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Don’t Rock The Titanic!

Written By: - Date published: 2:41 pm, April 19th, 2019 - 31 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, leadership, political alternatives, Politics - Tags: , , , , , ,

I reckon cruise ships are so enormous to make people feel that they are not really on a boat out on sea. They are like townships or small villages, with their own man-made and controlled micro-climates, not too dissimilar from the mobile cities in Mortal Engines.

Shopping malls are also designed to warp our sense of reality and time – notice the absence of clocks anywhere – and all but avoid making us feel we are actually in a shopping mall. It is s(t)imulation of the senses to keep us ‘entertained’ and hooked; the more time we spend in them, the more money we are likely to spend on them.

Or airports, unless it is Auckland Airport, which has the comfort, ambiance, and efficiency of a windy bus shelter on a cold Winter’s night with music that rivals that in the waiting room of your dentist.

Airports aren’t just a place to catch a plane, they can also be a destination.

Click-bait has a similar function online, with cleverly designed webpages and tailored ‘personalised’ content pushed upon us. If you are not aware of this, you are more likely to be sucked in deeper and further but nobody is immune because in human psychology it is mind (or limbic brain rather) over matter.

We are only a few steps away from the Utopic dystopic world in The Matrix.

Some of us seem to be having faint hopes for a “surprise” in the upcoming Budget and even more so after the CGT got unceremoniously dropped. This so-called Wellbeing Budget may be nothing more than a dead cat bounce.

One would expect the Government to start a narrative in the lead up to the Budget. Next week would be a good time although about half the country will be on holiday. Maybe the week after.

Generally, people do not like ‘surprises’ from Government or Budget. No news is good news. We do not want the world as we know it changed. Predictability gives a (false) sense of security that trumps the risk of change to an unknown new situation or outcome – the Devil you know.

I am not even cynical about the Budget. It will contain genuine aspirations wrapped in political rhetoric to give us warm fuzzy feelings. It is undeniable that we need reassurance from our Government in these turbulent times – the whole country was rocked to its core by recent events.

The realities of party politics and MMP in New Zealand are such that nothing much will change any time soon. Sudden changes send shock waves through our society and will not lead to progressive transformation but could easily sink good ideas or intentions. The best we can do is to slowly turn the Titanic onto a new course and occasionally get off the bloody boat and set foot on land to test and taste reality and then report back to the Captain. Regardless, cruises make for good photo albums FB posts.

I wish all of you a good and safe break over Easter.

31 comments on “Don’t Rock The Titanic!”

  1. Jenny - How to get there? 1

    Don’t Rock The Titanic?

    Hi Brazil is sinking!

  2. Rosemary McDonald 2

    “Generally, people do not like ‘surprises’ from Government or Budget.”

    May 20, 2013
    What Andrew Geddis Said, But Shorter and With More Swearing

    https://publicaddress.net/onpoint/what-andrew-geddis-said-but-shorter-and-with/

    Outrage from someone who knew little about the issue, but lots about how democracy should work.

    (The comments make a good read as well.)

    Oh the irony that Labour campaigned on reversing this pile of legislative garbage in 2017 but so far just talk…and minister’s meeting with those who stand to lose the most should this legislation be reversed and virtually ignoring those personally affected.

    Not holding my breath.

    Great post Incognito…and y’all slow down on the roads! Constant traffic here on SH 39…and all going too fast!

  3. Paaparakauta 3

    Ardern has created a significant problem .. how does she top this one ?

    What, if anything, does the Aotearoan Labour party stand for ?

    Paul Keating introduced a CGT within a short time of being elected as fait accompli and it has been uncontroversial ever since on all sides of politics.

    In Aotearoa Roger, Bill, and Johns’ unicameral kleptocracy still rules. No wonder the young flee the place when they can .. they know the slanted deck is stacked against them.

    There are many kinds of slavery.

    • Ed1 3.1

      Why do you think Ardern has created a problem? The government is made up of three parties – no-one can get legislation through without at least some support from each of the three parties – if you like, each party can veto anything they like, but they cannot guarantee getting any legislation through risking that “veto”. This also happened under Key/ English at times when they did not have a majority – it is not new.

      Labour and the Greens wanted some legislation – NZ First didn’t. The numbers were not there to even introduce legislation. That is not the fault of the Prime Minister.

      So who should you blame? Well if you wanted the legislation you could blame NZ First; if you didn’t want the legislation then it should never have been even talked about. But either way, the number of MPs turns out to have been decided by voters – are they at fault?

      Lets try and be slavery to the truth and logic – and if I’m wrong, feel free to tell me where.

      • SPC 3.1.1

        The issue was not the inability to convince NZF in this term but the unwillingness to campaign for CGT in 2020 or 2023 …

        This means even a one party Labour government would not introduce a CGT and she would refuse to form a coalition with the Greens if they made a CGT a condition.

        The PM has vetoed a CGT while she is PM. Expending her political capital on this as John Key did when he voted changes to super. Each burning their own base. However while Key did it to win in the centre, Ardern hands a win to the well off and privileged and will gain little in the centre from it.

        She said that Labour would do tax review and then run with an identifiable CGT policy in 2020. That she did not makes it appear that in fact she gave up on CGT impementation during the 2017 campaign and the tax review was just a sop to the party which had supported a CGT since 2011.

        This government is a reprise of the 1984 one.

        Where the left got the nuclear free thing and honouring the Treaty, and the right got control of the economic settings.

        They have conceded

        1. government spends less than 30% GDP
        2. no borrowing and spending, debt reduction targets
        3. no taxes on CG

        The only left wing leg left is being pro worker, albeit with the PM guaranteeing employers have the ear of government to reduce this as much as possible.

        What will the left get, restrictions on freedom of speech and a focus on global warming …

        Action on global warming will have an economic cost, which will cost votes in the centre (and those spared a CGT will still not vote Labour) and some centrists will buy into the threat to freedom of speech criticism.

        The election in 2020 will be close and the result will depend on who gets over 5% and what they do (Key never really won by much).

        And if the Labour-Greens cannot form a coalition NZF would veto much of their global warming mitigation plan.

        If a Labour-Green coaliton is vital to the government being transformational (as per GW), the business realm attack on the possibility of it will be brutal. And after their victory on CGT they will be confident and aggressive and very well resourced.

        • Louis 3.1.1.1

          Because she has already campaigned on it over 3 elections. You cant keep flogging a dead horse. Setting up the Tax working group was the policy to look at CGT and other measures, CGT was just 1 part of it and she could only take it to the 2020 election if she got the numbers to proceed. This is MMP not FPP.

          • New view 3.1.1.1.1

            mores the pity Louis. These politicians love MMP because they can hide behind disagreeing COL partners when the going gets tough. Worse than that they can be bought off like labour was by NZF. The PM was gutless and useless and never attempted to call Winston’s bluff over the CGT. The Tax was just a disingenuous attempt to bribe voters at the last election. At least with FPP the Government of the day was judged on how they implemented their policies without excuses. Not like this BS we are being dished up now. We’ve got what we voted for( or some people have) lots of nothing. 

          • SPC 3.1.1.1.2

            There is no evidence that having a CGT was the reason they lost any of those elections. They lost in 2008 without one and nearly lost in 2005.

            And they were the smaller party in 2017, despite giving up CGT for the 2017-2020 period.

            • Louis 3.1.1.1.2.1

              Never mentioned why they lost SPC, I said she had already campaigned on it over 3 elections and CGT wasn't a policy, setting up the Tax Working Group to look at CGT and other measure was.

              • New view

                If you believe in something Louis you normally try to promote it or sell it. There was no sign of that here. labour employed Cullen to study CGT and then left him to promote it. When it became obvious it wasn’t being accepted by the majority and Winston, Labour dumped it. I’m from the right and could could see parts of the Tax were needed and most NZrs would’ve accepted some CGT initiatives over time. JA was never in a better position to pursue it but didn’t. She’s lost a huge amount of respect even amongst her own followers. 

                • Louis

                  What part of campaigning over 3 elections did you not get? Cullen had his time extended to counter the misinformation and scaremongering by the National party. Whats ironic is the media, the National party and particularly the right wing became hysterical at the suggestion of a CGT and now these same people are attacking the PM and her government for not implementing one. I feel we are going round in a time wasting circle. Theres been enough repetition. Have to agree to disagree. 

                  • New view

                    fair enough Louis. Let’s see how the implementation of some of these policies pans out. You’re a glass half full person I tend to be a cynical glass half empty person. Time will tell who’s closest to the mark. So far you are happy to defend this Government whereas I’m happy to poke a stick at them if I think they deserve it. In my opinion they deserve it. 

      • Cricklewood 3.1.2

        I guess some, like me,  are somewhat dismayed at the abandonment of the policy. I accept in an mmp environment you can't pass everything you would like but why not say that whilst we couldnt reach agreement it remains Labour policy and we will campaign as such. The Nats campaigned on partial asset sales ffs also raised gst with barely a whimper.

        As an aside I wasn't a fan of the cgt as propsed by the twg imo it needs to be broad based at a lower rate packaged with a raft of other tax cuts which target the lower end ie  tax free threshold and a new bracket up top around 40 percent.

    • alwyn 3.2

      Hawke (who was of course the Prime Minister at the time), and Keating, did something that made it much more palatable to Australians.
      CGT applied only to assets you bought after the introduction date of CGT. That was in September 1985 if my memory is still working.
      Anything you owned prior to that date was, and still is, exempt from CGT when you sold (or sell in the future) it.
      You didn’t have this ridiculous idea of Cullen’s that everything had to be valued on some date when he wanted to bring the tax in.
      That was one of the stupidest parts of a stupid proposal.

      • Paaparakauta 3.2.1

        Yep, I was there at roughly that time too. “CGT applied only to assets you bought after the introduction date of CGT”, and “Anything you owned prior to that date was, and still is, exempt from CGT when you sold (or sell in the future)” seem to be right.
        Check  links at the URL’s below for further information.
        I think Jacinda has the potential to be a significant figure in our politics if she survives. That has to be her first priority, rather than ‘crash and burn’.
        Glorious failure went out of style with the Charge of the Light Brigade in Crimea. 
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_of_the_Light_Brigade
        https://www.poetryfoundation.org/…/the-charge-of-the-light-brigade
        https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0027438
        https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062790
        https://www.history.com/…/charge-of-the-light-brigade
        “After Labor won the 1983 election, Keating became one of the most influential figures in the new government. As Treasurer, he oversaw the introduction of a large number of reforms intended to liberalise and strengthen the Australian economy. These included the Prices and Incomes Accord, the float of the Australian dollar, the elimination of tariffs, the deregulation of the financial sector, and reform of the taxation system (including the introduction of capital gains tax, fringe benefits tax, and dividend imputation).”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Keating
        “Capital gains tax (CGT), in the context of the Australian taxation system, is a tax applied to the capital gain made on the disposal of any asset, with a number of specific exemptions, the most significant one being the family home. Rollover provisions apply to some disposals, one of the most significant of which are transfers to beneficiaries on death, so that the CGT is not a quasi estate tax.
        CGT operates by treating net capital gains as taxable income in the tax year in which an asset is sold or otherwise disposed of. If an asset is held for at least 1 year then any gain is first discounted by 50% for individual taxpayers, or by 33.3% for superannuation funds. Capital losses can be offset against capital gains. Net capital losses in a tax year cannot be offset against normal income, but may be carried forward indefinitely.
        Personal use assets and collectables are treated as separate categories and losses, which are quarantined so they can only be applied against gains in the same category, not other gains. This works to stop taxpayers subsidising hobbies from their investment earnings.”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_gains_tax_in_Australia

  4. Jenny - How to get there? 4

    “Generally, people do not like ‘surprises’ from Government or Budget.”
    INCOGNITO

    The joy of surprise.

    I’m a people, and I quite liked the Prime MInister’s surprise announcement, banning all new off-shore oil and gas exploration permits.

    Am I the only one to enjoy pleasant surprises? I don’t think so. Could it be that people do not like unpleasant surprises, but quite enjoy pleasant surprises?

    Why else do some people go to great lengths to plan a surprise birthday party for their loved one?

    What is wrong with having pleasant surprises from the budget, or government?

  5. Siobhan 5

    I wonder if people on the lower decks of the Titanic are happy this Easter?

    …you know, the renters who are looking for a new flat; the renters worried about the rent increases this year; the people living with relatives, parents, friends, because, in actual fact, they do not have a ‘home’; or how about the so called ‘independent contractors’ struggling to make ends meet; the courier drivers struggling to pay off the van, I bet they dread extra days off; or how about the folk in pain this Easter, unable to afford dental care, or waiting for operations that may never happen; or the parents and grandparents dealing with children struggling at school, who are probably 6 months away from even being seen, let alone helped; or all the other individuals denied dignity by a Government happy to stick to Nationals spending limits, the never ending blight of Austerity….

    Sure, Those people comfortable with the nice and steady upward trajectory of their lives, and those who possess the ‘ability’ to ignore the plight of anyone outside their immediate social circle those people of course do not want surprises…

    You’re right, Equality, fairness and the spending required to correct decades of cuts, would be one heck of a surprise…but to my mind, and to anyone who would like to think we are evolving as a people…a very very nice surprise.

    • Rosemary McDonald 5.1

      “I wonder if people on the lower decks of the Titanic are happy…?”

      ‘Course they are! We all know that’s where the very bestest fun is to be had!

      • Siobhan 5.1.1

        ha! yes, perfect.

        Bloody working classes, dancing and drinking their way to disaster..though I’m sure certain people round these parts would point out that they have actual seats, not just benches, and catering provided..thank god for the Progressive largesse and of the industrial revolution

      • mac1 5.1.2

        The risks of emigration. Three months in a leaky boat to NZ. I just read today of what could have happened to my ancestors who emigrated from England on the Crusader in 1874. The ship sprang a leak in a storm in the Indian ocean, all hand to the pumps and young men to the bucket brigade. Full catastrophe looming……. and then a large fish swam into the hole and plugged it! Its skeleton was found when the ship was examined on the stocks in NZ. Even so, eleven people were born on that three month voyage and eleven died. (Great music btw with full bore uilleann pipes.)

        And, as an after thought, those risks are still being taken today,

    • Observer Tokoroa 5.2

      Siobhan
      A very Nice piece of Writing! We need to do so much for our Young and Poor.

      With due respect to the Titanic, I am not inclined to think that Coaltion Governments are four steps towards anything.

      They are a sort of “one potato, two potato, three Potato,’more – kind of a muddle.A Topple is inevitable.

      At a guess, the NZ Voters wouldn’t know much about any of our Coaltion politicians. Yes they would know about the good looking Winston Peters. They might know a bit about Shane Jones who has many things to say up in Whangarei but, no known actions.

      Then there is Peter Shaw who rides on a wooden Moa – up and down the Corridors of Parliament. He is Boss of the Green Party. Which has 2 Bosses. One in hiding.

      Then, there’s Labour featuring Grant Robertson – Mr Money bags for short; -Mr Little a fine Legal man redefining mistakes; and Jacinda Ardern. – A Truly Worldwide Wonder. !

      All we know about our 120 politicians, is that Mr Little is going down the Mine sometime in the Future. It has to be a Hail Mary Job.

      But three Coalition Partys holding each other back, is asking too much of any Chooks or Pigs. Order in the House ….

    • Jenny - How to get there? 5.3

      <blockquote>

      Siobhan5

      19 April 2019 at 6:06 pm

      I wonder if people on the lower decks of the Titanic are happy this Easter?

      …you know, the renters who are looking for a new flat; the renters worried about the rent increases this year; the people living with relatives, parents, friends, because, in actual fact, they do not have a ‘home’…….

      </blockquote>

      Following the collapse of the CGT…..

       a nice surprise for the renters and homeless, would be a punitive tax directed toward the owners of the tens of thousands of homes that are being deliberately left untenanted, set at a level to force them to let them out or sell them.

      Now that would be a nice surprise in the budget.

      For those privileged individuals, who, when this issue was raised during the last Auckland Mayoral race, bitterly complained that their second holiday home would be unfairly caught up by such a tax;

      For the purposes of this tax: If your, Crib, Batch, Part Time Palace, or glorified Mai mai, is connected to a municipal town supply, it is not a holiday home.

      If Vancouver can do it then why can't we?



  6. Koff 6

    The climate change iceberg is going to affect all of the people in the Titanic, even the greedy selfish people on the upper decks who have been applauding the death of the CGT. Here is the link to the BBC presentation by Attenborough “Climate Change: The Facts” screened in Britain yesterday. The video does have some rather surreal ads, which jar with the sombre messaging. https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x762zkd.

    • tabletennis 6.1

      Climate Change: The Facts (2019).”Why should we go to school if there is no future and why should we learn facts when the most important facts don’t matter” Greta Thunberg – Schoolstrike4climate.
      I can’t help wonder (loosing hope) if this Labour Government will get around doing something /anything to bring her desire to do something into action Jacinda Ardern: ‘Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment’.
      Building more houses is nice but adds to the problem not the other way around.Together with the just released report on the miserable state of NZ biodiversity; certainly blows out of the water the NZ myth that it cares about the environment –
      it is high time people and politicians have to start making decisions on facts and outcomes – If only there was a law for ecocide

  7. gsays 7

    One of the biggest failings of our political system is the lack of a bold big picture..
    E.g. Aotearoa organic by 2025/2030.
    We lurch from election to election, with non horse scaring policies trotted out. Or not trotted out i.e. C.G.T.
    I accept moving the minimum wage to the living wage is a wonderful boost for most of us wage slaves.

    Coalition politics is restricted to the governing arrangements, it would be lovely if we could expect more bipartisanship (or whatever multi party agreements  are called) from Wellington.

  8. Stuart Munro. 8

    People don’t mind surprises in budgets – it’s the financial sector and corporates that hate them – entities that are not entitled to vote for good reason.

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    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 ...
    5 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks 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
    11 hours 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
    13 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    1 day 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
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