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Hello National, bye bye breaks …

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, September 28th, 2014 - 52 comments
Categories: national, same old national, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Yet another election, yet another National victory. Despite all the scandalous allegations (some proven) levelled at the incumbent, the King of Teflon reigns yet again. John Key must be secretly grateful to the big gabbling marshmallow from Germany for poisoning the left and for taking a fair bit of oxygen out of seemingly robust, progressive, independently costed and cogent policies. According to the “unbiased” media, Labour appears to be stuck in squabbling mode yet again. In saying that, the moves made by Cunliffe on election night to rally the wider party membership to endorse his leadership does himself no favours as it reeks of self-importance. A concerned leader will be more focussed about addressing the issues in the wider labour movement or what is left of it?

I digress, this article is not about Labour’s naval gazing exercise.

Now that the dust is settled, certainly amongst the Nats, it is now back to the business of passing legislation. An academic acquaintance mentioned in passing about the revisiting of a bill that was put on hold before the elections and now would be revisited again when the house sits in October.

Judging by the recent statements put forward from the caretaker government about not rocking the boat; and continuing with their raft of legislative amendments in the past six years to make New Zealand a “fairer” and “happier” working place, one of the bills that will most likely see early light of day could be the Employment Relations Amendment Bill.

There are a raft of changes that will mostly be implemented in its current form seeing the caretaker government has a majority. A significant number of them is a cause for concern for employees and I will attempt to discuss them at a later post. For now, I would like to primarily comment on two aspects of the bill – Flexible working arrangements and Rest and meal breaks.

Flexible work arrangements

I’m all for work life balance and the import of flexible work arrangements appears to be a step in the right direction and would be very appealing to a cohort of would be part time workers/part time workers, especially mums returning to the workforce after starting a family where flexibility is key to running a young and often discombobulated household; or employees who choose to go part time as they wish to engage with other aspects of the community through volunteering, etc.

Flexible working arrangements

Clauses 20 to 27 would extend the right to request flexible working arrangements to all employees, not just those with caring responsibilities as is currently the case. The bill would remove the current limits on the number or timing of such requests, and would shorten the period in which an employer must respond to a request. We support the proposed changes as a means of promoting the benefits of flexible working arrangements, which we believe are of value for both employers and employees, allowing productivity gains and a better work-life balance.

For consistency, since an employee’s request must be given in writing, we recommend amending clause 24, new section 69AAE, to require an employer’s response also to be given in writing. If the request was refused, the employer would also be required to state and explain the reason for the refusal.

The above, in my view – is a case of where less is more in terms of prescription. I believe it is really beneficial to employees who want to and need to set other priorities in their lives apart from being married to their job. We all have different drivers and a one size fits all prescription is not necessarily the way to go.

Rest and meal breaks

However, there is a rather onerous provision in place that needs to be discussed. This provision deals with the relaxation of prescribed breaks, in particular the provisions that relate to meal and rest breaks.

The explanatory notes in the bill states,

rest break and meal break provisions, to reduce prescription and allow for flexibility, including compensatory measures where there is a failure to provide a break

On the face of it, this does not seem to be an overtly onerous provision as it allows for less prescription and we all like to have less rigidity in our lives right?

The commentary section of the bill provides a little more insight into the machinations of this seemingly harmless amendment. (authors underlines)

Rest and meal breaks

Clauses 43 to 46 of the bill would change the existing rules for employees’ entitlements to rest and meal breaks. The aim is to move from a prescriptive to a more flexible approach, encouraging employers and employees to negotiate in good faith about workable arrangements as to how and when breaks should be taken. The changes proposed would require an employer to provide reasonable compensatory measures where an employee could not reasonably be provided with breaks.

We are aware of considerable concern about these provisions, particularly about the possible impact on employees’ health and safety if breaks are restricted. We have considered these issues carefully. The majority of us consider two points to be particularly relevant. First, the bill would not override any requirements under other legislation. For example, specific regulations governing hours of work for drivers of passenger transport services, and—importantly—the general duty imposed on employers under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, would be unaffected by the provisions in question. Section 6 of that Act imposes a general duty on employers to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees at work, including providing and maintaining a safe work environment.

An employer’s responsibility under that Act for controlling hazards extends to any person’s behaviour resulting from physical or mental fatigue that might be an actual or potential source of harm to themselves or others. Providing breaks, or varying the nature or intensity of work, would remain obvious ways for an employer to address such hazards, regardless of the changes proposed in the bill.

A second important consideration is the reasonableness test in these clauses. Clause 44, new section 69ZD(2), specifies that any restriction of rest or meal breaks must be reasonable and necessary, having regard to the nature of the employee’s work. If breaks were not provided, a reasonable compensatory measure must be provided (new section 69ZEB).

The majority of us consider that these factors would ensure that the bill met the policy intent of improving workplace flexibility, while continuing to protect the rights of employees. Accordingly, we are not recommending any amendment of these provisions.”

Apart from the status quo remaining for employees who operate heavy machinery, the changes though small are significant. Let’s dissect these paragraphs into its component parts and do a vis-à-vis with what is currently stipulated in the current Employment Relations Act 2000.

Clause 43 of the Bill replaces Section 69ZC of the Act

The main difference is the introduction of the term compensatory measure which allows the employee to be compensated when breaks have not been given for any work period. The compensation is time based only and on the face of it would allow for accrual of missed breaks that can be taken at a later date/time.

Clause 44 of the Bill replaces Section 69ZD and 69ZE of the Act

Entitlement to rest and meal breaks

The current provision requires employers to provide to employees break and meal times which for a typical eight hour work day is two 10 minute paid breaks and 30 minutes unpaid meal time.

The new provision begins by stating employees are entitled to rest and meal breaks but then goes on to state that such breaks may be subject to restrictions by the employer as long as the test of reasonableness has been met.

Timing as to when an employer provides rest and meal breaks

The current provision states that in a typical eight hour work day, there needs to be a minimum of a 30 minute meal break halfway through the work period; and a 10 minute rest break halfway between the start of the work period and the meal break; and after the meal break till the time the work period concludes.

The new provision does away with any prescribed timing for the rest and meal breaks. It is also silent on the duration of a paid break or an unpaid meal break and states it is up to the employer and employee to negotiate such outcomes in good faith.

Clause 45 of the Bill replaces Section 69ZF of the Act

The current provision allows for the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) to impose penalties on the employer should the ERA rule that the employer has failed to discharge their obligations under the Act, by not providing an employee their rest and meal breaks.

The new provision does away with this avenue for the ERA to impose penalties whatsoever if such breaches occur.

Clause 46 of the Bill replaces 69ZG and 69ZH of the Act

The current provision allows for the employer to provide additional or enhanced rest or meal breaks above the minimum legal requirement and overrides any attempts by the employer to include provisions in the contract to provide rest or meal breaks below the bare minimum legal requirement; and should the latter occur, it will not result in the contract being declared null and void.

The new provision also allows for the employer to provide additional or enhanced rest or meal breaks but there is no prescribed minimum legal requirement in this instance. It merely restates the fact that the employer must provide some form of a rest or meal break and if unable to, must provide some form of compensatory measure.

In summary, the rest and meal break changes when viewed in its entirety, basically strips away the basic legal protections for employees as far as rest and meal breaks are concerned. The lack of prescription does create an unwanted degree of haziness as it will be entirely up to the employer’s discretion as to how and when these rest or meal breaks occur with no minimum legal requirement stipulated.

Rest and meal breaks have been reduced to some sort of abstract and arbitrary animal where one’s entitlement to such basic necessities are founded on the test for reasonableness and one’s own ability to negotiate for good outcomes.

The part of the bill that does away with the ERA’s ability to impose penalties on employers who fail to discharge their obligations under the current Act is particularly worrying and disingenuous at best. It is a strong signal for unscrupulous employers to do what they want with rest and meal breaks with no impunity.

What does this mean for employees?

In my opinion, well-educated employees in relatively senior white collar positions stand to lose the least with these raft of changes as they will likely be in a position of strength to bargain for additional or enhanced rest or meal breaks. This may be due to having the wherewithal to negotiate for better outcomes because they are better equipped and more cognisant of their rights; and they possess “sort-after-skills” to leverage of. Having said that, there will in time be a likelihood of mission creep and this could manifest itself in trading away or compromising remuneration negotiations as the enhanced or additional rest or meal breaks can be used as a bargaining tool for employers to under pay.

The employees who are most likely to be significantly impacted by these raft of changes, including the other provisions to knee cap collective bargaining, will be (you guessed it!) – the low paid and casualised workforce. The less skilled, unskilled and casualised workforce have minimal ability to negotiate for better terms and conditions as it currently stands and these changes merely seek to destabilise and erode those rights further. These employees will be at the whim of unscrupulous employers who will only be required by law to provide some semblance of a meal or rest break as there will no longer be a basic prescribed legal requirement in terms of timing and duration. Even in cases where breaches occur, the employment relations authority will no longer be able to impose penalties upon the offending employer.

There are other aspects of the bill I would like to comment on in more detail as time permits but when viewed collectively, most of these changes effectively puts the boot in employees and is clearly targeted at those employees who are most vulnerable – eg hospitality, retail, cleaning, aged care sectors.

This bill reinforces the Nat’s slow and steady but effective chipping away of employee’s rights and will really resonate with its core constituency – “Business as usual” indeed!

JAmooches

52 comments on “Hello National, bye bye breaks …”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    Perhaps a video of a slave galley rowing furiously across the water, with the national party flag flying and a droll commentary.

    [lprent: Ummm. ]

  2. Evan Barlow 2

    This is bollocks. It’s ridiculous that any of these things are governed by legislation. I’ve never had a standard 8 hour work day, and I’ve never had organised breaks and meal times. I have always been able to take whatever breaks i need, and eat my meals when it suits me. Get the government completely out of running my day

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      You can give back the free education we wasted on you while you’re at it.

      I agree that it’s ridiculous that some employers treat their workforce like shit and have utterly unreasonable expectations. That’s why we had to legislate. If you must whinge and whine about it why don’t you direct your ire where the problem is?

      • Coffee Connoissuer 2.1.1

        You mean that free education that is pretty much mandatory. Take out English and the social skills learnt at lunchtime and the rest really has bugger all use once you get out into the real world. Free education or indoctrination into a seriously flawed system. I’m not sure which is the more fitting description although I lean towards the latter.
        perhaps I am being a little harsh though. I did enjoy sports, 4 square and the school camps too.

        Of course the stuff you really want to learn is the stuff you have to pay for and doesn’t start until you leave school. That said in the information age it could all be provided for free (with a little work) on the internet.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1

          Your limited experience has offered you limited insight.

          I doubt there are any for whom every lesson is relevant, just as every lesson is relevant to some.

          PS: you are confused. The indoctrination centres are called Madrassa in some countries, in New Zealand we refer to them as Charter Schools.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2

      The management class has been able to run their own work day. NZ Judges have aborted trails when it clashed with their travel plans

      How would that work out if you were running a retail shop or most workplaces that have a clock punch system

      better question, do you have any idea of how the real world works, other than head space that says Im the most important person in the world.

      • JeffRo 2.2.1

        My wife works retail. They don’t take standard breaks, they have theirs during the less busy times, so not to leave reduced staff when they are flat out.

        This is how us in the working world work. By getting the job done.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1

          😆 You’re a laughing stock and you don’t even know it, little serf. Pull the wagon harder, donkey 😆

          Oh, by the way, this is coming from someone who works in the private sector, only we (my colleagues & I) work smart, and ridicule the fifty hour week fools.

          Cheers 😆

          • joe90 2.2.1.1.1

            The old man always reckoned if you can’t earn a living in forty hours you’re deluded if you think you’ll be able to earn one working fifty hours.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.1.1

              The old man was right. Four waged slaves working fifty hours each steal one whole job from another worker.

              • joe90

                As a child of the great depression he was always right about work, leisure – work five days for money and one day for your family keeping the other as your very own, and money – four for your family and one [days wages] for yourself.

    • Galeandra 2.3

      I have always been able to take whatever breaks i need, and eat my meals when it suits me….

      Of course, it’s all about narcissists like you, innit? Stick to truck driving.

      • JeffRo 2.3.1

        Even gives an opinion and you go straight to attacking him personally.

        Maybe get a job, it will enhance you with perspective.

        [lprent: Her comment was valid, sarcastic, picked a profession where the practice does happen, and well within the robust rule.

        Your comment was not. It was a classic troll comment. Play the victim and then abuse the person you are replying to. With overtones about how others should act (which is our purview).

        Banned 2 weeks as a warning not to try troll tactics here ]

      • Yoyo 2.3.2

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism

        Feel this is not evident in his post and therefore it might be a bit mean to call him that.

    • Naki man 2.4

      Evan I also work a 12 hour day for one of the largest companies in NZ, I take my breaks when I get time or when it suits me, for as long as I like. I may at times work up to 5 hours without a break but to compensate me I am paid for all of my meal breaks.
      I cant see anything wrong with these flexible rules. Lefties are a paranoid bunch who want to live in the 70’s.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.4.1

        😆

        Righties are a delusional bunch who want to live the the 19th Century. Your whole life has been enabled by the rights you blindly seek to destroy. I’ll be waiting behind the barn with the axe when you wake up.

        • Coffee Connoissuer 2.4.1.1

          Many of us who are neither Right nor Left just simply want to be able to live free. Truly free.

      • dv 2.4.2

        Key words
        ‘ I get time or when it suits me, for as long as I like

        You have the option.
        Will all get that option?

      • lprent 2.4.3

        The rules aren’t there for good employers. They are there for bad employers to express a minimum standard. You don’t have to look hard to find lousy employers.

        I tend not to have lousy employers for very long. Firstly I try not to get employed by them. But I fire them them when I find I have made a mistake. But I also have a lot of hard to find skills.

        • adam 2.4.3.1

          You better get paid well for that skill set Iprent or I’ll slap you.

          And yes, our labour laws have always been about the bad employers and every time we weaken them , we seem to get more bad employers. It’s like some bad Dickens nightmare played over and over.

      • Skinny 2.4.4

        You can thank the Dairy Workers Union for your excellent terms and conditions. Now that the arse has fallen out the milk powder market your lot are going to have to earn your membership by getting proactive and standing up to the attack by the Tories.

    • Murray Olsen 2.5

      It’s ridiculous that so many of our employers need minimum employment standards to be enforced by legislation. If you don’t want the government in your day, bugger off to Galt’s Gulch in Chile. That worked out really well as a libertarian paradise.

    • DS 2.6

      So I take it you work Christmas Day and Easter Sunday then?

  3. halfcrown 3

    I can feel a series of bumper stickers coming on. the first being

    LOST YOUR SMOKO? Don’t blame me I didnt vote National.

  4. JeffRo 4

    This is just really confirming, what most workplaces do.
    We, in the dairy industry have always organised breaks around keeping our machines running.
    Is no reason to freak out.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      Why do they need to change the laws ?

      Seems like flexibility is there all ready.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      Meanwhile, in New Zealand…

      My boss keeps demanding I work through my break. I do hard labour on a lathe with really heavy steel, 4130QT forgings from aussie weighing probably 40kg each, and I can’t even get a rest after two hours of tool changes on a massive industrial lathe older than I am, with truck sized tool post nuts I have to use a bar on to undo. I am knackered after each day and I can’t even keep above my mortgage and rates…

      When my boss comes in gloating on Monday and demands I work through smoko how am I going to ignore my anger and reaction to smash him in and quit. I’ll lose the house everything. I’m bloody devastated. What you don’t do is give bullies encouragement and that’s exactly what the country just did if I’m that out of whack with reality of politics in NZ. I’m nearly 50 I’ve never seen the like of these reforms in all my days.

      Richard, comment on The Standard

      21st Sept 2014.

      JeffRo, this may come as a shock: everyone’s circumstances are different to yours: when you indulge your stupidity and rest an argument on the basis of nothing but your limited experience, you say something about yourself, and nothing valid or cogent whatsoever.

      • JeffRo 4.2.1

        No it’s not me.
        All stated here is opinion, as is mine.
        Difference between you and me is, I can accept someone may have a different opinion to me. I will just restate mine or try to enhance.
        You there, don’t really handle that well.
        But that’s OK.

        PS- I have worked in lots of different fields of industry.

        [lprent: That other people may have an opinion that is different from yours has not been apparent to me. You usually seem to drop immediately to abuse, and then whine when others call you on it. Just another dumb hypocritical troll. Guess what. The moderators make the rules about behavior. Not you. ]

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.1

          When did you get the impression that you have a right to hold false beliefs and not incur ridicule for them?

          You’ll find that parroting right wing lies brings out hostility in far more than I, and at least I’ll use ridicule rather than pitchforks.

          • Yoyo 4.2.1.1.1

            Debating doesn’t require ridicule. You can correct someone for false beliefs and not be nasty. It really is possible! In addition, sometimes there is grey where you may be certain the belief is false but others disagree with you. Therefore, debate is generally one of the best ways of dealing with false beliefs.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes, I wish it were so. In reality, contradictory facts harden false beliefs. Research aimed at treating racism, for example, has found emotional approaches far more effective than factual ones.

              The tendency for right wingers to be drawn from the ranks of the fearful, lower-IQ portion of the electorate (citations: Hodson & Busseri, Kanai et al) renders fact-based argument more-or-less pointless.

              Aristotle figured it out long before the evidence was available: ridicule works. I’ll allow that I may be incompetent in its application, and at least I’m trying.

  5. Richard 5

    The section you write about meal and rest breaks already happens in my work place. You never see our boss, Except for 5 minutes before each break where he holds you up as long as he can. Then he often stands there telling you to make another cut on the lathe or some other needless thing uses all my smoko and I don’t get one. He does not compensate me for my loss of break saying he already pays me for it.

    He lists my holidays on my pay slip in a monerary manner so I have no idea how many days holidays I get, Quite frankly this cock is pissed he has to pay a wage in the first place, I’ve had to walk out on him to get a freaking decent wage rise.

    I agree most places are not like this, but heck I definitely will lose smoke and as he already pays me for it I may as well work it instead mentality.

    Don’t tell me to look for another job either, their are none in this small town in nowhere NZ. Got me by the balls and he knows it. He pushed me so far I walked out twice, still comes back though, at least last time I got a 2.25 pay rise which shut my moaning up for awhile still 16.75 for a engineering co is pretty sad, when two up the road are paying 23.50 but lay off to often on the downturn. Fark 16.75 tough to do that when your getting burned and cut daily. Living wage ,pray for a living wage. pray the prick doesn’t take the labour reforms to seriously It’ll be embarrassing for him the day he tells us all no more morning or afternoon smoko.

    At the end of the day we are all human and can only be pushed so far, we may not have unions anymore but individually we will still cause workforce pandemonium with mass quits happening.

    • infused 5.1

      “Don’t tell me to look for another job either, their are none in this small town in nowhere NZ”

      ..

      “still 16.75 for a engineering co is pretty sad, when two up the road are paying 23.50 ”

      Ok…

    • blue leopard 5.2

      That sounds awful, Richard, I’m sorry to hear you have a boss with such an awful attitude toward his workers.

      Sadly, this doesn’t sound terribly unfamiliar. 🙁

      It is great when bosses and employees realize that mutual respect is absolutely vital for good working conditions and that many other positive things accrue from such – not least on that list is a happy and contented work environment.

      • Richard 5.2.1

        Blue, I’ve had a few jobs in my life, never seen a boss like him. ever. He leaves my jaw gob smacked at times.

        The most valuable thing we each have is time, and he steals mine daily.

        I’m pretty reasonable in the work place, at one company I never had any breaks and could eat on the fly, didn’t bother me. Doing heavy work I want and need a break after two hours and if you saw the labour we do you would agree. To make me do unpaid extra’s after supposedly finishing for the day re lockup and timesheets is bloody rude.

        If they remove these laws protecting the employee’s, we will create issues for people who have no consideration to the consequences of their actions. psychopaths, Nat supporters, most business owners .. 🙂

        We need to band the country and strike. It’s a matter of crossed lines. It’s time they got back behind theirs.

        • BM 5.2.1.1

          Has he got people queuing up to take your job?

          • Richard 5.2.1.1.1

            Well BM the only thing I have going for me is I work hard, I’m keen, I learn fast.

            On the downside I talk to much, wander off on a tangent occasionally, as in start fixing faults with the lathe.

            I like the work, no I love the work, I just think the remuneration is piss poor. The owner has the personal management skills of a concentration camp guard, and that in all the corporates I ever worked for they had relaxed work atmosphere’s their was more productivity then in a workforce where the bosses ride the workers for maximum output.

            just in the maintenance of the equipment their is less downtime, people in good work environments proactively take care of their work equipment.

            Personally from experience working in several countries with different cultures a unstressed workplace is the happiest and most productive. time they all learned that valuable lesson.

            We don’t need more rules or more legislation we will all work with good employers in whatever they ask they know it damn it. This law serves one purpose, forcing us to comply to bad employers, removing our right to jkeep bad employers from taking the piss.

            That’s the mint sauce for the sheep right there.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.2

          Better to monkeywrench or take other types of direct action before expecting help in the form of collective action. Specifically, I’d advise you to cripple your employer: demonstrate to him exactly where the power is. He’s already caved both times you took strike action.

          • BM 5.2.1.2.1

            Exactly, I don’t think Richard quite realizes the power he has.

            Obviously his boss knows and really enjoys treating him like a fool.

            • Richard 5.2.1.2.1.1

              No BM workers are a dime a dozen, I’m good, but replaceable. Don’t worry about that.

              I am a good worker, he knows it that’s why it was good to see him eat humble pie drive in and work out a better pay rise and training agenda.

              I have a professional career as an IT engineer, network administrator few other avenues having worked for at that time NZ’s largest NZ owned computer manufacturer. I took on a job at an engineering company to round of my skill set for my hobby Astronomy.( I can whack up the electronics also build my own mounts with metal shop training) 🙂 I have skills matey. My boss quickly found that out, now I’m machining some of the shops most difficult items.

              I laugh though when his clapped old machinery, especially the CNC or plasma break down and he’s trying to repair it. I offered some help one day and he said “what would you know your just a computer engineer.” must of been bad, as repair training, systematic diagnosing , tracing and finding faults is something you can transfer to any object, I laughed internally as it’s been a year pissing around with it so far.

              Fucking insult from a guy who doesn’t even know where to start looking.

              Meanwhile on my own I learned pretty much the shop, from welding to almost the CNC machine if I could just get 5 minutes on that control panel 🙂

              From given a recipe to final product I do it all the way through daily, so fair go mate I think, pay me what that’s worth a fitter turner would get near 30 wouldn’t he, I’d be happy with 18.80 honest, I have a mortgage, be nice to earn a living and be able to afford a better life than stay home, work just pay bills with internet and sky. I should be saving for my holidays.

              • BM

                What’s he charging you out at?

                If he’s charging out at $70+, realistically you could go to around $25.00 an hour.

                The problem for you though is that you don’t have any written qualifications which rather hampers you.

  6. weka 6

    Any chance someone would fix the formatting in the post to make it easier to follow?

  7. coaster 7

    This has the potential to cost jobs. If say 10%of employers are bad employers, ones who take advantage of there staff. If a number of those 10% use this to reduce staff numbers due to not needing so many staff to cover those break times, lunch times etc, this will directly cost jobs. If 10 %of employees no longer have smoko or lunch breaks this indirectly cost jobs in small cafes, coffee shops etc. This will also have an direct impact on other service businesses, such as doctors, hairdressers etc as a number of employees are no longer able use lunch breaks to visit the gp or hairdresser. And before those trolls say this wont happen, get in the real world, there are huge numbers of small business owners who exploit there staff and get away with it.

  8. cricklewood 8

    Its a shame that there are still pricks employing people in this country that are so bad govt needs to legislate reasonable conditions.
    Whilst for some the mandatory breaks are inconvenient its hardly a sufferance compared to what will happen to some employees with few options when this amendment passes.
    This change is a mistake…

  9. Rodel 9

    Join a union and tell your workmates to join.
    I belong to a strong union. They don’t mess with us.
    We’re happy and they’re happy.

  10. adam 10

    I would have enjoyed your analysis more, except for the curlish start you made to this blog. The rest was OK, but I could not get out of my head you went for a cheap shots JAmooches. That really did mess with the message.

    Unions are the answer – but this will undercut them more.

    My guess is with zero hour contracts and more anti-union legislation coming – working people in this country are about to get kicked in the guts again.

    Just remember to repeat to all the RWNJ’s, that a union is nothing more than a free association of workers, looking for a better life, for them and their families.

    • Murray Olsen 10.1

      Yep, the rubbish at the beginning about marshmallows and Labour looking at ships left me cold. I almost didn’t read past that. I like reading stuff that is short(ish), succint, informative, inspiring, and stays on topic.

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    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    2 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    3 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    3 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    4 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    7 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 days ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    7 days ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • A good first step
    Today the government announced a financial package to deal with the effects of the pandemic. So far, it looks good: an initial $500 million for health to deal with immediate priorities, wage subsidies for affected businesses, $585 a week from WINZ for people self-isolating who can't work from home, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    16 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    5 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    1 week ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    2 weeks 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
    16 hours 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
    18 hours 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 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    3 days ago
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    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
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    5 days ago
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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    7 days ago
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  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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    7 days ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
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    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
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    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
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    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
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    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
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    1 week ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
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