fresh blood to come through .. bullsit..bullshit” and quietly go.

          • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1.1

            Yes, but my point is that that the electorate would not be very impressed, I don’t think.

            *Especially* if the purpose of such a leadership change is to allow asset sales and superannuation changes that they had ruled out under Key. If you choose between Labour who won’t sell assets, or National with Key who won’t sell assets, and after you vote in National they get rid of Key and sell assets, you’ll be really pissed off, I would think.

            • Lazy Susan 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Hi Lanthanide. My point is that if National were to win a second term what would be more important to them?

              (i) Selling assets, reducing taxes for the wealthy and running down and/or privatising the public sector i.e. neo-liberal ideology

              or

              (ii) Getting a third term (highly unlikely anyway)

              I would suggest the former and that all this is part of a long game.

              • Lanthanide

                Or, alternatively, they hang around for the 2nd term, get a 3rd term, and at that point Key resigns.

                But yes, it seems we both agree that doing such a change would gaurantee they’d lose the next election (and Labour would campaign to re-nationalise any assets sold without compensation to the buyers, as a result of National’s duplicitous bait-and-switch?) and IMO I just don’t think they would do that, whereas you think they would.

              • seth

                Reducing taxes for the wealthy? Ummmm…..why can’t you just say reducing taxes? Bitter much?

            • the pinkpostman 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Too bloody late after they have won .
              As discussed yesterday . Never ever trust the political Right.
              Tories are a devious lot , this with their close connection to Crosby/Textor and their bankers and big business friend make National a very dangerous and sneaky lot.
              As have said many times why ordinary working people vote for them I just cannot understand.Having said that ,the fact that they do shows just how clever and devious they are,

      • Jenny 3.1.2

        Hi Susan, Remembering that once Bill English was leader of the National Party I went to wikipedia to find out the reason for his demotion.

        This is what was revealed:

        In October 2001 English replaced Shipley as head of the National Party and thus as Leader of the Opposition…..
        In the 2002 elections, National suffered its worst electoral defeat ever, gaining barely more than twenty percent of the vote…..
        By late 2003, however, National’s performance in opinion polls remained poor. The party had briefly increased its popularity in the year following the election, but by October its support had fallen to levels only slightly better than what it achieved in the last ballot….

        It seems that no matter how much this immoral thug is admired inside the National Party, The National Party under his leadership is apparently unelectable.

        This was shown when as National Party leader at the nadir of his unpopularity, Bill English entered a charity boxing match to try and raise his profile. His boxing opponent, actor Ted Clarke delighted in giving English a sound thrashing. That Clarke’s delight was shared by the general public was not lost on the National Party.

        • Lazy Susan 3.1.2.1

          Thanks Jenny.

          I agree that the National Party is unelectable with English as their leader. We know that, the National Party knows that and so does English. That’s why (as I posted on Open Mike yesterday) he would be their man to step into Key’s shoes and do the dirty work.

          IMO he’s driven by ideology alone, with no regard for the electorate or what makes good policy for NZ.

  4. I always wondered who these fay, rich and white mums & dads were.

  5. Jim Nald 5

    As I posted elsewhere this morning:

    I’m not selling my mother .. while I call myself her son.

  6. john 6

    Private Investor money all round the World is in trouble with economic collapse and has had to be bailed out by the taxes of hardworking people plus the cutback in social services just to keep the Wealth Worship compound interest fiesta for the Rich to keep going. These rich want to make money from unproductive speculation and money for old rope interest, they do not invest all that money in productive enterprise which has high risk such as starting up manufacture of an alternative energy industry. Answer cannibilize for profits the Public Sector by Privatization making it into a for the rich money fiesta instead of a social asset for all Kiwis. We are already extremely divided in terms of wealth and income differences,This Act National Government want to continue the process of turning us into a feudalistic society of rich barons and poor serfs working for minimal wages and next to none social wage. Someone at the last Act Conference put forward the idea of privatizing hospitals! All this neo-liberal rubbish ideology originated in the USA which is in the most awful mess with 40,000,000 Americans on food stamps and whole States bankrupt and huge unemployment while being ministered to as they’re chucked out of their homes by Oprah who is a Billionaire twice over!!! Is that the type of society we want? Well you voted it in last election!

  7. tsmithfield 7

    So, where exactly have National actually SAID they are going to sell anything?

    Key has said that he is keen for the Cullen Fund to invest more of its funds in NZ. So, if the Cullen Fund were to purchase shares in Kiwibank, would that qualify as “selling” Kiwibank?

    • Marty G 7.1

      they haven’t said they won’t sell assets despite being repeatedly asked. It’s pretty clear what they want to do.

      “if the Cullen Fund were to purchase shares in Kiwibank, would that qualify as “selling’ Kiwibank?”

      Yup. because the Cullen Fund is due to start selling down its assets in 2030. Anyway, if it wasn’t privatisation, what would be the difference from keeping it where it is now?

      • Emp 7.1.1

        You’re so dishonest Marty. Key has repeatedly said there are no plans to sell any state assets, and if National makes any plans to do so National will go to the electorate with those plans.

        What a stupid campaign you’re running. What’s even more stupid is that as a labour party hack you’re ignoring that Goff was a senior minister in a labour government that sold more state assets than all other governments combined, and they did so WITHOUT AN ELECTORAL MANDATE.

        Key’s word is trusted which is why he’s the most popular prime minister ever. Goff isn’t, which is why he’s the least popular opposition leader ever.

        • Marty G 7.1.1.1

          No. Key has repeatedly said they will not sell assets in the first term. There’s only one logical way to read that: they want to sell assets in the second term.

          It’s not my job to defend Goff and I’m more interested in today and the future than 20 odd years ago.

          • Emp 7.1.1.1.1

            Marty if you want to play that game then Goff won’t reduce GST because he hasn’t said he will, only they will “consider it”, won’t reverse the tax cuts because they haven’t made firm commitments, won’t change ACC back to the shambles it was in 18 months ago etc etc. How dishonest is that, to go around the country saying “axe the tax” when you have no intention of doing it.

            Government priorities change over time. It’s the responsibility of political parties to adjust to the changing economic environment and seek mandates for their changes. That’s what key will do. Refreshing from Goff and Labour that just went ahead and did it anyway.

            • Marty G 7.1.1.1.1.1

              The ‘not in the first term’ line clearly means ‘in the second term’. your cliched newbie attempt at trying to run distraction doesn’t change that.

              National is planning asset sales, that’s what this post is about. Come out and say whether you support asset sales or not, rather than trying to distract from the issue.

              • Emp

                Bullshit marty. You can’t say National is planning asset sales any more than I can say Goff is planning no tax changes. Your repeated campaign just makes you look like a stupid hack. Give your readers credit for not being stupid.

                I think some assets should be sold if the electorate is told up front what assets will be sold and the benefits laid out for voters to decide. I don’t support governments being silent and doing it anyway without an electoral mandate. Goff didn’t have a mandate in the 4th labour government but he championed it anyway. That’s why goff has no credibility but key does.

                • Marty G

                  i don’t support the 4th labour or 1990s national asset sales either. and there is no economic case for privatisation

                  • Emp

                    Tell that to most economists marty. What sweeping bullshit you talk. “No economic case for privatisation”.

                    For a guy who believes government should run up debt to gamble on banking operations you really have no idea of economics.

                    • Marty G

                      yes, i do. and i’ve seen plenty of arguments for selling that will enrich the wealthy and foreigners but none that will boost economic growth

                    • Emp

                      That’s because you always conventiently ignore any evidence that doesn’t support your partisan opinion. That makes you a partisan hack.

                      Go and read more. There’s plenty of evidence that says state asset sales improve the performance of those assets and therefore economic growth. In fact the large body of evidence overwhelmingly supports this position. It is as overwhelming as the scientific opinion on man made climate change.

                      Yes you can dispute that asset sales benefit the country but carrying on with your partisan bullshit that the economics doesn’t support asset sales makes you look as stupid and irrational as the folk who say climate change isn’t happening.

                    • lprent []

                      There’s plenty of evidence that says state asset sales improve the performance of those assets and therefore economic growth.

                      Where? You’re asserting that you can point to such evidence – I bet you’re just fetching the claim from your navel lint.

                      As far as I can see almost everything shows that there are few benefits to the public from privatizing natural monopolies, and a whole pile of downsides to the public who originally owned those assets. Sure it may be useful in the short-term to initial shareholders as they flick the asset to suckers. The buyers usually seem to get screwed as well if they hold those shares for too long as the assets are stripped.

                      Cite something or brand yourself as a simple bullshit artist who really doesn’t have any idea what you are talking about – which is what you appear to be.

                    • kelsey []

                      Probably the only thing that Jim Anderton’s said that I agree with is that the only thing worse than a state monopoly is a private monopoly.

                      Despite everything, there’s a lot the left and right can agree on – where there isn’t a market, privatisation isn’t a great idea. It wouldn’t make sense, for example, to privatise the police.

                      However the notion that the only difference between a state owned organisation and a private one is the profits the private one needs is false. The difference which seems to be ignored by Marty and others is that of behaviour. State owned organizations are significantly constrained in their behaviour which leads to less dynaminism and matching of services to demand. This is where private organizations can do better. As a silly example, do you really think your local coffee shop would do better as a KiwiCoffee-government-owned enterprise?

                      What if it’s a company with exporting ambitions, and wants to borrow capital to set up foreign operations? Is that a sensible use of tax payer funds if they compete with, say, health and education? Does it make sense to increase taxes on everybody, or let those with surplus cash fund these expansions (i.e., they can invest, rather than forcing middle NZ with debts to invest)

                      If you don’t, then the question becomes where do we draw the line between what would benefit from being state owned and what would not.

                      Kiwibank would seem a good candidate since it operates in a competitive environment with other private players. The reality though is that the goverment has over 50b of assets in the form of companies. So to a large extent the debate is a bit irrelevant – the focus for the government has to be on making the performance of these organizations get up to speed. The government claims to have most of its efforts in this arena, despite the fact that if successful they would in fact undermine a lot of the supposed motivation to float said assets.

                    • Marty G

                      Emp. you’re a guest here. Watch your manners.

                      You don’t know how much I’ve read on this topic or how I’ve read it. It is my opinion that none of the economic evidence supports privatisation. No-one has made a case that NZ would be better off with more asset sales.

                      You can see my reasoning in any number of posts on this site under the category ‘privatisation’

                      You can judge what I write and offer your opinions on it. And you’re welcome to, as long as you don’t act rudely.

                    • Akldnut

                      Emp
                      There’s plenty of evidence that says state asset sales improve the performance of those assets and therefore economic growth.

                      Yep classic examples would be a Tranzrail, BNZ, Telecom, Forestries……..

                      Can you actually name any that have improved our economic growth more than putting profits into multinational bank accounts?

                      Serious question BTW

                • The bullshit is yours Emp.!
                  Key has said many times that he will not sell Kiwi Bank “This term”(sic,) as Marty says there is only one way to interpret that “he wants to sell it next term The Nats have hinted at other SOE sales .including State TV, radio , the Concert programme is in grave danger of being sold of to advertising companies. ACC that’s a certainty ( Lord bloody Michael Ashcroft my bet to buy) .
                  I could go on .The fact is privatization is in the DNA of the Nats and thats what they want to do.
                  Of course one could ask how anyone can believe Ky at any time ,when he cant even tell the truth about his winery ownership.

        • r0b 7.1.1.2

          Key’s word is trusted

          Wrong, just ask Tuhoe.

          which is why he’s the most popular prime minister ever.

          Wrong, when did he top Clark’s 59%?

      • tsmithfield 7.1.2

        “they haven’t said they won’t sell assets despite being repeatedly asked. It’s pretty clear what they want to do.”

        I haven’t said I won’t murder a hundred children sleeping in their beds tonight. That means I’m going to, right?

        • Marty G 7.1.2.1

          If you were asked if you intended to break up with your partner or sell your car and you said ‘not now’ then the reasonable conclusion is you will eventually.

          • tsmithfield 7.1.2.1.1

            No, thats not a conclsion, Marty. Its a possibility. One of many. I might eventually decide not to sell my car, but overhaul it instead, or go to relationship counselling rather than break up with my partner.

            “not now” does not imply an inevitable course of action will eventually occur.

            What you are doing is mounting a strawman argument with no foundation whatsoever. Why not wait until the Nats say what they actually intend to do before launching into a half-baked attack.

            • Marty G 7.1.2.1.1.1

              keep telling yourself that, ts.

              interesting how you’re so desperate to believe that the nats aren’t for pro-privatisation. I assume you’ll be joining me in strongly opposing the privatisation that they will put forward.

              • tsmithfield

                I actually think they probably are favourably considering privatisation of some things. However, I’ll reserve my position on whether I think the Nat’s plans are a good idea or not until I have actually seen something concrete from them. I think it would be a good idea if you did the same rather than constructing strawman arguments based on the worst possible incarnation of privatisation that you can imagine.

                For the record, I am not actually in favour of privatising every state asset. There are certain things I think are better in public ownership. The power network would be an example of something I think should never have been privatised.

                • Marty G

                  my assumptions are based on what happens in real privatisations, not a worse case scenario.

                • felix

                  Shorter tknorris:

                  “The Nats haven’t said they want to privatise. Therefore I don’t support privatisation.

                  However I believe they will announce their intention to privatise at some point. At that point I will support privatisation.”

                  You really are a sad little weed.

  8. Ed 8

    Selling assets is, at least currently, politically unacceptable – the excesses of the ‘within living memory’ real life examples are too numerous, but we some seem to think w cannot learn from our mistakes. Outsourcing is of course quite OK. It’s a well established way to access specialist leadership and expertise without the costs of trying to develop that expertise yourself. That expertise does not of course come without a small market premium however – who could begrudge paying the market price for those skills and that knowledge. In some cases, the government has spent a lot of money in the past developing infrastructure; and there may be capital costs that have been incurred in the past, and may be in the future. Rather than burdening government finances with the costs of raising further capital for maintaining a facility, the private market can supply that with a lot less fuss – and again there may be a small margin for that skill and expertise that we are buying in, but who would begrudge that. So we can have an outsourcing contract that provides better service (private contractor is have to be more efficient; as they need to survive and grow a competitive market – but some commentators do seem to be confused about what they are more efficient at doing). If the total cost to government is less than they were previously paying (including capital charges for infrastructure), isn’t that a win win for everyone?

    To give a good example, our government must be spending a bundle in the new prison on Auckland. Lets suppose the total capital costs are the equivalent of $x million a year, and the costs of running the current prison are $y per year. If we could persuade a private company to manage the new prison for say 80% of $(x+y) per year, that would be a huge saving, wouldn’t it? And if we can get such a good deal, it only seems reasonable to give a long term contract of say 25 years. By then the prison may need to be refurbished, but that is something our government can do as efficiently as the private sector, so having the government come back in at that stage seems only fair, and in the best interests of us all.

    You just know a public private partnership can give the best of both sides contributing to take our nation . . .

    • Marty G 8.1

      why can the private provider provide the same service for 80% of the price while making a profit? If it has ways of saving money, the public system can do them too with no profit on top

      • Ed 8.1.1

        Sounds too good to be true? Shame on you to have so little faith in private companies. Its all in the negotitations, MartyG. Compare the income equivalent of the capital costs of building the new prison (equivalent to the interest plus capital repayment costs if it was all financed from borrowings), plus the costs of running the current prison (which is known to be inefficient) with the running costs alone of a new prison (yes you would include an adjustment if the new prison was ‘larger’, but that’s a minor detail . . .) . Would you find 90% to be more believable? Comparing apples with pears you can make the numbers sound really really good. Perhaps I could convince you that if the private contractor raises the capital (at higher costs than the government) that it is reasonable to keep all the assets and liabilities off the government balance sheet . . .

        • Marty G 8.1.1.1

          I’m not arguing with your made up numbers.

          “Compare the income equivalent of the capital costs of building the new prison (equivalent to the interest plus capital repayment costs if it was all financed from borrowings), plus the costs of running the current prison (which is known to be inefficient) with the running costs alone of a new prison…. Perhaps I could convince you that if the private contractor raises the capital (at higher costs than the government) that it is reasonable to keep all the assets and liabilities off the government balance sheet .

          The government wants a prison built and run. All the capital and operational costs of that must ultimately fall on the government. It’s just a matter of when it pays and to whom.

          So, can outsourcing the operations to the private sector save money?

          No, it shouldn’t. Any money savings that the private sector government can make the government can make too – there’s no such thing as private sector magic that means they can save where the government can’t. Plus the private sector needs to make a profit.

      • seth 8.1.2

        You’ve obviously never worked in a government department Marty……. having experienced it during the peak years of the previous Labour government, it was a complete and utter joke the amount of money being pissed away……

        Thats how you provide 80% cost for the SAME services when privatisating, as well as turning a tidy profit.

  9. randal 9

    the government must stay on national. it is not the nineties where the whole kit and kaboodle was given away because no one could see into their machinations and more importantly publish them.
    now with the net they are open to supervision and the opposition must oppose.

  10. richgraham 10

    Thee is an extensivee article in the NZ herald Business section today about Kiwibank, in which the reasons for all of this political shilly-shallying over Kiwibank are identified. Why don’t you all go and read that article “why Kiwibank is hungry for capital” chaps/chappesses (the author is Mr Gaynor), and get your feet back on the ground.
    This blog entry by Marty and many the comments in it, to me typify why the left continues to lose ground in NZ, and will end up being unelectable for aeons.
    Come on Labour wake up !

    • Marty G 10.1

      no-one’s arguing that Kiwibank doesn’t need more capital. it’s a question of how it gets it. the cheapest way is by holding on to its profits for a while, not paying dividends to the govt – that’s effectively borrowing at sovereign rates

      • Fisiani 10.1.1

        The cheapest way for Kiwibank to get more capital is to break it’s contract with the Government. The best way for Kiwibank to get more capital is to have it raised by NZ investors. The best way to have NZ investors is to offer them share options. Offering them share options is not selling Kiwibank. If it owned in whole or in majority by the Government then it is not sold.

        • Marty G 10.1.1.1

          do you know what a share option is? at some point, they mature.

          What contract with the government are you talking about?

          Any investor or lender demands a rate of return that varies with, among other things, who they are lending to. the lowest rate of return is always on sovereign lending, much lower than the rate of return private investors via the stockmarket demand.

        • Lazy Susan 10.1.1.2

          And so pass ownership from all Kiwis to a few and ultimately to the competition i.e. Australian banks. I usually respect Gaynor’s ideas but this one’s dumb.

          It’s fraught with regularatory difficulties and has the additional overheads of a share float and being a public listed company. In addition, as Marty G has pointed out, it’s unnecessary to raise the very small amount of capital required.

          Interesting how National is now interested in growing the bank they never wanted started!

  11. BLiP 11

    Great post MaryG. This privatisation-by-stealth program by National Ltdâ„¢ is evident in the way it has gone about selling Auckland – set up a committee of cronies, load the body with huge debt ($200m+ already) and leave whatever comes behind with the TINA argument to sell off vast chunks. Meanwhile, in Christchurch, National Ltdâ„¢ hasn’t even bothered to pantomime democracy and has effectively removed any obstacle to the privatisation of regional assets. The other tactic in play is the privatisation by a thousand cuts vis-a-vis Whanau Ora, ACC and now WINZ.

  12. Nick C 12

    “National really, really wants to sell assets it’ll be worth a fortune to their rich mates who can’t seem to generate any success on their own without a government hand out.”

    Actually what was worth a fortune to the rich was Labours buyback of kiwirail. Deal of the century.

  13. Jenny 13

    Most businesses make a surplus, often called profit. Who gets this surplus and what they do with it depends on who owns the business.

    For instance Telecom which makes an annual profit approaching $1 billion
    to do with as they wish.

    Whatever that is, it is not for increasing infrastructure, that’s for sure.

    That’s being left to the taxpayer.

    The role out of broadband in this country, which Telecom refuses to invest in and which the lack of is widely acknowledged as a crimp on economic growth, is having to be paid for by the taxpayer at a cost of, according to last month’s budget of $248 million over 4 years.

    How can this be considered better for the country?

    What else could Telecom’s almost $1 billion surplus have been used for, if it was controlled by the public sector.

    The 2010 budget reveals that the taxpayer pays $4.2 billion for tertiary education. Tertiary education is a public good providing the highly skilled people needed to maintain a modern economy. Yet universities up and down the country are having to put caps on student enrollment, not because these students are not qualified to go to university but because the universities are facing a short fall in funding for the demand they face.

    Without the benefit of higher education according to the universities, due to the recession most of these young people will go straight on the dole.

    Not only will this be a tragic waste of human resources it will act as a further brake on the economy.

    How can this be considered better for the country?

    Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has admitted:

    Enrolments were naturally higher during a recession, “but the reality is that that is all the funding we have”.

    In response to this lack of ‘funding’, Steven Joyce’s government is determined to cut government income further with privatisations, which allied with tax cuts will lessen the government funding not only of education but health care and other social provisions. This is all in line with the blindly political, (and self serving), neo-liberal mantra about the need for smaller government provision, and that private provision is better. (Returning huge surpluses and profits to their mates is never mentioned, and if it is, only as a happy side effect of privatisation.)

    If we were able to take the $248 million needed for broadband roll out from Telecom’s profits, this would still leave more than enough to fund a place in university for everyone qualified and willing and able to enter higher education.

    Thousands of extra highly qualified graduates could make the difference between a successful economy and a failing one.

    But oh no, the private interests of Telecom come first.

    And so it will be with any other privatised state assets.

  14. Jenny 15

    While these parasites are living it up.
    A week after the robber budget, the Sunday Star Times goes all apocalyptic warning for the rest of us:

    Brace yourselves – the four horsemen of a grim winter of rising bills are on their way

  15. Adrian 16

    Is’nt that the point Kelsey, state orgs are constrained in their behaviour so that they don’t regularly fall over because of personal issues, such as greed,disinterest or incompetence of owners or managers. They have to answer to a fairly tough board.. Cabinet usually, who mostly have an eye on the next election.

  16. Jum 17

    What was all that about this morning on the business section of The Nation with the guy espousing a Kiwibank cooperative? That’s still a slippery slope; look at the dairy cooperative shareholders with all the pressure of getting capital from the market place and in danger of losing their control over their own businesses.

    Let’s do what Sam suggested; government could issue the amount needed to bring Kiwibank up to par with their rural lending expansion – about two days worth of government spend according to him.

    The garbage this government is spreading is untrue; there is a great future for Kiwibank as long as it stays in New Zealanders’ control under government/public ownership. This government’s backers’ greed is showing and their plan is to cut out competition which leaves money in New Zealand and not in Australia, or elsewhere.

    The liar Jkeyll will sell our bank because that is what he has been instructed to do. Pesky Kiwis mustn’t be allowed to stand in the way of market forces and conservative, authoritarian world government by the stateless, immoral and unethical moneymen.

    The heathens are at the gate and they wear armani.

  17. felix 18

    Interesting reading the comments from Ed, emp, and others on this topic.

    It’s like we’re supposed to pretend that the 80s and 90s never happened and we have no real world experience of privatisation in this country, and their ideas are new, bold, brave and untested.

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    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    2 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    3 hours ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    8 hours ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    12 hours ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    14 hours ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    14 hours ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    15 hours ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    19 hours ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    21 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    21 hours ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    21 hours ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 day ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    2 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    2 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • 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
    2 weeks 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
    15 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
    17 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
    18 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
    18 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
    18 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
    21 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
    2 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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    3 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 ...
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    3 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 ...
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    3 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 ...
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    3 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, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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    6 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 ...
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    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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    7 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. ...
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    7 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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    7 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    1 week ago
  • 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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    2 weeks ago
  • 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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    2 weeks ago