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Foreshore ends with a whimper

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, June 15th, 2010 - 49 comments
Categories: foreshore and seabed, labour, Maori Issues, maori party, national - Tags:

If that is the foreshore and seabed debate effectively resolved we should all take a moment to celebrate. It will be good to have the issue behind us as a country and move on. It is John Key’s good fortune to be in office when the Maori Party finally ran out of steam on the issue, but for us lefties, them’s the breaks.

What was it all about? During this long debate there was lots of fuss about property rights and freehold title. But (according to Audrey Young in 2008) this was never a serious issue, even for the Maori Party:

The Court of Appeal allowed for the possibility of the Maori Land Court issuing freehold title in the foreshore and seabed. ie legal ownership, by dint, among other things, of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993. No Government had ever intended this to be a possibility and Turia herself went to great lengths to say Maori did not want freehold title. This avenue was rightly shut down.

As the dust settles it’s starting to look like the fight was over little more than semantics and symbols, particularly the meaning of the phrase “customary title”. It is often claimed, even by Maori Party leaders, that the Foreshore and Seabed act took away the right to seek customary title in the courts:

Maori Party co-leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia said they had fulfilled a long-standing promise to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act, which did not permit iwi to seek customary title through the courts.

Now, I am not a lawyer, but that claim appears to be almost pure semantics. The Act uses the language of “customary rights” instead of “customary title” (essentially the same thing – see here for “What are customary rights and a customary title?”). The Act (here or here, hat tip mickysavage) says:

33 High Court may find that a group held territorial customary rights

The High Court may, on the application of a group, or on the application of a person authorised by the court to represent the group, make a finding that the group (or any members of that group) would, but for the vesting of the full legal and beneficial ownership of the public foreshore and seabed in the Crown by section 13(1), have held territorial customary rights to a particular area of the public foreshore and seabed at common law.

If you’re feeling keen, trace from Clause 33 through to 36, 40 – 44. The Act lays out a mechanism for Maori to establish territorial customary rights, set up a Board to act as “guardians” and administer a “Foreshore and Seabed Reserve” the purpose of which is: “to acknowledge the exercise of kaitiakitanga by the applicant group over the specified area of the public foreshore and seabed in respect of which a finding is made by the High Court under section 33” (40(1)(a)). Or if you don’t feel like wading through legalise, just consider the outcome when Ngati Porou exercised their rights under the Act:

At Parliament yesterday, Attorney-General Michael Cullen signed the Government’s first foreshore and seabed deed of agreement with 48 hapu from the East Coast iwi Ngati Porou. … The agreement is intended to protect the customary rights of local iwi using coastal areas, while wider public access rights also remain intact. It means Maori in areas covered by the agreement will have a greater hand in environmental decisions made by the Government.

So while opponents claim that the Act “did not permit iwi to seek customary title through the courts”, what they fail to mention is that it does allow them to seek territorial customary rights through the courts, and these are effectively the same thing.

OK, so what changes as a result of the National / Maori party agreement? Not a lot. For a start, very few people are affected:

Mr Key has previously said he thought very few iwi would be able to meet the criteria for seeking customary title. He said today he still held that view.

Dr Sharples said that for those who had not been directly affected by the 2004 Act, nothing would change.

Despite all the sound and fury, the only people ever affected by the original court of appeal decision, the Foreshore and Seabed Act, or the National / Maori Party agreement to repeal the Act, are a very small number of iwi who meet some very strict criteria regarding continuous customary use.

And for this very small group of people – what exactly has changed? I’ll leave it to commentators better qualified than I to sort through the fine print, but the short answer seems to be – not a lot. Essentially a re-branding exercise, the foreshore to be administered by the Crown instead of owned by it. Iwi will still be able to seek customary rights through the courts, just as under the current Act. Which turns out – surprise! – to be just what they want:

FORESHORE MANAGEMENT MODEL HARD TO MATCH

Te Arawa leader Toby Curtis says there is a lot of hard work ahead for iwi if they want to make today’s deal on the Foreshore and Seabed Act reform work for them. The Maori Party is claiming victory after its meeting with the Prime Minister, alongside the Iwi Leaders Group, resulted in the government agreeing to go ahead with repealing of the Act. Its replacement will give the foreshore and seabed public domain status rather than being in Crown ownership, and Maori can go to court to pursue claims to customary ownership.

Mr Curtis says what iwi want is the sort of coastal management powers which Ngati Porou secured through negotiations with the previous government, but they might struggle politically to put up as strong a case as the East Coast tribe.

Got that campers? What iwi want is the sort of powers that Ngati Porou secured. Secured under the last government and the (soon to be repealed) Foreshore and Seabed Act (2004). Funny old world eh?

49 comments on “Foreshore ends with a whimper”

  1. Gosman 1

    So anyone willing to change their position on John Key’s political abilities yet?

    • Bright Red 1.1

      No-one’s ever denied that he’s good at tricking people and getting them to work against their own interests.

      Being good at politics isn’t the same as being good for the country.

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        Come on. Many of you here have taken the line that John Key has little idea and is out of his depth when it comes to political management. He seems to have blown that out of the water with how he has dealt with this issue.

        • Bright Red 1.1.1.1

          You’re confusing good governance with the ability to co-opt people.

          Or you’re saying being good at politics is praiseworthy no matter what ends you put that talent to. I can think of any number of good politicians who used their talents to achieve bad things. I say it’s the ends that count.

          • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1

            I’m not confusing anything here.

            John Key has successfully dealt with a very controversial subject facing the country, one which caused a major split in the Labour party the last time they attempted to deal with it.

            He did so in a manner that means the issue is not going to be hanging around like a bad political smell from now on by getting general agreement from the Maori party without alienating his more conservative political support base.

            In doing so he has also outmaneouvered the Labour party who are likely to be forced to support the agreement as well because not to do so risks opening up old wounds.

            This to me seems like a huge political AND practical win no matter what way you look at it.

            Perhaps you would like to suggest an alternative that Phil Goff and co could push instead?

            • r0b 1.1.1.1.1.1

              What’s the real difference between the current Act and what is proposed? How hard is it to put a fresh lick of paint on the status quo? All the hard work was done by Cullen and Labour, looks to me like all Key had to do was be there when the Maori Party ran out of fight.

              • Gosman

                Actually he had to hold his nerve and play hard ball, while offering just enough concessions for the Maori Party to claim they got what they wanted. Just a fews days ago people were saying how arogant the PM was to state that there was a take it or leave it approach. Seems to have worked though didn’t it?

                • r0b

                  Hold his nerve – why? What did he have to lose? Without an opposition whipping up Iwi/Kiwi frenzy on the issue, Key had the space to manoeuvre. And in the end he had nothing much to lose if the MP walked away – he could have postured tough to “middle NZ” and probably come out ahead on the detail.

                  Anyway – I know that Key is your best buddy hero, but I think this story is really about the MP running out of fight.

                  Later – got to run.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Also, National could have chosen to repeal the foreshore and seabed to replace it with something else, even if the MP didn’t support the new bill, as long as it was no worse than the existing act Natioanl would still come out “ahead” politically.

                  • burt

                    Bollox the Maori Party ran out of fight, they were allowed to discuss the plan and have some input into it rather than being told that they just need to bite down on it as it was passed under urgency.

                    • r0b

                      Say Burt – when did the Maori Party invent time machines?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      “being told that they just need to bite down on it as it was passed under urgency.”

                      Instead they were told,

                      “Vote for this Clayton’s repeal or go in to next year and campaign on FSA FAIL, and all the other dead rats you’ve swallowed”

    • Bored 1.2

      Smart as a s**t house rat.

    • Bored 1.3

      Twice as cunning as a s**t house rat, just as untrustworthy.

    • burt 1.4

      It’s not fair, National made it work and Labour made a hash of it…. Lucky for NZ the dictatorship mentality and last cab off the rank offensive behaviour of Labour was kicked from office. That’s the hard to swallow bit for lovers of nanny state we know best supporters… The Maori Party wanted to be heard not shouted at.

      • r0b 1.4.1

        Just for the record Burt, the only party to cancel elections and install a dictatorship is National.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.2

        burt, you’re delusion is showing again.

        Labour: Passed a couple of laws that would save NZ a hell of a lot
        NACT: Passed laws that would cost NZ a hell of a lot while benefiting their rich mates and abolished democracy in Canterbury and Auckland.

        The dictatorship mentality belong, lock, stock and barrel, to the psychopathic political right. You happen to be one of their enablers.

  2. freedom 2

    the smiling assassin strikes again, now if we could only harvest his powers for good

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    More Bullshit rapped up in a Nice little parcel and then delivered by the MSM.

    So some Maori protested because they lost the right to “title” which according to Tariana ” it was never about ownership ” but the act they are repealing gives them customary title which is what they really want.
    The new legislation can also potentially give them the right to seek customary title and that’s success for the Maori Party.

    Let the celebrations begin, what a success what political skill, I am truly amazed.

    Imagine the trumpeting if they created jobs and helped children out of poverty or promoted Maori language and culture through the funding of a Maori TV station or increased real income to working families or increased access to early childhood education oh hell what a dream that would be, if only aye, if only a left wing party could achieve that!

    Heck what would we call a party who did that?……. Maybe Labour.

  4. Bored 4

    On a bigger picture thought maybe the Turiana Helen spat that got focused on the Foreshore and gave rise to the MP was merely a symptom of Maori economic expectations. As an observer of the Maori “Renaissance” of the last 40 years I cant help but see a trend towards the establishment of a corporate Maori elite that controls the claims process and consequent management of assets. What form this takes and whether or not it is a good thing is open to debate.

    All elites try to concentrate power / assets amongst as small and exclusive a circle as possible. Can we expect to see a visible separation of Maori interests as they compete for access to seabed resources etc? Can we see the MP in future as the “brown” Nats? Will racial solidarity trump economic inequality amongst Maori?

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.1

      Yes put simply this Maori party are not a left wing party, they are doing what any Tori party would do, so as I have said before despite the rhetoric lets judge them not by what they say but what they do and achieve not just for Maori but for all, because remember they are a party for all peoples.

      Time is marching on and what have they achieved for all …. nothing!

      • Tigger 4.1.1

        Yes, nothing for ordinary Maori of course. This whole problem, that they are there for the few and not the many, is enshrined in the MP’s doctrine where they seek to represent the collective. And the Maori ‘collective’ is ultimately controlled by…the iwi elite.

  5. Maggie 5

    With the current legislation we had certainty. We knew who owend the seabed and foreshore. We did.

    Soon, apparently, no-one will own it.

    With the current legislation we had certainty. We knew that no-one could claim any form of ownership over something we all owned as a nation.

    Soon, apparently, some people will be able to claim ownership rights over something no-one owns.

    What a fiasco. Far from being settled, we have only just begun to see the battle lines drawn.

    Key’s legacy to the nation will be uncertainty, anger and the memory of that simpering smirk he wears 24/7.

    • Gosman 5.1

      Excellent, so do you think the Labour Party will take up this great opportunity to provide a solution?

      • Craig Glen Eden 5.1.1

        Labour already created the solution but Tariana whip up the same old tired line that the crown was taking some thing from Maori. She has just settled for what was already in existence which proves my whole point, this was never about the seabed and foreshore use by Maori for Tariana,it was about the damage she could do to Helen and Labour. My question to Tariana is how has she helped the children, which is who she often claims to care about.

        • Gosman 5.1.1.1

          So do you think the Labour Party should reject this proposed solution and campaign to keep the current FSA as is?

          • Puddleglum 5.1.1.1.1

            Why should Labour campaign against a bill that, they claim, is no different in substance from the previous Act that they passed?

            To be consistent with their position, I suppose they could oppose repeal of the FSA but then support the current proposal while arguing that it was all a waste of Parliament’s time.

            • Gosman 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Excellent, I look forward to the Labour party doing that very sensible suggestion.

              Do you have confidence they will follow your proposed strategy?

              • Puddleglum

                Gosman, I have no insights into the thinking of the Labour Party leadership beyond those you would have. If, however, they followed the position I noted would be consistent with their public pronouncements they would be in a no-lose situation.

                First, they reinforce the point that there is no difference between the two pieces of legislation (by opposing the repeal and supporting the new legislation). Second, the Maori Party can never again claim Labour does not support Maori aspirations since they would have supported a piece of legislation the Maori Party claimed was justification for their formation and redressed the wrongs of the FSA. Third, that means there would no longer be a substantive reason for the Maori Party not to go with a Labour Party no longer led by Helen Clark, which applies significant pressure on the Maori Party given the continuing ‘party vote’ support for Labour amongst voters on the Maori roll.

                Fourth, they can maintain their standing in the eyes of those members of the electorate who had been intent on opposing Maori claims (since the FSA had the ‘thumbs up’ from NZ First and Labour’s position is that the new legislation is no change on that). Fifth, if the proverbial were to hit the fan on either the Maori side or the ‘mainstream’ side in the future, National would have great difficulty distancing itself while Labour could say it was all down to the ‘symbolic’ changes which raised expectations, fears, etc.

                I think it was probably more good luck than good management, but that’s not a bad rhetorical position to find your party in.

            • Bright Red 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Think that’s exactly what Labour will do.

              The ones who will have a hard time backing this deal are the Greens because, unlike the Maori Party, they don’t have to pretend everything is ok now and they can see nothing has changed. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1006/S00217.htm

              In fact, the Greens might see some votes in this.

  6. clandestino 6

    What are ‘customary rights’ anyway? Does this mean Maori can take a few more Paua than a Pakeha or Samoan or something? This whole thing leaves me confused. For example, if an iwi has rights of veto over some development like a hotel or aquaculture project that would provide their people a job, why would they ever exercise that veto? Seems like this has been a massive waste of money over petty semantics. How the hell do you price 150 years of paua collection, or crays or whatever which people were doing anyway? No wonder we’re in so much debt.

    • Name 6.1

      “if an iwi has rights of veto over some development like a hotel or aquaculture project that would provide their people a job, why would they ever exercise that veto?”

      When we applied to create our mussel farm ten years ago (under the RMA) we were REQUIRED by the local authority to ‘consult’ three different Iwi each of which claimed some sort of interest in the sea-bed beneath 100ft of water we were going to be ‘occupying’. In order to get their ‘opinion’ we had to cough up sums from $50 to $500 for ‘administrative charges’ with the implication that if we didn’t pay the opinion would be against our proposal. There’s a good chance we would have gained the consent anyway, but when you’re talking about a $1.5 million investment, a $1,000 bribe is small beer.

      If Iwi ever obtained powers of veto the price of such bribes would sky-rocket, and you’d probably find at least three different Iwi authorities all claiming the right the exercise it, and pocket the proceeds.

      • clandestino 6.1.1

        My thoughts exactly. A veto would become a for-sale sign. I see an industry of Iwi ‘consultants’ popping up overnight. Ah well, us bleeding hearts asked for it. Good work on the mussel farm btw, enjoying your entrepreneurialism as we type.

  7. deemac 7

    there have already been MP apologists on RadioNZ stating that public ownership is quite distinct from Crown ownership! All smoke and mirrors – but that’s what much of politics boils down to usually. If the MP can convince enough of their supporters that this is a victory, the facts on the ground don’t really matter. The fact that ordinary Maori are not an inch better off is just the way the cookie crumbles…

  8. ianmac 8

    clandestino: “if an iwi has rights of veto over some development like a hotel or aquaculture project”
    I wonder if they will get not only a veto but also the right to build mussel farms where other groups couldn’t. Or the right to charge sea users for moorings or jetties or the right to veto same.
    It would appear to appease the Maori but what effect it will have on others remains to be seen.

    • clandestino 8.1

      Yes and I would include in ‘the others’ regular Maori who won’t gain anything. Classic case of post-colonial guilt gone mad and the only winners are the lawyers and the perceived ‘fighters’ (see: troughers) from iwi.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    Retrospective rationalisation is the essence of power politics.

    “I have lost. Therefore, I must accept what has been offered. Therefore, I accept it. Having accepted it, therefore it is good. Therefore, it is what I came into politics to achieve. Therefore … I have won!”

    Of course a politician has to fake it. Fortunately, we don’t have to believe it.

  10. coolas 10

    I overheard the conversation

    “Look Pita, Turie, this is how it is.
    Take it or leave it.
    But before you say anythink consider this. No agreement and you’re outa here. We actually don’t need you actually. Agree and you get to keep the portfolios and everythink. We can make it sweet as for both of us. This is win win guys. Lets give PR a decent lead time. C’on.”

  11. Fred 11

    All this talk on this bollox when the Emissions Trading Scam starts in 2 weeks and not a whisper from the MSM

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    So, what NACT+MP have done is basically cost us a lot of time and money to achieve nothing whatsoever.

    Colour me surprised.

    • Blue 12.1

      Rebranding exercises are inevitably expensive and involve lengthy consultation.

      Here’s hoping the new logo legislation lasts more than a few years.

      • f_t 12.1.1

        Weren’t centre swing-voters happy with the old legislation? Key looks to have fooled the Maori Party but if his illusion is too good voters might believe the hype that removing Crown ownership threatens equal access.

  13. Chess Player 13

    Why is there no blog here about Chris Carter having a hissy fit and going off to sulk?

    [lprent: Are you looking to get a ban? Read the section in the About on the topic of telling us what we should do. Authors write on what they want, you have zero say in that. If you want to raise a topic, then that is what Open Mike is for – but you don’t frame it as even remotely suggesting what the authors write about.

    Fuck it – I suspect that you are too stupid to learn from a mild reminder – have a one week ban as a less gentle reminder.

    Update: comments related to this ban have been moved into OpenMike. I’m going to get irritated if any more blatantly off-topic comments wind up here. ]

  14. barry 14

    Which brings us back to the question of whom to grant rights to establish fish and shellfish farms.

    National is keen to open up the seas to more aquaculture, and the questions about ownership have to be resolved before any more can be allocated. The original court case was brought after an iwi group was refused permission by the local council. Does this decision actually settle things?

  15. Jenny 15

    Tired of the party political broadcasts?

    Forget the spinmeisters, for expert unbiased opinion on the Foreshore & Seabed agreement without the partizan spin.

    Professor Bradford Morse gives an objective overview of the F&S deal on Tuesday’s Radio New Zealand nine to noon show.

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    3 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    4 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours 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
    15 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    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 ...
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    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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago