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Dubai: Subprime state

Written By: - Date published: 2:18 pm, December 1st, 2009 - 31 comments
Categories: economy, International - Tags: , ,

Dubai is the subprime folly writ large.

In the US, they built ‘exurbs’ in the Californian high desert, two hours each way from LA; rows of McMansions bought by people who couldn’t afford them whose lifestyles were dependent on cheap petrol*.

In Dubai, they built skyscrapers in the desert; golf courses, swimming pools, even indoor snowfields in a land with no rivers; fake islands off the coast of a near empty country. All of it with borrowed money. Dubai is a monument to the triumph of humanity’s ability to dream over its ability to see sense.

The country has natural gas wealth but its boom was fuelled by the boom itself, a construction bubble that drew in engineers and builders demanding more construction. And it’s all coming crashing down. The skyscrapers and the artificial islands were built on borrowed money (imagine an oil and natural gas rich-country living so far beyond its means that it has to borrow). Then the bottom dropped out of oil and natural gas prices and the world financial crisis hit. The companies have stopped coming, new skyscrapers sit near-empty.

The state-owned construction company, Dubai World, is in enormous trouble. It announced it won’t be meeting its debts of US$59 billion for six months. It remains to be seen whether Dubai will be able to restart payments at that point or whether it was simply the furthest date they could ask for without triggering all out panic.

Dubai’s effective partial default on its debt has already been compared to the collapse of Lehman Brothers last year, which turned a rapidly worsening situation into a full financial meltdown. The world markets are already wavering. Maybe a good time for the Cullen Fund to bank its gains from this year’s bull market and put its money in bonds and cash (specifically Euros and USD, ride the flight to quality).

What Dubai shows is that under the veneer of recovery created by government stimulus programmes, the fundamental economic problems that caused the recession as still unresolved. Many people have been predicting a ‘w’ shaped recession. We may already have passed the middle apex and Dubai is the signal of the second descent.

*(check out Yasha Levine’s accounts of life in subprime Victorville)

31 comments on “Dubai: Subprime state”

  1. infused 1

    been known for quite sometime…

  2. vto 2

    Some good thoughts there mr marty. Mine own readings on this point to this being perhaps the tipping point for the apex as you say, but generally on the basis that it is the excuse investors need to pull their positions in equity markets (after a substantial rise this year). The subsequent fall in those markets triggers a mini-avalanche which may in turn trigger the big one.

    Other comment also suggests however that this is not a GFC problem on the scale of Lehmann Brothers. It is not so structural. So it may be a trigger but not any underlying cause.

    But don’t you just love the human capacity for dreaming and conquering?

  3. sweetd 3

    Marty

    Are you saying that stimulus packages don’t work? That the market should be left to sort itself out, that is, companies succeed/fail on their own merit.

    Yup, agree with the ‘w’ shaped recession. The original problems have not been solved, and the govt bail outs/intervention have not helped the problem, but are the problem. All the bail outs have done is push forward the time when the medicine has to be taken.

    • snoozer 3.1

      The experience of history is that government has to step in when the private sector fails, if it stands by or, worse, cuts its spending then things will just get worse. the problem is that governments can only prime the pumps for so long, if private business is unable to start pulling its weight again then things will start to slide.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      The stimulus packages were basic stupidity writ large. They tried to bail the banks out rather than the economy which was suffering from too much money and increasing at exponential rates due to the fractional banking system. The best that the governments of the world could have done was to put a ban on borrowing/lending money for a year or three and then forgiven all debt while allowing people to keep what they bought with that debt. Some people would have lost some money but most people would have been ok. And the people who did lose? shrug, when you loan out money you’re taking the risk that you won’t get it back.

      • Lanthanide 3.2.1

        You know all those bank deposits, normally called “savings”? That’s a loan that you have made to your bank. Think about the implications of what you’re suggesting – it won’t just be “some people” that lose “some money”.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          I’m quite aware of that and I had thought about it. My conclusion was that most people, living at subsistence level and therefore with little or no savings, wouldn’t be adversely affected. After all, they wouldn’t actually lose anything that they had.

          Anyway, I said that was the best they could have done – I didn’t say that it would ever be done.

      • Lew 3.2.2

        Financial Year Zero.

        L

  4. MikeE 4

    A fine example of why the state should stay out of business eh?

  5. Tim Ellis 5

    Interesting points Marty.

    Dubai is an extraordinary place. The degree of one-upmanship (it’s often reported that Dubai had until recently a quarter of the world’s cranes) in Dubai is just astonishing. The excess and desire to build a great city from the sand is perplexing. The money had to run out sometime.

    Still I suppose Rome, Paris and Prague were built by people with grand ideas as well.

  6. vto 6

    Some more thoughts. This illustrates one of my theorems on the recent boom bust scenario. Many people regard the recent boom as all puffery and no substance. Built on false credit and false hope and unsustainability and etc.

    But that is not quite right. The recent boom allowed mankind to accomplish some things, such as Dubai. The recent money glut in fact spawned many things like this – the mcmansions were actually built and families were born and raised in them, people rested their weary heads in them at night, the yachts and ferraris were actually crafted and drive and sail today. They still exist right now and continue to be used and enjoyed. They were made by mostly normal people using their tools and skills to make these things. Tall buildings were built, rockets were sent to the sky, millions were employed. Physical creation happenned. Work happenned. Dreams were met. People got to live an upgraded lifestyle. A better standard of living was enjoyed.

    Sure there is a hangover now, but things were built and accomplished. So while it is oh so easy to lambast in miraculous hindsight, the accomplishments should be given their due.

    (I’m sure that will all go down in a rather smelly manner with readers given the certain loathing of ferraris and superyachts and mcmansions etc on here.)

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Things were built and accomplished the problem is the financial economy which, according to some reports I’ve read, now has a total value of derivatives of ~$1 quadrillion while the real economy has a value of ~$1 trillion. When the financial aspect of the economy is larger than the real economy then something has to give.

      BTW, the only way that the financial economy can get larger than the real economy is due to the fractional reserve banking system and the lack of regulation and oversight.

      • Quoth the Raven 6.1.1

        Criticism of the fractional reserve banking system your starting to sound free market 🙂 But I know you’re not.
        Captcha Bank

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1

          I’ve been criticising the fractional reserve banking system for a few of years. Anybody who actually thinks about it and holds it up to some logic must come to the conclusion that it’s completely delusional.

  7. Quoth the Raven 7

    In light of the talk of monetary reform here it is instructive to look at what the central bank in Dubai did: What’s Behind the Dubai’s Financial Crisis?

    The key factor behind the crisis is the boom-bust policy of the UAE central bank. After closing at 4% in October 2006 the yearly rate of growth of the central bank’s balance sheet (the pace of monetary pumping) climbed to 177% by December 2007. In response to this pumping the yearly rate of growth of UAE’s monetary measure AMS jumped from 6% in October 2006 to 62% by April 2008. This massive pumping has given support to various activities that without the money pumping wouldn’t have emerged. In short these activities cannot stand on their own feet without support from monetary pumping.

    Since January 2008 the pace of pumping by the central bank has been trending down. In January this year the yearly rate of growth of the central bank’s balance sheet plunged to minus 36.5%. As a result the yearly rate of growth of money supply fell to minus 12.5% by July this year. It is the fall in monetary pumping that is currently putting pressure on various activities that sprang up on the back of previous massive monetary pumping.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    The indications are that the Dubai problem is pretty much contained. It looks like their very rich neighbour, Abu Dubai is going to bail them out. Of more concern is other heavily-indebted countries with the potential to default. e.g. Ireland, Greece, etc. That is what the Dubai situation has brought to into sharp focus.

    I am not sure that bailing out failing enterprises, national or private, is a good thing. It only prolongs inefficient systems that may be better to fail and re-emerge as something more efficient.

    BTW, I seem to remember that many commentators here were advocating that we going on a borrow and spend blitz to get us out of the recession. In hind-sight, that sought of approach may well have put us in the same boat as some of those nations that the investors are very concerned about now.

    Any comments from those who were making borrow and spend recommendations now?

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      It’s worth bearing in mind that the bank bailouts were not stimulus. They really should be thought of seperately. The bank bailouts were to prevent a financial crisis, the stimulus packages were about the economic crisis.

      Also, ‘borrow and spend’ is nice rhetoric, but dishonest. The point is stimulus. That is what is advocated. the borrowing is necessary usually, and the spending needs to be done right.

      But anyway, I anticipated your request here:

      Pascal’s bookie
      November 26, 2009 at 11:01 am
      NYT has a round up of economists (both from academia and the private sector) on the US stimulus:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/21/business/economy/21stimulus.html

      with graph, strangely hidden behind a sidebar link:

      http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/11/21/business/21stimulus_graphic.html

      rumours of it’s failure; unsupported.

      Main criticisms are of the tax cut aspects put in to appease right wingers and that those made less money available for the parts that, you know, worked.

      • tsmithfield 8.1.1

        It is working to the extent that it is artificially pumping up asset prices through the carry-trade on the US dollar and the like. If you factor in the decline of the US dollar, for instance, the S&P500 hasn’t grown in real terms since about July, even though the US stock market appears to be roaring ahead. So, the US are basically inflating themselves into oblivion. It is a really fine balance the Fed has to tread to avoid the US becoming another Zimbabwe.

        If you want to get a good, diverse range of commentary on all these sorts of issues, I suggest you have a look at:

        http://seekingalpha.com/

        The real debate is, is it actually a good thing to bail out the world economies, or would it have been better in the long run to have let them fail and start again a-fresh and endure some long-term pain for the next couple of decades.

        The current attempts to rescue the world economies is just going to lead to more asset bubbles in the future. In fact, Bernake seems to accept this as the necessary consequence of cleaning up the current mess.

        • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1

          I try not to confuse the markets with the economy.

          • tsmithfield 8.1.1.1.1

            If the markets aren’t the economy, then what is?

            • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1.1.1

              For real? Serial?

              Surely you’d agree that the financial markets are a part of the economy.

              If so, necessarily, to use them as a proxy for the economy in total, = fail.

  9. tomfarmer 9

    small thing Marty,

    you mention ‘partial default’ and mebbe best you state the DW figure (latest) of restructuring to cover $26bn debt.. to explain this..

    that said would other commenters like tell us what the world would look like today without stimpacks.. yes, and including the enzed government’s income tax reduction packages.. it is all very well to yak about matters after the event, but courage in human affairs has hardly ever been theoretical..

  10. Bored 10

    Read Kunstler.com this morning on this very subject, very illuminating.

  11. tsmithfield 12

    Pascal “For real? Serial?

    Surely you’d agree that the financial markets are a part of the economy.

    If so, necessarily, to use them as a proxy for the economy in total, = fail.”

    I meant markets in the widest sense, as developed from the days of bartering etc, not just the financial markets. Do you agree that, in that context, the markets are the economy? Think about it. Even an employee is engaging in a market function of exchanging their labour for money. I stand by what I said. The market is the economy.
    After all, you did say “markets” without qualification.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      After all, you did say “markets’ without qualification.

      Don’t be knob. I was responding to this:

      It is working to the extent that it is artificially pumping up asset prices through the carry-trade on the US dollar and the like. If you factor in the decline of the US dollar, for instance, the S&P500 hasn’t grown in real terms since about July, even though the US stock market appears to be roaring ahead. So, the US are basically inflating themselves into oblivion. It is a really fine balance the Fed has to tread to avoid the US becoming another Zimbabwe.

      That is what I was talking about. And the fact that you linked me to a an interesting, but very financial and equity market-centric, website.

      Markets as you describe them a re necessary in some form for an economy, but they are not the same as the economy. Any more than a cardio vascular system is the same thing as a person.

  12. Bored 13

    TS, I have said before you should read a little more, your world view is incredibly narrow. As for markets, they are an important abstract in our current economic system, they may even approximate real transactions taking place. Markets dont physically make things, they dont actually consume, these too are components of economic activity distinct from a market. To ascribe markets with being the entire economy is to give an abstract a monotheistic position. If you have not done so already with your faith in markets you would do well to become one of those occultist fortune tellers and interpreters of chicken guts that as a profession call themselves economists.

  13. tsmithfield 14

    Bored, from the very widest perspective the activities you describe are also part of the market. Consumption drives demand which drives the need to make things.

    If someone gives you some seeds and you grow and eat the food yourself, then you have not engaged in the market. The moment you buy the seeds, then you are part of the market. Therefore, market=economy.

    • Bored 14.1

      TS, it seems obvious to me that you have a mechanistic viewpoint, purely materialist. A world view where there is nothing that might not be enumerated, classified and linked to a transaction. Its the picture common to Marxists and market fundamentalists, we are only units of consumption entirely self interested. Very sad, no free will and human spirit, merely self interested transactions, in your case labelled a “market”.

      As an aside, I am a keen gardener, I grow plants and harvest their seeds. In your terms I am part of a symbiotic market, the transaction is that I harvest and replant, the plant gets to grow rent free on my patch of micro biotic biomass, which I have (in a self interested way) seized from my fellow man through some pecuniary process. We are an internal market. Hurrah!

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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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

  • 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
    17 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
    19 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
    1 day 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
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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
    3 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago