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Housing dreams should not be blocked

Written By: - Date published: 2:18 pm, August 5th, 2016 - 54 comments
Categories: housing, human rights, Social issues - Tags: ,

dont block housing dreams

Details of a protest for tomorrow organised by the Unions Auckland Housing Action Committee.

The story we’re told in The Block is that if you work hard, then you will be successful. But this opportunity is only for four couples on The Block. Meanwhile the housing crisis remains and affects everybody else.

The housing crisis comes out of a profit-driven housing market. Building more houses (or renovating them) won’t solve the housing crisis unless these houses are truly affordable for everyone.

To buy a Block house a working person would need a deposit of more than $200,000 and mortgage repayments would be $1,085/week. Only a few people can afford these houses- meanwhile families are living in cars or garages.

This weekend The Block NZ is hosting its open house. When there is a housing crisis, and there are families living in garages and cars, do you think that its fair that a prime time TV show celebrates property speculation?

Come down and make your voice heard! Housing is for people, not profit.

And a Quote from Unite Union‘s Joe Carolan:

There is something deeply morally wrong about a small minority in our society making huge profits from non productive speculation, setting the economy up for a crash, whilst hard working people struggle to keep up with rack renting, never mind never being able to afford their own home. Unions have had enough of this, and we are going to build a movement to solve this problem like we did in the 1930s.

54 comments on “Housing dreams should not be blocked”

  1. BM 1

    Worst idea ever,

    • mac1 1.1

      What idea, exactly, BM? Housing is for people, not profit?

      • BM 1.1.1

        This protesting at the block open day.

      • Muttonbird 1.1.2

        BM loves reality tv. It’s right at his level.

        • BM 1.1.2.1

          Never watched it, but a lot of people do and really enjoy it.

          • Muttonbird 1.1.2.1.1

            Well then, this protest might get its message across to ‘a lot of people’.

            It’s called direct action.

          • mac1 1.1.2.1.2

            “Never watched it.” Good for you.

            “Reality television has faced significant criticism since its rise in popularity.

            Much of the criticism has centered on the use of the word “reality”, and such shows’ attempt to present themselves as a straightforward recounting of events that have occurred.

            Critics have argued that reality television shows do not accurately reflect reality, in ways both implicit (participants being placed in artificial situations), and deceptive or even fraudulent, such as misleading editing, participants being coached in what to say or how to behave, storylines generated ahead of time, and scenes being staged or re-staged for the cameras.

            Other criticisms of reality television shows include that they are intended to humiliate or exploit participants (particularly on competition shows); that they make stars out of either untalented people unworthy of fame, infamous personalities, or both; and that they glamorize vulgarity and materialism.”

            Reasons for demonstrating against The Block?

            Meanwhile, in the little town where I live, house prices rose 13% from July 2015.
            Wages went up 1%. Inflation went up 1%. And an estimated 63 people are sleeping rough, in a cold southerly.

    • mauī 1.2

      Hits a nerve obviously.

    • AmaKiwi 1.3

      The protesters will gather at 200 St. Johns Rd. in St. Johns (Meadowbank), and march to The Block at 95-97 St. Johns Rd.

      The Block’s open house is from noon to 3 pm, Saturday, 5 August.

      There are numerous buses. The nearest bus stops: Eastbound stop is at 68 St. Johns Rd., a 3 minute walk to the protest. (Bus stop number 7432.) Westbound stop is at 91 St. Johns Rd. (Stop number 7437.)

      • mosa 1.3.1

        Lets hope it is the catalyst for larger future protest action rather than a “one off “that will fizzle out between this episode and the next.
        Key need a fire lit under his complacent attitude and a message sent that its bigger than just housing that is hiding other serious issues not being addressed and show him and this government kwis are angry and have had a gutsful.

  2. save nz 2

    My 1st thought good idea, 2nd thought bad idea. 3rd thought is do they qualify for the speculator tax or capital gains tax as they are deliberately trying to make a profit and therefore will fall under our capital gains taxes. 4th thought punishing young people working hard to try to get a house will not win the heart and minds of Kiwis in the fight of propaganda on housing. 5th thought, hope they egg Julie Christie

  3. James 3

    “hope they egg Julie Christie”

    classy – quite happy with violence against women if its someone you dont like huh?

    • save nz 3.1

      I don’t see an egg as violence, as the power ratio is in Christie’s favour.

      It’s more a statement, like a Dildo to Joyce.

      • James 3.1.1

        I think you will find the law and just basic reasonableness would say that throwing eggs at people is indeed violence.

        If I saw Andrew Little and decided to throw eggs at him (just because) do you think that would be acceptable?

        • save nz 3.1.1.1

          Pies and eggs James are well known non violent political acts that serve as direct action. People throw eggs/non violent objects (don’t think anybody will be hurt by an egg James) to demonstrate disagreement.

          Since nobody was ever charged for Roast busters – raping girls under the age of consent and bragging about it on social media, I think you are drawing a very long bow about women and violence – but hey if it helps the right wing discourse to pretend an egg to a position of power is violence, in the same way – go for it!!

          • Chuck 3.1.1.1.1

            “Pies and eggs James are well known non violent political acts that serve as direct action.”

            FFS save nz think about it for a second…now what happens if the “target” stumbles and falls over from the “non violent political act of throwing” and hits their head on the road or a hard surface and hmm is seriously hurt or dies?

            Throwing something at a person is a violent act.

            • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1.1

              The headline “egg scrambles person” would happen.

            • mauī 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Holy sharp edge of the table batman! Have you ground off all the sharp objects in your house to avoid possible health and safety incidents?

              • Chuck

                Its all fun and games until someone gets hurt 🙂

                However the point I was making is people do get hurt or worse from falling over.

                If that was due to an egg thrower they will be charged with assault or manslaughter.

                • McFlock

                  and the penalty thereof would correspond to the degree that the death was reasonably forseeable from a fucking egg, you hyperbolic idiot.

                  • Chuck

                    Its clear you have no understanding of this matter McFlock.

                    To kept it simple here is a link to Youthlaw website in case you are under 25!

                    http://www.youthlaw.co.nz/information/bullying-and-violence/

                    Note: “Throwing anything at someone = assault”

                    If that assault results in the person falling over and suffering harm or worse you will be held accountable.

                    Rather than calling you an idiot, I prefer to say you need a little education.

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                      how does that contradict what I just wrote?

                      I probably have a better understanding of how the law around assault, including its defenses, is applied in the real world than most people do. Preventing it, defending myself from it, and using physical force in a manner that kept me from being charged with it were the bread and butter of my work for several years.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No fair McFlock using reality against Chuck’s reckons.

                      In the court of Chuck, egging Dear Leader is a capital offence, whereas not egging Andrew Little is grounds for suspicion.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Tell it to Chester Burrows – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/82715740/MP-Chester-Borrows-in-court-over-protester-incident

                      An egg is assault but a vehicle is… merely a cavalier attitude.

                    • ropata

                      JK repeatedly tugging the hair of a female barista? not violence
                      Chester driving into protestors on a footpath? not violence
                      Someone suggesting chucking an egg in a blog comment? VIOLENCE!!

            • save nz 3.1.1.1.1.3

              Hey we have politicians running down protestors with cars. No problem!!

              Still waiting for that prosecution and the politician to be stepped down.

              Love the RWNJ language like ‘target. Is that some sort of drone military speak there, Chuck in some sort of reversal discourse that a protest about a reality show is now some potential sinister violence with ‘targets’?

              In this case your scenario is that someone might trip over, not actually be injured by direct action.

              Here is a firm you might like to investigate, Chuck for health and safety. Their directors get knighthoods for injuring and killing people.

              Over the last three years ACC has paid out $8 million to nearly 5000 Talley’s employees – that’s more than one injury for every worker employed by Talley’s companies. 1286 Talley’s workers were injured on the job last year alone.

              This year Talley’s made extremely strong submissions to opposing any union role in the new health and safety law. Sir Peter Talley said he opposed workers electing health and safety representatives as “unreasonable” and that “unscrupulous unions” could use them to “intentionally damage or destroy a business”.

              Here is a sample of cases that have made it into the public arena where Talley’s owned companies have killed and maimed in pusuit of their god – profit. It is obvious why the company does not want stronger health and safety laws.

              In February 2008 Talley’s were fined $110,000 for carbon monoxide poisening of 11 workers.

              Talleys Frozen Foods Ltd has been fined a total of $110,000 after being found guilty of failing to keep its employees safe. This is one of the highest total fines ever imposed under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

              Talleys Frozen Foods was also ordered to pay reparations of $3000 to each of the 11 poisoning victims, a total of $33,000.

              The company was today found guilty of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that 11 employees were not exposed to carbon monoxide fumes when an LPG forklift was used inside its factory on June 19, 2006.

              The prosecution was brought by the Department of Labour under the Health and Safety in Employment Act, and was heard in the Blenheim District Court.

              The company was found guilty on all 11 charges laid, and was fined $10,000 on each charge – a total of $110,000.

              The fines and reparations reflect the seriousness of the circumstances involved in the case, said Department of Labour Deputy Secretary Andrew Annakin.

              “This case is a reminder of the dangers of using LPG forklifts – which can produce potentially fatal carbon monoxide gases – in confined spaces. The Department welcomes the court’s decision and encourages all employers to check the safety of their LPG forklift practices.”

              “Employers must ensure that all employees are aware of the hazards and risks associated with their work – in this case it took some time before anyone identified that the symptoms they were having were caused by the forklift and carbon monoxide.”

              “All forklift drivers should be adequately trained – the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning should be included in training.”

              In January 2010 a SPM worker Henry Richmond Kingi severed part of his thumb at work. The company took no action. The Otago Daily Times reported June 5, 2010, that “The plant has been under the spotlight in recent weeks after the Labour Department said it had investigated 19 incidents of serious harm at the plant, including six workers amputating fingers on bandsaws, in the past 18 months.”

              The union successfully brought a private prosecution which concluded that the company had failed to provide a safe working environment. But it took two years for the judgements and inevitable appeals by the company to be completed.

              In February 2012 a SPM employees arm was nearly severed by a bandsaw.

              A South Pacific Meats worker is recovering at Southland Hospital after his arm was nearly severed by a bandsaw early on Saturday morning.

              The man’s wife yesterday said her husband was heavily sedated after two surgeries to repair his arm.

              She had been notified of the injury soon after it happened by one of her husband’s co-workers, she said.

              The saw had gone through the bone at the elbow and was only attached by tissue, muscle, artery and nerve, she said.

              He had gone through two operations to repair the arm on Saturday at Southland Hospital and had a blood transfusion on Sunday.

              A third operation was a possibility, she said.

              “The hope is that he will regain 95 per cent of movement within 18 months.”

              Her husband – who had worked for two seasons at South Pacific Meats – would probably never operate a saw again, she said.

              She believed the incident was fatigue-related and management had been told of the issue last week, she said.

              In May 2012 a Talley’s employed seafarer Cain Adams, a 33-year old father of five, was killed when he fell nearly 7 meters through a hatch. The company was found at fault and fined.

              Talleys Group Ltd has been fined $48,000 and ordered to pay $35,000 in reparation to the family of a crewman killed after falling nearly 7m on the vessel Capt MJ Souza in Nelson in May 2012.

              The company was sentenced in Nelson District Court today (29 April 2015) after being found guilty in March of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees after the death of crewman Cain Adams.

              The reparations ordered are in addition to a payment of $54,000 already made to the family by the company.

              Mr Adams died while working on the Capt MJ Souza after he stepped onto a hatch on the main deck that rotated, causing him to fall nearly 6.9m through another open hatch in the deck below to the floor of the floor of the vessel’s fish well.

              Maritime NZ prosecuted Talleys under section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees while at work.

              Following a defended hearing, the company was found guilty in the Nelson District Court on 23 March.

              At the time of the accident, several contractors were at work on the vessel, with the hatch on the main deck left vented, or partly open, to allow hoses and cables to pass through it.

              In his judgement, District Court Judge Ian Mill said the company “either foresaw the risk but did not take all reasonably practical steps in the circumstances of this case or ought to have foreseen the risk and failed to do so”.

              “These practical steps were no more than ones already available but not used because the Captain and crew were lulled into a false sense of security from years of using the same practice without incident and always treating a vented hatch as safe,” Judge Mill said.

              Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch said lessons must be learned from the accident.

              “This was a tragic incident that could have been avoided through very simple measures,” he said.

              “Ships are inherently dangerous working environments and employers must ensure all practicable safety steps are taken to protect their employees when they are on the job. All employees have the right to come home safely from work.

              “Our thoughts are very much with the family of Cain Adams, for whom this case will have been extremely difficult, but the whole of the maritime sector must heed the lessons of this case.”

              The maximum penalty for breaching section 6 of the Health and Safety Act is a fine of $250,000.

              In August 2014 a seafarer on a Talley’s owned boat was killed.

              In May 2015 the Employment Relations Authority fined Talley’s $6000 for again failing to provide a safe workplace.

              Worker David Brine suffered respiratory problems, vomiting, burning eyes and coughed up blood after cleaning a meat chiller which had been chemically fogged at the Malvern freezing works.

              He says he felt poisoned within 15 minutes.

              Mr Brine told the Employment Relations Authority he and a colleague complained to their supervisors but were told there was nothing wrong with the chemicals – that the smell was safe and they should go back to work.

              Talley’s-owned South Pacific Meats was ordered to pay Brine $6000 for “hurt, humiliation and loss of dignity” because it failed to provide a safe workplace.

              In June 2015, Talley’s was ordered to pay $15,000 in total to Alister Doran, another SPM employee who had his arm cut open at work and was left to look after himself.

              Mr Doran’s arm will never be the same again. It was sliced open while working on the slaughter board at the Malvern freezing works, which is owned by Talley’s.

              His bosses failed to rush him for urgent medical treatment, forcing him to get himself to hospital.

              “I went to hospital [and] spent three days in hospital getting my arm reconstructed,” says Mr Doran. “It’s got permanent loss of feeling along the top of my arm and I’ve lost 40 percent of strength in my arm.”

              An Employment Relations Authority (ERA) ruling recounts Mr Doran’s boss as saying “he was too busy to deal with the matter”.

              “I have always believed it was a personal issue, the reason why I wasn’t given transport,” says Mr Doran.

              When he took a personal grievance case against the company, they responded by moving him to a lower-ranked role and dropping his pay.

              The ERA ruling called it “an element of punishment” and ordered Talley’s owners South Pacific Meats to pay Doran $12,000 in lost wages and compensation.

              “They treated us all like scum,” says Mr Doran.

              “I wasn’t treated like a human being. I was treated like a number.”

              Sir Peter Talley’s attitude to the environment is expressed in a speech in 2011. “We need a new balanced approach to environmentalism, one that recognises sustainable extraction, and one that recognises a higher ranking of mankind, that should rightfully be placed well above the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees. I, for one, certainly did not fight my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables.”

              The company also lost a landmark case about equal pay for women. They had refused to allow a woman to become a filleter at their plant. The response of Andrew Talley was to dismiss the decision as a joke. “In any job there are attributes that suggest it will be more likely to be done by either a man or a woman – that doesn’t mean you discriminate,” he said. “There are jobs – pole dancing being one and fish filleting being another – that have a higher predominance of either men or women. The decision is a joke.” The complaint was made in 2002. The 2005 Human Rights Commission ruled in 2005. Talley’s appealed to the High Court which made its judgement in June 2007.

              The company was also fined $27,000 in March 2014 for sacking a Christian Pacific worker for wanting to exclude Saturday from compulsory overtime as it violated his churches beliefs. The decision politely suggested the company should provide human rights training to managers.

    • Richard Christie 3.2

      quite happy with violence against women if its someone you dont like huh?

      No need to worry, James, there will be a thick blue line at the event, staunchly defending privilege.

  4. Siobhan 4

    ‘ young people working hard to try to get a house” is great, on the other hand this show is about property speculation, quick renovations for quick profit.
    Its one of the many things that have made our housing market a dangerous business. And, incidentally, when the market does crash these ‘Block’ kids are exactly the people who will get burnt in the ponzi scheme we call ‘The Housing Market’

    • dave 4.1

      debt bomb the dirty little secret that under pins the NZ economy i honestly feel a great sense of unease about the near future nobody talks about how the debt mountain is going to be repaid this housing bust is going to destroy lives how could we allow this debt bomb to build up. ponzi scams cant be unwound there is no answer to the housing market except a full blown crash bubble pop they don’t deflate

  5. adam 5

    I always wonded if the produces of the block could be charged under the Crimes Act 1961 Section 98

    If you win the block sure it’s good, but otherwise it is little more than an indentured celebrity. Serf, would be an apt description.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    The housing crisis comes out of a profit-driven housing market.

    Even The Block comes about as a result of the profit-driven housing market.

  7. Alan 7

    Brilliant – piss off hundreds of people and maybe win a few sympathy votes.
    And people here wonder why the left isn’t more popular.

    • ropata 7.1

      Oh dear a few investment bankers in Remmers might spill their lattes

    • Garibaldi 7.2

      Howzabout ” piss off a few and win hundreds of sympathy votes”

    • mosa 7.3

      Nothing else is working, it takes a foreign news programme too highlight this disgraceful situation that the media here pay lip service too and the left arent allowed to be popular in this country thanks too the inherant bias in this countries news organisations.
      Its the Nasty Natz that have all the answers apparently.

    • weka 7.4

      “piss off hundreds of people and maybe win a few sympathy votes.”

      It’s hard to tell exactly who is organising this but I’m pretty sure it’s not a political party. If you think this is about votes you are basically clueless about activism and how social change occurs.

  8. Venezia 8

    Well – the Auckland housing crisis has made it on to the Al Jazeera news, including Taraq Bazley interviews with two homeless families, one family of four living in a car, the other with six children living in a garage. They showed a line up of cars with sleeping families alongside a park at night. But the Minister of Social Housing was not available for an interview by Al Jazeera!

  9. James 9

    Read about the open homes in the news. The idiot protesters didnt even get a mention.

    So about as must air time as they deserved.

  10. Neil 10

    These protesters are barking mad leftie rent-a-crowd, John says so……lol

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    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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