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Every time they cut, remember the tax cuts

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, March 7th, 2012 - 53 comments
Categories: public services, tax - Tags:

Police numbers are going to be slashed. Diplomats too. And nurses. All up, 2,500 jobs gone so far for $20m saved. And it turns out more than half the government’s new doctors don’t exist. Big public sector strikes may be coming. Every time you read this stuff, remember National’s tax cuts for the rich. The $1.1b for ‘fiscally neutral’ tax cuts last round alone. That’s where the money went.

53 comments on “Every time they cut, remember the tax cuts ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Surely if we sell off enough strategic energy assets and borrow enough from foreigners then even more tax cuts for the rich could be afforded. This fits with National’s strategy to always see how much wealth they can pass over to their mates and themselves before they are removed from office.

    • Janice 1.1

      And it doesn’t matter that the deficit is now $473 million more than estimated in the budget as we all now know that was probably just a guess to put a figure in the document.

  2. Peter 2

    Didn’t Judith Colins deny that any cuts would be made to the Police ?

  3. aj 3

    Didn’t Phil Goff predict cuts prior to the election and get slayed for it?

    • Tangled up in blue 3.1

      From memory he was claiming that “all recruitment” was canceled for this year.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 3.1.1

        Whereas it turns out it’s a “choice” between pay cuts or “natural” attrition. Goff was on the money all along.

      • bbfloyd 3.1.2

        the february intake was cancelled….. meaning at least 50% drop in recruitment for this year alone…. i have a freind who was going to apply, but was told there wasn’t any places due to the intake cancellation…..

        step one, cut recruitment. .. that would have, at the very least, kept up with attrition rates….the net effect is to reduce the number of officers on the force by years end…..

        goff had it nailed…. the news media have been complicit in protecting collins, and more importantly, key, from having to explain yet another backtrack on their grandstanding…..

        • Tangled up in blue 3.1.2.1

          Sorry but cancelling the February intake and cutting recruitment does not equal “all recruitment” for 2012 being cancelled.

          Goff wasn’t far off, but hardly nailed it.

          • Macro 3.1.2.1.1

            Having been the director of recruitment for the senior service, I can assure you that the intake at the beginning of the year is by far the most significant. The others later in the year are merely catch-up for the training failures of the jan/feb intake.
            The down stream effect of this is actually rather worriesome because in years to come a years cohort will be missing.

  4. Company directors get prosecuted for issuing misleading prospectusses.  Our pollies should get prosecuted for issuing misleading campaign policies.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.1

      Seconded. At the very least it would provide a better class of MPs and company directors once all the hollow men were in jail.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      I’m quite happy with them just being done for a fraudulent budget that booked the sale of assets while continuing to book the dividend stream from them.

      That’s a cut-and-dried example of fraud, whereas weighing up campaign promises is much murkier.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      +3

  5. Jim Nald 5

    Reverse the bloody tax cuts.
    Reverse the GST hike.
    The past 3 years of fiscal policy failures have to be corrected.

  6. Blue 6

    It’s absurd that anyone takes National seriously when it comes to economic policy.

    They accuse Labour of ‘spending sprees’ when they went on a massive spending binge right at the worst possible time. $1.1b for tax cuts that have left a massive hole in government revenue, and another billion on bailing out South Canterbury Finance investors.

    Then they pretend that they are somehow responsible fiscal managers because they are bringing in all this austerity and cuts. Like a drunk pretending to be responsible because they swear never to drink again after going on a massive bender.

    They then pretend they can pay off debt by 2014 despite having no money to do so because they slashed their income with the tax cuts.

    Selling state assets to make up the difference? Oh, wait, the figures were only guesstimates.

    What a pack of clowns. Lucky for them they have an earthquake and a global recession to blame all this on.

    • Jim Nald 6.1

      … oooh … wAiT !*&^% … John Key and Bill English are now about to blame Labour for the past three years of failed policies because Phil Goff did not do a better job at opposing their incompetence

    • Bored 6.2

      Actually Blue we should take the whole National economic policy VERY VERY SERIOUSLY. Let me lay out the fundamental tenets that are wholly consistent with what NACT are doing.

      1. Transfer of wealth to the already wealthy by way of:
      a. Tax cuts for the wealthy
      b. Bail out of investors (the already wealthy e.g. SFC).
      c. Attacking wages and workers rights / conditions.
      d. Sale of state assets to the wealthy to be paid for by dividends that exceed interest rates.
      2. Cutting the state sector in favour of the private sector / placing costs directly on the citizen:
      a. State sector diminution.
      b. Benefit “rationalisation”.
      c. More “part funding” of state supplied services (e.g in health).
      d. Privatisation of state sector functions (e.g ACC).

      I could go on, but all this is OVERT, there is no conspiracy, just a lot of “spin”.

      This is all about taking from those who have less and giving it to those who have more.

  7. just saying 8

    It’s important to keep publicly joining the dots.

    Also, the bikers’ slogan from their protest at ACC levies skyrocketing was concise and effective:

    “Who’s next?”

  8. Mark 9

    Easy to get the impression from you lot that Nats Tax Cuts involve borrowing money to “give” to the “Rich Pricks” rather than reducing the amount everyone pays in Income Tax. Some interesting and enlightening figures are:
    Year ending 2009:
    Income $200k, tax $68540.. that’s a lot of tax
    Income $100k, tax $29540
    Income $91k, tax $26030
    Income $60k, tax $14240
    Income $30k, tax $5420

    Year Ending 2011:
    Income $200k, tax $61235.. still a lot of tax,
    Income $100k, tax $25735 (WFF $1196)
    Income $91k, tax $22540 (WFF $3016)
    Income $60k, tax $11935 (WFF $9308)
    Income $30k, tax $4690  (WFF $14040)
    I have used for WFF 3 kids under 12, 1 parent working 40hrs per week. I am not being sneaky not including WFF for 2009 year, it is harder to get these figures.
    Just saying… 

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      Oh yes, the old saw of “they aren’t *giving* them anything, they’re just taking less away”.

      Boring.

    • framu 9.2

      the nats reduced their income stream – they then had to borrow to cover costs.

      Ergo – theyve have borrowed in order to give a tax cut.

      key words being “in order to” – they didnt borrow and give that exact $$ to people as a tax cut, but they still had to borrow.

      its pretty basic stuff mark

    • KJT 9.3

      You forgot GST petrol taxes and other taxes. Which are strongly regressive as those on lower incomes spend much more of it.
       
      Most of the total tax is paid by those on median to average income.
       
      Half of the wealthiest people in NZ pay no tax!  Source. Tax working group. (Probably sneaked off the internet by now, like a lot of MSD stats).
      And the “rich” use a much greater proportion of resources and benefit the most from our society. So they should pay the most taxes.
      If that makes people leave then we will lose a lot of greedy parasites. Funny they go to Oz though, where there is 45% top tax rates, and CGT.

  9. Yeah /Yeah 10

    I am not quite sure how you came up with the sensationalist line of “Police numbers are going to be slashed” from the following quote on the same news item you linked to.
    “The police commissioner says frontline staff numbers will remain the same. But 3 News understands that when some police leave, they will not be replaced.”

    So the police commissioner says numbers will stay the same. 3 news comes up with an opinion based on what? And somehow out of those 2 you got slashed.

    Just Saying above says join the dots, but I am struggling on this one.

    • Mark 10.1

      @ Yeah/Yeah
      Don’t you get it.. it’s the Nact owned MSM, spreading false reports about Police numbers, to make the Lefties look stupid, and to scare the oldies into buying private security from the RWNJ owned capitalist pig businesses. Sneaky bastards.
      In other news, MUNZ has just thrown their own members on the scrapheap to puff up Pasloe’s ego. 

      • burt 10.1.1

        Mark

        spreading false reports about Police numbers, to make the Lefties look stupid

        National don’t need to do anything to make the lefties look stupid – they do it themselves suggesting we don’t need tax cuts – ever !

        One of the biggest problems in our economy in 2008 was that our tax rates and thresholds were locked in a “punish the rich” sales pitch from 1999. $60K was not rich in 1999 – it was approximately the average household income in 2008 – yet according to some dim-bulbs it was appropriate as the top tax rate.

        Now you can’t have it both ways – call $60K rich and say we never needed the 2008 (labour and National) tax cuts OR claim that Labour tax policies tax high earners more….

        So which is it: We needed to overhaul the tax rates and thresholds to something like Labour proposed for the 2011 election (which would have been tax cuts for a vast majority of people compared to the current settings) OR We should never have cut taxes from 2008 onwards.

        • lprent 10.1.1.1

          Why are you talking about household income in a income tax debate? Income tax is levied on individual incomes.. In households earning $60k in 2008, none of the income would be taxed at the highest tax rate of 39%. You are conflating two separate unrelated stats together to come up with a moron level result that has nothing to do with reality. Clearly you don’t exercise your intelligence to look at the actual position of people poorer than yourself.

          The nett average change for households earning $60k since 2008 has been that the income tax paid by people in the household would have reduced by a little (depending on how the money was earned). That is because little tax reduction was done on income tax bands below $60k. Their incomes would have remained static or reduced even with inflation. Their actual taxes would have gone up significiantly with the increase in GST. They became worse off under National.

          Household incomes might be relevant in a debate about rates. But it displays a absurd level of pig ignorance to use it in a debate about income tax.

          • burt 10.1.1.1.1

            lprent

            Why are you talking about household income in a income tax debate?

            To give context to “rich”…. rather simple I thought.

            In households earning $60k in 2008, none of the income would be taxed at the highest tax rate of 39%.

            That’s right. And in households earning $60,001 there might have been $1 being taxed at 39%… but only if it was via a single earner. This is good stuff you are posting lprent.

            You are conflating two separate unrelated stats together

            No, you are and I’m assume it’s to distract from how ridiculous it was to say $60K was rich in 2008 and how foolish it is to say we didn’t need tax cuts.

            Household incomes might be relevant in a debate about rates. But it displays a absurd level of pig ignorance to use it in a debate about income tax.

            Whatever lprent, I guess I to would be highly embarrassed if I wanted to claim that $60K was rich faced with the reality that’s (as a level of income – not a separate tax entity) it’s rather average.

            I did say lefties make themselves look stupid – this comment from you with your grumpy old man hat on kind of proves me correct.

            • lprent 10.1.1.1.1.1

              In 2008, the average income was something well less than $40k and the median income was even lower. The numbers of individuals on income levels that were above $60k were still quite few, and the only reason that so many households were at or above a $60k level was because most households had more than one earner in the household.

              There is a hell of a step between $40k and $60k for most of the working population in terms of earnings.

              Ummm. Stats seem to be doing something to their site at present – I keep getting pages like this one.

              But a non-authoritive source from 2008 for groups of earners (because their links are broken) was this

              Legislators, Administrators & Managers $57,013
              Professionals $51,376
              Technicians & Associate Professionals $42,869
              Clerks $36,046
              Service & Sales Workers $26,561
              Agriculture & Fisheries Workers $29,474
              Trades Workers $35,173
              Plant & Machine Operators &Assemblers $32,198
              Unskilled Occupations $26,894

              Now I agree that the tax thresholds need to be moved with inflation. But the income inflation post 2000 wasn’t that much. However your contentions about tax are quite simply bullshit for all except a very few people.

              I guess you’re so far in denial that you simply don’t want to see that.

              • burt

                The numbers of individuals on income levels that were above $60k were still quite few

                By Cullen’s own admission against the 2006 income tax year figures it was 12% of working age people. At that time 12% of working age people translated to about 16% of employed people. ( against 2006 figures)

                By 2008 it was arguable circa 20% of employed people paying the top 5% rate as promised in 1999.

                Now I agree that the tax thresholds need to be moved with inflation. But the income inflation post 2000 wasn’t that much.

                The percentage of wage inflation was very variable post 2000. For example the PM’s salary (and senior cabinet members) basically doubled between 1999 & 2008. Increasing circa 9% every year. But sure most people were lucky to get 2%-3% year on year.

                However your contentions about tax are quite simply bullshit for all except a very few people.

                I did some hand dandy calculations on fiscal drag here.

                The key points based on the person earning $37k in 1999 are;

                So their marginal tax rate in 1999 was 19.5%. In 2008 it was 22.1%. The stealth tax increase!

                Today that same earner would be paying $8,310.10 in tax. That is 16.3%

                A fall of 5.8% from where Labour was gouging them.

                Perhaps you would like to refresh yourself on the calculations and the unintended consequences of locking tax rates for 9 years screaming “no tax cuts… no tax cuts…” then get back to me about who’s full of shit.

                BTW lprent, did you miss your cup of coffee this morning ?

                • lprent

                  If you look back to some of my early comment on this site about tax you will find me bemoaning that there wasn’t a threshold movement or small tax reduction at the threshold to reducer eliminate fiscal drag. To be precise that I was pissed off that small tax decreases from the 2005 election were not carried out because of the right wing whining about chewing gum tax changes.

                  The correct way to shift tax rates and thresholds is small changes and frequent. Doing that prevents the market distortions from inflation and political distortions from pentup demand about fiscal drag. Doing it like the 12-15% jump in GST is just an exercise in how to get serious problems with inflation. Doing a massive drop from 39% to just over 30% is a Greta way to create debt. Both are stupid.

          • burt 10.1.1.1.2

            lprent

            I think it’s hilarious that in 2011 Labour’s proposed top tax rate was over twice what it was claiming as valid in 2008 and still pig headed dim-bulbs say we didn’t need the tax cuts….

            Policies of envy make some people tie themselves in knots. To my thinking Labour’s tax plan in 2011 was better than any other either in place or on the table. Imagine how stupid I would have looked saying that Labour tax cuts in 2008 were not required while being a champion for Labour’s 2011 proposals.

            • burt 10.1.1.1.2.1

              I think it’s hilarious that in 2011 Labour’s proposed top tax rate threshold was over twice what it was claiming as valid in 2008

              Sorry… I used the wrong word there…..

              • KJT

                Doubling of food, housing and power prices may have something to do with it. Dipstick!

                • burt

                  KJT

                  Sure, great. And Labour’s proposed tax policy was more gentle with all but about the top 3% of earners than National’s. I have no issues with that. Like I said;

                  To my thinking Labour’s tax plan in 2011 was better than any other either in place or on the table.

                  But KJT, how much longer can we simply claim that tax cuts were not required because the awesome Dr Cullen would have cancelled them in 2008 ?

                  Left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing is required to be that much of a simpleton climbing up your own ass to keep the 1999-2008 live or die dream that tax cuts were never required, are never required and must not happen.

                  Now if Labour in 2011 had promised to re-implement their 1999 settings then sure myopic partisans would have solid ground to pretend tax cuts were never required.

            • lprent 10.1.1.1.2.2

              So? Perhaps you should explain the joke. Of course to do that you’d have to understand the reasons for that threshold being selected.

              I bet you never looked at it.

              Pompous unthinking spinner…. Too full of your own bullshit to actually check anything

              • burt

                lpent

                The joke is… how can it be valid to have a threshold (covers ears and screams top 5%) set at $60 in early 2008 and claim it’s valid to smack people from that level and that tax cuts were not needed – then in 2011 pop out a magical $150K as ‘rich’ while still screaming that tax cuts were not required in 2008 ?

                Did you miss the bit where I said;

                To my thinking Labour’s tax plan in 2011 was better than any other either in place or on the table

                When you blurted “I bet you never looked at it” ?

                • lprent

                  Didn’t Labour lose the election in 2008 largely on the basis of the same ill informed tax blathering that you were displaying this morning? Aren’t politicians in a democracy meant to be responsive to shifts in public opinion?

                  Sounds to me like you are just disappointed that politicians aren’t all as ideologically stupid as the National politicians appear to be.

                  • burt

                    Didn’t Labour lose the election in 2008 largely on the basis of the same ill informed tax blathering that you were displaying this morning?

                    How is it ill informed lprent ?

                    All tax cuts favour the the rich….. it’s a consequence of having a progressive tax system. Absolutely unavoidable in a progressive system. Just like tax increases have a larger effect on the rich. This isn’t opinion lprent – it’s math.

                    • lprent

                      And the rich have more disposable income compared to the poor. Consequently if you raise tax rates the same for both the rich and poor then you are removing a higher proportion of their disposable income (or their requred income) from the poor than from the rich. That is the reason we have progressive tax rates, because it is fairer.

                      This is also math. but of course this isn’t maths. It is people and economics…

                      The value of money isn’t money – it is what goods and services you receive for it. But that basic tenent of economics appears to always escaped you. Perhaps you should examine your flat tax credo in the light of raising the effective tax rate on someone on say $30k living in Auckland.

                    • burt

                      Perhaps you should examine your flat tax credo in the light of raising the effective tax rate on someone on say $30k living in Auckland.

                      Well I kind of did with the fiscal drag calculations. Sure $37K in 1999 isn’t the same as $30K today. But what I did show was that National’s tax rates on that ‘bracket’ were a hell of lot more beneficial than Cullen’s ideologically blind position.

                      But that basic tenent of economics appears to always escaped you.

                      You can say that, but your assertion only makes it as far as personal attacks.

                      There is no foundation for you to say that given the details I have highlighted, the creeping loss of spending power under Labour I highlighted and the substantive increase granted by National’s changes.

                      FFS lprent, you need to look past the fact I’m saying it and just look at what I’m saying.

          • Mark 10.1.1.1.3

            lprent
            I thought household income and  tax is very relevant to a debate about income tax.
            You make an assumption about who is poorer than me..  interesting.
            My point in this and other posts on this blog is use a few facts and tips to show that “poverty (driven of course by ruthless and cruel RWNJ’s)” is unnecessary in NZ, and the shrilling and tactics of the Left regarding this are nothing but discredited and dangerous Political Theory designed to oppress the unfortunate for political and economic gain.
            I have been very open about my situation & credentials  to debate this, unlike most here. The Left see choose to see conspiracies behind solutions, and prefer a “tax the rich” (more) rather than to encourage everyone to improve their lot, using the many incentives and opportunities available to all.
            But I guess it will be easier to have that “class war” when you are hell bent on growing the underclass 

            • lprent 10.1.1.1.3.1

              🙂

              I was replying to burt. That is why it was 10.1.1.1 replying to 10.1.1 which was burt replying to you at 10.1.

              You didn’t even mention household incomes, and now I look at it I’d have to ask why burt did his usual bull about tax rates in response to your comment?

              • burt

                In a thread with a title ‘… remember the tax cuts’ somebody mentions rates…. OMG – how off topic !

  10. Treetop 11

    Marshall needs to come out and say that there is going to be a wage freeze in the police. I’m sure he can remember the wage freeze under Muldoon in the early 1980s.

    I suspect the figures for inflation are not correct either.

    I think a wage freeze increases inflation, but the cost of power will rise if the strategic power assets are sold off?

    The poll I want to see is on this question: Would you rather have a wage freeze or have the government go ahead with selling off strategic power assets?

    The only solution English has to balancing his shonky figures is to borrow for this governments erratic fiscal management.

  11. We went through all this in the 1990s…

    * two tax cuts

    * slashing social services

    * privatisation/”competition”: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/history-lesson-tahi/

    Note Max Bradford’s response.

    * cutting police resourcing: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/history-lesson-ru-police/

    In fact, the media reports from 1997-99 seem to be almostr word-for-word what we’re seeing now. This isn’t just history repeating, it’s a carbon-copy.

    History’s full circle will be complete when National is voted out in 2014 (if not earlier) and Labour resinstates the state sector.

    • Mark 12.1

      Yeah, and we’ll be “gliding on” again.. 

      • Or, Mark, you might get a real person answering the phone when you call a hospital, school, IRD, police, etc, etc…

        And if you get into a spot of bother overseas, you might get a real kiwi diplomat coming to your assistance.

  12. Mark 13

    You might get a “real” person on the phone, experience has shown that you will probably get someone whose job is guaranteed, whatever their performance, skill or attitude. You probably won’t get someone who is dynamic, organised and resourceful.. the PSA would have held them back. I would rather have the excellent automated systems that cost less and are more effective thanks.

    If I get in a spot of bother overseas I would love a real Kiwi Diplomat, rather than a trougher who is there only because of time-served seniority and the desire to enrich himself on the back of Kiwi taxpayers. 

    • “You probably won’t get someone who is dynamic, organised and resourceful.. the PSA would have held them back.”

      Or, “You’ll probably get someone who is dynamic, organised and resourceful.and the PSA would be quite happy.”

      Yup. Definitly sounds more positive. Less union bashing for bashing-sake.

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    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Mike Treen, Advocate, Unite Union “Please continue your incredible work compiling these news digests. As someone operating in the fields of advocacy for workers and the broader social justice areas it is invaluable to be able to check what is happening in the media relating to the issues I have to deal ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Overconfident Idiots: Why Incompetence Breeds Certainty
    This is a re-post from the Thinking is Power website maintained by Melanie Trecek-King where she regularly writes about many aspects of critical thinking in an effort to provide accessible and engaging critical thinking information to the general public. Please see this overview to find links to other reposts from Thinking is Power. ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Abandoning ambition
    When Labour was first elected to power in 2017, they promised us "[an] ambitious plan to take real action on climate change". Four years and a lot of foot-dragging later, they've finally released that plan. And its not what was promised. Where to begin? Firstly, they've taken the Climate Change ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Young adults worldwide have blunt message for governments: ‘We don’t trust you.’
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Elizabeth Marks describes herself as “a psychologist who works on difficult problems.” Her past research aimed at helping people cope with challenging health conditions, apt training, it appears, for taking on climate change issues. A few years ago, she altered ...
    4 days ago
  • Making ‘Second Age’ Hobbits Work: Amazon Series Speculation
    Time for a good old-fashioned fandom furore. The Tolkien fandom hasn’t had a proper one of those since the Great Nudity Scandal of October 2020… so it clearly must be time to pontificate from on-high about a television series we still know vanishingly little about. This time the subject ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 13 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Lara Greaves, Political scientist, University of Auckland: “I love the NZ Politics Daily emails as they help me to keep on top of current events. It’s incredibly easy to skim through and follow the links. I really appreciate these as it means that I am exposed to a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • The Data and Statistics Bill and the OIA
    The government introduced a new Data and Statistics Bill today to modernise and replace the 45-year old Statistics Act. Part of the Bill re-enacts the existing confidentiality regime (with one exception), which while a secrecy clause isn't an especially controversial one. Another part is aimed at removing "outdated" (inconvenient) limits ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The debate over the $55 million media fund erupts again
    RNZ’s Mediawatch and a video clip viewed 42,000 times keep the topic of the Public Interest Journalism Fund fizzing. Graham Adams reports.   A week ago, the NZ Taxpayers’ Union posted a short video clip of the exchange in Parliament between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins in which the National ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Multiple sclerosis: the link with earlier infection just got stronger – new study
    Scott Montgomery, UCL For most of the time since the first description of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1868, the causes of this disabling disease have remained uncertain. Genes have been identified as important, which is why having other family members with MS is associated with a greater risk of developing ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Covid and free speech
    by Don Franks Some commentators have likened the struggle against Covid 19 to the world war experience. To those of us not alive in those times, that comparison can only be academic. What the anti virus battle reminds me of much more is an industrial strike. In my twenties and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Angry Blowhards”
    In today’s Herald, their excellent columnist, Simon Wilson, takes to task those “shouty” people whom he further describes as “angry blowhards”. They are those whose prime reaction to the pandemic is anger – an anger they seamlessly (and perhaps unwittingly) transfer from the virus to the government. The basis for ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
    Future Tense? Okay, so that’s where we are in 2022. Living in a New Zealand where all the usual rules of politics once again apply. And, guess what? Jacinda’s government, once again, isn’t doing very well – not very well at all.LET’S PLAY A GAME. Let’s pretend we’re half-way through ...
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Covid mandates, and the Covid pill
    The cliché about “living with Covid” will not mean life as we’ve known it, Jim. Vaccination is fast becoming a condition of employment, and also a requirement to participate in aspects of social life, such as travel, attending bars, cafes, and concerts etc. These protective measures enjoy a high level ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 12 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Prof Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington; Chair of the Infrastructure Commission: “NZ Politics Daily” provides a great public service – a quick and unbiased way to check policy announcements and analysis every morning.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
    I have made a submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2).In preparing it, I looked at the Hansard for the first reading debate, and got name-dropped as someone likely to make a submission. So, of course I did. I focus on a small bit of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
    You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription. You may also be interested to know that ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
    Over the weekend someone pointed me at a journal article on "The Poverty of Theory: Public Problems, Instrument Choice, and the Climate Emergency". Its a US law journal article, so is a) very long; and b) half footnotes (different disciplines have different norms), but the core idea is that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
    Last month the US and EU announced they would push an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% (from 2020 levels) by 2030 at the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow. The good news is that New Zealand is looking at joining it. The bad news is that that won't ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
    Classic Shot: Are the Prime Minister’s formidable communication skills equal to the task of getting her government’s anti-Covid campaign back on track?IF JACINDA ARDERN thought last week was bad, the week ahead promises to be even worse. Sixty community cases of Covid-19, one of the highest daily totals so far ...
    6 days ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
    Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
    Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
    On Tuesday 5 October the New Zealand Government announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement to attend large events this summer.It took a few days for event owners to absorb the information and understand the implications. By the end of the working week, most of the big ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jim Hubbard, Cartoonist “NZ Politics daily is a go to for cartoonists, or should be.  Political reporting enmasse like this gives cartoonists and political junkies a smorgasbord to get their teeth into. Essential and I daresay vital reading for those who care about the future of NZ.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    7 days ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    7 days ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
    . . . . . References Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’ CNBC: ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
    Last week was probably a high point for many armchair “experts”, fresh from their high after some deep inhaling of the various musings and fumings, of an actually very smug, and very insualted John “Things all work for me…” Key, former Prime Minister and FOREX trader, had blitzed the ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Bollocks
    It would appear we have an unwelcome presence in town.Positive wastewater results had been detected in Hamilton and Palmerston North on October 6 and 7. There are 26 cases in hospital, seven of these are in ICU or high dependency units (HDU).One of the people in hospital is in Palmerston ...
    1 week ago
  • World-leading?
    So, the Herald has found someone, as we can see from today’s issue, who is able to explain why we should not claim to have been “world-leading” in our response to the covid epidemic. It seems that we have been kidding ourselves when we celebrated our low total number of ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
    Force Multiplier: Why are Ardern and her ministers so loathe to put a bit of stick about? The “emergency” legislation eventually enacted to authorise the measures needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic failed to confer upon the New Zealand Government the unequivocal authority that subsequent events showed to be so ...
    1 week ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
    1 week ago
  • Forced Re-entry
    The elimination of Covid strategy is not so much defeated but changing circumstances means that policy has to evolve. Our elimination stance was never sustainable or at least it would not be until the rest of the world also eliminated Covid-19. Elimination of the virus was a strategy we adopted ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
    Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on National's unjust "three strikes" law, and found that the sentence it required was (in the case in question) so disproportionate as to "shock the conscience" and violate the Bill of Rights Act ban on disproportionately severe treatment or punishment: The Supreme Court has ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
    The Christchurch City Council has published new "coastal hazards" data, indicating which places are under threat from sea-level rise. And its not good news: Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are likely to become unhabitable [sic] as the city council figures out how to adapt to sea level ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
    I wonder if Mike Hosking ever reads the paper in which he appears so regularly? If he does, he might have noticed a report in today’s Herald about the problem that could face churches in Auckland if a vaccine passport becomes mandatory for those wishing to attend church services. The ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Bill Ralston, Media consultant and columnist: “NZ Politics Daily provides an invaluable service for journalists, politicians, businesspeople, decision makers and the public at large by providing an easily accessible, exhaustive, link to every significant political story in the country’s media that day. It’s a gem of a service ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
    . . Congratulations,  Mr Barnett, Ms White, and your business colleagues. It appears that we will end up having to “live” (ie, get sick, end up in hospital, perhaps in ICU, intubated on ventilators, and possibly dying as our lungs fail) with covid19. But at least businesses will open up. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Introducing Mr Stick.
    MR STICK: You media types think the people of this country have changed, but you’re wrong. We’re the same tough bastards we’ve always been. Put a bit of stick about – and listen to us cheer!JOSEPHINE MUCH-ADOO: Kia ora, everyone, and welcome to “Introducing”. Today we are very pleased to ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #40, 2021
    "Old" research There's little point in trying to best this excellent article describing the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics by Ars Technica authors Jennifer Ouelette and John Timmer, each having a gift for concisely on-target, accessible science journalism. Here at New Research we'll punt and quote the The Royal Swedish Academy of ...
    1 week ago
  • Standing on one leg is a sign of good health – and practising is good for you too
    Dawn Skelton, Glasgow Caledonian University Research shows that people’s ability to stand on one leg is an indicator of health and that getting better at standing on one leg can add to fitness and potentially lifespan. Being able to stand on one leg is linked to increased levels of physical ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: More dishonesty over the CCR
    Last month the Emissions Trading Scheme turned into a farce, when the government flooded the market with credits in a failed and wasteful attempt to Keep Carbon Prices Low. When I asked about the background of this policy Climate Change Minister James Shaw sent me one of the most egregious ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Schrödinger’s Wraith: The Status of the Witch-King of Angmar, 15th-25th March, T.A. 3019.
    My recent re-read of The Lord of the Rings reminded me of one of the vaguer head-scratchers in Tolkien. The status of the Witch-King of Angmar between his death at the Battle of Pelennor Fields and the Destruction of the One Ring ten days later… was he, in the ...
    1 week ago
  • How rainbow colour maps can distort data and be misleading
    Philip Heron, University of Toronto; Fabio Crameri, University of Oslo, and Grace Shephard, University of Oslo   The choice of colour to represent information in scientific images is a fundamental part of communicating findings. However, a number of colour palettes that are widely used to display critical scientific results are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Korea’s march to global cultural domination, plus a K-pop playlist
    So far, South Korea’s culture industries seem to be pandemic proof. They’re also winning huge global audiences, and not merely large domestic ones. In recent years, South Korea’s TV series (Squid Game, Descendants of The Sun) and movies ( Parasite, Oldboy, The Handmaiden) have become global hits. However, it has ...
    1 week ago
  • In a lockdown, where does work end and parenting begin? Welcome to the brave new world of ‘zigzag...
    Candice Harris, Auckland University of Technology and Jarrod Haar, Auckland University of Technology   All parents work. The difference lies in the breakdown between their paid and unpaid workloads. That equation is influenced by many things, including education, qualifications, age, ethnicity, financial status, number and age of dependants, gendered and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Using Rapid Antigen Tests to Improve COVID-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Figure 1: Rapid Antigen Test kit given out freely from the NHS in the UK Dr Jennifer Summers, Assoc Prof James Ussher, Assoc Prof Nikki Moreland, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker* Most COVID-19 testing aims to identify infected people. To date, Aotearoa NZ has relied almost ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 7 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Liz Gordon, Former MP, researcher and blogger I just hate NZ Politics Daily. I get settled in to do a good day’s work and ZAP, it arrives in my inbox like a little shiny gift.  I try to ignore it but my cursor creeps inexorably towards the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Will electoral and political finance law reform succeed this ti...
    It’s welcome news that the Government has announced this week that they intend to improve how elections work in this country, including fixing the political finance rules. Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has announced that major reforms will be investigated in the areas of political donation rules, promising changes that will ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Will Jacinda Stand? Or, Has She Already Fallen?
    Free Falling? New Zealanders needed to hear Jacinda take a firm line on vaccination, issuing stern warnings to those who declared their intention to refuse. Kiwis just weren’t in the mood to let lockdown evaders and anti-vaxxers free ride on their good citizenship. Google’s IT wizards confirmed that Kiwis were, overwhelmingly, ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The CCR was a huge waste of money II
    Last month, in the wake of the September carbon auction, I talked about how the government's policy of flooding the market with a "cost containment reserve" of an extra 7 million tons of pollution in an effort to keep carbon costs low was a huge waste of money. Ministry for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Celebrating Women in Space
    Beautiful, Inspiring, Mysterious!  How do you describe space?  What do you think when you look up at the stars?  The United Nations General Assembly certainly knew how beautiful, inspiring, mysterious, and important space is when they designated a week to be World Space Week.  That’s this week, and the theme for this year is ...
    SciBlogsBy John Pickering
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID Clusterfuck
    Well it has been fun living in the safest country in the world for a year and a half, but a combination of cynical politics from the right, and dithering incompetence from the left, and selfish sociopathy or ignorance on the part of the population , means New Zealand is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Unsurprising
    Former rugby league star Manu Vatuvei has admitted importing methamphetamine. The Warriors icon was charged in December 2019 with possessing methamphetamine for supply and importing the Class A drug. He previously denied the charges and earlier this year said he would “fight for his innocence” after he outed himself as the sportsman ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bond, Wokeness and Representations in Cinema
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh The latest James Bond film has come out.  It is apparently to be Daniel Craig’s last incarnation as the Spy Who Loved Me, or raped me as some have pointed out.  There has been much discussion about how woke the new James Bond is and how ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
    The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te ata. Earlier this month Save the Children wrote to me with their most up to date analysis on the impact of climate change. What they said was that children born in Aotearoa today will experience up to five times as many heatwaves and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The Emissions Reduction Plan will set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
    Reducing lead poisoning of kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and one-time New Zealand bird of the year winner, is the goal of a two year project being backed by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.  “Lead poisoning is a serious threat to this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government provides certainty to working holiday and seasonal visa holders and employers for summer
    The Government will extend Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas for six months to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders over the coming summer period, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. “This offers employers and visa holders the certainty they’ve been asking for going ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Lower card fees good for businesses, consumers
    The Bill to help lower the cost of the fees retailers get charged for offering contactless and debit payment options is another step closer to becoming law, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark said today. “COVID-19 has changed the way we spend our money, with online and contactless ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Mandatory vaccination for two workforces
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