web analytics

Gareth Hughes: When gaming becomes gambling

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, December 6th, 2017 - 62 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags: , , ,

Cross-posted from blog.greens.org.nz, Green MP Gareth Hughes writes:

_________________________________________________________________________________

I was really looking forward to playing the new Star Wars: Battlefront 2 game. It looked pretty cool and I liked the first instalment. But when I checked out the reviews online, nobody was talking about the new game; they were debating if the “loot boxes” within the game constituted gambling or not.

In the last week, loot boxes have been defined or investigated as gambling by various regulators in the UK, Belgium, Australia, and Hawaii. Gambling? Gambling in a computer game children at my kid’s school were playing? Gambling in a game rated M, meaning that anyone could play?

Loot boxes are virtual boxes that contain randomised in-game content or upgrades. Games often include a way to bypass time-consuming ways to earn content or upgrades by charging players to open them, despite the fact that you knowing what you’re paying for.

There’s a legitimate argument (some would say a gripe) about paying for in-game content when you’ve already forked out to purchase the game. Loot boxes take this to a whole new level, randomising what you’re buying. When you open a loot box, you’re treated to an array of visual and audio stimuli, very similar to what you would see when winning on the pokie machines.

Loot boxes have opened up a debate about gaming fairness – paying money to get a competitive edge — but more importantly there is a debate whether loot boxes should be regulated by gambling agencies. A big concern is that these games are available to children vulnerable to the addictive consequences of gambling.

Belgium’s Gaming Commission has said “the mixing of money and addiction is gambling.” Koen Geens, who is Belgium’s Minister of Justice, also stated that “mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child.” Geens wants loot boxes banned not only in Belgium, but in Europe and abroad.

However, our Department of Internal Affairs says:

The Department considers ‘loot boxes’ as a marketing tactic within computer games that use psychology to reward players and encourage them to spend more on the game. While the exact contents of a loot box may be unknown at time of purchase, the payment of the charge does purchase a box. This does not appear to meet the definition of gambling.

You have to ask then if you sold an Instant Kiwi scratch game ticket in a box, could you skirt gambling laws, arguing you’re just selling boxes?

Whether you think loot boxes are gambling or not, I think this an important discussion we should be having. We need to make sure our rules around gambling are flexible enough to cope with changing technology.

At the very least, games containing loot boxes should include labels and further information warning parents and caregivers of the potential risks that lie just inside the box.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

62 comments on “Gareth Hughes: When gaming becomes gambling ”

  1. Excellent article Gareth,

    I am very happy you have targeted the “monetisation”or ‘gambling’ evolving of play games.

    It is another crude and vile showing of soft manipulation of the young and old public.

    Just another display of how we are being ‘manipulated’ into becomming ‘gamblers’ rather than loosing our sanity for less pressure in life.

    • greywarshark 1.1

      Interesting point cleangreen – we are all becoming manipulated to gamble.

      At a shop I might be offered a card with an email/web address and if I give comments on the store I get ….or the possibility of a trip to Auckland!

      So often it will be a chance of something for my email. I say no thanks. And the winning temptation crops up often. I might feel that to be offered a special price on something would be a sure winner for me but turn down the other enticing offer.

  2. BM 2

    Christ, what nonsense.

    It’s no different to buying a kinder surprise or lego surprise bag.

    • “soft manipulation of gambling I see it as”
      BM; – you are welcome to your bland dimissals here but someone needs to draw the line somewhere I feel, or at least bring the issue to light.

      We do know that studies are reported as showing that some media systems do ‘influence the mind’ of all viewers as they say movies and other programs do with scenes of extreme violence, and hence they hasve warning captions ahead of those progrms so should they have with these ‘soft gambling porn’ games.

      So how much is enough?

      • BM 2.1.1

        In-app purchases are how many app developers make their money.

        You get a free game and then the user can purchase additional features or add-ons if they want.

        It’s a win for everyone, people try the developers game/app at no cost and if the user likes it they buy stuff and the app developer makes money.

        • dv 2.1.1.1

          Yes an 8 year old ran up $500 in app purchases. She thought she was buying gold with game credit.
          Murky.

        • cleangreen 2.1.1.2

          Money is your god not others BM.
          Leave kids alone here.
          So as said; – you are welcome to your views but we/others don’t see money as our “god” or in other words we dont get hooked or “addicted “on chasing money as gambling addition is known as being “an addiction”.

          All of us do have other views, and that makes our society more vividly alive.

          • BM 2.1.1.2.1

            You think people should work for nothing? spend months/years creating stuff than give it away for free?

            • Incognito 2.1.1.2.1.1

              When are you going to charge for your contributions here on TS? Do you work for nothing and create these deep insights and gems of intellectual prowess for free? You could make money man!

            • cleangreen 2.1.1.2.1.2

              Everything you say has money threaded through it.

              You are suffering a delussion that money is really everything in life, but as said some dont think you way to place money ahead of life itself.

              Yes we all need to work for life and use money to sustain our live but you seem to be openning the door to every angler to “sqeeze a buck”.

              We dont want young minds to become addicted to money as you apparrently have become now.

              So we want less active monetry values placed on the gaming industry by using the intense systems gareth speaks about here.

              savenz on post 5 has some very good points also BM, worth a read.

              Merry Xmas; – enjoy your addition if you must.

              • Incognito

                Snap 🙂

              • We dont want young minds to become addicted to money as you apparrently have become now.

                It’s not that the young minds are becoming addicted to money but are becoming addicted to gambling so as to make a profit for some far off shareholders.

            • Sanctuary 2.1.1.2.1.3

              BM, Because you are supremely ignorant, I will explain. Games like Battlefront 2 are FULL PRICE retail offerings. Battlefront 2 retails for around $85-130 for the game depending on retailer and platform. To my mind, to have ANY sort of micro-transaction for an in-game enhancement that you can’t grind or to have any component of P2W in a game that you’ve paid full retail price for is outrageous. That these loot boxes also incorporate the most highly addictive aspects of gambling, and are aimed at children, borders on the criminal.

              Now other games – notably the online free to play MMOs like DOTA, WoW, Eve Online or every dad’s favourite World of Tanks – make their money by in-game micro transactions. You download the game, and buy enhancements like fancy skins, camo schemes or premium items. But even these games have to walk a very fine line between micro-transactions and P2W. World of Tanks for example has introduced significant P2W elements this year and it’s US player base in particular has collapsed partially as a result of this.

              Got it? Good. Now fuck off.

              • That these loot boxes also incorporate the most highly addictive aspects of gambling, and are aimed at children, borders on the criminal.

                They do seem to be breaking our laws which would mean that it’s actually criminal.

              • the pigman

                BM is certainly out of his depth but his kinder surprise analogy is not totally irrelevant.

                As someone who plays a heap of games reliant on RNG (random number generator) microtransactions — Guild Wars 2, Battlefield 1, Overwatch — and a wife who works in the gaming industry selling products with RNG microtransactions, it’s true to say you get a toy with the paid content, even if it is not the toy you want.

                The redeeming quality is that (though I’m not up on Battlefront 2) this content is all available freely, just with a much greater time and effort investment, and generally speaking, it doesn’t make the game easier and is merely cosmetic. There is a sense of effort/reward, so I never pay for anything.

                With that said, there are of course people with psychological vulnerabilities (either because they compulsively need to collect EVERYTHING in the game — the developers call these customers “whales” because they eat everything) or because they’re gambling addicts who like flashy lights and sounds and the thrill.

                I’m not sure we have the answers on how to protect them while maintaining the viability of the video gaming industry.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.1.4

              WTF did that come from?

              All we’re saying is that they need to work within our gambling laws. Not hard is it?

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.3

          There’s a difference between buying what you want and buying a chance to get what you want. The latter is gambling and it’s against the law to sell it to people under age.

        • mpledger 2.1.1.4

          Additional features or add-ons are ok especially if the game was free to start with – and I usually buy *one* extra feature if I like the game. But this was a particular game that had the sticker price of most top of the range games and then it was necessary for people to spend even more money to be competitive.

          I play a few strategy games and it does become apparent that at the higher levels they purposefully make it so hard that it’s almost impossible to get any further without shelling out for special abilities. And when you’re in the moment it can become an impulsive descision rather than a rational one.

          My feeling is that any game that needs a credit card to buy in-game purchases should be rates as r-13 or r-16

          • mpledger 2.1.1.4.1

            I guess the other thing is that most r-13/r-16 game restrictions are pretty much never enforced anyway so that’s kinda moot.

    • Incognito 2.2

      I prefer fortune cookies because then at least I know what I’m getting …

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3

      Apart from the flashing lights and music, that is.

    • Gareth 2.4

      Given that Battlefront is the example, it’s more like buying a Lego kit at full price and then discovering that inside is a surprise bag that you have to pay more money to open. The surprise bag may make your Lego kit even better, or it may be a “meh” surprise that doesn’t add anything to your already purchased Lego kit. it’s a gamble….

    • Both of which should also come under the gambling laws and the kinder surprise probably needs to come some anti-sugar laws.

      Just because something is done now doesn’t mean that it should be allowed to continue or be expanded upon.

    • Tricledrown 2.6

      Hollow argument BM.
      Everybody knows you get a toy with your sugar transfat load.
      Marketing to kids with addictive substances.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    I suppose the difference according to the DoIA is that an Instant Kiwi scratch card can be worthless, whereas a ‘loot box’ always contains something of ‘value’.

    They don’t seem to have considered the Belgian view – the combination of money and addiction – at all.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    The Jimquisition sums it up…

  5. savenz 5

    Many applications are free to download and in-app purchases (upgrades) designed for adults are are OK, as developers have to make a living.

    I also don’t have an issue for kids learning products that are free to download but to upgrade to more advanced level with an in-app purchase.

    But in-app purchases like loot boxes for children is a whole different thing – they are designed to be psychologically addictive and hook kids into what is effectively gambling.

    Let’s not allow loot boxes in apps designed for kids – we don’t want a generation of gambling addicted kids.

    The pokies for convention centre deal under National is a moral step too far already for Kiwis – having the addicted pokies clientele subsidise Skycity for the build in a special deal by the National government. (Aside from the moral issue the business case for Skycity is a failure as they ended up building the convention centre 500 seats too small to even hold the conventions they said they would to get the numbers in their business case).

    Addicting kids to make money for developers is not ok.

  6. Stephen Doyle 6

    As someone who has suffered from a family member being addicted to the pokies, I find this appalling.
    The deliberate targeting of those, mainly children, who may have a predisposition to the gambling gene is abhorrent.
    If I was king of the world, there would be NO promotion of any type of gambling, including the TAB.

  7. Gareth 7

    Apps and games need some scrutiny around this area. I think there’s a range of things developers have done to their games, some of which are definitely gambling, some of which are sorta, kinda and others that aren’t gambling but are a kind of grooming equivalent.

    Case in point, Jetpack Joyride is very big at my kid’s school. Even when in-app purchases are disabled, you collect ‘spin tokens’ while playing the game and at the end of the life you spend them on a simulated slot machine and gamble for possible rewards in-game. No money required, but lets get those primary school kids used to playing the pokies eh?

  8. I’m a gamer. Have been so for more than 40 years. Thankfully I’ve never been addicted to them even if i have played a few to excess.

    Within the last 20 years, though, I’ve done a lot of reading into psychology (I self-diagnosed with autism before I went and got an official diagnosis) and some of that reading was into the psychology of addiction and how it was used by the gaming industry to get people to play their games. It’s quite amazing, and disturbing, just how addictive a simple random result is and simple random results are so easy to generate in a computer game as it doesn’t actually produce/deliver anything.

    There needs to be limits on this type of psychological abuse so that it doesn’t damage people and society. I don’t know what those limits should be (obvious to start where our laws already are though) but this type of thing is obviously way beyond those limits.

  9. Roflcopter 9

    This issue isn’t so much about the existence and randomness of loot box rewards, it’s the way they are implemented.

    In most games, the loot box is designed as a “nice to have” where you have a chance to get an item quicker than you could attain via normal game play, or a chance at a vanity item that has no effect on the quality of your character.

    Even loot boxes that have a chance of dropping an item you need to progress, these style of boxes have always been able to be attained through normal game play and in-game currency… no real money required.

    EA overstepped the line on this one, where progression of a character is literally halted unless you buy a loot box with real money, and hope like hell you are lucky enough to get an item that enables you to progress.

    EA are getting roasted, and deservedly so.

    • Bill 9.1

      Thank you for throwing out an explanation that get’s to the root of it.

      …progression of a character is literally halted unless you buy a loot box with real money, and hope like hell you are lucky enough to get an item that enables you to progress.

      So EA are basically scamming people.

      • weka 9.1.1

        That too, but also they’re using structures that are essentially gambling and designed to get people hooked.

        • Bill 9.1.1.1

          The games are fundamentally highly addictive.

          Now I fucking detest gambling and what it can do to people, but…

          Throwing a “lucky bag” component into a game strikes me as being neither here nor there in the scheme of things.

          Charging “in game” credit for advantage or gaming aid? Meh.
          Charging real money for advantage or gaming aid? Meh.

          Charging “in game” credit or real money for a punt on gaining an advantage or gaming aid? Meh.

          Rendering the game unplayable without extra payments? See, that’s bullshit.

          • Gareth 9.1.1.1.1

            It’s also not true. The Star Cards could all be crafted without loot boxes. It just took many many many hours to find the crafting parts to do so, OR you could spend money for loot boxes which had random things in them including Star Cards, including the most powerful ones.

            So do you spend 80 hrs of active gameplay to get an Epic Star Card, or do you buy a bunch of loot boxes hoping to get one?

            So your reaction to the EA loot box controversy falls into your Meh category.

            Most people’s reaction to being told to pay $100 – $120 (Std vs Deluxe) for a game and then that they’ll have to play the same parts of the game over and over for a huge number of hours to be any good, or they can pay lots more to sidestep all of that time…. is not a happy one.

    • Matthew Whitehead 9.2

      Yep, I would agree EA went too far.

      It’s also worrying that we’re getting regulation to ban this practice that could, for instance, rule out microtransactions that are actually reasonable and fair.

      For a counter-example, Guild Wars 2 offers packs of dyes to players for real-money transactions. (or for gems, which are mostly but not exclusively obtained through RMTs) These dye packs use the exact same mechanics as a loot box: They offer randomized items, through a package deal where you don’t know exactly what you’re getting, and they cost real money. But there is no analogy to gambling because there’s no huge difference between payoff and not buying: you unlock a few additional cosmetic colours for ingame items, when you probably already have dozens easily without ever spending money in-game. But a half-cocked “loot box ban” might capture mechanics like this, in fact even a good one would struggle to allow perfectly benign models like this that allow buy-to-play and free-to-play online games to maintain a reasonable business model without subscription fees. Instead gamers with money to spare who want to support the developers can get mild bonuses that don’t actually enhance their power: They can buy extra charater slots, bag slots, dyes, or simply buy gems to trade for items that other players are selling so they can buy those same benefits.

      I’m not convinced there is yet a need to regulate the market, even though EA is notoriously evil, as they demonstrably haven’t yet gotten away with it. If someone else starts pulling this crap, then I will concede we need to consider it, but I’m very wary of elected officials being able to sensibly regulate this topic when Gareth is the only competent IT spokesperson in the entire Parliament as far as I can tell.

      I think there is a real need to regulate digital gambling of all sorts, but again, I despair at the idea of current IT spokespeople getting their fingers on the issue.

      • bad regulation is better than no regulation. After all – it can be fixed as more becomes known. No regulation simply leaves immoral practice in place and the businesses, with lobbyists in place, will simply keep saying that things are working now and so they don’t need regulation which is a simple and easily understood position that many fall for (EDIT: Which is BMs position BTW).

      • Gareth 9.2.2

        This all goes back to the idea of “when is a game finished and how much does it cost?”

        If a game is released, and you pay $100 for it, should you get a finished product like a book? Should a developer put further work into an already published game? If they do, what should they charge for it?

        With Early Access or Kickstarters, you can pay a single amount of money and get any further content for free because you’ve “invested” in the game and helped the developer get the funds needed to complete the work.

        With DLC the additional content is charged on top of the initial fee and you can judge whether that content is worth the price. This is commonly used to create many different price points for a single product with varying levels of content. Your standard edition with the least amount of content, your deluxe edition with bonus content, your “Season Pass” which charges one price for all future additional content, and your individual DLC releases, each one adding different sections of content. You could argue that a “Season Pass” is a form of gambling since at least two games to my knowledge offered a season pass and then failed to release any DLCs that they could access. The common theme with DLC is that the base game is playable and enjoyable without needing the DLC. This doesn’t seem to be the case so much with the last type of charging.

        With micro-transactions you get another group of content which ranges from content no-one would miss, through to content which makes game-play easier and more rewarding. In the extreme, they can focus on this additional content to the point of the base game being NOT FUN since the additional content is required to make it fun.

        Micro-transactions seem to be more vulnerable to the gambling problem since developers make more money if they randomise the goods they are selling. Micro-transactions (and especially randomised ones) are a great way for developers to charge money for things that no-one would reasonably pay for otherwise and that are cheap to produce. If you spend a dollar to get a mystery bag and it contains a hat which is the same as the one you already had in every respect except that it’s blue, you don’t tend to ask for your money back because you’ve accepted that you had a CHANCE of getting that cool glowing sword you’ve always wanted. If they get the balance of cool stuff to rubbish right, then maybe you’ll spend another dollar. In the meantime the developer spent 10 mins adding different coloured versions of common items and can get much more money for that work than they can for actually developing the base game in the first place. Hence you end up with developers producing “just good enough” games which are platforms for selling you a few good things and a lot of crappy things because that can make them more money than the game alone ever could.

        • Matthew Whitehead 9.2.2.1

          The thing is, it’s not the randomization alone that makes it gambling. It is:

          Real-money investment (investment)
          PLUS
          Randomized reward (chance)
          PLUS
          Large potential for reward utility (potential payoff)

          My fear is that if we regulate this now, we’ll only hit two of those three factors in capturing the regulation. Microtransactions for non “pay to win” items aren’t gambling, even if they award randomized items. While I agree colour tinting may seem like a lazy thing to pay for, it’s actually a far more benign use of microtransactions than giving people new equipment or skills in an online game, for instance.

          We shouldn’t be banning MTs for things like in-game currency, cosmetic rewards, or non-random rewards.

          I also think there needs to be a lot more leeway for microtransactions in games you don’t pay a fee to access but are plainly online worlds, or genuinely free to play compared to games that you actually did buy and only have an online multiplayer component, or use matchmaking or similar bite-sized online presence rather than being always-online.

  10. One Two 10

    Violence, gambling, addiction

  11. mpledger 11

    IA quote
    While the exact contents of a loot box may be unknown at time of purchase, the payment of the charge does purchase a box. This does not appear to meet the definition of gambling.

    I think their point is that if you get something of value then it doesn’t count as gambling.

    But that’s too easy a thing to get around. I could make a gambling game where someone gets a sweet every time they don’t get a bigger prize. But gambling addicted people aren’t going to eat the sweets after the first one or two (or three or four), they are just going to leave them/take them home maybe/give them away/throw them away. The thing of value that they got increasingly becomes of no value to them.

    And that I presume is the same with the loot boxes. People aren’t after the things that give very little competitive advantage once they have got twenty or thirty of them – they are after the big ticket items.

  12. Rosemary McDonald 12

    Excuse me, and I get that this ‘loot box’ thing is an actual thing, but is it the most important thing for the Green Party to be highlighting at this present point in time?

    You guys campaigned (and scored my votes) on the issue of poverty…

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/99027132/growing-demand-for-food-parcels-shows-poverty-is-on-the-rise-salvation-army-says

    Gaming is a voluntary activity, a time filler, a hobby.

    Having decent food to eat and a healthy home in which to eat it are not.

    Get back on track Gareth.

    • solkta 12.1

      You would be waiting a long time before Gareth blogs about poverty as it is not and never has been one of his portfolio areas. There is though a very clear and definite link between gambling and poverty. Lots of kids go hungry because a parent has spent too much on the pokies.

      Children may choose to play these games but that does not mean that they or their parents are aware of the long term harm that it could be doing.

    • It is possible for a political party to do more than one thing at a time and there are definite connections between gambling and poverty.

  13. Chris 13

    Personally think the gambling is a bit of a stretch

    Have to say though. It’s a bit arseholey to make people pay more to get through levels after they have forked out a shedload to actually buy the game.

    We aren’t talking some Angry Birds crap where you get it for free or a couple of bucks to start with knowing you can probably spend a few bucks more

  14. Brigid 14

    But having paid more, it’s a gamble on whether or not you actually do gain anything that allows you to continue on with the game.

  15. NZJester 15

    The other thing about these kinds of loot boxes is the secondary black market trading in a lot of these in-game items. I have been in games with people offering to sell hard to obtain items or in-game currency for real cash. These type of things attract the Gold Farmers in droves who cram people into small cubicles on computers to have them farm these items to sell for real cash. They are normally in sweetshop style conditions forced to work long hours for little pay with few breaks. You also hear horror stories about people who have agreed to buy these items only to have more than the agreed amount taken from their credit cards and a lot of the time receiving nothing in return or getting there accounts hijacked and stripped of valuable assets or the account sold to someone else. That normally happens when they get people to sign into a trading website setting up a username and password and stupid people or kids who do not know better use the same password as the one for their game account.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • A strong start – but can Luxon last?
    The first thing Chris Luxon did publicly after being elected as the 15th leader of the National Party was thank his colleagues. It was the proper thing to do. For it is only thanks to the cloak and dagger politics that they’ve engaged in over the past three years that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 hours ago
  • Air New Zealand flight attendant named CEO after one year on job
    A 51-year-old flight attendant has completed a swift and stunning rise to CEO of Air New Zealand. New Zealand’s national carrier, Air New Zealand, has expressed great enthusiasm in announcing its new CEO today: 51-year-old Nathan Guy, a flight attendant who has spent about 1200 hours on the job. Guy ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 hours ago
  • A true story
    by Daphna Whitmore In a recent debate on free speech I closed with a true story. A woman I know – a writer – tweeted a joke in response to a man having just insulted her on the platform. The joke featured some violent imagery, but it also featured absurdist ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    8 hours ago
  • Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga inspires Māui Hudson’s research journey
    Māui Hudson says the characteristics of his namesake, the Māori diety Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga, enables and inspires him to confidently walk into new spaces of research. He hails from Te Whakatōhea, Ngāruahine and Ngāpuhi. Māui is a trained physiotherapist but is well-known for his leadership in creating guidelines and ...
    SciBlogsBy Rosemary Rangitauira
    10 hours ago
  • Driven to help the planet and humanity thrive
    Mihi mai ki a Dr Te Kīpa Kēpa Morgan, a professional engineer, who’s inspiring a different value system that he says can help humanity thrive and safeguard the sustainability of our planet. Kēpa affiliates to Ngāti Pikiao (Te Arawa), Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāi Tahu. For more than a decade, Kēpa’s main ...
    SciBlogsBy Rosemary Rangitauira
    11 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why an attack on Iran is back on the agenda
    Reportedly, Christopher Luxon has the edge on Simon Bridges in National’s leadership contest although there is no firm evidence for that hunch. So, one hesitates about joining a media echo chamber that amplifies Luxon’s chances ahead of the 3pm caucus meeting today. You know how it goes: Luxon doesn’t quite ...
    13 hours ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 30 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr David Bromell, Senior Associate, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies: “While working as a public policy advisor, NZ Politics Daily was a daily “must read” as it alerted me to wider public policy issues than workplace-based media scanning, which generally covered only subject areas that related directly to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    13 hours ago
  • The Simple Thing That’s Hard To Do.
    What's Not To Like? There’s a reason why the self-evident benefits of a “one world government” arouse such visceral opposition from those with a vested interest in both the local and the global status quo. A world run for the benefit of all human-beings strikes at the very heart of the ...
    16 hours ago
  • A Stay of Execution: The National Library of New Zealand Caves to Authors
    Well, well. Looks like Christmas has arrived early, with a victory over vandalism. You may recall this little furore about the future of the National Library of New Zealand’s Overseas Published Collection: https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2021/11/22/lack-of-public-service-announcement-the-national-library-of-new-zealand-internet-archive-and-alleged-digital-piracy/ Well, those outrageous plans to digitise and pirate copyrighted works have got enough negative attention ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: We can do it!
    RNZ reports on the other story to come out of the government's emissions budget Cabinet paper: the scale of the changes we need to make: The massive scale of the nationwide changes needed quickly to cut climate gas emissions is laid bare in newly-released government documents. [...] The number ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Cold feet?
    Ministry for the Environment has dumped more cabinet papers related to its recent initial consultation on the emissions reduction plan. The key document is an August cabinet paper on Emissions Budgets for 2022-2025, 2026-2030 and 2031-2035, which made the dubious in-principle decision to increase the first period's emissions budget (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Rating The Contenders.
    There Can Be Only One: Some might ask why National MPs would install yet another “successful business person” at the helm of their party? Isn’t one Todd Muller enough? Especially when Simon Bridges could become the first National politician of Māori descent to become Prime Minister.LET’S GET SOMETHING out of ...
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Omicron, and the Bridges/Luxon dilemma
    At this early stage, the Omicron variant seems to be more infectious, and more able to bypass the protection offered by vaccines and by the antibodies generated by previous infection. The fact that it is being spread around the globe by travellers who were all presumably fully immunised and had ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 29 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Kevin Moore, Associate Professor in Psychology & Tourism, Lincoln University: “For me, the big advantage of NZ Politics Daily is the breadth of opinion and sources it gathers. Together. There is always a mix of news reporting, news analysis, opinion pieces and blog posts. That breadth ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • National is still very much the same Party even without Collins leading it… that’s the real issu...
    Judith Collins regarded Thatcher as “a personal hero” of hers. But like her hero though, it took the UK Conservative Party and their ideological counterparts here to get rid of both of them, from the inside. There’s a sort of bizarre symmetry to that really. Both were rather messy ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 21, 2021 through Sat, November 27, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: To Breed or Not to Breed?, The Vaccine for Fake News, Ten ways to confront the climate ...
    2 days ago
  • A professor without honour in his own country
    Michael Corballis just three months before his death appeared in an interview on the Hui with Mihirangi Forbes. She made no effort to conceal her disdain for his defence of science and proceeded to lecture him on not knowing enough about mātauranga Maori to comment on it and accused him ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Businessman – and Political Novice
    The drums are beating – see Heather Du Plessis-Allan in today’s Herald – for Christopher Luxon’s bid to become National’s new (and latest) leader. It is conceded that he is a political tyro but – such is National’s current plight – it is suggested that he is a risk worth ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No, Elizabeth Stuart Would Not Have Stopped the English Civil War (Probably)
    As you might have noticed, A Phuulish Fellow is a fairly eclectic blog. Even an organic one. I have my interests, and write about them as the fit takes me. And sometimes I stumble across an article I feel the need to comment on. Today, I ran across a ...
    3 days ago
  • Rumour Has It: A Númenórean Character List?
    Today we have another Amazon rumour on our hands. And for a change, it is not coming out of Fellowship of Fans. No, instead we have the following tweet doing the rounds, ostensibly listing (mostly) Númenórean characters and their code names. It’s an interesting leak, if true. And that’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Covid as Warriors
    The book I am currently working on – tentative title ‘In Open Seas’ – looks at the current and future New Zealand. One chapter describes the policy towards Covid using the trope of warfare. It covers an important period in our history but show how policy evolves and why, as ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: the B.1.1.529 variant – what do we know?
    There’s a lot of news about a new variant originally reported in southern Africa. Early signs have prompted calls for immediate precautionary blocks on travel from the region to restrict its spread. The WHO has called an emergency conference on this variant. Here’s a round-up of what we know so ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    4 days ago
  • National Party board denies it unanimously agreed to Collins’ Faustian bargain with Satan
    Sources close to party president Peter Goodfellow say he was totally blindsided by Collins’ claims he was party to this particular satanic ritual. National Party president Peter Goodfellow is today issuing a strong denial on behalf of the party’s board, saying they did not, at any point, agree to the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • The cost of optimism
    Yesterday the National Party imploded in a messy knife-fight that cost it its leader and probably one of the contenders. So naturally, the government has taken the opportunity to do a dump of its pandemic advice, including the Cabinet papers on its controversial decisions to repeatedly lower the Auckland alert ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National’s less than stellar choices
    Amid all the jostling in the National caucus ranks, spare a thought for Andrew Bayly. Who? Well might you ask. Plucked from obscurity by Judith Collin, elevated from number 18 to number 3 in the caucus rankings and given the Finance portfolio – a role in which he has been ...
    4 days ago
  • Are New Zealand’s universities doing enough to define the limits of academic freedom?
    Matheson Russell, University of Auckland   The news last week that University of Auckland public health researcher Simon Thornley was retracting a co-authored paper about supposed vaccination risks during pregnancy raised deeper questions about the limits of academic freedom. Thornley’s own head of department had called for the paper to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 26 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jean Drage, Political scientist specialist in local government: “With 78 local authorities and central government currently intent on reform, local government is a challenging area of research to keep on top of. Thank goodness for Bryce’s NZ’s Politics Daily. It is a gem, especially as it also ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Bridges is not the one
    Simon Bridges failed to bluff Judith Collins out of the leadership. A campaign to rehabilitate his image began shortly after the election and culminated in the publication of a memoir in August. There were persistent rumours of a deal with rival Christopher Luxon and MPs from the ‘liberal’ wing of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Smokefree cars – an important step towards protecting children from the hazards of smoking
    Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, George Thomson, Nick Wilson*  On November 28 new legislation to protect children from smoking and vaping in cars will come into force. This blog sets out the background and rationale for the new law, and discusses implementation, evaluation and the next steps to protect ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Judith's Last Stand.
    Going Out With All Guns Blazing: Why didn’t Judith Collins stick with the strategy that had kept her, National’s most improbable of leaders, in power for more than a year? One might just as well ask why Rob Muldoon (that other unforgiving right-wing populist National Party leader) got drunk and ...
    5 days ago
  • Act’s Precarious Ascendancy.
    On The Lookout: It is easy to imagine how closely Seymour has been watching the National Opposition for the slightest sign of a Clark figure emerging. A respected politician, who enjoys broad support across the party and, much more importantly, who impresses the ordinary centre-right voter as having what it ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47, 2021
    104 articles by 574 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Delayed impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss on Eurasian severe cold winters Jang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2021jd035286 Observations of climate change, effects Divergent responses of terrestrial carbon use efficiency to climate variation from 2000 ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Eyes Wide Shut To “Unruly Tenants”.
    Not Seeing The Problem: They say there are none so blind as those who will not see. And, right now, Kāinga Ora is studiously not looking. It is clear to everyone that the Minister responsible, Poto Williams, has (like so many of her colleagues) been entirely captured by her officials. ...
    5 days ago
  • Is the mob coming for Charles Darwin?
    Richard Dawkins recently noted the giants of the past are being sanctimoniously judged by nonentities of the present whose only qualification is still being alive to do so. How will the future judge our own time when we are not around? Peter Franklin from Unherd examines whether the woke can ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Blowing a Hole in Your Own Wall: Idiotic Tampering with MIQ
    Managed Isolation/Quarantine has been a fact of life for New Zealand for eighteen months. It’s not popular – there are only so many spaces available at any given time, and the process is famously opaque – but it is the key to saving New Zealand from rampant Coronavirus. That, ...
    5 days ago
  • Now Labour wants secret trials
    Today, the government introduced the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to the House. The Bill would allow the government to use classified information in civil or criminal proceedings and keep it secret from the other party. So people suing the government for human rights abuses could lose, and defendants ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The end of a toxic leader
    If there's one thing that Judith Collins is usually good at, it's using scandalous information about other people to her advantage. Not above undermining her own political party, Collins has been known to even leak against her own fellow MPs, particularly those who posed a threat to her as the ...
    5 days ago
  • A transformative government in Germany
    Back in September Germans went to the polls, and handed the politicians a tough job, with no easy majorities for anyone. The Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens agreed to work together in a "traffic light" coalition, but given their political differences (its basicly ACT/Greens/Labour), expectations for real change were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Political Harakiri
    The National party must always have known that they were taking a risk when they elected Judith Collins as leader. There were, after all, good reasons why they repeatedly declined to accept her candidature when she offered herself – as she frequently did. She was always an inappropriate person to ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete
    This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Richard Somerville “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I am sure that nearly all of those reading this article accept the main findings of climate science. Yet many people don’t. Instead, they believe a variety of climate ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the demotion of Simon Bridges
    So Simon Bridges has been bounced from the front bench and stripped of his shadow portfolio responsibilities for the crudely “inappropriate” comments that he allegedly made to a female colleague, Jacqui Dean – and personally apologised for – about five years ago. After years of mocking Labour for its supposed ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 25 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Rosemary Wette, Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, University of Auckland: “I’ve been browsing regularly through NZ Politics Daily for several months now. It gives me access to a range of views on current issues (helpfully organised by topic) that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to look up, or ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • The bizarre case of the Royal Society investigating academics defending science
    The Royal Society has begun a disciplinary investigation against a group of academics. The academics were defending science and in the past would have expected support from the Royal Society. The Free Speech Union has launched a campaign to defend the academics and academic freedom. Māori professor under investigation for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
    In the around 35 years I worked for unions (over 30 with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and earlier with the New Zealand Educational Institute) I often cogitated over the distinction between unions and unionism. They are intertwined but not inseparable. I associate unionism with collective consciousness able to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
    They Did Things Differently Then: And we might still be doing things differently, if the world these "Country Lads" were fighting for, and which endured for nearly 30 years after World War II, had not been supplanted by the world we inhabit now. In spite of its reality, New Zealand's ...
    6 days ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
    Feature image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Wellington   Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage* Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
    Agricultural emissions has been an oozing sore in our climate change policy for over a decade. Exempted from the ETS in 2008, farmers were meant to be brought in and start paying for their emissions in 2012. Of course, National put a stop to that, and exempted them forever. When ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
    The government is about to pass new vaccination mandate legislation under urgency. So obviously, they'd want to ensure it gets the best possible scrutiny in the limited time available by releasing the supporting policy documents, right? Of course not: On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    1 week ago
  • Important People
    The Herald has returned to form with a vengeance. In today’s issue, Barry Soper snipes at Jacinda’s handling of her regular press conferences. It seems that she did not give him an early chance to ask his very important question and took no account of his need to depart immediately ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
    Last week, Parliament embarked on the process of repealing the so-called “three strikes” provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002. Given that Labour, the Greens and Te Paati Māori all supported this repeal Bill at first reading (and that NZ First no longer is in government to block the move), three strikes’ eventual legislative demise seems ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
    By Paul Callister and Robert McLachlan Fifty years ago, on 26 November 1971, the film “Notes on a New Zealand City: Wellington”, directed by Paul Maunder, premiered on Wellington TV. The narrator asks if Wellington’s future will involve suburban sprawl, traffic, motorways, suburban shopping malls, and the decentralization of employment; ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
    Neale vs The Revolting Farmers: One has to admire the way Capital Government Relations CEO, Neale Jones, covers-off all the bases of the current political zeitgeist. In a masterfully composed tweet, he lambasts the Groundswell protesters as sexists, racists and reactionaries, clinging for dear life to “a purely extractive economic ...
    1 week ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Inflation — the decline of purchasing power as prices rise — is currently at its highest level in 30 years. This has led to concern among the public and policymakers about the rising costs of many important products like food, shelter, gasoline, ...
    1 week ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
    The National Library of New Zealand has not covered itself in glory in recent times. The decision to axe most of the Overseas Collection (some 600,000 books) in order to make way for more New Zealand items (which it collects already, and which amounts to some 3,000 items ...
    1 week ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
    Since its election loss earlier this year, Samoa's Human Rights Protection Party has been pinning its hopes on the upcoming by-elections to regain power. That was a pretty forlorn hope - with 18 seats, they would have had to win all seven by-elections and have two additional women appointed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
    by Daphna Whitmore The government is devising new “Hate Speech” laws to save New Zealand from something that has not been defined. When asked what is hate speech the Prime Minister replied “You know it when you see it”. The Human Rights Commission is supporting the law change and sees ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 14, 2021 through Sat, November 20, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheeple? A.I. Maps 20 Years of Climate Conspiracies, COP Negotiators Demand Nations ...
    1 week ago
  • The F Words, by Barbara Gregorich
    Book review Barbara Gregorich is a writer and long time anti-capitalist in the US. She and her husband were interviewed for Redline about the social movements of the 1960s. Her latest book The F Words, has been reviewed by Guy Miller for Redline. The F Words by Barbara Gregorich bears ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Scourge of the Aimless Kick
    The below-par All Black performance against France was – sadly – afflicted, again, by what has become a feature of New Zealand rugby – the scourge of the aimless kick. It is surely a truism that, to win a rugby match, you must have the ball. But time and time ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Delta Rocks Gibraltar: Lessons to be learned from Covid-19’s global resurgence.
    Hard To Beat: Perhaps the most important lesson to be drawn from what is happening in Gibraltar is that vaccination is not a magic bullet. Yes, it makes it harder to contract the virus, and significantly ameliorates its worst effects, but it does not confer absolute immunity to Covid-19 – ...
    1 week ago
  • I’ll take the masks and vaccines, thank you
    From Stuff:I don't want to be pedantic, but I'm pretty sure neither masks nor vaccines figure much in the Gospel of Saint John; nor has Jesus shown much efficacy in protecting people from anything. ...
    1 week ago
  • Hell To Pay: The alarming similarities between the Anti-Vaccination Movement and the creators of the...
    Never Let Go: If the violent prejudices of the Jim Crow South, echoing through contemporary struggles, teach us anything, it is that the defence of rationality, science and progressivism must never be allowed to falter. Those pre-modern night-riders, filled with unrelenting hate, are still out there. If the troops of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Peak Out of Auckland? + Other Covid Musings
    At last, we have some cause for optimism out of Auckland’s interminable Covid outbreak. Knowing our luck, it might be a false dawn… but there are some signs that we have seen the peak:
    2 weeks ago
  • Sing Song about Hard Times
    Celebrating Poet Anne KennedyThe 2021 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement for Poetry went to Anne Kennedy. I have enjoyed her work since her first collection Sing Song. The poems’ setting is in the domestic life of a family of four, told from the mother’s perspective: moving house, the gruelling ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A good problem to have
    Norway is the global success story on electric car uptake, with early policy and a well-signalled 2025 cutoff point for fossil vehicles resulting in 77% of new cars being EV's. But now they have a problem: not enough dirty cars to tax: Norway’s electric dream has been credited to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the politics of anger, plus a music playlist
    Angry? Are you talkin’ to ME? Of late, the Code Red levels of resentment inspired by the government’s Covid policy almost make one hanker for the days when people could write best-selling books about New Zealanders being The Passionless People. Not anymore. A hissy fit arms race seems to be ...
    2 weeks ago

  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
    Minister for Veterans, the Hon Meka Whaitiri announced today that two new conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure have been added to the Prescribed Conditions List. Under the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Crown and representatives of Vietnam veterans and the Royal New Zealand RSA. Vietnam veterans in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
    Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford announced today that New Zealand will push for new international law to ban and regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS), which once activated can select and engage targets without further human intervention. “While the evidence suggests fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New freedom camping rules – right vehicle, right place
    Tougher freedom camping laws will be introduced to prevent abuse which has placed an unfair burden on small communities and damaged our reputation as a high quality visitor destination. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed that new legislation will be introduced to Parliament following an extensive round of public consultation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government invests to support a classic Kiwi summer
    Vaccinated New Zealanders can look forward to Kiwi summer events with confidence, while artists and crew will have more certainty, following the launch of details of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “The Government recognises that the arts and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
    Due to the ongoing Delta outbreak and extended lockdowns, all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
    A further 1,000 transitional homes delivered  New housing development starts in Flaxmere, Hastings  The Government has delivered the next 1,000 transitional housing places it promised, as part of its work to reduce homelessness. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods is marking the milestone in Hastings at a new development that includes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Traffic light levels announced
    The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red The rest of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
    A new transition payment will be made available particularly for affected businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland to acknowledge the restrictions they have faced under the higher Alert Levels. Transition payment of up to $24,000 as businesses move into traffic light system Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence Payment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nailed it! Over 500 apprentices get jobs boost
    Over 500 apprentices and cadets have been placed into work across New Zealand thanks to the Government’s booming build programme, that’s both constructing public houses, and maintaining older homes. Housing Minister Megan Woods announced the milestone today at a public housing construction site in Riccarton, Christchurch. “This Government’s investment in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced an investment to help expand maternal mental health services in five District Health Boards. “Supporting parent’s mental wellbeing during their child’s first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to the long-term emotional, mental and physical wellbeing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
    With the support of the organisations, additional vaccination requirements will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the New Zealand Police, and all New Zealand Defence Force staff. First doses of the vaccine for workers in these organisations are required by 17 January 2022, and second doses by 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
    During her visit to Ottawa, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development, met with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Canadian Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to further expand and develop the positive relationship ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
    Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare today confirmed that Māori across the motu have now reached 80 percent for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination nationally. “We have seen a huge increase in vaccinations for Māori throughout November, since the beginning of the month the increase for first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
    The Government has today introduced legislation that will reverse provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act as part of a path to rebuild trust and confidence in the organisation. “The Oranga Tamariki Amendment Bill makes a number of changes but by far the most important is the partial repeal of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament
    The Minister of Justice has confirmed the introduction of the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to Parliament. National security information is information which, if disclosed, would be likely to prejudice New Zealand’s security, defence, or international relations. “This Bill adds to the Government’s work to strengthen New Zealand’s protections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shortcomings revealed in power cut investigation
    No household should have had their power disconnected 18 recommendations, mostly EA and Transpower related The EA must strengthen its oversight of the system operator An investigation into power cuts that left more than 34,000 households without electricity on one of the coldest nights of the year has found that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework supported by new testing and contact tracing strategy
    Wider use of rapid antigen testing from 1 December Increasing daily laboratory capacity to 60,000 PCR tests Q1 2022 A new national telehealth case investigation service with 475 investigators A nearly $1 billion investment in testing, contact tracing and case investigation A new national testing strategy will provide better protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting New Zealanders to recover from COVID-19 in the community
    $300 million boost to Pharmac to buy new medicines to treat COVID-19 Care in the Community approach will see most cases receive initial contact from a healthcare provider wiithin 24 hours Support pack provided within 48 hours Regular health checks throughout recovery The Government is increasing the support for New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Additional support for people isolating at home
    New regional MSD COVID-19 welfare teams to coordinate social service support for those isolating at home Regional teams working alongside other government agencies, iwi/Māori and community providers for housing, food and income support Government investment of $204.1m into welfare system support for Care in the Community Minister for Social Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax bill provides vital support for families
    A boost to Working for Families tax credits, as part of a package of financial support that will see 346,000 families better off, has been passed into law late last night.  Revenue Minister David Parker said the measures would lift the incomes of those receiving the Family Tax Credit, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New text service to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations
    Efforts to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations go from strength-to-strength with the launch of a new text service, Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The service, run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa on behalf of the Ministry of Health, is in response to feedback from the disability community and is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Proactive Calendar Release – October 2021
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific community reach vaccination milestone
    Pacific communities across the nation have rolled up their sleeves and played their part to reach a major vaccination milestone, 90 percent  have now had their first vaccination, Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health said. “Reaching this milestone reflects the work Pacific Health Providers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Reconnecting New Zealand – the next steps
    Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from Australia without staying in MIQ from 11.59pm Sunday, 16 January 2022 Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from all other countries from 11.59pm Sunday, 13 February 2022 All fully vaccinated individuals will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shot in the arm for Canterbury tourism
    A brand new tourism attraction launched in the Canterbury high country is designed to transform the regional economy from seasonal peaks and troughs of past visitor trends. Regional Economic Development and Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the Ōpuke Pools at Methven, which received government backing from the Provincial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Combined efforts connecting locals to nature
    A Government investment in six community and iwi-led projects across the Hawke’s Bay district will provide nature-based jobs for more than 60 locals, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “Combined, these projects are contributing to a really ambitious conservation effort across the region, while at the same time up-skilling and offering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Empowering Diverse Communities
    Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson has approved five funding grants to support national-level family violence and sexual violence prevention initiatives for LGBTQIA+ people, disabled people, older people and new migrant communities. “Local community initiatives are a key lever in reducing violence. The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading
    The Moriori Claims Settlement Bill has passed its third reading at Parliament, marking the completion of the historical Treaty of Waitangi settlement process for Moriori. “This is the final milestone for Moriori and the Crown and is a new beginning in our relationship,” Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Permanent drug-checking law passed and new providers appointed
    Drug-checking services will continue to operate legally at festivals, pop-up clinics, university orientation weeks and other places this summer and beyond, thanks to a law passed today, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The services have been legal since last summer under temporary legislation that expires next month. The Government’s Drug ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific communities supported to transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework
    The Government has agreed to support Pacific health providers and communities’ transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio said. The Government recognises that there is a clear need to prepare new systems and healthcare approaches, to protect and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government helps Pasifika Festivals to ride the COVID wave
    As we transition into a new way of managing COVID and take steps towards giving vaccinated New Zealanders more freedoms to enjoy Aotearoa’s arts and culture, 19 Pasifika festivals across the motu are receiving funding through the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago