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GCSB Bill to be debated today

Written By: - Date published: 12:22 pm, August 6th, 2013 - 36 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, uncategorized - Tags: , , ,

GCSB protest-17

The Government Communications and Security Amendment Bill or to use its real name the Increased Spying and Hand Our Metadata over to the Americans Bill is the first bill in line to be debated today in Parliament according to today’s order paper.  As at the time of writing this post Peter Dunne’s magical summary order paper has just been put up on the legislation website, probably at 12 pm today.   This is frustrating.  As a matter of practice all SOPs should be put up as soon as possible, especially when they are having a fundamental effect on our civil rights.  How are you meant to have proper review of complex legislation with such little time to review?

I am sure that there will be keen interest to see how John Key can reconcile the extreme steps he took to protect his own privacy against the utter indifference he showed about the protection of Andrea Vance’s privacy.  And there will be perhaps even more interest in how Peter Dunne can say that the protection of his privacy is a matter of principle yet agree to support a bill because the price, whatever it was, is right.  A principle is a principle Peter.  Allowing there to be a review in the future, public access to the GCSB’s paperclip and coffee budgets and increased oversight and reporting of spying that has already happened does not cut it because the fundamental question of why there needs to be any increase in surveillance has not been answered.

Anyway the debate ought to be fascinating and I expect Labour and the Greens to oppose the bill strongly.  Tune in about 3 pm or so when the committee stages should start.

UPDATE:  The opposition has successfully filibustered the House for an hour and a half asking each other questions about Members’ bills.  And the Speaker has granted an application for an urgent debate on the Fonterra contamination scandal.  Also Meka Whaitiri’s maiden speech is to be delivered this evening at 5:45 pm.  It could be a long day …

36 comments on “GCSB Bill to be debated today”

  1. tracey 1

    By debate do you mean yelling childish stuff at each other.

  2. Veutoviper 2

    As well as Dunne’s SOP, there are also three other SOPs.

    Labour has one – dated 2 Aug – that proposes :

    – that the Amendment Bill provisions expire after one year ( ie the GCSB Act would revert to the current Act unless amended in the interim).

    – a extensive review to be set up within one month of the Amendment Bill coming into force, comprising a panel of 3 – 5 persons agreed by the GCSB Minister AND the leaders of all politicial parties for the time being recognised for parliamentary purposes (this presumably excludes Dunne)

    – review to report back within six months.

    There are also two Key SOPs (dated today, as is the Dunne one) One covers substantive amendments and the other proposes breaking the Bill into three separate Bills.

    All SOPS can be viewed here in PDF. http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2013/0109/latest/versions.aspx

    I swamped OM with these a short while ago!

    The opposition are obviously going into fillabuster mode. As well as the usual 12 questions to Ministers, there are 20 questions to Members which means Question Time today is likely to muc longer than usual.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/?document=00HOH_OralQuestions

    RadioNZ Midday news reported that Key would not be in the House for the Committee stages of the GCSB Bill …. presumably the Fonterra situation will be used as his excuse.

    Should be an interesting afternoon/evening.

  3. Mr Interest 3

    NEWS FLASH:

    SALES of MR KEYneX Toilet Tissues are higher than ever.

    The product, called A Tissue of Spies are selling like hot cakes, particularly to the GSCB, SIS and Parliamentary Services.

    Interviewed, one spy has been quoted as saying,

    “we really cant wait to get our hands on this product, were practically masticating at the bit to see HD surround sound videso of evil doers doing there evil deeds, particularly anyone with the slightest opposition leanings” We need something to keep us clean. The real evil people are those with a social conciseness…. a kind of, well kindness to their fellow man, we must stop it. We will be ever vigilant, our hands at the ready to shake of this mortal danger.

    According to Rooters, The NZX XXXXX has pro ported to have seen large positive shifts in the share market. Mum and dads investors are rushing to buy stoke in anticipation of further demand.

    [lprent: Nearly flushed this as being an advert. ]

  4. Isn’t it convenient how all this has been completely pushed from the front page by what seems a minor fault at a plant from Fonterra?

    • Mary 4.1

      Keys will be thanking his lucky stars for the problem at Fonterra. You can tell when he speaks about it that he doesn’t care a jot. It’s the same look he has when he talks about NZ soldiers dying. The only difference with the Fonterra issue is that he’s genuinely pleased rather than just diffident or uninterested.

    • mickysavage 4.2

      Key also said that he did not believe that the GCSB had engaged in the mass collection of metadata and he confirmed that it should be treated the same as communication and any collection of it would require a warrant. He promised to make a clear statement about this in the bill’s second reading.

      He never fronted up to make that speech. If he is talking about the speech that Finlayson made on his behalf then it was said that metadata would be treated the same as any other communication but it was also said that metadata was not defined and its precise nature was unclear. So he promised they would not collect something they have refused to define.

      This totally ignores the issue. In fact it further confuses the issue.

      • tc 4.2.1

        Ok please for the dummies like me how can you only be collecting metadata.

        I thought metadata is a tag/description of what the actual data is such as metadata is ‘occupation’ and the data would be ‘banksta’.

        How do you only collect metadata when they travel in the same package side by side ? How do they magically only extract metadata leaving the raw actual data not collected now findlieswine has admitted they aren’t even sure what that is.

        Does metadata travel on it’s own information superhighway and marry up with the data and live happily ever after at it’s destination….WTF.

        Like the police saying I’m only interested in the car not the driver…..one doesn’t come without the other.

        • politikiwi 4.2.1.1

          > How do you only collect metadata when they travel in the same package side by side ?

          In essence, what appears on an itemised telephone bill is metadata – data about the calls that were made on a given account, when the call was made, who it was made to and the duration of the call. This data is stored in a billing system. The call itself occurs on the network.

          On the telco provider’s end (speaking from experience), the system which holds the billing information doesn’t see what information is carried on the network. When you make a phone call the billing system receives (1) a request to see if you have enough money to make the call (including the called number), then when the call is completed it receives (2) information about the duration of the call.

          The billing system – which holds what could be called metadata – doesn’t care about the content of the communication. The network which carries the traffic is almost entirely decoupled from the billing system, with the exception of requests 1 and 2. To harvest call metadata, all that’s required is a small amount of SQL to be run daily.

          Intercepting the actual communication is a different story – I don’t know the mechanics by which that is done.

          • tc 4.2.1.1.1

            That’s called lawful interception and telco’s legally must have a method if supplied with the warrant etc but if you intercept SMTP/HTTP/HTTPS how do you only capture metadata ?

            SQL only works with structured data and known syntax which SMTP tends to follow with ‘from/to/cc/message text’ etc and to capture that you need the entire message, so I’m not feeling enlightened by your answer.

            • muzza 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Digital is different, emails etc, you don’t collect meta data, you collect the lot. Packets are packets, unless they’re encrypted, even then its still just packets of data. It is possible to collect the headers only, but they won’t be doing that, and any claim otherwise is utter BS.

              The meta data comments are a diversionary tactic, meant to lull the hobbits back to sleep!

              Data is data, its as simple as that!

      • Veutoviper 4.2.2

        Agreed, MS, that it further confuses the issue.

        IIRC, Key’s wording was very fuzzy when he said that he did not believe that the GCSB had engaged in the mass collection of metadata. (In fact, from a short discussion on this when KDC was before the Security and Intelligence Committee, Key appeared to have no idea about metadata.)

        The situation is also further confused by the fact that as part of Dunne’s negotiations with Key to secure Dunne’s vote, it was supposedly agreed that Dunne and Collins would lead a review into privacy, including the definitions of private communications (including metadata) to ensure a standard definition for insertion into the GCSB Act and other relevant legislation.

        I commented earlier today on this at /spying-on-another-journalist-what-did-key-have-to-hide/#comment-675389

        • mickysavage 4.2.2.1

          Yep Key also talked about “mass collection” of metadata which suggested that more limited collection of metadata was occurring and if this the case I wonder what “more limited” means? The metadata of only 1% of the population? Only email associated metadata?

  5. vto 5

    No point in watching. It’s a Dunne deal.

  6. the fundamental question of why there needs to be any increase in surveillance has not been answered

    What answer is there, other than it is because of a threat to the institutional power which shapes the rules of engagement within society?

    • McFlock 6.1

      An answer that actually says something would be useful.

    • AmaKiwi 6.2

      “the fundamental question of why there needs to be any increase in surveillance has not been answered”

      Terrorism! There have been THREE major terrorism attacks in NZ:

      The Rainbow Warrior, the Urewera 8, and the Kim Dotcom mansion attack.

      Terrorism must be stopped!

  7. Mr Interest 7

    An interesting article by big think (note the questions asked by the students are just as applicable to NZ:

    http://bigthink.com/think-tank/nsa-recruiting-event-turns-into-battle-of-ideas

    Here are some exerts:

    START of Exterts: (In this fascinating recording, you can listen to indignant students scathingly questioning an NSA recruiter on a number of key issues.

    students’ primary complaint was that they took exception to the loose use of words in the NSA recruiting…..A large portion of the protesting questions regard the application of the word adversary” to anyone from American citizens to Germany.

    Another issue was that, in the pitch, the presenter apparently offered a wink and nudge tip that working for the NSA affords a lifestyle of carefree abandon and the ability to misuse power…..

    The students also raise questions about the lack of transparent oversight of NSA agents and about the ability to misuse the government power based on the personal judgments and agendas of individual NSA employees.) END of exerts

    The latter is the most chilling, particularity if you have just asked your buddy to work for the ‘Crew’. Its not surveillance at the dark end of the the bell curve you should be worried about, its the surveillance of parties, individuals etc that just simple oppose the current government and maybe, just maybe want a better future (the sword of Damocles dangling above ones head means less people, ordinary people will feel inclined to oppose anything, effectively you can blackmail a population of people, because as shown in RSA anitmate, most people do little bits of wrong… see the post http://www.thersa.org/events/rsaanimate/animate/rsa-animate-the-truth-about-dishonesty The Truth about Dishonesty..).

    See further posts on the bigthink such as this:
    http://bigthink.com/think-tank/the-big-ideas-behind-the-nsa-leak-story

  8. karol 8

    So, the filibuster started in Question Time. I’m watching a recording of it on myfreeview. Question time was still going when the time myfreeview looted for it ran out…. ran over into “Debates” time.

    And then I still have all the questions to members…. a whole load of them…. to come.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      Yep it is 4:14 pm and they are still asking questions of each other. It is going to be a long day …

      UPDATE: The Speaker has just granted a request for an urgent debate on the Fonterra contamination fiasco …

  9. BrucetheMoose 9

    Haven’t been analysing the complexities of this law, but since Mr Key has been marketing and selling toilet rolls as Christmas crackers to NZers ever since he got into power, and he has the ethical standards of a downtown Bangkok sewer rat, I really can’t find the enthusiasm to trust his true intensions with this legislation. This looks like just another of his dubious repackaged gifts that will disappoint, but has the signs and potential to go places that the public may not have wished.

    • BrucetheMoose 9.1

      PS. Given this regimes prevailing arrogant attitude where serious matters are concerned, shouldn’t the heading be – GCSB Bill to be dictated today.

    • Sable 9.2

      I think the Bangkok sewer rats might be offended by the comparison.(smile).

  10. Mr Interest 10

    Hey Bruce the Moose

    Ever found “bog paper” (the GCSB bill) so thin that your hand went straight through
    Well now there is answer, super absorbency axxe wipe……

    Spoof radio advert for AxxeWipe Toilet paper (warning content my offend the mind police)

  11. FYI – seen this?

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/?p=229

    6 August 2013

    ‘Open Letter’ to National MP for Auckland Central, Nikki Kaye, from Auckland Mayoral candidate, Penny Bright: :

    (Full copy of letter here:
    GCSB Open Letter Reply (Rev A) to Nikki Kaye 6 August 2013

    “Please respect the ‘Rule of Law’ and ‘lawful due process and do not vote to railroad through the GCSB Bill!”

    National MP for Auckland Central,
    Nikki Kaye

    Dear Nikki,

    Thank you for your response to those over 500 signatories , (including myself), to the following petition:

    To National Party Member of Parliament for Auckland Central, Nikki Kaye :

    “The will of the people is the basis of the authority of Government.”

    We, the undersigned, call upon YOU, as an MP, to defend the lawful human rights of New Zealanders to privacy, freedom of association and freedom of expression – that is – to oppose arbitrary search and surveillance by the State over citizens.

    If YOU, as an MP, vote for this GCSB Bill, which will allow widespread spying on New Zealanders, we, the undersigned hereby PLEDGE to campaign against your re-election in 2014, and to encourage our families, neighbours and workmates to do the same. ”
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    YOUR REPLY:

    GCSB Nikki Kaye reply to petition pledging to campaign against her if she supports GCSB Bill 5 August 2013

    5 August 2013

    Dear Penny

    This letter is to acknowledge receipt of your petition to me as the MP for Auckland Central regarding the GCSB Bill.

    Thank you for raising your concerns, and those of the people who signed, with me.

    The Bill clarifies the law that the GCSB operates under. The Prime Minister takes his responsibility for national security seriously, which is why the Government is moving to clarify the the law so that it is legally clear that the GCSB is able to assist other agencies, like the NZIS, Police and Defence Force.

    Let me be clear – the Bill does not allow the GCSB to conduct wholesale spying on New Zealanders. It allows the GCSB to assist the Police NZISA and Defence when there are serious matters that need to be investigated. This Bill sits at the heart of our national security.

    We have made recent changes to strengthen the Bill following hearings with the Intelligence Committee.

    The Committee considering the Bill received 122 submissions, which have helped the Bill achieve the right balance between national security and privacy.

    Recent changes include:

    * An independent review of operations and performance of the GCSB and NZSIS and their governing legislation in 2015 and thereafter every 5 – 7 years.

    * No other agencies, apart from the Police, NZ SIS and Defence can ask the GCSB for assistance unless Parliament agrees to

    * The GCSB will also be required to report annually on the number of warrants and authorisations issued

    It’s important to note that the Intelligence and Security Committee will hold public hearings annually to discuss the financial reviews of the performance of the GCSB and NZSIS.

    The legislation also creates new obligations for the GCSB in respect of the handling of personal information, based on a number principles recognised under the Privacy Act.

    This policy will be signed off by the Director of GCSB, in consultation with the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and the Privacy Commissioner and compliance will be regularly audited, with results communicated to the Privacy Commissioner.

    The Bill requires more transparency around how the GCSB operates, it significantly strengthens the independent oversight of the intelligence agencies, and it allows the GCSB to get on with the job of protecting New Zealanders and our national security.

    Best wishes,

    Nikki Kaye

    Hon Nikki Kaye

    MP for Auckland Central
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Nikki, please be reminded that because I suspect that I may have been one of the 88 New Zealanders referred to in the Kitteridge Report, who may have unlawfully spied upon by the GCSB, I made a formal complaint to the Privacy Commission – the ‘due process’ which I was advised to follow by the Office of the Prime Minister, on 10 April 2013, with subsequent (correct) contact details given by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on 11 April 2013.

    My complaint to the Privacy Commissioner (dated 15 May 2013) is available here:

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/?p=195

    On 30 July 2013, I received the following update from the Assistant Commissioner, Investigations for the Privacy Commissioner:

    GCSB Privacy Comm Update Letter 30_7_13

    “Dear Ms Bright

    Privacy Act Complaint: Penny Bright and Government Communications Security Bureau
    (our Ref: C/25391)

    We have received a significant number of complaints regarding access request responses made by the Government Communications Security Bureau in recent times. I am aware that you may be impatient to acquire an outcome to your complaint.

    Upon receiving a complaint about an access review our responsibility is to review the reasons that an agency gives for withholding information and either agree or disagree with the agency in its use of the withholding grounds. The intelligence community provides a significant challenge in terms of the way information is managed and held.

    Scrutiny of the reasons an intelligence agency withholds information and viewing of the information can only be handled by individuals with the appropriate levels of clearances.

    Our Office has an overall small resource and that resource is even smaller in terms of those who have sufficient security clearances to manage these complaints.

    Our practice is to meet with the agency, understand their policies and reasons for making decisions under the Privacy Act and if appropriate review information withheld. These activities take a significant amount of time. Added to our current burden is the significant number of complaints that we have received.

    Please rest assured that we are actively investigating your complaint and for all the reasons I have mentioned earlier in this letter the resolution of your complaint will take time. As soon as I have some issue to report to you, you will receive a telephone call or correspondence from me.

    In the meantime I thank you in advance for your patience.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mike Flahive
    Assistant Commissioner, Investigations
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    It is now 6 August 2013, and I am still none the wiser, as presumably are none of the many other New Zealanders who have similarly made such Privacy Act requests.

    How can you, Nikki Kaye, in all decency, be prepared to continue to vote for the passage of this GCSB Bill, whilst the Privacy Commission is still investigating complaints made by people like myself, trying to discover and uncover how, why and upon whose instructions this unlawful spying upon 88 New Zealanders took place?

    How can this GCSB Bill possibly ‘improve’ the current legislation, when nobody yet knows the ‘systems faults’ that caused this unlawful spying upon New Zealanders, because the Privacy Commission has not yet completed their investigations?

    I’m sorry Nikki – but your assurance “Let me be clear – the Bill does not allow the GCSB to conduct wholesale spying on New Zealanders,” does not ring true with me.

    The current GCSB Act was not supposed to allow spying on ANY New Zealanders – but this has still occurred – UNLAWFULLY.

    You state: “The Bill clarifies the law that the GCSB operates under.”

    The law, in my considered opinion, and apparently in the opinion of those who have actually bothered to read it, is in fact ‘crystal clear’, it just arguably hasn’t been followed:

    You state: “The Prime Minister takes his responsibility for national security seriously, which is why the Government is moving to clarify the the law so that it is legally clear that the GCSB is able to assist other agencies, like the NZIS, Police and Defence Force.”

    Why does the Prime Minister not take his responsibility to protect the lawful rights of New Zealanders against unreasonable search and seizure; for privacy, freedom of expression and freedom of association equally seriously?
    …………
    I do not agree with your statement:

    “The Committee considering the Bill received 122 submissions, which have helped the Bill achieve the right balance between national security and privacy.”

    I for one, am NOT prepared to have my lawful human rights to privacy, freedom of expression and freedom of associated violated, in the name of ‘national security’.

    Please do not ask me to have a ‘frontal lobotomy’ and forget the ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) LIE, that was the basis for the (unlawful) invasion of Iraq in 2003?

    You state:

    “The legislation also creates new obligations for the GCSB in respect of the handling of personal information, based on a number principles recognised under the Privacy Act.”

    How meaningful is this, when New Zealanders lawful rights to privacy, have already been violated under the current GCSB Act, when they were supposed to have been specifically protected under the above-mentioned s.14?

    You further state: “The Bill requires more transparency around how the GCSB operates, it significantly strengthens the independent oversight of the intelligence agencies, and it allows the GCSB to get on with the job of protecting New Zealanders and our national security.”

    Sorry, but this latest debacle over the release of the private information of journalist Andrea Vance and (former) Minister Peter Dunne, gives me no comfort whatsoever, in the ‘independent oversight’ of our intelligence agencies, at the highest levels.

    It seems clear to me that neither the Prime Minister; the Chief of Staff of the Office of the Prime Minister; the Chief Executive of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; the (former) Chief Executive of Parliamentary Services appear to either know or follow their respective lawful roles, in a proper way, in which the citizens of New Zealand can have public confidence.

    A recent change upon which you are relying is:

    * An independent review of operations and performance of the GCSB and NZSIS and their governing legislation in 2015 and thereafter every 5 – 7 years. ”

    Surely you can see that there MUST be a full and proper independent inquiry/review NOW (not in 2015!), into operations and performance of the GCSB and NZSIS and their governing legislation ?

    Commonsense dictates that a full and proper inquiry/review cannot happen, until the Privacy Commission have completed their investigation into the unlawful spying on 88 New Zealanders.

    May I respectfully suggest that you do not underestimate the real and growing disquiet of significant numbers of the voting public on this issue?
    ………..
    On 2 July 2013, I raised my concerns directly with Prime Minister John Key, at the Security and Intelligence Committee, as one of the 128 who made submissions on the GCSB Bill:

    Do I not have the democratic right as a concerned citizen / ‘Public Watchdog’ of this country to ask these ‘hard’ questions?

    Is not the right to ‘dissent’ and openly ‘question authority,’ – the lifeblood of genuine ‘democracy’, to which we as New Zealanders are supposed to be lawfully entitled?

    Please, Nikki Kaye, I call upon you to uphold the RULE OF LAW and LAWFUL DUE PROCESS.

    I look forward to your assurance, Nikki, that you will act in a decent and proper way, and not support this GCSB legislative ‘blitzkreig’ against the above-mentioned lawful human rights of fellow New Zealanders.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    • Sable 11.1

      I now think a poster who commented in another column on this matter is right. This government IS the adversary of the people of this country not its defender.

      • muzza 11.1.1

        Correct, this government, like any other, answers to the same powers!

        Still the sheep remain largely silent!

  12. Jenny 12

    Anthem for the day

    Dirty Deeds and they’re Dunne Dirt Cheap

    You’re double dealing your best friend
    That’s when the teardrops start

    You got problems in your life of love
    You’ve made a broken heart

    You gotta politician you wish he was gone
    But you ain’t got no guts

    He’s bugging you night and day
    Enough to drive you nuts

    Talking on the phone
    You’re not alone

    For a fee
    You’re happy to be
    His back door man

    Dirty Deeds Dunne Dirt Cheap
    Dirty Deeds and they’re Dunne Dirt Cheap

    Dirty Deeds Dunne Dirt Cheap
    Dirty Deeds and they’re Dunne Dirt Cheap

    Dirty Deeds Dunne Dirt Cheap
    Dirty Deeds and they’re Dunne Dirt Cheap

    Apologies to AC/DC

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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? ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    7 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    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
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago