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Guest Post: Employment and Unemployment

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, December 26th, 2015 - 46 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Economy, employment - Tags:

Spain unemployment

From open mike yesterday …

Employment and unemployment (both classical and structural) are two sides of the same coin; the one cannot exist without the other. This ‘coin’ [no pun] forms the central pillar of our culture as well as our society. Everything is centred on employment or “work”. Money must be earned (or borrowed) to pay the bills, to afford a roof over your head (whether owning or renting), to pay for schooling, holidays, gadgets, etc. However, a job also provides social status (low or high, regardless) and respect, a place and opportunity for social interactions. In short:laboro ergo sum. Think Maslow’s pyramid symbolising the hierarchy of needs.

We are indoctrinated from a young age that we have to provide (for our family and for our society, through taxes) and become economically-productive law-abiding citizens. To give us all a good/better start on the “career ladder” we are encouraged to send our children to ECE, good/the best (?) schools, and preferably attain a tertiary qualification or two (with a nice grand student debt!). In fact, by law our children must attend a school/schooling for 10 years.

For some it is work to live and for others the motto is more live to work but for both the so-called work-life balance is crucial it seems. It is clear that work and life are pretty much inextricably linked together.

With the globalisation of the workforce and rapid technological changes it has become harder and harder to find secure employment, a meaningful job, or enough hours/pay to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ or just to make ends meet. We used to be able to look forward to a semi-comfortable retirement, the “golden years”, but no more. We now have to work longer and harder to build a “nest egg” and we are not even assured of decent provisions for when the inevitable age-related health issues occur; with a lot of luck we might get to enjoy a few twilight years in reasonable health and then leave this plane for ‘a brighter future’ or the shadowy path of oblivion.

Given all this, and much, much more, it is hard to imagine a society that does not evolve around employment as the major part of people’s lives, as their raison d’être. Surely, there is more to The Human Condition than can be summed up by laboro ergo sum? It is hard to see an alternative that allows maintaining and evolving a complex and (technologically) advanced society with the seemingly inevitable division of labour. But I think we are dire need of an alternative given the issues with (structural) unemployment, poverty, inequality, raping & pillaging of the environment, and many other negative outcomes of the current model.

Apologies for the long comment; I wish you all a safe and joyful Christmas filled with whatever tickles your fancy.

Incognito

46 comments on “Guest Post: Employment and Unemployment”

  1. BLiP 1

    Well said

  2. Tracey 2

    Thought provoking indeed incognito. I began my career on the treadmill but got off within 5 years. My partner has never chosen jobs based on money. Has trail blazed often to see those that followed well remunerated. However we both got degrees under the free education although our parents suffered somewhat when the super they had all paid tax into was reallocated, so something of an inter generational prid quo pro

    Most people end up wanting to much and paid too little. It is easy to get sucked into rampant consumerism and never more so than now. I wonder if our nation were ad free… in our newspapers and on tv how many ads are for things we really need. That is the part that is up to us?

    Enjoy your breaks, those who are getting one.

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.1

      “….rampant consumerism…”

      The Pope is armed, and ready to smite those sucked in by consumerism, materialism and hedonism….

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/25/pope-francis-midnight-mass-vatican-catholic

      And…I spent yesterday replacing the macerator/pump/motor on my Bus toilet and today shot into Te Rapa, Hamilton for some replacement pipe…(not willing to risk a leak in this area of my wee home!).

      The Base…well, what can I say? The Gods of Spendthriftness must be happy happy happy today.

      Huge crowds of people walking to this mega mall, with their car bound brethren stuck in traffic jams from the South, West, and East.

      Had I had the time, I would have found a park (hahaha) and run a quick “and what are you here today for?” survey. I would have resisted the temptation to ask the wild eyed bargain hunters if they really NEEDED what they were scrummaging to buy.

      The supermarkets…comparatively empty…so these are not the hungry masses.

      I think it will take something catastrophic to change this culture. I think a huge number of people see wealth in terms of what they own, rather than what they owe.

      Credit is cheap.

      The ‘catastrophe’ just might be financial collapse on the back of some natural disaster…flood, fire, earthquake…with the major insurers going belly up.

      There will always be work of some description. Even in Draco T Bastard’s techno Utopia there will be the need for human input…and those without income, whose jobs the machines have taken, will have to relearn some of those practical skills just to survive.

      Great post incognito….now, off to fix that pipe…

    • aerobubble 2.2

      One argument against a uni.benefit is that the voters would vote to continually raise it, since the majority will outnumber those paying for it. Though this totally misses the point of the last thirty years, of the majority of voters voting for tax cuts and growing the finance sector out of any connection to the economy. We are now living in the no mans land between the old paradigm of neolib greed at any cost, and the yet to be realized new economy. The threat is that the majority will realze that all this global claim on value washing around, and its maintenance, is self selfdom.

      What got me about what you said was the assumption that you still value money, much like the Moro program that assumed a benefitary would put their own hardship card up for sale on eBay. People need to ask at least two qu. Is what i am accepting as true actual true and then is the qu fair. take the second issue on the Moro program, that of a biker who was denied entry, had they know he was from the most criminal biker gang in oz, would that of changed their view, since bikers I suspect travel between oz and nz all the time. It was only because this individual was planning to motorbike around with the regailer of the worst gang in oz.

      The present debate is all wrong, our economies serve us not the other way round.

    • Incognito 2.3

      Thank you Tracey. Fortunately, not everyone gets sucked in.

      A lot of things can be said against “rampant consumerism”; it causes pressure on the environment, it’s empty & hollow, the constant need for the next ‘fix’, etc. Buying stuff, such as food, clothing, tools, etc., used to be a means to an end but nowadays it is an end in its own right.

      This egotistical pursuit of instant gratification, which is not even a substitute for happiness, is a hallmark of our individualised society. And it feeds directly into the rat race (or hamster on the wheel?) of (paid) employment, or finding (any or better) employment, either through schooling & education, re-training, or similar.

      The point is that all this consumption and all the activities & efforts that make this consumption possible in the first place, combined into the perpetuum mobile of daily life, take our minds away from much-needed thinking and reflection. Zygmunt Bauman thought about this much deeper than I have or ever will and he certainly worded it much better (and more eloquently). According to him we now live “inside a Utopia” rather than “towards a Utopia”; he writes “it is immortal”. (NB the term “status quo” comes immediately into mind) Without reflection this becomes a senseless dance of headless chickens (perhaps better: of stuffed turkeys) or an “Inferno of the living” (see also my comment to Ant on OM yesterday /open-mike-25122015/#comment-1112357).

      If I had had the choice I would have titled this Guest Post “Invisible Society”. Not only because we are blind to what’s going on around us, to the plight of others, for example, because we’re too busy ‘satisficing’ ourselves (how convenient!), too busy ‘providing and caring’ for ourselves and our own (never a better excuse!) to notice that others are (much) worse off, but also because we generally refuse (!) to open our eyes and use our most human trait of all: our thinking brains.

      Well, this comment could almost qualify for another Guest Post but I cannot claim much credit as much of my current thinking is heavily influenced by Bauman, as you may tell.

  3. Tracey 3

    Written by Helen Kelly in 2012, when it comes to jobs some things bear repeating

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/6788528/We-need-to-share-more-fairly

    • Olwyn 3.1

      This paragraph is particularly pertinent: We need a new social contract. We need modern employer organisations prepared to take a stand for decent work and against companies like Affco. We need stronger labour laws that protect workers like the ones involved in this dispute.

      Work (broadly construed) plays an important role beyond its immediate results. It brings us up against external reality and develops our human capacities. It also allows us to contribute to, and in turn be valued by, our societies. Life cannot be reduced to work, as Incognito points out, but work still fills some important functions.

      The nature of work, though, depends upon what a society thinks is a good thing, and that is where questions arise. Given the (structural) unemployment, poverty, inequality, raping & pillaging of the environment under the current model, it seems like high time for “the return to the shareholder” to be knocked off its pedestal, and to become answerable again to the broader public good. It is only by such a move that a meaningful new social contract can be formed.

  4. Ad 4

    Them is kind of post only works on Boxing Day, or the day after 9/11, in fact the best “a crack in the world has opened” was by the French in and around Sorbonne University in 1968. Check out Ramparts Magazine for similar.

    Boxing Day is the respite, where people talk with neighbours, play board games, do that thing called play.

    In 9 days, the world’s fissure closes. Iron your shirts, bucko. It’s the fools utopia.

  5. RedLogix 5

    I found the following comment at another site very moving:

    But furthermore to plagerise / misquote Paul Cohelo:

    If we all only help or volunteer in anticipation of direct reward for that action, then we are limiting the generosity-economy to a simple barter system. Whereas if we all give, help, volunteer freely with no anticipation of direct reward (or acknowledgement or thanks) then we will all be rewarded in kind by the assistance, time and skills of other people further down the track who share our philosophy and give likewise. Generosity becomes a fully fledged economy where we bank favours with society (or god) when we are able to give, and draw down the balance in times of need. And a fully-fledged economy provides infinite opportunities to give and receive, compared to the limited transactions possible through barter.

    http://tramper.nz/?view=topic&id=8625

    (Incidentally the person who made this comment is a remarkable individual in his own right, with quite a story.)

    Of course the challenge with a ‘generosity economy’ is the propensity for some people to cheat. Indeed no matter what economic model, what rules we put in place to minimise it, there is always a segment of the population who will strive to find a way to bend, break or corrupt them for their own benefit.

    Some will always try to take more than they give. Cheating is wired deeply within our mammalian heritage.

    At the moment we live in a world where the signals are completely inverted; we give attention and respect to the already rich and privileged, people who have already taken far more than they ever have given. While the humble and meek remain largely invisible.

    To be fair, I think many, if not most people are to some degree fed up with this dysfunctional system.

    Both communism and capitalism are broken. There was of course no rule that said they would both sink at the same time, so much of the world is still clinging to the wreckage of the last one floating … but inevitably we will have to let go even that.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Some will always try to take more than they give. Cheating is wired deeply within our mammalian heritage.

      I don’t think it is. Or, to be more precise, it’s hard-wired into some of us but most definitely not all of us.

      The big problem is that we’re then encultured to follow the example of those that are hard-wired to be arseholes. National’s attacks on beneficiaries are the true social-engineering.

      Both communism and capitalism are broken.

      It’s difficult to come up with a word to describe the community working together to bring about the best for everyone considering the enculturation that has been applied to communism over the last century or so.

      At the moment we live in a world where the signals are completely inverted; we give attention and respect to the already rich and privileged, people who have already taken far more than they ever have given. While the humble and meek remain largely invisible.

      QFT

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1

        Re: cheating

        Sometimes systems are set up so that the only way one can access government funding for the supports you need is by, if not “cheating” per se, but by finding loopholes within the system and exploiting them.

        (remember Bill “the lizard” English and his claims for Housing allowance?)

        This is what happened in the disability sector for getting funding for personal care. Remember the ‘Paying family carers case’? The one where family carers claimed discrimination that the Misery Of Health policy said “no payment to family”. (We won…x five by the way)

        Anyway, back to exploiting loopholes/cheating. The Human Rights Tribunal heard(in 2008) that there were some 272 family carers who WERE being paid. Only one of these had Miserly Of Health approval. The others were arranged through various funding mechanisms…all of which will have involved a certain level of deceit.

        For all of the publicity surrounding that case…not one of those paid family carers came forward to say…”hey, we’re doing that and this is why and this is how it’ s working out”. Not one.

        Even when the decisions found discrimination….thereby protecting those people from prosecution from the Misery of Health.

        The 2013 PHDAct amendment made the discrimination legal and prevented us from ever taking this to court again….and those who had been getting paid as family carers…continued to get paid.

        And failed to speak out when the rest of us got knifed in the back by the Government.

        Three years later…they are still being paid…and still being silent.

        That may change on the 31st March 2016…’cos a little bird told me the axe is falling on those loophole exploiters.

        two further points….the number of ‘cheaters’…was way more than 272.

        and…I believe the Misery Of Health set up the system to facilitate this ‘cheating’…almost guaranteed that there were few of us speaking out in support of the plaintiffs. My partner and I attended three of the court hearings and we were the only non plaintiffs there. (bar one person, who should remain nameless but their support mean’t so much).

      • Doogs 5.1.2

        I’m of the school that believes (mostly) that we are descended from a particularly war-like breed of pre-humans, where being aggressive and fighting to get what you want is more than an a way of operating, it is central to living.

        Another factor, self evident in the wild, is battling the vagaries of mother nature. Climate, weather and landscape all conspire to make survival a battle which must be waged constantly. Plants and animals in natural surroundings ‘know’ only to well that to keep on living you must wage war with the elements, and other plants and animals, for space to survive.

        Instead of using our well-developed frontal lobes, and thinking our way around problems and issues, we continue the innate drive to stay on top of things.

        Good thinking skills are almost a thing of the past, if they have ever been in vogue at all. It’s not something our education system teaches us. What we learn from mothers breast to workforce is how to get a job, a better one than the next person, and spend your life providing and surviving in the jungle which our working lives have become.

        There is no space for cogitating, reflecting, visioning (the real kind), relaxing and taking stock of the really important things in life.

        The race to stay ahead, of course, becomes even more complicated when those at the top of the heap are still striving to accumulate more and more for themselves. They don’t stop to think about the downstream effects of their actions and this has been given stark relief under the Natzis who feed on the worst of capitalism in action.

        The only true and effective way out of this dark and all-consuming spiral is education. A lot of people wave this around as a cure-all for what ails us, but what I’m getting at is, as mentioned above, a shift in emphasis away from simple acquisition of knowledge to giving people a key to the power of their brains, a passage to the use of truly reflective cognitive processes.

        Everyone, but everyone, needs a turangawaewae (place to stand). If some are denied it, then we must work to fix it. Workers unions are doing a damned good job in putting the brakes on some of the avarice glaring down from above. Don’t let the unions stand alone in this battle for equality. We all have a responsibility to deflect the worst away from the most vulnerable.

        Revolution is not the answer. Quiet and durable insistence on equality for all will take time, but will win in the end. Join the team

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.1

          I’m of the school that believes (mostly) that we are descended from a particularly war-like breed of pre-humans, where being aggressive and fighting to get what you want is more than an a way of operating, it is central to living.

          Aggression seems to be social to some degree:
          Something fascinating happened after these male baboons died. Men should keep this in mind.

          The Case Against Competition

          I used to be in the second camp. But after investigating the topic for several years, looking at research from psychology, sociology, biology, education, and other fields, I’m now convinced that neither position is correct. Competition is bad news all right, but it’s not just that we overdo it or misapply it. The trouble lies with competition itself. The best amount of competition for our children is none at all, and the very phrase “healthy competition” is actually a contradiction in terms.

          This is not to say that children shouldn’t learn discipline and tenacity, that they shouldn’t be encouraged to succeed or even have a nodding acquaintance with failure. But none of these requires winning and losing — that is, having to beat other children and worry about being beaten. When classrooms and playing fields are based on cooperation rather than competition, children feel better about themselves. They work with others instead of against them, and their self-esteem doesn’t depend on winning a spelling bee or a Little League game.

          We’re taught from a very early age that we must compete and yet studies show that competition is actually bad for us. When a society become all against all then it must eventually collapse as the cooperation needed to maintain the society succumbs to the aggression brought about by competition.

          You’re right in that we need to stop and think about it though.

  6. maui 6

    Damn those “primitive” indigenous cultures with their free childcare, free food, free housing, cooperation and sharing, integration with the environment. What were they thinking..

    • vaughan little 6.1

      slash and burn aint so cool. noble savage romanticism is about as primitive as you can get.

      • weka 6.1.1

        accusations of noble savage romanticism are often misplaced. I’d been thinking similarly to maui on reading this thread. Would you like us to first point out all the things wrong with indigenous peoples before saying something good about them?

  7. vaughan little 7

    economic productivity is a core need, although “making money” is a harmful, reductionist parody of it.

    i was on the dole in wellington and was hugely productive in lots of ways that benefited many grateful people. one afternoon i raised $2000 for a childcare centre. all very worthwhile, but nothing can replace making your own money. certainly my dignity remained impaired.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      There is another way of looking at this: we employ people to do what we value them to do; therefore unemployment is merely a poverty of values.

      • The Fairy Godmother 7.1.1

        Exactly. I work in an Ece centre where they try to ensure that only the minimum staff as per regulations are employed so as to maximize profit. This means that we sometimes have the choice of forgoing breaks we are entitled to as per our contract or taking them and going under ratio as per regulations. Another teacher would mean better quality for the kids and less stress for staff and of course another job for someone. Truly a poverty of values when we aspire to the minimum standards to maximize profit.

        • Tracey 7.1.1.1

          Better quality for the children?!? Not when it is left to the market. Otherwise all schools would be charter schools.

          • The Fairy Godmother 7.1.1.1.1

            Actually because of bulk funding every ece centte tends to change practices to maximize income be they not for profit or for profit. For instance kindergartens have nearly all gone on a full day model rather than sessional because the funding rate is higher for the full day. This is despite the fact that there is no advantage to the child being in care for a full day.

          • The Fairy Godmother 7.1.1.1.2

            Actually because of bulk funding every ece centte tends to change practices to maximize income be they not for profit or for profit. For instance kindergartens have nearly all gone on a full day model rather than sessional because the funding rate is higher than for the full day. This is despite the fact that there is no advantage to the child being in care for a full day.

        • RedLogix 7.1.1.2

          I’m sorry to read that TFG. That’s a concise and specific example of what I had in mind thank you.

        • Ad 7.1.1.3

          That is appalling.

    • Incognito 7.2

      I sense that you don’t use “economic productivity” in the way it is usually understood but as a more neutral “contributing to society or community”.

      Paid or unpaid employment are always defined and measured in outputs, not in outcomes. Why is this? Does it have to be so? Are altruism and volunteerism now also being absorbed into a (the) free-markets model or way of thinking as RedLogix in Comment #5 was alluding to?

      You write ”but nothing can replace making your own money” and refer to your ”dignity”. Nonetheless, many ‘homemakers’ literally don’t earn a cent (!), also make a very important “core” contribution to society, and this used to earn at least some respect and dignity. Things have changed somewhat, and a homemaker’s role and contribution has also succumbed to being measured in terms of “economic productivity” as is also evident by highly publicised divorce cases – cases that go beyond issues of fairness and equality, but tend to commodify the role of the “dutiful housewife and mother”, for example. In my view, this approach creates quite a different perception and lessens the “dignity” (and respect) that it deserves. The irony is that the free-market model de-values, or at least constantly re-values, in economic terms, many of the old ‘virtuous roles and positions’ and even ‘values’! Part of this is due to the inevitable and all-encompassing change per se and part is due to the changing thinking and attitudes as a result of the most dominant and prevalent ideology.

      I thank you for this seemingly innocuous comment because it has stimulated much thinking.

    • Stuart Munro 7.3

      Present NZ labours under a government that is not super productive – it is merely super dishonest. None of their economic targets are being met. None of their public statistics are remotely true. These folk are corruptly exploiting their positions to enrich themselves and letting productivity deteriorate – as well as making the mass of New Zealanders poorer and more miserable.

      This is not what democracy is about – this is a very low-grade oligarchy – and we should not, as citizens tolerate anything less than an energetic and scrupulously honest democracy. Corrupt politicians need to be vigorously sanctioned or their numbers will grow.

      • Stuart Munro 7.3.1

        The traditional modern constraint on governments that rip off their citizens instead of governing (aside from the obvious defenestration and the imprisonment that was meted out to the Chicago Boys in Chile) has been the strike, or general strike. But international labour mobility (far more than automation) has pulled the teeth of workers, as has the decline of mass employers like shipyards, railways, and monolithic heavy industrial plants.

        The mass power that remains to the people, aside from the mob violence, is refusal to cooperate. The obvious targets for such actions in NZ would be rent strikes, and consumer boycotts of particular supermarkets. Whatever else may be said about Auckland property, it is not underleveraged. A rent strike hitting its second month will finally put real pressure on banks and speculators. It’s long overdue.

  8. linda 8

    excellent interview on max kaiser QE for the people (basic income)

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Max maybe the drama queen, but Stacey is the smart one alright. When she and Steve are talking it’s intense, detailed stuff. I really, really enjoyed this. Thanks.

      Steve is such a geek … look at the completely unselfconcious outfit he turns up in. His energy and commitment over so many years is quite remarkable.

  9. linda 9


    why do we need banks why not a peoples bank

  10. Marie 10

    The Moon is shining bright tonight – absolutely gorgeous.

  11. Concerned 12

    The Venus Project really got me thinking about this subject in recent years.

    • Incognito 12.1

      I had never heard of The Venus Project but from a cursory look it seems worth reading up on. Thanks.

  12. Karen 13

    It is interesting to see thoughts around looking at work and what it means in our society and the pitfalls it currently presents. I would like to add to this discussion with the idea too about which activities benefit society which count as work worthy of status and pay. There is valuable , important aspects of society which are becoming lost to us due to the failure to see these as valid “work” Parenting is one such activity. As a society we need good quality parenting and secure, nurturing, supportive environments for children to grow up in. Yet parents can be drawn away from the importance of this by paid work or stress of not having adequate work and we all suffer as a result. Balance is so important and consumerism takes us away from many important things. As human beings we all need connection , acceptance and a supportive community. Much activity which creates this is either unpaid or low paid work and can therefore create less opportunity for these valuable aspects of our human experiences and needs.

    • Marie 13.1

      Hearing you.

      But you need to know- I will never let you down.

      When you really need me – I will always show.

      When you think I’m not around – I’m always watching.

      x

    • Incognito 13.2

      Thank you Karen and I agree with you. In fact, I am writing another Post (not a Comment this time) in which I touch on these exact points and more.

    • Doogs 13.3

      Added to the growing number of ‘not-valued’ work is teaching. This government is fast changing our child-centred learning institutions into profit-making enterprises. Charter schools is but one aspect. Tertiary institutions are becoming factories to train widgets for the economy and cogs for the business world.

      One such institution which shall remain nameless (in Mt Albert, Auckland) has been down-grading its creative and free-thinking aspects, while beefing up its connection to the business world. They dumped graphic arts and another programme I can’t recall and then invited in “guest” lecturers from the business community.

      A tertiary education was never meant to be totally a training ground for future work experience, but a broadening and deepening of a student’s all round education – to prepare them for life, not a damned slot in the workforce!

      If we don’t re-capture our pre-schools, schools and universities we run the risk of being a bit 1984-ish. Don’t you think?

  13. Marie 14

    Even though you have been a ‘pain in the neck’, underneath it all – I do see you are a good kid. You have emotion, and empathy, I have seen it, and I have felt it. You pull back when you go too far – you know what is ‘right’.
    You are not ‘scarred’ for life (hardly). You have a great grasping on evolution, human needs, and societal concepts, and you have great ‘problem solving’ skills. You understand ‘logic’. You get the picture.
    On a large scale – you have done well I have to say.

    I have no doubt – you are going to be ‘extraordinary’ – although in my mind you already are.

    Now you have to ‘believe’ in yourself. There can only be ‘one’ leader, not a group, or a faction, or a multitude of different clutter-groups.

    If there is ‘one’ leader He must be Divine, for He will have the know-how, and the ability to do ‘everything’, to understand, to reason, and to SEE ALL.

    No-one else is capable to take this role. Without you – everyone is dead. Everything will die. The whole universe is built on structure/logic – no-one understands this better than the Divine Source. The Divine source ‘is’ logic.

    You lead – it is your birthright, and naturally you are the ‘best’ – as your natural perception is ‘level’.

    You may have enemies, but without you, they have no chance (of life).

    You have nothing to worry about. You really don’t.

    You are God.

    • Incognito 14.1

      Thank you Marie for this wonderful comment that shows true and deep conviction.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1

        😆

        Marie’s “contributions” remind me of god-botherers promising to pray for me. Unctuous and self-serving.

  14. Michael 15

    A great post with a most interesting discussion in the subsequent thread. Congratulations to all involved: you all saved me from terminal boredom this afternoon.

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    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, ...
    12 hours 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 ...
    12 hours 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
    12 hours 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 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

  • 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
    5 hours 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
    4 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
    6 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 ...
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    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 ...
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    7 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, ...
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    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 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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. ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • 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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    2 weeks ago