web analytics

Development of the mobile theme

Written By: - Date published: 2:01 pm, April 4th, 2015 - 61 comments
Categories: admin, The Standard - Tags:

Last week, very reluctantly 1, I have coughed up the money for a development version of the mobile system used on The Standard. About a quarter of our readers primarily use mobiles to read the site these days. When you add tablets it gets closer to 40%.

Mobile usage by user March/April 2015

Users of the mobile system will have seen some significiant speed improvements since I installed the upgraded version on Friday evening a week ago.

Now our desktop interface can be used on tablets. But it is barely adequate on 7″ tablets (like the ones I use) and older lower resolution tablets in terms of writing comments. But for smaller screens the mobile interface is required, and the comment writing interface is essentially unusable because it doesn’t have any awareness of threaded replies.

I have no figures on it, but I’d envisage that the number of our commenters using mobiles or tables is a whole lot less than 40%. Simply because you can’t use the threaded replies in mobile mode.

I’ve looked at several alternatives, but they all tend to suffer from speed and simplicity issues. The theme we currently use is pretty fast and efficient. But it lacks a few features. Like:-

  1. Reply to a particular comment.
  2. Threading numbers.
  3. Moderation tools
  4. A way of flicking back to desktop (the infinite scroll is nice until you want to do that).

So right now I’m setting up the test environment  to hopefully finally2 fix this issue using the new tools. This probably involves creating a new theme using the scaffold mode based on our existing one.

So if you are interested in giving some ideas about simple features that I should build in. Now is your chance. Subject to vagaries of work, I hope to have this complete before Lyn gets back from Vietnam on the 13th.

 


 

  1. The cost was $US144 (~$NZ 190) for the next 400 odd days. Since our monthly server costs were just over $NZ250 last month3, this adds a significiant ongoing extra cost to the budget.  The ongoing cost is about $US100 per year.
  2. I have attempted the reply fix3 several times before. However it is a bit interesting around that bit of code. 
  3. Damn good thing that I don’t charge for my development time (and the authors and moderators don’t charge for their work).

61 comments on “Development of the mobile theme”

  1. Sacha 1

    Interesting. Have you ruled out replacing this theme with a single responsive one that also handles mobiles and tablets?

    • lprent 1.1

      There are several problems with themes that are meant to go and do everything from 360/480px wide to something like the 1920px wide.

      The first one is that you are usually excessively reliant on javascript and all of the vagaries of the various DOM models. Because I don’t have time to do a lot of maintenance on the site over years of use, I follow the wordpress standard and prefer not to rely on anything except things that are throughly standardised like HTML, CSS2.1, and minimal pretty boring javascript. As a strategy this has worked well, even so it accounts for about 70% of the maintenance work on the site as new browser engines come into play.

      If you don’t do it with lots of client side script, then you wind up with chaos in the backend with the caching. Just to give you an idea, this site fully uses about 2GB of memcache.

      The reason is that it is caching the enormous numbers of sweeps for information on the 16 thousand posts and 900 thousand individually addressed comments accessed by search engines and their spiders. If we don’t have that, the the background noise of the spiders uses all of the CPU when we get peaks of user activity. That we cache by type of browser is an additional overhead, but not that much of a problem. Starting to add in server side.

      The second one is that it is easier to run seperate themes as that means you can stop trying to make one size fits all, with all of the immense numbers of use-cases that involves, the testing, and the support work. Just to give you a really simple idea. What happens in a javascript based resizing theme with multiple columns when you reduce your browser size from 1920 wide to 360 wide? Or vice versa.

      Have a look at Boots Theory to see what I mean. If you looked at the code required to deal with the 15 or so major use cases in that resizing and the absolute dependence on how people have their browsers and machines setup.

      We typically get about 45k unique people reading this site in a month – that is more than Stephanies page views. I usually get just a few bug reports. If I had a variant of what Stephanie is using, we’d be getting them every day – especially on browser release days. I wouldn’t be able to moderate or do paid work.

      The reality is that for us, we will leave it up to users to decide with a default at each level. Have 3 themes – currenet mobile (enhanced for commenting), current desktop, and a wide screen variant >= 1680px that I still have to find time to code. Each will use the deskspace to their max advantage, and mostly for extra search for wider.

  2. philj 2

    Thanks for your efforts. I access TS on my Samsung S2 and the reply to comment function does work..

    • lprent 2.1

      Odd. Are you running the mobile theme?

      I think there is a reply to the post, but not a reply to particular comment last time I looked.

      • philj 2.1.1

        I am replying to your comment, and I access TS via email link. Hope that helps. Sometimes the submit button is reluctant to work.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        I have my S2 set to use the standard desktop theme so that I have the reply to comments function. If I use the mobile theme I don’t get the reply to comments function.

  3. Weepus beard 3

    Get rid of the big blocks of red.

    • lprent 3.1

      On the background? THe ones that only show up while loading and in the title..?

      What colour would you prefer?

      Just to prove the point. I will change to Cosmic Latte – a kind of BEIGE….

      Come on….. I need constructive suggestions

      • Weepus beard 3.1.1

        Ok, I’m no expert, just a punter.

        I remember the current mobile and iPad versions having a lot of red around and the images appeared in B&W. Not saying it’s easy to design something like that but I ended up going to the full version of the site on both mobile and iPad.

        To be honest these “mobile friendly” versions of websites are never as comfortable design-wise as the main site for some reason. I guess it’s to do with the info that can be effectively used on the small screens, etc.

        Just do the same font, same wordpress template, same white background, same colour thumbnails, etc, and everyone will feel at home.

        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          Yeah, that I can do in general.

          Don’t know what kind of smartphone you have, but my HTC One Mini (picked because it fits in my jeans watch pocket) is impossible with the standard ~1000px wide theme.

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            can you put the red back at some point so we can compare?

            I’ve been using the desktop version for ages now because of the reply buttons. Can’t remember what the red looked like. Is it just at the top? ie the The Standard banner?

            The white on grey for the posts looks pretty good to me, which is a surprise.

            • lprent 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I looked at it before. The header was red, and it showed red whenever anything was repainting further down.

              You can see it at present as it goes from beige to grey.

  4. weka 4

    A recent comments thingy would be good.

  5. tracey 5

    Goodonya

  6. ropata 6

    Threaded comments from a mobile device are possible. Just use Opera Mini and go to the desktop site. I can do it from my old nokia with a 4″ screen

  7. Once was Tim 7

    First thoughts:
    Fuk ’em! You’ll only encourage them to ‘The Standard whilst driving’ when they can’t even walk in a straight line whilst ‘The Standarding’
    :p
    Be it on your head.

    Second thoughts:
    neo-yuppiedom; post-modern neo-telephonic instantanium

    Third thoughts:
    the inevitability you’ll come to regret (in terms of your being expected to maintain it and keep it all looking simply spiffing)

  8. nukefacts 8

    Sorry to say but the mobile version on iPad 4 is often unbearably slow to load – seems to hang/pause for 30s then becomes responsive again. On an iPhone 6 it’s marginally better but still quite slow.

    Keep up the great work btw!

    • lprent 8.1

      Ummm not much I can use to look at that right now. Lyn dragged her iPad to Vietnam with her.

      I will try with the iPod touch I have been working with for work.

  9. vaughan little 9

    i mostly use my phone to read the standard, but commenting is a bit of a problem on it cos of the thread issue. so even if there’s something i madly want to reply to i don’t, and then by the time i get back home i feel like the moment’s gone.

    but my major problem is that when i click on an article or link (or whatever the touchscreen version of clicking is), i always load what i want to read in a new tab, but the original tab loads that too. and i only have this problem on the standard. happens about 95% of the time and it’s an irritant cos my phone takes ages to load a page (i’m living in chinastan).

    anyway, thanks heaps to everyone who keeps this blog going. without it my opinion of nz would be quite a few shades darker.

  10. Sable 10

    All web development appears to be going mobile. I have built a few mobile friendly web sites, its really not that hard.

    That said, I personally detest mobile phones and I’m no fan of tablets either. Noisy chattering monsters that eat up your day when you could be having a chat face to face over a coffee.

  11. JanMeyer 11

    All I know is the future is smart devices not bloody clunky pc’s or laptops. Keep up the good work and make it happen!

    • Bill 11.1

      This comes to mind 😉

      “My baby saw the future
      She doesn’t want to live there any more
      It’s lousy science fiction
      Gets on your skin and seeps into your bones.”

      (Byrne: ‘Dance on Vaseline’)

      Oh – and here it is should anyone actually read this comment and then think of having a listen

    • weka 11.2

      User experience is always going to be better on a bigger screen with a proper keyboard. Esp for those of us who write long comments 😉 Perhaps we will see a change in debate culture via tech, with those with the bigger machines influencing culture differently than the twitter brigade.

  12. infused 12

    Sorry, but your costs are a pittance. I run so many sites that I make no money off whatsoever, not sure why you are complaining about $100 a year. It’s cheap.

    Also, you should be looking to one theme that supports both. There are some very high end themes that do this at very little cost. http://themeforest.net/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&term=&view=list&sort=sales&date=&category=wordpress&price_min=&price_max=&sales=&rating_min=&platform=

    X Theme or Avada.

    • lprent 12.1

      Most purchased themes also tend to look beautiful. But they have a big problems for our users.

      Avada for instance in grid mode sucks client site CPU like crazy. I just used their demo on a single core constrained CPU XP VM with limited RAM and a slow network link to test it and it ran like a over sized brick. We have a lot of people reading this on pretty slow machines (hopefully not as limited as that).

      Others just waste space, especially in the front page space. We are primarily a news site The majority of our users don’t want to scroll down to read the days posts. X ethos being a good example of how to build a beautiful blog site that acts like requires several pages to see a days worth of post excerpts on a moderately narrow screen. It was a half brick on the slow system test as well.

      Our current desktop theme reads in pretty fast for reading on the slow test for front page and pages. It is slow because of the right column screen saver tabs. But doesn’t stop people from immediately scanning. The biggest pain is the damn synchronous statcounter, which slows things down a lot.

      Every multifunction theme I have looked at so far depends excessively on client side javascript. Almost of them are slow at the client side. They are suitable for reading sites, not places where people have the site running for hours in a tab wanting instant refreshes like the commenters do. Sure our current WPTouch mobile theme uses quite a lot of javascript, but that has some real tradeoffs between screen size and speed. There isn’t any reason to carry that through to desktops.

      I also found a few that largely did the same chores on the server side not dynamically on client side. But when I tested them on the variety of use-cases for different browsers and systems they cost a lot for caching and server side CPU.

      BTW: My job is in writing system level code, not focused on writing scripts or web sites. I don’t run any other websites apart from this one. I literally have no need for this tool except for this purpose on this site designing and maintaining a mobile theme (which means that the other 29 instances I’m paying for are rather redundant). The package costs a bit less than half of the monthly cost for the site for a year.

      I take care to keep the costs for this site down. Way way down. That is a whole lot simpler and less time wasting for me than depending on advertising. Not having it speeds the site up a lot for the readers. These days the site is now almost entirely funded by unsought voluntary donations.

      I just don’t want to lose money on maintaining the site. So I pennypinch when it comes to adding anything to it. Outside of the server costs, I buy a few tools. For instance the extensions to the RSS feeder, W3 Total Cache, the re-edit, etc and then I adapt them into the site. But they are all performing functions that would take too much time to do myself when there is a perfectly good tool to write them with. This WP Touch upgrade is the same.

  13. Anonymous 13

    Full article text in RSS feed please!

    • lprent 13.1

      Why? The comments are usually as important as the posts themselves in any political context. It became a choice of feeding everything (which was an issue as the comments came later) or just a teaser. I decided on the teaser.

      • Anonymous 13.1.1

        My RSS reader has an offline mode, I spend part of my day in areas with no Internet access, reading the full article offline helps me keep up to date

        • lprent 13.1.1.1

          There are several problems with RSS on a site like that. One is the way that it is collected and sent at the server side. The system that used to run here would be requested to grab the last 10-30 or so posts by RSS feeds. and peoples RSS readers were set to collect that in 5-15 minute intervals. After the site got popular, this meant that there would be 20+ of those per minute and climbing. Even worse were the people who collected all of the comments. Nett effect was that about 10% of our CPU was going into those, and about 25% of our bandwidth.

          So I shifted it to feedburner, which mean that that one source came in every few minutes to pick up on stuff because I was informing them of new comments and posts. Still expensive, but manageable if a number of people found it useful.

          But I put a tracker on it last year to see what was picking it up, and how many people were coming back to the site. It turned out that only about 4 or 5 people ever replied to comments over a month and that spambots adored the comments feed. I got tens of thousands of attempted spam comments in a month using the tracked links. It was their primary feed for posting crap to the site.

          Less than 20 people came in from posts. And that over 94% of the post RSS ‘readers’ were in fact automatic consolidators or spambots grabbing content because they were areas completely outside our 97% audience catchment area. In the last 30 days our incoming sessions (aka visits) for the site look like this

          NZ 88.5%
          Aussie 3.1%
          US 1.9%
          UK 1.0%
          Germany 0.7%
          India 0.4%
          Canada 0.4%
          Italy 0.3%
          South Korea 0.2%
          Malaysia 0.2%

          In other words, NZ, expats, ESOL and kiwis travelling. It wasn’t much different when I looked at it last year.

          The pattern for posts in feedburner was about 3.5% for NZ, and about 6% for all of those areas combined.

          In other words, RSS just opened the site to attacks, chewed CPU and bandwidth, and did nothing for more than a tiny fraction of our readers.

          Doing only a post excerpt means that feedburner now picks up when post has been made or the excerpt modified. It is enough for the feed columns on other sites, and details what is available to read. Magically it dropped the server load.

          Even more magically, as a few weeks that rate of increase on the dumb auto-blocked spam dropped from about four or five thousand per week to a small collection per day. It is still falling. All because I drastically limited links to RSS comments.

          But the bot load is still falling as the bots hit the lack of RSS. My bandwidth use is now about 30% compared to what I was seeing at the same time last year. I was using roughly the same other tools to discourage bots then… The NZ percentage of traffic is now about a quarter rather than the 10% it’d gotten down to. That means that the server costs are potentially lower.

          What you need is something different. It is a PDF dump of a post and its comments, with no links. Especially for reading. But as far as I can see I don’t have more than 20 people likely to need it. But you’d find that what would do it equally well is to just to use a site dumper (I am sure people will tell you the best ones) to store HTML on your disk.

          Don’t set it to run more than a limited pages per minute (I’d have to look it up) as a bot or human or you will hit a lockout designed to rate limit bots.

          BTW: For other readers, I allow google unlimited googlebot access because they do it neatly. Their bots are polite and obey the rules and have defined servers. On average the system blocks several hundred false googlebots a day. Everything else is rate limited.

          97% of searches on the site come from google according to sitemeter, wordpress stats, and google themselves.

          • Anonymous 13.1.1.1.1

            Obviously your intended usage pattern for the site doesn’t match my actual usage. I don’t tend to read the comments. I have higher priorities for my limited time. I try to read the articles to keep up to date with the politics of the country. I have this site and kiwiblog for a left/right balance. Currently it is easier for me to keep up to date with kiwiblog since the full article is in the rss feed.

            My ‘RSS Reader’ probably doesn’t even appear to be in NZ as it is a web based service that loads the feed and provides that feed to my devices, or web browser. It does have the ability to try and scrape the story, but it requires an active internet connection for this. I believe it still does this through their servers though. So again, I don’t tend to appear as if I am in New Zealand. Neither would the other people using services like this.

            I may be one of the only few that use the site like this, but every vote counts right? and informed voters are better too…

            • weka 13.1.1.1.1.1

              I’ve been in that situation too. Not with ts, but other sites where I’ve had limited internet access and wanted my rss reader to grab the whole post for me to read later.

              I’ve yet to find a decent site dumper (I’m on a mac). They’re all too geeky or don’t give me enough control over what I am wanting to do. Not sure how it would work on ts. Setting it to grab the front page plus all internal links one deep?

            • lprent 13.1.1.1.1.2

              That is why I looked to see how many people came from RSS to the posts. 20 per month out of 45k unique readers really is a micro-minority. But running a site isn’t free, it costs

              David Farrar can afford to cater to the few. He is the pollster for National and seems to use his site as a message testing site for them. He also gets some kind of sweet server deal from friends, probably friends of National, that means his server costs are nothing to minimal. Effectively he is subsidised directly or indirectly by National. We don’t have any similar affiliations.

              But we have to pay our way as a true volunteer site. Since we’re now running the sites operational costs at about $250 per month and a lot of volunteer time. That means we cut anything that costs a lot compared to the people we reach. The problem is that those few RSS readers cost the site a hell of a lot. Nothing else does

              We provide the excerpts with all of the tags and categories. If something interests you and you don’t comment, then read after the event

              • Anonymous

                In exact dollar terms how much more would it cost per month to include the full article text in the RSS feed?

                • lprent

                  I don’t know exactly because I don’t know what effects just that change has on the server and data loads compared to dropping RSS comments (I changed them at the same time and it takes months to see effects). To change it is a flick of switch.

                  The real cost is if I have to step up to more computers to handle peak election loads, which is what I was doing from August (?) 2013 to July 2014. The step then was from $350 per month to $700 per month on AWS as I shifted from having two servers doing the main load to having four.

                  Now I am on one server with a malfunctioning offshore backup server (that i still have to fix). It is an 8 core system with 32GB RAM running SSDs. It peaks at 25% and averages 8% during the day during the intense interest on the buy-election, whereas during the election (similar levels) with comments RSS on it peaked at 80% and averaged 25%.

                  Since I have to listen to it running with fans on high when it gets about 30% for any length of time, I’m sensitive that way as well 🙂

                  But if you really want a feed, find out the IP’s of your scraper and I’ll let them pick a full post feed (I’m a programmer and can make such exceptions easily)

                  • b waghorn

                    Hi I was scrolling O/M and it gave me the option to alter or delete one of Paul’s comments thought you might want to know.

                    • lprent

                      Ouch. That has to be a caching issue. The question is where.

                      Mobile or desktop and were you using your own link or at an organization (they often do their own bad webpage caching).

                      Anyone else seen something similar.

                    • felix

                      Could you make that feature apply to Puckish Rogue’s comments?

                  • b waghorn

                    I was on a tablet at home, set to desk top.
                    I had to resist the urge to change his comment into a full acceptance of the official 9/11 line.

                  • Anonymous

                    Thank you so much. That is an amazing response. I’ve been given the following ranges as valid for their cloud provider, Digital Ocean, where their VMs run.

                    45.55.0.0 – 45.55.255.255
                    46.101.0.0 – 46.101.255.255
                    80.240.128.0 – 80.240.143.255
                    104.131.0.0 – 104.131.255.255
                    104.236.0.0 – 104.236.255.255
                    107.170.0.0 – 107.170.255.255
                    128.199.0.0 – 128.199.255.255
                    162.243.0.0 – 162.243.255.255
                    178.62.0.0 – 178.62.255.255
                    185.14.184.0 – 185.14.187.255
                    188.166.0.0 – 188.166.255.255
                    192.241.128.0 – 192.241.255.255
                    192.34.56.0 – 192.34.63.255
                    192.81.208.0 – 192.81.223.255
                    198.199.64.0 – 198.199.127.255
                    198.211.96.0 – 198.211.127.255
                    208.68.36.0 – 208.68.39.255

                    • lprent

                      Ok. It will probably not be until next weekend, unless I don’t come home from work coded out. I wanted to have a closer look at the RSS code anyway, but it is basically a matter of doing a .htaccess rule.

                      But, could you remind me on Friday (I’m not a diary kind of person). Email me on lprent at primary.geek.nz

  14. weka 14

    For a while now I’ve not been able to paste into the standard’s comment box on my iphone 5c (8.1.3). I thought it was the iphone after an update, but I’ve just tried another couple of forums and it worked fine. When I try and paste into ts, the ‘paste’ floating button appears briefly but then disappears again.

  15. weka 15

    In drop down menu, the archives page doesn’t have the archives on it.

    • lprent 15.1

      Ah good point. I put it in, but it doesn’t have a page that the mobile theme picks up.

      If you have a look at the desktop archives you can see that they are heavily modified.

      Updated: Just removed Archive as it doesn’t work. Looks like the changes to WordPress a few years ago killed it..

  16. weka 16

    A jump to top or bottom of page button would be useful for this long threads.

    • lprent 16.1

      If I get the number threading being able to add and search the number?

      Popped to mind earlier for the desktop.

      • weka 16.1.1

        On my laptop I can use command +arrow to get up or down. I think there is a way to do that on the phone but I can’t remember and it’s not obvious. It’s only really a problem on the long threads.

        • lprent 16.1.1.1

          We do get a few of those, and routinely these days, and the sub comments may go on forever. Usually no keyboards on smartphones or tablets unless someone is still using a blackberry.

          Maybe a navigation jumper on comments to junk to the next at the same level… Musing..

          • weka 16.1.1.1.1

            I think the main time I use it is when I’ve am far down the comments thread and I want to jump back up to the recent comments list. That’s on the desktop version obviously. If you’re going to put the recent comments in the drop down menu, and that’s accessible without having to be at the top of the page, that’d work.

            edit, I’ve just seen the back to top of page link at the bottom of the page, doh! Was that always there? I guess it’s those long threads where I’m in the middle or a long way down. But scrolling to the bottom and clicking that button is probably easier than what I do now which is usually just open a new page.

  17. lprent 17

    Following on from my discussion about RSS further up. I had a peek at locations in NZ in analytics

    This probably has some inaccuracies from GeoIP, especially for Auckland and Wellington head offices for ISPs. It is from 88.5% of the sessions because a number of sessions are dropped due to known inaccuracies.

    Auckland 46.1%
    Wellington 17.24%
    Christchurch 10.3%
    Dunedin 4.8%
    Hamilton 3.8%
    Palmerston North 3.7%
    Tauranga 2.7%
    Whangarei 1.5%
    Lower Hutt 1.4%
    Napier 1.2%

    New users are roughly inline with those figures as well – but 1.9% in Whangarei and 49.3% in Auckland, probably due to the buy election.

  18. Ian Grant 18

    Thanks for your ongoing improvements – much appreciated as I only read the TS on iPhone – much improved over the last few years

  19. Gruntie 19

    Infused – beggars can’t be choosers

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    43 mins ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 hours ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    19 hours ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 day ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 day ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 day ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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 ...
    2 days 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
    2 days 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? ...
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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, ...
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago