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From Sugarbags to Foodbanks

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, October 31st, 2012 - 60 comments
Categories: activism, class war, democratic participation, history, poverty, socialism, vision - Tags:

Sugarbags have become a symbol of the DIY response to unemployment in the 1930s Depression.  Foodbanks are now a symbol of the struggle to get by on low incomes in a consumer society.

Lately there have been claims that Labour should return to core values – those forged in the desperate times of the 1930s, and that triumphed with the first 1935 Labour government.  But exactly what are those core values, and when did Labour part company with them? During the Clark years of neoliberal compromise when they abandoned the Waitakere Man?  During the shameful days of Rogernomics?   When the hippy generation gave rise to the individualismof “identity politics”?

Tony Simpson, author of The Sugarbag Years (1973, 1984) claims that Labour had already lost touch with its founding ideals in the 1940s.  In The Sugarbag Years he attempts to make sense of the “communal trauma” of the Depression. It had impacted strongly on the life of his father: a man who had a very hard life, working on risky jobs in mill and mine.  Simpson’s father was a union deelegate, an had hoped for a better life for his son.  He always voted Labour, even though he became dispirited and very disillusioned with the party.

30s unemployment exploded at a time when there were no adequate welfare provisions.  Working people’s lives had been based on the expectation of hard work and available employment.  Out of this trauma came a belief in shared solutions.  The 1935 Labour government ended the grey horror, of men in relief camps, wearing clothes that never dried. According to the Auckland Weekly News, some men worked all day widening drains, standing in water sometimes waist deep: they bathed in drains and washed in horse troughs (Simpson, 1984). After internal struggles, which included the expulsion of John A Lee and the gradual erosion of “creative and adventurous spirits”, the labour movement was carved up between Peter Fraser (PM 1940-9) and Fintan Patrick Walsh: an authoritarian shift in desperate times.

Simpson claims it was really WWII that ended male unemployment. After that, shell-shocked returned servicemen were unable to revive the labour movement spirit before the National Party took power in 1949 (see also The Listener, December 2005)

The Sweating Crusade 1892         

While there are some similarities with the current GFC, the 30s were different times: men were expected to be the breadwinners, and women dependent on them; the labour movement was strongly dominated by white men.  Single women were employed, but many low-income women endured indentured domestic servitude or sweatshop conditions. They were largely marginalised by the Union movement.  In the Depression years, women were required to pay unemployment tax, but could not get state unemployment benefits.

Rather than a return to a reactive version of “old labour” authoritarian welfarism, the ‘left’ (Labour, The Greens and/or Mana) needs to forge ones relevant to the 21st century: values that embrace democratic collectivism, diversity, inclusiveness, sustainbility, a steady state economy, a good quality of life for all, protection of workers’ rights (whether the work is paid or unpaid), free educaton and health care, a living income for all, and much more.

Above all, these values should be grounded in enduring democratic systems, forged through active, grass-roots participation.

 

60 comments on “From Sugarbags to Foodbanks”

  1. js 1

    2013 marks 75 years since the 1938 Social Security Act which is considered the start of the ‘cradle to grave’ welfare state – an achievement in which NZ was among the world leaders. Next year would be a great opportunity to focus on reclaiming those values.

    • karol 1.1

      Now, that’s an interesting suggestion, js.  I’m all for those provisions intitiated by the 1935 & 38 labour governments.
       
      My main concern is that, there needs to be safe-guards to ensure that left wing parties continue to address the concerns of the people they represent.  It has taken less than 75 years for the system to unravel.
       
      People like Peter Fraser were well into participant democratic socialism at first.  Then when in power, in response to the Depression and WWWII, became increasingly authoritarian.  It did result in many great welfare provisions – but it hasn’t been sustained. 
       
      And now we have a Labour Party whose leaders treat the MSM as their main constituency, and over-ride the wishes of it’s members.
       
      How does a left wing party protect itself against such a corruption of its ideals and values?  And how does it continue to adapt to changing circumstances, and improve its inclusiveness?

      • Dr Terry 1.1.1

        Karol, a very good history here. I remember how indebted to Savage my parents were (yes, I am that old – a “depression baby”)!

        Words from Savage: “Let people govern themselves. Give them a fair deal to stop them going ‘bankrupt amidst plenty'”
        “I have implicit faith in the power of governments to improve the quality of people’s lives.”
        (But) “the optimism of the idealogues was constantly challenged by the greed of man” (people like capitalists).
        Historian Keith Sinclair wrote: “the 1938 Social Security Act was the greatest political achievement . . . in the country’s history.” (Agreed, undone with advent of Peter Fraser).

        There is much more from the much loved Savage. Naturally, things would have to be updated for the present day.

        • js 1.1.1.1

          Peter Fraser was one of the major players behind the 1938 Act, and may have been Minister of Health at the time. There was a huge battle with doctors who wanted to keep their ability to charge patients as much as they wanted.

          • js 1.1.1.1.1

            Peter Fraser was the main force behind the 1938 Act as savage was really ill by then http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Fraser_(New_Zealand_politician)

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes he was but many of the policies were founded on the detailed work done by the Kurow Three: Davidson, Macmillan and Nordemeyer.

              The dentists successfully fought off Labour’s wish that they also be included in the public healthcare system.

          • karol 1.1.1.1.2

            I think Fraser did some very good things.  But his manner of doing them was a problem, as far as I can see.  And eventually, his authoritarian approach led to the decline of the Labour Party for a long post war period: National in power from 49-57, then 60-69.  Labour’s periods in government were relatively short-lived compared with National.
             
            The problem with an authoritarian approach to government, is that it doesn’t enable the party to continually refresh itself with new blood always coming through.  It also risks losing touch with the people they represent.

            • Hilary 1.1.1.1.2.1

              What evidence have you got for Fraser’s ‘authoritarian approach’? It could be argued that he managed to keep Labour in power as long as it lasted – especially those last years when it was basically a coalition with the Maori MPs.

              • karol

                What evidence have you got for Fraser’s ‘authoritarian approach’?
                 
                Like the Labour Party and its leaders today, there are different views on this.  But it is indicated in the Te Ara article on Fraser that I linked to in my post.  It says this for instance:
                 

                He could be devious in action, intolerant of opposition, ruthless in maintaining his authority.

                 
                And he increasingly was seen as pushing through policies that were unpopular with unions and others who felt he had moved away from Labour’s original values.  The article says this:
                 

                Overall, however, the government seemed unable to do more than administer the welfare structure already in place. At the same time they faced a vigorous parliamentary opposition and bitter attacks from dissident groups among some of the trade unions, notably the watersiders. Fraser came to rely for support on the party machine and F. P. Walsh’s leadership of the right-wing unions represented by the New Zealand Federation of Labour. The price he paid was increasing isolation, the discouragement of young members and new ideas, and dwindling popular support for the party.

                 
                Others are more positive about Fraser’s strong leadership, seeing it as something NZ needed at the time, especially during WWII.  But even someone like Michael Bassett (in the fairly old book, now: Peter Fraser: Master Politician), makes him sound authoritarian to me. 
                 
                Bassett makes it seem like he’s using the TINA argument of its day.  i.e saying the government couldn’t afford the welfare provisions people wanted, and that he had to keep wages and subsidies under control. 
                 
                He also brought in some laws to restrict the unions.  And 2 years after the Fraser government ended, there was the 1951 waterside union strike.  I think it was on Fraser’s watch that popular opinion started to turn against the unions.  in my view, he probably had a role in that, by compromising with the anti-union people.
                 
                 

                • Colonial Viper

                  Fraser was also pretty uncompromising towards anyone who was considered a conscientious objector or anti-war activist during World War II. A lot of peoples lives were ruined unnecessarily due to that.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        How does a left wing party protect itself against such a corruption of its ideals and values?

        By being democratic and by that I mean having the party members suggesting and deciding policies with the party administration then researching those policies. The research then made available to the members so that changes can be discussed.

        • Bill 1.1.2.1

          Or ‘somebody’ might argue that ….

          It’s past the time when the parliamentary left should have faced up to the fact that strategies that focus on empowering the state are ‘dead as dead ducks can be’. And it’s past the time for the parliamentary left to use what time it might have in power to invest in a genuinely empowering and resurgent left through enacting policies that devolve power and decision making to ordinary people in their daily lives as citizens and workers.

          The Only Vision….Left.

  2. freedom 2

    two simple steps to reclaiming the lost values that build a strong community

    1: be willing to help strangers,
    2: see 1

  3. ianmac 3

    I might be going bonkers but I was sure that the incoming Labour Government of 1935 gave 5 pounds to every family (worker?) which kick started the economy.
    I cannot find any reference to that but as a foil to Austerity it would have been relevant today. I must have been dreamin’.

    • karol 3.1

      In 1935 the Savage government, gave a Xmas bonus:

      The depression of the late 20’s and early 30’s marked Savage by the suffering he saw, and due to his canvassing efforts Labour came to power in 1935. Michael Savage, or “Mickey” as he became affectionately known, was now New Zealand’s first Labour Prime Minister. Immediately, a Christmas bonus was paid to the unemployed and poor, and a programme of state housing commenced.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        And at least some of that money was printed by the NZ Government, much to the annoyance of the Bank of England.

        The Savage Government also found monies to build 33,000 state houses in the middle of a deep economic depression.

        So when politicians today say that there isn’t money for this or for that social good, you know that they are either totally ignorant, completely maladvised, or just lying through their teeth.

        • Rogue Trooper 3.1.1.1

          and the show just keeps rolling along like some machine from Caligula

        • Gosman 3.1.1.2

          I think you miss the point in some of the links provided in the post here that NZ wasn’t in the MIDDLE of a massive depression but was recovering from it. Much easier to spend money when the economy is improving rather than doing so when it has none.

    • Sanctuary 3.2

      Labour won the general election of November 27th 1935 and within four weeks had issued a Christmas bonus of one weeks pay to the unemployed. Imagine the wailing and nashing of teeth of the mike Hoskings and the rest of the hate radio shock jocks if that were to happen today!

      The thing that that impresses me most though was the speed they moved to over-turn the do-nothing laissez-faire approach of the previous governments and enact their socialist agenda.

      Check out this legislative blitzkrieg in 1936 alone:
      -Enacted compulsory trade unionism.
      -A Factories Act amendment introduced a 40-hour, five-day working week, with eight public holidays.
      -Relief jobs were abolished and in 1936 (and 1937).
      -Sustenance rates of pay were increased by amounts of up to 100%
      -The Arbitration Court’s compulsory powers were restored
      -The Agricultural Workers Act
      -The Shops and Officers Amendment Act specified a maximum workweek of forty-four hours
      -The Industrial Efficiency Bill gave the government wide powers to regulate industries.
      -A large public works programme was initiated to provide employment on full wages instead of relief.
      -The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act (1936) restored full jurisdiction to the Arbitration Court.
      -Compulsory arbitration was restored.[
      -The government graduated the wages of young people so that year by year their rate of pay automatically increased until it reached a minimum standard wage when they reached the age of 21.
      -Relief workers were granted award wages.
      -The Court of Arbitration was required in 1936 to lay down in its awards and agreements a basic wage sufficient to keep a man, his wife and three children “in a fair and reasonable standard of comfort”.
      -A Profiteering Prevention Act
      -The Minister of Mines was empowered to establish central rescue stations in mines.
      -Improved rates of compensation were introduced for injured workers.
      -Penal rates of pay were introduced for weekend work and overtime.
      -Compensation was increased for the dependents of deceased workers.
      -The Finance Act required the reversal of all cuts made in wages and salaries during the Depression period.
      -The Reserve Bank of New Zealand was immediately nationalised.
      -The State Advances Corporation was set up.
      -A Bureau of industry was established.

      etc etc

      And the pace barely slackened through to 1940 – including the landmark Social Security Act on which Labour campainged in 1938 and won a huge mandate to implement.

      The point of quoting all that is Labour really has little excuse to not being able to reverse the entire neo-liberal, 1984-2000 project in less than nine months if it wished and to point out a blitzkrieg is as possible from the left as it is from the right. The difference of course between the traitors Douglas and Prebble and the likes of Savage and Nash is Savage never lied to the electorate, they knew exactly what sort of revolution he had mind when they elected Labour in 1935 because it was all in the Labour manifesto.

      • Wayne 3.2.1

        Reverse the entire 1984 – 2010 “neoliberal” period? So that would mean:
        1. Rigid currency controls
        2. Renationalise Telecoms, BNZ, State Insurance, THC, Forests, Glenbook steel mill, the rest of Air NZ, Auckland Airport, etc
        3. Compulsory Unionism,
        4. 60% tax rates, cutting in at twice the average wage,
        5. Import licensing for just about everything.

        The reason all this was abandoned is because it drove the country into the 1984 crisis, when we were on the verge of being bailed out by the IMF.

        No; a reimagined Labour Party will need to look forward , not back.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          Did you, perhaps, notice the failing economic system that we have at the moment? You know, the one caused by the policies that were initiated in 1984 and which this government are continuing with?

        • freedom 3.2.1.2

          jeeez wayne, talk about riding with blinders on. By the 1980’s, decades of positive social growth showed wealth was being shared more widely than ever before and the burgeoning middle class had begun to use their wealth to educate their children, who in turn were beginning to demand more equitable and socially responsible dogmas for their world. They demanded such radical ideas as one person one vote, same job same pay and had the gall to publicly present the dastardly concept that peace might be more popular than war. This unacceptable situation led directly to the false flag wailing from the IMF. The Central Bank Cartels in turn demanded they hasten the mercenary takeover of Democracy via public service privatization and trillions of dollars in credit traps were delivered. Short fused and primed for massive collateral damage without overtly damaging the infrastructure that generated the profits they fed upon, the weapons were released onto an unsuspecting populace.

          Simply put, the greed is good parasites saw the work order, licked their lips and promptly hijacked Governments around the planet.

          Thirty years later the husk of Society lies desiccated and broken.
          Inequity is greater than ever before and empathy has been euthanased so as to save it further suffering.

          • Gosman 3.2.1.2.1

            Yes, how could we forget. Everything was sweetness and light prior to 1984.

            • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.2.1.1

              What, as opposed to 25% youth unemployment?

              • Gosman

                Yes, amazing what abolishing youth wages leads to.

                • McFlock

                  This would be the theory that youth unemployment is either unaffected, or at most affected to the same degree as the unemployment levels of adults, in a GFC. Treasury followed by Crampton, if I recall correctly.
                           
                  Which is about as retarded as economists can get. 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Gossie also forgets that there is no demand for labour in the market place and masses of excess supply.

                    And that by making youth labour cheaper, adult labour simply gets even more insecure and precarious (oh the secret plan revealed!).

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.2.2

            +1

        • bbfloyd 3.2.1.3

          Wayne(k)…. That’s an impressive set of assumptions there young feller….Do you have the list alphebatized? Or do you just pick them at random off the page??

          Although you do us a favor by reminding us of just how backward, and shallow the politics of the tory “heartlands” are…. sometimes we make the mistake of assuming too much intelligence to people who are afraid of anyone from out of town….

          • Wayne 3.2.1.3.1

            Really just the things that have stuck in my mind of the level of regulation and control of the NZ economy prior to 1984. I am sure most would agree these were the big things. One could add wage and price control, no trucking over 150 k distance, no private TV, all sorts of subsidies. There are many others. It was not tenable after the oil shocks and when the UK joined the EU. And probably depressed our growth rates right through the 1950’s and 1960’s.

            In case you have forgotten there was a huge desire by 1984 across the board to free up the economy – too many people (left and right) had travelled overseas and seen more open economies with more choice and more freedom.

            Anyway I thought the mission of Helen Clark was to provide some balance after the reforms of the 1980’s and 1990’s.

            Going futher than her does not make sense. That is why I said the answer is not looking to the past, but for new solutions for the future.

            In that regard I would want to see a much more fully articulated view on Innovation. The Nordics, Israel and Singapore have all done better than us on that score. Actually, this is not even a left/right view of the world. But it is an opportunity, which New Zealand has yet to fully realise..

            • lprent 3.2.1.3.1.1

              In that regard I would want to see a much more fully articulated view on Innovation. The Nordics, Israel and Singapore have all done better than us on that score. Actually, this is not even a left/right view of the world. But it is an opportunity, which New Zealand has yet to fully realise..

              I’d agree – of course I’m kind of biased having worked almost exclusively in export based tech across a number of companies in the past few decades. Needs a capital gains tax more than anything else so almost all of the available capital doesn’t get sucked into the ‘riskfree’ tax haven of real estate speculation. Many of our innovators eventually follow the capital and export themselves to where they can find it.

              Getting rid of the NZSX would probably help as well – a complete waste of time for raising capital.

      • ianmac 3.2.2

        Thanks for that karol and Sanctuary. I guess it could not have been 5 pounds but maybe 5 shillings? I do remember reading that the injection of the bonus was credited by some with kick-starting the Depression economy.
        It seemed to me that it was the opposite to the austerity policy of our current Government but what do I know about economics!

        And a pretty impressive legislative program in 1936 Sanctuary. Must have had a big team of planners and researchers and legal folk to process all that.

        • Sanctuary 3.2.2.1

          “…Must have had a big team of planners and researchers and legal folk to process all that…”

          I think Barry Gustafson tells a good story in his biography of Savage about Bob Semple when the 1935 government was elected. When Semple arrived for his first day in the new public works office he was greeted by a team of treasury officials brandishing memoes, charts and graphs showing how labour’s program was unaffordable, impractical, and could only be funded by printing money with disasterous consequences for inflation etc etc etc. Semple patiently heard them out then said “well boys. you’d better fire up the printing presses because we start on Monday”.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2.1.1

            Semple patiently heard them out then said “well boys. you’d better fire up the printing presses because we start on Monday”.

            That was nice of him. Not sure if I’d have the patience to listen to them at all as the policies that they advocate are the problem.

      • Gosman 3.2.3

        That would be absolutely delicious from a right wing perspective if any left wing party attempted to reverse all the changes made since 1984. I can imagine the political adverts now. People having to wait weeks to get phones connected. Businesses having to lobby Government to get permission to import critical capital items from overseas. People being denied the right to buy better quality products at lower prices because we must ‘protect’ the right to reassemble the items here. Auckland suffering under the burecratic weight of Wellington. It would be simply too good a target to miss.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.3.1

          Gosman has gone stupid here

          He thinks that “reversing neoliberalism” = going back to 1984, banning modern technology after the IBM AT and disallowing Thai takeaways (since there weren’t any in 1984)…

          Stupid is as stupid does

          😈

          • McFlock 3.2.3.1.1

            +1

          • PlanetOrphan 3.2.3.1.2

            Delusional at best M8!

            Like every half wit,
            GosMan thinks tearing everything down and starting again is what everyone does.

            It’s called change aye GosMan!.

            And don’t go putting words in my mouth either pilick

          • bbfloyd 3.2.3.1.3

            Sounds like gossamers over”fortified” himself again….. He needs to read the instructions on the bottle properly….

          • Monique Watson 3.2.3.1.4

            Four words: Fourth Labour Government & Rogernomics.
            So can you admit now that a left wing party was responsible for the introduction of Neoliberalism into NZ?

            • thatguynz 3.2.3.1.4.1

              Has anyone here ever denied it?

              • QoT

                Yeah, I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone, left or right, try to deny that one …

              • Draco T Bastard

                Well, sometimes Labour does seem to want to sweep it under the rug. They have a tendency to say bad things about the 4th National government while seemingly ignoring the 4th Labour governments actions in bringing about the 4th National government.

                • QoT

                  Well I suppose that’s true. But it’s hardly like CV’s ever gone on some epic commenting rampage of Labour-neolib denialism, so fuck knows what Monique was talking about.

            • Colonial Viper 3.2.3.1.4.2

              So can you admit now that a left wing party was taken over for the introduction of Neoliberalism into NZ?

              FIFY

              btw the neoliberals have not relinquished control of Labour yet.

          • fatty 3.2.3.1.5

            It the same old TINA ideology with blinkers on…
            capitalism = USA’s 1% in 1998
            any other system = a USSR winter in 1960

        • RedLogix 3.2.3.2

          People having to wait weeks to get phones connected.

          Typical goosie drivel. This was a consequence of the Post Office using the technology of the day which was essentially hard-wired. Additions and alterations were inherently time consuming. Muldoon’s government simply dodged the issue of upgrading (and to be fair it would have probably been pre-mature to do so anyhow) … so it fell to the Labour/ACT govt of the 1980’s to fund the upgrade to new technology.

          Instead the bastards used this as a weasel excuse to sell it off.

          The improvement in services that came after was simply the result of the technology wave that swept the telecomms world in the 80’s … regardless of public or private ownership.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3.2.1

            …so it fell to the Labour/ACT govt of the 1980′s to fund the upgrade to new technology.

            They didn’t do that either. Even prior to the breakup of NZ Post Telecom was self-sufficient with digital exchanges being installed. The plan was to have all manual and step-by-step exchanges replaced by 1996 (this was actually completed in 1999 IIRC).

            The improvement in services that came after was simply the result of the technology wave that swept the telecomms world in the 80′s … regardless of public or private ownership.

            QFT

            and the fact is that if Telecom had remained in public ownership we would already have most cities with fibre to the home and rural sectors with ADSL if not fibre. I figure we’re between 5 and ten years behind where we would have been if Telecom hadn’t been sold and we certainly wouldn’t be giving the profiteers another $1.5b of taxpayer subsidy.

          • Wayne 3.2.3.2.2

            Not many publicly owned Telecoms left. There is a good reason; they are no longer monopolies. Imagine if you did not have choice for Mobile or Internet. It is the private ownership that provides choice.

            • Colonial Viper 3.2.3.2.2.1

              Idiot. The choice you are talking about is whether or not you want to be stabbed and mugged or shot and mugged.

              Instead, have a highly efficient single non-duplicated backbone running throughout the country, paid for and owned by the Government.

              Private providers can rent space off it to provide individual offerings to the market

              Plenty of choice

            • fatty 3.2.3.2.2.2

              The only choice we have is to which rich overseas prick do we chose to give our money to for an average service. But that’s neoliberal choice for you, that’s all that ‘choice’ really means.
              Unless you have different companies hooking you up to different internets?…is that the choice you mean Wayne? Are you on a different internet?

  4. Descendant Of Smith 4

    Still don’t know where Labour stand on 8 hour working day, 40 hour working week, the right to strike, raising taxes, etc.

    Technically I guess I do know – they don’t stand for any of those things.

    Noticed this new link on the MSD website that fits with this topic and a few other mentions in other posts.

    Puports to be a history of the state agencies responsible for welfare. I’ll get round to reading it at some stage – it’s there in pdf so I can drop it onto an ipad for browsing now and then.

    I’ll be interested how much of it involved discussions with advocacy groups (which in my view as being part of that in the 80’s) played a big part in opening up and challenging DSW at the time to pay people what they were entitled to (advances to the unemployed for instance only happened because an advocate took the issue to court, the passing of the OIA allowed advocates to get hold of policy manuals so they knew what staff guidelines were and could hold the department accountable, etc), how much it covers the change (both good and bad) and excesses of the George Hicton years at both NZES and NZISS (I’ve always found it odd that Chritine Rankin gets maligned for that when it was really Hicton but his media machine is obviously much better), whether it’s a Wellington perspective and whether any staff or regional perspective is included and lastly and importantly whether any client perspective is included.

    What’s missing may be as telling as what is there.

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/about-msd/history/social-developments-book.html

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    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    3 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    4 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    4 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    5 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    5 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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, ...
    1 week 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

  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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    1 week 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, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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  • 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, ...
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  • 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 ...
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    2 weeks ago