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Explaining the recession

Written By: - Date published: 5:06 pm, March 6th, 2009 - 40 comments
Categories: economy, employment, Unions - Tags:

The EPMU have released a short film on youtube explaining the recession and their response to it. It features Brian Easton, Gareth Morgan, Pete Conway and EPMU Secretary Andrew Little.

It’s sobering viewing.

40 comments on “Explaining the recession”

  1. lprent 1

    Excellent video. Obviously targeted at union delegates. Should be compulsory for some poorly educated employers as well.

  2. Wharfie 2

    As this place is a union funded blog [deleted]

    [lprent: The biggest nut around is yourself – please read the policy and the about. It is funded by me, and not by some pathetic wingnut pretending to be a wharfie ]

  3. A union funded blog? Will someone ban this crackpot?

  4. Wharfie 4

    You ban me then I call in my mates at the Teamsters Union to sort you out. Don’t piss me off boyo.

    [lprent: ‘Teamsters’ ? Dad, have you been watching too many gangster movies? Besides aren’t you banned? ]

  5. Ray 5

    Gimme a break. This is just propaganda from a right wing union to talk workers into accepting they’ll be paying for this crisis. The union bureaucracy featured in this video are no friend of the workers. Why should workers pay for a crisis they didnt make.

    • Daveo 5.1

      I’ve got three questions for you Ray.

      – What makes you say the EPMU is a right-wing union other than the talking points you’ve picked up from the sectarians in Unite?

      – What possible motivation would the EPMU have in talking workers into accepting they’ll be paying for this crisis?

      – With reference to the above, have you even watched this video?

      I’d be interested in your responses, that is if you’re honest enough to back up your statements with facts.

  6. rave 7

    Good point Ray. If Little and Conway believed their own propaganda that capitalism is sweet and its just the financiers that ran amok, they would be saying let the financial speculators pay for the crisis, we are not paying for any of it.
    They would condemn the Labour government for signing up to a deposit guarantee that bails out shonky finance ripoff merchants.
    That would be tough for Little who is now Labour Party Pres.
    They would attack Key as a financier whose former failed employer Merryl Lynch has been bought up by BOA which itself has to bailed out. Instead of guaranteeing the toxic assets (greedy bets) of the financiers they would nationalise their good assets and use them to create jobs for all who get sacked.
    But of course if they were to do that the financiers would be revealed to be the same people that own all the big corporations and run the state that is busy taking our taxes and future labour as bailout packages. To upset the financiers would be to rock the whole capitalist shebang.
    The EPMU half-assed apologies for the system and not an explanation of the crisis but a joke cover up of its real causes in declining profitability that is built into the system. It proves that they are up the system and their only use to the bosses is to keep workers quiet.
    Time to wake up.

    • Tim Ellis 7.1

      Rave, I disagree with pretty much every point you’ve made in that comment, but I congratulate you for making your argument without resorting to tribal partisanship.

    • Snail 7.2

      I think I follow the feeling in your comment, Rave, but I’d have to say it is a little loose re assets and their merits/values etc..

      As I’ve said here before just as labor produces goods & services then the role of capitalism is to produce capital.

      What has happened is that capitalism and capitalistic resources have not (in the main) produced capital—they have created credit and taken fees/charges from its very high leverage. Repeat: credit is NOT capital.

      Correct, those “toxic assets” are problematic. And because they do not value out in ‘mark-to-market’ — hey I didna invent this market makeover stuff 😉 — or accepted modern business means. Hence, putting the show back on the road requires either they are bought up (independently by govt..?) – that is to say another funding source, or they are ‘bought’ over time by perpetrators.

      We both know which choice has been made. And yes, for better or for worse.
      You might care too ponder what kind of banking minds aligned themselves to ‘off-balance sheet’ accounting. Does it make them incompetent or criminal. Or both.
      And, praise be, how would punishment of offenders with nationalization make our world better..?

  7. The trouble with blogs is that the nutters can move in and make comments that can kill good discussions. Wharfie and Ray are obviously trying to do this. Are they the same person?

    These films are really good. It would help us all if we could concentrate on the messages. For me the messages are:

    1. These are extraordinary times.

    2. Workers are not to blame. Wall Street and the Bankers who leveraged to the extreme equity in ordinary homes should be blamed.

    3. Consumption is going down. It is not a bad thing. Climate change and global warming and environmental devastation ought to require us to consume less. One less plasma TV will mean less transportation and money but will also mean that the current economic system will suffer.

    4. Why should workers suffer? They do not share in the profits earned by their employers when times are good but they are expected to suffer when times are bad through no fault of theirs.

    5. A 9 day working fortnight sounds great. Most workers cannot and should not suffer a 10% wage cut, some employers may fold if they have to pay for the extra day. The logical solution is for the proposed tax cuts to be cancelled and for central government to pay for the 10th day. I am holding my breath. It will hurt the wealthy but they are the most able to handle these current circumstances.

    Maybe Karl Marx was right?

    [lprent: Wharfie is d4j. Ray prefers to not use his usual psuedonym.]

    • Ray 8.1

      You can believe all the Andrew Little rhetoric/garbage/tokenism all you like, but where was the EMPU when Air New Zealand was shafting its engineers, oh thats right it was helping Rob Fyfe force them to take a pay cut. Or where was the EMPU when Fisher & Paykel shut up shop? The EMPU/Andrew Little/Labour are no friend of workers.

      You’re right mickey, workers should not pay for this crisis.

      • Daveo 8.1.1

        You appear to be under the misapprehension that a union’s national secretary is like a superhero who can ‘save’ workers from any calamity. Anyone who’s actually organised knows that’s not true. You can only take workers as far as they’re willing to go and to the extent that is possible under the current system where bosses own the means of production and have ultimate managerial prerogative.

        You sound like another of those ‘glorious defeat’ idiots Irishbill wrote about the other day.

  8. mike 9

    Mr little says “a lot of employers are getting workers to panic”???. Wake up idiot – now is not time to come across all militant and thuggish, companies do not have the usual fat to accomodate unions demands. This guy is the new Labour president – I think you were better off with the fat snoop.

    • lprent 9.1

      Employers suddenly bleat during recessions and depressions. All of a sudden want the state to bail them out. Look at the US car companies.

      I’m just waiting for the property developers to do it here..

  9. Ianmac 10

    What a great video. The collective message is that we are all in for tough times. And Andrew Little was a small part of this. Gareth Morgan is certainly not a Left winger and I understood
    his message straight and clear. It should not be assumed that the “workers” should be the first to pay. (Although the USA tends to use the poor and disadvantaged as canon fodder.)
    It would be interesting to get a critque from Rod Oram.

  10. rave 11

    Wake up Mike the world has moved on. The market has failed.
    Employers who can’t keep workers in jobs and pay them decently should go broke. Instead workers are expected to cut their pay and mortgage their future pay and taxes to bail out corrupt banks and failing icons like F&P.

    The market has failed. Its not the best way to allocate scarce resources, unless its into the pockets of the rich. Obama is stuck in the old way of propping up the market in the name of a ‘new deal
    see http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12517
    According to Chossudovsky he’s shifting public spending from the poor to the rich even more than Bush. A massive con job.

    The market has failed and needs to be replaced by social ownership to meet the needs of the people, for the people by the people.

    If workers are expected to take pay cuts and bail out bosses, then they should demand to decide who gets bailed out and that it will only happen if this public investment becomes public ownership.
    This means that scarce resources would become publicly owned and democratically planned.

    The CTU should be saying that to defend jobs we have to take the most important industries and services into public ownership and put them under the control of working people not corrupt banksters raking in multimillion bonuses sitting on boards who are only interested in maximising profits.

  11. Socialists say “We WON’T pay for their crisis”. We didn’t cause it, and where workers are threatened with redundancies, we point to the examples of factory occupations in Chicago, Waterford and Buenos Aires as an alternative to capitalist greed and mass unemployment.

    The new film from the EPMU differs in tone. Whilst it puts forward some valuable economic information and gives rank and file workers a voice to raise their fears, it also sees the Union’s role as softening the effects of the Depression in partnership with employers, rather than fighting them militantly for every job. SA presents the film and welcomes readers to post their take on the EPMU’s line.

    Crunch Time. For workers, for bosses and for union bureaucrats.

    (an alternative film on how to fight redundancies here)
    http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.com/2009/03/crunch-time-film-on-crisis-by-epmu.html

    • mike 12.1

      Jesus that shite almost makes Al Gore’s efforts believable – back to china with you my friend

  12. Ianmac 13

    I have e-mailed Rod Oram and invited his comment on the video, as a man whose opinion/assessment is respected. We will see.

  13. Quoth the Raven 14

    now is not time to come across all militant

    Grow up Mike. We haven’t had militant for decades. It’s 123 years since Haymarket. Be careful what you wish for.

  14. Santi 15

    Is this the same Andrew Little, card-carrying member of the Labour Party and supreme double dipper, who was praised….not! by Chris Trotter in his most recent column?

    Cracks in the ricketty walls of the socialist mud house appear to be widening. All under the eagle eye of the supreme leader Fill Goff.

    Ah, the joys of being opposition.

    [lprent: You are a obnoxious little illiterate. The presidential position is either unpaid or pays bugger all. Now what about that National MP in Mangakiekie who is double dipping on both my taxes and my rates. From what I’ve heard he doesn’t do much around the council these days.]

  15. Concerned of Tawa 16

    “Ah, the joys of being opposition.”

    Latest Roy Morgan Poll: National 56% Labour 26%

    You call that opposition?

    [lprent: I seem to remember the Nats getting 22% in an actual poll (election) in 2002 – do you call that being an opposition?. Why don’t you jerk-off elsewhere if all you can raise are troll lines.

    This appears to be a troll campaign. I’m going to delete comments of this form that have no other content]

  16. Concerned of Tawa 17

    “I seem to remember the Nats getting 22% in an actual poll (election) in 2002”

    Oh give Phil Goff time. I’m sure 22% is achievable.

    Gee the mood round here needs lifting

    [lprent: it was 20.9% for National in the 2002 election. After that they dropped. It wasn’t until Brash stirred up the racial bigots in the Owera I screech (a proud moment for the right) that they started to rise in the polls.

    We tend to get annoyed when troll wankers start jerking off their poorer qualities around here. If you cannot argue a point then don’t come here. Seeing your ‘point’ mindlessly scattered by multiple people around multiple posts without actual brainwork being involved gets me seriously pissed off, and I act accordingly. ]

  17. the sprout 18

    excellent work, well done whoever’s responsible for it.

    if only our msm could be trusted to produce such informative and honest commentary.

    come to think of it – if only NZers were encouraged to understand this before the election. if only our msm weren’t so keen to downplay the gravity of the situation during the election, so as not to discourage voters from speculating on sketchy long-shot promises.

  18. Ianmac 19

    Iprent: There are some “opposing views” which are thought provoking. The abusive ones like from Tawa (gives Tawa a bad name) are useless. I support your reactions! Rid us of the buggers.

  19. RedLogix 20

    Excellent video’s.

    This is NOT a recession. It is a major debt-deflationary crisis caused by grossly irresponsible or fraudulent lending by the global finance system. Until the massive excess debt bubble is unwound or reset, credit will remain hard to find, and the economy will continue to unravel. No matter how sound your business or financial history, banks find it almost impossible to lend when assets are still FALLING in value, which in turn causes the assets to fall further in value.

    Unemployment will peak around 20-30% and will remain stubbornly high for very long time, maybe 10 -20 years (the Japanese have remain mired in this same trap almost 20 years so I can point to precendent). Many of the rest of us will be underemployed, and our take home pays will fall. The two reasons why this crisis has yet to hit us hard here in New Zealand are simple.

    One until very recently our employment capacity was so highly extended that in the last few months much of the fall has been masked by cuts in overtime, 4 day weeks, dropping secondary jobs and using up accumulated annual leave. But as the crisis deepens in the next few weeks, the job loss snowball (665 in the last week alone) will become obvious to all.

    The second reason is of course, that our banks are still solvent and thanks to Michael Cullen our public sector debt is extremely low, which will give us a little breathing space and a temporary reprieve … but this National govt has no ideas and no ability to respond.

    • higherstandard 20.1

      “thanks to Michael Cullen our public sector debt is extremely low, which will give us a little breathing space and a temporary reprieve but this National govt has no ideas and no ability to respond.”

      Yes he did well to retire as much debt as he did – this good work should however be balanced against the poor decisions (in hindsight) in relation to NZ rail, AIA and Air NZ.

  20. rave 21

    Explaining what exactly?

    The social democratics of various hues, pink, green, beige, etc need to study their Marx so they understand what is happening to them before it is too late.

    For the cruisers hung up on the evils of neoliberalism there is David Harvey’s brief history of neo-liberalism

    For the stayers who always worried that globalisation might be more than meets the eye there is his lecture series on globalisation

    For the high performance types who passed High School algebra there is the most recent series on Marx’s Capital starting here
    http://davidharvey.org/2008/06/marxs-capital-class-01/

    Or there is the Brendan Cooney’s cool low key webcam series starting with http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBciA1y-2mQ

    • RedLogix 21.1

      Rave,

      For months I couldn’t make up my mind if we were going to get deflation due to unwinding excess debt, or inflation due to Central Banks printing money in response to the crisis. Turns out that the credit grinch bubble popper will trump the RB printing pump everytime. It’s like trying to keep a hot-air balloon aloft by turning up the gas heater, when the top of the canopy has been ripped in half.

      I highly, highly recommend this article. Steven Keen predicted all this on sound theoretical grounds years ago.

      The article even starts with a quote from Charlie (and has his picture)… so there must be something in it for you to like.

      • rave 21.1.1

        Redlogix
        Keen’s paper is quite readable and explains the neo-Keynesian position well. Yet what’s missing is the other quote from Marx which you didnt see along the lines of how come capitalism allows a bunch of parasites to expand credit many times beyond the money supply, the capacity of the state to print money, and the underlying sum of the value of commodities produced by a given country, so while the Chinese and Japanese buy a large chunk of the debt, it is only official debt (fiat credit), not the crazy bank credit Keen talks about, and cannot prevent the crunch happening.

        Sure Marx hated the finance parasites, but he explained why they existed. Not as aberrations to the normal equilibrium of capitalism but the product of the internal contradictions of capitalism. Credit is expanded (and not regulated because the state is run by those with an interest in credit expansion) because the productive circuit is incapable of taking up the surplus capital since it cannot realise a profit on money invested in production.

        This, when the rate of exploitation (roughly the ratio of profits to wages) despite neo-liberalism, globalisation, privatisation of state assets, increasing productivity (rate of exploitation), cannot be increased fast enough to return a profit over total investment. The result is a crisis of overproduction of money capital and commodities. Solution is to devalue all commodities including labour-power until investment in the productive circuit does produce a profit.

        Therefore according to this logic, the finance sector becomes detached from the productive sector at a specific point when profits fall to a certain level, so that the surplus capital then spins off into excessive credit creation to attempt to realise profits in the sphere of exchange rather than production. The credit bubble then produces the credit crunch as the fictitious value of those assets collapses back towards their actual price of production. So its not a monetary crisis or even a credit crisis in reality but a capitalist crisis because the credit crunch is a symptom of the failure to extract enough value to valorise the capital invested in the productive circuit.

        Such a crisis is always deflationary because the values of wages and other commodities, along with all the fictitious capital speculating in asset value, collapse downwards to reach that point where the surviving big banks (guess which) buy up the surviving corporations (guess which) and start re-investing in cheap labour and cut price productive assets, new technology comes on line, and away we go on another merry go round.

        And this leaves out the whole impact of crisis and restructuring on those who pay for it – the working class. That’s why a third quote from Marx is useful. Somewhere he said that capitalism never falls down by itself. It can suffer massive crises, prove that the market fails, but if it has the capacity to fool most workers or repress them then it will stagger on. Only the activity of a politically conscious working class can end capitalism. Capital is not self-equilibrating, or ultimately self-destructive, but it does produce its own gravediggers.

        I’ve read Keen why don’t you have a look at Brendan Cooney’s youtube vids I cite above, they are great fun. Take a look at the political economy of Superman, and the Matrix.

        • RedLogix 21.1.1.1

          rave,

          Given what is happening right before our eyes, your line of reasoning in your very good post above, is dammed hard to argue with.

          I’ve read Keen why don’t you have a look at Brendan Cooney’s youtube vids I cite above, they are great fun.

          Yes I intend to, but later when I’m using a proper ADSL connection, and not this oversold crap 3G Nodafone connection.

        • Snail 21.1.1.2

          Interesting..As to the following:—
          So its not a monetary crisis or even a credit crisis in reality but a capitalist crisis because the credit crunch is a symptom of the failure to extract enough value to valorise the capital invested in the productive circuit.

          I am not sure what you mean with that term “valorise”, but I have a question pertaining to constructive solutions.. That is, to what extent would the suggested undervaluing of capitalism’s productive sector be capable of implementing revaluation/s in taking up part or all of the so-called credit surpluses.

          What tools – financial, wage, salary, compensation – would be appropriate in so doing. Given how clearly the worker/laborer be no worse off..

          Look forward to your views on this..

  21. Leroy 22

    Armchair radicals like Trotter and “Ray” can attack the EPMU and Andrew Little all they like, they don’t have to make decisions in the real world. It’s easy to criticise from a position of ignorance and irrelevance.

    The fact is the EPMU gets the highest pay rises of any union and takes the lead in the whole movement’s campaigns to defend workers’ rights. If you want to accuse them of selling out to the boss class then you should at least get some facts to support your argument rather than trotting out cliches from two decades ago.

  22. Ianmac 23

    Redlogix and Rave: I am always impressed from an Economically uneducated point of view at the competence with which you put your thinkings.
    Does the point about capital outstipping production, (“so that the surplus capital then spins off into excessive credit creation to attempt to realise profits in the sphere of exchange rather than production.”) lead to those who blame the workers for not being productive enough? Hence the old arguments about how we/they have to be more productive in order to increase the wages in order to match Australia. All the workers/employers fault of course.

  23. antisocialisttosspots 24

    [deleted]

    [lprent: GL – you are currently banned. Putting you into the anti-spam as you don’t offer anything and appear to ignore warnings]

  24. Easton and Morgan, two of the leading econmists/commentators in New Zealand offering constructive advice on the way forward. This is pro-worker without being anti-employer and yet another example of the positive approach adopted by Little/EMPU. As awkward as this video is, it’s an important insight into the strategy the EPMU are considering for the next few years: one that’ll ensure growth on the otherside is sustainable.

    Redlogix, thanks for your email – I’m sorry I’ve not replied, I’ve been a bit distracted. I apreciate your response however.

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    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
    4 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
    4 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, ...
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago

  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    49 mins ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
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