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How the right kill social democracy

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, October 12th, 2010 - 52 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, International, spin - Tags:

The following article published in Canada’s Globe and Mail details how big business and the establishment “killed” the social democratic government of Ontario in 1990. It’s short and worth reading its entirety.

The article summarises the lengths to which the right will go to subvert the democratic will of people who believe in a fairer society. And therein lie some incredibly important lessons we must always remember. I try to tease out some of these lessons from this case study below. But make sure you read the whole article!

Ontario’s NDP (New Democratic Party) government was elected government of Ontario on 1st October 1990.

within months Mr. Rae’s government faced an unrelenting, brutal four-year onslaught that was unprecedented in Canadian history.
The attacks came from all sides. It is no exaggeration to say hysterical fear-mongering and sabotage was the order of the day. Launched within the very first year of the new government, the attackers included every manner of business big and small, both Canadian and American-owned, almost all private media, the police (especially in Toronto), landlords and lobbying/government relations firms. Their goal was clear, and they had the money and power to achieve it.

Lesson 1) Money and power are against you. Don’t kid yourself into thinking otherwise.

The tactics were not necessarily subtle. Though the Soviet Union was ignominiously imploding, right-wing columnists such as Diane Francis and Barbara Amiel actually resorted to old-fashioned red baiting, smearing the government as “red” or “communist.” And after the new finance minister’s very first meeting with the banking community , a bank vice-president told him, in the presence of an aide: “Nice speech, Mr. Minister, but we’re going to kill you.” And they did.

Lesson 2) Don’t sit there and take the smear attacks. Fight back, and fight back hard. Don’t let the bastards get the better of you.

NDP government decision-makers, while innocent about so much, at least understood that the corporate world was not given to bluffing. Time after time they responded to the endless corporate blackmail by compromising on policies and commitments. In this way, they alienated many of their own followers but without ever appeasing business interests. They never could.

Lesson 3) Don’t bow to threats with compromise. Remember who voted you in and the platform you were voted in on. Stand strong.

Some business protests bordered on the disloyal. Hysterical landlords took out an ad in The Wall Street Journal warning Americans not to invest in “leftist Ontario.” Others demanded the complete repudiation by the government of its most cherished legislation, as when several coalitions of powerful business interests, managed by government relations firms such as Hill & Knowlton, demanded the NDP scrap its entire plan to amend the Labour Relations Act. This was the kind of class warfare Lenin might have admired, especially since the government had already withdrawn many of its intended changes in order to meet business criticism.

Lesson 4) Seriously. Don’t compromise.

Perhaps the most chilling and underestimated of the government’s enemies were the Toronto police, whose actions at times bordered dangerously on virtual insubordination against the civilian authorities. Here too certain newspapers and radio commentators repeatedly and deliberately inflamed angry officers against the government. Most successful was the Sun’s ongoing, systematic campaign to drive a wedge between the government and the Toronto police force, sometimes with the collusion of the police themselves.

Lesson 5) The private media are not and never will be your friend. Get your friends to help sideline and undermine the particularly nasty pro-business media.

There are a world of studies yet to be written about the Ontario NDP’s difficult and controversial years in office, none more important than the nature of the saboteurs who organized their very own Ontario coup. This includes much of the business community, government relations firms, the media and the police. There are lessons to learn here about the limits of left-wing politics in Canada. None of them are encouraging if you are a left-winger.

I suggest you read the whole article to get a better picture of just how hard it is to want to change society for the fairer. The story is insightful and intriguing.

In New Zealand we are up against the same forces. But if we learn the right lessons we can avoid the same fate.

Don’t falter, don’t compromise, and stand tall for the people who elected you. There’s a job to be done.

52 comments on “How the right kill social democracy”

  1. RedLogix 1

    “Time after time they responded to the endless corporate blackmail by compromising on policies and commitments. In this way, they alienated many of their own followers but without ever appeasing business interests. They never could.”

    Absolutely a lesson Labour needs to learn. If you give an inch to the bullying bastards they will keep on taking, and taking.

    If you’ve fracked up. make it plain and take it on the chin on your own terms, otherwise if you’ve got a sound defense….never ever let them frame the debate by backing down.

    You may get them off your back temporarily, but all you’ve really achieved is to set up your next defeat.

  2. Bill 2

    From the linked article…”Time after time they (NPD Government) responded to the endless corporate blackmail by compromising on policies and commitments. In this way, they alienated many of their own followers but without ever appeasing business interests. They never could.”

    From Chris Hedges’ latest column How Democracy Dies Lessons From a Master “Our gutless liberal class placates the enemies of democracy, hoping desperately to remain part of the ruling elite, rather than resist. And, in many ways, liberals, because they serve as a cover for these corporate extremists, are our greatest traitors.”

    And from Monbiot’s latest column The Values of Everything “So here we are, forming an orderly queue at the slaughterhouse gate. The punishment of the poor for the errors of the rich, the abandonment of universalism, the dismantling of the shelter the state provides: apart from a few small protests, none of this has yet brought us out fighting.”

    There’s really not anything worthwhile I can add.

    edit. Oops. Sorry Red, Would have simply put the two links as a follow on to your comment if I’d noticed your quote.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      As you say, what can we add to Monbiot and Hedges there. Especially when Monbiot says:

      Common Cause proposes a simple remedy: that we stop seeking to bury our values and instead explain and champion them. Progressive campaigners, it suggests, should help to foster an understanding of the psychology which informs political change and show how it has been manipulated. They should also come together to challenge forces – particularly the advertising industry – which make us insecure and selfish.

      It’s where Helen Clark’s innate rural conservatism was her undoing. Those of us who saw past the distortions and filterings of the media knew that her heart lay in the right place; yet she held back from making her motivations and values plain to us all. And given that fully half of New Zealanders cannot see why Paul Henry had to go…you can sort of empathise with her reasons.

      And it’s why, despite all the distracting nonsenses of the fundamentalists, religion is still the pivot around which everything else revolves. The sane and sincere worship of God not only instills a sense of proportion and humility, but is the most potent means of inculcating and buttressing those ‘intrinsic values’ Monbiot is pointing to.

      • Michael Foxglove 2.1.1

        I think you make a fair point Redlogix, but I don’t think Helen Clark can take too much blame for being conservative when illustrating her vision for New Zealand. You’ve got to remember that we’d just suffered for fifteen years under Rogernomics and I’m sure she felt NZers had had enough radical change for a while.

        I agree with your point, but I think her conservatism was right for the time, because it recreated trust in the left and in government. But Clark has left the next Labour Government in the position to be able to achieve something truly great.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1.1

          Not having a majority in the House might have had something to do with it. Its only been 2 years but everybody forgets the “Labour Party” share of the votes was only about 40% over 9 years and in MMP that gave other parties 60%

          The numbers for the NDP were 37% of the vote but 74 out of 130 seats ( they previously had 19)

        • RedLogix 2.1.1.2

          That makes sense Michael, and certainly in the first term or so HC did ride an enormous tide of goodwill, but like John Key’s smile, that alone was never going to be enough to trigger real transformation.

          At some point HC’s reticence to openly put her values on the line, left a vacuum for the right and their moneyed allies, to write their own dark version framed in faux-fascist terms such as ‘Helengrad’ and ‘Nanny State’.

          Look at the insane Herald headlines screaming ‘Attack on Democracy’ in relation to Labour’s fairly innocuous EFA (and barely changed by National).. ..yet when National completely usurps Parliamentary and Court constitutional powers with CERRA, the response is a few mild finger wags and the odd tut-tut.

          • Michael Foxglove 2.1.1.2.1

            You make a good point Redlogix. In that third term there definitely was space to move things on, and fill that horrendous gap that the Herald and co filled.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Labour badly needed a major make over, and the launch of a new visionary agenda and playbook in 2007/2008. But I guess thats what time in opposition is for.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Think I said something like that on this site (I’d search but I’m feeling lazy). I said that HC should step aside for someone with a greater vision as she didn’t seem to have one. The same can be said ATM of Goff – he’s just not communicating a stirring vision of the future that Labour will try to bring about.

                ‘A man does not have himself killed for a halfpence a day of for a petty distinction. You must speak to the soul in order to electrify him.’

                Napoleon Bonaparte

                The same is true of people and politics.

                • Bill

                  Let’s try this again.

                  There is no vision from the mainstream left because… “Our gutless liberal class placates the enemies of democracy, hoping desperately to remain part of the ruling elite, rather than resist.”

                  True of Clark. True of Goff. And Brown too? Although I’d love to be proven wrong, I don’t really expect to be, but am willing to give ascribe a question mark in the short term.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    To speak of vision you need brass ones. I agree, ATM, the left doesn’t seem to have them.

                    • Bill

                      No need for ‘brass ones.’ A heart and a pair of eyes suffice. You don’t even need much intelligence to know right from wrong. We sense it.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But we need to actually say it and that means not being afraid of ridicule. Also, you should probably have quoted this piece:

                      Ed Miliband appears to understands this need. He told the Labour conference that he “wants to change our society so that it values community and family, not just work” and “wants to change our foreign policy so that it’s always based on values, not just alliances … We must shed old thinking and stand up for those who believe there is more to life than the bottom line.”(5) But there’s a paradox here, which means that we cannot rely on politicians to drive these changes. Those who succeed in politics are, by definition, people who prioritise extrinsic values. Their ambition must supplant peace of mind, family life, friendship – even brotherly love.

                      The people at the top of Labour need to change and that, again, takes an inner strength.

                      And probably this piece:

                      Few people are all-extrinsic or all-intrinsic. Our social identity is formed by a mixture of values. But psychological tests in nearly 70 countries show that values cluster together in remarkably consistent patterns. Those who strongly value financial success, for example, have less empathy, stronger manipulative tendencies, a stronger attraction to hierarchy and inequality, stronger prejudices towards strangers and less concern about human rights and the environment.

                      The people on the right of the political spectrum are predominantly of this latter highlighted description. This has been shown time and time again in sociological studies which relates to my Lesson 6 and to fight that psychopathy requires that inner strength as well because they sure as hell, which is where they’re going and taking us with them, ain’t going to take it lying down (although they will, most definitely, be lying).

                  • handle

                    Just watch. Even if they do not get all their projects through, Len Brown and Penny Hulse will show up how insipid and rudderless Labour have become by comparison.

                    The Greens have been coming up with coherent progressive policy. It can be done, but Labour must get fogies like Hodgson away from strategy and give their fresh blood like Ardern, Robertson and Chauvel room to shine.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1.2.1.2

              That 3rd term :
              Oh yes when the parliamentary agenda was controlled by Winston Peters and Peter Dunne who had 7 and 3 seats respectively ( most of the time)
              AS well being in opposition for 9 years tempers the zeal a bit- ask Bill English

  3. Absolutely – if you remember back to 2000 and the aftermath of the Winter of Discontent – this was an opportunity lost.

    To rip off Sorkin: “Were the demons were shouting down the better angels” in the 5th Labour Government?

    Too often, yes.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Lesson 5) The private media are not and never will be your friend. Get your friends to help sideline and undermine the particularly nasty pro-business media.

    Lesson 5a) Put in a law that any newspaper and their parent corporation will be shut down, without compensation, if found to be lying.

    Lesson 6) The political right are anti-democratic, fascist and will use any means necessary to maintain their control of everyone else.

    • Michael Foxglove 4.1

      You’re spot on with your sixth lesson Draco. It’s critical that our parties of the left learn that the machinery of the right will gear up and do whatever it can to suppress anything that threatens their riches. Their spot in society is supreme and they will not just give it up.

      A perfect example is ACT’s shameful alliance with the Sensible Sentencing Trust. The party compromised the few values of fairness it had in order to advance the interests of the wealthy. It happens time and time again, and we should never expect a right-wing government and its business mates to let any form of fairness get in the way of their money.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        and we should never expect a right-wing government and its business mates to let any form of fairness get in the way of them taking our money.

        FIFY

        • KJT 4.1.1.1

          As you say, we will never get real change in the interests of ordinary people as politicians are by nature extrinsic people.

          Democracy means “by the people for the people”. Not by a minority of 120 politicians.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    John Key kicked off today with the ‘wallet shut’ on Auckland rail and now ‘potato’ Auckland Councillor Jami-lee Ross has weighed in saying that 3 councillors with Maori heritage are enough and negate the need for assigned local iwi seats. Is that enough preliminary evidence for the theorists amongst you that the right have not said “oh well Banksie lost”, but are in fact going to attempt to aggressively undermine the new Auckland council?

    Get active and support those that can be supported in the Council and Boards in the real world beyond your keyboards.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Time to see the Left fight fight fight for the many against the few in an unrelenting and unforgiving way. As Michael Moore might say – this is not the time for us to sing kumbaya around the camp fire while big money and big media work tirelessly against the people.

  7. prism 7

    The left government would have to watch that it kept its eye on the pragmatic as well as the idealistic. If the vision is properly thought out and costed and is intended for long as well as short term progress then it is a matter of constantly explaining it to the electorate as in the ‘broken record’ method. This is where you keep repeating the same message, and don’t stray into side issues.

    It is no use the left being as rigid and unyielding in their minds and approaches as the right wing opposition. Their prime task is to achieve good for the ordinary citizen not to go into battle with the right, do or die. The left have to be smarter than that because they have so many different concerns, the right are stronger because of their one-eyed focus on money, getting profits whether properly earned or not, and are united in that goal as a self-interested group.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      As Act have proven, not really all that united. They’re just as likely to stab each other in the back as anyone else. We have to guard each others back and point out the knife in NACTs hands.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      Yes, the Left have to focus on generating money as well, or shall we more broadly say generating ‘wealth’. Because a society can accumulate social and environmental capital just as well as financial capital. No good having a tonne of financial capital if you are poverty stricken in social and environmental capital.

      So generating wealth of all kinds, and ensuring that it is fairly distributed/redistributed are definitely pragmatic, hands on concerns. Always worth remembering that the facilities, services and benefits that we want our citizens to have are not going to pay for or organise themselves.

      And the idealists play a perfect role in ensuring that the pragmatists strive as hard as possible to reach as close to the ideal as possible. This is where the Democrats in the US are about to take a pounding. Compromise upon compromise upon compromise, and no one is thanking them for any of it.

  8. “Don’t give in, don’t back down, don’t compromise” is all very well if you’re talking about it as a stance purely againt corporate interests and political opponents.

    But unless political parties are going to return to the days of publishing detailed multi-page manifestoes outlining their complete policy platforms (and even then, I’d say this still applies) don’t stop listening to the people.

    They might not want what you’re foisting upon them, no matter how well intentioned it may be. But they’re your bosses, and it’s their country.

    As the last would-be despot found, dismissing people who feel passionately about something as “haters and wreckers” and contemptuously meeting a sheep rather than their leaders is a sure road to well-deserved political oblivion.

    • Michael Foxglove 8.1

      It’s not about dismissing communities Rex. It’s about standing up for them and the platform they elected you on.

      And while it may well be true that parties of the right don’t publish detailed manifestos (note John Key’s one pagers on everything from Labour Relations to Education), from what I saw from the Greens and Labour last election there was a great deal of thought and depth.

    • RedLogix 8.2

      Sorry but exactly WHO are you going to listen to? The half of New Zealanders who still think “Paul Henry was only saying out loud what we’re afraid to say”?

      Vague waffling about ‘fairness and justice’ that can be twisted to mean anything you want it to is a transparent dodge that most folk instinctively see through. At some point you have to say, “this is what we believe in and why”, explain what you plan on doing and the why you want people to get in behind and back you. Show them a picture of where you will lead them…and ask them to get in behind and back the vision with unity and energy.

      It’s called leadership.

      • prism 8.2.1

        Seems to me leadership is a word that might be banned, similar to the term ‘Dear Leader’ which I was told not to use but keeps cropping up because it is a handy throw-away comment. Leadership means different things to different sectors – when you hear it from a businessman you get the idea that he is hoping the government will assert leadership by announcing lower taxes, 90 day trials, no overtime and hopefully carte blanche.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Rex, quite right, in a democracy, the people own the Government and must be listened to.

    Which is why we need to work so much harder on deepening the education, perspectives and awareness of our citizens. People, after all, get the rulers that they deserve. A lazy, apathetic and unaware citizenry is going to lead to inevitably shit Government.

    • Bill 9.1

      CV. You seem to be confounding theory and reality.

      The governance structures we have (you want to call them democratic? Okay. Let’s do that just for the sake of argument.) are bought and paid for by corporate business interests. The corporate piper plays. The Government dances.

      We, the citizenry, spectate.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Am not denying that your description resembles our current state of affairs. And in the US, it describes the situation pretty much exactly.

  10. prism 10

    Ha ha dear moderator – just mentioning D L is enough to get me into moderation when I want to refer to the ban, yet I have seen two others use the term lately. Have I been noted as a recidivist who has to be monitored? Why are you picking on me?

  11. illuminatedtiger 11

    The Nats have had a go at some of this. Anyone notice how the term “PC” (and it’s incorrect usage) came to the forefront of the nations lexicon during and after Don Brash? It’s about time someone came out and gave the term a good fisking.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Already Done. Although not specific to NZ it does report most of it’s history.
      1970/80s

      The New Left later re-appropriated the term political correctness as satirical self-criticism;

      1990s

      Widespread use of the term politically correct and its derivatives began when it was adopted as a pejorative term by the political right in the 1990s,

      • Bill 11.1.1

        Doesn’t ‘political correctness’ stem from the the craven inability of sections of the left to call a spade a spade and act accordingly? Doesn’t PC derive from the inevitable and ineffectual degeneration into niceness and ‘reasonableness’ personified by the brigades of ‘lets sit down and talk about it’ latte drinking middle class types who are incapable of dishing out a kicking to those who deserve one because ‘it’s just not civilised’? And don’t these people themselves deserve a kicking for visiting such abusive, patronising and aloof nonsense on us all?

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          ^+1

          The slaves weren’t freed in America as a result of either ‘niceness’ or ‘reasonableness’ now were they.

          • Bill 11.1.1.1.1

            When were the slaves freed again? Weren’t the terms of slavery merely shifted slightly to accommodate market prerogatives and then swollen by the inclusion of white folks and others to the ‘brave new world’ ranks of wage slavery?

            A bit like ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’ was all that emancipation…out of the plantation and into the factory, the ghetto and the prison system for far too many blacks.

            But sure. Niceness and reasonableness had nothing to do with it.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.2

          It does now but that’s because the psychopathic right took the term, which was being used by the left on themselves critically (i.e. using to question themselves and so to grow), and turned it into a pejorative term.

  12. AndrewK 12

    The system itself is the problem. What is of supreme importance is maintaining the institutions that ensure the wealthy minority continue with their influence on society and their self-indulgent life-styles. Regardless of who ascends to the levers of power, they have endured a vetting and conditioning process so thorough it would never let any pass who would pose even the slightest threat to the status quo.

    The establishment, whether staffed by Labour or National functionaries, exists to perpetuate itself and it perpetuates itself to the detriment of the majority, as Emma Goldman pointed out long ago, “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal”. The whole point of parties like the NDP or the Greens being allowed to compete in the ‘democratic’ process is to promote the illusion that voting alone may work in the interests of a practically disenfranchised majority.

    The establishment is not the government, the establishment is big business, “Government is the shadow cast on society by big business.” is how it is accurately described by John Dewey. The trouble with what is euphemistically described as ‘democracy’ in the west is the alienation of the general population from the decision making process. Decision making is subordinate to the corporate agenda -profit matters, people don’t.

    Democracy needs to be more than three seconds in a polling booth every three years. Democracy must evolve to mean that everyone participates in the decision making process in all segments of the economy- health-care, education, manufacturing, food production, transport, etc…

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      i.e. democratic socialism.

    • ZeeBop 12.2

      Thatcher led the world in loosening finance. Why? Because the middle east started pumping oil and
      the rpices were going to get cheaper and cheaper that western economies needed more liquidity so
      that they could claim more of the business from cheap oil. As energy gets cheaper more business
      and industrial processes become viable concerns. So we saw huge stock markets.

      Now we’ve hit peak oil! High dense energy fuels are running down and starting to run out!
      This means the financial era is over, businesses where businesses would support far right
      economics because it means they would make money! This is no longer viable! Businesses
      now want consumers to come in their shops, they want to offer sustainable products, not
      because their nice, or lousy, but because that’s where the money is now. The politics have
      shifted radically to the left. Now we need economic policies to do more with the smaller
      liquidity so as to maintain the wealth that has accumlated by the elites.

      So astonishly the rich need to spend, they know that they can either spend now, and maybe
      save some of their wealth (stay very rich) or they can shutdown and lose the lot.
      So the problem is not the elite, it’s not the business classes, its convincing voters that
      yes they can have better wages, they can have better services and actually its GOOD for
      the economy that they are better SERVED by the economy, it will bail out the rich and
      the business sector while the finance sector shrinks.

  13. just saying 13

    quote: “its convincing voters that yes they can have better wages, they can have better services and actually its GOOD forthe economy that they are better SERVED by the economy”,

    This bit I agree with as an important challenge for the left. The problem is the widespread, entrenched, belief that the country would be bankrupted if we stopped pandering to the rich – that if we don’t do as we’re told, they’ll pull the plug and the country will go down the drain.

    It is a mindset that has prevailed in both major parties, and it is not being challenged, except occasionally by some of the Greens.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      just saying, you should say more of this stuff.

      • ZeeBop 13.1.1

        We will be bankrupt if we stop capitalism by leaving all the profit
        centers in the hands of a few, and the rest of the population are making
        ends meet according factory farming conditions.

  14. KJT 14

    “they’ll pull the plug and the country will go down the drain”.

    Not an irrational fear. Countries that have become “too socialist” ,read unfriendly to US business and finance have had the plug pulled.

    India and other third world countries have been denied development money until they “removed their socialist chains”. Others have simply been invaded (Guatemala and Honduras) had their Governments forcibly changed (Chile and Indonesia), life has been made difficult (Venezuela and Cuba) or US business interests have supported right wing Governments. (NZ, UK and Australia).

    Waiting to see what the US do to their own people if they become too fractious and demand real democracy and freedom.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      We don’t need their development money as we already produce enough to feed, house and clothe everybody. We can make everything that we need and if necessary do so by ignoring patents. the invasion is a little bit more difficult but we could probably hold off one of those as well if we had the necessary defense strategy and the industry to support it.

      Waiting to see what the US do to their own people if they become too fractious and demand real democracy and freedom.

      That’s fairly obvious really and we’ve already seen the beginnings of it. If the US populace gets too uppity they’re going to be detained, at the very minimum, and probably jailed and/or executed.

    • handle 14.2

      The US is being supplanted by China and the EU. What do they want from us?

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Steven Pearlstein Doesn’t Understand Market Economies

    By contrast, trade policy was deliberately designed to put U.S. manufacturing workers in direct competition with the lowest paid workers in the world. Also, hotels, restaurant owners and other employers of low-skilled workers have no problem at all hiring undocumented workers at low wages to keep down pay in these sectors. This also is a policy decision — the government has decided not to require these employers to obey employment law.

    In short, the inequality that Pearlstein notes has nothing to do with the dictates of a market economy. It is the result of the people at the top rigging the rules to their benefit. They got the government to stack the deck in their favor and then hired people like Pearlstein to tell everyone that it was just the natural workings of the market.

    Ensuring that the poor got poorer is an effective way to remove them from the political process as they just don’t have the time to do the necessary research. This leaves them open to simplistic slogans and rhetoric that sounds good but is essentially meaningless.

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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • The irreversible emissions of a permafrost ‘tipping point’
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr Christina Schädel Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere’s higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon.  As global temperatures rise, this “permafrost” land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere. Abrupt permafrost ...
    1 day ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    2 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    2 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    2 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    3 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    3 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    3 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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? ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours 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
    21 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
    21 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
    22 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
    23 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 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
    6 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
    6 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
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    1 week ago