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Flexible Farrar

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, September 29th, 2009 - 28 comments
Categories: dpf, election funding, flip-flop, scoundrels - Tags: ,

fsc-auckland.JPG

If DPF doesn’t practice Yoga already I think he should take it up. He’d be a natural. He’s so damn flexible! I’ve had occasion to comment on this once before. But for the EFA we see DPF lowering the bar of consistency to unbelievable depths, and limboing right on down.

The Electoral Finance Act (EFA). If you recall it was introduced by the last government, and backed by a majority of parties right up until the final reading. According to DPF (and his troll farm) it was an attack on democracy!, the rise of a fascist dictatorship!!, the end of the world!!!, and so on. Who could forget his Free Speech Coalition and the witty billboards (like the one above) that did so much to raise the tone of political debate in this country. (See the man himself defending them here). Ahhh, good times.

It can’t be nearly as much fun for DPF now that he has to spin for a government and so is at least somewhat constrained by the laws of common sense. Simon Power has released National’s revised version of the EFA. Let’s wait and see as the pundits digest it, but at first glance it appears not so different from the version it replaced. Certainly DPF’s more consistent ideological buddies are spewing. National Socialists Sell Out Again!:

The National-led Government’s draft proposals for legislation to replace the vicious Electoral Finance Act make one wonder why National bothered keeping its much-vaunted promise to repeal that Act, since what is proposed by Justice Minister Simon Power is in many instances indistinguishable from what was, says SOLO Principal Lindsay Perigo.

National to reintroduce EFA-lite:

Remember the protests over Labour’s Electoral Finance Act? Remember the wriggling by Greens and Labour supporters attempting to justify this outrageous assault on free speech? Remember the campaigns against it by the Free Speech Coalition and John Boscawen? Remember all the heroes? … Remember it well, because it was all for naught … Your democracy is still under attack, this time by the people who said they were going to protect it. Which is the biggest betrayal, do you think?

Poor DPF doesn’t get to play, because it’s his job to bend over backwards to sell the party line: “Overall it is a good document”. Yup – that’s it. As DPF’s pissed off buddies chastise him: “Apparently it’s only bad when Labour promotes such things”. From death of democracy to “a good document”. Not with a bang but a whimper. Now that’s flexibility!

28 comments on “Flexible Farrar”

  1. Tigger 1

    Farrar is as out of date and irrelevant as his byline “Fomenting Happy Mischief since 2003”. An apologist for the system, as he has become, doesn’t foment mischief…he justifies the status quo.

    I hadn’t ready a Perigo piece for a while. Good to see he’s as strident as ever! I don’t agree with him at all but I have to admire his passion.

    • Daveo 1.1

      I love how Perigo’s website is called “Solo Passion” – a tacit admission that libertarians are wankers if ever I saw one.

      Also hilarious how Perigo and the libertarianz are always putting out press releases lecturing Obama or calling mainstream NZ politicians Nazis. Have any of these press releases ever been picked up by anyone? Who do they suppose is reading them?

  2. sigh 2

    Poor big fulla. Not been a nice week for him what with this and having to defend Bill English’s rorting of the taxpayer sheesh see how defensive he gets on his comment thread on that one. Just can’t believe this was the same guy who cried blue murder every time a government/supporting MP last term did anything remotely dodgy, yet he is willing to eat whatever crap is served when it comes to his little blue heroes. I see he even has a huge hard on over a sniff of Owen Glen today, yet when it comes to Bill, it’s all apparently a matter of ‘perception’.

    The sad thing is he doesn’t even know they all laugh at him behind his back – useful idiot I think is the term.

  3. tc 3

    It just gets better and better…..Maori selling out their people and the land over ETS, Flat earthers ACT shafting the environment/auckland/anyone reasonable, JK reading lettermans scriptwriters lame gags whilst leaving Blinglish hanging, no tax cuts/cycleway and now no reform of the evil EFA or S59.
    Copenhagen should be another international ticking off for JK…..a new and uncomfortable top 10 awaits you there Johnny.
    As long as Goff pulls his head in, keeps the message simple and stops talking like a lawyer, or apologising for doing the right thing there’s every chance this will be a single term govt that doesn’t get to wreck too much more before they get tossed out.
    A perfect result would see ACT gone in 2011 also after the Nat’s shaft them over supershity and they do the tri annual dummy spit in an attempt to distance themselves from the pile of dung they helped create.
    Don’t expect any reasonable media summary of this…..it’s over the kids heads.

  4. scotty 4

    Deleted. Let’s keep it focused on the issues.

  5. I have been totally consistent on electoral issues. I doubt you can find one specific issue where I have advocated something different today compared to two years ago.

    [Two years ago you described the EFA as an attack on democracy and put out ludicrous billboards comparing the Labour government to a Fijian dictator. Now you describe the legislation, unchanged in many important respects, as “a good document”. And you have been “totally consistent on electoral issues”? What does the word “consistent” mean in your dictionary? The other EFA opponents cited in the original post have been consistent. You are consistent only in the sense that you exist to spin for National. Anyway – sorry I interrupted – you were busy explaining…]

    First of all you miss the entire point that this Government is consulting people on the policy for any law changes. This in fact is the second round of consultation. Plus there have been public meetings, a seminar and extensive multi-party consultations. This is how people are meant to change electoral law.

    To compare that to the EFB which was negotiated in secret between Labour, the Greens and Winston is the first failing. There was no public consultation at all on the policy before the bill was introduced.

    People forget how awful the EFB was. [The EFA is not the EFB David, you’re just trying to obfuscate. The EFB was revised into the EFA as a result of the public consultation process that you claim didn’t happen.] It would have outlawed e-mailing someone your opinion on a policy issue unless you filed a statutory declaration with your ISP. The Human Rights Commission, chaired by a leading unionist, condemned it as a breach of human rights and said it should be withdrawn – as did many other groups.

    Also worth remembering the EFB did not include any significant new transparency on donations. That was added in later.

    The EFA was better than the EFB but still very flawed. The Electoral Commission formally said it had a chilling effect on political participation. [For reasons, it appears at this stage, that the revised EFA does not seem to change.] So some of my criticisms were shared by the HRC and the EC (along with well dozens of other groups).

    The EFA was repealed earlier this year. Labour voted for repeal apologising for the EFA and saying it was a mistake. [Labour did not say that the goals of the EFA were mistake, only that their process was wrong and the result imperfect and too complicated] So again hey I am bloody proud what side of the debate I was on. [Are you equally proud of your tactics?] The one everyone from Phil Goff down is now on except for few holdouts here, plus the Greens.

    What Simon Power has released is a proposal document. Not only does it generally propose significantly more freedom than the old EFA (let alone the abortion that was the EFB) it proposes in some areas more freedom than the existing EA.

    Yes there are some options in there I am uncomfortable with such as a 1 May start to a regulated period. [Are you planning a billboard campaign?]But again you guys just do not understand the right way to do electoral law reform. Part of the responsibility of being in Government is including options the Opposition has advocated, even if you are not that keen on them.

    While there will of course be disagreements on aspects of electoral law, such a levels for donation disclosure, it is vital that electoral law not be unilaterally changed by the winner, without consultation, as some sort of winner takes all trophy. Within reason there should be good faith efforts to get consensus because it is a lose-lose having parties saying the electoral rules have been gerrymandered by the Government.

    Now here’s a challenge for you guys. Why not do what I did and actually blog on the issues around electoral law reform. Do you or do you not think the (for example) Greens should be able to spending their “broadcasting” allocation on non broadcast media? Do you think the Greens should be able to choose to purchase additional broadcast time beyond what they are allocated, so long as they stay within an overall spending cap? Do you think it would be better for all parties to have the same spending cap as the current law effectively gives National and Labour a much larger spending cap than smaller parties due to the broadcast allocation.

    [I don’t like sticking comments in other people’s text as I have here, but as DPF does this all the time on his blog I figured that he wouldn’t mind. — r0b]

    • Mike 5.1

      Wow, that got a bite.

      • Tigger 5.1.1

        David, I respect you coming here to argue your case but this very post proves my point – you are a promoter of the government . There’s nothing wrong with being pro-government. Until last year I was pro-government and proud of it. But you are not ‘fomenting mischief’. You’re ‘the man’ now, not a child throwing stones from the sidelines. Time to grow up, lose the by-line and get on with doing what you do well, which is running the government’s arguments for them.

        • David Farrar 5.1.1.1

          Tigger – you confuse (or disagree) the difference between being broadly supportive and unfailingly supportive.

          Of course it is no surprise I approve of most of what a National Government does.

          But that does not mean I will not criticise the stuff I do not like, In fact I have been one of the more vocal critics of the proposed changes to transport laws, and in a minor way contributed to a backdown (ie Minister knocking officials heads together) yesterday on the GPS on phones issue.

          On the issue of electoral law, I was planning to be broadly supportive of what Labour produced in 2007, and even said so publicly. The old EA had significant flaws in it, which I wanted fixed and I supported more transparency around donations.

          But the EFB (not the EFA) really was that bad that I quickly concluded that it should not survive first reading.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      First of all you miss the entire point that this Government is consulting people on the policy for any law changes.

      No it’s not, it’s ignoring them ie, the supershitty. Hell, they even made sure democracy couldn’t apply in that case by removing the right to referendum that Aucklanders had and they did that under urgency to ensure that they didn’t have to listen.

      Just another RWNJ where fact is ignored in favour of delusion that supports your little beliefs.

  6. Lew 6

    I think I can say with some certainty that neither DPF nor Perigo would consider the other an ‘ideological buddy’ of any sort.

    L

  7. StephenR 7

    Haha yes Lew I was thinking the same, it’s a ludicrous suggestion really. The very few times i’ve been over ‘there’ (libertarian land) DPF has occasionally been described as ‘fan of big government David Farrar’.

    Those righties are aaaaall the same.

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    Its all clear to me now John Key is creating Policy due to DF influence. DF you are indeed the man no wonder John does not need Bill.

    Bill on the other hand is taking direction from John Armstrong ” Its not to late Bill give the money back and don’t take any more Buddy” HMMMMM.

    Rankin advises Bennett and the reason John Keys relaxed about it is……. he is always on holiday. When it all goes bad blame Helen. What a bunch of winners!

  9. felix 9

    Lew and StephenR,

    True in general, but on the issue of the EFA they were definitely “ideological buddies” – or at least that’s how Farrar positioned himself.

    The truth is that the real libs actually believe all that guff about Helen Clark being equivalent to H*tler and Mug*be, whereas Farrar just cynically borrowed their ideology as a convenient tool with which to attack Clark and Labour.

    Doesn’t mean it should be any easier for him to backtrack on it now though.

    edit: r0b (as usual) says this far more succinctly above.

    • ben 9.1

      The truth is that the real libs actually believe all that guff about Helen Clark being equivalent to H*tler and Mug*be

      Yeah. That’s what we believe. Modern liberals basically can’t tell the difference. Thanks for clarifying.

  10. BLiP 10

    Hasn’t been a particularly good start to the week for Farrar’s mate Blubber Boy, either. Watch here as Blubber Boy spins the positive for Bahtshitnagar’s proposal to close Auckland down at 11pm and compare with here where the proposal turns out to be “daft”.

    The sickening thing has been watching Bhatshitnagar blame the staff for his own failings.

    WARNING: OFFENSIVE IGNORANT CONTENT CONTAINED IN LINKS.

  11. StephenR 11

    True in general, but on the issue of the EFA they were definitely “ideological buddies’ or at least that’s how Farrar positioned himself.

    Libertarians *hate* electoral spending legislation full stop – don’t think DPF is or has ever been in that camp. Could be wrong.

  12. burt 12

    rOb

    Can you point me to any comments you made condemning the anti democratic nature of the EFB/EFA ?

    I’ve searched but can’t find anything remotely resembling discontent with either the law itself or the process that Labour used.

    • r0b 12.1

      I’ve searched but can’t find anything remotely resembling discontent with either the law itself or the process that Labour used.

      Searched did you – yes I’m sure. What’s the point Burt? You’re one of the most partisan and narrow minded people I’ve ever “met” – I’ll supply you with this evidence and it won’t make any difference. Two days later you’ll be claiming on another thread that I’m a mindless Labour lackey who never criticises Labour and never spoke out against the EFA and so on and on. Really – what’s the point?

      In full knowledge of the utter futility of trying to clutter your head with actual facts, here’s a few that I found. Here:

      Clearly the EFB was drafted hastily and in its original form it has faults. These have been pointed out in public feedback to the select committee, who are moving to correct the faults.

      Now we wait and see what comes out of that process. Call me a quaint old optimist (or a Liarbore hack whatever you like) I’m prepared to wait and see patiently. Others (DPF et al.) would rather use this time to drum up hysteria, as it suits their anti government agenda. They’re pretty good at it too.

      But have a little faith in NZ’s democratic mechanisms eh? Let’s see the final form of this legislation. If it turns out to be an evil attack on free speech, then I’ll join you on the barricades comrade.

      here:

      The bill was clearly drafted in a hurry and had problems. The normal mechanisms of democracy (select committees, public input) are now working to fix the problems. During this process some people want to whip up hysteria because it suits their anti-Labour agenda. The rest of us would rather wait and see what comes out of the select committee before we start all hands to the barricades.

      here:

      I’ve said previously that I think there are problems with the EFB in its current draft form. And while The Herald has certainly gone a bit overboard here with the scaremongering (and auto gratification), we should at least look on the bright side. It’s good to see a robust media taking on perceived injustice. (If only the American media were one tenth so brave eh?) We will certainly want this level of ummm zeal if the worst happens and we do get a National government next year. Shudder.

      here:

      Most democracies have legislation that sets limits on spending for political advocacy. We do too. Now you might want to argue that the limit of $120,000 is too low, and I might even agree with you, but you can’t argue on the basis of per member costs, without destroying the concept of meaningful limits utterly.

      here:

      “Law Society takes the exceedingly rare step of saying the Bill cannot be redeemed, and must be scrapped, then you’ve got big problems’
      I do agree with that, and with the significance of the other criticisms.

      here:

      “OK. I’m confused. Are you saying that it is reasonable that a person with a megaphone should disclose who he or she is (as the law presently requires)’
      I’m not sure what John A thinks. Speaking for myself I find that suggestion very silly indeed.

    • burt 12.2

      rOb

      That is marginally critical of the initial drafting. Interesting you also couldn’t find anything resembling disapproval with the process that it was eventually passed with. Guess as long as National have one round of consultation then anything goes according to the standard you approved of from Labour.

      • r0b 12.2.1

        That’s exactly what I expected from you Burt. It takes a big person to admit when they were wrong, and you were never going to manage it. Ta ta Burty.

      • burt 12.2.2

        You are right about that little rOb.

      • burt 12.2.3

        rOb

        There are hundreds of links with you defending the EFA for what it achieved and the process used. Do you want to admit you were myopic on this or shall I start adding in links and quotes ?

  13. toad 13

    I see that over at the Dim Post Flexible Farrar has chimed in backing Lindsay Mitchell’s op ed in today’s Herald on her usual topic of attacking the welfare system.

    He might want to rethink his support for her after reading my response to it. In just two sentences she scores a hat trick for inaccuracy.

    Oh, but never mind the facts, just feel the ideology.

  14. ben 14

    No wonder this blog is heading south at such a rapid rate. Once again you write in defiance of reality. That reality is i) you are guilty of what you accuse Farrar of, and ii) every other day Farrar publicly disagrees with National and publicly agrees with something Labour or Greens have said or done.

    He gives us his opinion. You relentlessly and largely uselessly toe the party line and hope nobody will notice.

    Have some shame.

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    . . 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    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
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago

  • 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
    13 mins 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
    2 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    23 hours 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 day 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 day 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 day 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
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago