Delta Covid – the battle so far

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, September 14th, 2021 - 65 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, covid-19, health, jacinda ardern, supercity - Tags:

As Tamaki Makaurau enters week four of lockdown things are at an interesting stage.

Daily infection rates have dropped steadily but plateaued recently. We all cheered when they reduced and the vast majority of us thought we were going to deal with delta the same way we had dealt with the other variants. But recent incursions and news has suggested that we may not get out of this as easily as we thought.

The first lock down lasted for nearly five weeks. This lockdown will do the same, at least.

My impression is that this time the response is much more sophisticated.  Instead of being fed daily infection numbers we now have infection numbers, are they epidemiologically linked, is the source of their infection unknown.  Multiple new infections is superficially bad but if they are from known infection sources and they have not been out in the community while infectious then all good.

I hope I am not tempting fate but Aotearoa has a chance of doing something other nations have not been able to do and that is beating back Delta.

The reasons are pretty simple, complete respect for the scientific advice amongst the Government and the vast majority of the population having trust in what is happening and being willing to do their part.  Instead of letting big headed political egos make a final call, influenced by the preferences of party donors, Aotearoa decided to do what the intelligencia advised us to do.

The vaccination roll out has recently accelerated and New Zealand has some of the highest daily vaccination rates in the world.  We are making our way up the table of OECD nations and are now ahead of Australia,Mexico, Colombia, Latvia, Slovenia in terms of doses administered per head of population.

And the roll out is proceeding as planned, but with a recent surge.

The rollout has quietened the naysayers who have complained that everything was bad.  As I have said before it is the end position that is important, not the mid way position.  And because community spread has been so limited we have had more time to make sure the roll out is done properly.

And for those who were claiming that the country would “run out” of vaccines recent deals conducted with the Socialist empires of Spain and Denmark have stopped that particular scenario from happening.  Who would have thought that Ardern’s Socialist Youth contacts would have been so helpful.

There is one aspect of the spread of the virus which is clear, it hits poor areas hardest.  Mangere, Favona, Massey, Manurewa, Otara, Papatoetoe and Henderson are all low socio economic areas,  And you know when numbers are boosted by 7 or 8 people in a household all succumbing to the virus that overcrowding is a feature.

With 68% now of the target population now having had a first vaccine and 77% being booked the next month should see the rate continue to improve.  We may still get out of this in remarkably good shape.

And there will be a debate one day about when we open up and change our approach.  But that day is not today.  In my view elimination remains the only viable strategy.

65 comments on “Delta Covid – the battle so far ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    At this stage the majority of NZers according to the polls published, are still holding out against mass deaths of their friends, family, and neighbours. Long may that last. Public Health is being put before private profit, and science before social media comments sections.

    Sure many of the complainers in the media day after day are petit bourgeois rather than monopoly capitalists, they are owner operators or running small outfits or SMEs. Some of them seem baffled that running a business is not a right that entitles them to universal love and support! It is a competitive dog eat dog scenario with no guarantees–welcome to what wage workers have faced forever–uncertainty and intermittent income.

    It would be nice to have an equal number of working class people describing trying to live in cramped shit holes on reduced or no wages to complement the hard done by cafe owners. The Overseas Student, Mass Tourism, and Migrant Worker tap has been turned off, and New Zealanders need to get used to it. Anyone else notice unemployment is down and there is upward pressure on wages?

    The next pressure has to be on the Labour Caucus from a united movement for promptly addressing poverty and a state house mega build. If COVID is not fought to the bitter end, this country will become difficult to govern, unpleasant to live in, and the doom and gloom merchants will get their wish.

    • gsays 1.1

      In respect to wages, last month I received a 4.75% increase without asking.

      Contrast that with a lifetime in hospo where wages went backwards, shifts got longer, conditions diminished and the work load increased.

    • Patricia Bremner 1.2

      smiley100% Tiger Mountain.

  2. lprent 2

    And there will be a debate one day about when we open up and change our approach. But that day is not today. In my view elimination remains the only viable strategy.

    My view as well. When we hit somewhere between 80% and 90% of the whole population – including children under 12 – then that is a discussion we can have.

    Everything that we see from countries who have had what they thought were high vaccination rates, like the Uk and Israel, and then hit delta – well it just showed the level of arrogantly daft hubris. They are struggling with not overloading the health system, and don't have much capacity left for further surges.

    The chaotic nature of the US health system just demonstrates what happens when a state is under-prepared to deal with less optimistic scenarios with some states starting to dig out the freezer trucks for their dead again, of having their citizens start fleeing to the medical systems of neighbouring states with more rational politicians.

    Not to mention the unfolding disaster of NSW. But that looks like it is heading to a major health system overload as well.

    There is no pressing need for the majority of NZ citizens to risk that – especially with a bare-to-the-bone health system. We should profit from the mistakes of others and learn from their over-eager mistakes. Take a measured policy rather than listening to the self-interested and the deluded who don’t appear to understand the issues. Barry Soper for instance

    Elimination while getting vaccination levels to a high level. Then start looking at how much the taxes have to go up to maintain a health system capable of surviving waves of a global pandemic. On that last point – start with the under funding of Middlemore and the poverty factors in South Auckland and other suburbs that make them outbreak centres.

    If the wealthy want to prevent lockdowns because it bad for business, then they need to accept that their windfall tax cuts and overly friendly policies towards business costs in past decades are the primary cause of the lockdowns.

  3. Andre 3

    A thought on how Delta has changed the game:

    Before Delta, the high real world effectiveness of vaccines and low transmissibility of pre-Delta strains meant there was a real hope of a post-pandemic world without covid.

    Delta's high transmissibility and the lower real-world vaccine effectiveness against Delta means covid is here to stay.

    That means if we want to maintain elimination as a permanent strategy for New Zealand, it has a much much higher cost than it did six months ago. Much longer impositions of really draconian control measures like level 4 lockdowns will be required, compared to six months ago.

    In terms of freedom of movement and freedom of association getting removed by lockdowns, the price of maintaining elimination against Delta after everyone has had reasonable opportunity to get vaccinated is much higher than I find acceptable.

    Unless there's a sudden massive rush that overwhelms the vaccine centres this week, as far as I'm concerned nine weeks from today is the day when everyone has had the opportunity to get fully vaccinated. That's a week to cover off the outstanding first jab bookings, six weeks gap, and two weeks after the second jab.

  4. barry 4

    I shudder when they talk about abandoning elimination. I agree that lockdowns need to stop when we have sufficient people vaccinated, but that does not mean living with the virus. It should be treated the same as measles.

    Whenever cases of measles occur contact tracing kicks in and infected people are isolated. In rare cases it gets out of control for a while and sometimes people (mostly children) die. Most of us have a high level of immunity (ether from infection or vaccines) but there are an increasing number who don't. The only reason we can keep it out is because the number of infected people coming here from overseas is small. It could be eradicated, but the extra resources required to eliminate it in some other countries has not been made available.

    With Covid, it will take some time (decades?) before we can stop infected people coming here. That means that there will be outbreaks (even with MIQ, and even with high vaccination rates). But that doesn't mean we give up on elimination. We don't want to be in a position where kiwis are seeding outbreaks abroad.

    • It means better screening tools to catch imported infections without MIQ.
    • It means we keep pushing to raise vaccination rates so that transmission is reduced.
    • It means we keep improving our testing capability so we pick up cases more quickly.
    • It means we look to isolate cases and close contacts.

    To make it work we need to look at new tools which are getting developed all the time (like newer antigen tests). More important though is addressing the overcrowding and inequity, that make it impossible for large groups of people to keep themselves safe, or to get timely healthcare.

    And while we are at it we can eliminate RSV, rheumatic fever, meningococcal disease, and others.

    Lockdowns work, but are not the only way to maintain elimination.

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    The other thing we really need to be doing to battle COVID is increasing our ICU bed numbers massively.

    At some point (once our vacination rates are high enough) we will reopen and there will be a surge in cases. The vaccine will help in protecting the majority of those people who contract the disease, but as we have seen overseas there will still be some unlucky vaccinated people who get hit hard.

    After the vaccine our next layer of defence is ICU. New Zealand currently has 4.6 ICU beds for every 100,000 people. This number has decreased over the past 20 years as the population has grown. We compare poorly to countries with equivalent healthcare systems – the UK has 6.4, Australia 8.9 and Germany 38.7.

    We need to prepare for a future surge and increase our ICU capabilites.

    • Gypsy 5.1

      IMHO a major reason for the governments ultra-cautious approach to lock down's is the inability of our health system to cope with a severe outbreak.

      • Patricia Bremner 5.1.1

        To buy time to vaccinate to strengthen our health systems and to pivot our thinking.

        Building resilience and knowledge. We can do this!!

      • mpledger 5.1.2

        No health system can cope with a severe outbreak. Noone can afford to have that sort of capacity sitting idle until an outbreak occurs.

        • Gypsy 5.1.2.1

          Right on both counts.

        • lprent 5.1.2.2

          They can if the probability of an outbreak approaches 100% for any given year and the economic alternative is a lockdown.

          This is an endemic respite disease that have a natural habitat in socially dense populations like families or congregations or pubs or workspaces.

          The probability of it dying back or vaccinations preventing outbreaks over the next decade is about 0%.

          The economic alternatives are to keep borders closed, laying massive program of better ventilated and larger houses and workspaces, or the cheapest is to add extra ICU capability…..

    • Tricledrown 5.2

      At the begining of Covid we only had 150 ICU beds across NZ.now we have 650 but if we have a NSW out break we will need 1500 .That takes big money and a sustained investment of up to 10 years .ie training enough highly skilled Doctors ,Nurses infrastructure .

      The best option in the shorterm is a combination of vaccination ,testing,Vaccine pasports.Back in the day to travel you had to be vaccinated for the likes of small pox .

      Todays public are not familar with real hardship that our parents grandparents faced wothout antibiotics vaccines .

  6. Gypsy 6

    "And for those who were claiming that the country would “run out” of vaccines recent deals conducted with the Socialist empires of Spain and Denmark have stopped that particular scenario from happening. Who would have thought that Ardern’s Socialist Youth contacts would have been so helpful."

    They shouldn't have been necessary. The government have an elimination strategy that relies on numbers getting vaccinated, yet they didn't order enough vaccine in sufficient time. We aren't even in the top 50 countries in the world for vac rates, and we're 6th from bottom in the OECD for total doses administered.

    According to Graham Le Gros "New Zealand should be trying to get 80 to 90 per cent of the population vaccinated – even with just one jab – to give New Zealand a really good shot."

    We’re well short of that.

  7. A couple of local tweeters also do excellent graphs. @Te_Taipo shows how we are smashing Delta, compared with the 2020 Covid outbreak. @Thoughtfulnz also shares useful resources and different views of public datasets.

    https://twitter.com/Te_Taipo/status/1437583687390928898?s=20

    https://twitter.com/Thoughtfulnz/status/1437354061062279169?s=20

  8. KJT 8

    Thanks to our effective strategy so far, we were in the fortunate position of being able to wait and see what vaccines worked best, and we were able to let less fortunate countries that needed them more take priority. It is doubtfull, despite the claims from the right wing that they would have done the impossible, instantly, ignoring the fact that they would have had us in the same position as Britain 18 months ago, that training, buying and distributing vaccines could have occurred much faster.

    As we heard in the House, in answer to a question about why the Government didn't bribe Phizer to give NZ priority, Phizer were not accomadating bidding wars, which makes "Phizer more principled than the" opposition politician that asked the question.

    Now we are ramping up the process very well.

    • Gypsy 8.1

      We didn't need to bribe Pfizer. We could have just placed our orders months earlier than we did.

      • mpledger 8.1.1

        We put in a lot of money up-front, well before any vaccine was being tested on people. NZ had two problems – we have little leaverage and we were covid-19 free when other countries were swamped. I bet there were lots of discussions about the ethics of sending supply to NZ when other countries were in a desperate situation.

        • Gypsy 8.1.1.1

          NZ's population is a shade over one half of one % of the total worlds population. The quantity of vaccine doses to vaccinate our entire population matters is marginally under sweet FA on a global scale.

          • Incognito 8.1.1.1.1

            Your maths is off.

            World population: ca. 7.9 billion

            NZ population: ca. 5 million, i.e., ca. 0.063% of the World population

            Question for you: what’s the world surplus stock of Covid-19 vaccines at any given time?

            • Gypsy 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Ooops was out by a decimal point. Makes my argument even stronger.

              "what’s the world surplus stock of Covid-19 vaccines at any given time?"

              No idea.

              I do know that the US has been shipping it's surplus covid stocks overseas. And that "Wealthy countries, including the UK, have secured hundreds of millions of covid vaccines that they no longer need or cannot use. And “Western countries and Japan together have roughly 500 million doses of coronavirus vaccines that can be immediately redistributed to poorer nations and, by the end of 2021, this surplus stock will balloon to 1.2 billion, according to a new analysis of global vaccine utilisation and supply set to be released next week” (https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/surplus-covid-19-vaccines-with-rich-nations-to-hit-1-2-billion-doses-101630784951884.html).

              • Incognito

                Look, I understand that you think you’re the smartest simpleton in the room, but your reasoning is that of a RW simpleton. Please sharpen up before you comment on stuff that you clearly don’t understand. OTOH, TDB would welcome you with open arms; they cherish simpleton RWs.

                • Gypsy

                  You asked me a question. I answered it. Not quite sure what your problem is.

                  • Incognito

                    You’re talking out of your arse.

                    Vaccines were a scarce resource globally. No prediction of any possible future surplus stockpiles is changing that. Where, how, and when this intersects with NZ’s vaccine roll-out is something you have not and most likely cannot answer yet in your ignorance you feel cocky enough to criticise it.

                    Do you see my problem now?

                    Please stop digging while you still can; you are not known for knowing when to stop though. Why don’t you join your other moniker who’s gone so silent here?

                    • Gypsy

                      "Where, how, and when this intersects with NZ’s vaccine roll-out is something you have not and most likely cannot answer"

                      No-one could. That is the conundrum all countries faced. But the ones who got in early received their vaccine stocks early and got a higher % of their populations vaccinated. We hesitated, and nearly ran out at a time when other first world countries have surplus stock. So you have (I'm sure unintentionally) provided more ammunition to those who claim we were too slow.

                    • Incognito []

                      You missed the contradiction in your own comment, which doesn’t surprise me because you seem to be too wedded to your own opinion, which was rather obvious from the outset.

                    • Gypsy

                      Which part didn't you understand?

                      Edit – actually that’s uncalled for. I’ll move on.

                    • Incognito []

                      You should ask yourself that question. I’m good knowing what I don’t know, generally speaking, and try to stick to the facts.

                      Edit: yes, let’s move on, shall we?

      • KJT 8.1.2

        Before we had indications of the most effective. Sure!

  9. Patricia Bremner 9

    69% have their first dose. "come on all, let's do this".

  10. Cricklewood 10

    If we do go down the path of a much extended level four lockdown the wage subsidy is going to need to be looked at.

    Already some employers are down to paying subsidy plus ann leave top up if you have it. End of the day $600 a week doesnt pay rent in Auckland. If you dont own a property and can talk to the bank you will burn any savings you have or choose between rent, food and which bills to pay. It will get very ugly very quickly from here hell cant even leave to stay with family if you lose your job or housing at this point.

  11. ianmac 11

    An American young woman goes through the maths of Covid infections re Vaccination. Well worth a look especially from the reluctant ones.

    Tomthunkit™

    @TomthunkitsMind

    Do you feel lucky? Wanna know the odds of you dying from the Delta Variant? These numbers will surprise you. 02 (hope this link finds her.

    https://twitter.com/TomthunkitsMind/status/1437506702258098183?s=20

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 12.1

      That is a fantastic graphic! So often we are hearing "95% etc in hospital are unvaccinated" – of course that is only meaningful when you know what the population rate of vaccination is – this graphic contrasts that beautifully.

    • Anne 12.2

      And I found an oboxious pamphlet in my letterbox today from the Voices of Freedom. The claims they make or infer:

      1. Deaths and cases of serious injury are being reported around the world at an alarming rate. [note they don't say "due to Covid" but that is what they are implying.]
      2. Concern about genotoxicity and serious autoimmunity.
      3. Unknown whether vaccine will cause cancer, sterility or mutate cells [planting the idea the vaccine does all three.]
      4. Animals in prior vaccine trials became very sick when exposed to wild virus.
      5. Only reason to have vaccine is that it might reduce symptoms. [their bold]
      6. Vaccine has not shown to stop you catching Covid or passing it on to others.
      7. All Covid vaccines are experimental. Some trials won't end until 2023.
      8. Vaccine companies are exempt from liability.

      These are presented as the FACTS. [their bold] They invite recipients to go to their site for further info. Haven’t the stomach.

      I suspect this pamphlet is being distributed far and wide and goes beyond the Auckland region. Due to its toxicity, in the middle of a pandemic such garbage should be banned from being circulated publicly in any form.

      No individual’s name or address supplied. I thought it was the law that both must be included.

    • Andre 12.3

      Y'know, us lib'ruls do a lot of handwringing about how qonservatives do so much better at messaging than we do.

      But's it's undeniable we do a much better job of hiding all the radio hosts that die from the vaccine than they do of hiding their radio hosts that die from covid.

      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/09/anti-vax-radio-hosts-dying-covid

  12. In Vino 13

    Obnoxious indeed, Anne.

    If they claim all those points are 'Facts' they would fail 1970s School Cert English.

    In their very first point the word 'alarming' is emotive, and based on no fact. It is an opinion.

    Some of the claims they make or imply are waffle. Where do such idiots get their funding from?

  13. Anne 14

    Oh dear, I came up with a new word there – oboxious. Rather like it. Maybe a variation of rumbustious. Wadda you reckon?

    • In Vino 14.1

      Anne. I did not notice the missing 'n'. . I was hinting at the infer/imply thing.. Sorry!

      Obsidious and invidulous would go well with rumbustulous, but I like rumbustulous most because it makes me think of rum.

      Ahhh!

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    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    4 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    6 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    7 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
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