web analytics

Encouraging Signs

Written By: - Date published: 1:32 pm, March 3rd, 2017 - 25 comments
Categories: democratic participation, drugs, political parties, Politics, social democracy, Social issues - Tags: , ,

Direct democracy doesn’t mean a referendum, nor does it mean consensus. It can take a number of forms depending on the issue.

That’s something I could, and have written in discussions about democracy here on ‘the standard’. And of course, it’s a million blue miles away from what any political party is talking about when they bandy the term ‘democracy’ about. Or at least it was until now.

The quoted bit of text comes from The Opportunities Party. It seems they’re making an honest bash at injecting some form of direct democracy into their decision making processes around policy. Will it be problematic? Probably. Will mistakes be made and will tuning, both fine and more coarse, have to be made to make direct input an effective tool of policy formation? Probably.

But it’s a start and a direction of travel that ought to be lauded and encouraged. Straight off the bat, my concerns are that the framework they’ve set in place invites an obvious degeneration to a position of democratic centralism – ie, an authoritarian system of decision making.

Bearing that in mind, I had a look at their attempt to formulate a member driven Cannabis Law Reform policy. It’s fairly comprehensive and asking for considered feed-back. As well as the usual ‘tick box’ preferences, it asks why a particular option is prefered and there’s a fair amount of cross referencing embedded within the questionnaire template. I’m sorry I can’t link to it. It appears you have to have registered an interest in the party to access it. But here’s a partial reproduction.

On possession/use.

What do you think appropriate penalties for cannabis use are (if any)?*  (Six graded options and a box to explain why you have ticked the option or options you have – an explanatory panel)

Personal Production.

What do you think appropriate penalties for small-scale cannabis production are (if any)?* (Seven graded options and an explanatory panel)

Scale/Commercial Production. 

What do you think appropriate penalties for cannabis production at scale are (if any)?* ( Four graded options and an explanatory panel)

If production is legal, who sets standards and checks growers and manufacturers are abiding by the law? Who can produce, under what conditions, where?* (No options. An explanatory panel)

Distribution and Sale

What do you think appropriate penalties for cannabis sale are (if any)? (Four options and explanatory panel)

If legal, how would you manage distribution – advertising, licensing and placement of outlets, online, labeling, dispensary with trained staff, eg pharmacy?* (Explanatory panel)

Criminal Justice System

What do you see as the likely impacts on the criminal justice system from your proposal? How much criminal justice resource would be freed up and what are the likely benefits of that? Or if extra resources will be needed, how would you fund that? What is the likely impact of your proposal on criminals and gangs?* (Explanatory panel)

Economic

What do you see as the likely impacts on the taxation revenue from your proposal? What would you spend any revenue raised on?* (Explanatory panel)

What do you see as the likely impacts on creating a cannabis growing/ export industry (over and above hemp which can already be grown under strict controls)* (Explanatory panel)

Public Health

How would you manage mental health risks – addiction and use by young people (risk of triggering psychosis), and if relevant how should this be paid for? (Explanatory Panel)

How would you manage use? (user registration, price, quantity, e.g. number of plants people can grow each?) And quality (e.g. for strength, pesticides, mould etc). How should this be paid for? (explanatory panel)

Treatment

What services do you think should be available to those that need treatment and how should this be paid for?* (explanatory panel)

—————

Up until now, I’ve been keeping a quiet eye on TOPS and like others, wondering at the lack of discussion here or elsewhere. Now I’m thinking it’s time I paid more serious attention to them and spent some time reading through their literature properly, because what they’re attempting looks to be streets ahead in terms of empowerment and flexibility in relation to any other political party’s policy formation process I’ve encountered.

25 comments on “Encouraging Signs”

  1. weka 1

    Interesting. Is the Keep Updated thing at the bottom of the Cannabis Law Reform page enough to get access? Would be good to see the bigger context.

    TOP are doing some very interesting policy development from what I can see across a range of policies. Lots of good ideas, but not so great on the detail. They look to me like conservatives with some social conscience. The big question for me is whether they would support a National govt, and as far as I can tell they would and it’s possibly their preference. In that sense I think there is a conflict between their ideas generation and reality (I doubt they will have enough influence in a NACT govt to gain much ground and would end up like the Mp but without the constituency). Which leaves NZ and the left in a tricky position, because while I’d like to support their ideas generation (including around democracy), their political positioning makes me want to stamp on the embers that could cost the left the next election.

    The other main problem I have with the policy development is that it often looks good at the ideas level but once you get into the detail it looks more and more conservative or regressive. Hence Morgan’s pre-TOP UBI proposal would throw solo mums and disabled people under a bus for the good of the economy. I’ve seen that juxtaposition in a number of policies. It’s like the good ideas need to be run through someone other than Morgan’s world view, but he doesn’t like doing that. So I’ll be interested to see what happens with the membership-driven bits.

    What are they doing with the answers to the questions on cannabis? What does the party structure say about final control of policy?

    In a sense their using their membership might be really good, but that would largely depend on who their membership is. When I see Morgan and TOP talking seriously to beneficiaries and other vulnerable people who are affected by the policies, I’ll start to see them in a kinder light.

    tl;dr yay better democratic processes, but only if they are actively inclusive, and I don’t see that built into their political culture yet. That’s risky.

    • weka 1.1

      Ok, it looks like they are taking feedback on those questions from anyone registered as interested (so not just members). The form is at the bottom of this page,

      http://www.top.org.nz/cannabis

      • weka 1.1.1

        Would be good to hear from IP members how this compares with the process IP used. Draco?

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          Very similar.

          We had discussions on drug policy reform starting from the idea that we’d support legalisation of marijuana for medical purposes. That got shot down by the membership pretty quickly with everybody supporting full legalisation. Ideas got discussed and voted up or down and then the leadership put it all together into a comprehensive and coherent policy of full legalisation.

          It’s still the best policy of full legalisation that I’ve seen. Even better than that of the Legalise Marijuana Party IMO.

    • Bill 1.2

      The big question for me is whether they would support a National govt, and as far as I can tell they would and it’s possibly their preference.

      They say they will sit on the cross benches and don’t seek to be in government. So I’m not understanding why you conclude that they would support a National led government and would prefer to support a National led government. Given that the Greens have already accused them of nicking some Green environmental policy, isn’t it reasonable to assume they align more with the parties they have policy over-lap with?

      The other main problem I have with the policy development is that it often looks good at the ideas level but once you get into the detail it looks more and more conservative or regressive.

      Do you have any specific or detailed examples you can give? Seeing as how they would appear to be wanting to shake things up quite a bit, ‘conservative’ seems an odd label to attach to them.

      When I see Morgan and TOP talking seriously to beneficiaries and other vulnerable people who are affected by the policies, I’ll start to see them in a kinder light.

      Then maybe the upcoming “Struggling Families and a UBI” Policy release will be that moment.

      For me, the unfortunate use of the word “Opportunity” in their name gives me a bit of the heeby jeebies given that it’s a catch-word of liberalism. (Ie – equal opportunity as opposed to fair outcomes).

      As for how they’re processing feedback on policy formation – I have no idea. Like I say (and I have the same problem with most deliberately constructed frameworks that seek to achieve scale) the seeds of democratic centralism have already been planted. That means or would mean that a small group of people get to determine the internal discussion and decide on what is and what is not incorporated into policy. Bad as that is, it’s still streets ahead of what I’ve seen of other political parties in NZ – ie, they are at least attempting to be inclusive and direct (no cumbersome and captured ‘committee processes’ etc.) I also note that they want to use the same technique to change their constitution – which has the potential to iron out some wrinkles around ‘capture’.

      Anyway. All of that aside, it’s going to be their Climate Change policy that I’ll be looking to.

      • Carolyn_nth 1.2.1

        Actually, Geoff Simmons did say the TOP would work with the National government – until September at least, and then with government of the day, which could include National:

        From TOP website:

        Only Geoff Simmons of The Opportunities Party is able to credibly make the pledge that he will work for the people of Mt Albert with the National government that is our government – like it or not – until September at least. Why would you vote for anyone else?

        From Spinoff:

        Gareth Morgan’s TOP is debuting in Mt Albert. Candidate Geoff Simmons says they’re “blue-green”, “radical centrist” and “pro-business with a heart”. With no National Party candidate he could do quite well, although even the greenest and most liberal of National supporters may be sorely tested by TOP’s plan to remove all incentives to investing in property.

        And Spinoff again:

        Geoff Simmons: Well, in case it’s not already obvious, I’m the only person at this table that’s not already in Parliament, so the question is – if you vote for these guys, who are you really voting for? And also, we are prepared to work with the government of the day, neither of these guys is prepared to do that. So what voice is Mt Albert going to have over the next seven-to-eight months?

        From NZ Herald:

        Geoff Simmons, The Opportunities PartyOccupation: Economist
        Age: 42
        Lives: Westmere (temporarily)
        Both the Labour and Greens candidates are already in Parliament and neither is willing to work with the National Government for the next 7 months. By voting for me you could have 3 MPs for the price of 1; and some real influence to boot as I would work with the government of the day. As an economist I am the natural choice for anyone interested in a strong economy. My priorities are getting house prices and rents under control, clean beaches and fixing the infrastructure that is creaking under the strain of rapid population growth.

        • Bill 1.2.1.1

          “We are neither left nor right and will work with whichever major party is open to our policies.”

          Hey Geoff Simmons from TOP here to do an AMA from newzealand

          Which kind of leaves me wondering if other little ‘descriptor nuggets’ were left off the list of quoted descriptors that ‘The Spin-off’ used seeing as how everything they quoted is very weighted to the right. (I admit to being wary of the Spin-off)

          Or it could be that Geoff Simons is just a right winger who doesn’t know it? What indication might be garnered from the Morgan Foundation, seeing as how he was the General Manager of that?

          As for working with National for seven months…does that necessarily mean propping them up? I’d have thought they run through to the election no matter what at this point. (shrug)

          • Carolyn_nth 1.2.1.1.1

            That we are not left or right, fits with their “we are radical centrist”, and calling themselves blue-green, and pro-business. Really, they don’t look left wing to me.

            I am always suspicious of people saying they are neither left nor right. Puts them more around the centre, and these days that is pretty much neoliberal.

            And the 2nd spin-off link is under the video of a debate with some of the Mt Albert candidates.

            There seems to be quite a bit of similarity between the different website’s statements allegedly by Geoff Simmons, as well as with the statements on the TOP website.

            The rest of the quote after the bit you quoted in the above po\st:

            Regardless, The Opportunities Party won’t take on a policy position that isn’t evidence based. Involving people is fantastic for deciding our values, but evidence is determined by expert input. This process will need to bring the two together.

            So, basically, it’s not looking that much different from a business market research. It doesn’t sound like the more collaborative determination of policies as described by Green Party members.

            And it doesn’t even look as collaborative as the Labour Party conference remits – albeit that the parliamentary LP then makes it’s own decisions about policies.

            It also doesn’t look as collaborative as the Loomio online discussions by the IP last election.

            TOP looks more like a CEO and directors, asking for input from customers, then developing their own products/services based on their own biases and aims.

          • weka 1.2.1.1.2

            “We are neither left nor right and will work with whichever major party is open to our policies.”

            Yep, they’re probably what Lynn calls orthogonal to the L/R spectrum.

            NRT: Fundamental incomprehension

            However the Greens have done a number of things that TOP haven’t. In their positioning beyond L/R they have ended up with a fair few policies that are also left wing and have thus ended up being the most left wing party currently in parliament. TOP’s policies are a new breed IMO, but we need to not assume that because some of them, or aspects of them are attractive to lefties that they would be left wing policies. The devil is in the detail (my other comment upthread).

            The Greens also used their internal democratic processes to reach a position of theoretically working with any party, but in reality they can’t form a govt with National at this time because of where National are at. This was decided by the membership and from what I can tell it was probably against what some of the MPs, senior party official and one co-leader wanted. So when I see TOP going through this kind of process and making it public, I’ll be more inclined to trust them. In the meantime they look like they know how to say the right things.

      • weka 1.2.2

        “The other main problem I have with the policy development is that it often looks good at the ideas level but once you get into the detail it looks more and more conservative or regressive.”

        Do you have any specific or detailed examples you can give? Seeing as how they would appear to be wanting to shake things up quite a bit, ‘conservative’ seems an odd label to attach to them.

        Morgan’s UBI proposal is basically a rearrangement of taxation to make the economic system fairer. Except that there will be vulnerable people that will get screwed over in the process (you and me included btw). The people that will be ok will be those on the dole/DPB etc who can pick up extra work. People that can’t work for whatever reason will be impoverished more than they are now.

        The reason his UBI doesn’t alleviate poverty for those people and in fact makes it worse, is because he is not designing a system with social justice in mind. He wants a system that appears fairer to his upper middle class mind. If he was interested in social justice he would be talking to poor people ad using them to develop policy.

        Someone who wants to fix the tax system over fixing welfare is IMO conservative.

        “Then maybe the upcoming “Struggling Families and a UBI” Policy release will be that moment.”

        Sure, I’m happy if they get this right. But there are other policies where they are basically following the same pattern. Another one is putting a capital tax on the family home and expecting elderly people with minimal income to take out a mortgage to pay for that. That’s inherently conservative and anti-social justice. For him a home is an investment, that’s why it’s ok to tax it. Making income-poor elderly home owners take on debt late in life in order to pay tax, that’s the policy of someone who wants the system to look fairer but at the expense of people.


        As for how they’re processing feedback on policy formation – I have no idea. Like I say (and I have the same problem with most deliberately constructed frameworks that seek to achieve scale) the seeds of democratic centralism have already been planted. That means or would mean that a small group of people get to determine the internal discussion and decide on what is and what is not incorporated into policy. Bad as that is, it’s still streets ahead of what I’ve seen of other political parties in NZ – ie, they are at least attempting to be inclusive and direct (no cumbersome and captured ‘committee processes’ etc.) I also note that they want to use the same technique to change their constitution – which has the potential to iron out some wrinkles around ‘capture’.

        I haven’t had a good look yet, but on the face of it all I can see them doing is consulting their email list. That’s not democracy. Without seeing what the mechanisms are internally, it looks like pretty standard middle management consultation processes where you gather feedback but don’t allow the people you are gathering feedback from to have control over what happens with the information. I’m happy to be corrected if they are doing something more than that. I’d be more impressed if the actual power structures were visible (but like I say, I haven’t looked yet).

        btw, in that link re democracy, they talk about their upcoming economic policy and consumers. That’s you and me. Again, this is classic management speak, albeit much shinier presumably due to all the money he throws at it. Lots of good ideas, but when I start to scratch the surface, there are problems.

        I think Carolyn covered the are they RW or not stuff.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Hey, did you know that the Internet Party’s drug policy was almost fully developed through public online discussions on Loomio?

  3. Keith 3

    Come on.

    You can be reassured, encouraged even, and as Carolyn – nth has said above – The Opportunities Party WILL prop up this corrupt, lying, cheating National government.

    So getting nice and toasted legally to anesthetise one from that effect doesn’t encourage me.

    But if one is a liberal “lefty” and this National government hasn’t harmed you and silly things like not housing people is of no consequence or being working poor is all good then yep, vote for yet another millionaire of the ruling class who knows best, who thinks forming a political party will enhance his investments and one whose alter mission in life is to eliminate cats!

    • Bill 3.1

      Not a liberal “lefty”. Very much a cat person. Waiting for the CC policy. 😉

    • Carolyn_nth 3.2

      Agree, Keith. i am skeptical of another rich guy thinking his money means he can do politics better than others – and without having done the hard yards in electioneering, on the ground over time with a team of candidates and party members.

      I don’t see anything of a bottom-up left wing, collaborative approach to politics.

      TOP does describe it – TOP-down.

    • North 3.3

      Enjoyable level of justified hyperbole there Keith. Aspects of third paragraph sound delicious. The fat point comes in last paragraph. Thank you.

  4. I’m honestly waiting for some polling on TOP before I even bother giving them space. There is no indication they’re going to make a credible electorate run, and it looks like due to their lack of registration, polling companies have been dumping TOP respondents in the “undecided” category.

    If they start registering at 4% or more, then I can give TOP the time of day, which will mainly be to say that they’re an ersatz Green Party.

    • bwaghorn 4.1

      they got 4 % in the recent by election , i no its a very rough gauge and in a non party vote election but still it note worthy

      • It’s also a little deceptive as by-elections are pretty unrelated to the Party Vote in general, (ie. in modern history governments have always lost by-elections even if they go on to win the next General Election) and in this particular one TOP’s fraction of the electorate vote is an unlikely predictor of their party vote performance for two reasons:
        a) Some people who voted for Jacinda will support TOP.
        b) A lot of people who will vote National likely didn’t bother to turn out for the by-election, which will have inflated TOP’s percentage of the vote, either from Nat voters picking them, or from Nat voters not turning out at all.

        All in all, I’ll be surprised if TOP polls within sprinting distance of the threshold when they’re formally registered. In fact, I’m not even sure RM excludes them. I’ve sent them a tweet so maybe they’ll tell us they’re part of the 2% of “others.”

        • solkta 4.1.1.1

          In 1996 the Progressive Greens got 0.26% of the party vote. I expect TOP will do a little better. Founded 1995, dissolved 1996..

          • Matthew Whitehead 4.1.1.1.1

            Good call, because I got this in my notifications a bit ago:

            Basically, TOP is currently polling less than 2%, as they’re already counted in the Roy Morgan as an “other” party.

  5. weka 5

    Re their CC policy, I’m looking forward to that too, and again, I think they will bring in some pretty interesting things. But there are problems.

    1. if they get 5% of the vote, and this stops L/G from forming govt, or from forming govt without Peters, what kind of power will TOP have to make gains on their CC policies? Will they prioritise them in trading over other policy? I’d like to know that before the election.

    2. they might cost the left the election. The Greens already have CC policy that will set NZ on a completely different path in terms of mitigation and preparation, and that will only be possible with the maximum Green MPs in parliament.

    For both those reasons I’d take 5 more Green MPs over 5 TOP ones, because of the pragmatics of how parliament and government works. Which is a shame, because having more diversity in parliament would be a good thing in general. We need to ditch the 5% threshold.

    • Andre 5.1

      “We need to ditch the 5% threshold.”

      Didn’t we have a big review a few years back that recommended a few baby steps improvements, including lowering the threshold? Who was the Justice Minister that threw all that work away coz she couldn’t be arsed making the system more representative? It’s coming back to me now…

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8674192/Governments-MMP-review-response-slammed

      • mosa 5.1.1

        Yes Andre Collins in her arrogance chose to ignore the MMP referendum that the public voted for in conjunction with the general election, voting to retain MMP with the changes put forward to make it fairer and more representative.

        But National does not do democracy when it does not suit them.

        And not a whimper from the MSM.

        A Labour government would never had got away with it with the media saying they had stolen democracy and ignored the voice of the people.

    • Yeah, I harp on this every election, but the appropriate threshold is winning a single list seat outright, (this is different than no threshold, as you can earn a list seat with very small party vote totals with no threshold at all) which with the current size of Parliament is about 0.83% of the vote. Clearing that threshold would be close to what you actually need to earn two seats, but it could allow for single-seat microparties who are just over the threshold. I would also settle for a 1% or 2% threshold.

      There is no evidence for the assertion that having smaller parties in parliament is destabilising, in fact governments of all stripes have managed well with single-electorate parties to date, there’s no reason to think they couldn’t work well with small list parties, which is essentially what the Māori Party was this term.

      If you can win a list seat, you deserve to be in Parliament full stop. It’s actually a higher threshold than winning an electorate, too- in the 2014 election, you would have needed over 20,000 votes (20,138) to meet such a threshold, and neither ACT nor UF would have qualified if they lost their electorates. (The Māori Party, however, would have been able to go list-only if they had needed to) In most electorates, this is roughly 120%-150% of the vote you’d need to win if the race were somewhat close, although there are a few where even the margin is actually larger than this amount due to them being ridiculously safe seats.

      If I were confident that TOP would get over the threshold and would support a Labour-Green government, I would have no problem with them tactically, as technically splitting the same vote among more parties that actually get in gives you more seats under our system. <.< >.>

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    13 hours ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    19 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    20 hours ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    21 hours ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    22 hours ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    22 hours ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    23 hours ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 day ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    2 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    2 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    3 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago