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immigration profiling

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, April 10th, 2018 - 43 comments
Categories: human rights, immigration, law, racism - Tags:

The good news is that our Immigration Minister has put the “pilot data modelling programme” on hold, with assurances that race and nationality were never used.  I sincerely hope so, because there are huge issues if it does get used.  From Gordon Campbell:

Apparently….age, gender, ethnicity and country of origin are all “data sets” that go into the model guiding how INZ makes its decisions about which immigrants should be allowed access to this country’s resources and opportunities …and as Alistair Murray. INZ’s head of Compliance and Investigations helpfully told RNZ yesterday, the profiling involved even extends to “interactions” with Police, as to whether a Police decision to prosecute should simply be superseded by an INZ decision to deport the person in question. Yep, no danger there of confirming each other’s biases, surely.

The Murray interview is hair-raising, and can be heard here.

It seems that INZ has been loading data into its “harm model” for the past 18 months, on such things as unpaid hospital bills, use of healthcare or criminal activity. Thus, the demographic attributes of Person A who has been responsible for such costs in the past gets loaded into the model, and if and when another immigrant showing some of the same data characteristics ( age, gender, country of origin) comes over the horizon then bam ! ….”We’ll move to deport them at the first opportunity,” Murray says, “ so that they don’t have the chance to do that sort of harm.”

You would think that this kind of thing would breach our human rights laws.  Except for the fact that our immigration system does not have to comply with the Human Rights Act in any way.  I remember submitting to the review of the then Immigration Act review back in 2007, as did the Human Rights Commission.  The Commission argued that immigration law shouldn’t have a Human Rights Act exemption, even though there were instances where discrimination in immigration was valid.  However, the Commission argued, each case of discrimination should be able to be justified and should be transparent.

Well, s392 of the Immigration Act 2009, exempts this Act from the Human Rights Act.  There can be no complaints to the Human Rights Commission nor can the Commission itself take any proceeding forward in relation to the Immigration Act.  Which means that the kind of profiling that Mr Murray speaks about is entirely legal and there is no recourse through the justice system.

And just in case it isn’t clear, profiling means that the individual has done nothing wrong except match a profile that someone in Immigration New Zealand decides is a bad one.  Despite the fact that many people fitting that same profile will have caused no harm and in fact will have been model citizens.  I’m sure any profiling project will not factor in discriminatory practices in New Zealand that shut certain types of people out of high paying jobs, that they are less likely to be selected to positions of leadership, that they are paid less.  It will not incorporate the factors which ensure that certain types of people are set up to fail, but it will punish people for the failure of others or the failure of a system with in-built discrimination.

Of course we want an immigration system that works for New Zealand.  But we can have such a system without discriminating against people on the basis of ethnicity and nationality.

UPDATE:

Tze Ming Mok has linked to the briefing given to the Minister by Immigration NZ.  See her excellent Twitter thread which starts here.  It seems that the profiling discriminates between men and women ie all else being equal, a woman would be deported where a man wouldn’t, based on the model.   But also, apparently they assess potential victims on the basis of their cost to New Zealand.  This is beyond awful.

(Photo from here)

43 comments on “immigration profiling ”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    This seems to be recurrent claim
    “And just in case it isn’t clear, profiling means that the individual has done nothing wrong except match a profile that someone in Immigration New Zealand decides is a bad one.”

    The only reason immigration would be interested in these circumstances is that they are in the country illegally. Which of course doenst mean they have done any thing wrong at all. By definition they are ‘illegal’

    It seems RNZ who made a huge blunder in their online story by saying ‘immigrants’ which they later corrected to ‘overstayer’ ( without comment) has led to a widespread belief that the people of interest to INZ were of course the many hundreds of thousands of migrants who are here legally and of course going about their everyday lives.

    • Chris T 1.1

      I noticed that as well

      I find the whole thing a bit hype

      They are here illegally and profiling is used all the time without anyone batting an eyelid, and they weren’t even using ethnicity

      I don’t see anyone up in arms over how insurance companies decide their premiums for certain peoples likelihood of a claim.

      It isn’t an accident you are more likely to be searched at the boarder if you are young and coming back from a couple of days in Asia, than if you are a family of 4 back from a week in Fiji.

      • Carolyn_Nth 1.1.1

        The problem is that they are using this sort of profiling for anything. It looks a lot like Bill English’s social investment strategy.

        And how will this impact on the decision-making of immigration officials when they make judgments on others who apply to immigrate here?

        Surely people should be able to appeal the initial decisions by people who have arrived in NZ without the required visas, etc?

        And that’s where the whole system SHOULD be subject to the Human Rights ACT

        • dukeofurl 1.1.1.1

          Overstayers means they have had the required visas which have expired – most have a time limit, eg holiday visas, work visas etc.

          Yes thay can appeal, and Immigration has very wide discretion to give what is called a S61 visa to regularise their situation.
          http://communitylaw.org.nz/community-law-manual/chapter-32-immigration-and-refugees/if-youre-here-illegally-understanding-your-options-chapter-32/

          This gives more detail, but emphasize that its has to be out of the ordinary to get one.

          The HRC themselves make clear why Immigration restrictions arent covered by Human Rights Act
          “The reason for this is found in subsection (3) where it recognizes that “immigration matters inherently involve different treatment on the basis of personal characteristics” (such as health, age, national origin).

          https://www.hrc.co.nz/enquiries-and-complaints/faqs/immigration-and-human-rights/

          • stargazer 1.1.1.1.1

            yes, i actually mention in the post that HRC agree that there are legitimate reasons for discrimination. but their position also was that INZ should be transparent about those reasons and justify them, rather than having a blanket exemption from the Human Rights Act. and definitely, profiling on the basis that victims cost more is not at all acceptable to me – even if they are dealing with overstayers. in terms of victims of NZ citizens & residents, surely they should be taking into account the fact that perpetrators withhold passports and use immigration status to coerce and abuse, rather than profiling those victims for deportation.

            and that’s just one of the problems with using this kind of profiling system.

            • dukeofurl 1.1.1.1.1.1

              You didnt point out, but I did, that S61 visas can be used in those sort of extreme cases.
              And how are they going to find out people are being held against their will in the first place ?
              Wait for tipoffs ? or would it be a good idea to prioritise people who they think are overstayers but against their own will.

              Doing nothing doesnt help this small group who may be in indentured labour or sex work.

              • stargazer

                and yet they do find out – when they do raids of restaurants that use these tactics against migrant workers; when women present to the police and various other measures. deporting people who are victims does nothing to solve the problem, is hugely unfair and just means that the perpetrators are left to carry on with a new set of victims. they actually should be using resources to work with police & the justice system to stop victimisation. simple removal of victims is a cop-out and a punishment of vulnerable people because that is the easiest and cheapest thing to do.

                • dukeofurl

                  You are ignoring the wide discretion for a S61 visa for those who are real victims.

                  Of course most removed just havent bothered with the ‘legalities’

                  As for the claim the perpetrators are left to carry on, theres no evidence of that .But this shows the contrary.
                  http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/02/auckland-construction-site-sweep-uncovers-190-illegal-malaysian-workers.html

                  The Kingpin as they called it has been arrested

                  • stargazer

                    in which case they wouldn’t need a data-modelling system that pre-emptively targets victims of harm – which is what the briefing to the minister specifically states that this project would do. your assertion that most “haven’t bothered with the legalities” is pure assumption. i’m well aware of the illegal malaysian workers case, which is why i mentioned raiding employers. if they do the raids, then they don’t need to do the profiling and target people that may or may not at some future times be victims through a data-modelling system.

                    • dukeofurl

                      As for evidence of those deported just ““haven’t bothered with the legalities”
                      There is the community law circumstances where you have a good chance of a S61 waiver , and what does it cover ?

                      “your current situation – including why you need to stay in New Zealand, how long you’ve already been here unlawfully, why you don’t have a current visa, what efforts you’ve made to try to get one, and whether your unlawful status is because of something outside your control”
                      and
                      “you haven’t deliberately attempted to stay here unlawfully for a long time.”

                      http://communitylaw.org.nz/community-law-manual/chapter-32-immigration-and-refugees/if-youre-here-illegally-understanding-your-options-chapter-32/

                      Clearly those who havent bothered with the legalities are exactly those who dont get S61 visas to regularise their situation. Result is then deportation

      • Michelle 1.1.2

        You are almost more likely to be checked if you are brown chris t and might I add also pulled over by our police have you experienced this ?

        • Chris T 1.1.2.1

          Nope

          I have been pulled over by the police a few times and am not Maori though.

          I think it was more I was young and was driving a V8

          And been searched on my way back from Bangkok.

          But you could probably swap the V8 there with not having shaved for a week and wearing a crappy old T-Shirt

          • Michelle 1.1.2.1.1

            yes chris t but have you been pulled over and then they (the police) had to make up an excuse because they pulled you over for nothing and might I add they did u turn to pull you over

        • dukeofurl 1.1.2.2

          Brown ?
          As the largest numbers here illegally are from The pacific should they have a quota of those removed to match the numbers
          For every 5 pacific islanders , we must deport 4 from china, 3 from India and 2 from Europe?
          That system would be absurd, and yet would pass the ‘non discrimination test.’

          For good reasons we have a ‘brown only ‘ category of pacific island seasonal workers ( around 11000 pa) and for good reasons we have a Samoa only category of work visas ( outside the current system).

          • stargazer 1.1.2.2.1

            the quota is there for foreign policy reasons, and part of the pacific aid programme. you are getting into nonsense territory with this comment.

            • dukeofurl 1.1.2.2.1.1

              I said its for good reasons , multiple times

              Try reading what I said, rather than dismissing it as nonsense

              • weka

                You said “For good reasons we have a ‘brown only ‘ category of pacific island seasonal workers”.

                Stargazer said that’s a foreign policy issue, part of the pacific aid programme (in other words, certain nations are treated specifically by NZ) . You appear to be saying it’s because those people are brown. Can you clarify what you meant?

                (btw, the comment you replied to appeared to be pointing out that the NZ police will stop Māori and PI people because they are brown. That’s not controversial, and it’s a problem that the police do that simply on the basis of perceived ethnicity).

                • dukeofurl

                  The ‘brown’ was only shorthand that had been used earlier for pacific people.

                  As for NZ police its outrageous that pacific and maori people are discriminated against.
                  But is this connected to immigration from many countries and the millions of people on visitor visas?

    • Matthew Whitehead 1.2

      Using illegal profiling methods against people in the country illegally is still itself illegal, dukeofurl.

      INZ notes only that its discrimination can be legal as per their carveout, if well-justified for immigration policy reasons based on sound policy. That is not the same thing as definitely being legal. They provide no such basis for profiling on country of origin, (which they admit to having withheld data on in this release, so it may still be in the original model) age, or sex, so all these factors should be assumed to be discriminatory until proven otherwise, and are likely to be found so in court if challenged.

      There is also reference to people’s current visa type, and given people who are overstaying do not have visas, this suggests that the tool is actually used for more than just overstayers, which is a definite problem, and does reinforce the initial perception that they are in fact profiling all immigrants, not just people who are overstaying after their visa has expired.

      • dukeofurl 1.2.1

        I get your intial point about the carve out.

        But dont you think you are then relying ‘perceptions’ that they are profiling all immigrants. ( With an excel spreadsheet?)

        IRD ‘profiles all taxpayers’ to target groups that may be involved in tax fraud.

        ie those with cash payments
        http://www.pkffa.co.nz/news/news/ird-targets-undeclared-cash-by-dale-adamson/

        One of those groups involved in tax fraud is also targeted for immigration fraud, restaurants.

        Is that not a good thing.

        I had a heat pump installed by 2 guys from eastern europe, I presume that were on work visas as they were working as electricians for a reputable company.
        Sometimes people on visas from eastern europe are involved in credit card fraud and ATM skimming.
        The correct paperwork would mean ( should mean) they would move onto others who arent.

    • weka 1.3

      “It seems RNZ who made a huge blunder in their online story by saying ‘immigrants’ which they later corrected to ‘overstayer’ ( without comment) has led to a widespread belief that the people of interest to INZ were of course the many hundreds of thousands of migrants who are here legally and of course going about their everyday lives.”

      Can you please link to the piece you are referring to?

      • dukeofurl 1.3.1

        Sure . Thats they very annoying thing about the RNZ story, the made a huge blunder and didnt say so when it was corrected. So its pretty hard to link to a un changed version. Cant impinge on the ‘journalist infallibility.’, no sirree

        But this blog covers the change in detail
        https://www.statschat.org.nz/2018/04/05/15641/

        “[update: Radio NZ have now changed the first word of the story from “Immigrants” to “Overstayers”. ]

  2. Carolyn_Nth 2

    Thanks, stargazer.

    I’m glad the government has suspended this pilot. But it also should be ditched altogether.

    Tze Ming Mok’s twitter thread says the

    As there is no key to the variable values, I have no idea whether they are discriminating against men (assumed to be more violent?) or women (have babies that drain the health system?). 12/

    But she points out, as does the briefing notes, that the profiling system isn’t an adequate method to identify who should be deported. It’s meant to be some sort of guide to the humans who DO make the final decisions.

    The cut off points for whether an immigrant is considered a high risk or low risk on certain categories, is arbitrary.

    • dukeofurl 2.1

      The immigration system has arbitrary cutoffs all the time

      Age ? Yes at some point older people are cut off

      Qualifications? many qualifications are more important than others, some jobs are favoured over others.

      Money , yes that too is arbitary, too much money is always good.

      Ethnic origin, that too has special quotas for some countries. Other countries have no restrictions at all , ie Australia, Cook Islands

    • dukeofurl 2.2

      Women who are on a visa and either pregnant when they arrive and do so after wards have these restrictions
      https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/tools-and-information/general-information/pregnant-applicants

      Clearly its mostly men who would be involved in violence so an arrest and conviction could mean deportation or visa cancelled.

      • stargazer 2.2.1

        i’m actually trying to get support for someone advocating for a situation where 2 people from the same country applied for holiday visas, both similar age & very similar financial situation. the male got through, the female was denied – no pregnancy issues involved. which begs the question regarding unfair discrimination of women, and whether the profiling is symptomatic of how they are behaving across the board.

        • dukeofurl 2.2.1.1

          Apply for holiday visas ?

          They are only ‘profiling’ those who are here already and stayed beyond the limit of the visa.
          You might also know ‘national origin’ discrimination already occurs for visitor visas- a whole band of countries dont require a visitor visa application at all.

          But once you arrive, being poor, pregnant and a criminal history ( again discrimination based on personal characteristics) will still apply.

          As for women who arrive on a tourist waiver, there may be evidence they are intending to work in sex industry, but I would think actual evidence is required and not just a suspicion. They can and do search phones, paperwork, look at records back in home country.

          • stargazer 2.2.1.1.1

            perhaps read tze ming’s thread – she worked at INZ and is saying that profiling happened across the board. you”would think” that actual evidence is required in this particular case i mentioned, but none has been provided and there is no evidence that she has any such intention.

            • dukeofurl 2.2.1.1.1.1

              ‘profiling is applied across the board’

              well of course it is.
              Criminal history, being poor , medical history is a reason for exclusion before you arrive- they do collect this data. Thats often called evidence as well.
              people who are criminals have criminal history.

              And once you arrive and then stay beyond the time of the visa, then the same exclusions apply.

              Read the link I provided from the HRC where they say that personal characteristics are at the heart of what immigration do.
              https://www.hrc.co.nz/enquiries-and-complaints/faqs/immigration-and-human-rights/

              • stargazer

                and read my numerous comments that they should be justifying the discrimination and not have a blanket exemption. if they have a reasonable case for discrimination, put it up and let it be challenged.

                • dukeofurl

                  You have switched from Immigration profiling of those illegally in NZ to possible discrimination of those who havent even arrived yet ?

                  “i’m actually trying to get support for someone advocating for a situation where 2 people from the same country applied for holiday visas..”

                  A needle in a haystack considering the millions who arrive on visitor visas. And trying to parse between 2 similar but different people and not know all the background info immigration has .
                  It could well be corruption and fraud by the staff or even just high handedness.
                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11897599

                  We know from the details of Kim Dotcoms immigration file he shouldnt have got residency status based on his driving offences here, but he did.
                  The chips fell in his favour there, but we can assume that other factors were working there, plus being rich means nothing is a problem.

    • dukeofurl 3.1

      Its interesting that its repeated so many times
      “This is illegal discrimination.”

      You would think that someone who has worked in Immigration but a different section -Refugee Status Branch 2001-2002) would understand just a little bit that the
      WHOLE Immigration system is intentionally discriminatory.
      eg
      Visitor visas discrimnate againt various countries which have waivers and those who dont.

      Work visas discriminate against age groups, occupation groups etc

      Health status is checked at all stages, so that those in the country on a visa are not a burden on the health system – but again theres discrimination on that with some countries with reciprocal health arrangements are not covered.

      What part of the immigration system isnt discriminatory.?

      • stargazer 3.1.1

        again, see my comment above. yes, there are sometimes valid reasons, so be transparent, don’t have a blanket exemption and allow challenge. perhaps what she has seen is actually discrimination that can’t be justified, there is no valid reason. just like the case i mentioned above. which is why she is calling it illegal – if the human rights exemption wasn’t there and the decision could be challenged, it would turn out that they don’t have decent reason that would stand up to scrutiny. you seem to be constantly ignoring this in numerous comments, and i’m getting tired of it.

        • dukeofurl 3.1.1.1

          I could see where an official is making blatantly discriminating decisions outside the policies, bureaucracies can be like that and should be subject to review.

          That would be reprehensible. But it wouldnt seem to be connected to ‘overstayers’ .
          Is there a case mentioned above, I cant find it here.
          https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/983439681848258561.html?refreshed=yes

          I believe that Tze Ming Mok would have observed discrimination that was illegal and ouside the policies. But is a bit hard to think about something 15 years ago in where the rules would have changed so much since then.

  3. Draco T Bastard 4

    But also, apparently they assess potential victims on the basis of their cost to New Zealand.

    If they’re staying here unlawfully then isn’t NZ the victim of their crimes?

    I’d say that all over-stayers need to be rounded up and thrown out. But at the same time their probably needs to be some sort of prioritisation of use of limited resources. The other option is to increase the number of people policing immigration.

  4. OnceWasTim 5

    I’m left wondering (in all of the above) whether @DukeofEarl and various others [deleted] -which will of course come with an agenda designed to preserve the status quo.
    DukeofEarl doesn’t appear to understand a number of inconsistencies that are now apparent in the initial account put forward by officials and the assurances given to the responsible Munster.
    Nor might I add, does Ad, who appears to be a cheerleader for the glorious Joyce vanity projek: MBIE (going forward)
    Except they’ve fucked themselves up.
    The question now is whether this coalition government is prepared to deal with it.
    Even DracoTBuggery surprises me .

    … but there ya go. Funny ole whurl eh?
    Actually, there’s a bigger question relating to whether or not the responsible Minister has the ***** to deal with it all.

    [please don’t speculate about the IRL identity of commenters using pseudonyms – weka]

  5. mikes 6

    “..profiling means that the individual has done nothing wrong except match a profile that someone in Immigration New Zealand decides is a bad one. ”

    They have done something wrong, they’re in this country illegally. we’re talking about illegal immigrants but the author keeps referring to them as simply immigrants. If they’re here illegally they should be kicked out, I couldn’t care less what sort of profiling they use to prioritize the order they get kicked out in.

    These are not victims, they are here illegally.

    • weka 6.1

      Are you arguing that the state should be enabled to act with institutional racism against overstayers while in the process of assessing their immigration status? Why?

      • dukeofurl 6.1.1

        Where is it happening that the state is acting outside the existing ‘discrimination policy carveouts’ when they take action on those people still in the country illegally
        ?
        is there knowledge of individual an circumstance that would confirm the claim of institutional racism ?

        A friend of mine did work for some years in a market garden, he told about one person from Samoa who the other workers referred to being an overstayer.
        This person was apparently away from work for some weeks and then returned and apparently the situation was resolved. I dont know how much of this is really true, but does seem to be a good outcome.
        To me when there are myriad rules about visas and how long they last and moving between one sort and another, when people are caught in the gaps , the system can help no matter their origin or type of work.

  6. Craig H 7

    Given limited resources i.e. the staff numbers required to actually deal with 11,000 overstayers in the manner required by legislation (a reasonably time-consuming process), what would be an acceptable way to decide which order they will be dealt with?

  7. Stuart Munro 8

    The short answer to me is to hire enough staff to process all overstayers expeditiously. Having a hundred or so running around at any given time is unavoidable in a country of this size, but over 10,000? It means our laws are not being enforced. A debate about profiling is no substitute for curtailing large scale lawbreaking. Process all of them according to existing law – those are 10,000 local jobs not going to citizens and not benefitting the country.

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    What follows is today’s 1pm health update from the Ministry of Health There are 12 new cases of Covid-19 today, six in managed isolation, three escaped, and three are wealthy foreigners so it’s fine. One of these cases is a man in his 50s who visited Auckland sex club Fisting ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • It's Election Day.
     This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • National caucus convening to elect new leader for final 2 hours of the campaign
    This is a breaking news event, and further updates and clarifications may be forthcoming. With less than three hours to go in the election campaign, The National Party is holding an emergency meeting to elect a new leader, one they hope can turn things around in the final one and ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • Judith Collins asking for two week extension on election due date
    Collins says she was “ever so close” to finishing everything up, but a family member died, her computer crashed, and she just needs “a little more time” to get things right. In a late move this evening, Judith Collins has written an urgent letter to the Electoral Commission requesting a ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • The Debunking Handbook 2020: Misinformation is damaging and sticky
    This blog post is part 1 of a series of excerpts from The Debunking Handbook 2020. The list of references is available here. Misinformation can do damage Misinformation is false information that is spread either by mistake or with intent to mislead. When there is intent to mislead, it is ...
    3 days ago
  • Not as a Christian, but as a New Zealander: Why I am voting against assisted suicide tomorrow.
    I am no stranger to lost causes. And, while there is always hope, it does appear that David Seymour’s “End of Life Choice” law will receive the necessary endorsement of voters to finally legalise assisted suicide in this country. A significant minority of voters will dissent, however.I will be one ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Ardern reassures voters that Greens’ negotiating table will be a tiny, humiliating one
    On the eve of the election, the Prime Minister wants New Zealanders to know the Greens will be given a very small seat at the table, quite literally. In the final hours of the campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made a forceful appeal to the electorate not to be ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • A Waste of Time: The Hundred “Best” Fantasy Books
    Time Magazine has put out a list of the hundred best fantasy books of all time: https://time.com/collection/100-best-fantasy-books/ It is bad. Very bad. I get that this is clickbait nonsense, but… really. Time Magazine ought to be ashamed of themselves. Ostensibly, the selection process was as follows: ...
    4 days ago
  • Big changes do stick
    In one of her last pre-election interviews, Jacinda Ardern tries to defend her policy of doing nothing while in government: Ardern reflected on large changes made by Helen Clark’s government – particularly in education and welfare – that were still part of the system now, saying they prove smaller ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Polls show regret for not voting Green
    I have looked at election polling for last four elections and have noticed a concerning pattern. The Green Party's polling leading up to each election is stronger than what they actually achieve, then the poll immediately afterwards is always considerably higher. For most parties the opposite is generally the case. ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Planning to fail
    Last year, the government passed the Zero Carbon Act, setting short-term and long-term goals for carbon reduction. And they're already saying that they will fail to meet them: Environment Minister David Parker​ appears to have already given up on the country’s ability to meet the 2030 methane goal set ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Another issue Labour is ignoring its voters over
    Jacinda Ardern is trying to rule out even discussing a wealth tax if she gets re-elected. But if she gets re-elected, it will be by voters who support one. A Newshub poll shows that nearly half of all voters - and 60% of labour supporters - support a wealth tax: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Scholarship Physics
    It’s that time of year when school students become seriously focused on exams. This year has been messy for student learning, and has affected some students more than others, but the NCEA external assessments and the Scholarship exams are going ahead pretty-much as normal. I’ve taken some interest in the ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • “Fitz” On Cannabis.
    "I Like It!" “Shall I tell you the real reason to legalise cannabis? Because all the stuff I’ve told you, while true, isn’t enough. You should legalise cannabis because you’d like it. No, actually, you’d love it! Cannabis makes food taste better. It turns music into magic. It suppresses pain and nausea ...
    4 days ago
  • Crusher fails to resonate
    Judith Collins - National Party leaderYou can tell the National Party is in damage control mode most of the time these days. Instead of being able to provide any valid alternative to a Labour led Government, Judith Collins is going out of her way to be controversial just to get ...
    5 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime II
    Last month, we learned there was a flaw in our electoral transparency regime, with the New Zealand Public Party receiving a quarter of a million dollars in donations which will never have to be decalred. And now its got worse,as it turns out they're also explicitly soliciting donations from rich ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Entirely separate”
    When two people whose identities we all know but cannot say publicly due to name suppression were charged with "Obtaining by Deception" over routing donations to NZ First through the NZ First Foundation, Winston Peters claimed his party had been exonerated because "The Foundation is an entirely separate entity from ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Judith Collins' little green lies
    New Zealand is not the United States, thank goodness. We don't have the same level of political partisanship nor public media outlets that blatantly display political bias. However, during the closing weeks of this campaign I do feel an infection of trumpism is evident. Judith Collins and her National Party ...
    5 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: The Psychology of Ardernism
    Jacinda Ardern has made New Zealanders feel safe. Josh Van Veen looks at psychological understandings of leadership to help explain the ongoing success of Labour in this election campaign.   Simon Bridges could have been the Prime Minister. Opinion polls in February suggested a close election, with Colmar Brunton giving the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Let's Make Jacinda Break Her Promises.
    Make Her An Offer She Can't Refuse: Expecting Jacinda and her colleagues to break their promise not to introduce a Wealth Tax is not only unfair it is unwise. A consensus for change has never arisen out of a series of polite discussions - or base betrayals. A better New ...
    5 days ago
  • Two days to go, 12 questions still worth asking
    One last lap. One last crack. One last chance to boost your own policies or knock down your opponents. Tonight TVNZ hosts the final leaders’ debate and although over a million New Zealanders have voted and much of the policy debate seems to have stagnated around negative attacks, there are ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Possible inter-satellite collision on Friday
    Two objects in low-Earth orbit may collide with each other on Friday, in a hyper-velocity impact which would lead to millions of fragments being left on-orbit, each potentially-lethal to functioning satellites. Fingers crossed (not that I am superstitious) that it is a miss, rather than a hit. One local ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • Do Elections Deliver What We Want?
    MMP may deliver a parliament which reflects us, but frequently the government does not. At the heart of my recent history of New Zealand, Not in Narrow Seas, is the interaction between economic and social change. I could measure economic change via the – far from comprehensive – ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Flailing last grasps bring lasting gasps in the NZ General Election…
    The last week of the 2020 election here in New Zealand has been an increasingly torrid and venal affair has it not? Many expect the last week of any Election campaign to get considerably more tetchy, everyone is hurrying to nail the last voter down after all. But this ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2020
    Zika follows climate Sadie Ryan and coauthors combine what we know about the Zika virus and its preferred regime with modeling to show the pathogen will greatly expand its range during the next few decades. We do have some remaining control over the situation. From the abstract: "In the ...
    5 days ago
  • Does a delay in COP26 climate talks hit our efforts to reduce carbon emissions?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Will the delay of the COP26 UN climate negotiations impact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Where do the parties stand on open government?
    The election is in less than a week, so I thought I'd take a quick look at where the parties stand on open government, freedom of information, and the OIA. The short answer is that most of them don't. While Andrew Little has "promised" to rewrite the OIA, there's no ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Second Time As Farce: National's Election Campaign Falls Apart.
    The Mask Of Civility Is Removed: According to Politik’s editor, Richard Harman, Collins has become her own campaign manager. Now, as a lawyer, you might think that the Leader of the Opposition would be familiar with the old saying: “The lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client.” ...
    6 days ago
  • National's Little Helpers have A Cunning Plan.
    Keep Your hands Off Of My Stash: Viewed from the perspective of the 2020 General Election as a whole, the intervention of the Taxpayers’ Union against the Greens' Wealth Tax confirms the Right’s growing sense of desperation that the campaign is slipping away from them. With hundreds of thousands of ...
    6 days ago
  • Covid-19: A planetary disease
    Louise Delany* This blog focuses on the underlying environmental causes of Covid-19 (Covid) and the role of international law in tackling both Covid and other planetary crises. I argue that major changes to our relationship with our planet and its creatures are needed and these changes must be supported by ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: How to make your mind up
    If you’re still on the fence about how to vote, Liam Hehir says it’s probably more important for you to vote on the basis of your principles, and he offers a way to think about how these principles might align with the main party options.   Still undecided? Here’s how ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • What else apart from a Wealth Tax? The shape of a Labour-Greens coalition
    If you haven’t heard, the Green Party supports a Wealth Tax. Yeah, I thought you might have heard of it. Everyone’s been talking about it on the campaign trail these past few days. It would force the wealthiest six percent of New Zealanders to pay a one percent tax each ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Time is slipping by for the fruit industry to improve wages
    The covid-19 pandemic has meant a lot of changes for New Zealand. Lockdowns, social distancing, a massive shift to working from home and the death of tourism for a start. But the sensible and necessary border closure has also completely cut off the supply of cheap, migrant labour - and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new low in American “democracy”
    Every US election, we're used to seeing long lines of voters, and reading stories of widespread gerrymandering and voter suppression (including things like flyers falsely telling people their assigned polling place (!) has moved or that voting will be on a different day, and robocalls threatening that people will be ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A suggestion for Biden’s foreign policy.
    I have been thinking about US foreign policy after the upcoming election. My working assumption is that try as he might, Trump will lose the election and be forced from office. There will be much litigating of the results and likely civil unrest, but on Jan 21, 2021 the Orange ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Bleak views of melting Antarctic ice, from above and below
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Images from satellites high above the Earth have helped a research team put together a stark visual chronicle of decades of glacier disintegration in Antarctica. Meanwhile, a separate international research team has taken the opposite perspective – studying the ice ...
    7 days ago
  • Five reasons I am voting for National (and why you should too)
    Centre right voters have three realistic options this year.
      The National Party, which is currently at something of a low ebb but which remains the primary vehicle for conservative and moderate liberal voters; orThe libertarian ACT Party, which is undergoing a temporary boom as National struggles; orThe centre-left Labour ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Graeme Edgeler: How to vote, and how to think about voting
    Your choice of who to vote for could make a real difference. Electoral law expert Graeme Edgeler suggests you make an informed choice, and he goes through a variety of different ways to think about your voting options.   The New Zealand general election is being held next Saturday, the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • That School Debate: Tolkien, Shakespeare, and Anti-Stratfordianism
    Today, I am responding to one Philip Lowe, who back in August 2019 produced an interesting but flawed piece, looking at the way in which Tolkien viewed Shakespeare: Tolkien and Shakespeare: Counterparts ...
    1 week ago
  • Marching to the ballot boxes
    Today's advance voting statistics are out, showing that 450,000 people voted over the weekend, bringing the total advance vote to 1.15 million - just 90,000 shy of the 2017 total. So its likely that by the end of today, more people will have advance voted than did in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The long road to “Yes”
    One day in 1985, I came down from the loft where I was working as deputy editor of Rip It Up magazine, looking for lunch, and walked into a scene. There, on the corner of Queen and Darby Streets, a man was in the process of getting two kids to ...
    1 week ago
  • A funny thing for Labour to die in a ditch over
    Over the weekend, National unveiled its latest desperate effort to try and gain some attention: campaigning hard against a wealth tax. Its a Green Party policy, so its a funny thing for national to campaign against (alternatively, I guess it shows who their true opponents are). But even funnier is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The comforting myth of the referendum ‘soft option’
    Assuming we don’t count Bird of the Year, last week was my first time voting in a New Zealand election. I’ve been here a while, but for reasons too dull to recount, I didn’t have permanent residence in time for any of the others. Anyway, it’s hardly up there with 1893, ...
    PunditBy Colin Gavaghan
    1 week ago
  • Election: Equality Network’s Policy Matrix
    How will you vote this Election? We suggest comparing the Party policies on addressing inequality: The Equality Network identifies Ten Key Policy Areas that will make a difference: ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network: Party Policy Star Chart
    ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • A Tale of Two Elections
    AS 2020 draws to a close, two very different countries, in different hemispheres and time zones, are holding elections that are of great importance, not only for their own futures but for the future of the world as well. The USA and New Zealand differ greatly in physical and economic ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #41
    Story of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... How Joe Biden could reorient foreign policy around climate change A new report lays out ...
    1 week ago
  • Potential attack lines in the campaign's final week
    In the final week of the election campaign, parties large and small will want to make clear to voters why they are more deserving of your vote than the other guys. It doesn’t mean going negative… oh alright, it does a little bit. But it doesn’t mean playing dirty. It ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Oct 4, 2020 through Sat, Oct 10, 2020 Editor's Choice What Have We Learned in Thirty Years of Covering Climate Change? A climate scientist who has studied the Exxon Valdez ...
    1 week ago
  • Economic Resilience or Policy Brilliance?
    The economy has been through a traumatic experience. Prospects look sobering. Preliminary official estimates suggest that market production (GDP) fell 12.2 percent in the June Quarter 2020 – a huge, and probably unprecedented, contraction. In mid-April the Treasury had expected a fall of 23.5 percent (published in the 2020 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • The SMC Video Competition: The Tītipounamu Project
    Recently, the Science Media Centre ran the third round of its 2020 SAVVY Video Competition for science researchers. With entries ranging from kea tracking to Beethoven’s piano pieces, we judges were incredibly impressed by the creativity and quality of submissions. This week, we’re featuring the work of runner-up, PhD candidate ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Interview with Nicky Lee
    Fellow New Zealand writer, Nicky Lee, has been doing some Q&A with other local speculative fiction authors: https://www.nikkythewriter.com/blog Each fortnight is a different author, answering ten questions about their Writing Process. I think it’s an excellent way of helping build the profile of the New Zealand speculative fiction ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Capital Vol. 3 lectures: converting surplus-value into the rate of profit
    This is the third in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation.Here he looks at the problem of converting surplus-value into the rate of profit.(Part one of the lecture series is here, and part two is here) ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Another call for OIA reform
    A collection of top-level environmental and human rights NGOs is calling for reform of the Official Information Act: The Child Poverty Action Group, Greenpeace, Forest and Bird, JustSpeak, New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties and Amnesty International are calling for a comprehensive, independent review of the Official Information Act ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The advice on moving the election date
    When the Prime Minister moved the election date back in August, I immediately lodged OIA requests with the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Justice for any advice they'd given. Both refused, on the basis that the information would be proactively released. That's finally happened, a mere three weeks after the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media Link: Pre-election craziness in the US.
    This week in our “A View from Afar” podcast Selwyn Manning and I reflect on Trump’s increasingly erratic behaviour in wake of contracting Covid-19 and the domestic and foreign implications it has in the run-up to the November 3 national elections. You can find it here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Update to air border order strengthens crew requirements
    Additional measures coming into effect on Monday will boost our defence against COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the air border, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “As part of our precautionary approach and strategy of constant review, we’re tightening the requirements around international aircrew,” Chris Hipkins said. The COVID-19 Public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • A true picture of Māori business activity
    A better picture of the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy will be possible with changes to the way information is collected about companies and trading enterprises. Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced a new option for Māori enterprises who are part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Taranaki projects
    The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Trades training builds on iwi aspirations
    An investment of $2.025 million from the Māori Trades and Training Fund will support Māori to learn new skills while making a positive difference for their communities, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “K3 Development Limited Partnership will receive $2,025,000 for its Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme, which will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Conservation Minister plants two millionth tree in Raglan restoration
    A long-term conservation project led by the Whaingaroa Harbour Care group in the western Waikato reaches a significant milestone this week, with the planting of the two millionth tree by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Planting the two millionth tree crowns 25 years of commitment and partnership involving Whaingaroa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Seniors – our parents and grandparents
    International Older Persons Day is a chance to think about the individual older New Zealanders we know and to confront ageism, Seniors Minister Tracey Martin said today. “What happened around COVID-19 is a reminder that our over-65s are a very large and diverse group of people and we need to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Residential building sector growing stronger
    Figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show healthy growth in residential building consents in an environment of Government support for the sector during COVID-19, says Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods. Statistics New Zealand reported today that a record 10,063 townhouses, flats, and units were consented in the August 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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