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investing in social cohesion

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, January 28th, 2015 - 19 comments
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tonight i attended a holocaust memorial service in hamilton, hosted by the waikato jewish association.  it was nice to be invited and welcomed; even nicer to have several members of the jewish community thank me for coming and talk to me about my political activism in a positive manner.  they know my politics, they know where i stand on various issues, but there was genuine warmth in our conversations.

on saturday, i attended a christian wedding at the anglican cathedral in hamilton.  it was the wedding of a man whose ordination i attended last year.  i sat at the back with my jewish friend, and later we compared notes on the songs we were prepared to sing along with and the one we weren’t, the bits of the service we wouldn’t participate in and how perfectly acceptable that was.  at the reception, again some very warm and friendly conversations with people i didn’t know but who took the trouble to come talk to me.

in august every year, we have islam awareness week.  in hamilton for the last few years, the waikato interfaith council participates by being part of a panel discussion on a particular theme – last year the theme was “charity begins at home”.  so people from a whole range of faith communities talked about charity as they knew it, about giving and compassion.  these people came at the invitation of the muslim community and shared in good faith, and again, the room was filled with warmth and mutual respect.

i can tell you many, many stories like this one, in the last year alone.  these experiences are not unique to me.  they are not unique to hamilton or to nz, they are replicated many times over around the world.  these experiences are the norm, and not just in countries that enjoy relative peace.  experiences of solidarity and support amongst warring communities can also be found across the planet.  they aren’t particularly hard to find, these many instances of kindness and humanity.

so why does it feel like we live in a world that is incredibly hostile?  because there is no doubt that it often does feel hostile, much more so than the reality i’ve described here.  part of it is that we notice negative messages much more than positive ones.  it’s human nature to focus on the negative.

there’s also the tendency for political and media organisations to exploit and focus on negativity, as i talked about in my previous post.  the controversial, the shocking, the gruesome, they attract more attention.  they get our adrenalin pumping, they engender a need to respond, to engage, to defend and to attack.  they appeal to the emotional parts of ourselves, which are often more powerful than the rational, logical parts of ourselves.

there is also the phenomenon of people paid to be commenters on news articles, blogs, twitter.  these agents provocateurs if you will, paid to change perceptions and opinions, in a way that often contains a high degree of hostility or that is intended to provoke a hostile reaction.  the comparative negativity of the online world is pretty much an accepted phenomenon these days, and the strongest opinions appear to be against social cohesion, social justice, inclusion, understanding and solidarity.  so much more of blaming and shaming, judging and condemnation.

all this drumming of up of hatred, it serves a purpose for elites with power.  the endless cycle of violence and revenge, seemingly overwhelming, seeks to hide and to silence the reality of human kindness.

to counter that, we need to be investing more in creating the positive experiences i talked about earlier.  the government can and should be doing that.  there is work being done by various organisations, both governmental and non-governmental, which needs stronger support.  i’d begin with the human rights commission, and move on to the many community groups that invest in bringing people together or simply in providing support to those in need.

this is work that can’t be judged by economic indicators, but the money spent here provides widespread and generational benefits.  it’s work that is often written off as PC, and is currently undervalued and underpaid, if paid at all.  the outcomes aren’t immediate, and often incredibly hard to measure in simple statistical terms.  it’s work that can’t be thought of in business terms or done under business or commercial conditions.  .

but it seems to me that the only way to reduce violence and the kinds of ugliness we are seeing in so many parts of the world is to invest in social cohesion, with our money and our time.  it’s hard to fight for that when we have a government intent on reducing spending in these areas, unwilling to acknowledge problems or even measure them, let alone spend money on solutions.  it’s not like we won’t be paying for this lack, it’s just that it’s equally difficult to measure the consequences of failing to invest because the consequences tend to be long-term.

 

19 comments on “investing in social cohesion”

  1. saveNZ 1

    Totally agree. One of the problems is that everything these days is about money.

    Money does not create a healthy society and in many ways reduces it. The things that people really care about tend to be non monetary, family, friends, experiences.

    Anyone who suffers from serious illness or the death of a loved one, quickly realises how unimportant money and consumerism is and how important quality of life is.

  2. tracey 2

    stargazer

    Every few years I am very fortunate to have been able to travel overseas. Since 2005 in fact. When i do so we watch no, or almost no television and do not read newspapers. The world keeps turning. We keep communicating with those around us, sometimes easier than other times because of language barriers. Occassionally if a TV has an english channel it tends to be news, like CNN or BBc or SKYTV. Last time I travelled Ms Thatcher died and the tv was saturated.

    My point is that the media determine our state of mind for the day and longer by THEIR choice of focus. Television news tends to be a roll call of deaths that day locally and internationally. It makes us believe the world is a terrible fearful place full of death stalking us at every corner. BUT selective death as a whole, people “like us”. It is no accident.

    For my part, and not just cos I am on holiday, being news-free for several weeks every year helps me focus outside and actively seek engagement with those around me.

    Being reminded every day that we can die at any time, and to be scared of that eventuality has a cumulative impact, and not for the good. Even holding this thought subliminally affects everything we do in a day in our relations with others and how we view our own world. It breeds more self preservation thoughts and actions, imo.

    Thanks as always for your thoughful observations.

    • stargazer 2.1

      the thing is that just avoiding social media or MS, as others have also alluded to, doesn’t solve the problem. because there are too many other people engaged with it & influenced by it. which is why i think a passive opting out is not enough. we need to actively invest in creating opportunities for positive interaction. we have to create the spaces where bridges can be built. there are lots of examples i can give, but busy at work right now.

      also, thanks for your comment 🙂

      • tracey 2.1.1

        My comment was less about opting out than the awful influence editors and media owners have over our view of the world and our place in it.

      • gsays 2.1.2

        hi stargazer, first thanx for articulating so well what has been going round in my mind for years now.

        i would not under estimate the power of opting out of the media.
        my threshold is advertising, generally if it carries ads, i am not interested. (tbh honest i am still a sucker for live cricket commentaries and this website but that is another story).

        anyhow.. i believe that by not following newspapers (hardest habit for me to kick), tv news, ad fm, etc your response to current events can come across as fresh.

        sure i accept opting out it isnt the whole answer but is still valuable.

        as for examples i think the youth are where a big impact can be made: cubs/scouts, youthline, big brother/big sister (youth mentoring) etc.

        dame whina cooper,in answer to what is important? it is people, it is people, it is people. (thats how i remember it any way).

  3. TE 3

    When I was a younger, I was told bank tellers were never shown counterfeit money only the real ones, so when a counterfeit note came across their counter they would recognise it instantly. I believe this way of showing legal vs illegal good vs bad, to be apt in all ways of life.
    To often we are bombarded with negative campaigning, using negativity to show who is right and who is wrong, negativity makes for hostility, frustration, anger and misunderstanding, sometimes closely followed by violence and war.
    A writer or a speaker who thinks they are right and the alternative thinking person are wrong and vice versa, all amounts to who has the biggest ego.
    Our children and grandchildren et al will pay dearly for the slack governments who didn’t give a flying fig for money spent the Real things of life.
    Immigration has heightened the Hate in Nz with mutitudes of different thinking and acting peoples.

    • stargazer 3.1

      just to address your last point, immigration may have heightened but that is not the fault of immigrants. it’s the fault of political actors who use immigrants & immigration policy as a way to promote hate and fear of the other. when you say that immigrants think & act differently, you are assuming that all non-immigrants act exactly the same way, that there is one universal culture in this country which everyone scrupulously adheres to. that is clearly not the case. nz culture is a blend of other cultures because of colonial migration & all that came with it. modern immigrants change that blend, but they aren’t inherently bad people. and we might consider the possibility that the changes they bring are actually an improvement.

  4. nadis 4

    If you want to fell positive keep away from social media and the internet. Every know and then I have a period of non-internet-connectedness, mostly just because it happens. And its always amazing how much more interesting your family and friends are when they aren’t competing with the internet for your attention. Getting rid of my facebook account actually made my relationships with the people I care about better, cos I now talk talk to them – by voice or email – rather than observe them. Plus there are a whole bunch of people I no longer have to interact with. I remember when I first started on FB, one of the reasons was “it would be interesting to reconnect with people from my past who I have lost touch with”. Turns out there was a good reason why I had lost touch with them…….

    The other thing about social media is that everything is a bit extreme in order to get your attention. I am certainly guilty of talking to people on blogs in a way I would never do so in person.

  5. just saying 5

    + 1000 Stargazer.
    I stopped regularly watching the TV news a long time ago. I’m thoroughly sick of the way fear and hatred are manipulated and scapegoated groups offered up for the increasingly stressed and disempowered population to unleash their frustrations on. Of course the internet also provides numerous outlets for this kind of hate-mongering.

    Like you say, the only way forward is building trust and social cohesion. It’s so easy to feel demoralised that we have to work extra hard at supporting each other and building bridges. Even simple things like saying hello and smiling or waving at people in our own neighbourhoods feels harder to do in a wider climate of suspicion and hostility.

    • stargazer 5.1

      when i was running for local government, one of the simplest & most effective ideas i came across was a project whereby the local council partnered with local businesses to pay people to either have their neighbours over for dinner or to have a coffee cart in their street for an afternoon. in terms of effectiveness, this project was shown to have a significant impact in reducing crime as well as improving well-being. i think the amount for a dinner was $80AUD & i’m sure the outcomes would be worth many, many times that. as i said in the comment above, it’s about creating the spaces where bridge-building can occur.

  6. r0b 6

    Excellent post.

    all this drumming of up of hatred, it serves a purpose for elites with power.

    Not just one purpose – lots of them. (Along these lines, and the tools of hate, I’ve been pondering a post on “American Sniper” recently, but I can’t bear to write it.)

  7. McFlock 7

    Really like this post – well crafted, with good ideas that evolve into a spot-on conclusion.

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Stargazer has this really amazing ability to present a incredibly nuanced view on current issues. I really rate her.

  8. stargazer 8

    thanks so much for the lovely comments, i’m blushing!

    re american sniper, yup, also an issue i’m avoiding right now.

  9. Ant 9

    Absolutely correct.
    The need to keep the masses in a state of fearful apprehension is well documented as it fuels the illusion that government will afford protection on every front (ebola, terrorists, “the enemy”, etc).

    One thing the internet is doing though (if you are prepared to search a bit) is providing evidence of many thousands of folk who reject the ‘image’ of eternal conflict, see through the hype and propaganda of broadcasting media and who are coming together online and physically to interact, share and co-create at the level of community.

    By increasing our participation in the many forums available (online and physically) we contribute significantly to a global community of sharers and carers. Who knows where this could lead in ten years time?

  10. Whateva next? 10

    Very good to see this issue focussed on, and capture the reason I will always vote Labour, whose essence is all about combining, cooperating and cohesion.National are about competing……..is all.
    “The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts” so, for all National totting up of figures, they miss this point everytime.
    Thank you Stargazer.

  11. Gosman 11

    You are asking for more resources to be spent in this area on the basis that there is a defined benefits that result. These benefits I presume are measurable then. What sort of benefits are you meaning? Is it a lower crime rate for example?

  12. tinfoilhat 12

    Thank you so much for your lovely post Anjum.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments. Peace be with you and your friends and family.

  13. aerobubble 13

    Sustainable systems, like rain forests, are abundant systems. Deserts are the outcome of a loss of abundance. When the rain forsts were cit down they discovered that the rainforest created their own micro climates to make them sustainable, and the land beame adesert.

    Neo-liberalism turns economies into a desert of a few hardy survivors. Neo-liberals argue for no government, that the free market will provide, but they dont tell you that the free market is only possible with some form of government, thus insuring that we desertificate our economies hand them to the few hardy survivors the 1%.

    Id rather have ten hundred great companys than one genius led company.

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  • Letter to a friend
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    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
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  • 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, ...
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  • Rāhui day 3
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  • A test of civil society.
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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
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  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
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  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
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  • 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 ...
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    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
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    1 week ago
  • We are not America
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    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
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    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
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  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
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  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
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  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
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  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
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  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
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  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
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    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago