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Economic sabotage

Written By: - Date published: 12:54 pm, April 23rd, 2013 - 184 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, energy, labour, national - Tags: , , ,

The Nats don’t seem to be able to debate the Labour / Green electricity sector plans rationally. Here we are five days later and still the best that they can muster is desperate ranting.

It started with Joyce’s “the commies are coming” press release:

Labour and the Greens have jumped the shark with a half-baked Soviet Union-style nationalisation “plan” for electricity in New Zealand, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

“This is truly wacky and desperate stuff obviously made up in the last minute in the Koru Lounge between comrades Norman and Shearer,” Mr Joyce says.

This 1970’s scaremongering is so laughably hysterical and crude that it has found no resonance at all with the electorate. But instead of trying something more rational the Nats are doubling down on the stupid with an extra twist to the rhetoric:

Opposition accused of economic sabotage

Labour and the Greens are being accused of deliberately sabotaging the economy by proposing a Soviet-style, state-owned electricity provider.

Economic sabotage no less! Surprised that it took them five days to come up with it – it’s such an obvious (and stupid) line of attack that I covered it in the first post on NZ Power at the time it was announced:

It isn’t an ambush and it isn’t “sabotage”. It will be put to the electorate in 2014, and investors have plenty of advance warning, time to respond.

We only get NZ power if the electorate votes for it. It isn’t sabotage to curb the ever increasing prices of the failed market model, it is cleaning up the mess.

If you want the real party of economic sabotage – look to the Nats. Their misguided and discredited austerity budgets have been stifling the economic recovery in NZ for four years now – just ask the record number of Kiwis leading the exodus to Australia.

184 comments on “Economic sabotage”

  1. BM 1

    Looks like economic sabotage to me.

    • framu 1.1

      how?

      that clip doesnt prove anything near what you want it to

      • BM 1.1.1

        There’s no other way you could take that.
        The body language speaks volumes.

        • felix 1.1.1.1

          I’m a little dense. Could you please spell out – without saying “speaks for itself” or “obvious innit” or “everyone knows” – what’s in the video that indicates economic sabotage?

          • Mary 1.1.1.1.1

            Because Clint said “that’s not why we did it” and because we know the Greens are all liars that means it is why they did it, so it’s economic sabotage. Easy.

        • framu 1.1.1.2

          as felix said – seeing as were all a bit dense can you point it out?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      That’s probably because you’re delusional, seeing things that aren’t there.

      BTW, which important bit was cut out of that video?

      • Jackal 1.2.1

        The edit looks to have been made before Farrar uploaded his version of the 3 News report, so I guess we’ll never know. However considering Patrick Gower also says:

        A Labour Greens government would bring back state control of electricity busting up the market and the profitability of power companies.

        …We can assume that the report was edited to make the Greens look as bad as possible, which isn’t very bad in my opinion compared to Keys blatant lying.

        We’re talking about policy affecting 7% of $10 Billion in revenue generated by power companies in 2012… That’s hardly going to touch profitability. In fact revenue grew by an average 18.6% last year, meaning profits should be positively influenced by revenue growth of around 11.6% per year in the future.

        The right wings fear mongering is entirely baseless!

    • TheContrarian 1.3

      I also fail to see the “economic sabotage”.

      That is just Hughes being a mutant.

      • BM 1.3.1

        He was asking a rhetorical question, you can see it in his face.
        The greens knew this sort of announcement would create chaos, that’s why they did it.

        Lots of dumb arses in NZ who are easily bribed, the greens and labour know that, the market knows that as well, hence the reaction.

        • felix 1.3.1.1

          lolwut? You think he did that on purpose? Asked for a line from an adviser on camera to make a rhetorical point?

          Are you fucking insane?

          If that’s not what you mean then as before, spell it out.

          • BM 1.3.1.1.1

            I think he thought TV3 wouldn’t run with it.
            The greens have had a very easy ride with the TV3 news dept, probably because Campbell and few others are major green party supporters.

            Unfortunately for Hughes and the greens that wasn’t the case this time.

            • Pascal's bookie 1.3.1.1.1.1

              That’s right mate, it’s all a communist plot. They’re all in on it too.

            • Colonial Viper 1.3.1.1.1.2

              Actually, TV3 and Campbell live are major Communist Party supporters. Did you not realise?

              • framu

                so they arent all under the bed at all!!!!!!!

                you mean theyre out walking about and hiding in plain sight

            • TheContrarian 1.3.1.1.1.3

              Errr, what?

            • felix 1.3.1.1.1.4

              So BM I assume that’s a “No, I can’t explain how this is economic sabotage because I don’t really understand what just happened”.

              Thanks for clarifying mate.

            • Matthew Whitehead 1.3.1.1.1.5

              LOL, TV3 in the tank for the greens… this whole saga is essentially one big series of “Wingnuts say the darndest things.” XD

              Just because you’re used to watching your washed out conservative friends on TV1 does not mean the somewhat less unreasonable people with TV3 are crazy leftists.

          • infused 1.3.1.1.2

            Pretty much everyone thinks that felix.

            Even the partner was blown away by his interview. “What a dick” is all she had to say.

            He should speak more often.

            • felix 1.3.1.1.2.1

              lolz, no-one believes he said any of that thinking it would end up on tv.

              Not even BM, and certainly not you.

        • framu 1.3.1.2

          see, if youd gone with

          “what a twit – he doesnt know what hes meant to say and had to check – ergo their centrally controlled communists”

          i would have called you crazy but awarded some points for a logical, if somewhat tenuous, pathway

          but your real explanation – wha????

        • Clockie 1.3.1.3

          BM. Don’t take up poker professionally. You won’t be any good at it.

    • Murray Olsen 1.4

      ???????
      Is that actually the link you wanted to put up?

    • Mary 1.5

      Are you saying the opposition parties aren’t allowed to announce policy? The Greens/Labour announcement is surely nothing more than telling the public what they will do. I would’ve been happier if they’d said straight away that they’d nationalise the power companies, but they didn’t. Would you’ve been happier if they’d done that? What is the real beef the right has with the Labour/Greens announcement? Is it really about the timing? Or is it about what it’s doing to the asset sales policy? Labour/Greens are part of the opposition. They have not just a right but a duty to challenge government policy they don’t agree with. Joyce and Key and Bridges are comparing the Labour/Greens announcement with North Korean politics, but the reality is that the Nats’ criticisms of what the announcement is doing to one of their policies is in fact more akin to the totalitarianism we see in North Kora because they’re in effect attempts at crushing democracy. Get over it, BM, if Labour and the Greens didn’t make the announce you’d be critical of that, too, for not having a policy. Now they’ve got one it’s economic sabotage, which it isn’t, of course. It’s called bad policy sabotage, being carried out within our free and democratic political system, and is what any Opposition worth it’s weight should be doing.

    • Clockie 1.6

      BM. Define your terms. You (and your ilk) are using sabotage as a synonym for subversion and making it sound as though it is analogous to treason. The NZ Power announcement isn’t subversion of the State. It is quite simply (at this stage) a policy announcement. All concerned can now carry out their decision making with that information in mind. All opposition parties in all democracies that I know of have always been free to announce their policy settings at any time they wish. It is then up to the electorate to decide whether they actually get the opportunity to enact those policies. Question is; are you feeling lucky? Are you feeling lucky enough to go and buy MRP shares? Or do you think maybe the opposition might become the Government on the back of this and possibly other similar policies. You’d whine more if they didn’t announce the policy until after the share float wouldn’t you? If they do become Govt, tough titty. That’s democracy. Find something else to do with your money but don’t expect us all to cower and cringe if you threaten to take it off-shore.

  2. Mike 2

    If it really was ECONOMIC SABOTAGE!!!!!!1!11 then wouldn’t Labour have waited until after the three share floats to announce this policy?

    And there is an easy way to stop the ‘sabotage’, postpone the sales, hold an election and see who really has a ‘mandate’

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Exactly Mike.

      This sabotage line has the potential to bite National hard. They are comitted to the MRP sale, but if the left holds up in the polls then selling anymore would just be an act of spite before they are slung out of office. Sabotage indeed.

    • Tamati 2.2

      It’s economic sabotage because Labour is decreasing the value of the Crown’s own assets. Labour should have privatized the remaining 49%, then announced the single payer model. Ensuring maximum returns to the Crown and cheaper power to consumers.

      • framu 2.2.1

        ouch! – can you imagine the reaction?

        it would be thermonuclear

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          Typical corporate type M&A strategy

          Surely what is good for the private sector goose is good for the public sector gander?

      • geoff 2.2.2

        Except for the fact that it is the announcement of the policy that will probably get Labour into government. They can’t privatise the remaining 49% unless they’re in power.

      • Rob 2.2.3

        Ensuring maximum returns to the Crown and cheaper power to consumers.

        How????

        You cant have both, unless you run the assett into the ground as you wont be funding any new capacity or even keeping up basic maintenance.

        Oh I see you will just rack up taxes. Fabulous.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.3.1

          Taxes are fine mate, its how civilisation and the economic/social commons is funded.

          Ensuring maximum returns to the Crown and cheaper power to consumers.

          Here’s a small clue for you…the Government is supposed to look after the welfare of the people. Not act as a rentier capitalist.

          • Rob 2.2.3.1.1

            Here is a clue for you, taxing the general population into subsistance isnt looking after the people either.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.3.1.1.1

              Yeah, that’s why we of the left want to decrease the regressive taxes of electricity.

              • Rob

                I think you would find most people would like a reduction, but you are exclusive to your chosen left (whatever that is) segment. What people do not want is to be taxed heavily to support the govt controlled electricity prices and to have an industry that no one wants to invest in the also has to be maintained by tax payer funding as well. It does not make sense.

                • geoff

                  Who’s talking about taxing everyone? Let’s just tax the fuck out of the wealthy.
                  Sounds good, eh?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  What people do not want is to be taxed heavily to support the govt controlled electricity prices and to have an industry that no one wants to invest in the also has to be maintained by tax payer funding as well.

                  Um, what? The profits that the power companies achieve are a tax – a very heavy tax in fact.

                  I’m pretty sure that the taxpayers were quite happy investing in power generation through their taxes. I’m sure that they’d be more than happy to do so again.

                  The problem is that the private sector doesn’t want to do the investing but they do want the monopoly returns that the infrastructure generates after the taxpayers have done it.

                  BTW, after the taxpayers built all the infrastructure it’s actually morally wrong for anybody, including the government, to profit from it. Which is why they should be a government service that runs at break even or, perhaps, a slight loss. And, yes, the difference would be made up by taxes. All major capital investment would be done from taxes.

                  • Rob

                    Great so lets lower one set of tax (elec charges) and lets rachet up the others , net result more tax, but very cleverly hidden and disguised. This is why there is no trust in Labour.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      …net result more tax, but very cleverly hidden and disguised. This is why there is no trust in Labour.

                      Strange, last time I looked I’m not Labour, don’t for speak for Labour and the tax rates were publicly available and not hidden.

                      No matter what happens, we do need to pay for things. If we keep capitalism and the poverty that comes with it then the people who will be paying the most will be the capitalists because it’s a) their fault that we have poverty and b) they’re the ones benefiting most from the infrastructure that the community builds.

                • tricledrown

                  infrastructure that has an income !
                  your an idiot rob!
                  command an control economies are growing faster than laissez fare austerity driven economies in fact all bean counting austere govts are in recession and we would be to if not for our accidental Keynesian economy .ChCh has saved our bacon proving Keynesian policies work !

                  • Rob

                    I actually think you are confused, the two great examples of stimulous payments (ie Aus and USA) over the last 6 years show they achieved nothing.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The only people that the US and UK have stimulated is the rich which is why it didn’t work. The insurance payouts to Chch are far broader and so actually work.

                    • tricledrown

                      Rob you obviously know nothing about the Australian or US economies!
                      The republicans have stymied all stimulus through the house of representatives ever since the stimulus has stopped grown has slowed and stopped read some news before making uninformed comments!
                      like wise the Labor govt in Australia has stopped all stimulus as well because of knife edged majority they are hamstrung!
                      With the likelihood of a conservative govt taking power in September the beaned brained bean counters of the right wing will put Austerity to the for claiming the Australian govt is in serious debt, when in fact the Australian govt has one of the lowest debts of any govt!

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Aussie debt one of the lowest in the world? Not if the Right win the election it won’t be.

              • dumrse

                Decreased quite a bit in your nine years didn’t it?

            • Colonial Viper 2.2.3.1.1.2

              Here is a clue for you, taxing the general population into subsistance isnt looking after the people either.

              Hey buddy, please don’t worry, I’m sure the top 2% won’t have to give up their new Audis, their holiday bachs in Queenstown, nor their regular summer skiing in Aspen.

              PS it is rentier capitalism which is pushing most people back to week to week subsistence.

              • Rob

                I am not worried about the top two , although you probably should be buddy. Maybe your lording it up lifestyle might have to change. Actually how do you feel about being a part of the 1%.

                I am actually concerned about the next 75% who actually pay the taxes.

                • geoff

                  Don’t be such a disingenuous twat, Rob. The population in NZ is struggling to pay crazy prices for basic necessities on shit wages, and all because of the rent-seeking tory economy we live in. Nothing to do with income tax.
                  For you to blow on about taxes is completely missing the point AND ignoring a wealth of economic history which categorically shows that progressive tax systems allow economies to grow the most rapidly and provide the best standard of living for their citizens.

                  • Rob

                    Yes little to do with income tax now, because it is at a sustainable rate. Lets not stuff it up eh.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Income tax is always sustainable as long as the person has enough to live on afterwards.

                      The highest growth has always come when we’ve had the highest income taxes and that’s repeated around the world.

                    • geoff

                      Only sustainable in the sense that if it were higher for low income earners they’d be starving in the streets. If it’s so fucking sustainable then how come they need to subsidise business with working for families? If employee rights were restored and wages reflected returns from productivity gains, as they used to, then we should all be able to pay our way for the system.
                      You’re only looking at a part of the problem and not considering the whole picture.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I am actually concerned about the next 75% who actually pay the taxes.

                  I would support tax increases on the top 2% in order to give tax breaks to the bottom 75%.

                  From what you wrote, you would agree?

          • mkesh 2.2.3.1.2

            In fact government should be protecting the commons from being grabbed by rentiers.

        • felix 2.2.3.2

          “Ensuring maximum returns to the Crown and cheaper power to consumers.

          How????”

          By not selling our energy assets. Duh.

      • Arfamo 2.2.4

        National giving huge tax cuts to the wealthy, having to borrow massively from overseas and slash government spending to make up the massive unexpected revenue shortfall, and increasing GST and a whole raft of regressive and hidden taxes on the lower paid while desperately trying to flog off taxpayer owned assets to private profiteers – that’s the real economic sabotage.

    • Rich the other 2.3

      That’s the problem, like it or not they do have a mandate.
      This policy was well debated at the last election , the nat’s won.
      What’s wrong with the govt implementing its voter approved policy ??.
      Wouldn’t they be crucified by there supporters if they didn’t honour their policy’s.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.3.1

        No. They wouldn’t. Glad I could clear that up for you.

      • framu 2.3.2

        i know there many who will always see it one way (or the other), but..

        1) every poll ever taken by anyone has roughly 70% opposed
        2) elections arent single issue decisions
        3) getting the most votes under MMP doesnt guarantee that any party will form the govt
        4) all the mandate is, is a mandate to govern. This means that they get to advance their policy platform, but they still have to go through the democratic process each and every time for each piece of proposed legislation
        5) winning elections AND THEN forming the govt, doesnt give you the power to force a policy – it only gives you a pretty good assurance that you will have the required numbers – but under MMP thats a much more fluid situation

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.3

        What’s wrong with the govt implementing its voter approved policy ??

        What voter approved policy?

        Most people are against assets sales which means selling them is unapproved.

        • Rich the other 2.3.3.1

          Sorry draco BUT,
          A majority voted for selling at the last election , like it or not , that’s what happened.
          The coalition was formed with no coalition members objecting to the sell policy.
          Clearly the voters thought selling was preferable to a green/labour government, nothing has changed since then.

          • Pascal's bookie 2.3.3.1.1

            A majority voted for selling at the last election , like it or not , that’s what happened.
            The coalition was formed with no coalition members objecting to the sell policy

            Does that mean that opposition parties cannot release policy?

            Clearly the voters thought selling was preferable to a green/labour government, nothing has changed since then.

            Well there hasn’t been an election since then if that’s what you mean.

            • Rich the other 2.3.3.1.1.1

              Pascal’s bookie,
              The green/labour circus can release intended policy but this is a fairy tale designed to commit Economic sabotage, nothing else.

              An election isn’t due for some time, this govt has about 18 months before the next election which is plenty of time to implement the govts sell policy.
              When its complete and 49% of each of the various assets are sold NZ will have about 650000 new share holders who won’t be interested in loosing their money.
              Vote green/labour they won’t, get used to it.

              • Matt

                I imagine there will be about 3.x million other New Zealanders who aren’t interested in subsidizing the 650,000’s investment.

              • Pascal's bookie

                *laugh*

                How does the economic sabotage line work with that fantasy bubs?

                Game it out.

                National are running the sabotage line hard. It only works if people think the policy will work in reducing prices (otherwise there’s no sabotage) and if people think Lab/Green are likely to win (otherwise there’s no damage).

                So when it comes to the next float, the question will ne why is National selling?

                And you’ve said it yourself, they’ve got the 18 months and they are going to do it because they can. The economic case for the sales was marginal at best, and now they are saying it’s been sabotaged.

                The responsible thing to do, if the policy has really been sabotaged, is to go to the country and see what they want. If National wins, no sabotage eventuates as the risk would be gone.

                That’s where the conversation is heading fool, if it’s sabotaged, why are you still selling? Oh yeah, because you can because you were elected and so you’ll do it out of arrogant spite even though the markets (political and financial) think it’s risky.

                If National wants an election based on that, let’s go.

                • Rich the other

                  Pascal’s bookie,
                  you’ll have to do better than this.
                  The sabotage is in the attempt to collapse the value of mrp.
                  The share price has a range between $2.20 and $2.80, if demand determines $2.20 then the shares will have been devalued by .60c which equates to hundreds of millions of dollars.
                  That’s economic treason to our country.

                  The taxpayer will have to make up the short fall in the budget or borrow .

                  Why would the govt go to the country , this was a major policy for the winning party at the last election, the responsible thing to do is to get on with what they were elected to do.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    But the conditions and risks of the sale has changed, and as you have pointed out, in fact significantly worsened.

                    What responsible government would still go ahead blindly, without taking the new environment into account?

                    • Rich the other

                      Colonial V,
                      Conditions might have changed , that’s why the price has a 60c variation.
                      At the end of the day I think the losers will be green/labour ,the timing of their announcement says it all ,SABORTAGE.
                      I can’t vote for that lot next time and I am a traditional labour voter,( we were in short supply last time).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So the National Government will keep blundering ahead, even though the conditions and risks have changed?

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    You’re not thinking clearly Rich t’other.

                    Any devaluation in the shares is caused not by Labour speaking, but by the possibility of their policy being brought in. It is fully within National’s power to alleviate that risk by delaying further floats until after an election.

                    If National wins that election, the sales can go ahead and the Crown will get those ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’.

                    National will need to come up with a much better reason to cement those losses in than ‘but but we won you have to let us’ that just makes them look like they are so sure they are going to lose the election that it is worth paying those hundreds of millions of tax payers dollars just to get get some shareholders votes locked in.

                    The idea that it is responsible to push ahead with a ‘sabotaged’ policy, when confirming the will of the country would remove that sabotage is simply arrogant partisan lunacy.

                    The country has a decision to make about this Lab/Gre policy. If they like it, that will effect the value of the SOE gentailers. It is not responsible to sell those gentailers until that decision has been made.

                    • Rich the other

                      Pascal’s bookie
                      Why should they delay anything ,they have a real mandate, get on with it.
                      This approach by green/labour will decrease the opening share price and increase the investors profits.
                      Smarten up ,stop whinging and buy some shares.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      The should delay the sales until after an election in order to avoid locking in unnecessary losses to the Crown of hundreds of millions of dollars.

                      Your position here (that they should press ahead and lock in losses to the Crown so that shareholders make a windfall profit if national wins the next election) looks to be far closer to ‘economic treason’ than anything Lab/Greens have done.

                      See how the conversation goes Rich?

                  • Lanthanide

                    Erm, no, it’s economic treason to go ahead with asset sales that have been proven to cost the country more in lost dividends compared to the interest costs.

                    National is committing economic treason, not Labour.

                • dumrse

                  And you would have a dollar to win on your Sheep dip would you?

              • geoff

                “fairy tale designed to commit Economic sabotage, nothing else.”

                What a load of shit. Go and listen to Dr Geoff Bertram on radio nz for the truth. He’s been studying the electricity market for 20 years and he thinks that the plan has great merit, provided they get the details right.

                [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20130423-0908-the_state_of_state_asset_sales_percent_differing_electricity_policies-048.mp3" /]

                If you still think the way you do after listening to that then clearly you’re fond of cartels and monopolies and think the vast majority of people should be getting screwed over.

          • framu 2.3.3.1.2

            “A majority voted for selling at the last election ”

            no they didnt, they voted for parties with a range of policies

            unless of course you can prove that evey vote for national and act was cast because of their privitisation policy

            • Rich the other 2.3.3.1.2.1

              framu,
              Why do you assume only nat/coalition voters want the partial privitisation.
              I know some labour voters who think its a good idea, your assumption that only nat voters approve of this particular policy is wrong , as you noted , voters make decisions on a range of policy’s .

              • Colonial Viper

                You silly billy

                Plenty of National voters think that asset sales are a dumb idea, one which sells out our country.

              • framu

                “Why do you assume only nat/coalition voters want the partial privitisation.”

                im not – which is is kind of the point – your the one claiming a vote for nact was a vote for asset sales remember. Im saying people vote for a party for a whole bunch of reasons and its foolish to try and attribute motive in a uniform manner

                “I know some labour voters who think its a good idea,”

                and did they vote labour?

                so whats that about?

                kinda blows a whole in your single policy mandate routine

            • infused 2.3.3.1.2.2

              No, Key said last election was on asset sales. Stop being so stupid.

              • Colonial Viper

                irrelevant. last election was a long time ago and market conditions have changed.

                • infused

                  Not irrelevant. It’s the same argument everyone is using, which is completely wrong. The country had the opportunity to vote for any party they wanted. Full well knowing voting National was a vote to sell assets – regardless of the market conditions.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Listen to yourself.

                    Are you really suggesting that National should just go right ahead and sell, no matter what has changed?

                    No one is saying they can’t go ahead. They are saying that they should consider delaying it. The most anyone is saying is that based on National’s belief that NZ Power has sabotaged the sale, they should delay the sales until after that uncertainty has been resolved.

                    Why should they lock in losses? If National wins the next election, any ‘sabotage’ on the price will be felt in the Crown’s accounts, purely because National will have locked it in there for no good reason other than ‘We won an election, so there’.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    IIRC, National said that they won’t sell unless they get a good price, ergo, as they won’t get a good price (and never would actually) they should keep their word and not sell.

                    • Jim Nald

                      So they say. That will be another one to add to the litany of lies.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Unfortunately, a good price for their bankster and investor mates is as cheap as possible.

    • Sweetd 2.4

      Are we back this this mandate thing again. So, lets see labour get over 50% of the vote else they can’t do anything, seems fair don’t it?

      • felix 2.4.1

        No that’s not how it works at all. Parliament is sovereign. If National have the numbers in Parliament to sell assets then they can.

      • Akldnut 2.4.2

        Fair would be Labour using the same rules of demanding shit thru bogus mandates because National and their of less than 50% of the vote did for it for 2 terms and reversing everything National has done at our expense then smack the shit out of Tax dodgers starting from the top downward – not the bottom upward.

        Starting with Multi-Multi Millionaires and moving straight over to the opposition and their backers whom most would be amongst the first group anyways then heading downward the rest.
        Now that would be fair

  3. Ennui 3

    You know the bastards are beat when the spin word “Soviet” surfaces. More idiocy from Joyce, a clever man who does not have a clue who or what he represents when he makes such statements.

    If Joyce wanted to find some economic saboteurs he might just have a look at the people who put money into SCF knowing the government was going to guarantee it, or perhaps the mates of Shonkey who trade derivatives on Wall St. Myopia I can excuse but Joyce takes selective vision to a new height.

  4. Ad 4

    Just totally agree with this post, but needs more analysis. Don’t have to agree with the Green/Labour tactics but National promised for two elections that we would be a richer country because of what they did. The legacy of the Clark years IMHO is holding up pretty well.

    Convention Centre/Cycleway/huge mine/financial services centre/exporting boom anyone?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Building economic and industrial capability is a long, expensive process of investment in technology, infrastructure and in people. Unfortunately, the right wing view that the government has little to no role in that process, other than being hands off and staying far away. Throughout the world, that’s not a model which has worked.

  5. ropata 5

    First came rogernomics, then ruthanasia, now bilbo english is cutting the throat of our economy with asset sales & austerity.

    Since 2008 the NACToid/MUF miscreants have given us nothing but unrestrained casino capitalism, speculation and rent seeking.

    They only get away with their corrosive agenda by circumventing democracy and lying to the public, and liberal use of media distractions and photo ops.

  6. burt 6

    Well I guess since Labour stole National policies in 1984 – there is no reason why they can’t re-try failed Muldoon style policies. They got Muldoon elected – they might get Labour elected…

    It’s about being popular enough to rule – thats all Muldoon wanted and it worked for him…

    History repeats – only the flag colour changes.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      burt’s forgotten that the world has actually moved on, both in political economics and in analytical policy understanding.

      • burt 6.1.1

        CV

        burt’s forgotten that the world has actually moved on

        Monopoly price control and regulation … I suspect It’s Labour who have forgotten the world has moved on…

        But I guess if National policy is multiple companies and competition then the natural “opposition” to that is a monopoly and price control. So if nothing else we can at least say Labour are good at being opposition….. With policies like this – long may that last.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1.1.1

          I’m glad you don’t like this policy. Keep panicking. Tick tock 2014.

          • Rob 6.1.1.1.1

            Yep, actually I have learnt something good from David Shearer, you will be pleased knuckledrager. Best set up an off shore bank account and get the good stuff out of here, as once these goons get in it will pretty sad around here.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2

          Monopoly price control and regulation

          Steve Keen has already proved that the price on the ‘free-market’ is the same as the price of a monopoly because the competitive firm and monopolies use the same pricing formula. If they didn’t they wouldn’t have a profit.

  7. One Anonymous Knucklehead 7

    You only have to look at what the serious players are saying to realise that people like Burt, BM, John Key and Steven Joyce are full of shit:

    Morningstar, which is not involved in the power company float, still recommends investors subscribe to the share offer.

    Analyst Nachiket Moghe said the firm’s low-cost hydro and geothermal generation portfolio, as well as its retail dominance in the Auckland market, gave it a “narrow economic moat … in the oligopolistic New Zealand electricity market”.

    He estimated the firm would generate a return on invested capital of 12.5 per cent on average over the next five years.

    Economic sabotage yielding a 12.5% return.

    Keep panicking, trash. You’re gone in 2014.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Rentiers always want private returns in excess of 20% pa; no wonder Joyce Key etc are upset

    • burt 7.2

      Wow, I get lumped in with the PM and the Minister for Economic Development and all I did was remind this thread that Muldoon was infamous for price control, regulation and state control.

      Is it really that hard to remember the reasons why his policies did so much damage to this country ?

      Potentially it is when Labour and the Greens start wheeling out his failed policies of the past as fresh new ideas.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        burt

        let’s hope for another nation builder, one with a vision for NZ’s infrastructure and its engineering and technical prowess.

    • tricledrown 7.3

      So why kunckledragger would you sell an asset returning 12.5% a year to pay debt costing 5.5% pa its a dumb idea and i,m glad you have pointed it out it means if mighty river power is sold off the tax payers are loosing 7% per year!
      So the govt will have to borrow or tax more to make up the shortfall!
      Great argument knuckle dragger!

  8. One Anonymous Knucklehead 8

    Most of us are going to have more cash in our pockets. The investors will still be making 12% returns. Fewer profits will go offshore.

    Win win win.

    The whinging wingnuts will keep panicking. Win 🙂

  9. tsmithfield 9

    So what do you say to Labour-voting kiwisavers who have had their savings reduced due to the drop in prices of in Trustpower etc? Take one for the team?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1

      They’ll see the difference in their powerbills and the economic boost as more cash stays onshore.

      • tsmithfield 9.2.1

        Sure, it wouldn’t be an issue if it was just a market fluctuation. However, this proposal is likely to have a long-term effect on the value of the companies, thus is likely a real loss of wealth for kiwisavers.

        • r0b 9.2.1.1

          The market reaction so far has been a blip not a catastrophe. THe most dangerous time is now past, and things will probably head back to normal, with this “risk” factored in with all the others. And long term? See the BERL report – economic benefits outweigh costs big time…

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.2.1.2

          “A real loss of wealth” offset by lower power bills and fewer profits going offshore.

    • Karen 9.3

      That sounds a bit hysterical. Surely Trustpower’s not the only place kiwisaver funds can be invested? Anyway, they’ll be saving on power bills, so it’ll all even out in the end!

      • tsmithfield 9.3.1

        Thats what you would like to think. Perhaps you would like to answer my second question below.

    • Rob 9.4

      So what do you say to Labour-voting kiwisavers who have had their savings reduced due to the drop in prices of in Trustpower etc?

      “Suck that bitches, ye haa.”

      • Clockie 9.4.1

        What percentage of an individuals funds do you reckon would be invested in Trustpower then? How much difference do you think it will make on each Kiwisavers bottom line?

    • cardassian 9.5

      I’m a kiwisaver. Must say I’m willing to take this policy and a savings reduction over asset sales and a higher return.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Do you think they will enjoy the brown-outs and power shortages that seem to be expected under the California model that the left has promoted as a exemplar of the intended policy.

    And given that the new entity will be both a monopoly buyer and seller of electricity, then what is there to stop future governments from milking this entity through dividends from increased power prices as they have already been doing with the SOEs?

    • Dv 10.1

      How did Enron do in California?

    • ianmac 10.2

      Don’t quite buy that TS.
      If we have that Market Force with an elected Democratic Government then surely a Major Economic Crash could not and would not happen.
      If you have the Right to Marry regardless of gender, then the World will crash and burn, and (…future governments from milking this entity through dividends ….) and next minute, men will be marrying their dogs. Logical eh?

    • Matt 10.3

      Douchebag, that page simply discusses the procedures in the event of something going wrong. It’s like saying the safety briefing on an Air New Zealand flight is because they’re prone to crashing.

      • tsmithfield 10.3.1

        Not so.

        Here is a quote from the document:

        To understand the situation facing California, there are three terms that need to be defined- blackouts, brownouts, and rotational outages or “rolling blackouts.” A rotational outage or “rolling blackout” is when the utility company shuts off the power to an area, turns it back on, and then shuts the power off in a different area. The power outage typically lasts 60 to 90 minutes.

        Sounds like brown outs/black outs are frequent and expected.

        • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.1

          Useless and irrelevant. This nation has always managed its core infrastructure better than the Americans. Because we still believe in public utilities.

          • Matt 10.3.1.1.1

            Yes, New Zealand, world model for infrastructure.

            What?

            • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.1.1.1

              Yep it is.

              • Matt

                Right, could you pass that along to the National Infrastructure Unit, and RadioNZ who just had a feature on this topic a few weeks ago, or authors of the infrastructure comparison conducted by NZCID, or the latest World Economic Forum report on global competitiveness where NZ infrastructure ranked 47th. Oh, and maybe tell Stephen Fry.

                Awesome, thanks.

        • Matt 10.3.1.2

          As someone who is from there, they are neither.

          It was only ever so during the ill advised semi-privatisation scheme where unscrupulous private producers were allowed to game the system and soak electricity users for massive, overinflated profit.

          Oh..

        • rosy 10.3.1.3

          Still reads like Enron to me- the corrupt model that was replaced. The latest pic or mention of a blackout on that page is 2003. If you have evidence that the post-Enron model is responsible for rolling black/brownouts I’m keen to see it.

    • Karen 10.4

      Personally I don’t believe the govt should sell the SOEs at all because any profits ‘milked’ would all be returned eventually to the taxpayer via govt spending on health, education, infrastructure etc.

      Remember also that if a future govt can ‘milk’ the entity, then so will the private investors who hold the 49% stake – and where will that money end up? Overseas probably.

  11. felix 11

    Anyone who has watched or participated in these forums over a reasonably long period of time knows that there are certain commenters who act as pretty good weather vanes for various winds.

    tsmithfield is one of them, and the general rule is that if he dislikes something you can be fairly sure it represents a transfer of money or power away from the elites and toward the ordinary people.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    It seems to me that the left’s definition of “hysteria” is “any cited evidence that clearly demonstrates that their beloved policy is in fact a crock of shit.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      You mean like Stalin Albania Sabotage North Korea Life Savings half baked soviet evidence?

      • tsmithfield 12.1.1

        I was thinking more in terms of other stuff I have already pointed out:

        Such as:

        1. Labour via David Parker pointing out that the centralised purchasing of power is a no-go back in 2006.

        2. Exemplars of the proposed model that the left have promoted in fact are actually very poor examples. For instance, KEPCO being 49% private-owned as per the National share sale plan, and KEPCO owning its own generation capacity, quite unlike the model the left is proposing. Now I have pointed out how California is less than glamorous in its ability to provide constant power, supporting the contention from the right that the model the left is proposing will eventually result in an unreliable power supply.

        3. Asking the very reasonable question about why the proposed model should be any different to the SOE model where governments can milk dividends at whatever rate they want. So there is no guarantee of long-term benefits to consumers.

        So, how does any of that qualify as “hysteria”?

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          1) 7 years ago is a long time, in politics and in economics
          2) Single buyers have more buying power, it’s that simple. California is irrelevant to NZ.
          3) Governments can milk citizens as much as they want. That’s just the way it is.

          • tsmithfield 12.1.1.1.1

            1) Nah. 1970 is a long time ago. And that is where it looks like the left is heading.
            2) Single sellers have a lot of power too. That is what the new entity will be. Which is why it is such a bad deal for consumers.
            3) But at least taxes are upfront and quantifiable. Very hard to know whether taxpayers are being rorted or not under the proposed model.

            • felix 12.1.1.1.1.1

              lol.

              Most seem to agree that it’s very, very easy to know whether we’re being rorted under the current model though.

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh we’re definitely being rorted under the current electricity regime. Or should I say, being Rogered.

        • rosy 12.1.1.2

          “I was thinking more in terms of other stuff I have already pointed out:”

          And people have argued your points, without you going back to support your position. Suggest you go back and read the threads, not just what you wrote.

          • tsmithfield 12.1.1.2.1

            Just countering the “hysteria” meme the left is pushing at the moment. Anyway, I don’t think any of the points I have made thus far have been adequately answered.

            • felix 12.1.1.2.1.1

              Thanks for that fascinating ruling Mr Speaker.

              • rosy

                I just looked it up and it’s that JOYCE19765a ruling where ‘If I said it it must be true’ requires no evidence and the KEY19765b ruling where opinion carries the same weight as evidence and requires no further clarification.

        • Matt 12.1.1.3

          The only thing you’ve pointed out is that you have a reading disability, and Colonial Viper has demonstrated that he doesn’t even agree with the people who conceived NZ Power as to what is relevant.

          Double score!

  13. pollywog 13

    I was looking for my travel bag today cos i’m heading off for a week. So i look under the bed and whaddayaknow ?

    This fucking cossack jumps out and starts dancing round the room.I said “dude, wrong country mate” and showed him the door.

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      Haha.

    • burt 13.2

      Yep, that’s what Muldoon said while implementing price controls, regulation favouring state run monopolies and restricting free trade with increased tariffs and taxes.

      Funny how his legacy is cast as right wing because he implemented his policies under a National government.

      Followers of a flag never seem to get past what they think the flag stands for no matter him many times they have it thrown in their face. Those failed policies of the National government under Muldoon could be repeated under Labour – but the ideologues think that being implanted under Labour will make them good – how myopic and stupid can people be …

      • mickysavage 13.2.1

        So Muldoon was really a left winger? He was such a shyte leader and suppressed free speech and collective activity but he was a socialist?

        Burt you really need to check your links to reality.

        • burt 13.2.1.1

          Excluding the suppression of collective activity …

          How myopic and stupid can people be … Thanks Micky … You prove my point !

  14. tsmithfield 14

    Oh, and here is another bit of “hysteria” from someone who should know what they are talking about.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      There’s no need to worry about destroying “shareholder value” when those shareholders maintain their value by ripping off NZ consumers and small businesses.

      • tsmithfield 14.1.1

        Of course, I guess it is no problem to you that a lot of those who are losing shareholder value will be battlers who have built up kiwisaver nest eggs.

        • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.1

          Still in ChCh Tarqui?

          Walk around the battler’s hang outs and see how much of a fuck they think this government gives about their nest eggs.

        • rosy 14.1.1.2

          The real battlers are those that can’t afford to build up their Kiwisaver nest eggs. They’re too busy working two jobs to pay the power bill after they joined Kiwisaver because their employers were going to contribute 4 percent. Only they found that incentive was taken away and at the same time GST increased and their income tax cut didn’t cover it.

          Btw I don’t think anyone has argued the NZ Power won’t affect shareholder value. You haven’t actually read the posts you’re commenting on if you think that NBR link changes anything.

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.2.1

            To achieve socialised changes to help NZ, financialised leverage and shareholder value must be destroyed.

            That happens because that private value is returned to the commons.

            To Marx, this is nothing more than the ever present but often disguised tension between capital and labour, becoming obvious to all once more.

            • tsmithfield 14.1.1.2.1.1

              Soooo….were you the architect of this new policy CV. It looks to me that it has your fingerprints all over it. 🙂

              • geoff

                I’m curious to know what sort of value is it if $600 million of it gets spooked and fucks off on the news of a possible policy from a party that’s not even in power. Probably not the sort of value I’d want my retirement savings stored in.

                In reality of course pension funds put money into government bonds when they near maturity so that they aren’t subjected to the volatility of the sharemarket so tsmithfield’s argument is, as usual, completely stupid.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Now you’re asking very dangerous questions…they don’t usually let ordinary people see the truth of what goes on behind the capitalist free market curtain 😉

        • Shaz 14.1.1.3

          a) they are all forewarned – and they could invest anywhere in the tradeables economy whose success doesn’t disadvantage the 3.6M New Zealanders who will not or cannot invest in MRP
          b) advocating private wealth and public squalor. Yuk – not attractive.
          c) The usual rubbish about trickle down wealth and rising tide raising all the boats that is cited by Conservatives as the rationale for capitalism are both contra-indicated by public asset sales.

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    Yeah Yeah tories. Blah blah.

    Cut to the chase, snap election or not?

  16. dumrse 16

    I agree, let’s go to the polls now. Labor have an outstanding team with the best Leader they have had in years. Plenty of Union funds in the bank account to fight with…………. On on let’s just do it.

    • vto 16.1

      Nup, not until you wankers promise not to fiddle the polling booths again. Meantime we’ll just keeping announcing new policies to sink your precious capital values. Suck it up sucker.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Fictitious speculative electronically generated volatile capital value. Not actual real world sustainable economic value.

      • Pascal's bookie 16.1.2

        Mate, I reckon if Nats are serious about this ‘sabotage’ bullshit they have to go to the country.

        At the moment they’ve got about a 5 point gap to close, and we’ll see what people reckon.

        Banksie has a court case hanging over him, which may be problematic conversation wise, but no worries.

        Colin Craig has been a bit unfortunate, but never mind.

        There’s always Winnie for Key to have cuppa with, we’ll see how that plays out.

      • big bruv 16.1.3

        “Nup, not until you wankers promise not to fiddle the polling booths again”

        You mean by offering free meals of KFC to voters in South Auckland?

        Or by introducing the corrupt Electoral finance act?

        Or by passing legislation to make your electoral crimes legal (Pledge card)

        Or, do those things fall under the category of “nobel corruption”?

  17. big bruv 17

    Of course it is economic sabotage, anybody who says it is not is a liar, or an idiot….or called Clint.

    I did note that one of the categories this post is tagged under is “class wars”. That always makes me laugh.

    Class wars only exists in the mind of lefties and lazy people. Those who push “class wars” want what others have without having to do any work or take any risk, in short they are almost always bludgers, morons and parasites…hence they vote for the left.

    Every few years the lefty pollies will make a song and dance about power prices (while ignoring the fact that under a Labour Green govt the prices increased by 70%) or welfare, or some other made up issue and once they do get into office they do nothing at all about those issues they were once so concerned about.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 17.1

      Of course it isn’t economic sabotage: as a result of this policy people will have more cash in their pockets, and fewer profits (I note that there will still be a 12% return on investment available) will head offshore. That will boost the economy, as BERL predict.

      “…do nothing at all…”

      The proof of the pudding is in the eating. 2014 tick tock.

    • Colonial Viper 17.2

      Of course it is economic sabotage, anybody who says it is not is a liar, or an idiot….or called Clint.

      Yes, it is economic sabotage. Against million dollar blind trusts and investment banksters looking for fat fees.

  18. halfcrown 18

    Just had a trip to the South Island. Visited Aromoana I now realise how fortunate we are in this country to have the so called economic saboteurs, like the ones who protested against the smelter Muldoon’s National government was planning to build there. I remember the same right wing shit by right wing fuckwit commentators like we have today with predictions of doom, if the smelter did not go ahead, with the same tired hackneyed phrases against the protesters or anyone who was prepared to stand up for what they thought was right and for the benefit of everyone. Through this economic sabotage by the then protesting commies, left wing lazy sods after your dollar, Stalinist idea’s, Afghanistan rebels, Taliban, Tanzania, Fred with his Fish & Chip shop or whatever label prats from the right wants to give, this beautiful place that supports a lot of wildlife was saved from having another right wing uneconomical disaster in the way of an aluminium smelter, that no doubt would have been heavily subsidised by cheap power paid for by New Zealanders.

  19. Ruobeil 19

    According to Annette King on ZB 8.15am this morning food is cheap (what happened to No GST on fruit and vegetables?) and so is water, rates and petrol…… wait

    Breaking News. Millions die around the world, from………….no electricity. LOL Priceless.

    So after spending so much time and taxpayers money running around the country how expensive fruit and vegetables are; as of this morning they aren’t. Does that include milk as well?

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      No electricity, no refrigeration of food

      No electricity, no pumping at sewage processing stations or water reticulation

      No electricity, no surgical lights, medical equipment, respirators, autoclaves, forget xrays and MRIs

      No electricity, means reliance on dirty fuel sources at and around the home

      No electricity, no ability to communicate by mobile phone networks, disconnection from vital information and the internet.

      No electricity, economic activity and income dives, and poor people die faster.

      Does that include milk as well?

      No electricity, can’t produce, ship or store milk in volume for long distances or long periods.

      • Ruobeil 19.1.1

        Approximately 20% of the worlds population survive without electricity.

        I don’t know about you, but i could survive without electricity

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    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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks 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
    10 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to 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 welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
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  • $100 million to redeploy workers
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  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
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  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
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