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Granny Herald’s campaign fails

Written By: - Date published: 2:46 pm, January 28th, 2008 - 33 comments
Categories: election funding, Media - Tags: ,

Hidden away today at the bottom of the Herald’s story on further data from the latest DigiPoll is the news that only 3.8% of those surveyed rate the Electoral Finance Act as a vote influencing issue.

You can just about feel the Herald’s despair that despite an unprecedented, wholly unbalanced and misleading campaign against the EFA they have not managed to manufacture outrage and concern beyond the well-heeled National and ACT supporters who tottered along Queen St last year.

This election will be fought on issues, real issues, like health, education, environment, security, and yes taxation. And it is a good thing that issues will drive the campaign.

Interesting also to see Family First’s full page ad in weekend papers on the referendum to re-establish the defence of reasonable force for those who beat their children. Emotive twaddle no doubt, but fully acceptable within the scope of the Electoral Finance Act. (though possibly in trouble in terms of the 1993 Act that covers referendums- that would be an Act passed by National….)

Free speech lives, but don’t tell that to the coalition.

33 comments on “Granny Herald’s campaign fails”

  1. Lisa 1

    Great to see Labour have put the Family First .

  2. AncientGeek 2

    Hidden away today at the bottom of the Herald’s story on further data from the latest DigiPoll is the news that only 3.8% of those surveyed rate the Electoral Finance Act as a vote influencing issue.

    That is what I get. I work in a relatively conservative workplace. There was a lot of discussion last year on defence of reasonable force, but absolutely nothing on EFB. I think that is an issue that is of interest only to the chattering classes.

    It has been interesting talking to people over the last few days when I’ve been off the web, mentioning the exclusive brethren decision to vote this election. In all cases the words ‘hypocrital’ or hypocritic featured. I don’t think that anyone was that happy with what they did in the last election apart from some of the rabid right.

  3. AncientGeek 3

    Ummm what happened to the spell check – I meant ‘hypocritical’

  4. Ruth 4

    This has always been a beltway issue. I don’t like the EFA, but I have said many times b4 that I wish I had so little else to worry about in my life that I had the time to march down queen st about it.

    Shows the disconnect between reality and the blogosphere/talkback radio. Same with the smacking thing, I think. This is important to a very small number of fanatics who welcome the govt into our bedrooms and homes when it comes to other issues – eg homosexuality, abortion.

    Typical of the far right – love your fetus, hate your kid.

  5. AncientGeek 5

    Going off on an aside.

    Ruth: I backtracked onto your site and found an interesting post that you put on about house affordability.

    Wish I’d had that Hargreaves report when I was annoyed about a rather self-serving housing study last week.

    You are right. Ultimately the market will determine the housing prices, and there isn’t that much government can do about it. Well not unless we want an economy like North Korea (or muldoon’s NZ).

    However, there is one area that I think a government has a legitimate reason to be involved in housing. That is as a public health issue.

    There is no point having all of the clean water and sewerage systems, if you have significant portions of the population living in an open air hovel’s. A population that is living in sub-standard accommodation is just as dangerous to the rest of the population as having open air sewers.

    World-wide there are two general solutions – one is to have ghettos, shanty towns, etc for the poor, and the other is to provide safe housing on the bottom end of the market. The possible third solution of the market providing doesn’t seem to occour in practice.

    I won’t bother going into the public costs of the shanty town solution in crime, disease reservoirs, and strains on public health systems. Personally I think that the highest cost long term is in losing the potential from almost all of the children born there.

  6. Phil 6

    Not so sure about that Ruth, a lot of Labour core voting base – single mothers, familys on low incomes etc – seem to be quite angry about the anti-smacking bill.

  7. AncientGeek 7

    Phil: It is usual for people to be passionate about single issues talking to pollsters well out from an election. They tend to think wider when they actually get around to deciding who to vote for.

    Thats why you tend to find a lot of movement in polls with difference between parties diminishing closer to elections. Personally I have never had much faith in polling. The more you know about stats and the population makeup, the less you believe that they are measuring anything significant.

    Besides, didn’t almost all parties including the national party vote for the legislation.

  8. Lisa 8

    All my girls friends, who are young mothers are totally against this smacking law .

    Yes AG – Chester did kiss Sue .

  9. Tim B 9

    I agree the EFA is probably an issue that is only a major concern for those living “inside the beltway”. However, to me it is still an obnoxious piece of legislation that the left should not support – requiring people to register with the state just to organise a protest march, publish a leaflet or express any sort of political opinion!

    Also it’s particularly galling to see groups like Family First being able to parade around as champions of libertarian democratic values when as Ruth points out they are nothing of the sort. But this the unavoidable outcome of allowing the pragmatic concerns of the parliamentary Labour Party instead of core left wing principles guide our position on this issue…

  10. Dan 10

    3.8% is about right. That about sums up the anti-smackers, the David Farrars, the anti-ELA ers. Such is the nastiness of some of their blogging on various blog sites, it smacks of desparation.Key and English will eventually disassociate themselves from the loyal but rabid right. NZers are much more sensible. Helen Clark will sail down the middle with her practical, cautious, humanitarian policies in the next election, and the loony rigt, the 3.8%ers, will head off to Australia, where they will find it is not all honey and roses.

  11. outofbed 11

    or beer & skittles

  12. AncientGeek 12

    Tim B:
    On the whole I’d actually agree. It is definitely not what I would have been considered to be ideal.

    However it is an inevitable consequence of MMP. Because the political parties cannot concentrate on marginal electorates as they did under a FPP or in aussie under a STV system, the campaigns last longer. Politicians have to convince a much larger group, and as they are restricted mainly by a lack of active people, they will start earlier.

    Most of the EFA provisions were also provisions in the old act – they were just restricted to 3 months. The new act extends that out to up to 10 months, assuming the latest possible election date.

    The new provisions were a mostly a recognition of changing technologies of communication and financing.

    The reason that it done this term was a direct consequence of some of the stuff that went on last election. The exclusive brethren mail drops, the national billboard campaign starting 7 months out from the election, and some of the rather dodgy donations that were going on.

    I really can’t see a lot of choice…

  13. AncientGeek 13

    Also in some ways it is less restrictive. From memory under the old act you were required (more observed in the breach than the practice) to put your name on anything prompting or attacking a political party anytime. Now it is just a max of 10 months.

    Parliament decided to not to legislate the unenforced.

    captcha: grief persecution
    wierd..

  14. AncientGeek 14

    Quite enjoyed this blog “The Master Plan” in OnPoint on Public Address. It is an excellent summary about what I think is likely to happen than Bill Ralston’s rather strange article.

    It is all pretty standard economics, and I’m really glad that this global recession is starting after we’ve finally got rid of muldoon’s debt from the 70’s and 80’s.

    excerpt (just to get people to go and read it):

    This part of the coming election is becoming clear now. There will be a spending spree, and there will be a lot of effort to portray the spending spree next year as, oh, I don’t know, “the last ditch attempt by a tired, directionless government desperately trying to hang on to power”, that sort of thing.

    But is it? It’s undeniably convenient for the government that a global recession is looming on the eve of an election. Not only can they spend big with a good conscience, with fewer inflationary pressures from overseas, but they (well, Cullen) can simultaneously blame America for the global woes and tsk tsk their right-wing economic policies.

    I think we can give Cullen the benefit of the doubt and assume that he didn’t engineer the subprime crisis, but the Government hasn’t found itself in this position by chance, either. Cullen has spent almost a decade resisting the political pressure to splurge — with mixed success — but he has ultimately emerged from the other side intact.

    It may still fail miserably, or even spectacularly, but succeed or fail, this will be Cullen’s master plan, carried out in full. It won’t be simple opportunism or the panicked flailing of the arms. If anything, this is the only part of this Government which still has a strong sense of direction and purpose.

    It’s also a reflection of Cullen’s own theoretical and ideological leanings, so the outcome will vindicate or indict the ideas, along with the man.

    The next budget is going to be bloody interesting.

  15. MikeE 15

    Thats the first time I’ve been referred to as “well heeled”..hmm

  16. Robinsod 16

    Jeez TDS – you go away on holiday, get all refreshed and that’s the best you can do? How dull.

  17. AncientGeek 17

    AG – good grief you must have been asleep last year if that is your interpretation of the EFA.

    I’m not talking about propaganda, I’m talking about the actual acts. And it was a pain matching them up as well. Would have been nice to have found a sectional cross reference.

    How many MMP elections have we had now, without such draconian and unnecessary legislation?

    Four – as is noted in the preamble on the bills, along with some of the issues that lead to the decision to bring the bill forward.

    Its odd though that it is only supposed ‘transgressions’ by the Nats are the reason AG gives for ‘needing’ the EFA. Pity he is so blinkered that he misses what Teh Party got caught at eh?

    They are the ones that I notice. But I will add that some of the issues arose during the Petters vs Clarkson case, and a number of them were brought forward from the electoral commission of 1986 on electoral reform (that led to the MMP).

    It isn’t like it was a sudden decision to go ahead… It should have been done in the 1993 electoral act

  18. Draco TB 18

    Interesting aspect of that article is that it still shows that 75% of people just don’t care about tax cuts.

    The possible third solution of the market providing doesn’t seem to occour in practice.

    That’s because at the moment the housing market isn’t shaped to be of any benefit to society. Change it so that houses are no longer investment properties (rental properties) and speculating in the housing market is a losing proposition and house prices will fall and stabilize.

    Excess rental property is actually bad for the economy same as any other excess in the market is. The rent money comes out of the economy, goes into someone’s bank account (some it is living costs, some for saving), when enough is saved they buy another house to rent out because it’s probably all they know about “investing”. All this investment into housing removes needed investment in other more productive sectors such as R&D, factories etc effectively strangling the economy.

    Home ownership also has benefits for society. The people who own their own homes tend to participate in the community more and are more stable which reduces crime and improves schooling therefore helping the children to a better life.

  19. Peak Oil Conspiracy 19

    Robinsod:

    I take it your 9.11 pm and 9.28 pm posts were in response to comments by “The Double Standard” – which have been deleted?

    The Standard moderators:

    In the interests of transparency (and for the benefit of those reading through threads after the event), wouldn’t it be wise to clearly indicate where comments have been deleted, and if the reason isn’t obvious, why?

  20. AncientGeek 20

    I believe that they do – bold with []

  21. Peak Oil Conspiracy 21

    Ancient Greek:

    “I believe that they do – bold with []”

    Yes, but it doesn’t always happen – and the result is some threads lose their logical flow.

    See the sensible approach taken here:
    http://www.publicaddress.net/system/topic,917,hard_news_monster_weekend.sm?p=39614#post39614

    IrishBill says: Generally comments which cross the line receive warnings and if they are repeated they are deleted with an explanation. Comments that we identify as concerted trolling by way of them being strictly abusive or having been cut and paste from attack-lines elsewhere will be deleted without explanation just as spam is.

  22. Matthew Pilott 22

    Excess rental property is actually bad for the economy same as any other excess in the market is. The rent money comes out of the economy, goes into someone’s bank account (some it is living costs, some for saving), when enough is saved they buy another house to rent out because it’s probably all they know about “investing”. All this investment into housing removes needed investment in other more productive sectors such as R&D, factories etc effectively strangling the economy.

    Capital gains tax time!

    As I see it (a long time renter, who hasn’t really started dreaming of owning) demand in New Zealand is driven by the profitability of property ownership. A large proportion of New Zealands housing stock is in the hands of a small group of people with multiple (at least two) properties.

    They’re holding on to these until they retire, and then they can sell up and walk away with up to a million for a fairly bog-standard house, depending on the location.

    A capital gaius tax would make this type of ‘investment’ less profitable and people would start selling houses in order to invest in proper growth funds (with the advantage of incresing capital available to New Zealand’s domestic industry, among other things).

    More houses would be on the market, prices would drop and further encourage sales intil some equilibrium of ownership to renters is reached.

    Some, who have been making money, or expecting to (at the expense of those who cannot afford to purchanse property), will suffer, as their ‘investments’ lose value, but this will probably be a short term correction, as housing and land prices are re-aligned with incomes and continue to grow with inflation, and not 10% faster.

  23. Michele Cabiling 23

    Matthew Pillock wrote:

    “As I see it (a long time renter, who hasn’t really started dreaming of owning) demand in New Zealand is driven by the profitability of property ownership.”

    Rewriting this sentence to convey its true intent:

    “As I see it (a long time renter, who hasn’t really started dreaming of owning) demand in New Zealand for a capital gains tax on residential housing is driven by the envy of those who have not succeeding in achieving property ownership.”

  24. unaha-closp 24

    This election will be fought on issues, real issues, like health, education, environment, security, and yes taxation. And it is a good thing that issues will drive the campaign.

    And if Labour/Greens can win 50 out of every 96 votes they can win.

    This has always been a beltway issue.

    This has always been a NON-issue. Only through hard work and obstinance in the face of wide opposition has the government managed to create (out of nothing) a 4% voting group that will not vote Labour.

  25. the sprout 25

    the Family Fist referendum may be in a bit of trouble because many of the signatories signed before Key’s ‘imaginary amendment’ that then allowed the msm and ‘mainstream’ NZers to think it wasn’t so bad after all.
    so there would be a possibility of signatories withdrawing their support for a referendum because they nolonger support its intent.

  26. the sprout 26

    the herlad’s campaign hasn’t been completely pointless though – it’s been useful in further diminishing their cedibility

  27. Matthew Pilot: “A capital gaius tax would make this type of ‘investment’ less profitable and people would start selling houses in order to invest in proper growth funds..”

    Yesssss… those ‘proper growth funds” that have been doing soooo well lately? Sorry but houses are still safer than anything else. Until that changes a capital gains tax would be kicking people for trying to save via property ownership. Changing the RMA to increase land available for housing should help to deal with demand and supply. Another option is to end taxation on earnings from savings and non-property based investments to make them more attractive.
    Capital gains tax isn’t a solution. More tax is not the answer for every problem.

  28. Matthew Pilott 28

    Michele, O Wretched Troll, do you think it a good situation whereby the property market is persistently failing?

    Oh, that’s right, the market is perfect, democratising and seeks to create balance. Because it’s still the 18th century, in your mind at least.

    Tell me, have they invented the Internal Combustion Engine yet, and how is that mercantilism treating you all? Pity you won’t get to vote for another century or two, but medicine will start to increase your chances of surviving giving birth, should you decide to spaw…I mean reproduce.

    I have a thought for you to consider – the market isn’t “the force”, life isn’t Star Wars and Jedi Knights don’t run around being the “invisible hand” that makes the market work perfectly.

    On a less serious note, one can only assume Michele is too dim to consider that the lack of a capital gains tax is encouraging housing demand at the expense of investment that improves this country, as opposed to the detrimental situation at hand.

    P.S – did everyone see Moreau’s cartoon today about Family Fi(r)st? Nice to see that term catching on 🙂

  29. Matthew Pilott 29

    Richard, I’m somewhat familiar with the argument about changes to the RMA and see several problems.

    1-there isn’t (as often percieved) a great shortage of housing in New Zealand. People often rent when tehy would prefer to own. Creating a situation to increase availability of houses would simply overstock supply.

    2-This would have the same effect as the tax (reducing land costs) but instead of freeing up existing stock – a la CGTax – it would drive people into new housing. This would probably have the same effect on existing owners of multiple houses (the value of their investment would be shot) but for no benefit. With the tax, they could still sell and reinvest – unlikely if there was an oversupply.

    3-What’s been proposed would lead to all the problems of urban sprawl and ghettoisation, not to mention potentially depopulating exitsing areas needlessly.

    Tax isn’t always the answer, but it doesn’t mean it’s always the wrong answer!

    There are plenty of savings options that can be effective. Houses aren’t that safe as an investment, as the RMA solution illustrates. Since housing stock is so overvalued at present, it’s not going to take that much to burst the bubble, but it’s going to be a right shock to many people when it happens.

  30. Michele Cabiling 30

    Empirical research establishes that property markets are cyclical over a seven year period. This is because, in the short term, supply of a particular class of property is relatively illquid, meaning the market is slow to respond to changes in demand.

    The ability of the housing market to respond to changing market signals is (as in every case where leftard know-betters attempt to replace the Invisible Hand of the market with the visible hand of Big Gummint) hampered by zoning controls and urban growth boundaries.

    The upsurge in Auckland house prices is primarily due to the short supply of affordable development land at the urban periphery. What’s needed here to solve the problem is not MORE gummint, but LESS gummint.

  31. Matthew Pilott 31

    Michele, haven’t you noticed that the upsurge in housing prices has been throughout the country, and persistent for some time now? There isn’t a shortage of developable land throughout the country, which implies there’s an external cause for much of the country’s housing price problem.

    I find it interesting that someone with an interest in economics would look at a market in isolation, thereby ignoring the distorting effect of other factors on the property market, as I established above.

    This distortion isn’t caused by a housing shortage – it doesn’t exist. It’s a shortage of saleable houses caused by them becoming an investment option over and above a necessary commodity for families. A ‘redistribution’ is what’s required, and the market (as always) isn’t up to the challenge.

  32. Matthew P, I beg to disagree,

    1. The type of property currently held by people owning more than one property varies widely, some of it unsuitable for families. As an example 1-2 bedroom flats and apartments. One only needs to look at Auckland to find this. Freeing these properties up via a capital gains tax would not help first home family buyers.
    New home stock is required. Also since much more land would become available this would reduce the value of ‘land parcels’ held by developers thus encouraging them to either build or sell onto someone who will.

    2. The value of property can’t ever really be ‘shot’. It can decrease but never actually be destroyed. (apart from being physically destroyed of course!) In Mary Holm’s excellent short investment guide: Snakes and Ladders she makes the point that between 1970-2004 house prices have risen by an average of 10.2% per year. This, despite oil shocks of the 1970’s, 1987 crash, dotcom collapses in the 1990’s, 1997 currency crisis and Enron in the US. Property is still the safest investment. I don’t like it because property produces nothing for export and simply adds to inflation but there it is.

    3.I agree a capital gains tax would free up stock for buyers but it would also decrease rental options for renters thus causing rents to rise due to decreased supply. That is not a desirable outcome. So again more housing stock is needed.

    As you point out there are other savings options but its best to use carrots, like cutting taxes on income from savings, rather than sticks like capital gains tax to encourage people towards non-property investment.
    As an example Kiwi saver is choca with carrots and thus is reasonably successful in getting people to sign up, despite its current processing problems.
    Cheers.(and tables).

  33. Matthew Pilott 33

    Richard, sorry for the late reply if you don’t see this before it disappears into the æther.

    Just a few quick thoughts anyhow.

    1 – Many people see an apartment as a viable firstproperty. People are starting families later and are happy to live in such accommodatiion for far longer. It’s not proven that the housing stock required is suburban redidential.

    What with all these calls on changes to the RMA, one would think there was a moratorium on house building. After a drive through the North and South Islands recently I can assure you this is not teh case, from Wellington’s Northern Suburbs, to Papamoa, Kaikoura, Reefton, opotiki and beyond. Houses and subdivisions are going up everywhere.

    2 – You are right. I was overstating it by saying that a serious ddecline in housing would occur. What I meant there – a moderate decline in hosusing, or a hiatus in the rampant cost increases extant would suffice to help aligh costs with incomes. this would reduce the potential growth valuse of a house compared to other forms of investment.

    3 – Many of the buyers would be current renters!

    As for a carrot – cut a corresponding tax that would encourage real savings 🙂 (there – I’m not all for tax!) if it’s possible to do so without providing an income loophole for those with the wherewithal to stash their extra cash!

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    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    3 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    4 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    4 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    4 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    5 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    5 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    6 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    6 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    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
    2 weeks 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
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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