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GCSB & TICS

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, August 23rd, 2013 - 52 comments
Categories: economy, internet, Spying - Tags: , ,

There will be plenty of coverage of the Labour leadership process here on The Standard, I don’t feel any need to contribute. I’ll plod on with some of the other stuff — in this case the GCSB and TICS bills.

Probably the best coverage of the new amendments to the GCSB spying laws yesterday came from Jon Johansson at Public Address. You should go and read the whole piece there, but here are some extracts:

Naked Inside the Off-Ramp

Whenever the term ‘inside-the-beltway’ is used I usually wince. We Wellingtonians go about our business inside a succession of off-ramps, not inside a beltway. Off-ramp doesn’t sound as fashionable I guess, but then again neither is the view inside the capital about the Prime Minister’s competence in adopting a partisan 61-vote strategy to pass his Government’s Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill. There is quite a bit of head-shaking from wise old hands, who saw the problem from the get go; a bare majority vote would prove a worse result than not passing the law at all.

Some distinguished New Zealanders did try and tell Key this, but they were all dismissed in scattergun attacks on their virtue, assisted gracelessly by his Attorney-General Chris Finlayson during the bill’s Third Reading Debate. God and sin seemed to have caused its own rot there, but never mind, if Peter Dunne wasn’t such a ‘willing seller’ of his vote he could have prevented the bill from passing by such a wafer thin margin. This would have proved his best rationale for not supporting it, especially as common sense has long been his purported lodestar. That future is gone now.

John Key, seemingly without awareness, has now created the space for uncertainty to form around our future intelligence relationships and foreign policy intentions under a Labour-led Government, which is an intriguing strategic blunder, especially for someone who has worked so hard to maintain the closest of relations with the United States. I doubt our four old friends will view Key’s 61-59 passage as any thing other than a disaster. …

So a 61-vote strategy won out, but any attempt to lead a principled policy discussion to gain consensus about the difficult trade-offs between preserving precious civil liberties and pursuing genuine threats to our national security, and then how to write good law to draw these boundaries and the state actions that can take place within them, were extinguished once a bare majority became the extent of Key’s legislative ambition. …

The Prime Minister’s belated attempts to justify the need for the legislation – which amounted to not much more than one appearance on Campbell Live and a third reading speech – provided a late flourish in what was an otherwise disastrous communication effort. Yelling “Yemen” and “Al-Qaeda” in the theatre, or biffing his critics with individualized care, like that delivered to former Prime Minister and constitutional scholar Geoffrey Palmer, or the low-rent venom delivered against Anne Salmond; well, it says a lot about Key’s attitude to well reasoned and principled criticism. …

The Prime Minister has been like King Canute; everybody’s wrong but me, everyone’s wrong but me. Or, when under pressure Key will fall back on his latest internal poll number: ‘Forty-nine.’ Spoken like an accountant. Spoken like a tactician and somebody whose 61-59 victory is no real victory at all because it will not prove to be the last word. Key’s poor leadership has guaranteed it. Inside the off-ramp last night a man called John stood naked for all of us to see.

Indeed.

The GCSB law changes are now in the past, nothing we can do until we change this amoral government. The TICS Bill, however, is the next battleground for privacy. Yet another excellent post at Tech Liberty sets it all out:

Next: the TICS Bill

… Next up is the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill also know as the TICS Bill. This is an update of the Telecommunications (Interception Capability) Act (2004) that forced communications providers (ISPs, telcos, data networks, etc) to provide “lawful intercept” capabilities so that the Police, SIS and GCSB could access communications once they had a suitable warrant. The new bill expands and clarifies these requirements.

However, the addition of the word “security” is the key to what has changed. The new bill now gives the GCSB sweeping powers of oversight and control over the design, deployment and operation of all data and telecommunications networks run by network providers in New Zealand. The stated reasons are to both protect New Zealand’s infrastructure and to ensure that surveillance agencies can spy on traffic when required. As part of this, the GCSB will have the power to stop network providers from reselling overseas services that do not provide these capabilities.

The bill has passed the first reading and is expected to be reported back from the Law & Order Select Committee on the 20th of September.

Tech Liberty articles

We’ve written about this bill and also made a written and oral submission to the Law and Order Select Committee. Here’s a list of our articles in publication order:

Go check out the excellent resources on Tech Liberty.  Industry voices are warning that TICS could stifle the NZ tech industry and cost us hundreds of millions of dollars.  I/S at No Right Turn also has an important take on TICS:

TICS gives spies a veto on ISPs

Criticisms of the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill have focused on the powers of the GCSB to micromanage network decisions and demand backdoors into networks (to “protect us from cyber-attack”, of course). But there’s another problem with it as well, and its a significant one: the bill requires a substantial invasion of privacy by the SIS of people who are not government employees. And it gives the SIS an effective veto over who can run an ISP in this country.

How? Section 70 of the bill requires “network operators” – phone companies and ISPs – to nominate an employee to apply for a secret-level clearance. Nominees are legally required to apply. Once they do, then the SIS will vet them – which means trawling through their lives looking for signs that someone is a “security risk”. What are those signs? The basics are MICE – Money, Ideology, Compromise, or Ego. So, they look at your financial records to see if you’re in debt and e.g. whether you might be easily persuadable by someone offering you a large amount of money. They look at whether you have secrets in your life – affairs, sexual orientation, mental health issues. They look at whether you like to brag. They look at who you know, and whether any of them are a “risk” or “unsuitable”. They look at your politics, whether you might be ideologically motivated (e.g. by a belief in democracy and transparency) to leak information. And they ask your friends and co-workers about all of this, asking them to rat on your private life, with your job on the line.

This may be suitable for government employees in sensitive positions. But it is simply no fucking business of government to do this to people who aren’t working for them. …

Under the law as written, it seems perfectly possible for the SIS to drive an ISP out of business simply by repeatedly denying them a security clearance. it gives them a political veto on who can run an ISP in this country. And that is something we should not accept.

I’m guessing a lot more people are going to start taking an interest in the privacy of their communications now. Keith Ng at Public Address is going to run a series of posts providing a step-by-step introduction to the basic tools. The first in the series is here (and the Ars Technica resource linked in subsequent comments is also excellent).

Brighter Future. Happy Days.

52 comments on “GCSB & TICS”

  1. Tinfoilhat 1

    Thanks r0b this is concerning stuff indeed.

  2. Huginn 2

    The TIC Bill is a shocker. It also puts US providers like Google and Microsoft at odds with US law because it requires them to report to a foreign inteligence service.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    The internet entranced populace of NZ that live on and in some cases by trademe, and regularly spill their guts on the many blogs and other online places are in for a surprise sooner rather than later. The TICS veto for ISPs is classic “Catch 22” stuff.

    Do you think IRD and various snoops are not going to be peeking at your emails and trades? They likely will just because they can. Encryption? why bother unless you really know what you are doing, it smacks of the anti virus industry a while back and NSA probably have a whole department laughing their asses off at individual users trying to hide out on the matrix.

    Ultimately there is only a political solution which requires hard work and organisation as did going nuke free, NZ has to cut itself adrift from Five Eyes and go for independent nation status.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1

      Why bother? Because there is free encryption software that’s easy to use and virtually impossible to break.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.1

        Thats what the Germans thought in WW2.

        But the allies easily compromised the Enigma coding and then got the highly secure Tunny teleprinter coding

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.1

          Yeah Ghost, they did. Tell me, has anyone managed to crack GPG?

          • Tracey 3.1.1.1.1

            how many ordinary NZers do you really believe use encryption

            • lprent 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Hey I’m “ordinary NZer”. Just a geek as well.

              • Tracey

                Ok, let me rephrase, not a single person I know uses encryption. I would like to but I don’t know how. I started to follow the tech post earlier..

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  I think we are likely to see much more of it in the future. You may not care about your personal communications, but your employer/employees/clients certainly should, for example where trade secrets are involved.

                  Especially once people discover how simple it is.

                  • chris

                    I currently “password protect” my files, but after having a quick squiz at the encryption article I will seriously consider that from now on

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yeah I’m going to encryption pretty soon. Even if its just to eat up processing cycles in Utah, I reckon what the hell. Gotta make a statement anyhows.

                    Keith Ng has a pretty solid intro to the steps to take here.

                    http://publicaddress.net/8771

                    Seems like he is planning a whole series of these tutorials.

      • Macro 3.1.2

        Wrong OAK! The GCSB will not permit ISPs to operate that do not allow them backdoor access, and then they can gather the metadata see here:
        http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2013/07/metadata-is-intrusive.html
        While the contents may be scrambled, with whom you communicate, and how often, is in most cases all they need to know… It’s called guilt by association.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.2.1

          Wrong Macro!

          Public key/private key encryption has nothing to do with who your ISP is.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.1

            But the ISPs will still have a record of who you were communicating with which means that the SIS/GCSB have those records as well and so they will be able to see exactly who you’ve been communicating with even if they can’t read what you said which brings in the “guilt by association” that Macro mentioned.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.2.1.1.1

              The guilt by association might make you a person of interest, but with hard encryption that’s all you’ll ever be: they can’t read your mail.

              • Draco T Bastard

                What makes you think that they’ll stick to only looking at your emails once you become a “person of interest”?

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  The right to freedom of association? The physical impossibility of siccing pavement artists onto so many civilians? My fingers in their eyes?

    • I don’t see the leadership ‘process’ diverting from TICS or GCSB stand.
      What happens in parliament in the next few weeks will also show up the leadership contenders.
      Cunliffe’s record as Minister of Communications will make him a strong opponent of the Bill (among others). We may get another instalment of what cannot, must not and will not stand.
      This will be going on at the same time the ‘process’ is happening.
      We can’t rule out the leadership contest pushing the Party Conference to take a left turn on the TICs and GCSB so that the ‘fifth eye’ may be somewhat blackened.
      On the other hand the beltway bureaucracy may use its whip to shut down Cunliffe and prop the eye wide open as the price of their jobs.
      People may not embrace dialectics but it embraces them.

    • bad12 3.3

      The IRD already monitors traders on TradeMe, once a certain amount of trades appear on an account IRD will go after the trader for tax,

      No i do not know what the magic number IRD uses to decide if a trader is trading as a ‘hobby’ or as a ‘profession’, the way traders avoid IRD at present is to regularly close and open accounts,

      Obviously if IRD are allowed access to TradeMe servers the ‘game’ will change…

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    Good post r0b 🙂

    Ng’s piece has been picked up in the press in australia, so hopefully it will bounce back into our broadsheets from there::

    http://www.itnews.com.au/News/354407,nz-police-affidavits-show-use-of-prism-for-surveillance.aspx

    and a couple of Fisher pieces from a while back that may be related:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10889696

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10877535

  5. Sable 5

    Time to pack up shop and head for the airport.

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    And this analysis of the reaction by the spooks to Snowden:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/08/the-real-terrifying-reason-why-british-authorities-detained-david-miranda/278952/

    ignore the sensationalist headline.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      This leaves one last possible explanation — those in power were angry and impulsively acted on that anger.

      That bit right there.

  7. Tracey 7

    Is this really about profits before people? Giving large corporations an inside advantage?

    This is probably not the right place for this quote but it’s amazing how glowingly a profit can be viewed despite the tossing aside of some 1200 employees.

    Sadly you can only cut someone’s job once, so as a long term cost cutting strategy it is… well.. short term

    “Telecom has reported an adjusted profit of $342 million in a year where it moved to restructure its business and cut about 1280 staff.

    The company is going to keep reducing its costs in the coming financial year and continue to “simplify” its business, chief executive Simon Moutter said.”

    And the shareholders cheered and the CEO smiled and collected his bonus.

    • Sable 7.1

      No its about more than that. Its about ownership of the truth as defined by a small group of people and in so doing shaping and controlling public opinion giving them unlimited power. Dissent is silenced through spying and then using loosely defined laws to label and discredit anyone viewed as a threat as a criminal/terrorist.

      These are the tactics used by Hitler, Stalin and Honecker amongst others. Of course, this tactic never endures long term as the truth is as Tom Stoppard put it “simple and monolithic and requires no elaboration”.

  8. Tracey 8

    Two naysayers who proclaimed they have nothing to hide and therefore nothing to fear on this site (Winston Smith and Srylands) were asked by me to prove it by posting a full day’s emails on this site. I might have missed the posting so could someone copy me the link?

    • Sable 8.1

      They have no real opinion Tracey. I have challenged BM and Srylands myself and they have had little to say aside from the usual droll sarcasm and Communist nonsense. Of course there’s Brett Dale too. These are really no more than hecklers from sites like Whale Oil.

      I plan to ignore them from now on. With any luck they will go too far and get banned.

  9. infused 9

    TICS is a bill you won’t find me supporting. I believe most ISPs are agains’t this as well.

    • Sable 9.1

      For now we have a so called government that does not care what the majority of us want or think.

    • Tracey 9.2

      did you protest the GCSB infused?

      • infused 9.2.1

        Nope, I have no issue with it. Don’t say they are the same, because they are not.

        • Macro 9.2.1.1

          “Don’t say they are the same, because they are not.”
          Of course they are not ! Your statement is a tautology.

          They are however two sides to the same coin – primarily aimed at garnering oversight of all communications, and a direct assault on individual privacy. You neglect either one at your peril.

          So if you have nothing to hide let’s see a list of all your emails for yesterday? By the way – you’re not getting mine..

          • infused 9.2.1.1.1

            Yawn. That line is getting real old. It’s not about if you have something to hide.

            It’s not wholesale spying. Warrants need to be issued. There is far greater oversight now. Stop being a drama queen.

            • Tracey 9.2.1.1.1.1

              …but only on “suspicion.” Have you got a theory about why the PM wouldn’t add a dozen or so words to enshrine his promise to never agree to issue a warrant that allows a NZers email content to be read?

        • Tracey 9.2.1.2

          I was asking cos I couldn’t recall your particular comments.

          Can you explain to me what we have to worry about if this one goes through? In lay people language. Thanks

          • infused 9.2.1.2.1

            This one IS the wholesale capture of data. GCSB bill is not. It also enforces huge cost on small businesses to track/capture data.

            • Tracey 9.2.1.2.1.1

              So for you it is about cost to small business rather than any erosion of freedom? Not an accusation, a genuine question

            • Tracey 9.2.1.2.1.2

              I welcome your comment on the following infused

              “there are no protections against the mass surveillance of metadata, because they are not included within the definition of quote personal communications set out in the Bill. Rather, they fall within the definition of information infrastructure in the cybersecurity provisions that include, and I quote all transmissions close quote, including anything which goes across any electronic or wireless network. That means every email, every text message, every phone call, every website visit of every New Zealander is able to be surveilled firstly in terms of its metadata, without a warrant. And secondly to establish a basis, and it may already be the case, for full interception without those warranting provisions, at least through the cybersecurity clause.”

  10. BLiP 10

    Yep, the Labour Party leadership kerfuffle is potential distraction from the machinations of National Ltd™. Good on you for volunteering to maintain sentry duties. Nice one, r0b.

    Jon Johansson over at public address is certainly worth a read in full. As he says ” . . . Prime Minister John Key has codified his ineptitude as the responsible minister . . . “, although I quibble with what Jon suggests is the one aspect “above all” which cements John Key’s incompetence. Jon believes that in forcing the GCSB legislation through with so slim a majority ” . . . [John Key] has now created the space for uncertainty to form around our future intelligence relationships and foreign policy intentions under a Labour-led Government.” Given Labour’s own history of stripping civil liberties and usually tacit obsequence to the United States, it seems to me its opposition to the GCSB was more about the polls than any real intent to disobey. All it took was one US State Department-sponsored visit and Clare Curran was back here singing from the same “shock horror organised crime terrorist” songsheet, for example. And lets make no bones about it – this legislation is more about protecting the failed Warner Bros business model than it is about protecting New Zealand citizens from terrorists.

    Rather than leaving room for a reconsideration of New Zealand’s future intelligence activities, John Key’s blunder is his arrogance and CEO-type approach to politics. Forcing unpopular policy through the Board Room process might win friends and influence people in the business world, in politics, however, it results in the opposite. The electorate has a notoriously short memory but, in this instance, there will be a series of constant reminders. Kim Dotcom’s case still has a way to go and every time that story appears people will be reminded. The TICS Bill is currently working its way though the process and, again, every time that story appears, another reminder. Meanwhile, having experienced John Key’s venemous ad hom form of public dialogue, the 2013 New Zealander of the Year, the Law Society, the Privacy Commissioner, and the Human Right’s Commission now know what National Ltd™ is all about. Those bodies are filled with opinion leaders and there are more than a few dinner parties between now and the next election for word to spread even into National Ltd™’s own territory. And then there’s Winston. His speech during the third reading of the GCSB Bill made it clear that there’s more to come and sitting in Winston’s sights is the Attorney General. Just what has Christopher Finlayson been up to in relation to the Kim Dotcom affair . . . hmmmm?

  11. Tracey 11

    “Meanwhile, having experienced John Key’s venemous ad hom form of public dialogue, the 2013 New Zealander of the Year, the Law Society, the Privacy Commissioner, and the Human Right’s Commission now know what National Ltd™ is all about.”

    You must be wrong cos the NATS don’t do personality politics and they only tell us what they will do and are not negative about those who disagree with them.

    • BLiP 11.1

      Heh! My bad, I’ll pass on your correction to my fringe
      extremist Marxist North Korean Green Party friends.

  12. yeshe 12

    Please forgive me for being there,( I ended there by accident), but Pete George reports on his site that Dunne has not promised any support for this bill beyond committee stage. Not that anyone could rely upon Dunne keeping his word or anything …

    The only good thing I feel about any of this horrific bill is the timing in that we will have a gritty fighter standing for us opposite Key.

  13. tracey 14

    thanks richard

    and kim dotcom was planning to suicide bomb which target? fly his helicopter into which building? what part of the nations physical safety from terrorists was keys gcsb protecting us from?

  14. Mr Mumdad 16

    What Mr Keys (aka is this a snapper in my pocket or do I just smell a but fushy ta yew) failed to say when he was explaining the latest bill in simplified moron nano second filter speak is this

    Exerts gleaned from this rather intelligent article

    http://edge.org/conversation/nsa-the-decision-problem

    And, as if to discount disclaimers by the NSA that they are only capturing metadata, Turing, whose World War II work on the Enigma would make him one of the patron saints of the NSA, was already explicit that it is the metadata that count. If Google has taught us anything, it is that if you simply capture enough links, over time, you can establish meaning, follow ideas, and reconstruct someone’s thoughts. It is only a short step from suggesting what a target may be thinking now, to suggesting what that target may be thinking next.

    Does this not promise a safer world, protected not only from bad actors attempting to do dangerous things, but from bad actors developing dangerous thoughts? Yes, but at what cost? There’s a problem, and it’s the problem that Alan Turing was trying to answer when he first set us down this path

    What we have now is the crude equivalent of snatching snippets of film from the sky, in 1960, compared to the panopticon that was to come. The United States has established a coordinated system that links suspect individuals (only foreigners, of course, but that definition becomes fuzzy at times) to dangerous ideas, and, if the links and suspicions are strong enough, our drone fleet, deployed ever more widely, is authorized to execute a strike. This is only a primitive first step toward something else. Why kill possibly dangerous individuals (and the inevitable innocent bystanders) when it will soon become technically irresistible to exterminate the dangerous ideas themselves?

  15. Mr Mumdad 17

    Oh and one last snappet….. from http://edge.org/conversation/nsa-the-decision-problem

    There is one problem—and it is the Decision Problem once again. It will never be entirely possible to systematically distinguish truly dangerous ideas from good ones that appear suspicious, without trying them out. Any formal system that is granted (or assumes) the absolute power to protect itself against dangerous ideas will of necessity also be defensive against original and creative thoughts. And, for both human beings individually and for human society collectively, that will be our loss. This is the fatal flaw in the ideal of a security state.

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  • 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • 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

  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
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  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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