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Goff on monetary policy

Written By: - Date published: 8:41 am, November 19th, 2009 - 32 comments
Categories: economy, phil goff - Tags:

It’s great news that Phil Goff is urging a rethink of the way monetary policy is conducted in New Zealand.

For too long interest rates (and hence inflation, unemployment, and house prices) have been the blunt tools of monetary policy. And for too long workers, householders, and exporters have borne the brunt.

Labour leader Phil Goff is calling an end to the 20-year consensus on monetary policy.

Mr Goff is expected to use a hard-hitting speech to Federated Farmers in Wellington today to declare that the Reserve Bank’s policy targets which influence interest rates and the dollar are no longer working.

Phil Goff is absolutely right. It’s time monetary policy was recast to be in the interest of everyday Kiwis. Good on him for having the guts to finally tackle this issue.

32 comments on “Goff on monetary policy”

  1. roger nome 1

    This could be great, and is one of the few intelligent policies that NZ First stood for. Up until now it has been left for them and the Greens to advocate for a people-friendly monetary policy. There’s so much more we could be doing in this area to lift living standards of every day kiwis. i.e. increasing the OCR target band, to allow for growth of the minimum wage that exceeds the paltry 2% average of the last two decades.

    This way we can start to close the massive wage gap that has opened up between affluent workers and the working poor, and the gender wage gap as well (though i note that this is no replacement for a comprehensive awards system that set minimum wages by industry – ala Australia).

    These ever widening gaps that have lead to an increasingly divided and exclusive society cannot go on for ever increasing, less we want to see the entrenchment of a detached aristocracy and an equally detached underclass, and the devastating social problems that accompany this (despite what the power and money hungry elements of NZ’s wealthy will tell us).

    Good to see Labour finally differentiating itself from National in a substantial way.

  2. stevo 2

    yay bloody yay, and about time. The current Reserve Bank Act generates positive feedback into our economy and does the opposite of what was intended. That is to wreck or distort our economy.

    Part of the problem is how we measure inflation, or more importantly, what is in the CPI basket and what the Reserve Bank act does with the data.

    Anything that is included in the CPI basket that has a price behaviour that is external to NZ influence, say traded on international markets or are not made in NZ, can have an affect on inflation that cannot be countered by interest rate changes within NZ. Particularly essential commodities which we just have to buy anyway. So when dairy prices go up due to overseas demand or petrol goes up, Alan Bollard pulls the interest rate lever and I am rewarded by my mortgage repayments also going up on a house I already own. So we are double punished with less money to save or ideally spend on NZ made stuff.

    And when we have had unfettered property speculation added into the mix, further distorting our economy by making residential property unaffordable, the only tool available is Alan and his lever. I hear prices are rising again……I’m with Gareth Morgan on this one.

    And because of how our currency is valued where the effect of historic and current high interest rate DIFFERENTIALS between us and other countries, like Japan, cause a flow of cash into NZ raising our dollar, imports become cheaper which either harm local competition or encourage more spending on imports (TV’s), the exact opposite of what we should be doing..saving.

    When our dollar is too high, which it is, exporters suffer and do eventually close, never to return. Goodbye real jobs. Again Alan Bollard is warning about interest rates needing to rise while our economy is tanking.

    High interest rates are a tax levied by private interests – Banks are the only ones profiting out of this charade. We need a rethink and I applaud Phil Goff for this initiative.

  3. Pat 3

    But who to listen to?

    Gareth Morgan can’t pick his nose, let alone markets, as proven by his poor KiwiSaver funds.

    Not Bernard “Dead Cat Bounce” Hickey and his “house prices will drop by 30%” predictions.

    Personally I think Dr Ganesh Nana seems to speak the most sense, the most often.

    • gingercrush 3.1

      Ganesh wrote part of that awful piece on the costs of alcohol. So he’s no good either.

      As for Hickey, he writes some interesting stuff. But I always laugh when left-wing people quote him on stuff. Since his vision of New Zealand would be most awful to any left-wing person.

  4. ben 4

    Roger nome, congratulations on a very, very misguided post:

    There’s so much more we could be doing in this area to lift living standards of every day kiwis. i.e. increasing the OCR target band, to allow for growth of the minimum wage that exceeds the paltry 2% average of the last two decades.

    How does accelerating the growth of minimum wage in exact proportion to the debasement of the spending power of each dollar earners receive help? It doesn’t.

    This way we can start to close the massive wage gap that has opened up between affluent workers and the working poor, and the gender wage gap as well (though i note that this is no replacement for a comprehensive awards system that set minimum wages by industry ala Australia).

    Pure bs. You are confusing real with nominal, and how exactly does what Goff is proposing give women an advantage over men? This is monetary policy. It could not be a blunter policy tool.

    These ever widening gaps that have lead to an increasingly divided and exclusive society cannot go on for ever increasing, less we want to see the entrenchment of a detached aristocracy and an equally detached underclass, and the devastating social problems that accompany this (despite what the power and money hungry elements of NZ’s wealthy will tell us).

    Explain how monetary policy can help with inequality and stratification when we all operate with the same currency! Debasement of the dollar in my hand is the very same debasement of the dollar in anothers’ – whether they be aristocracy or working class.

    What – Phil Goff said it so let’s just make up reasons why its A Good Thing?

    • roger nome 4.1

      ben –

      Is the global price of oil set in NZ? Think about it – you’re the one who’s misguided.

      “how exactly does what Goff is proposing give women an advantage over men?”

      First off, equality isn’t advantage. Secondly, women are over-represented in minimum wage jobs, therefore boosting the minimum wage will close the gender pay gap.

      “Debasement of the dollar in my hand is the very same debasement of the dollar in anothers’ ”

      increasing the minimum wage does not lead to a proportionate increase in inflation, because only the price of goods and services that are set locally are effected.

  5. Any alternatives from Fill Gap? Any? No..just hot air. Fed farmers were left blinking and asking each other “Who was that guy and was he on drugs?”

  6. Bored 6

    Whilst very good news this announcement from Goff is a mere twenty five years too late. In effect the Reserve Bank Act said to the electorate, “your government no longer interferes in the unfettered market mechanism that will deliver heaven on earth to all”. Economists and politicians took the line of market puritanism, hands off. Which posed the question why the hell did we employ them if doing nothing was their recommendation? We could have saved a swag in fees, bonuses and salaries in Treasury alone.

    Meanwhile Heaven on Earth got delivered over 25 years, to the rich atleast. My biggest question to Goff (and Labour) is why in 9 years at the helm and with abundant evidence that the RBA was a blunt instrument in a severely depleted tool kit, they did not debate this and do something about it?

  7. The Baron 7

    “Mr Goff is not expected to spell out the alternatives in his speech today but will call for more work on the options”

    I’m up for a debate on Monetary Policy, but I’d love to actually hear what alternative Goff has in mind… “I really wanna look into this” isn’t a policy. We do need to take care here too – the current system isn’t perfect, but monetary policy is notoriously tricky stuff to get right, and the consequences of messing it up can be disasterous. Lets hope we can actually get some debate on options here, rather than what frankly seems like vain populism from Goff.

    As for this stuff about “alternative” (though not specified) monetary policy being better for workers… ah, really? Keeping inflation low is a great thing for the lowly waged, as they are more sensitive to inflation eroding their smaller asset bases. There is no point in having 10% pay rises a year if 9% of it is eroded away through price rises.

    • Daveo 7.1

      Pay rises use CPI as a baseline. So long as you’ve got a unionised workforce it’s not a problem.

      The thousands of workers who’ve lost their jobs over the last few years due to fluctuations in the exchange rate might beg to differ with your analysis. That’s the same reason you’re seeing manufacturers and exporters lining up with the unions and calling for a change in monetary policy.

    • Bored 7.2

      You might want to consider that inflation and pays rates might be related to one another. Then there are the host of other factors. No simple answers or simplistic statements on the relative merits of either monetary or fiscal policy provide adequately answers to why, how and who is paid what. Which is why Goff atleast opening it up for debate is a good thing.

  8. The Baron 8

    So… fixing the exchange rate is what you propose? Last time we tried that, we got into a fair bit of trouble. Remember Soros versus the pound, too? Christ, currency sharks would have a field day at your expense.

    As for this workers will be fine so long as they get CPI plus on their pay rises… what about their savings? Their house values? Their asset base? How does CPI plus help those from being eroded away through increased rates of inflation? Say what you will about the cons of the current system, but it has done an awfully good job of protecting the value of people’s real assets – and that’s in everyone’s interest, cos even “the workers” own houses.

    As I said, monetary policy is an utter minefield. You need to do better than “keep exchange rates low” – that ain’t a policy fella, that’s a pipe dream. Care to propose something coherent then?

    • IrishBill 8.1

      I’d suggest that we make Kiwisaver compulsory and allow the minimum contribution rate to be adjusted by the RBG.

      There also needs to be a Tobin tax introduced (around 2%) and a gradual increase in reserves until we get to the point where we can meaningfully fix our currency to those of our main trading partners.

      We could also possibly require RB approval for large transactions. I suspect leakage would be low as most of these transactions go through a limited number of trading houses.

      And of course property tax. A capital gains tax on investment property is a good start but if we really want to deepen NZ’s investment pool by steering money from housing to the markets then we also need to increase investment regulations to improve investor confidence.

      There also needs to be some serious work done at an international level to re-regulate capital flows in such a way that capital flight is hindered. This is an area where our PM’s background and experience could actually help us lead the discussion.

  9. Zorr 9

    Phil Goff standing up and saying something sensible and taking the initiative for a change. Say it ain’t so! –swoons a little– There may be hope for us Lefties next election yet!

  10. TightyRighty 10

    monetary policy is effect driven while residential property is the main investment for households. it would be more beneficial to the nation to leave monetary policy alone and to see how investment could be directed to wealth creating approaches as opposed to stores of wealths. it would help with the liquidity of the economy too and potentially see exports rise as more money would be available for R & D by NZ firms. While increased liquidity can lead to inflation, this in turn can be adjusted for by RB interest rate adjustments. thereby maintaining the current policy but improving the outcomes.

  11. Herodotus 11

    How do we seperate montry policy from the wimms of who ever holds office Whilst Phil may have broken the bipartisian approach with his comments, we require at least agreeemnt by both major parties (All would be desirable) but I cannot see 100% agreement on this, so it would be the lesser of … There needs to be agreeement on the macroeconimic outcomes, what consequences we are willing to suffer then empower the governer with the tools to manage. No Lab does this and 3 years later Nat changes the system. Then what is left of the cow will be devoured by speculators and we will be wishing to attain the economic heights of Zimbabwe !!

  12. Daveski 12

    The tagging isn’t showing properly.

    I can’t find “flip flop” any where. Or should that be dead rats?

    • mike 12.1

      I was looking for the ‘desperation’ or ‘hollow posture’ tag myself

    • Pascal's bookie 12.2

      Flip flops and dead rats are when you steal an opponent’s policy that you had once decried.

      I do seem to remember that folks had a lot to say about Goff being a leap to the right for the Labour party. Stupid folks, as it turns out.

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    One thing that’s kinda weird.

    Lot’s of people have been warning about inflation in the US. They’ve had their (poorly targeted) stimulus package and interest rates set at pretty close to the zero limit for quite some time. Along with that they’ve had the ‘quantitative easing’ and the govt bailouts and guarantees for the banksters. With both fiscal and mnetary policy they’ve been pumping the accelerator since well before Obama took office.

    But the inflation isn’t showing up.

    Our policy doesn’t mean we get speculators in the NZ carry trade, because speculators implies a gamble. At the moment it’s free money. Can’t last though.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      Steven Keen has been adamant that the bursting of the debt bubble is causing a deleveraging deflation that is far more powerful than the amount of money printing that has happend so far.

      The total US Debt to GDP ratio is about 300% giving a total debt (Household + Business + Government) roughly in the order of $14T * 3 =~ $45T.

      Keen points out that the historic rate of unwinding total debt during the 1890 and 1930’s Depression was about 5%pa. That translates into a $2.5Tpa hit on GDP. Combine this with the fact that this $45T of debt was growing at about 3-4% over the last five years ( an ongoing stimulus of about $1.5T which directly added to GDP) the total negative drop in GDP will be around $2.5 + 1.5 =$4T … in a $14T economy. Incidentally that amounts to almost a 28% total negative drop in economic activity. If you think this far-fetched, it is not. It is the consequence of such an outlandishly high Debt to GDP ratio.

      The US has done a stimulus roughly about 20% of GDP (0.2 * $14T =~ $3T) which is close to, but still less than the $4T deleveraging, so to answer your question… no inflation. The obvious problem is that the prevailing model means that all the money being created is being done so in debt, so that there is a limit to how much more can be done without completely overwhelming the US ability to ever service the debt.

      NZ is running Debt to GDP around the 160% mark. For our economy the long run average during stable periods is around 30-40%… so NZ has about 120% of GDP to unwind as debt before we hit bottom. If we unwound that at say 5% pa, it would still hypothetically take 24 years to stabilise.

      • Herodotus 13.1.1

        RL does not the US have a inbuilt protection to its economy in that currently the US$ is still the base for commodity trading, and still it is the preferred currency to trade with. So there is no need for currency conversion, as would say the NZ$ which the trade could occur to the middle east, in US$ then in required converted into NZ$. A policy, internation events, speculators, RB act in such that results in a change in the NZ$/US$ cross rate our economy is dramatically effected.
        We also donot have the Chinese not just managing their economy but also their actions are dictated to by the US bonds they hold, so they will protect their position i.e. Act to protect US economy for self interest reasons. The NZ$ who cares what happens to that internationally i.e. We ahve no fairy godmother
        I also thought our debt was around 98.2% of GDP page 25 http://www.issues.co.nz/library_images/bankinquiry/report_of_the_parliamentary_banking_inquiry.pdf

        • RedLogix 13.1.1.1

          RL does not the US have a inbuilt protection to its economy in that currently the US$ is still the base for commodity trading, and still it is the preferred currency to trade with.

          Yes. Which is why the US normally runs a much higher Debt to GDP Ratio than most other nations. For the US anything in the range 80-120% is perfectly normal.

          I also thought our debt was around 98.2% of GDP page 25

          For the country as a whole, net overseas liabilities rose from $99.8 billion to $173.5 billion. As a percentage of GDP the rise was from 76.1 per cent to 96.5

          Agreed. But not all debt is overseas debt. The difference would be funds generated by various banking institutions within NZ leveraging off local depositors.

    • TightyRighty 13.2

      Inflation is demand driven, there is little to indicate in the US that demand is reaching the same levels as it was 15 months ago.

  14. gingercrush 14

    I disagree with the other right-wingers. I think this was a smart move by Goff. In fact I’ve found Goff rather impressive as of late. As for giving alternatives for this policy. There isn’t any need for it yet. We’re not even into 2010, let alone 2011, now simply isn’t the time. Regardless, National in 2008 set perhaps a long-term situation where policy isn’t as detailed as it has been previously. Hence, why the left often is seen to be saying John Key isn’t doing anything etc. Their policy manifesto was extremely light on details and have subsequently been rather vague in detailing things. I would prefer this not to be the future of politics. But I suspect it will be.

    Also it’s best if he doesn’t go into too many details as the last time he did so he stuffed it up. Right now he just has to project a direction a for his party. Thus far they’ve come up with reversing the cuts to ACE, ACC changes, changes in benefits (though whether this continues after the recession or not is in the air)and now Monetary policy. Of particular interest is he’s targeting an economic area. Something we’ve not seen from Goff before and an area where Key is seen to have credentials. He’s done it spectacularly well.

    Likewise, my other big impression was Goff with his response to Hone Harawira. I realise many of the left-wing will be disappointed in what he had to say. But his statements were never targeted to the liberal left. It was targeted at everyday New Zealanders. People that vote every election but don’t pay particular attention to politics. The people that would find Harawira’s comments to be distasteful. Goff did well there. Also while it was a huge PR exercise. He’s surely done some good in his opposition to changes in ACC levies for motorcyclists.

    If Goff keeps up this momentum then his profile will lift particularly as National is entering a difficult year with what will be a very difficult budget. I still think Goff has a long way to go. His chances in 2011 are very slim. But he has certainly lifted his game this month.

    —-

    In regards to this policy. I’ve always been bothered by the idea our dollar must be low otherwise we can’t export. If anything that just exposes how commodity based our export market is. Real success in exports will not be obtained by a low dollar. Sure that can help for a short period of time as can increases in the price for commodities. Something that improved our economy from 2000 till about 2005. But the future is about adding value to those exports. For some areas such as forestry, seafood and our meat industry that is difficult. Even Fonterra and milk producers have struggled in this area. But the only way we can have a successful export market is if we offer high-tech, high-cost and specialised goods that are less impacted by a rise in our dollar and a fall in the price of commodities.

    • Daveski 14.1

      In general, I think it is abundantly clear that National largely slept walked into office and many have retained that state in office.

      I’m interested in this change of tack tho. The accusations here about secret agendas, dead rats and the like, and yet Goff can get away with oops we made a mistake with the EFA and monetary policy. To be fair, I think it’s straight out of the National game book but this was exactly the kind of thing most here were so adamantly outraged about.

      And if things were so goddam good under Labour, while is Goff changing core things?

      Perhaps Goff realises he has to do something for HIS own sake. I still can’t see him getting Labour back in power.

      The age of pragmatism is on us.

      • lprent 14.1.1

        He is doing it two years out from an election and signaling a further change in policy (one of the first things Labour did in their first term was to change the targets for the Reserve Bank Act). It was pretty clear over the last 5-6 years that there was a problem with objectives. While controlling inflation it caused real overheating problems in some sectors of the economy and cost other sectors. It is clear that the Act needs review, and many on the left have been saying that for a while. Hell I’ve been saying it for a while as the instabilities in the exchange rate hurt like hell for any exporter. I’m on the right of Labour.

        The inherent structural issues with inflation have largely been overcome in the economic sphere through 20 years of adherence to quite rigid guidelines. We need to start fixing the other structural issues like the mis-investment and lack of available capital for productivity improvements.

        This is timely, announced in the open, and set up for a debate on policy in the public arena. Only a paranoid git would consider that there is anything underhand about it….. *sigh*

        • Daveski 14.1.1.1

          I don’t want to get into a you said he said type of argument.

          I have no problem with arguing that Goff is right to change policy – even tho Labour revisited it recently and decided to keep the status quo.

          The point is that many if not most here ranted and raved about Key changing long standing policy and putting the most negative possible spin on it.

          So what’s different this time?

          • lprent 14.1.1.1.1

            The main difference is that there is a major suspicion that Key was simply moderating National’s position in public, but that he, his MP’s, and many national party members fully intended to carry out the original policy by stealth when they got into power.

            This was shown to be the case both in Hagers book from the 2005 election and in the covert taping last year. It is also clear that in a number of areas that NACT ministers have been less than honest in their presenting of information (Nick Smith and Rodney Hide come to mind) – skewing the stats and budget presentation to further their opinions.

            Tell me – what ‘hidden’ position that you think Goff is concealing over this announcement?

    • lprent 14.2

      I’ve always been bothered by the idea our dollar must be low otherwise we can’t export.

      I couldn’t give a shit about that. High or low doesn’t matter too much.

      The real concern is the volatility. That causes big issues for exporters. The normal annual cyclic effect as the farming receipts come back (ie the Fonterra effect) are one thing. But we’ve been having the effects of people shoving money into the currency and out based on perceived instabilities elsewhere. It means that from quarter to quarter you can never be sure of what you’re going to get. Since there is a monumental lack of capital for anything less secured than property, it means that people don’t invest in productivity improvements because they’re never sure what their revenue and profit is likely to be. Increases the risk, decreases the improvements in productivity investment. You need to hold the cash for the changes in the exchange rate doing nasty things to the bottom line.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.3

      I’ve always been bothered by the idea our dollar must be low otherwise we can’t export.

      A low value currency is to do with capitalist markets need to continually grow. If they don’t they can’t pay for themselves (debt+interest > income) or make any profit and the only way the markets can grow is by having more people in them.

      If the market remained the same size rising productivity would induce deflation due to demand remaining constant. To counter this companies seek to export from the local market to try and maintain the same or greater demand. The problem then becomes price – a high valued local currency makes the price in export markets higher and when most of the markets you can export to are poorer than the local market then exports must fail. Throw in the fact that the market you’re exporting to may, and probably will if they’re developing any sort of economy at all, also have local competition with their own rising productivity and what you end up with is a massive over-supply of product.

      If anybody really thought about it they’d realise just how stupid export/import markets really are and just why they don’t work. Unfortunately, most economists haven’t thought about it and continue to peddle the same irrelevant economic theory that they’ve been using for the last couple of centuries that just doesn’t work.

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

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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? ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago

  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    51 mins ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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. ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    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, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    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. ...
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    2 weeks ago