web analytics

Holding our covid nerve

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, October 6th, 2021 - 48 comments
Categories: covid-19, labour, vaccines - Tags: ,

A lot has happened in the past half week with covid in New Zealand. I’ve barely kept up, relying on social media and news headlines while I’ve been distracted by other things. The main message I’ve had has been fairly chaotic with an undertone of panic (and some bullshit narratives from the international MSM). Last night I finally sat down and listened to the 4pm press conference from Monday, and discovered that it was coherent and consistent with Labour and the Ministry of Health’s plans, and that it made sense.

Here’s what I heard from Ardern and Bloomfield,

  1. We haven’t been able to eliminate the Auckland outbreak with existing tools, largely because of the nature of the delta variant.
  2. The longer term plan had been to transition to less reliance on lockdowns, once most New Zealanders were vaccinated.
  3. The delta outbreak has brought this strategy forward, but it’s still an ongoing process with a lot of uncertainty.
  4. At this point the focus is on Auckland and helping the city transition out of Level Three, but we have parallel transitions: Auckland now down through the levels, New Zealand as a whole over a longer time where vaccination replaces lockdowns as a primary tool.
  5. To do this, we need to keep on vaccinating as many people as possible.
  6. The government will continue to do the same things it did with the elimination strategy, now and in the future: comprehensive testing, contact tracing, genome sequencing, managed isolation and quarantine, and various levels of lockdown as needed.
  7. The government is also adapting around the persistence of the Auckland Delta outbreak, being realistic about people’s ability to maintain the necessary behaviours under hard lockdowns. It intends to do weekly pause and assess of the plan as it monitors the situation.

So we know that elimination is probably no longer possible in an absolute sense at thist stage, but that we will keep doing as much as humanly possible to stamp out infections and contain covid outbreaks while getting as many people vaccinated as possible.

There are still a lot of unknowns. We’ve seen some recent modelling about hospital overload and covid deaths even with a 90% vax rate (not a lot yet about long covid but this conversation is starting). We don’t know how this will play out in real life, nor what the nationwide transition to whatever the next phase is will look like. It’s much clearer now that we should prepare for covid deaths, long covid, and pressures on the health system, it’s more an issue of to what degree. I can’t see any way that this can be predicted.

It’s also very clear that this is not a strategy of let covid into the community and let vulnerable people look after themselves. And while I am sure that economics is a major factor for Labour, it’s also not a strategy of economy over people which is what we would have if NACT were in power.

I remain doubtful about border reopening to anything like what we had pre-pandemic, and I think the idea that the vaccine would mean never having another Level 4 lockdown is naive. But I do still by and large trust Labour despite them not being perfect in the face of the biggest challenge New Zealand has faced in our lifetimes. And, critically, I trust them despite them not doing what I want (abandoning neoliberalism and embracing social justice, sustainability and resiliency). Our success isn’t that dependent upon on us all agreeing.

Uncertainty is the name of the game, or one of them. Adaptability is another. That it’s not working out perfectly doesn’t mean we or the government are failing. What I think we need more of at this point is stories about ‘what if things work out’.  Not in a Pollyanna or return to BAU sense, we’re probably not going to get what we want. But we can still be ok and we need strong narratives of what that might be like, us being ok despite the pandemic.

I was pleased to hear Bloomfield point out that most people in Auckland, and New Zealand, are adhering to lockdown rules without any oversight or enforcement. It’s just a beautiful reframing in the middle of a press conference focused on things not going well.

Also pleasing was Ardern reiterating that vulnerable groups such as Māori remain a high priority in the vaccination programme and that this isn’t a passive process, it’s about actively going out to those communities and doing the mahi to make it work. There’s something here about how encouragement can lift spirits as well as open doors to hesitant or distracted people. What reaches people and calls them in?

My personal hope remains that we step up and take advantage of the opportunities the pandemic offers us as the opening to climate transition. We are inundated with so many stressful and scary messages about the state of the world, let’s not forget we can also ask What could possibly go right?

This from Judith Schwartz in that post, regarding climate change but could equally apply to our covid life,

… I want to speak to the brilliance and importance of that question, because it’s a question we tend not to ask. Yet we need to ask that question, perhaps more now than ever, because if we can’t envision what we want, what we wish for, what we aspire to, then how are we ever going to get there? So I think that what we have been dealing with, to a large extent, is a lack of imagination and creativity. So let’s open up that creativity.

I felt a disconnect between the hope and excitement of people who are engaged in regenerative agriculture and different kinds of ecosystem restoration projects, and people who don’t know that this is going on, who say we’re doomed and don’t know where to put their energy. So I wanted to make that connection to say, Hey, we are where we are, and we need to accept that, and accept that we don’t know where things are going. But let’s look at where we do have agency. In particular, let’s look at where we have more agency than we think we do…

The bigger conversation here, the one that requires courage, and the one that New Zealand should be having, is what is the balance point between preventing death and disability, and maintaining quality of economic and social life? I don’t want us to leave this to a default position arising from Labour, the opposition and the MSM hashing it out.

The deeper conversation is what kind of lives do we want to be living given the constraints we will have to live with going forward. Not just the deaths vs economics equation we’ve been avoiding (thankfully) the whole pandemic, but what does quality of life look like now and in the future? What do we want it to look like?

We all should have a say in this.

48 comments on “Holding our covid nerve ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    I'm with Judith Schwartz!

  2. mickysavage 2

    Good post Weka. A lot of the shock horror response I have struggled with. That day when we had 46 new cases I am sure the collective heads of cabinet sagged. Elimination may be possible but it is not likely.

    Dealing with Covid is like skiing downhill very fast and having to make micro adjustments to keep going and trying not to crash.

    • weka 2.1

      Got to feel for all of Labour and the MoH and allied staff. We're such a harsh country, and forget about how it's humans running the show. It's not just front line workers carrying the heavy load, there are MPs, staffers and MoH people who've not had a break from managing this crisis in 18 months.

  3. Ad 3

    The two sentiments don't seem to overlap.

    The role of the state to intervene with strength deep into even the least available of New Zealand's citizens and groups is so much clearer.

    But that's not crossing over into broader idealism. We've come out of lockdown three times and the only protests wanting something different were from angry farmers, anti-vaxxer+liberatarians, and 1%-er capitalists. From those protests the only party rising strongly is Act.

    Perhaps it ought to be a moment for expanding idealism, but it just isn't.

    • Tiger Mountain 3.1

      COVID has exposed like little else could, that Aotearoa NZ is now absolutely a Tale of Two Cities–where 50% have just 2% of the wealth. Neo lib enforced inequality has also guided us to lack of ICU capability, and general DHB under capacity and inconsistency.

      Hello–there is an alienated underclass in this country! Those with full pantrys and home offices can survive lockdowns well enough, but those who cannot will still come back to bite the middle class when healthcare becomes less functional for non COVID related matters.

      A class left focused eco socialist path is the way forward, and what organisational shape that takes will be illustrated in 2023 and 2026 General Elections as the boomer replacement gens make their mark.

  4. Treetop 4

    It comes down to the health system being able to cope with a Covid outbreak and Covid being endemic.

    I would asap authorise an alternative vaccination to Pfizer for those who have issues with components in the Pfizer vaccine.

    I had a 30 minute conversation with a relative this morning that were there an alternative vaccine to Pfizer they probably would get vaccinated, even though the Pfizer vaccine has a good reputation.

    • Leighton 4.1

      What was their reason Treetops? What does the Pfizer vaccine contain which is objectionable that wouldn't be in a hypothetical alternative vaccine?

      • Treetop 4.1.1

        I need to be careful how I word this as Incognito will not tolerate any misinformation. Fair enough.

        I will be getting back to my relative as I think they do not realise they are misinformed as I looked up their concern.

        The relative thinks that there is a simian cell line component in the Pfizer vaccine. In development there was, BUT not in the final version of the Pfizer vaccine.

      • Cricklewood 4.1.2

        I know a few as well, they just dont want an mRNA vax and wont be convinced otherwise. They will take/accept an Astrazenca or Jenson sinovax Novavax which have a longer track record in terms of technology… Hep and menginacocal vaccines for example.

        We do have alternates approved it just seems we havent imported any. At the very least that seems dumb given some people are allergic to Polyethylene glycol.

        • Treetop 4.1.2.1

          Interesting that were an alternative vaccination available to using mRNA method, some people would get vaccinated.

        • weka 4.1.2.2

          What would help is in depth research on who is hesitant or anti and why. Specifically why, the actual details. Because the last, harder 5 – 10% to get us to 90% will be a varied bunch of people, and strategies need to be targeted to them as well.

          Having a non-RNA vaccine makes sense to me in those terms.Whether the numbers warrant that is another matter.

          • Cricklewood 4.1.2.2.1

            A couple I know that are very well educated (doctorate level) are in the hesitant camp. Their main concerns sit around the lack of longer term data which just isnt available yet and wont be for 2-3 years. Those concerns are very much lessened with the vaccines using tech with a longer track record. One thing they do say is that we are lucky to be in a situation where up until now we have had the luxury of being able to wafch and wait, with that seemingly coming to an end potentially they'll hold their noses and take a Pfizer if there isnt any other choice.

            Given the cost of Covid I suspect if getting even 1000 extra people dosed if they'll accept an alternative will be money well spent.

            • weka 4.1.2.2.1.1

              especially if that's a chunk of Aucklanders, front line workers, and vulnerable groups.

            • Brigid 4.1.2.2.1.2

              Does this couple except that if we all choose to watch and wait, there'd be nothing to watch or wait for?

              And that quite a few of us, perhaps even them, would be dead or seriously permanently damaged.

              • Cricklewood

                Sure, but as I say what would be the harm in having two options here? We've approved them but never actually imported them… thats the bit I dont get.

            • McFlock 4.1.2.2.1.3

              They want to wait a couple of years before getting a jab against delta, with its demonstrated short and long term problems?

              Are they just figuring getting the disease will be odds-on less severe than some latent adverse event down the line?

              • weka

                way I read is it they're not agin vaccines generally, but have a problem with the novelty of the RNA vaccine. I'm guessing they're not in Auckland, so the risk of getting covid is very low ("up until now" but still true for most of the NI and all of the SI). They would probably get one of the older tech vaccines, and if push comes to shove they will get the RNA one, but have been ok thus far to wait because the risk is low.

                I reckon there will be quite a few people thinking like that. They’re not anti-vaxxers.

                • McFlock

                  That's my take, too.

                  But it seems to me to have the same risk calculation as someone who never wears a seatbelt unless they think they're going to crash. Most of the time, by the time you have enough information to be scared it's too late to get the protective effect.

                  And that's the most charitable interpretation.

                • Cricklewood

                  They're in Auckland and yes they're well aware of the risks… and are very cautious bascially work from home, shop online etc very tight bubble.

                  Bringing in some Astra Zeneca would solve the issue for them, probably others. We've approved it just never purchased any it seems a big gap in the vacc program to me.

                  • McFlock

                    Seems to have been a pretty clear decision to keep the other jabs in reserve.

                    The pfizer apparently had advantages over others in being adapted to new strains, and I also guess that everyone having the same jab would make firefighting easier if one vaccine had shortcomings: everyone gets a booster, rather than "if you received this vaccine on the third day of the new moon when mars was in ascendency, see your doctor" sort of thing.

                    • Cricklewood

                      Yeah, can see and understand the reasoning. They do talk about having a reserve of Jensen but from what I can see that never happened.

                      Just think at this stage where we are getting to the harder end we should really be offering an alternate to mop up an extra percent or 2 be they hesitant or people who for various reasons are unable to have the Pfizer.

                      Will make a difference to the health system.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, the other part of it is the inefficiency of getting the individually-ordered jabs to people who believe they're too smart for school. 3 in remmers want Jensen, 2 in chch want the russian on, it's all been bought by NZgovt and needs distribution to the preferred vax provider at a time convenient for the folks…

                      Might be lower-hanging fruit with bigger returns than that.

                      Heck, they might not ever get the jab they want. If extra effort for Māori and Pasifika communities and a couple of mandates eg for teachers takes us to a "highly vaccinated" point, they might be fresh out of luck.

  5. esoteric pineapples 5

    "I was pleased to hear Bloomfield point out that most people in Auckland, and New Zealand, are adhering to lockdown rules without any oversight or enforcement. It’s just a beautiful reframing in the middle of a press conference focused on things not going well." – people and business are getting noticeably slacker by the day in the provincial region I live in

    • weka 5.1

      same, but I've also argued for over a year that we need different strategies for the provinces that haven't had community transmission for long periods of time. I was pleased to see my own are get up to speed fast in August, and while things are slacking off a bit, I see way more people wearing masks and scanning than last year.

      The worst places I'm seeing are cafes (and I assume bars), where there are attempts at social distancing but places are struggling. I can see the rationale for a vax certificate in those places because of that, even though I think there are long term problems of segregation by vax status. Is the certificate a carrot or a stick? Framing matters.

      • Gezza 5.1.1

        I saw a mum pushing baby in a pram along the footpath in our shopping village late this morning, while I was sitting in the car re-entering the car-radio/audio code. She wasn’t wearing a mask.

        It made me wonder how many other people weren’t wearing masks, so I dcanned the street. There were a couple of kids agec about 8 – 10 not wearing masks, but EVERY ADULT I could see was wearing one.

        Most of them are wearing cloth masks, some of very classy-looking design. It just doesn’t seem to be an issue around here.

  6. Many of us have moved on from this narrative of "unknowns" and "unpredictability".

    We have had this disease floating around the entire planet for a long time now.

    We broadly know enough to understand what will happen sooner rather than latter. People will get sick. And as anyone who has used the Public Hospitals in the last decade knows…these places can barely cope with the normal levels of patients. Auckland Hospital seemingly struggled with planning around with this last "outbreak" for goodness sakes.

    We need Central government plans and investment to hospitalise at home*.

    We need the drugs to minamalise covid effects and duration.**

    Most importantl… we need the Government to acknowledge this, and actually get ahead of the game… this government, after a one off initial proactive stance, has spent the entire covid epidemic seemingly two steps back, which is so very typical.

    ** https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/451512/government-urged-to-buy-game-changer-covid-19-drug-treatment

  7. There is a decided parallel between our response to Covid-19 and climate change, both here and around the world.

    Most of the world seems to have accepted the virus as endemic and, shrugging their collective shoulders, seem determined to live with it.

    Of course, ‘the economy comes before health,’ so a return to ‘normal’ is demanded by the death-cult capitalists.

    Unfortunately, our government seems to have succumbed to the demands of business leaders, who prioritise their wealth above the health of the poor.

    Our leaders, here and across the globe, will, likewise, pay lip service to combatting climate change, but, when the rubber hits the road, will shy away from the tough economic decisions because, to distort the words of Gerry Brownlee, ‘you can’t make a business case for saving the world.’

  8. georgecom 8

    One significant figure to watch, if we want to emerge from a seeming perpetual level2/3 malaise are vaccination rates – particularly the first dose as once the first is taken most people will follow through for the second (and even if they don't they will have a level of protection). first dose rates are running at 0.33 of the population per day, so its takes 3 days to get an extra 1% or about 42,000 people first dosed. ON the current rates, 30 days to get to 90% first dose and it's then I think the government will look seriously at structural changes, not necessarily immediately, but certainly start to signal it. Auckland should be there sooner as well.

    Some people have worried about the significant drop from the 1% per day we saw a month ago. And heck yes, we would have loved it had that trend continued. The rate has dropped off for sure, BUT it's not collapsed. Auckland is now, I think, 85% of first jabs. The Auckland first jab rate sets a potential ceiling on where we might expect things to get to, where it is possible to get to. So whilst the Auckland % continues to climb there is still room for optimism. Covid scares in the Waikato has focused the minds of some fence sitters, missing out on summer events without covid passports will focus the minds of others.

  9. Ad 9

    Hang in there Jacinda. You're doing a good job.

    You're not perfect but you're pretty good.

    • Puckish Rogue 9.1

      Hang in there?

      Is she having to find another job because shes been laid off, having to survive financially on 80% of her wage, having to consider that your business (and life savings) is gone, having to lay people off to keep your business afloat

      Yeah shes doing it real tough

      (there may or may not be some personal life issues in there)

      • DukeEll 9.1.1

        How many of her staff sacrificed 20% of their wages to keep their business afloat?

        Probably about the same that are prevented from travelling for business reasons.

        A rule for thee and not for me is a mockery

      • bwaghorn 9.1.2

        I'd imagine she'll be in full employment far longer than the woeful collins!

    • weka 9.2

      Aē.

      How incredibly fortunate are we that we count covid deaths one at a time. So much to be grateful to Ardern for that.

  10. Stuart Munro 10

    I was a bit down on it all a few days back when it spread to Waikato.

    But I caught the 1pm briefing (a day late), and it's clear that the same government and health professional team that crushed alpha are still calling the shots. I'm not about to second guess them.

    Reckon our PM just about rates a sparkly umbrella.

  11. miravox 11

    "My personal hope remains that we step up and take advantage of the opportunities the pandemic offers us as the opening to climate transition."

    That was my personal hope – that we'd transition to a new normal where climate change and social cohesion were included in the covid equation. I now feel that is not going to happen here. Clearly some places have worked in these changes. Paris streets are a good example, (albeit with teething problems) but mostly in NZ it's just mitigation, e.g. mask wearing rather than widening pedestrian areas where people can keep 2-metre distances. Any changes in farming practices were happening before Covid, and I don't have the slightest sense that anyone who is in a position to make changes is at all interested in social cohesion. house prices are still rising (that may change after today's intervention on interest rates), transitional housing and decent financial support are still pipe dreams. No wonder people who are struggling are avoiding vaccinations – it's a chance to give the big middle finger to authority – they can't be arrested for that.

    We're just working on how to mitigate Covid to allow the old normal to continue with masks. There's no will to move to a sustainable new normal.

Leave a Comment

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ Politics Daily: 18 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Kim Gillespie, Editor NZME Newspapers Lower North Island & Communities “I find the daily email great for giving me an overview of each morning’s big issues across the media landscape, and really appreciate the huge amount of work that must go in to compiling it each day.” Anyone ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 hour ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Celebrating and critiquing 25 years of MMP
    Over the last week, MMP has been in the spotlight, given that it’s now been 25 years since the first general election was held under this proportional representation system. This has produced some important commentary and storytelling about the introduction of MMP and about the various pros and cons of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 hours ago
  • COVID-19 in Aotearoa: what does public health do now?
    Dr Belinda Loring, Dr Ruth Cunningham, Dr Polly Atatoa Carr* Public health activities have collectively made an incredible contribution to minimising the impact of COVID-19 in Aotearoa. But the work for public health is not over. As the situation in Auckland heralds a transition point in our approach to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 hours ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 10, 2021 through Sat, October 16, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: ‘This is a story that needs to be told’: BBC film tackles Climategate scandal, Why trust science?, ...
    13 hours ago
  • Is injection technique contributing to the risk of post vaccine myocarditis?
    Recent misleading media headlines about vaccines being administered incorrectly in the absence of evidence do little to help public confidence in vaccines. Spoiler alert, vaccines are not being administered incorrectly. The topic of this blog is based on what could be an important scientific question – is one of the ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    16 hours ago
  • A Māori health expert reports from the Super Saturday frontlines
    Rawiri Jansen, National Hauora Coalition I write this as I charge my car, getting ready to head home at the end of a pretty good Super Saturday. It started with coffee and checking the news feeds as any good day should. Between 9 and 10 am as I drove to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    20 hours ago
  • Weddings and Leopards
    Could it be that the Herald is beginning to twig that an unremitting hostility to the government does not go down well with all its readers? The evidence for that is that, in today’s issue, two contributors (Bill Ralston and Steven Joyce) who usually enjoy sticking the knife in, take ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • The Chronicles of Kregsmal and Krunch: Volume I
    As noted previously, my weekly DND campaign with Annalax and Gertrude has been put on ice. I expect it to return eventually, but for now it is very much on hiatus. The remainder of the group have decided to run an entirely new campaign in the meantime. This ...
    2 days ago
  • Super Saturday recap: Patrick Gower doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do
    It was Aotearoa’s first national day of action in over ten years, the first since 2010, when Prime Minister John Key tried to inspire us to clean up our nation’s berms. It didn’t work. Today, New Zealand’s berms are worse than ever. But history is not destiny, and other cliches. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Worried about getting your vaccine or want a simple explanation?
    Worried about getting your vaccine? Let me tell you a secret. No-one likes getting a vaccine. People do it because they know they’re better off to. Let me tell you another secret, a weird one: the vaccine doesn’t really “do” anything. Confusing? Let me explain… Vaccines are a face at ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 days ago
  • Delta puts workers’ power under the spotlight
    by Don Franks Foremost fighting the Delta virus are workers, especially in health, distribution, service and education sectors. Unionised members of these groups are centrally represented by the New Zealand Council of trade unions ( NZCTU). Political journalist Richard Harman recently noted:“Businesses are caught in a legal tangle if they ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Faster transitions to clean energy are also cheaper
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Several clean energy technologies like solar panels have become consistently cheaper year after year as the industries have benefited from learning, experience and economies of scale. Falling solar costs are described by “Swanson’s Law,” much like Moore’s Law described the rapid and consistent ...
    3 days ago
  • Abstraction and Reality in Economics
    Sometimes high theory loses the human point of the exercise.One of the joys of teaching is you learn from your students. When fifty-odd years ago, I was at the University of Sussex, a student doing our first-year economics course, Jim, came to me, saying he was pulling out because it ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • What Happened to the Team?
    Last year, in the early stages of the pandemic, the Prime Minister’s “team of five million” performed well; team discipline was maintained and we all worked well together. This year, however, has been a different story; team discipline has weakened, and many people have on numerous occasions behaved badly and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Another legal victory
    Across the world climate change activists have been going to court, seeking to make their governments act to protect future generations. And hot on the heels of victories in the Netherlands and Germany, there's been another one in France: A French court has ordered the government to make up ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Invasion Of The (Covid) Body Snatchers.
    It's Here! They're Here! We're Here! Help! It’s as if we’re all living through a Covid version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. What has become of Jacinda? Where have they taken her closest Cabinet colleagues? The people on the stage of the Beehive Theatrette look the same, but they ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 15 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Associate Professor Grant Duncan, Massey University, Auckland “The NZ Politics Daily email is very helpful in giving me a quick overview of current events and opinion. It allows me to pick out important or informative columns that I may otherwise have missed. I recommend NZ Politics Daily to anyone ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Missing From The Anti-Covid Action.
    The Invisible Man: Where has the NZ Council of Trade Unions been during the Covid-19 Pandemic? Why hasn’t its current president, Richard Wagstaff (above) become a household name during the pandemic? Up there with Ashley Bloomfield, Michael Baker, Shaun Hendy and Siouxsie Wiles? WHERE HAVE THE UNIONS BEEN during the Covid-19 ...
    3 days ago
  • “Go West, Young Virus”
    The Auckland Coronavirus Outbreak potters along, not helped by the perception that the Government is disturbingly enthusiastic about “managing the virus” or loosening the border. Health Minister Andrew Little said today he envisages 90% vaccination rates (which we don’t have) eventually leading to 5,000 cases in Auckland a week… ...
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2021
    How to fill a glass and thereby drink— from a fire hose So far this year, New Research has published listings for 3,291 papers concerning climate change from one aspect or another. Each edition includes two dozen or so articles describing freshly and directly observed effects of global waming. These ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: UKanians supports cuts
    The Guardian reports a study on emissions reduction policy from the UK, which found that UKanians overwhelmingly support stronger action than their government: The UK public backs a carbon tax on polluting industries, higher levies on flying and grants for heat pumps in order to tackle the climate crisis, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: “A View from Afar” on PRC-Taiwan tensions.
    In this week’s podcast Selwyn Manning and I discuss the upsurge in tensions between the PRC and Taiwan and what are the backgrounds to and implications of them. You can check the conversation out here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s 2023 election manifesto
    This morning Health Minister Andrew Little effectively unveiled Labour's 2023 election manifesto: 5,000 cases a week in Auckland alone: Thousands of people will be infected with Covid-19 every week even with vaccination levels at 90 per cent, and hospitals face being overwhelmed once restrictions are eased and borders opened, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Don't Blame James.
    Emissions Impossible! So, don’t be too hard on poor James Shaw. His pathetic little To-Do list is, indeed, totally inadequate to the crisis. But, you know what? He’ll be lucky to get half of the items ticked-off. There’s just too many entrenched interests – not the least of whom are ...
    4 days ago
  • The “Pulpit of Strewth”
    Barry Soper is one half of one of one of those right-wing husband-and-wife duos in which the Herald seems to specialise. In today’s issue, he has a piece that doesn’t quite reach the heights (or depths) of a Hoskings-style anti-government hostility, but which does provide an interesting example of the ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the epic fails of Kris Faafoi
    Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 14 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Mike Treen, Advocate, Unite Union “Please continue your incredible work compiling these news digests. As someone operating in the fields of advocacy for workers and the broader social justice areas it is invaluable to be able to check what is happening in the media relating to the issues I have to deal ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Overconfident Idiots: Why Incompetence Breeds Certainty
    This is a re-post from the Thinking is Power website maintained by Melanie Trecek-King where she regularly writes about many aspects of critical thinking in an effort to provide accessible and engaging critical thinking information to the general public. Please see this overview to find links to other reposts from Thinking is Power. ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Abandoning ambition
    When Labour was first elected to power in 2017, they promised us "[an] ambitious plan to take real action on climate change". Four years and a lot of foot-dragging later, they've finally released that plan. And its not what was promised. Where to begin? Firstly, they've taken the Climate Change ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Young adults worldwide have blunt message for governments: ‘We don’t trust you.’
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Elizabeth Marks describes herself as “a psychologist who works on difficult problems.” Her past research aimed at helping people cope with challenging health conditions, apt training, it appears, for taking on climate change issues. A few years ago, she altered ...
    5 days ago
  • Making ‘Second Age’ Hobbits Work: Amazon Series Speculation
    Time for a good old-fashioned fandom furore. The Tolkien fandom hasn’t had a proper one of those since the Great Nudity Scandal of October 2020… so it clearly must be time to pontificate from on-high about a television series we still know vanishingly little about. This time the subject ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 13 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Lara Greaves, Political scientist, University of Auckland: “I love the NZ Politics Daily emails as they help me to keep on top of current events. It’s incredibly easy to skim through and follow the links. I really appreciate these as it means that I am exposed to a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • The Data and Statistics Bill and the OIA
    The government introduced a new Data and Statistics Bill today to modernise and replace the 45-year old Statistics Act. Part of the Bill re-enacts the existing confidentiality regime (with one exception), which while a secrecy clause isn't an especially controversial one. Another part is aimed at removing "outdated" (inconvenient) limits ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The debate over the $55 million media fund erupts again
    RNZ’s Mediawatch and a video clip viewed 42,000 times keep the topic of the Public Interest Journalism Fund fizzing. Graham Adams reports.   A week ago, the NZ Taxpayers’ Union posted a short video clip of the exchange in Parliament between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins in which the National ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Multiple sclerosis: the link with earlier infection just got stronger – new study
    Scott Montgomery, UCL For most of the time since the first description of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1868, the causes of this disabling disease have remained uncertain. Genes have been identified as important, which is why having other family members with MS is associated with a greater risk of developing ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Hit hard by the pandemic, researchers expect its impacts to linger for years
    Sora Park, University of Canberra; Jennie Scarvell, University of Canberra, and Linda Botterill, University of Canberra   The impacts of COVID-19 on Australian university researchers are likely to have consequences for research productivity and quality for many years to come. According to an online survey of academics at the University ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Covid and free speech
    by Don Franks Some commentators have likened the struggle against Covid 19 to the world war experience. To those of us not alive in those times, that comparison can only be academic. What the anti virus battle reminds me of much more is an industrial strike. In my twenties and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Angry Blowhards”
    In today’s Herald, their excellent columnist, Simon Wilson, takes to task those “shouty” people whom he further describes as “angry blowhards”. They are those whose prime reaction to the pandemic is anger – an anger they seamlessly (and perhaps unwittingly) transfer from the virus to the government. The basis for ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
    Future Tense? Okay, so that’s where we are in 2022. Living in a New Zealand where all the usual rules of politics once again apply. And, guess what? Jacinda’s government, once again, isn’t doing very well – not very well at all.LET’S PLAY A GAME. Let’s pretend we’re half-way through ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Covid mandates, and the Covid pill
    The cliché about “living with Covid” will not mean life as we’ve known it, Jim. Vaccination is fast becoming a condition of employment, and also a requirement to participate in aspects of social life, such as travel, attending bars, cafes, and concerts etc. These protective measures enjoy a high level ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 12 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Prof Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington; Chair of the Infrastructure Commission: “NZ Politics Daily” provides a great public service – a quick and unbiased way to check policy announcements and analysis every morning.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
    I have made a submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2).In preparing it, I looked at the Hansard for the first reading debate, and got name-dropped as someone likely to make a submission. So, of course I did. I focus on a small bit of the ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
    You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription. You may also be interested to know that ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
    Over the weekend someone pointed me at a journal article on "The Poverty of Theory: Public Problems, Instrument Choice, and the Climate Emergency". Its a US law journal article, so is a) very long; and b) half footnotes (different disciplines have different norms), but the core idea is that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
    Last month the US and EU announced they would push an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% (from 2020 levels) by 2030 at the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow. The good news is that New Zealand is looking at joining it. The bad news is that that won't ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
    Classic Shot: Are the Prime Minister’s formidable communication skills equal to the task of getting her government’s anti-Covid campaign back on track?IF JACINDA ARDERN thought last week was bad, the week ahead promises to be even worse. Sixty community cases of Covid-19, one of the highest daily totals so far ...
    7 days ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
    Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
    Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
    On Tuesday 5 October the New Zealand Government announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement to attend large events this summer.It took a few days for event owners to absorb the information and understand the implications. By the end of the working week, most of the big ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jim Hubbard, Cartoonist “NZ Politics daily is a go to for cartoonists, or should be.  Political reporting enmasse like this gives cartoonists and political junkies a smorgasbord to get their teeth into. Essential and I daresay vital reading for those who care about the future of NZ.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    1 week ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
    . . . . . References Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’ CNBC: ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
    Last week was probably a high point for many armchair “experts”, fresh from their high after some deep inhaling of the various musings and fumings, of an actually very smug, and very insualted John “Things all work for me…” Key, former Prime Minister and FOREX trader, had blitzed the ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Bollocks
    It would appear we have an unwelcome presence in town.Positive wastewater results had been detected in Hamilton and Palmerston North on October 6 and 7. There are 26 cases in hospital, seven of these are in ICU or high dependency units (HDU).One of the people in hospital is in Palmerston ...
    1 week ago
  • World-leading?
    So, the Herald has found someone, as we can see from today’s issue, who is able to explain why we should not claim to have been “world-leading” in our response to the covid epidemic. It seems that we have been kidding ourselves when we celebrated our low total number of ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
    Force Multiplier: Why are Ardern and her ministers so loathe to put a bit of stick about? The “emergency” legislation eventually enacted to authorise the measures needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic failed to confer upon the New Zealand Government the unequivocal authority that subsequent events showed to be so ...
    1 week ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
    1 week ago
  • Forced Re-entry
    The elimination of Covid strategy is not so much defeated but changing circumstances means that policy has to evolve. Our elimination stance was never sustainable or at least it would not be until the rest of the world also eliminated Covid-19. Elimination of the virus was a strategy we adopted ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
    Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on National's unjust "three strikes" law, and found that the sentence it required was (in the case in question) so disproportionate as to "shock the conscience" and violate the Bill of Rights Act ban on disproportionately severe treatment or punishment: The Supreme Court has ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
    The Christchurch City Council has published new "coastal hazards" data, indicating which places are under threat from sea-level rise. And its not good news: Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are likely to become unhabitable [sic] as the city council figures out how to adapt to sea level ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
    I wonder if Mike Hosking ever reads the paper in which he appears so regularly? If he does, he might have noticed a report in today’s Herald about the problem that could face churches in Auckland if a vaccine passport becomes mandatory for those wishing to attend church services. The ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Bill Ralston, Media consultant and columnist: “NZ Politics Daily provides an invaluable service for journalists, politicians, businesspeople, decision makers and the public at large by providing an easily accessible, exhaustive, link to every significant political story in the country’s media that day. It’s a gem of a service ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
    . . Congratulations,  Mr Barnett, Ms White, and your business colleagues. It appears that we will end up having to “live” (ie, get sick, end up in hospital, perhaps in ICU, intubated on ventilators, and possibly dying as our lungs fail) with covid19. But at least businesses will open up. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Introducing Mr Stick.
    MR STICK: You media types think the people of this country have changed, but you’re wrong. We’re the same tough bastards we’ve always been. Put a bit of stick about – and listen to us cheer!JOSEPHINE MUCH-ADOO: Kia ora, everyone, and welcome to “Introducing”. Today we are very pleased to ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #40, 2021
    "Old" research There's little point in trying to best this excellent article describing the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics by Ars Technica authors Jennifer Ouelette and John Timmer, each having a gift for concisely on-target, accessible science journalism. Here at New Research we'll punt and quote the The Royal Swedish Academy of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Standing on one leg is a sign of good health – and practising is good for you too
    Dawn Skelton, Glasgow Caledonian University Research shows that people’s ability to stand on one leg is an indicator of health and that getting better at standing on one leg can add to fitness and potentially lifespan. Being able to stand on one leg is linked to increased levels of physical ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: More dishonesty over the CCR
    Last month the Emissions Trading Scheme turned into a farce, when the government flooded the market with credits in a failed and wasteful attempt to Keep Carbon Prices Low. When I asked about the background of this policy Climate Change Minister James Shaw sent me one of the most egregious ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Schrödinger’s Wraith: The Status of the Witch-King of Angmar, 15th-25th March, T.A. 3019.
    My recent re-read of The Lord of the Rings reminded me of one of the vaguer head-scratchers in Tolkien. The status of the Witch-King of Angmar between his death at the Battle of Pelennor Fields and the Destruction of the One Ring ten days later… was he, in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How rainbow colour maps can distort data and be misleading
    Philip Heron, University of Toronto; Fabio Crameri, University of Oslo, and Grace Shephard, University of Oslo   The choice of colour to represent information in scientific images is a fundamental part of communicating findings. However, a number of colour palettes that are widely used to display critical scientific results are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Korea’s march to global cultural domination, plus a K-pop playlist
    So far, South Korea’s culture industries seem to be pandemic proof. They’re also winning huge global audiences, and not merely large domestic ones. In recent years, South Korea’s TV series (Squid Game, Descendants of The Sun) and movies ( Parasite, Oldboy, The Handmaiden) have become global hits. However, it has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In a lockdown, where does work end and parenting begin? Welcome to the brave new world of ‘zigzag...
    Candice Harris, Auckland University of Technology and Jarrod Haar, Auckland University of Technology   All parents work. The difference lies in the breakdown between their paid and unpaid workloads. That equation is influenced by many things, including education, qualifications, age, ethnicity, financial status, number and age of dependants, gendered and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Using Rapid Antigen Tests to Improve COVID-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Figure 1: Rapid Antigen Test kit given out freely from the NHS in the UK Dr Jennifer Summers, Assoc Prof James Ussher, Assoc Prof Nikki Moreland, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker* Most COVID-19 testing aims to identify infected people. To date, Aotearoa NZ has relied almost ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
    The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te ata. Earlier this month Save the Children wrote to me with their most up to date analysis on the impact of climate change. What they said was that children born in Aotearoa today will experience up to five times as many heatwaves and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The Emissions Reduction Plan will set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
    Reducing lead poisoning of kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and one-time New Zealand bird of the year winner, is the goal of a two year project being backed by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.  “Lead poisoning is a serious threat to this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government provides certainty to working holiday and seasonal visa holders and employers for summer
    The Government will extend Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas for six months to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders over the coming summer period, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. “This offers employers and visa holders the certainty they’ve been asking for going ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Lower card fees good for businesses, consumers
    The Bill to help lower the cost of the fees retailers get charged for offering contactless and debit payment options is another step closer to becoming law, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark said today. “COVID-19 has changed the way we spend our money, with online and contactless ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Mandatory vaccination for two workforces
    High-risk workers in the health and disability sector to be fully vaccinated by 1 December, 2021, and to receive their first dose by 30 October School and early learning staff and support people who have contact with children and students to be fully vaccinated by 1 January, 2022, and to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Fund allows more Pacific community led vaccinations
    The Government has made $1.1 million available through ‘The Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund’ to directly support Pacific community-led initiatives towards increasing vaccinations, said Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio. “The best way to protect our communities from COVID-19 is through vaccination. “We need to explore every avenue to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Small business at heart of economic recovery across APEC region
    The Minister for Small Business says support for small and medium enterprises will remain ongoing as the Asia-Pacific region moves through response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuart Nash today chaired a virtual summit from Wellington for the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM). “APEC Ministers responsible ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Restrictions on abortion medication lifted for health practitioners
    Abortion services can now be provided in primary care, meaning people can access this care from someone like their trusted GP and in a familiar setting, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “By lifting some restrictions on the funded medications used for early medical abortions, more health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record day for Māori vaccinations
    More than 10,000 vaccinations were administered to Māori yesterday, the highest number in the vaccine campaign so far, Associate Minister of Health (Maori Health) Peeni Henare announced. There were 10,145 doses administered across the motu yesterday this is almost equivalent to the population of Hāwera. The doses are made up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on Joint Cooperation in Agriculture between Ireland and New Zealand
    8 October 2021 - Dublin, Ireland Agriculture plays an important role in the economic, social, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of Ireland and New Zealand. We are focused on increasing the productivity, inclusivity, and resilience of our respective primary sectors. As agri-food exporting nations, we also share a commitment to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Alert Level 3 tonight
    Northland will move to Alert Level 3 restrictions from 11:59pm tonight following recent information on the risk presented by the positive case initially tested in Whangarei earlier this week and confirmed in Auckland yesterday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. The person is now in an Auckland Managed Isolation Quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister's Christmas Card Competition
    It’s that time of year again! If you’d like to help design the Prime Minister’s official Christmas card, here’s how to take part: Draw, paint, sketch or craft an image you’d like to see on the front of this year’s Christmas card. It can be anything you want – a traditional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech : Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ruapehu social housing pilot, providing value for generations to come
    Housing Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods today announced the development of six social housing units funded by the Government’s Covid response infrastructure fund, to help work toward resolving Ruapehu's lack of social housing. “The Crown’s investment of $2.1 million in this project will provide value to the community for generations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Children’s Commissioner Appointed
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced  Judge Frances Eivers’ appointment as the new Children’s Commissioner. Judge Eivers, who is currently a District Court Judge in Manukau, will take up the role on 1 November 2021. She has been appointed for two years. The Children’s Commissioner is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for business available from today
    The third round of the Resurgence Support Payment opened for applications this morning. “The RSP helps businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. It provides cashflow to businesses and supports them to pay their bills while the country is at Alert Level 2 or above,” Grant Robertson said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Compelling case made for modernising local government
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the interim report on the Future for Local Government Review.  “Our system of local democracy and governance needs to evolve to be fit for the future. New Zealand is changing and growing, and there are some significant challenges presenting not only now with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago