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Does John Key still want us to emulate Ireland?

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, November 24th, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: Economy, john key - Tags:

Reading the news on the current plight of the Irish with a economy in a tailspin and a tottering government. I can but reflect that it was a bloody good thing that the National party wasn’t in power after 1999.

For instance, John Key as recently as 2008 was praising the fragile economic model that Ireland followed. Quite simply acting as a service industry center for Europe is something that can be shut down and moved when the business slows. Anything reliant on that type of business also shuts down. This is why the number of real estate people rises and falls depending on the state of the main economy. It is also why Ireland is in the shite.

Personally I’d prefer NZ to be in businesses that actually make things or have a serious level of intellectual property involved in their businesses. The income doesn’t tend to go up as spectacularly being a real estate agent or other similar service economies. But it also doesn’t get cut back the way that the Irish economy has been when their customers aren’t spending on luxuries.

Unlike Irish government, NZ under Labour kept building the capabilities of our economy to its current state of resilience. Of course NACT are in power now and they prefer the short-term solutions of being real estate agents rather than doing the hard work. I wonder what disaster their tugboat is dragging us to.

Here is Steve Pierson on the John Key and his evident idiocy of the recent past.

Key’s plan for NZ to require lots of tug-boats

From Key’s speech to the NZ Institute of Foreign Affairs on emulating the “Celtic Tiger”:

Thirty years ago, Ireland was a total basket case. Today, it has all of the trappings of a considerable economic success story, including the capacity to attract and retain smart, educated, enterprising people.
three key policy initiatives which were critical to this success:

  • They got the tax rates down to really competitive levels.
  • They got infrastructure, especially communications infrastructure, up to an impressive standard, and
  • They made sure the educational institutions were turning out graduates of the high standard demanded by the sectors that were seen as their areas of competitive advantage.

But the most important point is this: all these initiatives were deliberately targeted at leveraging off their most important strategic asset their location on the edge of the European Union.
Leave aside some of the EU subsidies that someone will mention if I do not the secret to Ireland’s success was location, location, location
And that, surely, must be the key to New Zealand’s economic success in the years ahead.

Ok first, you can’t “leave aside” the fact that Ireland’s had EU injections of several billion euros per annum into its infrastructure for 30 years, they’re worth 5% of Irish GDP each year.

But, more importantly, is Key really saying we should emulate Ireland by being on the edge of the EU? To be fair, he’s what he’s saying isn’t that stupid, its more so:

..If we, sitting on the rim of the fastest growing region on the planet, cannot turn that geographical advantage into a significant economic success story, we have only ourselves to blame.
Ireland made much of its location on the edge of Europe to fuel the economic revolution we have seen there, and I believe New Zealand can do much the same in relation to its proximity to Asia

But we are not proximate to Asia like Ireland is to Europe. It’s 10806 bloody kilometres to Beijing. And guess what? It’s only 8275km from Dublin to Beijing.

Key’s a fool if he thinks we are in a position analogous to Ireland. Without its massive advantages in EU subsidies and proximity to markets, adopting Ireland’s high expenditure/low revenue model doesn’t make sense. We should not run our economic policy based on other country’s conditions. What does Key plan to do, move New Zealand closer to China?

33 comments on “Does John Key still want us to emulate Ireland?”

  1. prism 1

    I have an Irish relation. Talking to him about the present problems there his reaction was that he was proud of the benefits and the standard of living that the Irish people have achieved. I mentioned the input from the EUs agricultural policy but he was dismissive saying that was decades ago. The incentives to businesses to locate there, which may be revealed to be fair-weather friends, and the familiar speculative boom in housing were worth a mention also, but I didn’t bother. I don’t waste time arguing with people whose minds are closed on a subject.

    When things are booming along it seems that there aren’t too many questions about the sustainability even from people who are self-employed and consider themselves wise in business matters and the world as he does. His answer on where to point the finger was that the banks were at fault.

    • lprent 1.1

      The major problem is that the economy there has a lot less diversity in its earnings than NZ has. Most of the recent businesses appear to be service industries for European businesses – mostly based around service call centres from what I can see. At least that is what my Irish contacts are saying.

      The problem with those for a country is that they are on the first round of cuts in a recession. Not a particularly good thing to be reliant on. The pattern of failure in Ireland looks a lot like what happens to our real estate companies whenever the recession hits.

  2. john 2

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26799.htm
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26888.htm
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26889.htm
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26890.htm
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26872.htm
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26855.htm
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26856.htm
    Above are very good articles on the incredible Irish Financial mess.From what I have read,living standards really did increase when foreign companies,including manufacturing moved to Ireland so as to get special benefits to trade with the EU due to placement within the EU.Irish workers got much higher wages. Like here people think the road to wealth is property investment and the private banks went berserk borrowing money at interest and lending it out for a property boom bubble which went to crazy heights with a house for example increasing over 500% in just 10 years! As Irish wages increased manufacturing (Good ole NeoLiberal economics!) started relocating to cheaper wage level areas such as Poland! At a point no one could pay the crazy prices for property anymore and the whole shebang collapsed and the speculators couldn’t(Stashed money overseas or in the wife’s account and declared bankrupt!) or wouldn’t pay the banks what they owed. The foreign investors are guilty too for oversupplying the Paddies too much financial Guiness causing them too get plastered out of their skulls and eventually to wake up with a massive morning after hangover–the foreign money suppliers should pay for their irresponsibility!
    But more disaster, The Irish Government(Members of whom) were probably cashing in on the property drunken fiesta of all time got really stupid and betrayed their own people by guaranteeing the private banks private speculative debt (Which was all about getting rich as quick as a Leprechaun(Government being the hapless Leprechaun here!) will show the pot of Gold location when you put the squeeze on him!) owed to other speculators overseas who should now be taking a haircut–This is the immoral side,Why should ordinary people have to pay for the get rich speculators when they fall off their trolley!!? Answer they shouldn’t!
    They could still default and get out of the euro and tell the IMF(financial Nazi squad)and Eu lending bailout agency to leave Ireland pronto:they should!

    • john 2.1

      More comment on Ireland’s NeoLiberal unregulated greed driven high speed financial crash which Patrick Paddy will have to pay for!

      Government’s destruction of Ireland is complete
      http://www.sbpost.ie/commentandanalysis/governments-destruction-of-ireland-is-complete-52951.html

      We were bought and sold for Europe’s gold
      http://www.sbpost.ie/commentandanalysis/we-were-bought-and-sold-for-europes-gold-52972.html
      the dogma of individualism began eradicating Irish society’s old communal ties and, increasingly buffeted by hurricane-force free-marketism, we began to shrink our society until it became a mere economy. On the way down, citizens became mere consumers as the marketers grew increasingly arrogant in their demands.
      Look at what happened in a single generation to Irish obesity levels and look at the profound alcohol crisis that has been inflicted on our society.

      The constituency office of a senior Irish minister was targeted by vandals overnight.
      Several windows were smashed and the word “TRAITORS” was written with red spray paint across the front of the premises of Transport Minister Noel Dempsey.
      http://www.independent.ie/national-news/dempseys-office-vandalised-2432456.html

      • john 2.1.1

        Ireland’s NeoLiberal Train Wreck leads to following consequences:

        A direct and inevitable consequence of this catastrophe will be deepening inequality and, as a direct consequence, the premature deaths of many people.

        I am not talking about merely suicide and mental illness; I am talking about the phenomenon where, in unequal societies, people in the lower echelons of the social pyramid die prematurely – in Ireland’s case, about 5,000 of them annually.
        Of course, there will be more suicides and more terrible tragedies arising from the conscious neglect of the mental health services. The public refusal to acknowledge the consequences of an unequal society is part of the denial that is endemic to our political culture.
        Elsewhere the front gates of the Irish parliament were blocked by a cement truck in September as politicians returned after their lengthy summer recess. The words “Toxic Bank Anglo” were written in red letters along the barrel of the truck.
        Here is an example of capitalism, not just bankrupting us, but killing us off as well.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          You better tell it to people who give a damn, the capitalist system has no place on the ledger to tally for avoidable deaths, just for return on capital invested.

    • prism 2.2

      They would be afraid to do that John. I would anyway and worry that I wouldn’t even have a potato to bless myself with.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        Then they need to ask the simple question: Can they feed themselves? If they can then defaulting on their debt isn’t actually a problem.

    • john 2.3

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26909.htm
      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26910.htm
      Ireland being sucked off into IMF and EU debt Peonage.
      Answer!? Irish taxpayers should not bail out corrupt Irish banks and money grubbing Brit and German Banks who need desperately a BIG financial haircut!!! The PEOPLE must not pay for CAPITAL’s Casino bets gone wrong!!!

  3. James Stephenson 3

    Luckily NZ under Labour didn’t have a currency to adopt that was dominated by economies completely out of step with our own.

    It’s instructive to look back at the warnings that UK opponents of the Euro gave and see how they’ve come to pass in Ireland.

    • Bright Red 3.1

      I haven’t seen a single source that blames this on the Euro. The UK’s in nearly as deep shit, it’s just lucky its banks didn’t take such huge bad bets as the Irish ones did.

      • James Stephenson 3.1.1

        Here’s one from back at the beginning of October (seeing as how you probably wouldn’t accept anything said by a conservative politician):

        http://www.cityam.com/news-and-analysis/allister-heath/how-the-euro-caused-ireland%E2%80%99s-crisis

        • Zorr 3.1.1.1

          That guys argument boils down to “because we couldn’t control our own currency it made our high growth unstable”

          No you frakkin moron. Your unsustainable high growth made your high growth unstable. The Euro just compounded this.

        • Bright Red 3.1.1.2

          the ECB rates didn’t cause the credit to flood into Ireland. We had one here too because our rates were high relative to the rest of the world, and an Ireland with the Punt would have had the same problems as we had.

          No, what caused Ireland’s problems was a lack of controls on the finance sector and lending that allowed banks to use all that cheap capital to create the mother of all housing bubbles, which was pricked by the oil price spike.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.1

            Hot highly liquid capital inflows made it easy for Irish banks to borrow big and borrow cheap from overseas, which they did, and with those stashes of hard currency they could push that hot money onto the Irish population in the form of lots and lots of ill-considered loans, credit cards, etc which they did.

            Yeah then it was only a matter of time, each layer of cards built on the house convinced the punters that another layer of debt could be put on.

          • Jeremy Harris 3.1.1.2.2

            ECB/EMU, Irish Banks, Borrowers, Politicians…

            Plenty of blame to go around…

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.2.1

              Yeah plenty of blame to go around but at the end of the day we are looking at a group of less than 100 key decision makers (at a guess), who have fraked a whole country.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Ireland’s massive growth masked huge asset bubbles, financial risk taking and a culture of cronyism verging on corruption.

    I know a friend who saw the writing on the wall for Ireland, left a lucrative high tech job and made the decision to return to NZ in 2009.

    And now what is happening? The masses of ordinary Irish people are being made to suffer and pay for the foolishness and stupidity of their extremely highly paid and incentivised politicians, business leaders, economists and bankers.

    Prism: yes the banks were at fault but of course that is only looking at the crash site. The banks were working in a system where bigger profits every year were the only thing which mattered (not how that might be achieved), and whose executives wanted a bigger bonus this quarter than the last, frak sustainability or what the country needed to build robustness against future shocks. So the champagne flowed, and ordinary Irish didn’t question things when their home values doubled and tripled and their leaders told them the good times would last.

    Irish bond holders like the US, UK and big foreign banks who were willing to sell Ireland such catastrophic amounts of debt are also hugely culpable. Ireland is now being charged 8% on their debt. A rate as bad as you and I would be given on a personal loan. Borrow a billion dollars on that rate and you have to pay ~$90M in interest per year.

    Basically the entire country is now paying for the bad judgement of their ‘leaders’.

    • prism 4.1

      I remember reading about a US port and manufacturing town (on the east side I think) left in the doldrums by shifts in industry (bit like Flint of Michael Moore film study) that succeeded in going bankrupt which I didn’t think could be legally done. Could a country like Ireland do that? Business has been given the right to fail and pay cents in the dollar if anything. Are countries and their taxpayers and citizens to be the patsy that has to pay all under the thrall of some ‘dark lords and ladies’ because of a spurious legal contract that is destructive in its performance?

      I remember reading how far organisations will go when insisting on their legal contract fulfilment. In a book on disasters I saw a painfully thin black family in I think Bengal. They had a bad drought. The main food sources of the area had been contracted to feed the British Army. The contract was filled and the people starved.

      The Irish famine had some similarities to that. There was an unreasonable rush by British authorities to withdraw food and support machinery from that country, put in place to assist with a previous year’s famine conditions. A better year’s growth of corn (which wasn’t all available as food for the people anyway) encouraged legalistic, rigid officials to abandon aid for ordinary Irish people’s needs. The way that powerful people will turn away from affordable and proper actions that alleviate, if not solve, people’s real problems surprises as it contrasts with the comforting moral positives we are taught.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Ireland could default on its foreign debt like Argentina did.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentine_debt_restructuring

        The problem with Ireland is that it has already accumulated a shit tonne of debt and given all the money to the banks. Like you taking on a second mortgage and then giving all that money to your ex-girlfriend. Sorta stupid.

        By defaulting, Ireland could get no new loans and it would have a huge amount of difficulty obtaining foreign goods and paying Government workers. Ireland would probably have to start printing its old currency again for use as it would simply run out of Euros.

        • Bright Red 4.1.1.1

          i think there are probably EU rules against defaulting.

          • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1.1

            Probably, which means it’s up to the EU to create some sort of solution, or kick Ireland out.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.2

            Rules? Written on bits of paper? While there is a ~30% unemployment/underemployment rate, homeless people begging on the streets and children starving as the bankers get their billions?

            What is Brussels going to do, invade?

  5. prism 5

    Just read Olwyn in Mike with good link on Ireland’s options to the Guardian.

  6. Don 6

    John, I have to agree with almost everything you’ve said. The Irish (and I am one, so I should know) behaved like knackers who had won the lottery, buying second houses, third cars and fourth mortgages to show off how well they were doing. Then of course the bill arrived…

    However: “Look at what happened in a single generation to Irish obesity levels and look at the profound alcohol crisis that has been inflicted on our society.”

    The Irish have been eating shit food for years, I grew up on fry-ups, literally. And I don’t think you can blame Ireland’s drinking culture on the past 15 years. The booze culture was well entrenched when I left in 1987 and the country was even poorer then than it is now.

    • john 6.1

      Hi Don
      I’m Irish descent myself (Parents were from the South) which gave me the confidence to work in some humour on a grim situation. On the drink I remember when I was 7 with my Mother being in a farm house,part of a party, where two younger men went out to get some drink to socialise with and returned with 4 bottles of what looked like water and one of them tipped a bottle up and drank from it as if it were just water but of cause it was Potcheen. Potcheen was used also as a Flu curative mixed with sugar and hot water and then you’d sweat the condition out hopefully. I remember being in my Uncles farm house in Cork in the 50s,he’d just got a TV for the first time, it sat on top of a chest of drawers and we looked at it like an alien ufo just landed! It was rumoured my uncle Paddy had his own Potcheen still somewhere,it was freely available!

      It’s a shame Ireland fell into the trap of highly risky borrowing and secondly the government should not have put the Irish taxpayer behind bailing out the banks! That’s what bankrupt means surely!?The Euro has been blamed because,apparently, the Irish Government could not put up interest rates to choke off the lending by the banks for property,which concluded rising property prices here.

      Another time getting an inexpensive lift in a postoffice van into Cork which was delayed while an escaped Bull moved out of the road!

      My favourite beer over there was Celebration Ale, probably discontinued by now!

  7. Jeremy Harris 7

    Our current monetary system strikes again, plus the ridiculous government bailout, even the Madhatter of Alice fame as MoF would have chucked that one out…

  8. RobertM 8

    Yes, but it is not just the financial crisis and the international bankers who are the Irish problem. possibly they wanted to have it both ways- an open market, but highly priced agriculture and high priced cities in terms of drink and food. Certaily they lived like kings in the l990s and early in the 21C. Aucklands backpackers and bars were full of the young southern Irish at that time. Some spent a month running wild in Aucklands bars before anyone thought about moving away from 24 hour opening. mariane Faithfull moved there and Pallenburg doubtlessly thought of doing so. Nevertheless U2 and the boomtown Rats were from the distant past and I’m not really shore Ireland wasn’t going out of fashion anyway- because it was a bit too pricy and a bit too catholic and local. When I talk about the need for a more liberated society I’m not talking mainly about the economics but the need for a 24 hour party society in Auckland to appeal to tourists on their OE and it being somewhat more hetro and bi amd modern and less a Suva +.

  9. moni 9

    At a time when many Wall St banks are closing proprietary trading desks

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprietary_trading

    http://wallstfolly.typepad.com/wallstfolly/2008/11/jp-morgan-will-reportedly-be-shutting-down-a-global-prop-trading-desk-firing-some-employees-shifting-others.html

    http://www.businessinsider.com/another-prop-trader-leaves-goldman-2010-4

    due to the growth of supercomputer based
    algorithmic trading

    http://www.google.co.nz/search?hl=en&q=wikipedia+algorithmic+trading&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

    many former prop traders are reinventing themselves as trading coaches

    http://www.tradersnarrative.com/list-of-proprietary-trading-firms-735.html

    Now we have one of these firms advertising locally for the desperate and the gullible, with an example of a person who has doubled his pension trading forex.

    http://knowledgetoaction.com.au/training-programmes/free-forex-seminar/index.html

    Their IP (79.125.24.18) is in Ireland.

    What is MSD policy on this ?

    90% of proprietary traders are said to lose their capital in the first year.

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  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • 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
    5 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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? ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago