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Free speech and surveillance online

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, January 7th, 2015 - 46 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, human rights, internet, interweb, Spying - Tags: , , , ,

A long, fascinating piece by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept this morning. Please head on over there and read the whole thing, but here are some extracts:

WITH POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA GROWING, POLICE NOW MONITORING AND CRIMINALIZING ONLINE SPEECH

police-surveillance-social-media

… Criminal cases for online political speech are now commonplace in the UK, notorious for its hostility to basic free speech and press rights. As The Independent‘s James Bloodworth reported last week, “around 20,000 people in Britain have been investigated in the past three years for comments made online.”

But the persecution is by no means viewpoint-neutral. It instead is overwhelmingly directed at the country’s Muslims for expressing political opinions critical of the state’s actions. … this is not merely an attack on free speech but on specific ideas. Writing about Ahmed’s case in The Guardian, Richard Seymour described him as “the latest victim of a concerted effort to redefine racism as ‘anything that could conceivably offend white people.’”

Like all technologies that threaten to subvert prevailing authority, social media–along with the Internet generally–is being increasingly targeted with police measures of control, repression and punishment. Just like mass surveillance does to the Internet, this is all part of an effort to convert these new technologies from a potential tool of subversion into one that further bolsters governing power factions.

It is thus unsurprising that the national police of Scotland postedthe above-displayed warning last week. That warning tweet is starker and more honest than the tone typically used to convey such messages, but it perfectly captures the mindset of states throughout the west about the “dangers” of social media and the repressive steps they are now taking to combat them. As Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation documented this week, legal suppression of online speech is spreading throughout the west and democracies worldwide.

As is true for all War on Terror abuses, this American version of criminalizing speech is spreading far beyond its original application, and is increasingly applied domestically. Anti-police messages are now being subjected to the same criminalizing treatment as anti-military and anti-U.S.-foreign-policy ideas.

Last month in western Massachusetts, police issued a criminal summons to 27-year-old Charles DiRosa for posting an “anti-police Facebook post.”  … There’s no question that DiRosa’s “anti-police” post is pure free speech, constitutionally protected. Even if one wants to construe it as a recommendation to others that they kill police officers, the First Amendment bars any prosecution.  … Under the most basic free speech principles, nobody can be prosecuted for expressing those views. These principles reflect a vital recognition: empowering officials to criminalize the expression of those views is far more dangerous than the views themselves.

Like the law generally, criminalizing online speech is reserved only for certain kinds of people (those with the least power) and certain kinds of views (the most marginalized and oppositional). Those who serve the most powerful factions or who endorse their orthodoxies are generally exempt. For that reason, these trends in criminalizing online speech are not so much an abstract attack on free speech generally, but worse, are an attempt to suppress particular ideas and particular kinds of people from engaging in effective persuasion and political activism.

The fact that the most effective communications medium yet invented is monitored, surveilled, and increasingly being used as a tool to protect the power and position of the privileged, isn’t exactly news of course. But Greenwald has written a compelling summary, with several example cases and plenty more analysis – the full article is well worth a read. Consider it in the recent NZ context of dirty politics, the raid on Hager, the media raids following the “teapot tape”, the Snowden revelations (CORTEX, XKEYSCORE and the like) and our recent extensions to state surveillance powers. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

46 comments on “Free speech and surveillance online”

  1. Ad 1

    So we get to one of the problems.

    On the one hand, Greenwald, Snowden etc are heroised by the left for exposing the whole Deep State operation. In reality they had little option, but it was still illegal.

    But on the other hand neither the activist left nor central governments want fully free speech. It enables exposure not only of the state, but of citizens’ lives. The State’s digital “terrorist” is the citizens “freedom fighter”, and largely vice-versa.

    The framing cancels each other out – as is already occurring in NZ after the publication of “Dirty Politics”. We need a different ground to speak from – this one is a slippery slope.

    • Ross 1.1

      What “ground” are you thinking of Ad? The internet? I think I get what you’re saying, but I’m not sure of your dichotomy: activist left versus central government. What this is about is fear versus reality. Those who would control have long known the value of fear. Hence we get the ludicrous assertions that kids playing with computers are <scarequote>hackers</scarequote> (read: evil) and social commenters are <scarequote>offensive</scarequote> (read:terrorist). Everyone gets scared and votes for the guys that warned them of the threat. Works every time. What we need is more reality. What is real is true. Nothing else actually exists. The new “ground” we need is a place to tell that story.

      • Coffee Connoisseur 1.1.1

        “What we need is more reality. What is real is true. Nothing else actually exists. The new “ground” we need is a place to tell that story.”

        Ross any chance you could elaborate a little bit on what you mean when you say this?

        • Ross 1.1.1.1

          The debate, the story is being defined by the Orcs. Lies are central to this. But lies being untrue don’t actually exist. Like a babies nightmare the only appropriate response is, you are safe. Not, Oh My God Monsters. That is the ground we’re standing on – omg monsters. This forum often trends toward omg, monsters. We need to be talking about solutions which are real, and not the lies, which are not.

          To paraphrase Laurence Lessig here … the challenge is not to convince New Zealand that there’s a problem. The challenge is to convince New Zealand that there’s a solution.

          • Coffee Connoisseur 1.1.1.1.1

            Thanks that is exactly what I thought/hoped you were meaning. Completely agree.

    • Manuka AOR 1.2

      “but it was still illegal. “

      When the laws themselves are designed and used to protect corrupt and harmful practices from within corrupt arms of government, then the word “illegal” as you have used it becomes meaningless. It is applied to anything and everything that corrupt and powerful entities wish.

    • Manuka AOR 1.3

      “neither the activist left nor central governments”

      You are conflating two entirely different groups. Central govts are powerful entities, near all-powerful in some cases. As well, much of the power is often held by other entities – corporations and the military for example. In contrast “the activist left” is not an entity. It is comprised of individual human beings. (Who have very little power, if any.)

      • Ad 1.3.1

        No I posed them as opposites.
        As for the power asymmetry, well duh!

      • Coffee Connoisseur 1.3.2

        The activist left.
        I don’t like that phrase at all there are many activists that do not see themselves as left or right in fact they understand the ridiculousness of the L vs R paradigm and that with the way the entire system is structured neither the left or the right will ever be able to achieve their ideals.

        The use of the term activist left is too easy to pigionhole and lable as fringe and loony left.

        perhaps entire framing should be changed to more Us (the people) vs them the Central Government.

        Even when you break down what voters on the right want i.e. lower taxes, more freedom from government (unless there’s the possiblity of a terror attack and they seem to be the first in line to hand back their rights to Central Government).

        The correct framing is critical and powerful. If used effectively and consistently it will be a key tool in helping change the system in my view.

        Conside4v that much of what the right do to waterdown the effectiveness of the lefts message is done with how they frame things.

        The three things that need to be used more and more is
        the people or society (needs to be an all inclusive term)
        The Central Government (it even sounds totalitarian)
        The System

        This narrative further weakens the rights effectiveness at framing issues as they want them to be framed and getting traction with voters. They lost a lot of their ability to do that through ‘dirty politics’ in my view. They no longer seem to be getting a free ride through the media.

    • Colonial Viper 1.4

      On the one hand, Greenwald, Snowden etc are heroised by the left for exposing the whole Deep State operation. In reality they had little option, but it was still illegal.

      Yep, like a Black sitting in the wrong part of a bus or restaurant in 1950’s Georgia was breaking the law.

      • Manuka AOR 1.4.1

        ” In reality they had little option” (Ad)

        I don’t understand this comment. Hundreds, even thousands of agents have access to the same information as Ed Snowden. If there was “no other option”, why the deafening silence from so many? (Sorry if I sound picky Ad, but trying to get clearer thoughts on all of this, and on what you are essentially trying to say.)

        • Coffee Connoisseur 1.4.1.1

          It takes the right person in the right place at the right time with the right amount of courage.

        • Colonial Rawshark 1.4.1.2

          A $150K pa job plus benefits in Hawaii is a pretty good reason to turn a blind eye and go along with the system. Plenty of people do it. Especially when the alternative is freezing your balls off in exile in Russia.

    • Coffee Connoisseur 1.5

      Its not so much as the framing cancelling each other out. It’s more that the most effective framing will win.

      There have been terrorist attacks in the US and the UK. We need to take away some more of your rights here in New Zealand.

      There is the possiblity that there are some muslims extremists that have slipped through our border checks and into New Zealand. We believe there is a serious risk that they want to do harm to New Zealanders and our way of life. We are going to allow surveillance up to 2 days in advance of getting a search warrant.

      Correct framing is everything.

  2. Manuka AOR 2

    “The framing cancels each other out “

    Change the framing.

    • Ad 2.1

      See my commentary on Dirty Politics in other post today.

      • Manuka AOR 2.1.1

        Ad I have read through all your comments on that thread and I am still not really any more enlightened as to your essential argument. Sorry I have missed it. (And you still seem to be subtly validating the existing framework rather than changing it.)

        Also, you say that what Glenn Greenwald did was “illegal”. Please can you name one thing he has done that is illegal in any sense of the word? And if he has, why is he able to travel freely to the US to accept journalism awards? If something he has done is illegal, wouldn’t they arrest him?

        As for your reference to “left wing heroism”, the Washington Post is known for many things but being “Left Wing” is not primarily one of them, as far as I am aware. Yet the WaPo along with the Guardian, for reporting lead by Glenn G., were Pulitzer Prize winners. http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/apr/14/guardian-washington-post-pulitzer-nsa-revelations

  3. Miracle Worker 3

    Don’t forget the hand-in-glove relationship between the MSM and Police either.

    They definitely co-operate with each other.

    I have experienced this first hand in New Zealand, when a Fairfax reporter wrote a completely defamatory article about me in relation to a very high profile case I was involved in, in which the issues I was raising via social media forums were damaging to the Key led government.

    When I wrote to her editor and threatened them with defamation action, they deliberately deleted portions of my email to remove any reference to the legal action I threatened them with and framed it as a threat of physical violence against the reporter in their complaint to the Police.

    The Police then put me through a six week “investigation”, which they eventually shut down within 45 minutes of hearing from my lawyer, marking the file as “no offence committed”.

    My copy of the original email nailed it.

    The disturbing aspects of the Police file, which my lawyer obtained for me after two months of wrangling with the Police in order to obtain it, disclosed precisely why they didn’t want us to see it.

    It shows they dispatched multiple patrol cars to various locations throughout New Zealand, with officers given instructions to warn me, and/or arrest me if I refused to accept a warning – all before I had even been spoken to or interviewed by the Police, or given any opportunity whatsoever to explain my side of the story.

    A significant breach of my rights, with potentially disastrous consequences for me.

    If the Police had succeeded in actioning those unlawful orders, it would have enabled Fairfax to publish an article saying I had been warned for threatening their reporter with physical harm, which Fairfax would have had no need to prove.

    Even if I sued both the Police and Fairfax after the fact, which I absolutely would have done, the reputational damage to me would still have been done.

    If your home was burgled, would the Police throw as many resources at it as they did in this case?

    The Police took no action against the Fairfax reporter when it became obvious she had fabricated the complaint.

    Even worse, the Police file (which I still have) clearly shows that when the reporter was contacted by the Police and told the file would be closed and marked “no offence committed” due to a lack of evidence, she replied that the matter was “trivial anyway”.

    I immediately sent a copy of the file upon receiving it to the General Manager of Fairfax NZ and asked him to explain if the matter was trivial *before* she complained to the Police, or after?

    That was in 2011.

    I am still waiting for their reply.

    • Ad 3.1

      You have been in some mighty scrapes.

      That is a mean lesson for us all: we are engaging with the Deep State, and neither they nor the political order nor the MSM will be motivated to change Dirty Politics unless its in their interests.

      Even daring to see that is very hard when power is so networked against the left, so asymmetrical, so motivated by the lifeblood of public process conduits: the messier they get the story, the better it is for the life of the story.

      This is going to be a very very hard road.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        That is a mean lesson for us all: we are engaging with the Deep State, and neither they nor the political order nor the MSM will be motivated to change Dirty Politics unless its in their interests.

        You’ve implied it right here. We do not live in a democracy, although at a casual glance that is what it appears to be. The first step is to stop pretending that we do.

        • disturbed 3.1.1.1

          Here here CV 1000%.

          We are living in a fools Ad world.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          +1

          We’ve never lived in a democracy. All we have is an illusion of democracy. Throughout history a few people have worked to prevent us living in a democracy. Even representative democracy is actually a means to prevent us having a democracy and a very successful one at that.

    • Manuka AOR 3.2

      Reply to Miracle Worker

      This is beyond shocking. I knew things were bad, but this is a whole other level.
      What chance would someone have in similar circumstances if they lacked the resources for legal help etc?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        They would have been fucked. IMO, in NZ justice is only for those that can afford it and with National’s cuts to Legal Aid it’s becoming more so.

  4. Miracle Worker 4

    Selective morality on the part of most people on the left in terms of turning a blind eye to appalling abuse of proper process on the Key government’s part was one of my biggest hurdles in terms of raising awareness of the issue(s) at stake, and ultimately became the very factor which caused me to give up in frustration.

    Well, that and the fact that I became isolated after my employer claimed to have been visited by two govt representatives and asked questions about my involvement in the issues I was raising, leaving him with the distinct impression our company would/could be hit with “unspecified sanctions” if I didn’t cease and desist.

    I was told to give it up or lose my job.

    Or maybe it was because they identified my ex partners family via my Facebook friends list and systematically turned them against me.

    For me, ‘Dirty Politics’ was not only a form of vindication, it was also 3 years too late.

    If only you knew what I know 🙂

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      About the Left…just look at how the Labour Government of the day treated conscientious objectors and critics of NZ’s participation in WWII.

    • Murray Rawshark 4.2

      Write a book.

      • Miracle Worker 4.2.1

        My life has already been threatened twice over it, and I have been given compelling reasons to take the threats seriously. A book is not out of the question, but it won’t be until some time in the future when the current players are no longer around to present any real danger. A judicial inquiry with wide enough parameters would bring down the government, without question. Those with an understanding of how these things really work, know why this is as far as it is safe for me to go at this time. I have already pushed the envelope far enough. This is why I am so disappointed with the opposition parties. The core issue is not whether or not they can get traction with judicial inquiries. The core issue is that they have publishing power with the MSM simply by raising the issues which necessitate those inquiries, and they are consistently using a combination of selective morality and political expediency to cherry pick which issues to raise in the public forum. National is not the only party guilty of risk averse, poll driven conduct inspite of the immeasurable harm it is causing society and the economy. If I seem critical of Labour for this reason, it comes only from a place of crushed hope and bitter disappointment, because I once genuinely believed they knew better. Now I am no longer sure. The scales have fallen from my eyes. Pun intended. Yes there was political risk for Labour in taking on the challenges involved in the issues I refer to, but I sincerely and fervently believe that it was (and is) in the public interest for the whole truth to come to light in the public forum, because it would eventuate in a long over due clean up of our entire political, judicial and financial system. Labour has absolutely sided with vested interests on this one and that is my greatest disappointment. I didn’t expect better from National but I (obviously foolishly) believed I had a right to expect better from Labour.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1

          National is not the only party guilty of risk averse, poll driven conduct inspite of the immeasurable harm it is causing society and the economy.

          Yeah, noticed that. It became readily apparent when Labour teamed up with National and NZ1st to ensure that IMP would be in parliament. The stink of fear from all of them permeates the country still.

  5. Anne 5

    Wow Miracle Worker. That’s some story!

    What it shows is a profoundly unhealthy relationship between the police and certain sections of the fourth estate which really needs to be widely aired. One day soon I hope you will see your way clear to having it publicly revealed by a ‘reputable’ journalist.

    The other best known recent example is the difference in attitude between New Zealand’s most vile public hate speecher, Cameron Slater and New Zealand’s most principled investigative journalist, Nicky Hager. On the one hand, the hate speecher is afforded an immediate and active police response to his complaint… and a former Security Intelligence director supplies him with inaccurate information he then uses to undermine a former Labour leader just before an election. On the other hand, Nicky Hager has the book flung at him and a 10 hour police search of his home looking for info. they could then use to bully and threaten him into silence. Because, mark my words, that was the real reason the police hierachy (I don’t include the officers charged with carrying out the search) moved so swiftly against Hager.

    Edit:

    my employer claimed to have been visited by two govt representatives…

    Can you elaborate on ‘the govt. representatives’?

  6. philip Ferguson 6

    Some good reads:

    Andy Warren, States of surveillance: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/states-of-surveillance/

    Yassamine Mather, We’re all data in the end: the rise of the surveillance state: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/were-all-data-in-the-end-the-rise-of-the-surveillance-state/

    Phil

  7. Miracle Worker 7

    @Anne:

    I strongly suspect there was political influence in the Police search of Hager’s home, which is why I applaud his request for a judicial review.

    As far as telling my story to a “reputable journalist” goes, does such a person still exist in New Zealand?

    I gave a ton of information to Nicky Hager a long time ago but never received a reply.

    I suspect it was because the issue(s) I was raising has the potential to embarrass both (if not all) sides of the political divide, and was a highly political hot potato in spite of being about systemic corruption so large in scale that exposing it threatens to undermine public confidence in our entire system of government.

    Arguably valid political reasons for Labour to ignore it, if you look at it from their perspective.

    Like I said, I gave up trying to raise awareness of it because the personal toll became too great and I realised in the end that the left has no interest in the facts coming to light because the issue divides public opinion so intensely that the argument is virtually unwinnable by any side because so few people are interested in the facts or the human/civil rights and/or democratic principles at stake.

    Like Dirty Politics, any attempt to raise the subject quickly degenerates into a sh*t fight no one can win where the majority of people (on all sides) lose sight of the core principles at stake.

    Two things I learned from it are that selective morality is fuel for politicians on all sides, and financial illiteracy on the part of most people is allowing corrupt politicians to run rings around the easily provoked and extremely gullible public.

  8. Miracle Worker 8

    @Anne: re government representatives:

    I was told it was two representatives of the (then) MED.

    • Anne 8.1

      Thanks MW.

      As Ad said: it’s a very, very hard road.

      I had among other things… a whistle-blowing experience 20 odd years ago and what shocked me the most was the determination on the part of the government agencies involved not to believe a word I said. This, in spite of my previous immaculate (in the sense of trustworthiness and honesty) back-ground which could easily have been substantiated. I appreciate now it was more to do with ‘not wanting to believe me’ because of the political content involved. So, the next best thing to do in such circumstances is to undermine and threaten the whistle blower rather than seek out the perpetrator(s).

      As far as Nicky Hager is concerned, he is politically neutral when it comes to investigating wrong-doing. I remember him revealing not long ago that he has had an enormous amount of material sent him over the years – far more than he could ever hope to be able to investigate. I think you might find that is why you received no response.

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        Yes I had the interesting experience of giving Nicky a lift many years ago – and I still recall some of the extraordinary things he mentioned.

        None of which I’ve ever repeated. Period.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    So anyone still keen on online voting? You know, so all these great law enforcement and government agencies know exactly how/who you have voted.

    • gsays 9.1

      ok y’all can colour me stupid…
      when you vote, doesnt the electoral officer write a number (that comes from the electoral roll), onto your ballot paper.
      i have often thought that this was a way the man could pry.

  10. Miracle Worker 10

    Interestingly, David Cunliffe was directly involved personally in the issue(s) I am referring to.

    I met him in person when he came looking for information about it.

    He even called me on my cellphone once in relation to it.

    He publicly pledged (the exact term he used was “pledged”) a judicial inquiry into the issue(s) in question, in November 2011.

    I am still waiting for Labour to honour that pledge.

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.1

      Be patient. Labour can’t order a judicial inquiry into jack shit while it is in Opposition.

  11. esoteric pineapples 11

    Essentially the internet/cyber space has become the brain/nervous system for humanity. Almost inevitably there is a power struggle going on between various forces for its control. It may have been created in a spirit of anarchic freedom but it has become too vital for power structures to allow it to carry on this way. A mere 100 years or so where NZers have enjoyed individualfreedom has still been long enough for them to become naive and complacent
    Even now, I am sure there are people working on ways to shut down sites like The Standard in a round about way.

    • Murray Rawshark 11.1

      They can effectively shut down The Standard with PG type antics, where they just make it painful to read. I’m sure he’s aware he drives people away, and there are some others who have the same effect.

  12. Sable 12

    The UK and US are probably the most corrupt, least free places in the West. Looking at what is happening here it clear the sleazy Keys government would like to export the tyranny to our shores.

    Bet the Scots now wish they have voted to give Shameron and his mates the boot. Indeed still could happen….

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    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    3 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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, ...
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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  • 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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  • 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 ...
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