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Growth and Money: Means, not Ends

Written By: - Date published: 11:40 pm, October 8th, 2010 - 17 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, Economy, equality - Tags:

This government seems to have confused the means and the ends.  Growth and money have become the ends, when they only ever should have been the means.  It is a legitimate question: what do growth and money give us?  Obviously we need some level of wealth (to eat, have shelter etc at a bare minimum), and until we have that level we need to grow to it.  But what does more growth give us now?  We have plenty of wealth as a society, what do additional toys gain us?  He who dies with the most toys is still dead.

Surely what should matter now is that we have a happy, fulfilled society, where people have the opportunity to do what they want.  And call me utilitarian, I mean all people, not the wealthy elite.

The political right often confuse “opportunity” with choice.  We’ll improve things by letting you choose, they say.  Choose which hospital, which school you go to, and you can get the best.  Except when some choose the best schools and hospitals, others are left with the not-so-good schools and hospitals.  That will be the poorer in society; who aren’t able to move about as easily, who aren’t as well educated as to how to choose, who are too busy working for a crust to have time to choose.

Opportunity arises by making the not-so-good schools and hospitals great as well.  Then all have the opportunities of education and good health.

Fulfilment tends to arise from the ability to take the opportunities one is given.

Happiness is much more tricky.  Watching TV lowers happiness significantly, so bland entertainment doesn’t fix things.  Having people richer than you decreases happiness – more equal societies tend to be happier.  Better work-life balance, and spending much more time with family and friends rather than being all about money and growth definitely increases happiness.

So I think this government – and possibly society – has it wrong with the relentless focus on growth and prosperity.  Prosperity (as a society) is here, and the environment can’t sustain growth forever (or even current levels of consumption).  So we should be focussed on people, their fulfilment and happiness – not on just getting more of the benjamins.

17 comments on “Growth and Money: Means, not Ends”

  1. Vicky32 1

    Work-life balance – yeah, I have too much life and not enough work! 🙁
    Deb

  2. Working man 2

    I think perhaps a year 8 student could make a better argument than you.

    Ever considered that running my company makes me happy? Should i concede my happiness, so that another, by which i mean you, can feel better about this supposed equality?

    My prosperity is a by-product of what makes me happy and you if you take away my growth, you take away my happiness.

    No matter, your argument is so one dimensional it almost makes my comment too good for this website, but alas, i was caught in your sneer.

    Please dont run for any public office.

    • ak 2.1

      My prosperity is a by-product of what makes me happy and you if you take away my growth, you take away my happiness.

      Read this again carefully, and think whether your comment is really “too good for this website”. Nice name, you sound like a reasonable bloke, be a pity to lose you just due to a glaring internal contradiction.

    • bbfloyd 2.2

      W.M. your line about the year 8 student was a dead givaway. can’t remember how many apologists for reactionary conservative political parties have used that line. although it’s usually “5th form students”.

      that’s a 3 out of 10 for trying to sound rational, and a 2/10 for confusing selfishness and greed for a genuine social philosophy..

      extremist arguments are simply avoiding reality. no one in their right mind would suggest you give up your company in order to appease other peoples idea of equality. that would be ridiculous. which, of course wasn’t what was mooted in the post.

      so we are left with the reality that you bring this aspect into the debate simply to attempt a rather shallow misdirection, as you have to know that you premise is absurd.

      it would be a good idea to read something other than the national party manifesto(for what it’s worth) occasionally. there really is a whole world out there that doesn’t revolve around the acquisition of money.

  3. No-one’s saying that people don’t want to create and achieve. The question is whether a relentless societal focus on one type of achievement – economic growth – as measured by one flawed stat – GDP – at any cost is what we should be all about.

    If you like working to build your company that’s great. We (especially Lynn and the others who have been writing for The Standard since the start) have worked our arses off to build it into what it is. We understand the pleasure of hard-work and achievement.

    But you note that the material reward is a side-effect.Maybe we need more like you and like me and many others, who enjoy creating for its own sake, rather than a focus on economic growth for consumption while ignoring all the social and environmental damage that is caused.

  4. Descendant Of Smith 4

    So if the growth of your company means that you make lots of money but at the same time creates misery and poverty and pollution that shouldn’t matter because growth and money is the end result?

    If your growth is helped along by paying low wages so I have to work two jobs to support my family this is OK?

    If your growth means actually you say fuck off to all your loyal NZ workers, even though your company is making a profit and take your business to India or Asia where wages are lower and you can make even more money and be even happier this is also OK?

    At what point does your happiness interfere with my happiness when I’m not happy that my friends are unemployed, that my neighbourhood has been over run by gangs, that the river I used to fish in no longer can be swum in, that much of our population is being locked up and put in jail.

    When do people like you understand that we are not all driven by running a company or making lots of money – that what makes us happy is a fair and equitable society where the fruits of our collective labours is shared on a more communal basis, that specialisation benefits the whole not just the specialist, that the least skilled, the less intelligent, the disabled, the addicted, the poor are supported to improve themselves or if they can’t ever get off the ground they at least have a basic standard of living and that we can accept this in an adult manner without castigating them because deep down we know we are always going to have some people who end up this way.

    Unless people like yourselves wish to employ someone who is a drug addict, or a released criminal, or someone in a wheelchair, or someone with downs Syndrome I’m not quite sure what you think should happen to them.

    A place where caring and empathy are valued, that art and literature are valued not for their financial value but on their own merits, education is more than about creating slaves for a workforce. A place where people get time to spend with their families – I’d shut down Sunday trading in an instant to ensure there was at least one day a week where families could be together. I’d ensure people got paid overtime after working 40 hours.

    That’s what makes me happy.

    Now if my happiness means that your business can’t operate what then?

    • PC Brigadier 4.1

      great reply….a Year 8 would understand it too.
      I think this is pretty awesome and is related:

      • Bored 4.1.1

        Nice replies by all above, but to defend Working man perhaps he really does like what he does and it may also make others beside himself happy and prosperous: one can only hope so.

        I think the self awareness on the video might be the best guide to the above, seems it echoes Mahatma Gandhi’s great statement that, “there is enough for everybodies need, but not enough for everybodies greed”. Does Working man pass that test? I wonder.

        • Zeebop 4.1.1.1

          Working Man is not a business man, a business doesn’t want to put their customers off.
          Companies spend millions a year doing good works, supporting good, fear being outed for not
          having a budget for to help charitable organisations.
          Why?
          Because the notion of a uncaring society is a propanganda exercise by a few, that feed
          the ‘not so few’ who need to be followers, who have been rewarded in the past for being
          followers even if of contradictions to their own best interest.

    • KJT 4.2

      I agree there are far too many companies like that, but there is the other side of the coin also.

      The companies that build your house, bake your bread, fix your bicycle, fix your appliances. The grower that brings fruit and veges to your local market. They are all businesses. They all put capital, most often mortgaging their house, into starting a useful business.
      The owner is happy with a 40 hour week and wishes his/her competitors were not allowed to cheat with below subsistence wages and ripoff workmanship so he/her and his/her employees can make a decent living.
      Many pay fair wages and look after their employees beyound the level the law requires.
      If they are lucky and do well the employees get to share in it.
      Many have employed people who would not have otherwise got jobs.
      Profits are put back into the business and income is spent locally.
      Are quite happy with a fair return. A comfortable house and the Beamer maybe. Don’t need the helicopter and more houses or cars than they can use.

      Note most businesses like this are local and owner operated.

      Big business operates in a way that in an individual would be considered dangerously Psychotic and Narcissistic..

    • Olwyn 4.3

      Well said descendant of Smith.

    • freedom 4.4

      The thing Capitalism seems to forget can best be explained with a child’s Balloon.

      Blowing air into a confined space only leads to the destruction of the confined space

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    Nice reply DOS says it all really, but I am just a little worried, you wouldn’t be one of those dangerous socialists would you?

    • Descendant Of Smith 5.1

      Hmmm probably not.

      If I was to throw some labels at myself it would probably result in a strong egalitarian and humanistic viewpoint that welcomes diversity. A societal balance between individual endeavour and purpose and collective responsibility and support.

      A mixed economy where free enterprise can work alongside a more socialist enterprise like a collective. Where a small business can operate because they produce a good product and provide good service and not go under because they have to compete against large corporates or fly by nighters on a low wage basis.

      It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

      A progressive tax system seems the most sensible way to approach things with those at the bottom paying less and those at the top paying more. A system where benefits are used rather than the whims of benevolent charity to support those who need support.

      A strong supporter of democracy from the principle that the few are elected to govern in the interests of all citizens – not just their voting base. Any democratic society must ensure that in governing minorities are protected. Majority is a method of voting on a particular decision – not a right for the majority to do what they like – not a mandate to rule.

      I don’t know if that helps or hinders.

      Zeebop: If what you say is true about these companies about wanting this open public visibility of good intent why do so many of them hide their donations behind anonymity / trusts / third parties. Why do so many of them seem to give money to purposes that undermine democracy and to influence the public to their – not societies needs? Why do these benevolent large companies not clean up their mistakes e.g. Bhopal when clearly they have the means to do so?

      It seems to me that many of them fear being outed about who they are actually giving money to and what causes they are giving this to rather then fear of being seen to do nothing.

  6. freedom 6

    The thing Capitalism seems to forget can best be explained with a child’s Balloon.

    Blowing air continuously into a confined space only leads to the destruction of the confined space

  7. [Hi Robert. Comments like this (long verbatim reprint of some other document) are not encouraged here. Instead go for a brief note and a link to the original document. Will let this through, good stuff, but please consider for future comments. Thanks. — r0b]

    Information sent to this government several times

    THE GROWTH SYNDROME – ECONOMIC DESTITUTION

    by Derek J Wilson – October 2005

    Read any newspaper or listen to TV and radio and the chances are that one’s attention will be drawn to statements by politicians or economists or business executives — sometimes all three — that our future economic well-being depends on more growth. This traditional view of the ‘growth’ economy, believing that it can continue with impunity to feed on Earth’s natural capital instead of living on the interest, admits no recognition of other views. This economic destitution — responsible mainly for the mass poverty of a fifth of the world’s population leading to malnutrition, disease and death, not least among children — is here briefly examined. “Quite simply,” writes Dr John Peet, “in the long term, economic growth as currently understood is unsustainable.” [1] Technical or economic ‘fixes’ without changing the underlying causes will not solve the basic problem. The road we are travelling can only lead to bankruptcy.

    As Aristotle put it so clearly in the fourth century BC:

    In the art of acquiring riches its end has no limit, for its object is money and possessions; but economy has a boundary, for acquiring riches is not its real end… for the mere getting of money differs from natural wealth and the latter is the true object of economy.

    In 1967, Lynn White, Professor of History at the University of California, suggested what seems to me a rational reason for our increasingly dire situation.

    Christianity in absolute contrast to ancient paganism and Asia’s religions, has not only established a dualism of man and nature, but also insisted that it is God’s will that man exploit nature for its proper ends… Christianity bears a huge burden of guilt for the human attitude that we are superior to nature, contemptuous of it, willing to use it for our slightest whim… We shall continue to have a worsening ecological crisis until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man. [2]

    Politicians, economists of traditional persuasion, and certainly most business executives who, in the main, place growth and profit before people, subscribe to this view.

    The word economy comes from the Greek oikonomia which derives from two words — oikos meaning ‘house’ or ‘household’ and nomos meaning ‘rule’ or ‘law’. Thus when we talk about economy we mean literally the careful and thrifty management of the household assets for the increasing benefit of all its members over the long term. Expand this into the wider world community and we have a sound basis for global economics. However, the original concept of oikonomia has been totally replaced by what is known as chrematistics, from the Greek khrimatistikos, which is that branch of political economy relating to the manipulation of property and wealth so as to maximise the short-run monetary exchange value to the owner(s). In oikonomia there is such a thing as enough; in chrematistics more is always better. Most investment in the world today is ‘hot’ — speculative, i.e., of the chrematistic kind — and very short term. In 1970, trade and long-term investment accounted for 90 percent of transactions; in 1995, speculative investment accounted for 95 percent. [3]

    In the worldwide form in which economics has developed — for there are now few national boundaries — this is a new phenomenon peculiar to the 20th century. Nations have lost their sovereignty and governments their control to an exceptionally powerful and covert, self-elected behemoth at the top of which sit the world’s leading banking empires and the transnational corporations (TNCs). These have become the “real power of the Earth; the de-facto governments, operating outside the law… The governments have become merely the chauffeurs for the transnationals” which have created “the new global anarchy of the international marketplace.” [4] In fact, the world is now ruled by a global financial system running dangerously out of control. Every 24 hours in the sole pursuit of the accumulation of financial gain, i.e., unrelated to productive investment or trade in actual goods and services, this octopus electronically moved around the world in 1994-95 in the shape of blips on computer screens $1.3 trillion ($1,300,000,000,000) – $9 trillion a week, $40 trillion a month, $475 trillion a year. [5] The 1980 daily movement was $80 billion; by late 2002 it had ballooned to $6 trillion. This speculation — “this sea of cash sloshing from shore to shore” — can easily cause the downfall of economies and thrust people into poverty. Will economists (or anyone else) tell us exactly what will happen when these enormous, unstable, electronically-controlled plates finally slide, as they surely will?

    We have been seduced by this exceptionally pathological mania, this apparently unassailable mantra of the perpetual growth ethic or creeping death — “the ideology of the cancer cell” [6] and an absolute impossibility on our Earth. In this, the driving force behind today’s economy, money has become the primary source of value and meaning for many humans, a substitute for the morality and spirituality that traditionally was a unifying force. Just as a continuously growing cancer eventually destroys its life-support systems by destroying its host, this continuously expanding global economy is surely and mercilessly destroying its host — Earth’s ecosystems. To take one example from the many surrounding us. Commercial fishing fleets are rapidly causing a maritime ecological disaster with fish stocks facing extinction all around the world.

    This whole ‘growth’ syndrome — the major source of our worsening global problems — urgently demands the closest scrutiny, for as Herman Daly, until recently senior economist with the environmental department of the World Bank in Washington, reports:

    It’s really been only in the last 200 years that growth has been really a part of our lives [since the start of the Industrial Revolution]. Prior to that, on an annual basis, growth was negligible. The idea that we must either grow or die is just not supported by history and I think that the contrary is much more likely: if we continue to grow, then surely we will die. [7]

    Jenny Wright clearly indicates the fallacies of the growth paradigm:

    Conventional economic wisdom, which is predicated on the everlasting growth of materialism at some three percent per year, is having difficulty with the concept of sustainable development. This is partly due to the facts that a large proportion of what passes for development is really ecological destruction and rape of the biosphere, and that much of what currently passes as investment is really consumption. More seriously it is due to a failure of economics to recognise that there is more to life than money, and a lot more to land than rent. The practice of taking from nature can only be continued with impunity if planetary resources are infinite, or if Mother Nature is infinitely capable of repairing the ravages of man. Unfortunately, neither of these conditions is true… Total ecological demand is exceeding total ecological supply and will place an ever increasing load on the biosphere. [8]

    One is forced to agree with the growing body of eminent internationalists that, in the main, politicians, economists and business executives are brain-damaged. Wright mentioned consumption. With economic growth inevitably came increasing consumption. (The Shorter Oxford Dictionary defines the word consume as meaning “to take away with or destroy; to waste or squander; to use up”.) The unprecedented expansion of this world consumption expenditure is evinced by these figures:

    * 1900 $1.5 trillion
    * 1950 $4.0 trillion
    * 1975 $12.0 trillion
    * 1998 $24.0 trillion [9]

    Unfortunately and deliberately, inequalities in consumption have become stark. The false market system so rapidly built up and expanded at every opportunity has to sustain repeated upward growth for it to keep going. This demands that the already over-consumption of the Western and westernised world be maintained and spread as rapidly as possible to the rest of the world. Retail analyst Victor Lebow has warned us of the dangers of this so destructive course: “Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption… We needs things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced and discarded at an ever-increasing rate.”

    The general director of General Motors’ Research Laboratories, Charles Kettering, gave one succinct answer to how this is be achieved when he said that the mission of business is “the organised creation of dissatisfaction.” [10] People are increasingly persuaded and manipulated into consumerism by a multi-million dollar insidious advertising industry that has the most devastating consequences for the environment and our future. And the chief target of this ceaseless, voracious, merciless industry? Our children — the younger the better.

    While these disparities keep growing: “On average, the additional economic output in each of the last four decades has matched that added from the beginning of civilisation until 1950.” [11] I have italicised this reference to emphasise its significance. While this phenomenal growth has taken place, i.e., between 1950 and 1990 — over a 40-year span:

    * The world’s population has doubled.
    * The number of people living in absolute poverty has doubled.
    * The gap between rich and poor has increased six-fold. [12]

    Vandana Shiva points out that the continuous growth of economic activity guided solely by market economic forces ultimately can only lead to a situation

    where the total withdrawal of natural resources both for basic needs satisfaction and for sectoral growth, becomes more than the renewability of natural resources. At this point, the Gross National Product keeps increasing while the Gross Natural Product starts declining… If the process of decline in the renewability of natural resources is allowed beyond a critical point, the process of degradation becomes irreversible… The history of Roman and Mesopotamian civilisations is an example of total societal collapse due to the erosion of nature’s economy. [13]

    These and other collapses are brilliantly explored by Ronald Wright in his 2004 five Massey Lectures, later published as A Short History of Progress. Another special book which stands together with Wright’s is Jared Diamond’s substantial work Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive.

    George Soros, a most successful capitalist, has seen fit to add his weight to the mounting criticism of the road we are travelling.

    Although I have made a fortune in the financial markets, I now fear that the untrammelled intensification of laissez-faire capitalism and the spread of market values into all areas of life is endangering our open and democratic society. The main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat. [14]

    It is important that we ensure that the benefits of economic growth are shared among us all, but the real world doesn’t work that way. The upward movement/concentration of wealth, which has become obscene, ensures that under the present destitute economic system there will never be enough for everyone, especially with a still increasing population. As it is, one in five of the world’s peoples lives on less than one dollar a day while the five percent at the top of the pile enjoys some 85 percent of all the material good things. Bear in mind that in 1900 the Earth’s human population was 1,600,000; today it is 6,500,000 — the greatest population explosion of all time. Yet it’s the same finite Earth with the same finite resources. The environmental effects of this enormous explosion still seem to elude us. It’s essential to understand that it’s not entirely population expansion which is depleting resources and intensifying environmental pollution, but the very nature of the growth- and profit-orientated system itself. Thus “a baby born in the United States represents twice the disaster for Earth as one born in Sweden or the USSR, three times one born in Italy, 13 times one born in Brazil, 35 times one born in India, 140 times one born in Bangladesh or Kenya, and 200 times one in Chad, Rwanda, Haiti, or Nepal.” [15]

    In 1972 the Club of Rome surprised the world with its study, Limits to Growth, which concluded that:

    * If the population continued to grow as it had been doing [and as it has continued to do], society would run out of renewable resources by the year 2070, resulting in a massive die-off.
    * Even if the supply of resources was somehow doubled, a collapse would occur as a result of pollution.

    The report’s appraisal was the best that could be done at the time. Officialdom was not listening; seemingly had no intention of listening; may have been incapable of listening; while generally speaking the public had little idea of what was happening — a situation which shows little change. Two years earlier, in 1970, petroleum from US oil fields reached peak levels, since when it has slowly and irrevocably declined. Now global oil production has either reached its peak or will do so in the near future. Given that much of the world runs on energy provided by oil, this event can only have a catastrophic effect. When will officialdom realise that

    THERE ARE NO COMBINATIONS OF ENERGY SOURCES WITHIN SIGHT THAT WILL SUPPORT A SMALL FRACTION OF THE LIFE STYLE THAT THE WESTERN AND WESTERNISED WORLDS HAVE GROWN ACCUSTOMED TO

    We are already living in a grossly dysfunctional world whose New World Order has greatly diminished our social capital and led to the kind of global poverty described by Christopher Richards as “characterised by feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, shame, depression and despair as well as disillusionment and sometimes aggression and violence.”

    To try to sum up. At the heart of this worldwide crisis of vast and gross disparities lie two basic lethal flaws.

    * An all-powerful dysfunctional economic capitalist system of growth and free trade, to which above all other considerations the world’s power brokers are committed, has triggered enormous destruction through the wholesale promotion of consumption, materialism and waste and has promoted a strong desire for the same destructive life-styles in the developing world which it has already overwhelmingly degraded and exploited.
    * Earth’s varied and complex natural ecosystems, on which all life depends and on an understanding of which the whole human economy should be based, are treated as both limitless and, for the most part, free.

    Political solutions cannot humanise the faulty economics at the heart of our dilemma, for being inhuman they are unresponsive to reason.

    In Before It Is Too Late Aurelio Peccei and Daisaku Ikeda wrote:

    The time has come to make a thorough reappraisal of our present outlook and stance, even if it shakes to the very foundations our trust in the material revolutions and the concept we have built of progress, wealth, welfare and civilisation in this epoch. New guidelines for our thinking and action are indispensable if we are to march safely and serenely into the future. And essential among them is the consideration that no other problem can be properly approached, let alone solved, no economic or social development is possible, no plan can be realised and no heritage we wish to bequeath to our children can be effective, nothing can indeed be lasting until and unless we succeed in re-establishing peace and harmony with Nature. Together with that of human development, this is the basic imperative of our age and one of the foremost conclusions to be drawn from our reflections on the ascent of modern man to a position of exalted power and unparalleled responsibility on our small and vulnerable planet. All other considerations can only be ancillary. [16]

    That was written in 1984. What genuine improvements have we experienced?

    REFERENCES

    1. Dr John Peet. Future Times, Vol 2 2005. New Zealand Futures Trust.
    2. Lynn White. Science, March 1967.
    3. Noam Chomsky. Guardian Weekly, 24 May 1998.
    4. The War & Peace Digest, Vol 4, No 1, April/May 1996.
    5. New Internationalist, No 342, January/February 2002.
    6. Edward Abbey. The Fools Paradise, Henry Holt, New York, 1988.
    7. Gordon & David Suzuki. It’s a Matter of Survival, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1991.
    8. Jenny Wright. The New Economics of Sustainable Development. A paper presented to the Canadian Association for the Club of Rome, Ottawa, March 1992.
    9. United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Report 1998, Oxford University Press, 1998
    10. Juliet B Schor. The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, Basic Books, New York, 1991.
    11. UN Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. World Demographic Estimates and Projections, 1950-2025, United Nations, New York.
    12. Ibid.
    13. Vandana Shiva. Ecology and the Politics of Survival, United Nations University Press, New Delhi, Newbury Park, Sage Publications, 1991.
    14. Atlantic Monthly, February 1997.
    15. Paul and Anne Ehrlich. Too Many Rich Folk, Populi, March 1989.
    16. Aurelio Peccei and Daisaku Ikeda. Before It Is Too Late, Kodansha Europe, London, 1984.

  8. Bill 8

    “It is a legitimate question: what do growth and money give us? Obviously we need some level of wealth (to eat, have shelter etc at a bare minimum), and until we have that level we need to grow to it.”

    What exactly is this thing you are referring to as wealth that we require a level of in order to eat and have shelter etc? If shelter and food are resources, and being resource rich is a measure of wealth, then we do not need any growth to achieve those things that are already an integral part of our environment.

    But if wealth is a measure of our ability to accumulate things that flow from productive capacities (and remembering that production and consumption is necessarily predicated on denuding our resources), then growth becomes a predominantly negative phenomenon that should only be entertained after much sober reflection on whether the wealth created (production/ consumption) is worth the wealth lost (resource).

    Most productive and consumptive wealth is a have, insofar as it is a very poor big picture trade-off. But the control of those processes is socially important; control of growth and money are means and ends in a world dedicated to a scramble for power.

    The hospitals, the schools, the housing and food etc then, become an expression of social standing as determined by the amount of power attained, or the importance of your job/career to the maintenance of power structures.

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    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    2 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial 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... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    2 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    2 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours 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
    7 hours 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
    12 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    6 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago