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Does this royal wedding mean anything?

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, May 5th, 2018 - 38 comments
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Once upon a time, there was a fairytale in which the perfect boy met the perfect girl and got down on one knee and pledged everlasting devotion with a fat diamond rock and had an enormous wedding. Boy, meets girl, in the World Series of Love. She is a Queen, he is a Prince.

Now, we let it go.

Marriage means less and less to New Zealanders. Marriage in New Zealand is in reasonably rapid decline.

On the positive side, our own Prime Minister is showing how unnecessary marriage is to having a baby within a successful relationship. You know you are on the right track when even the New Zealand Police – that most notoriously hidebound and morally conservative of institutions – comes out and defends an unwed partner and father-to-be from mere rumour, an event I have not seen ever before.

On the negative side, the idea of marriage is not helped when it is trashed live before a studio audience with such televised wonders as Married At First Sight.

And it’s a useful measure of weddings as debased spectacle when finding the right wedding dress needs its own (very popular) reality show.

In fact wedding television shows have an entire Wikipedia category all of their own.

So in analogue reality we are less and less convinced that marriage has relevance to us, yet in our entertainment and digital imaginations, these great theatrical spectacles have a powerful place for ritual and social cohesion in so many of our lives.

Such pure spectacle of idealised relationship is vital. It unites us – or at least the female half of us – more than the Rugby World Cup ever did or could.

The impending marriage of Prince Harry and Megan Markle has no official political content at all. Once married they will be a full-stationwagon-over-a-cliff away from royal succession.

It will have little pageantry. No politicians – not even the British Prime Minister – have been invited.

Fifty years ago this impending royal wedding would still have been a vital instrument in foreign-policy ambition. Just thirty years ago with Princess Diana, the United Kingdom had an outstanding international ambassador. (If you want to get a mere glimpse of the beatific heaven of the circumstances of our own Governor-General’s places, see if you can get a sneaky peek over the high fence of the Governor-General’s houses in either Auckland or Wellington. Like Little England encased in aspic. And yes, I can attest from going to an investiture last week, they do still serve cucumber sandwiches.)

It was but a century ago that English royal weddings were a carefully calibrated international diplomatic exchange that secured important alliances. They were the way deals were done.

Sic transit etc … the Queen will die soon. Prince Charles will take over.

In the Queen’s firm 70-year tradition he will be resolutely distanced from political affairs and have almost no political opinion of his own.
Leaders are symbols that we look up to in society, and without official political content we fill them up with our projected ideals regardless. But other than in the clothes they wear, and a few temporary magazine covers, these two lead nothing.

Royal Weddings. Sigh. Prince William’s opinions are largely unknown, though he has followed his mother Diana in many of his charitable activities. As for Harry and Meghan, they have advertised the now wholly unpolitical significance of their marriage by refusing to invite any politicians to it, not even the British prime minister.

Prince Harry’s opinions are largely unknown. But he does know how to party.

The world and its global media are interested in them because they are celebrities who pull fantastic audiences, because they are young, wealthy, good-looking, and glamorous, not because they are identified with any particular political cause — nor even, really, with the international interests of any particular country, including their own.

The best this couple could do is renounce their titles, lives as rich citizens, and devote their lives to charity like all the good rich should.

38 comments on “Does this royal wedding mean anything?”

  1. ianmac 2

    And that’s a No from me too.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    I dunno. It probably means they are no longer living in sin if you believe in that sort of thing. (But clearly they don’t)

    The whole crown thing should be relegated to fairy tails. Separation from the general population by bloodline is not something NZ should support.

    • Bill 3.1

      The whole crown thing should be relegated to fairy tails.

      The tail of the fairy…is that near the anus?

      Are you suggesting the Royal Couple get showered in fairy shit as opposed to the more traditional fairy dust?

  3. mac1 4

    Yes, it means that people can still be charmed, deflected, seduced away from what is important. It means that for insufficient reasons certain people are looked up to, and what they do determines the behaviour of many, for good bad or indifferent. It means titles, money, breeding still matter. It means power still is retained by some for reasons outside of skill, ability, education and universal access.

    Do I still wear creases in my trousers? How do I tie my tie? Do I listen to Herself’s message at Christmas?

  4. Koff 5

    I once worked for a while in a London park.One of the old codgers working with me reckoned the Royals should be given jobs brushing up millions of fallen leaves and dog shit like he had to.Think his opinions of Royal weddings were unprintable.

  5. james 6

    “Does this royal wedding mean anything?”

    to me no, to others yes.

    The concept of marriage is personal to the people involved – there is no right or wrong answer.

    My wife is English and loves the royal family – no doubt she will be watching it.

    But will we buy the souvenir tea-towel? no.

    • Rosemary McDonald 6.1

      “My wife is English and loves the royal family.”

      This is not a tautology.

      There was talk on Natrad a few weeks ago about the royal breeding program…a birth? A marriage? I forget.

      A youngish tourist from Sussex came down to the wharf where we were fishing so I randomly asked him what he thought about the royal family.

      “A bunch of fucking parasites.” This was his abbreviated response.

      I have Scottish ancestry, and born in the UK and raised on a steady diet of disrespect for the monarchy.

      I have never actually met a royalist.

      • james 6.1.1

        tautology – good word (I admit I had to look it up).

        “A youngish tourist from Sussex came down to the wharf where we were fishing so I randomly asked him what he thought about the royal family.

        A bunch of fucking parasites.” This was his abbreviated response.”

        Of course there are many people with many different views.

        I have never actually met a royalist.

        Im not one – but there are lots out there – you will see many thousands on TV next week.

  6. Draco T Bastard 7

    Does this royal wedding mean anything?

    No.

    Apparently, even the people getting married have realised that.

  7. greywarshark 8

    A lot of cynicism here. People who want to live in a world where people care about each other’s welfare in general, and who want to live in a community that pays attention to having a balanced and enjoyable society, shouldn’t be turning their noses up at marriage whether it is of Royals, the wealthy, or other classes.

    A positive society supports groupings that regard themselves as having special ties to each other, families, or even those from particular Marriage is just the legalised ceremony uniting a couple who wish to have and maintain a special tie. But in our present society there are many pressures on people and marriage , money being one, time to spend together another, and a zeitgeist that is reflected in this post.

    What has happened in my family is that the couple lived together and then decided to make a lifetime step, got married and started a family. It follows a logic set up in society last century, and does work if people have the wish to make a good relationship happen, and have acquired maturity and ability to problem solve and plan a future satisfactory to them both.

    It is very likely that the Royals will have reached the necessary level of maturity to make an enjoyable life. That doesn’t mean they will be happy ever after, maybe 80-20 would be enough. And it gives hopeful people a lot of pleasure to see happy people wanting to commit to partnership with each other, marry and have a relationship that can be so fulfilling when they can work through the inevitable problems.

  8. millsy 9

    No real point to having monarchs any more. The thing about these institutions is that they are all recent inventions given an aura of timelessess. The Windsor’s have only been round for the past 100 years and the name was taken from a tea brand. Buckingham Palace was only the royal residence since the 1860’s, and titles such as Knighthood, MBE’s etc only been round for the same time.

    • Stunned Mullet 9.1

      The ‘wrongness’ or your comment is truly impressive.

    • Gareth Wilson 9.2

      The English monarchy is so old that the Queen’s ancestors were once thought to be descended from Odin himself.

  9. Gabby 10

    Not inviting politicians is an extremely political act.

  10. jcuknz 11

    My wife’s comment “I hope she doesn’t hurt him” Mainly how could a catholic become CoE.
    Though I knew a CoE who was as catholic like as any catholic. even had her own consecrated chapel in her home and Bishops licence to speak in church.
    I am not exactly sure who Harry is, there being so many ‘royals’ these days.
    Nothing to do with me anyway … not like the sisters Lis and Maggie and I spent the night before the great day waiting outside Buck House with newspapers around my legs to try and stay warm.

  11. alwyn 12

    ” (If you want to get a mere glimpse of the beatific heaven of the circumstances of our own Governor-General’s places, see if you can get a sneaky peek over the high fence of the Governor-General’s houses in either Auckland or Wellington.”

    I can’t comment about the Auckland Property but that is a very snarky and unfair comment about the real Government House in Wellington. Tours are readily available, even if not every day.

    There will be, according to their published schedules, at least 7 in June for example. They let everybody in you know.
    https://gg.govt.nz/tours/upcoming

  12. cleangreen 13

    I’m with James on this one,

    there is no way all of us will think the same about the values of marriage.

    i married my English girlfriend in Canada in 1976 and we have always been together since and will do until my death at least.

    We have a bond that has grown through all the good and bad years leaving an ‘enduring’ partnership.

    In a word to sum up our relationship it would be “loyalty” that will bind us to eternity not love or simple infatuation all which has never been at the heart of our partnership because we met at the late 20’s old our life and realised then the need to bind our lives together into an enduring partnership for life.

    So marriage was only our chosen vehicle to get there, and un-married folks may be able to get there in the same way should they choose.

    Still married after 42 yrs now to a (non-practicing) catholic girl and I was raised as a Presbyterian Kiwi by birth.

  13. Macro 14

    Well there was one Royal Wedding that mattered for we of Aotearoa :

    Lady Davina Elizabeth Alice Benedikte Lewis (née Windsor; born 19 November 1977) is the elder daughter of Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, and his wife Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester.[1][2] She is twenty-ninth in the line of succession to the British throne

    On 31 July 2004, she married Gary Christie Lewis (born in 1970), a New Zealander. Lewis is a carpenter who runs a property renovation business[8] and a surfing enthusiast, and has a son, Ari (born 1992) from a previous relationship.[9] The couple had known each other for four years, having met on holiday in Bali.[10] For several years, the couple kept their relationship secret.[11] He is the son of Larry Lewis, a Māori builder[8] who was runner-up in the Golden Shears in 1982.[12][13] His uncle is the prominent Maori author Witi Ihimaera who wrote The Whale Rider which became a film of the same name.[8]

    Gary Lewis is also the first person of known Māori descent to join the extended Royal Family, or to marry the daughter of a British prince.[14] As she is a legitimate descendant in the male line of King George II and therefore a potential heir to the British throne, the Royal Marriages Act 1772 required that Royal Assent to the wedding be obtained in advance for the marriage to be legal and the descendants thereof to inherit rights of succession to the thrones of the Commonwealth realms, including that of New Zealand. On 20 July 2004, the Queen-in-Council formally declared her consent to her marriage.[15] The wedding took place at the private chapel of Kensington Palace, Lady Davina’s childhood home.[16] Apart from the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the bride’s siblings, no other members of the Royal Family were present at the wedding; only close friends and family were involved.[17]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Davina_Lewis

    I think these weddings indicate a move away from the pre arranged marriages of yesteryear where political alliances were the order of the day. Now they indicate an alliance between royalty and the rest of society. Ultimately the concept of inherited privilege will die and “Royal” personages will become a thing of the past and replaced by the new “aristocracy of the uber rich” (Note: I don’t see this progression as a good thing)
    Royalty still does have a function as head of state. For instance, The fact that our military obtain their commission, not from Parliament (although they serve the wishes of Parliament), but from the Sovereign, means that they are in essence separate from the government of the day.
    Te Triti is also a covenant between the Crown and Māori, not between Māori and the Government of NZ, so again Royalty have a special place in our constitution. Just how that will develop in the years ahead is something we need to consider. An elected President has serious deficiencies, as the current calamity that is the US right now demonstrates.

    • veutoviper 14.1

      That is fascinating, Macro.

      Thank you so much for sharing that piece of information about a very NZ connection to the Royal Family via Lady Davina Lewis that I suspect many NZers probably don’t know. I certainly didn’t.

      And IMO excellent points re the place of royalty in the future generally; and their place in our NZ constitutional arrangements via Te Tiriti.

      People, I highly recommend reading Macro’s comment.

    • solkta 14.2

      Te Triti is also a covenant between the Crown and Māori, not between Māori and the Government of NZ, so again Royalty have a special place in our constitution.

      Well they would do if they gave a fuck. But the Queen has done absolutely zero to progress treaty rights. It is a complete waste of time having such supposed separation when it is simply symbolic. In effect the Government IS the Crown.

      • Macro 14.2.1

        In effect the Government IS the Crown.

        Essentially that is correct. However there are still constitutional issues that need to be addressed. Ministers of NZ Parliament also receive their warrant from the Sovereign. A G’G can ask that regulations and matters of state be re-examined, ( a colleague who was aide de camp to the G’G in the 70’s commented to that fact on a number of occasions.)
        As for the lack of action by the Sovereign of honouring Te Tiriti – that is true. However it still remains a founding document of our nation. If you haven’t read or seen He-Tohu at the National Library in Wellington – I strongly recommend it.
        Perhaps one day the true injustices of the past will be fully understood and realised by all NZers.

        • solkta 14.2.1.1

          Still can’t see any reason there for keeping the monarchy. On the contrary, a Head of State who actually had knowledge in constitutional law would be far more beneficial. One who might even act more so.

          • Macro 14.2.1.1.1

            Don’t get me wrong. I’m just noting that in any transition away from our current situation we need to take into account the requirements for a functional Head of State. After watching the cluster fuck that is happening in the US, I’m not sure that an elected President is the most sound way to go. In almost any country with a Westminister parliament that idiot would be gone by now.
            Socrates thought that the best training for King was Philosophy.
            https://www.britannica.com/topic/philosopher-king

            • solkta 14.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes having the Head of State also the leader of the Executive is a silly way to do things. One thing though that is better about their system is that the Courts are supreme and can judge the Presidents actions illegal, as has happened with Trump’s travel bans.

              It seems the most basic of principles that the government must obey the law. Not so here unfortunately.

              We could just elect our Governor General.

  14. Morrissey 15

    Since he’s getting married, I guess he won’t be doing THIS any more….

    https://www.her.ie/celeb/tales-of-prince-harrys-vegas-sexcapades-get-worse-as-eyewitness-reveals-cocaine-use-at-his-party-21349

    And will marriage spell the end of this brave and bonny prince heroically shooting Afghan shepherds from the safety of a gunship helicopter?

  15. Ffloyd 16

    It’s all a load of offensively expensive bollocks. I read a comment in the Guardian that according to a local Bobby the most likely people who will come out to watch and wave will be ‘cat stranglers’. Aka known as mad old ladies who strangle their cats’ I dunno.

  16. Pete 17

    Does this royal wedding mean anything? Yes, it means that someone in the royal family’s getting married. Simply as that.

    If it were 1923 it would be important because the Kardashians wouldn’t have been invented or Dancing with the Stars.

    Go into a big supermarket. Stand back and look at all the bottles of wine or all the brands of beer. In 1923 there would’ve been one. Now there are a lot. The royal wedding is just one of them.

  17. patricia bremner 18

    On May 1st N and I have had 53 years together.
    Marriage is a choice, for Harry as well these days. We hope they are happy.
    It does not matter what people outside any marriage think, it is a personal thing after all.
    We have a lovely niece and nephew who announced their union over the “phone, and have been happy going on 20 years. So each to their own I say. Class doesn’t figure.

  18. Timeforacupoftea 19

    Advantage asks :
    Now politicians are not invited to the wedding ceremony.

    The wedding means a bit of excitement for me, possibly another future breakup or whatever I love these shows Married at First Site.

    But the comment broke me up “Now politicians are not invited to the wedding ceremony”
    Who on earth would ask a politician !
    They are just low life like car salesmen definitely no better, huge salary, life time perks the list goes on.
    Virtually stuff the country by 9 year term, then reversal, left right left right left right left right left right left right OH THE PAIN !
    We purchase a new vehicle get a new govt the car and the govt is stuffed after 9 years straight into the dump.
    Lets celebrate.

  19. Jenny 20

    The thing is, they couldn’t invite Trump. And they couldn’t not invite Trump. (If that makes any sense), And so they chose to ban all political guests, so as not to be seen snubbing the most noxious US political leader ever.

    (Nobody would want their nuptials to be marked by huge public demonstrations at the presence of a racist and misogynist?)

  20. Chris T 21

    Old Harry seems a pretty cool bloke to me.

    It just seems like he is trying to make it as low key as he can, when it’s a pretty impossible thing to do.

    Yes they are rich, but it ain’t like he chose the situation

    And as for his stupid indiscretions when he was younger.

    We all did dumb things

    He just had 20 cameras to take photos of it

  21. J L Browne 22

    There is just two things that are important to us regarding royalty. That is that the Queen or King holds office to protect our Protestant freedoms from being taken away by secular government. That is why every day some red boxes from Parliament are delivered each day to the palace for the sovereign to go thru and sign.
    And that Royalty are heads over the military to keep them on the side of the people. This includes NZ and is why we have a royal governor.
    All the rest is actually to enable them to keep their place in the hearts n minds of the people and so that some maybquery their existence and dig a bit deeper. There is purpose to it.

  22. Glenn 23

    Mandatory abdication at the age of 70 so that new blood gets a chance. The more I read about the royals the more I find them rather despicable especially when it comes to the treatment of their disabled relatives. 5 young relatives locked in an asylum on the same day and ignored.
    I think deep down they are a rather nasty bunch. Wouldn’t cross the road to look at any of them.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2059831/The-Queens-hidden-cousins-They-banished-asylum-1941-left-neglected-intriguing-documentary-reveals-all.html

    • patricia bremner 23.1

      She knew nothing about what her family had done. The family retrieved the remaining cousins and helped them once they learned of it. This was a common way to remove embarrassing relatives. Only needed two medical signatures.

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    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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    4 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    5 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours 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
    4 hours 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
    14 hours 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 day 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 day 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 day 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 day 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 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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