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How much astroturf can you buy for $500,000?

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, November 20th, 2009 - 76 comments
Categories: child discipline - Tags: , ,

astroturfingTomorrow the Christian Right are holding a self-styled ‘March for Democracy’ that’s been bankrolled to the tune of $500,000 by Auckland property developer Colin Craig.

I’m sure you’ll have seen the TV ads, the newpaper full-pagers and the slick PR campaign. They’re even paying for free buses to and from the event. With that kind of big money behind you’d expect to get a decent turnout, almost regardless of the cause. But exactly how much astroturf can you buy for $500,000?

Let’s generously assume a budget of $10 per person you get to your rally. On that basis we should be expecting a turnout of at least 50,000 people. If they get 10,000 people it’s $50 per person. 5000 people and you’re looking at a $100 spend per person.

Taking this train of thought a step further, the organisers could save themselves a whole lot of hassle and just spend the $500,000 to actually pay people to attend the rally. At the minimum wage they’d get 40,000 people along. Even at $15 an hour they’d still get 33,333.

Don’t get me wrong, I expect a large turnout. We just have to remember to ask how that number looks when you divide into 500,000.

76 comments on “How much astroturf can you buy for $500,000?”

  1. gitmo 1

    If they get a couple of hundred people I’d be amazed….. by the way who are the “Christian right” and relation to the Christian left the Muslim right or the Hindu centrists ?

    Why are some of the writers here so quick to try and hang a label on people ?

    • Geek 1.1

      Because its easy to dismiss someone as an extremist crazy if you hang a label like Christian right or Redneck on them.

    • Marty G 1.2

      sorry, are you denying that there is such a thing as a Christian Right and that it is a major force behind social conservatism in New Zealand?

      As it happens there are of course Christian Left (the established churches in NZ mostly fall into this category) and there is Muslim Right (not yet a significant political force in NZ), and Hindu centrists (who have a lot of trouble with the Hindu Right in India)

    • Clarke 1.3

      Because “Christian Right” is a much politer label than “Deluded Nutjobs”.

  2. lukas 2

    How much does it cost to hire a bus and take voters to polling booths and then on to KFC?

    captcha- money

  3. Scribe 3

    How much for the honorary consul’s job in Monaco?

    I find it hard to believe you’d write a similar post if someone put up $500k to promote a rally on climate change issues. It’s really the cause that’s got you riled up, isn’t it Eddie?

    • Marty G 3.1

      myself, I would hope that any climate change campaigner would have better things to spend $500,000 on than a march.

      That’s the interesting thing for me – how awash with cash the beating lobby is. There are obviously a few wealthy people behind this. I wonder why they spend their money on this issue, which can’t seriously matter to them, not to the extent they would shell out half a million on a march. Aren’t there other rightwing issues they would rather spend the money on?

      They’re free to waste their money how they like, of course.

      • Geek 3.1.1

        How big is Green peaces budget? I am sure they have spent far more than 500K on protesting about climate change.

        • Marty G 3.1.1.1

          yes, so?

          • Geek 3.1.1.1.1

            Make a stupid comment get a stupid answer.

            Clearly climate campaigners do spend large amounts of money on getting their point across. To discredit these peoples views simply because money has been spent on the protest is stupid.

            • Roger Anderson 3.1.1.1.1.1

              It is worth spending half a million for climate change awareness, it is not worth spending half a million dollars to protest a view that shows a misunderstanding of what the repeal of section 59 is or what democracy really entails.

        • squirrel 3.1.1.2

          I’ve been involved in organsing a fair number of marches and protest events. The majority would come in well under $1000 though some large union events with stages, PA’s a sound engineer and a bit of promotion might come in between $10,000 and $20,000. This would be the same with greenpeace.

          Certainly a budget of over $50,000 would be unheard of for a major left wing protest, I doubt it has happened. The electoral finance act and anti smacking protests have in contrast been exceptionally well funded by donors with big pockets. If only those of us on the left had as generous spnsors.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        They have the money to manipulate people and so binding referendums would pretty much guarantee them dictatorial control over the country.

  4. exbrethren 4

    Wonder if this is the poster girl for the march?

    [url]http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/3081641/Jailed-for-beating-son-with-hosepipe[/url]

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Those children need to be removed from those parents ASAP.

    • Geek 4.2

      In as much as they will use it as an example of the law having no effect on those it was aimed at they probably will.

      I understand the law is designed to change attitudes over time but you may just see them marching out this case as an example of why the law isn’t working.

      • felix 4.2.1

        Not sure if you’re being deliberately obtuse or not, but in case you aren’t:

        Before the repeal of section 59 this woman could have (and in all likeliness would have) used the defense of “reasonable force”.

        Now she can’t.

        That is the effect of the repeal, Geek. She is in jail for what she has done whereas previously she would likely have been free to continue her abuse.

        You might not think that’s a significant difference but I’m pretty sure she does, and her victims do too.

        • Geek 4.2.1.1

          I think you got the wrong end of the stick and even so you make a hell of a lot of assumptions.

          Firstly you are right that she would have attempted to use s59 however it is a big step to assume it would have worked. The fact that it was premeditated with lengths of hose being cut before the child was home and then the beating being carried out as an example in front of all the kids puts it on a level that I think any lawyer would have difficulty arguing was reasonable. However it was never tested under the old law so it is ridiculous to try and predict what the outcome would have been.

          Secondly cases of children being killed by abuse have already been trotted out as examples of the law not working. It is claimed that kids were dieing under the old law and they are dieing under the new so the law isn’t working. The same reasoning will probably be applied to this. I would not be surprised to see a sound bite from the march where someone mentions this case and uses it as an example to prove that the law doesn’t stop child abuse.

          • Roger Anderson 4.2.1.1.1

            There was the reported case of the lady who used a horse riding crop on her son and succeeded in using this defence. The argument that this repeal doesn’t work because people still break the law is ridiculous. would you say in cases where children die from abuse that laws against murder also do not work and need to be removed?

            • Geek 4.2.1.1.1.1

              yes there was the reported riding crop case. Widely reported and if anything that case being so widely reported would more than likely reduce the chances of a jury returning a not guilty verdict as they did int he riding crop case.

              Also read my earlier comment. I understand the law is intended to change attitudes thereby reducing child abuse over time. I understand that it won’t have an immediate effect on the numbers. My understanding of this does not change the fact that people will still march these cases out and say “see the legislation didn’t save this child”.

            • felix 4.2.1.1.1.2

              “see the legislation didn’t save this child’.

              I can see what you’re saying Geek but I really think it backfires a bit. They would seem to be saying, in making that argument, that the child was still victimised in spite of the repeal but the abuser should be given an out anyway.

              It comes out sounding like:

              “See? The legislation didn’t save this child. From us.”

            • Geek 4.2.1.1.1.3

              There is the chance for it to backfire. That chance is seldom taken. MSM will grab that sound bite and play it. What they won’t do is have someone else saying “It didn’t save this child right now, but how many children will be saved in the future by a slow removal of the acceptance of this behavior”.

          • felix 4.2.1.1.2

            That’s why I said “likely”.

            Maybe I should have said “possibly”.

            Anyhoo this case is exactly why the reasonable force defense was removed. If the marchers think it helps their cause to highlight it then good for them. I disagree.

            The real trouble they find themselves in I suppose is that they don’t have any good examples to hold up because to date no-one has been prosecuted for smacking a child.

        • Herodotus 4.2.1.2

          So you are really questioning our judicial system?
          It is not necessarily the law ( as the old S59 still outlawed violence, now we have replaced precedence with police discretion) that is wrong BUT how the court process is applied. If that is a case then should we not be reviewing the system, as in this case you were worried that a not guilty may have resulted that in this example 12 peers would have let them go. Could the same arguement be had for any jury case?

  5. Adrian 5

    How about Key feeding the masses in Singapore last week, and so-called journalists to boot?

  6. Bored 6

    Christian right, what an oxymoron. I had hoped as Gitmo suggests that they dont exist in reality, that its just a label. Then somebody fronts $50K to gather the righteous to demand Old Testament rules, a fiery brimstone wielding retributive God in tow. Will we be surprised and see the real Christ, the charitable forgiveness figure in these “Christians”, or just the local Taliban?

  7. prism 7

    The march seems centred around raising and fostering false consciousness. Rigid Christian dogmatics are also great followers to a call by their leaders. They think and examine beyond the dogma with an already closed mind. They can be stirred to feel and react with particular emotionally charged words such as democracy, parents rights, anti-sex anything – gays, prostitution, unmarried mothers, they’re also likely to reject government social programs etc. That tends to be where the Christian right comes from. Most people understand that don’t they.

    • Herodotus 7.1

      Such labelling , you are following H1 putdowns on Christian Fundamentalists, without describing what they believe in who they are. You may find that when you describe such a group as CF the majority also vote for Labour, as your def may blanket both CF & CR!!
      Why is there so much hostility towards such a group, perhaps if you place a label then you depersonalise the people so you donot have to face that the individuals are not as “bad” as you portray them and maybe your neighbour whom you have a beer/Chardonnay with.

      • prism 7.1.1

        Herodotus – Putting a label on someone can be a way of being dismissive about others I know. But it is essential to be able to describe something observable, and the CF behaviour is predictable.

        If I had the neighbour you describe it wouldn’t be a relaxing time having a drink with that person. If I didn’t keep strictly to discussion of fences and overhanging trees etc. we would soon be disagreeing whatever their political persuasion.

  8. outofbed 8

    If Colin Craig wants to beat children so much he is willing to shell out $500,000,
    I am sure there are other places in the world that would see a higher childbeating per dollar ratio then he will achieve on Saturday

  9. Armchair Critic 9

    The whole thing is a diversionary tactic.
    The organizers are abusing the word democracy; the march is nothing to do with democracy. The march is advocating stripping a group of vulnerable people of their existing legal rights.
    Democracy is (according to my Concise Oxford) “government by the whole population”. The march is not asking for democracy, it is asking for mob rule.
    The protection of children’s rights is the one thing I am happy with National’s actions on. The only thing they could do better is explain clearly why the march organizers are a bunch of [self moderated].

    • Scribe 9.1

      Democracy is (according to my Concise Oxford) “government by the whole population’. The march is not asking for democracy, it is asking for mob rule.

      Nonsense. They’re asking that a referendum of the people that has such a clear-cut outcome should lead to a change in policy.

      Sure, it’s convenient to portray them as child-beaters. Sure, the referendum question was flawed. Sure, the government has no compulsion to make any changes.

      The reaction of people like you, Armchair Critic, and others, appears to be a case of only supporting freedom of speech when you agree with that speech.

      • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1

        No one is saying they can’t speak Scribe. Don’t be silly.

        What they are asking is that a non binding ref, be treated as a binding one. That’s dumbity dumb dumb, and it’s not denying their freedom of speech to point that out..

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2

        They’re asking that a referendum of the people that has such a clear-cut outcome should lead to a change in policy.

        And which referendum was that one? Because it sure as hell wasn’t the latest one that had a misleading question and wasn’t about any laws.

        appears to be a case of only supporting freedom of speech when you agree with that speech.

        Free speech is all well and good but when it gets into the political realm then it needs to be supported by facts. These people don’t have facts – only delusional belief.

      • Armchair Critic 9.1.3

        You have headed off down the diversion trail too, scribe. You haven’t addressed the point that the march is about stripping a group of people of their legal rights.

        “They’re asking that a referendum of the people that has such a clear-cut outcome should lead to a change in policy.”
        Democracy involves a bit more than that. When a referendum outcome purportedly supports stripping the rights of a disenfranchised part of society, I support any government that does not pursue the referendum outcome. And where a large group of people demand the existing rights of the disenfranchised are removed, that sounds more like mob rule than democracy.

        “Sure, it’s convenient to portray them as child-beaters.”
        But it’s misleading. There is a wide gulf between smacking and beating. It amuses me that the same people that tell us all how smoking marijuana leads inexorably to using harder drugs, yet refuse to apply the same logic to smacking.

        “Sure, the referendum question was flawed. Sure, the government has no compulsion to make any changes.”
        Absolutley.

        “The reaction of people like you, Armchair Critic, and others, appears to be a case of only supporting freedom of speech when you agree with that speech.”
        Let me leave you with no doubt on this one. I am with Voltaire on the issue of free speech. I do not agree with what the marchers are advocating, however I will defend to the death their right to say it. And the same applies to my right to criticise their views.

        • fraser 9.1.3.1

          “to criticise their views.”

          and their funding model

          • Armchair Critic 9.1.3.1.1

            I don’t have a problem with their funding model, per se. If someone is dumb enough to put up their own cash to advocate doing the wrong thing, that’s their loss. If they are actually serious about supporting democracy, there are plenty of other ways to do this that would be much more effective.

            • fraser 9.1.3.1.1.1

              yeah, im kinda of the same opinion.

              was more getting at people equating a paid for event with a political movement

            • Armchair Critic 9.1.3.1.1.2

              Oh, right, that is a bit of an issue.
              I wonder, if people are being paid, does that create an obligation to pay tax? And does it create an obligation on the oganizers to comply with the Health and safety in Employment Act? That would leave a few i’s to dot and t’s to cross. Wouldn’t want anyone breaking any laws, now.

  10. Scribe 10

    Pb,

    Some people are saying those who will march tomorrow are rednecks not worth listening to.

    You’re right, though; the horse has bolted on this issue.

    What the group should be doing, and I think they are to an extent (but opponents are shouting “childbeaters” etc), is making the case for there to be BINDING referenda. Maybe along the lines of 75%+ support makes something binding, but with greater restrictions around the wording of questions etc.

    People might or might not agree with that, but it’s something people ought to be able to march up Queen Street about.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    “Some people are saying those who will march tomorrow are rednecks not worth listening to.”

    “Some people” eh? Rightio.

    Even so, that’s not saying they shouldn’t be allowed to speak.

    • Geek 11.1

      What matters

      TC posted 19 November at 1120am

      “The scary and sad thought is these marchers represent the folk who put us where we are by voting for the NACT. It’s not so much a ‘pro beating’ turnout , even though it would contain a fair few of those, but more like ‘give us red necks what you promised’ turnout.”

      Some people ARE saying those who march tomorrow are just rednecks.

      • Pascal's bookie 11.1.1

        I was disputing the claim that people are denying them the freedom of speech. Maybe someone is, I’ve not seen it though.

        I think tc is right though, that there is an element in this protest that feel Key? National have betrayed them, and that can’t reasonably be about the smacking because National’s position on that hasn’t changed.

        Instead, I think it’s a consequence of the dogwhistling National engaged in against liberals and gays, and nanny state, etc. There was more of it under Brash for sure, but the right kept it up through talkbalk etc when Key took over. And Key never really fronted on repudiating that stuff. That crowd feels betrayed, and yeah, they’re ‘rednecks’ inasmuch as the term means anything.

        I was struck my how personally they went after Key in the TV ad that I heard, (didn’t see it as I was in the kitchen, but it was John Key this and John Key that we voted for John key and now John Key the other). That sense of leadership betrayal is a pointer to authoritarian leanings, IMV.

        But they’re free to speak and march, certainly.

        • Geek 11.1.1.1

          “”Some people are saying those who will march tomorrow are rednecks not worth listening to.’

          “Some people’ eh? Rightio.”

          That seems like a denial of his claim that people are claiming that those who are marching are rednecks. I merely provided evidence that people are simply dismissing them as all being rednecks.

          I actually agree that most of those there will be people who voted for national who feel they aren’t getting what they voted for. That of course is not the same thing as a bunch of redneck or child beaters which seems to be the major response I see here.

  12. Herodotus 12

    Why is there so much aghast on when there is a march against what the left do not support. All this demonising of those who support the cause?
    Over the years as ideas that”we:” do not support, valid discussion cannot be held without the conversation deterioating into either KB mentality or, academic snobery so we can excluded those out there who are not us as they cannot converse in “our” language.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      Stop demonising the left Herodotus. Why is it that whenever anyone disagrees with the right, they start crying and stamping their feet. The only acceptable speech to them is complete agreement with whatever their current lunacy is. Anything else, and they claim they are being oppressed.

      • Herodotus 12.1.1

        using this thread, please re read this at point out where my comments do not fit.I did not say that the right do not also do something similar but their exclusion basis is completely different to the left. I was making an observation that has been more obvious. I do not know if it is because there are only the same people contributing, but e.g. In 1 post within the month Someone suggested that the PM must have passed a political studies course.
        If I was to comment on the rights exclusion basis would this be the most appropiate forum?

        • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1.1

          Mate, basically speaking people actually disagree about things. Standing around acting all school teacherey and saying why can’t you all be more polite and then we might reach a consensus is a fools game.

          The acrimony is not caused by the ‘exclusionary language’ or the labeling or what have you, (though there is a feed back loop involved), but rather by the underlying diffrence of opinions, genuinely felt.

          But anyway, needs must, I’m off.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      Valid discussion can’t be held unless facts are utilised and discussed. The people supporting this march for “democracy” are making sure that fact doesn’t enter the discussion at all.

  13. Greg 13

    “Taking this train of thought a step further, the organisers could save themselves a whole lot of hassle and just spend the $500,000 to actually pay people to attend the rally. At the minimum wage they’d get 40,000 people along. Even at $15 an hour they’d still get 33,333.”

    Apparently thats the done thing these days…… check out: http://www.stuff.co.nz/oddstuff/3080809/Mall-fight-pays-for-protesters

    The left started it!

    • Roger Anderson 13.1

      nice try Greg, your link does not describe a left wing protest. Try harder next time.

      • IrishBill 13.1.1

        That’ll be those left-wing small business owners.

        • Geek 13.1.1.1

          People see student in an article and immediately assume left wing. It’s a shame that other actually read the entire article and then make them look like idiots.

  14. fizzleplug 14

    I don’t see the issue at all. It’s his money, and although I can think of much much better things to spend it on (I’m looking to buy a house at the moment), it’s also his money to waste. WHich is what he is doing.

    Astroturf is a very odd thing to compare it to though. Seriously, how many people buy astroturf? I’d like to know how much airtime someone can get on TVNZ for $500k….

    oops different thread!

  15. Cameron 15

    Unite Union volunteers are turning up to the march tomorrow to collect signatures for the $15 minimum wage petition. May as well take advantage of the big crowd of people, even if you disagree with repealing Section 59. If you want to help out, meet up outside the Unite Union offices at 300 Queen Street – it’s just by the ASB on the corner of Wellesley street.

    I doubt the vast majority of the crowd will be hardened right-wingers. I think many will be conservative working class people, involved in churches. It is best to break them from the right-wing demagogues, like Family First, by actually helping them with the day to day issues in their lives, poor wages etc.

    • prism 15.1

      Good luck with the wages petition. Smart thinking to utilise the mass gathering for something useful.

      The problems I see about the march is it demonstrates that there are people out there with money who will use it to push the country in their chosen direction. There’s nothing new in that eh, we’ve got Shirtcliff and that other big wheel doing this over MMP, but it makes me feel wobbly. Shades of Fiji.
      And the other problem is their idea that we should have binding referendums, and because they think so it is as good as having such a system, and they act as if we do and demand their chosen result and then call that democracy. Frankly I don’t want their version of it and wouldn’t trust them to come up with sound decisions about anything, whether smacking or their next target.

  16. Addicted to Smack?

    lol – anti-spam word – “danger”

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    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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
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    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago