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Inequality Rises

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, November 10th, 2010 - 53 comments
Categories: equality, wages - Tags:

Wages rose for the rich and fell for the poor this year, according to a Employers and Manufacturer’s Association survey.

Managing Directors got a 3.7% rise from $190k to $197k, whilst the unskilled production workers beneath them saw their wages drop 6.5% or $2000 to $29.5k.  On average unskilled workers wages dropped, semi-skilled workers wages were almost static (before inflation), and skilled workers saw a rise at or about the same as inflation.  Management did best, although their rates varied wildly from double-digit to pay cuts; overall they managed more than 2.5%.  IT and Human Resources did particularly well for some reason.

So what do we learn from this?  The recession (along with its coming double-dip), combined with this government, hurts the poor the hardest.  They do the work that creates management wages, and they are getting ever less from it.

A less equal society causes many social problems, so why are we moving that way?

We need more democracy in the workplace (co-ops), greater unionisation so that workers can fight for better pay, and a better wage settlement system, where there can be national agreements on wages across an industry.  And we need the wealthy to realise that sharing the company profits will increase their own happiness.

Marty: Bunji beat me to the post but I thought this graph I made would be an interesting addition. It shows the average annual pay rise, after inflation under the National and Labour governments, for the 25 job types that are provided free by the EMA survey. Note that all were positive under Labour and more than half a negative now, only one is higher under National than Labour, and they’re ordered by income (highest at left) so the steeper trend line shows the difference in pay rises for high-income vs low-income employees has increased since the recession.

53 comments on “Inequality Rises”

  1. great post, bunji. Hope you don’t mind me tacking my bit on the bottom there.

    of course, there’s another way that inequality has increased hugely in the last few years which these figures don’t show – higher unemployment. Most of the newly unemployed had lower paying jobs in the first place.

    I’ve used IRD data to work out how the income decile’s incomes changed between 2001 (when the series starts) and 2008. The most dramatic thing is the increased average income for the lowest decile, which I have to attribute to higher employment and higher minimum wage. I’ll do a post on it tomorrow.

    ps – jack johnson? Bit more of a Billy Bragg man myself

    • Bunji 1.1

      No probs Marty – great graph.

      Looking forward to the income deciles post.

      And Jack Johnson: that’s what a 2.5 year old daughter does to your music catalogue. Gotta love that Curious George. No?

      • felix 1.1.1

        “that’s what a 2.5 year old daughter does to your music catalogue.”

        FFS Bunji you’re supposed to be the adult in this relationship. If you don’t play proper music how will Miss 2.5 find out about it?

        • Bunji 1.1.1.1

          Wow, I didn’t know there was such anti-Jack Johnson feeling. I’ll get her onto my new Tommy Ill, and my old Public Enemy straight away…

          • pollywog 1.1.1.1.1

            re: the old stuff

            X-Clan or NWA…FTW !!!

            though early ATCQ, J-Beez or De La will do just as nicely…

            • freedom 1.1.1.1.1.1

              i know a couple of kids that loved the Clash and the Pixies at her age

              then there is this little gem
              pity the guy talking misses the point of it all, but the kid is brilliant!

              • aj

                My two girls got hooked on Sweet Home Alabama. Fortunately the apparent politics of the song didn’t stick

          • felix 1.1.1.1.2

            re: anti-Jack Johnson feeling

            I feel no antipathy toward him personally, he seems like a nice guy. It’s just that – to paraphrase Bill Hicks – he’s also a demon sent from hell to lower the standards.

  2. DeeDub 2

    Yep, a great post.

    But PLEASE can we NOT have the eternally bland, and largely talent free Jack Johnson on this site?

    I’m with Marty G. let’s have a committed socialist like BB instead, eh?
    Ta.

    • freedom 2.1

      agreed, certain people in the entertainment industry should be handed blindfolds and led outside for the crime that was the movie Curious George.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    The Left have to make sure this message gets out, and to make sure the working classes regain their class consciousness. These adverse changes in income inequality are only going to get worse over the next 12 months – and people must be told, this is not your PERSONAL fault and responsibility, you are caught in a wave of SOCIETAL and GOVERNMENTAL pressure and which you are labouring under.

    In other words, do not blame yourself, stand up and make your voice known to the Government and oppose its kowtowing to the wealthiest class in NZ.

    • burt 3.1

      The Left have to make sure this message gets out; National continue trend set by Labour!

      But hey lets pretend redistribution works exactly like Dr. Cullen said it would becuase that’s the way it works in socialist la la land.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Labour’s new platform: new wealth GENERATION using the real economy, and then a FAIR DISTRIBUTION of that new wealth through society.

        Social democracy is the only realistic way forwards, the low cost energy, asset and debt bubbles that Ponzi Capitalism rely on are unsustainable in the medium and long term.

      • bbfloyd 3.1.2

        yet another freudian slip by old faithful burt… you know it’s your kids who are supposed to take the ritelin, not you?

    • Vicky32 3.2

      I spent 18 of the last 22 months blaming myself, Colonial Viper, so any reminder that it’s not my fault is very welcome, thanks! 😀
      Deb

  4. freedom 4

    The grouping of ‘skilled and ‘unskilled’ that economics throws about, irks a lot of people, is it not time we addressed this blatant misnomer.

    Just because people are on a low wage does not mean they are unskilled. Surely there is a less derogatory way of relating income brackets. Say, simply using income brackets. Not assuming the level of ability a person has is directly related to their employment renumeration.
    EG a computer tech getting $120 an hour to check you plugged the monitor in?

    For example, in today’s world it is very difficult to sell Art, especially carvings. Unless you want to produce gimmick tourist crap that is regurgitated without merit, thought or respect for the recepient.

    I can spend thirty hours designing and carving an item and be lucky to charge $300. I have hi-level design skills, exceptional technical skills and do not replicate my work, ensuring pieces that are original and unique. ‘People’ say I should be charging $60-$90 an hour for the quality of my works but i don’t see a marketforce which genuinely values original work, let alone a willingness to pay $1800+ for a bone carving.

    Consider the chef who has studied for ten years and still only gets $17 an hour on a Saturday night shift, or the cabinetmaker who crafts real wood furniture you will live with for years, he has been working his craft for thirty years and is lucky to find work paying more than $20 an hour.

    Whilst many out there are working in low income jobs with minimal ‘skills’ the overpowering image created by collectively equating pay levels with abilities is in need of an overhaul. If people are to contribute to an economy they must feel valued in the economy.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Stats NZ often cut their individual income data in a few different ways: part time/full time, then university (or tertiary) qualified, also university professionally qualified.

      But yeah, we are a low wage economy, and spending $1800 on a crafted item, no matter how nice, is something that only 5-10% of the population would ever consider.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      ‘Unskilled’ means someone can be trained to do a job while on the job, or possibly with a week or two worth of training. You can pick generally anyone off the street to do this sort of job.

      ‘Semi-skilled’ would be the sort of job where you need real training courses to do, probably at least 6-8 weeks or longer.

      ‘Skilled’ or ‘Professional’ would be any type of job that needs 1+ years worth of training, or a university degree or apprentice-ship to attain.

      These categories completely adequately explain what level of labour mobility as well as the general pay scales involved. It’s not meant to be derogatory, it’s just describing reality.

      Also, you’re not going to pay someone $120/hr to plug in computer monitors. I work as a software developer and the starting salary for a graduate here is $45k. I know they hired a guy to do desktop support, basically as ‘semi-skilled’, and were paying him something like $25-30k.

      • freedom 4.2.1

        the computer tech example is from a real incident a coule of years back in a friend’s office, i just included it as an extreme case of how tasks are valued differently, a clumsy choice as i was attempting to refer to more curent times, i will find a better example in future.

        it does not change the fact that labelling a group of peole as unskilled , low skilled etc in this current employment climate is nuts.

        We have redundant senior office mangers working as shelf stackers in supermarkets
        We have fabricators with twenty years experience mowing lawns and grubbing roadways

        reality has screamed down the bus lane as political & economic labels sit in traffic

        • Carol 4.2.1.1

          The semi-skilled etc categories have always been a rough guide to socio-economic levels. They relate to social status as well as income. But also, within those categories there have always been problems and anomalies, especially related to gender. For instance, jobs traditionally done by women, tend to get paid less than jobs of a similar skill level traditionally done by men.

          I don’t know the current wage levels, but it used to be that something like a job for someone with a sub-degree vocational training of about 2 years in child care, would be paid less than someone with a 2 year training to be a plumber.

          And the wage levels tend to differ between the public and private sectors for “skilled” and “professional” jobs

        • Lanthanide 4.2.1.2

          I don’t think they’re labelling the people as being unskilled, but more the job that they’re in is unskilled. Your example of senior office managers working as shelf stackers only confirms it – *anyone* can be taken off the street and given an unskilled job. I agree that the description is not the best and is a little ambiguous, but that’s what is used and it’s better to simply think of the term as applying to the job, and not the person filling that job.

          Also, for the guy plugging in monitors at $120/hr, he was probably contracted to do more than that at that office. Or perhaps he was hired to do a job that he simply couldn’t do, and it was difficult to get rid of him, so they kept him on doing something productive even if he was being way overpaid for it. Or maybe they hired him to do a specific job for a client, which then got delayed for a week or two so in the meantime was doing the work available, etc. I seriously doubt that him being paid $120/hr for desktop support type job was a permanent job or one that he was hired to do at that pay level.

          Note that I’m talking about desktop support here, infrastructure engineers could still be doing this sort of menial work as just part of the job, but also the rest of the project like speccing, buying, installing and configuring servers etc. Someone still has to plug in the monitors, and it might be more cost effective for that person to just spend the couple of hours doing it rather than going through a big rigmarole of hiring someone else just for that. Infrastructure jobs are often sold as fixed-price to the customer, so it doesn’t matter what staff you use to get the job done, just as long as it’s done.

        • felix 4.2.1.3

          Your friend’s office could probably save a bit of cash by learning how to plug the monitors in themselves. Just saying…

      • mcflock 4.2.2

        let’s be hippies and say you’re both right – while a charge-out rate of $120/hr is on the high side, I know of at least one in-house IT department that works on the idiot management principle of “full cost recovery” and charges a similar rate. So yeah, all departments are required to buy IT services in-house, but their internal budgets all get gouged because it’s frowned on if they give money to another organisation.

        And most of the IT staff are tertiary students who basically act as “have you turned it off an on again?” filters – sure are hell they aren’t paid even $40/hr.

    • Shane Gallagher 4.3

      @Freedom;
      This is one of the real tragedies of a low wage economy – most people cannot afford a nice piece of art work or good artisan made furniture etc. – most of the artists I know who do okay for themselves sell most of their artwork overseas but most struggle massively.

      Most people are barely getting by and to be honest I have no idea how many people do survive on the appalling wages most people get – and it is made worse by the fact that we have to pay full international “market” prices for our foodstuffs… grumble…. and then you have rich “people” like many in National telling us all to tighten our belts while sloshing down a glass of Otago Pinot Noir… I remember hearing Katherine Rich saying that Kiwi shoppers were the most “price sensitive” in the OECD and I nearly yelled at the radio that was because they are the most poorly paid! When I came here from Ireland I took a two thirds pay cut on what I was earning and was barely able to support my small family and we were living in what I can only describe as a glorified shed of a house. Sorry – rant over…

      • freedom 4.3.1

        rants are healthy, i think more people should vent the reality of their situations.
        i hope things improve for you and for us all.
        i really hope you are finding plenty of fun, enjoying your new life in New Zealand
        ============================================================

        Shane’s comment and a few others have got me thinking…just an idea for the Standard, how about a Rant Board for fully anonymous therapeutic vents.

        No replies! No attacks on other commentators! The author still enters an email address so full moderation and site-control is possible but the site randomly assigns a name or number that removes the ‘known’ identifier of the regular commentary. Even three rants in a row would show as different unique authors, unless a person specifically chooses to use a previous name/number

        Just a full-on ‘the first thing you have to do is get angry’ styled opportunity for others to see how folks really are coping with life today. An anonymous, honest and dare i say it educational vehicle driven by people’s disasters and celebrations, their fears and triumphs all focused on helping build compassion and community in this crazy little world.

      • Olwyn 4.3.2

        Going with the localised low-wages alongside international food prices, there is also housing, which reveals the line between the the haves and have-nots as much as wages do. We have permitted home-ownership to become broadly unaffordable, especially in places those places where people can get the kind of work that would otherwise pay a mortgage. But we have not replaced home ownership with any real stability in rental accommodation. I cannot stress enough how harmful I think this is: it deprives people of the ability to form long-term plans, it robs kids of continuity in their education, and above all robs people of the grounds upon which lives are built – it is no wonder there are a lot of solo mums and so-called dead-beat dads under such conditions.

        • Vicky32 4.3.2.1

          Even the kids have a problem! (My son, a yuppie in the full sense of the word) has lived in 4 different places in 2 years after leaving home. It’s really getting to him.)
          Deb

    • Adele 4.4

      Teenaa koe, freedom

      I totally agree with you. I think the labelling derives very much from a capitalist ethic that values people as productive units only – ignoring any other usefulness they may have to society. If we value the intrinsic worth of the ‘worker’ than don’t diminish the contribution of their work as ‘unskilled’, or ‘semi-skilled.’

      That these terms are used as a matter of convention simply speaks to a convention perpetuated by those who perceive of themselves as having ‘skills’ (economists, consultants, policy makers, academics and politicians). Puukana to them.

      • Colonial Viper 4.4.1

        Well the skills you speak of aren’t the skills which form a productive economy. Fitters and turners, die makers, mechanics, maintenance engineers, software developers and testers, electronics engineers, hardware and software designers,…

        Economists, consultants, policy makers and academics? Meh. As a whole they’ve detracted from the real NZ economy in the last 30 years, not added to it. Or at best, kept it at some kind of flatline.

  5. M 5

    CV, I live in a smaller centre and it seems the information is getting out as there is a lot of unemployment in my neck of the woods so this tends to focus the minds of those so affected.

    Yesterday I was speaking with a chap who works at the local mall cleaning and we were discussing NACT and what a wally Key is – he told me that most everyone he talks to these days is of the same mind.

    Wonder how many people these days would openly admit to voting for NACT?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Yes, I think a clear case of buyers’ regret is starting to set in. However, people with solid incomes and secure jobs still get taken with his smile and wave. And surprisingly, even if they are Lefties. I believe the wedge to drive is: “You may like John Key and yes, he’s a pretty relaxed kinda guy, but you should understand why NATIONAL is undermining your livelihood as a worker to help only the wealthiest in the country”.

      Also agreed, the unemployment and wage level situation in small centres continues to be appalling. Trying to find a job which pays even $18 or $20/hr in a town of 10,000 or 20,000 is a virtual impossibility unless you have the right connections. And the more Key and English sell their ‘recovery’ the more out of touch they are going to seem. All the strength to them.

  6. BLiP 6

    Verily, for so beloved of King John The Clueless of Charmalot was the underclass that he speaketh: go forth and multiply

    • freedom 6.1

      i have a lot of trouble watching any images of John Key as i have a brother who has a disturbingly similar appearance, as well as his vocal mannerisms and actions. It is difficult because that particular brother is bloody funny and whenever I see the PM I see an impersonation by my bro’

      As we were raised on the Goons, Python, Q, and others you can imagine the problems in keeping a straight face when looking at or even listening to the PM, regardless the quality of his new material.

  7. burt 7

    bunji

    You didn’t add politicians into the graph. That circa 9% pay rise the previous PM got every year between 1999-2008 would look rather hideous if put on that graph… would make the CEO fat cats look like they have good company….

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      How much does the PM make these days? About 9% of what the Fonterra CEO guy makes?

      Stupid unequal system, and the Fonterra guy makes about 120x what the average NZ wage earner makes. That is, makes in 3 days what the average NZ worker takes one year to earn.

      Ridiculous filthy system, out it goes.

  8. randal 8

    this is war of the rich against the poor.
    the rich are scared and greedy and cant tolerate equality because then they must be measured by wgt they do and not by what they have.
    its not rocket science.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Class consciousness has got to be revived on a massive scale.

      Even those on $50K, $60K and $70K per year are being ****’ed over by this Government. And even if they feel they are doing OK, they can see their kids and their grandkids struggling, and intuitively will know that something is very wrong.

    • Jim Nald 8.2

      Uh huh.
      You reckon Bill English is “rebalancing” the economy for the rich elite and cronies, and against the working poor?

      Watching Parliamentary Question Time and, here he goes again, with rebalancing blah blah ..

      Oh, did someone point out that “rebalancing” is a weasel word?

  9. just saying 9

    Love the way you’ve cut off the head of the fat cat with most of the money.
    Quite right.
    Very French solution.

  10. Vicky32 10

    “IT and Human Resources did particularly well for some reason.”
    IT, yes, they are useful people, but Human Resources? By and large people who work in Human Resourvces, or ‘People and Programs’ (sic) as Westpac call their HR department, are simply parasites on the worker. Three quarters of their day is spent justifying their existence, by making up more and more silly psych tests and assessments for the hapless candidate to waste time in…
    From my blog:
    “HR as a ‘profession’
    Human Resources, (or People and Programs (sic) as one Megacorp call their HR Department), is a parasitic profession. Thousands of eager young women graduate from Business courses at the lesser tertiary institutions every year, and something must be found for them to do. The men who presumably run these departments are never seen – perhaps they’re too busy having power lunches with ‘clients’?
    Meanwhile these young women (or girls, as they like to call themselves) run the HR department. They use jargon (jobs are ‘roles’, the unemployed are ‘candidates’, psychological testing, is ‘assessment’ – more about that later!)
    There’s a kind of nepotism involved. These “girls” like to choose people like themselves, “girls” or men from the same schools, same backgrounds, belief systems and even suburbs! National or ACT voters are preferred, and those who are too independent in their thinking discouraged.
    Psychological testing.
    It’s the latest toy for the HR girls (and boys, those few the worker sees). But as I’ve discovered, they don’t really understand it themselves. Having ‘failed’ a test at one of the Megacorps, I asked the H.R bunny to explain why the software had flagged me as “not recommended”. She couldn’t tell me, she didn’t understand why, herself! Like far too many in her profession, she operated the system, but hadn’t the least idea how it worked. She lost her temper, and I am ashamed to say I lost mine, the result being that I will never know why Megacorp 1 didn’t want me.
    Megacorp 2 uses the same software and the same test, with the addition of one or two others – including group role-play. Megacorp 2’s system is even more of a trap for the worker… in my “feedback”, I learned that I had failed to tread a very fine line (that I honestly hadn’t known existed) between failing to advocate for the position I’d been given to role-play, and continuing to advocate for that preference when I should have abased myself to the group when it was clear that my ’cause’ was lost! This was all for the sake of a call centre job, answering phones for rotating shifts over 24 hours. (Not that in reality, any one’s going to phone Megacorp 2 at 03.00 asking for their credit card limit to be increased. Not unless they’re a gambler, clinically insane or or overseas.) The strangest thing about the whole experience at Megacorp 2, is that they had invited me to attend their assessment day!
    Had you ever wondered why your bank fees are so high? Megacorp 2 devoted 5 HR people to testing, interviewing and ‘be-friending’ us, for a day. I wasn’t foolish enough to think that the idle chat while we waited for ‘tests’ (only one of which actually involved skills!) and interviews was simply that, ‘chat’. Despite that I knew that every idle word would be reported back, it didn’t help me at all. I discovered from my “feedback” this morning that the head of the team had made up her mind five minutes after I arrived. Pity. I’d have saved myself a day wasted at Megacorp – at least I got to drink their coffee! Your bank fees go on overseas profits, yes, but also on the time of 5-6 HR people, (half a million a year, is my estimate), new buildings (the artwork in Megacorp’s cleverly concealed CBD HQ would have cost another million at least), state of the art, boasted-of coffee machines on every floor, and an air of luxury better suited to a top hotel. All of this is not for the benefit of the workers, but for the HR parasites.”
    Deb

    • M 10.1

      Deb

      Anti-spam: acting, LOL!

      Fantastic observations. From humble beginnings in the public service where a staff clerk did staff (now HR) administration and payroll there was an explosion in the ’80s into all sorts of stuff. I remember EEO was a full-time job for someone who seemed to have an inordinate amount of time to swan around gossiping and ensuring her hair and make up were perfect, and on a massive salary too. I really appreciate seeing people looking sharp for work but hell, does a person have to be paid to ensure they are for half the day?

      Why can’t employers as part of the interviewing process get a candidate to do a Myer-Briggs test or whatever the flavour of the month is test-wise and then begin the interview proper. Most interviewers with a bit of nous can make notes on whether or not answers are consistent or ‘gel’.

      An old workmate and good friend put the HR phenomenon in a nutshell very well by saying she thought the HR thing was nothing more than a bunch of grown women playing employment agencies all day, and as you say making up a whole bunch of blather to justify their existence. Not too different from economists playing around with their graphs all day and making predictions that are often wrong. Hate to say it but many in this field are also some of the most disingenuous people you’re ever likely to meet – you wouldn’t want to turn your back on them.

      As you say they have the blinkers on and operate the system but would appear to be incapable of independent thought.

      Parasites is on the money – definitely a case of style over substance.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Perhaps you have seen Catbert – the Evil HR Manager

        • M 10.1.1.1

          No, lol and a feline is the perfect character.

        • Vicky32 10.1.1.2

          Oh yes, I love the character of Catbert! Thanks, M, you are so right… I just tangled with the HR woman at a school where I worked last year… they were caught out lying to IRD and saying I had worked there from 4.08.09 to 12.1.10 – I so wish that had been true, but no, it wasn’t – and because of IRD/WINZ data matching WINZ wanted me to pay back the student allowance and UB I had got during the period of my “employment”. Luckily I was able to convince the woman in the data matching unit that the benefit people already had all the details of the 7 weeks I had *actually* worked there… So, I rang the HR woman and asked WTF? Her answer was “I know nothing”: well, no surprises there!
          Warning to all – avoid AIS St Helens, as a school and as a workplace. Unethical might as well be part of their name.
          Deb

          • Vicky32 10.1.1.2.1

            I wonder – can anyone with a better knowledge of tax/employment law than I have, theorise for me what they might have gained by telling IRD I worked for them for 5 months when it was actually 7 weeks? Or maybe it’s NZQA they want to convince… as I have quals and they need teachers what have them?

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.2.1.1

              they paid a mate out of the school’s wages using your name on the payroll. Just theorising.

              • Vicky32

                Yes, thanks, that makes sense! (They would have assumed that I would never know about it.)
                Deb

  11. Herodotus 11

    Marty, I notice you referred to pay increases, from reading this I take it you refer to gross pay, so tax rates are not taken into account? then there is tax creep that meant that in many cases under Lab many were going backwards in real terms in disposable incomes. Plus the many new taxes, increase in taxes/duties that have been thrusted upon us over the years just to take more away from us and we see less been delivered back from govt services.
    You can throw up many graphs/stats regarding Nat/Lab yet many know that life has been and still is getting harder, and neither Nat or Lab has a clue what do to.

    • Herodotus 11.1

      Final comment the OCR was 4.5 when Lab regained power in 99 and was 7.5 on them leaving, morgage rates were about 10% (floating in 08) this hit households hard. Do not paint that under Lab all was rosey. It was hard for many, and some of these were families in the top income brackets.
      We see marginal diminishment of our incomes over time, as we become ever increasing slaves to debt.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Herod. real incomes in NZ have not kept pace with per capita GDP growth. The fact is that those who hold capital wealth are skimming off the positive difference created by ‘productivity increases’ from ordinary workers, and they manage to do this when real pay rates and conditions are essentially suppressed. Australia makes us look even worse, but their economy is being given billions a month by one of the few countries in the world with truly excessive capital reserves – China.

        As for your point on increased mortgage rates. Well, the 5th Labour Govt should be held accountable for letting the property and debt bubbles to become such a large feature of our economy. They also knew that our interest rates were attracting a shed load of hot speculative highly liquid inflows from countries like Japan. There was no excuse for it as none of it was in the best interests of the ‘real economy’ or the country. Forcing our currency to strengthen so that we can buy cheap trinkets from China and South Korea, while our exporters closed down, our farmers got paid less and NZers stayed unemployed. Stupid.

        yet many know that life has been and still is getting harder, and neither Nat or Lab has a clue what do to.

        I think on degrees of cluelessness, National/Brash/English/Key wins top prize. Labour knows that NZ needs to make some tough choices around how it is going to generate more added value goods and services in its economy and how it is going to make sure that it is paid for those things internationally.

        And these are things that Labour is directly addressing in 2011 – currency controls, CGT vs PAYE, RB Act, affordable state subsidised housing, R&D incentives, savings incentives, real economy sector assistance, minimum wage increase to $15 during their first term in office, Government procurement policies, shifting capital out of the property market (= lower property prices), building up + use of the Cullen Fund.

        Some of this stuff is really going to hurt some sectors which have risen up around the asset/debt/financial speculation of the last 15 years. But it must be done, and perhaps even more.

  12. Luxated 12

    Two quick corrections to Marty’s addendum.

    Note that all were positive under Labour and more than half a negative now, only one is higher under National than Labour…

    Firstly according to the graph Human Resources Managers did seem to have a very modest pay cut in real terms under Labour, secondly both Human Resources Managers and Registered Electricians have had greater pay increases under National.

    Doesn’t really change the underlying statement mind you.

  13. john 13

    The ACT-nat party look up to the US for its free market(Not true when NANNY STATE bails out the banks for trillions the US is country run for the rich,it is not a free market) and downer on Welfare.Yet inequality in the US is at BANANA REPUBLIC levels with all the sad consequences that flow from that, including a rapacious wealthy elite that off-shores most of the manufacturing so their profits and their wealth increase, Result!? 43,0 0 0, 0 0 0 Americans exist on food handouts!If they didn’t get those they’d be looking like Somalian famine victims after a few months! Refer link:
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26792.htm

    I can’t understand why Wodney and John can’t just emigrate there and leave us in peace.

    • Vicky32 13.1

      “I can’t understand why Wodney and John can’t just emigrate there and leave us in peace.”
      Because there they’d be teensy wittle fwogs in a giant pond! 😀
      Deb

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    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
    2 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    15 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    20 hours 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 ...
    21 hours 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
    21 hours 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 ...
    22 hours 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 ...
    23 hours 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
    24 hours 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 day 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 day 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 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    2 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    3 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story 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... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    7 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks 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
    16 hours 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
    18 hours 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 day 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
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    7 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    7 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    7 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    2 weeks ago