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Fair Pay Agreements – a no-brainer

Written By: - Date published: 1:09 pm, June 8th, 2018 - 32 comments
Categories: business, Economy, wages, workers' rights - Tags: ,

CTU President Richard Wagstaff has a great opinion piece in the Dom Post this morning pointing out why Fair Pay Agreements are good for business as well as Kiwi workers:

Remember when you could pay a mortgage, keep the kitchen cupboard full, take the kids to the movies now and then, by working as a bus driver, a freezing worker, a journalist, or any number of other solid middle-Kiwi jobs? When a decent working life was a given?

Too far back to remember? Maybe you’ve noticed how just across the ditch our cousins with all kinds of everyday jobs seem to be that much better off than us?

The difference between then and now, and between Australia and New Zealand, is sector bargaining. This used to be called awards here. In Australia, sector bargaining is called modern awards; in other parts of the world it takes the shape of industry agreements or tripartite national bargaining. What it is in all of these places is a system to deliver minimum standards. Minimum standards agreed between employers in an industry and the people who work for them; sometimes the government is involved as well.

The advantage for working people is they don’t have their wages and conditions systematically driven down by businesses competing on how cheaply they can subcontract people’s work. Like we’ve seen in the forestry and service industries. And they don’t have their terms and conditions that they’ve negotiated in good faith over years contracted out from underneath them. Like we’ve seen in the transport and telecommunications industries.

The advantages for employers are that they can invest in skills and training, and plan to increase their productivity over the medium and long term. They’re not forced to compete with businesses running fly-by-night operations based on low wages and insecure jobs. And they can invest in new plant and machinery and innovation – things that take time to pay off – knowing they aren’t going to be undercut by low-tech outfits run on a cheap labour and low-investment model. Not to mention the fact that more Kiwis with better incomes have more money to spend at our Kiwi businesses.

The full piece is here

32 comments on “Fair Pay Agreements – a no-brainer”

  1. Hear hear !

    The points raised above work towards a balanced , prosperous society whereby in real terms those same working people have more discretionary income therefore supporting local product and affording imported goods.

    But ! , … you try and tell that to the deliberately on purpose contrarian neo liberal and, … as Mark Twain put it… ‘Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience’.

    • patricia bremner 1.1

      What they also do is argue for less or smaller Government, and because as wages slide so do taxes.

      They then talk “tax cuts” which are really “public service cuts”.
      BUT…. come a crises caused by under funding and smaller Government spend, “Hello hello” they want the Government to pay from the tax “public purse”

      Have they saved 3 months worth of their tax cut to help with that?? Of course not!!
      But thee unemployed are meant to have 3 months saving from their miserable pay before they get anything from the Public Purse.

      I was pleased to see the Government asked the farmers to foot a third of the bovis problem. That is fair.

  2. Gosman 2

    Why is the Australian economy not doing as well as ours recently then?

    • Stuart Munro 2.1

      The long term ill effects of Turnbull’s misgovernance are starting to come through.

      • patricia bremner 2.1.1

        They have allowed under cutting to a lesser degree. Mining was the basket with all the eggs. It is picking up slowly.

        • Bewildered 2.1.1.1

          Mining and China demand for minerals is the reason wages are high, this sector has pushed the lucky country wages for labour sky high especially unskilled labour, hence au will lead the world in replacing low skilled labour with robotics and automation over the next few years Thunking that the sole reason wages are high is due to unions is naive and 19th century thinking

    • McFlock 2.2

      They’ve started trying to copy us.

    • You may be talking along the lines of the extreme macro economics speak economists are so fond of Gosman , however in real terms regarding peoples average wages there is no comparison in the take home pay and its purchasing power of an average Australian service industry worker and his / her NZ contemporary.

      Also , economy of scale is different . NZ struggles maintain and own a few frigates. Australia owns aircraft carriers.

      However , that said , NZ was ahead of the Australians in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s regards wealth per capita of population.

      That all changed post 1984 with the treacherous introduction of neo liberalism. Since then it has become progressively worse for many NZ’ers family’s and their children.

      Whole generations have grown up in poverty because of it. There are now over 650,000 ex pat New Zealanders that now more or less call Australia home as a direct result of the destruction of Trade Unions and the award rates and conditions . They voted with their feet. And still nothings changed in this country of any honest description.

      I get sick and tired of having to constantly repeat these facts and the historical reasons for poverty in this country to you Gosman , and reading your bloated lies. And as Mark Twain so aptly put it , …

      … ‘Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience ’ …

      You Sir , are an idiot.

      • Cricklewood 2.3.1

        Yet there you are arguing…. it reminds me of a similar anecdote.

        What do you have if you argue with a fool?

        Two Fools.

      • edgil 2.3.2

        Wild Katipo. Thanks.

        • OnceWasTim 2.3.2.1

          Goz is either scared or really arrogant – probably the latter.
          It’ll jump up and bite him in the bum one day, whereupon we’ll all be expected to acknowledge his being a victim and ‘deserving’ of sympathy and compensation for the ‘personal responsibilty’ he took in making his ‘life’s choices’ (of course, going forward).
          I’m truly in awe of his wisdom. Gee, I wish I’d done the same thing (/sarc)

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.3

        Also , economy of scale is different . NZ struggles maintain and own a few frigates. Australia owns aircraft carriers.

        You do understand that we could easily build our own aircraft carriers right? We have all the resources and skills to do so.

        However , that said , NZ was ahead of the Australians in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s regards wealth per capita of population.

        That all changed post 1984 with the treacherous introduction of neo liberalism. Since then it has become progressively worse for many NZ’ers family’s and their children.

        Well, actually, that started to change back in the late 1960s early 70s as capitalism once again failed. Britain stopping the guaranteed import of our exports pretty much brought us to our knees. The oil price shocks were the death knell.

        Neo-liberalism was the result despite the fact that it hadn’t worked in the 19th century either. It was the government acting to protect rich people from reality.

      • alwyn 2.3.4

        “Australia owns aircraft carriers.”.
        What current aircraft carriers does Australia own?
        They owned a few in the past but as far as I know they have none in commission and none in reserve at the moment.

        There are, I think, only 8 countries that actually have operational carriers at the moment and more than half the world’s carriers are owned by the US.
        Nobody else can afford the real thing of a nuclear powered carrier task force.

        I have vague memories of an estimate that a carrier task force on the US scale would cost about $25 billion to build and about $2.5 billion a year to operate. I have no idea whether these numbers are accurate though.

    • Nick 2.4

      But ! , … you try and tell that to the deliberately on purpose contrarian neo liberal and, … as Mark Twain put it… ‘Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience’.

  3. RuralGuy 3

    I’m not sure a self interest piece written by a union staff offical should carry any weight.

    We are an export nation, our competitors are not domestic. Increasing fixed costs (not just labour costs as you’ll note that the employer advantages also increase cost) relative to international competitors reduces sector wide profitably as the exported produce is no more valuable. Like it or not, we’re in a global economy.

    We have existing labour laws that deal with the laggards, and the ability to legislate for a national minimum wage. These are the tools to deal with employers doing the wrong thing domestically.

    If this is the best and compelling reason for sector wide agreements, then it is a concept doomed for failure as even “blind eddy” would be able to see that this is a short cut to increased unemployment in an export dependant economy.

    • SPC 3.1

      And yet … the major cost for farming is the mortgage, yet land owners want foreign investors in the market to bid up the price and this cost to farming – presumably to subsequently obtain their major return from their work as untaxed CG on farm sale.

      Labour costs are rather secondary to debt finance cost as a constraint on land ownership based export industry profits (and in the case of dairy, automated milking is the future in any case).

    • … ‘ Increasing fixed costs (not just labour costs as you’ll note that the employer advantages also increase cost) relative to international competitors reduces sector wide profitably as the exported produce is no more valuable ‘…

      ———————————————-

      Yes I’m sure competing with sweat shop labour is difficult. So also is not protecting our own industry’s with certain tariffs. Hence the penchant of the neo liberal to always use that tactic to offer minimum wages and shitty conditions to remain’competitive’.

      Tell me,… there were many millionaires in NZ prior to Roger Douglas and his treason’s, – and workers had a good standard of living, as well as first rate health and education, .. so what changed ?

      Could someone of seen an angle for the exploitation of the public wealth and expropriating into their bank accounts instead? Greed perhaps?

      I think so.

      ———————————————————

      … ‘ We have existing labour laws that deal with the laggards, and the ability to legislate for a national minimum wage. These are the tools to deal with employers doing the wrong thing domestically ‘ …

      ———————————————————

      ‘ Laggards’ … interesting.

      Bill English and John Key seemed to have the same opinion of many NZ workers calling them ‘ lazy , drug addled’ … which of course justified them importing cheap labour from overseas by the truckload by an irresponsible open slather immigration policy…

      This at a time of relatively high unemployment figures for New Zealand born citizens ,… those same ones who wont work for the pathetic excuses for wages that many skiving employers had on offer… and conditions enabled by successive neo liberal govts… again, motive ?

      Greed and exploitation.

      And speaking of which,… just WHY were there so many , many prolific reports of skulduggery and worker abuse and exploitation during the Key years ( and even now ) if there are ‘ tools to deal with employers doing the wrong thing domestically’?…

      ———————————————————

      … ‘ If this is the best and compelling reason for sector wide agreements, then it is a concept doomed for failure as even “blind eddy” would be able to see that this is a short cut to increased unemployment in an export dependant economy ‘…

      ———————————————————-

      And so now this seems like the classic neo liberal scare tactics of ‘ increasing wages causes unemployment ‘,… which is complete and utter tosh. The mere fact many employers are touting negotiating with unions / award rates / minimum standards as a good thing completely rubbishes those clapped out tired old diatribes that have been rammed down peoples throats for three decades.

    • saveNZ 3.3

      What SPC said…

      and also our other economy boom seems to be in construction which is not an export and based on disasters and immigration Ponzi….

      It is very pricy to build in NZ, because we export many of our materials making little profits for NZ and seem to buy them back at high prices… while subsidising cheap imported labour and materials which go wrong aka leaky building, while subsidising all the infrastructure and health/education/WFF/AS/ new workers need and the welfare bills of for the workers without proper work or training that are left.

      We call ourselves an export nation, but are we really? An exporter of highly skilled people for importing in cheap low skilled ones perhaps…. sadly NZ has got so dysfunctional after Rogernomics that rather than having doctors and nurses as our essential skills and trying to keep our best and brightest here in NZ, some of the highest skills for people migrating here under the Natz was chefs, Restaurant managers, level 5 IT, truck drivers and so forth. All low wage workers… meanwhile driving out Kiwis born who have to work to pay off student loans while they hope for a job in their field to come up…

      Somehow locals have become so discriminated in their own country. From state houses to making Kiwis historically paying massive student loans. Rather than choosing to wipe out student loans to citizens that live here, our government is giving one year of free study to new residents to get that ‘chef’ degree or whatever they want, whose families often have never paid a cent of tax in this country.

      Something is wrong with how our government discriminates against it’s own citizens born here and seems to be all milk and honey (literally) to those who have just arrived and of course have a lot more money, not being saddled down with student loans and massive interest rates, from the 1990’s in particular…

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      Increasing fixed costs…

      The costs exist. They’re actually physical.

      What you’re actually demanding here is for those costs to be ignored so a few people can make a higher profit. This, of course, increases poverty.

      We have existing labour laws that deal with the laggards, and the ability to legislate for a national minimum wage.

      And they’re not working as the increasing amount of poverty over the last 30 years proves.

  4. Tamati Tautuhi 4

    Nationals tax cuts covered by the GST increase hammered the lower socio economic groups.

    • edgil 4.1

      NZ was the test ground.
      Listen to “The American System” podcast by Webster G. Tarpley.
      It is all being rolled out stateside now.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    Richard, We can only hope this will reverse the death spiral of under cutting wages.

  6. Herodotus 6

    With Teachers we already have sector bargaining with “strong dominate” unions. Yet we have teachers with the same experience same skill base doing the same job teaching “mirror” classes yet there can be over $16k difference in pay. One has a masters degree the other a diploma.
    https://www.education.govt.nz/school/working-in-a-school/teachers/primary-teachers/
    If the teachers unions cannot have equal pay for the same job, then how on earth are we to have “Fair Pay Agreements” ?

  7. Dazzer 7

    It is a tad ironic to say the least for anyone on the left to want to compare with Australia.

    Australia has made its relative fortune in large part through exploiting natural resources.

    There is nothing like the left wanting Australian wages on the one hand yet arguing (ok, implementing directives without any advice) on policy that prevents NZ from earning the income you want.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      The increased productivity since the Douglas/Richardson vandalism could easily be shared more equitably, and you are incapable of understanding that, because you can’t think for yourself.

      Polly wanna cracker?

    • Stuart Munro 7.2

      “Australia has made its relative fortune in large part through exploiting natural resources.”

      Nope.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1

        It’s kind of comforting, the way these dupes swallow and then belch up the talking points they’ve been spoonfed.

        Hodson & Busseri redux.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      Selling our resources offshore simply makes us poorer and will leave us unable to support ourselves in the medium to long term. There’s already a very real example of such stupidity.

      We need sustainability and digging up our resources and exporting them doesn’t give us that. Even farm exporting cuts into that needed sustainability by exporting necessary resources.

      As the economists say: You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

      And we’re busy scoffing it down.

      On the other hand, R&D will. R&D gives us an export that doesn’t use up our resources while also allowing us to produce what we need from our own resources.

      All of this is called: Living within our means. Which National is noted for saying but always ignores as they eat the cake.

  8. Jackel 8

    The trend in this country for the past 30 odd years has been to attack workers and their pay and conditions as a way to increase profits, rather than looking at ways to improve what a business does. So as a way to change this trend fair pay agreements are a good idea.

    As for the natural resources argument, am I assuming too much to say you have a brain? Japan for instance.

  9. millsy 9

    Australia can probably afford to dig stuff up. Most of its resources are in places which aren’t value to anyone.It also helps that the benefits of the extraction industry are shared throughout the Australian economy. It’s probably easier to get a job in the morning industry over there than it is here. Plus the profits don’t get hoovered by by US and Canada and companies like they do here.

    • Observer Tokoroa 9.1

      Australia is a very wealthy Nation. Gifted with untold valuable resources and a hard working, skilled population.

      It can afford Several Sovreign States.

      Unlike Australia, New Zealand workers are NOT protected from various forms of slavery introduced by Capitalist Governments within the past thirty years.

      Using various mechanisms, New Zealand Capitalists proportionately pay far less Income Tax than NZ Workers. Farmers pay next nothing of Income tax. Because Farmers vote Capitalist.

      But the Capitalists have over- played their Greed. Not even 60% of Kiwis can afford to buy a house. They will never own one.

      Even more Kiwis will struggle to pay their exorbitant rents.
      Homeless – is the new zealand of now.

      It is no wonder that nearly one Million Kiwis prefer to work in Australia. Where they are not treated like Slaves of the stinking filthy Capitalists that screw the once fine people of
      NZ.

      It is unlikely that NZ Capitalists will be able to sustain their Crimes against Humanity for much longer. For they will never break their accord with GREED.

      .

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    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    6 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    1 week ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 week 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 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago