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Give the people what they want

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 am, March 26th, 2009 - 39 comments
Categories: economy, Environment, transport - Tags: ,

Stephen Joyce keeps saying the reason he has slashed investment in public transport to build more roads is that he is giving the people what they want. He says most people get to work in a car, so people must want cars.

What wonderful logic. Imagine if we hadn’t introduced public health-care or public education because, after all, everyone (well, everyone who could afford it) was using private health and education so that must be what the people want. The government would never have built airports because everyone was using ships and therefore they must be happy with it that way.

I wonder if Joyce has been on a train or a bus recently. I doubt it. If he had been, he would have seen they are full to overcrowding. The only reason more people aren’t using public transport is that it’s full.

Meanwhile, motorway traffic is down. It dropped when oil prices when sky-high last year, and if you drive to work you know it isn’t as bad as it was before. Petrol is still expensive, and it’s about to start going up again with the oil price.

Give the people what they want. The people want public transport.

39 comments on “Give the people what they want”

  1. vto 1

    Give the people what they want. The people want inexpensive and comfortable private transport actually, silly.

  2. ieuan 2

    Yeah vto and they don’t want to have to find a park for it, or put petrol in it or pay to maintain it. Or have any other cars on the road, or have speed limits or stop at red lights.

    • vto 2.1

      you said it ieuan. Understanding the wants of the person in the street I have always felt is a weak point in the left approach to things. This thread typifies that.

      • r0b 2.1.1

        Don’t be daft vto, Labour is all about ordinary people, ordinary workers, and what they want.

        For example, the person in the street wanted tax cuts. Would have had them under Labour, but under National the tax cuts go to the person in the Limousine.

        • vto 2.1.1.1

          r0b, one of the main reasons good business people make lots of moola is because they understand and provide what the people want. These good business people are generally of the right. imo the reason those of generally left persuasion dont make as much moola is because they dont understand what people want.

          This moola-making ability, or lack of, is a sign of an understanding of the people.

          A subtle but real difference in what you are saying.

          • r0b 2.1.1.1.1

            This moola-making ability, or lack of, is a sign of an understanding of the people.

            Oh please. By this criteria all those wall street bankers and AIG executives have the best understanding of ordinary people. They must do, they make the most “moola”. They must understand people better than the people themselves, and the organisations that represent them like unions. Seriously, this is one of the most bizarre arguments you have ever put forward.

          • vto 2.1.1.1.2

            r0b, in reply to your reply. You may well consider it bizarre but I don’t. the story goes like this.

            The only way to make money is to get people to give it to you (it cannot be stolen or forced in the long picture). People will only give you money if you give them something in return. And this is the crux – you must understand what the people want, and give it to them, otherwise they will not give you the money. As such, those that given money the most understand what people want the most.

            It is very simple.

          • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.3

            Your own insight into what the people want seems to miss the point that not all the people have ‘making as much money as I can’ as their life goal.

            If everyone did want that, then your observation might make sense, but perhaps people on the right are more focussed on making money than people on the left. Perhaps lefties use their knowledge of what people want in other ways. That you missed this, is in context, pretty fuckn funny.

          • r0b 2.1.1.1.4

            Being. Very. Simple. Doesn’t. Make. It. Right.

            And this is the crux – you must understand what the people want, and give it to them, otherwise they will not give you the money

            Useless parasitic activities like gambling on the stockmarket and trading “sophisticated” financial instruments doesn’t involve understanding people (wall street bankers). Using political influence to get massive government funding via “no bid contracts” doesn’t involve understanding people (the American “military industrial complex”). Getting trillion dollar bailouts from the government doesn’t involve understanding people (wall street bankers again). Exploiting a monopoly position doesn’t involve understanding people (Bill Gates). Being good at one particular thing and / or having a really smart agent doesn’t involve understanding people (Paris Hilton, Hollywood celebrities or sports stars).

            The amount of money you have is no kind of measure of insight into the lives and wants of ordinary people.

          • vto 2.1.1.1.5

            p’s b, who said anything about money as everybody’s life goal?? My point was very specific and nothing to do with that.

            r0b, who said anything about the “amount of money you have”?? My point concerned making money. different things. You can also point out the odd area that does not fit but the theory holds (and you are wrong re celebs and stars and agents and even financial traders and especially Gates. Gates in fact fits the theory to a tee (exploiting the monopoly position came well after). think about it).

            Seems this has, quite understandably, scratched a nerve. The left always thinks it has the monopoly on people. I disagree. The left does not understand what people want as well as other factions in society.

            The left likes to think it knows – and usually proceeds thereafter in busybody fashion telling everyone what they should be doing. Last govt classic example. This thread classic example (telling people they should be taking the bus – thinking that people want the bus over private transport. ha ha)

          • Felix 2.1.1.1.6

            It’s true that celebrities and their agents understand “what people want” and how to make money from it but that doesn’t help your case that this is a good way to set policy which actually benefits anyone.

            Quite the opposite.

          • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.7

            You didn’t mention it vto, but it is a presuppostion needed to make your theory work. Think about it.

            You are using the amount of money someone has made as a proxy for how much they understand people. It’s an interesting point, and might have some validity in comparing how some businesses understand people better than others . But to say that therefore righties understand people better than lefties do simply because they tend to make more money, presupposes that righties and lefties are equally motivated to be in business and to try and make as much money as they can. If you don’t assume that, then how can you use the amount of money they make as a meaningful proxy for how much they understand people?

            If lefties are not in fact motivated as much as righties to make money in the first place, then why would you use the amount of money they make as an indicator for anything?

          • r0b 2.1.1.1.8

            Seems this has, quite understandably, scratched a nerve.

            Yes, statements that are demonstrably wrong do that to me!

            The left always thinks it has the monopoly on people. I disagree. The left does not understand what people want as well as other factions in society.

            Right, rich people (simply by virtue of being rich) understand the lives wants and needs of the workers much better than the workers understand themselves. Makes perfect sense.

            The left likes to think it knows – and usually proceeds thereafter in busybody fashion telling everyone what they should be doing.

            The right likes to think it knows – and usually proceeds thereafter in busybody fashion limiting the choices of workers, cutting the social services that provide choices to low income earners, locking ever more people up in ever more prisons, and introducing laws to control personal decisions regarding drug use and the ultimate personal choices relating to sexuality, marriage and abortion.

            Enough banging my head against a brick wall – toodles.

          • vto 2.1.1.1.9

            A point true p’s b. This theory of mine stemmed from watching biz people at work and trying to work out how they did it. And that is what resulted – that they understand what people want and give it to them, because that is the only way people will give them the money they want.

            Latching it to the reverse may not so easily follow as you say. Perhaps I stretched the theory a little to fit. But I don’t think so. Biz definitely understands what people want (generally right folk).

            So, does biz make a person ‘right’ or does a ‘right’ person make a better biz?

            Also, the harsh world of business is the best of proving grounds for understanding that understanding.

            my brain is starting to hurt…

          • vto 2.1.1.1.10

            r0b, you have given broad general statements but no evaulation or anything to support those statements. You are usually full of detail and decent argument in support. Toodles.

  3. toad 3

    The absolute stupidity of National’s draft amended Government Policy Statement on Land Transport is astounding. I’ve blogged about it in the context of coastal shipping here (yes – coastal shipping is officially designated “land” transport).

    There are just seven days left for people to make submissions – they close on 2 April. I couldn’t find the draft on-line, so have uploaded it here (PDF). The funding allocation is on page 4.

    Compare it to the (somewhat) more sensible Government Policy Statement developed by Labour (PDF). The funding alocation is on page 18.

    So get the submissions rolling in to gps@transport.govt.nz.

  4. Tigger 4

    If people want private transport why are National reducing the amount spent on upkeeping roads. I’m right – that’s what they’re doing isn’t it? If I’m supposedly wedded to my car you can damn well be sure I want decent roads to drive it on – not just new roads but old roads that aren’t full of potholes.

    • MikeG 4.1

      It’s called running down the infrastructure, just like they did in the 90’s.

      • BLiP 4.1.1

        Its also called the fraudulent marking down of state assets in preparation for sale at discount prices to Goober’s off shore mates. Harbour Bridge tolls, anyone?

  5. Clarke 5

    I really don’t see the point in submitting on the GPS – the Road Transport Forum paid $30,000 to National’s election campaign to get exactly this policy, so better ideas and sensible logic from mere members of the public won’t even get a look in. Sending Joyce a submission is a fruitless waste of innocent A4, IMHO.

    Given National has a long and illustrious history of selling policy positions, perhaps the shipping industry (or the locomotive manufacturers) would be better off simply purchasing the policy they want, just like the roading lobby.

  6. toad 6

    Clarke – I think we do need to make submissions, just so we can later attack them for ignoring them. If we don’t, they will just say “hardly anyone submitted on it, so people must be happy with it”.

    I know the submissionw will have little influence over it, but they are important politically. Don’t need to be particularly detailed or involve a lot of research though.

  7. So out of $8.559 billion of total transport funding, we see that public transport services and infrastructure only gets $767 million – that’s around 9% – utterly pathetic! When it comes to “new infrastructure”, which is what we’re really talking about as necessary you end up comparing $134 million for new public transport with $3.496 billion for new roads. Wow, twenty-six times the funding for new roads than new public transport. How is that balanced?

  8. Well since you mentioned it vto, I wouldn’t mind a helicopter for getting to work in.

  9. Matthew Pilott 9

    I don’t think people want “inexpensive and comfortable private transport” per se, vto.

    I could say that many people want more money, and that would, on the face of it, seem to be an accurate, simple, and uncontestable statement (although it’s not everyone’s goal as has been elucidated above, but for the sake of the argument I’ll just say that if you hand out hundreds you’ll find quite a few takers).

    According to your simplistic (sorry, but it is) reasoning, the government should print more money.

    We all know what happens there – existing money becomes worth a lot less. So people have more money, fewer wealth. Perhaps people want greater wealth, or the freedom from constraints imposed by a severe shortage thereof. As r0b expounded – simple doesn’t make it right.

    So, on topic – do people really want “inexpensive and comfortable private transport”? No – they want to be able to get around efficiently and quickly, with a minimum of fuss. The type of transport for many commuters, for example, is secondary to the benefits offered by the type of transport. They don’t care if it’s a car, bus or unicycle – it needs to meet their requirements – and I bet private wouldn’t come in the top 5 for about 95% of commuters – not when you’ve got fast, efficient, cheap, convenient, comfortable, reliable, sustainable and so on.

    So, vto, I think you’ve taken a very simplistic look at it – but you’re clearly not alone. National is right behind you with ‘people drive cars so people want to drive cars’.

    If A does X, it does not follow that A wants to do X – Y might just not be an option.

    For a Government that harps on about choice, where’s my choice here? Stephen Joyce just chose for me – thanks a bunch, Hollow Man.

    I’m not sure you can say the Left is bad at identifying what peole want, vto.

    • vto 9.1

      Clearly, killing and MP, there is a practical limit. But, killing, if some person could supply people with a cheap, easy to use, non-polluting, etc helicopter then that person would literally make a killing. Because they understood what the people wanted (and supplied it). You fit my theory perfectly!!

      MP, you may be right in that many people would actually prefer a fantsatic public transport mode. I would guess tho that this would be to do with convenience and other factors as much as anything else. i.e. it is not quite what they want, but its the best in the circumstances. So my initial comment still stands – people want inexpensive, convenient, non-polluting, comfortable private transport over inexpensive, convenient, non-polluting, comfortable public transport. Why not aim for that then?

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        Considering that everyone having their own car and using it daily is massively expensive then surely the answer is cheap and comfortable mass transport. Everyone can afford it and it’s sustainable unlike everyone having their own car.

        The practical limits are simply that everyone can’t have everything they want. Sure, people got rich trying to achieve just that and now we’re heading toward a man made ELE.

      • QoT 9.1.2

        So I presume we’re starting with free state-supplied parking spaces for all, moving to massive subsidization of petrol and/or R&D into renewable fuel for cars, PLUS artifical intelligence so I don’t have to think about where I’m driving, plus one carpark per person within easy walking distance of everywhere they may need to go, plus imbuing private transport with the ability to get cheaper the more you use it?

        I think it might be just a wee bit more efficient to invest in electric light rail, personally.

        • vto 9.1.2.1

          You two illustrate my point exactly. Subject to those factors (cost, convenience, etc) being able to be satisfied, people want private transport not public.

          The practical aspect comes in with being able to satisfy those factors. And clearly they cannot always be. At the moment. Hence people may want public transport, not because that is their desire but because it is the best trade off between wants and practicalities.

          And on a practical note – I will bet 2c that most all cost, convenience, pollution, congestion, etc factors will be satisfied within a lifetime from now. Reason? People want easy inexpensive correct private transport. Any takers?

          • Snail 9.1.2.1.1

            do I get you aright, vto—yer want the nano franchise for enzed asap. 🙂

          • vto 9.1.2.1.2

            A-ha! See, it is already happenning…

          • QoT 9.1.2.1.3

            I did? By … establishing why making private transport equal even to current standards of public transport will be ridiculously difficult?

            vto, I hate to break it to you, but I do not desire cheaper private transport. I don’t like driving. And if your response is going to be “well, within a lifetime you totes won’t have to drive your own cars” then clearly we’re going to be living in the kind of super-utopia where everyone’s such a pack of cuddly Ubermensch that they won’t need to avoid public transport for fear of The Underclasses.

            You continually insisting ACTUALLY PEOPLE TOTALLY WANT PRIVATE TRANSPORT THEY DO THEY DO THEY DO doesn’t make it so.

          • vto 9.1.2.1.4

            QoT, re your last sentence of course I have no proof other than my own anecdote. It would be very interesting to see a survey on this question though would it not? Something like… all tings being equal would you want to travel by public or private transport?

          • Felix 9.1.2.1.5

            It’s probably not useful to get all binary about this stuff, there are all kinds of ways people want to move around. Mass transit is great for moving a lot of people in one direction at the same time every day and that’s an important part of the solution, city loop buses are another, but I don’t see private vehicles disappearing any time soon.

            The way we use them and the way we own them will probably change dramatically though.

            This is really interesting – if I were living in the city I’d definitely be joining up. I might anyway depending how my plans this year play out, if I’m visiting Auckland regularly it could be well worth it.

          • Pascal's bookie 9.1.2.1.6

            Something like all tings being equal would you want to travel by public or private transport?

            We could ask that, and I’d bet you’d be right. But what would’ve we learned? Nothing useful IMV.

            Perhaps a more useful question might be:

            Assuming global warming is most likely to be a problem that we should be doing something to mitigate, and that public transport is more efficient, and that we aren’t going to suddenly cure congestion and parking problems with magic, does it make sense for the government to spend more money on public transport, rather than less?

            perhaps that’s too long. How about:

            seeing how in’t real world all things aren’t equal, should we choose the smarter option over the dumber one?

          • vto 9.1.2.1.7

            interesting felix interesting. The wonder of private enterprise – looking for a solution for people’s needs and wants.

            P’s b, or… “If effects on the environment could be mitigated and the roads not too crowded and the cost not too high then would you prefer a brrmm brrmmm car over a putt putt bus?”

            Something would be learned. What people want. Then private enterprise would (and already is) go flat out trying to satisfy the environment matters, the congestion issues and the cost issues.

            It may sound all pie in the sky discussion but that what this site is for at times, no?

            And it’s only 3 issues ! easy peasy. Glass is half full brothers and sisters.

  10. Matthew Pilott 10

    vto, in response to my initial comment you seemed to write off public transport with nary a second thought. It can be good, it’s not necessarily hugely expensive, and it’s a good way to do things, in tandem with our extensive road networks (see felix, not either/or…).

    As said – you have something in common with National (and Joyce).

  11. gingercrush 11

    Give the people what they want. The people want public transport.

    And you know that how? That statement by itself is fine.Of course most people in New Zealand want public transport. But until we get good quality information that states that we’ll never know how much they want. For instance, do people want the same amount of money spent on roads as they do public transport. So far there isn’t an answer to that. Do they want more spent on public transport than roads. Do they want less spent on public transport than what is spent on roads. How do New Zealanders want to pay for public transport. I’m sure there is that information somewhere. But even further to that. How does New Zealand feel about freight being largely transported via roads.

    I really think for most New Zealanders, indeed more than merely most would rather continue to see substantially more spent on roads than public transport. And for most New Zealanders they will always use private vehicles than public transport.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Well, I suppose the government could take an actual survey rather than just saying we want more roads.

      I really think you’re wrong and, this comes back to practicality, it’s not possible for everyone to have private transport.

  12. jarbury 12

    For the foreseeable future of course we would have more money spent on roads across the whole country than on public transport. You ain’t going to ever see a “Gore Metro”.

    However, for a place like Auckland clearly most of the transport initiatives in the future need to be public transport. We simply can’t build many more motorways here – with the Waterview Connection likely to be the last remaining viable link. With the population going to continue growing until maybe 2060 or 2070 – maxing out perhaps at around 2.5 million – Auckland is going to need to provide more transport capacity. This will HAVE to take the form of public transport, unless we want to completely ruin the city by building wider roads, more motorways and so forth. Two tracks of rail carries the same number of people as twelve lanes of motorway – it seems pretty obvious what the most space-efficient method is.

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    . . 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    7 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    8 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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