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Is more people the answer for NZ?

Written By: - Date published: 9:12 am, November 5th, 2012 - 71 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags:

The estimated population of New Zealand reached 4,444,444 on the 1st of November 2012. Nothing special other than a rare moment of symmetry in an otherwise random and chaotic world. Interestingly the number 4 is associated with death in Chinese, and this population occurred the day after Halloween.

No I’m not superstitious yet the relentless growth in New Zealand’s, and the World’s, population does have serious consequences for the future. New Zealand’s population has been growing at around 1 per-cent over the past few years and we have added around 400,000 to our population in the past decade. That is a city the size of Christchurch in just ten years.

A 1 per-cent growth rate equates to a doubling in population every 70 years, therefore at our current rate of growth our children or grandchildren could live to see New Zealand’s population reach 9 million. A recent New Zealand Herald opinion piece advocated increasing New Zealand’s population by 2.5 per-cent per annum in the coming years. A 2.5 per-cent growth rate equates to a doubling in population every 28 years which would result in a population of 25 million in 70 years time.

There are clearly some economic benefits from increased population growth, however, many of those benefits are completely outweighed by the associated environmental, social and economic costs – any additional growth has to be shared among more people, so it doesn’t necessarily mean higher living standards. Maybe it is time that we stand back, count all the benefits that our small population and low population density affords us and decide whether we want future generations of New Zealanders to share in such benefits.

Instead of aiming for continued population growth, which must end sooner or later on a finite planet, why not aim for a stable population. If we can envision a world in which population growth has ended we may be happy to make the choices necessary to bring it into existence.

Imagine going fishing and knowing your grandchildren will be able to enjoy the same quality of fishing, or better, in the future due to not having to divide the resource with ever more people. Imagine not having to fight an endless succession of developers who want to destroy the places we hold sacred, such as those isolated pohutukawa lined beaches that seem in increasingly short supply. Imagine not having to deliberate whether or not to smother some of the most fertile farmland in the world with suburbia due to there being no need to do so. Imagine producing all our energy from renewable sources and then no longer needing to build new hydro-dams and wind farms in our beautiful landscape because demand has stopped growing.

And imagine no longer viewing one another as competitive consumers in a race for a piece of an ever shrinking pie, but as fellow citizens working together to build a truly sustainable future.

71 comments on “Is more people the answer for NZ?”

  1. Pete 1

    Don’t forget, most of these new arrivals will be concentrated around Auckland, putting much more pressure on the city’s infrastructure. In contrast, South Island centres can expect very modest growth.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Auckland is genius. 30% of the country’s population in just 0.3% of the space.

      We’re going to have to face up to the fact that any additional population growth is going to have to go to the provincial centres. This means actively encouraging people to leave Auckland and take their families and businesses elsewhere in the country.

      Christchurch, for instance.

      • karol 1.1.1

        There’s also Hamilton and further north like Whangarei for those of us who prefer the northern climate.
         

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Yep, and the smaller centres too. New Plymouth, Napier/Hastings, Rotorua, Wanganui, Palmerston North. A sensible plan for managing population growth would involve all these smaller centres strategically.

      • alex 1.1.2

        The key for Auckland to continue to grow is to build up, not out. Hong Kong has millions of people in an area about the size of Lake Taupo. If the population of New Zealand is going to continue to grow, we need to keep as much farmland viable as possible, or else how are we going to feed the growing population?

  2. ad 2

    If 9 million is what we all consciously chose …

    …Possibly I would want a few more National Parks and at least 10% Marine Reserves around the two main islands, and a really well organised Auckland with 5 million in it, before we aimed for 9 million total …

    … and then consign many of the remaining catchments to something quite degraded. A different sort of country. A country with older values – like a biosphere – consigned to reserves that we visited through predator-proof fences. We would be one tough little unit, I must say.

  3. Peter 3

    I’d start the calculation on a simple premise – energy. What population can we support sustainably minus fossil fuels, knowing that our use of these will gradually phase out as they run down? This also raises the question of the available standard of living. Sure, we could fit many times our current number on these islands, but without an energy surplus, we’d be scratching around.

    I suspect it’s actually around 2-3 million people at a reasonable standard of living, which puts us well over currently.

    The corollary is that NZ has a moral responsibility to the peoples of the Pacific, who will be needing resettlement, so we may need to prepare a bit more thoroughly for this.

    • Steve Wrathall 3.1

      Rubbish. the catastrophic sea-level rises that the alarmists have been predicting for decades are manifestly not occurring. Sea level rise of 3 mm/year
      http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/current/sl_ns_global.jpg
      is not catastrophic, is not unprecedented, and is entirely managable.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Humans don’t understand exponential effects at all well.

      • One Tāne Huna 3.1.2

        What’s that pissy whining? It’s Wrathall trying to blow harder.

        Meanwhile, back in the real world, predictions for sea level rise encompass a wide range based on several conditions.

        Why does Wrathall persistently misrepresent the truth? Is he delusional or mendacious? Does anyone care?

        PS: the graph linked above dates from 2007, since then, NOAA reports that:

        In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projected that global sea level would rise 18 to 59 cm (7 to 23 inches) by 2100. Since then, several groups have presented findings that suggest this estimate is too low…

        • Steve Wrathall 3.1.2.1

          Predictions are not evidence. Observations are:
          “For years, people have warned that the smallest nations on the planet – island states that barely rise out of the ocean – face being wiped off the map by rising sea levels. Now the first analysis of the data broadly suggests the opposite: most have remained stable over the last 60 years, while some have even grown. ”
          http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627633.700-shapeshifting-islands-defy-sealevel-rise.html

          In a thread on the dangers of over-population one would think that the real reason so many of our Pasifika brethren need relocating would not be too hard to work out.

          • One Tāne Huna 3.1.2.1.1

            Numb-nuts – the graph shows where observations end – NOAA’s observations since then show that estimates were too low.

            All that was in my comment, the point of which is that the predictions you claim are dire in fact fall within a broad range. Got any more feeble strawmen?

        • Reagan Cline 3.1.2.2

          Oke Bay to Rawhiti will be easier – let alone all the other awkward passages.

  4. weka 4

    Hear hear.
     
    In the face of peak oil/everything and other things beyond our control (GFC, CC), does NZ have the capacity to produce food for its current population? What is the ideal ratio of population to landmass for sustainable farming/horticulture here? AFAIK no-one has done this kind of calculation yet. It would be good to know. 
     

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      One small family per acre of flat fertile land, using good techniques and technology, is a good guide. Not much meat, but milk and eggs, and plenty of fresh produce.

    • joe90 4.2

      According to this info-graphic living off-grid you’d need around two acres, 8100m2, to support a family of four.

      • Rogue Trooper 4.2.1

        Excellent link joe. 🙂 (we have already made a start; built the hens a coop a couple of weeks ago)
        I certainly would not grow grain; input-output ratio is important to someone who likes a lotta spare time to read and commune. 🙂

      • weka 4.2.3

        There is a difference between how much land a family of four needs and how much a country needs divided by population. Feeding yourselves on 2 hectares is a different kind of food production than cropping grains for flour. Most people don’t live on 2 hectares, so the calculations need to look at our actual population, dietary needs, and the variation in land and climate across the country – growing dairy products in the high country is a different thing entirely than growing them in Southland. I am of course talking about sustainable farming.
         
        Add into that drought, extreme weather events, and crop failures.
         
        The x acres per family calculations are very broad and aimed at people who want to go ‘off grid’. What we need is some serious multi-disciplinary academic work that looks at the NZ context. And that needs to be broken down by area. The West Coast for instance needs an analysis of what can be grown there and what needs to be brought in across the mountains and how that might happen when oil is no longer cheap. When that analysis is done, we will have a better idea of what populations could be sustained here over time. I doubt that increasing the population would be sustainable (and as others have mentioned, it’s not just food).

  5. ianmac 5

    I keep on asking what is the optimum size of Nz’s population. Someone pointed out that Britain 66mil and Japan 100+ mil both have a similar land size to NZ.
    But sooner or later some clever person is going to say, “Enough!” Then whatever the imperative drives the need for 1 or 2% growth will have to be adjusted.
    So why not do it now? Avoid trying to increase the population artificially. Enough I say.

    • Peter 5.1

      It’s still a highly movable number. Part of it depends on infrastructure. If we invest in rail and better housing now, we can support a much higher population for the long term. If we don’t, then we’ve got issues.

      Food systems need serious thought too.

      At least we’ve been building up renewable electricity capacity recently. That’s a big advantage over other countries.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      UK imports 40% of the food it consumes. Price and supply shocks of durations greater than a month or two would greatly affect living standards there.

      http://www.foodsecurity.ac.uk/issue/uk.html

    • Sanctuary 5.3

      According to the population matters think tank, New Zealand has a sustainable population of about ten million – http://populationmatters.org/documents/overshoot_index_2011.pdf – before we seriously impact on the environment.

      My personal view is we should aim for a population of around 7-9 million, with a bias towards the lower end – sort of like the Reserve Bank Act’s inflation band only for our population.

      There are some frightening stats on that site. The UK is 44 million people over its capacity to support them, Japan is a staggering 108 million over carrying capacity. No wonder the WWII submrine blockade was so effective.

      The whole discussion about optimal population for New Zealand presumes political parties having developed population policies – policies on how many people we should have and where should they live. In turn, that would drive policies like whether or not to envourage large/small families and where/how/if to push regional development. It also presumes that generational policies around population growth are broadly non-partisan. Unfortunately, for the far right ideologues who dominate our political decision making such policies are anathema. They would prefer doing nothing until a chaotic Malthusian overshoot “natually” adjusts the population, since that is the market in operation. Better millions as yet unborn be condemned to death in a degraded environment that a population policy if the population policy runs counter to their ideology!

  6. Olwyn 6

    “…imagine no longer viewing one another as competitive consumers in a race for a piece of an ever shrinking pie, but as fellow citizens working together to build a truly sustainable future.”

    These “fellow citizens” must include those who have already immigrated here. It is terrible to invite people to live here and then subject them to anti-immigrant propaganda. That said, I think that with immigration, along with many other neo-liberal initiatives, we are asked to mistake correlation for cause, while our masters harbour no such confusions. Where there is a thriving economy, of course immigrants are going to add to its thriving. Immigration by itself, however, does not cause an economy to thrive, especially when it is primarily used to drive house prices up and wages down.

  7. xtasy 7

    New Zealand is amongst many migrants from more densely populated parts of the world considered one of the few remaining “refuges”, where low population density may offer a better chance to survive in a reasonably decent way in future.

    If it was not for the use of fossil energy like petroleum, coal and the likes, the present world population would not be sustainable at all. Even with maximized use of alternative energy for transport, electricity for homes and industry, it is unlikely that the present population of the globe would be sustainable. There will always be some arguing otherwise, but who wants to live in over populated places like the mega cities (with slums) in India, China, Brazil, Indonesia and where-ever else? Who wants to even live in lands with over-intensive agriculture, ripping the rest out of the grounds, leading to erosion and so forth?

    Sadly increased inward migration can be like intensified tourism. The cherished “refuges” with lots of green and clean environments soon end up looking rather over-used and messed up.

    That would happen to New Zealand, should it reach even 10 to 15 million population, let alone more.

    This country cannot be Noah’s Arc for refugees from all over the place either, so I would rather see no more than 5 to 6 million people maximum live here.

    • Sanctuary 7.1

      “…Even with maximized use of alternative energy for transport, electricity for homes and industry, it is unlikely that the present population of the globe would be sustainable…”

      This is a great point. The world population currently has about four billion people who weren’t here pre-fossil fuels and the green revolution. At some stage towards the end of this century, the cost of producing food for these people will rise in line with rising fossil fuel prices. We will be OK – assuming a free market government doesn’t allow a food producing oligarchy of food producers to export food for higher profits while we native starve, something I wouldn’t take as a given – even if we have rationing. The big die will occur in Africa, and tthe poor parts of Asia, and, I suspect, in the grossly overpopulated (because of the curse of religion) desert countries like Egypt.

      Here is an excellent discussion on the relationship between energy and populations…

      http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2009-04-20/peak-people-interrelationship-between-population-growth-and-energy-resources

  8. Bill 8

    That phrase “sustainable future” suggests that the future has to be protected (which it doesn’t) but more perniciously, that capitalism/markets have to be sustained. And they most certanly must not be sustained Anyway, a replacement rate population and a future that will sustain human society? Yup.

  9. vto 9

    Population is to a large extent like water finding its level.

    New Zealand’s flow only recently began so it is only just getting underway. The population will rise to its natural level, which is realistically a similar population density to that which exists in most other nicely habitable parts of earth. i.e. europe asia americas etc

    It will have little to do with the desires of the present population and will mostly occur through world events and demographic changes which governments have little control over.

    Just move away from Auckland…

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      and will mostly occur through world events and demographic changes which governments have little control over.

      Nation states have always actively controlled migration/immigration and can control birthrates too if they wish.

      • Pete 9.1.1

        Indeed. China’s giving consideration to relaxing their one child policy

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          Basically nation states are extremely powerful entities – which is why the Right Wing neolibs have spent 3 years limiting, discrediting their activity and role in society.

          And today we have a bunch of politicians who buy into that very same agenda.

      • Populuxe1 9.1.2

        Let’s look at the means by which states have actively controlled migration/immigration and birthrates other than the ethically more acceptable financial incentives:
        Forced migration (Nazi Germany, Turkey, France and Italy, United States).
        Forced abortion and sterilisation (China, North Korea, Nazi Germany, Azerbaijan)
        Genocide…. But that might be a bridge too far.
        Hmmmmm. Charming!
         
         

  10. Fisiani 10

    Every person in New Zealand is an immigrant or the descendant of an immigrant. That makes New Zealand a land of immigrants. People have been coming here for about 800-900 years.
    The environmental effects of steady migration can easily be mitigated and the economic benefits are obvious.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      And that ^^^ is meaningless tripe. Really, Fisiani, you made absolutely no argument just some bald assertions that are obviously wrong as the country, and the world, is limited.

      • Fisiani 10.1.1

        NZ and the UK are roughly the same size. We have 4.4 million people and they have 66 million people. Their environment seems adequate. Do You really think that we could not cope with a few more people? Your lack of faith in NZ is sad. Your intemperate comment denies self evident truisms.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          The UK cannot support it’s own population and that’s with fossil fuels. Take those away and the population that they can support is about 6m.

          Your lack of faith in NZ is sad.

          It’s got nothing to do with faith and everything to do with hard physical reality.

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1

            The UK could do about 15M population I reckon, just with coal. Like the 1900’s.

  11. MeToo 11

    If we grow through immigration, not natural population growth, then I can’t see any problems EXCEPT NIMBYism and how that growth might be managed.

    After all, immigrants to NZ already exist somewhere else in the world, eating food, needing shelter, producing waste. Immigration doesn’t increase demand on the world’s resources, it just redistributes it. What this column reeks of is let them live somewhere else – NIMBY – because I don’t want to share my piece of paradise with them, if it means I have slightly less room or have to become more resourceful with my use of resources.

    Why are any of us here? Because NZ let us in – if we are immigrants – and now we are here we want to close the door to others? Or we had the good fortune to be born here – in which case it is nothing we have earned, it’s just our damned good luck. Something we want to deny to others, except our children who, like us, have done nothing to earn being here, it’s just their good luck to be born to NZ parents.

    How any population growth is managed is another issue.

    • millsy 11.1

      So youre quite OK with an overcrowded country then?

      • Fisiani 11.1.1

        A New Zealand of a 10 fold increase, 44 million people could hardly be considered overcrowded. Singapore has 4.5 million in an area the size of Lake Taupo. You really have to get out in the world to realise how this young country of New Zealand is still significantly underpopulated.

        • millsy 11.1.1.1

          If you like Singapoer, then why dont you go live there.

          You may love to aspire to a New Zealand of overcrowded streets, thick filthy smog, rivers like open sewers and teeming slums, but I dont want to.

          Mind you, you are on record as condoning class sizes of 60-70 students in our public schools.

          • Fisiani 11.1.1.1.1

            Your description of Singapore proves that you have never been there.

          • Populuxe1 11.1.1.1.2

            Singapore, while a bit authoritarian for my tastes, has got a lot going on – and awesome food.

        • thomas 11.1.1.2

          Overcrowded is a very subjective term as is underpopulated. At our current level of consumption/standard of living NZ could likely double it’s population and stay within our nation’s carrying capacity (http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/trends/newzealand/). Singapore on the other hand has vastly overshot it’s carrying capacity (http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/trends/singapore/) and relies on importing virtually all of it’s food and energy. As a geographically isolated nation I think it is only prudent to maintain spare biocapacity and maintain being a net food exporter.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2.1

            Being a net food exporter will make us a very influential country in the latter half of the 21st century.

      • MeToo 11.1.2

        Define “over-crowded”.

        A single dwelling on a quarter acre is over-crowded if you are used to living on a farm.

        Auckland now is over-crowded compared to the Auckland of my childhood – so many stand alone houses on 800-1200sqm sections have been lost to infill housing. And yet we have such low population density it is hard to get a good public transport system. Result, most people own cars.

        I loved being overseas in large dense cities that were well-planned with good public transit. Key words here are “well-planned”.

        • millsy 11.1.2.1

          Then why dont you go and live there then?

          Look at the likes of London, New York, Rio de Janerio, etc, they all have rempant crime, homelessness, sky high rents, pollution, and slums on a mass scale. Do you really want them here?

          • Populuxe1 11.1.2.1.1

            You apparently don’t get out much. I feel safer wandering around London, Paris or Berlin at 1 am then I do in any New Zealand city, and New York was massively cleaned up by Mayors Blomberg and Giuliani. Rio is an amazingly vibrant city. You sound like some provincial tosser who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

            • Rogue Trooper 11.1.2.1.1.1

              I gave the contrast assertion some thought, and I Agree!; I value and enjoy giving encouragement, where encouragement is due, so thanks for that,
              sanefully yours,
              Rogue
              (bet ya didn’t think it was possible for a person to consider all other people, did ya?)
              🙂 la la la la

            • millsy 11.1.2.1.1.2

              Guiliani law and order policies resulted in a facist NYPD that targeted black people.

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1.1.3

              Rio a vibrant city? Sure. But how safe? Only 40,000 homicides a year in Brazil.

              • Populuxe1

                Given Brazil has a total population of 196,655,014, that’s probably not too bad, however that still doesn’t make any less ridiculous the idea that London, New York and Rio for all their drawbacks (and every city on earth has drawbacks) are incredible places to live for various reasons and to suggest otherwise makes one look like a provincial tit.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Given Brazil has a total population of 196,655,014, that’s probably not too bad

                  Sure on a NZ population basis it’s only 900 murders, or 17 killings a week on average. Not bad right?

                  (!)

          • Murray Olsen 11.1.2.1.2

            Rents in Rio de Janeiro are much less than in Auckland, and I would say Auckland has at least as much petty crime. Rio is also much more culturally vibrant than Auckland and does not have streets full of public drunks. In three years in Rio, I was never the victim of any crimes. In three weeks in Auckland, I had my car broken into and my bank cards cloned. There are disadvantages, but I would think very hard before I called the urban sprawl of Auckland superior.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      Or it could just be the desire to live sustainably and recognising that places that have much higher density populations aren’t sustainable.

    • Colonial Viper 11.3

      NZ’s always pulled above its weight in terms of accepting refugees and displaced people for resettlement. I think we should continue to do so, but with rising sea levels we might find that a lot of these people start coming from our own Pacific backyard.

      But its our right as a sovereign nation to determine what suits us in terms of migration and immigration policies and I would suggest that a population increase of more than 2%-3% a year for the next decade or two would be quite unwelcome.

      And don’t forget that we have almost a million NZers overseas who will come back if things go topsy turvy internationally. They get utmost priority.

      • Mickey Mouse 11.3.1

        “And don’t forget that we have almost a million NZers overseas who will come back if things go topsy turvy internationally. They get utmost priority.”

        Just as long as they bring their full payment for student loan, traffic fines and anything else left unresolved when they left.

        • Murray Olsen 11.3.1.1

          Like money they made manipulating our currency, to the detriment of all of us? Or the billions in tax havens? It’d be nice if some of that came back.

    • thomas 11.4

      “Immigration doesn’t increase demand on the world’s resources, it just redistributes it.” This statement is not necessarily true. Migrants who relocate from low income nations with low per-capita ecological footprints to high income, high per-capita ecological footprints are likely to adopt the high-consumption lifestyle of the nation to which they have migrated – thereby increasing demand on the world’s resources. In fact, it is likely that this lifestyle is a “pull” factor in their decision to migrate. However, this is no excuse for NZ (and other nations with high per-capita ecological footprints) to maintain such over-consumptive lifestyles and we should endeavour to reduce our per-capita ecological footprint to a globally sustainable level. Unfortunately there are no nations with a globally sustainable per-capita ecological footprint that also have a high quality of life.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    I’m going to put in my comment that I made on the NZHerald article:
    ——————————–
    There’s one thing we need to know before we consider increasing population – what is New Zealand’s population cap.

    NZ is of limited size – It’s not getting any bigger. Within that limited size there are limited resources but what we actually need to know is just how much of those resources we can use on a sustainable basis.

    Once we know that and have then decided, collectively, just what each person/family/whanau should have available to them as far as use of those resources go then, and only then, will we know enough to make a rational decision about increasing population.

    I would be highly surprised if the NZIER even gave to seconds thought to these physical limitations which means that they’re talking out their collective arse – pretty much just like every other economist*.

    Personally, I would be surprised if we could support much more than we already have.

    * Economist: Someone who wouldn’t know what an economy was if they tripped over one and yet are stupid enough to go on about it as if they did**

    ** Which just goes to show how stupid our politicians are as they listen to them

    See also my Social Democratic Economy Part II

  13. Rich 13

    If NZ cities had the population density of London or Amsterdam we could house tens of millions without increasing our urban area. What’s more, with public transport being more viable and improved general use of infrastructure, resource usage per capita would decrease.

    Is it right that we hog a large and fertile chunk of planet for our relatively small population?

  14. Mickey Mouse 14

    I reckon we don’t specifically need ‘more people’ although we could absorb another 2% p.a. quite easily for the next decade or so, as long as they agreed to not live in Auckland – however we do need ‘better’ people, and sadly many of those are leaving, not staying.

  15. xtasy 15

    It amuses and worries me, how some clear city dwellers here try to justify more migration, more population, more use of the land in a manner to just feed and power the ones living on it. NZ is still largely (2 thirds) living off exports of agricultural, horticultural, forestry, fishery and viticultural types. That is still what NZ largely lives off, through trade getting what else it needs.

    Surely there is much space and deserved option to change this, but in all honesty, this will never become a Germany of the South Pacific, and it will never compete with Chinese or even Malaysian wages for factory workers. So truly there will be limits.

    I am all for more value added production and diversification, but be realistic, if you allow so much immigration to have the people consume the agri products that can be grown here locally, then there will not be the exports that NZ still relies on.

    Some may love to live off an acre or two, but as I grew up on a farm, I know that climate, fertility, affordability of fertiliser, diseases, pests and so have significant impacts on life and what you can grow and harvest.

    This dream of living off the land on small sections, to feed 20, 50 or more millions here, to share the resources with migrants from poorer or over-populated places, this must be put into perspective. Once your neighbour steals your crop at night, because his may have been spoilt for a reason, once hedge arguments and more arise, you will know what human behaviour can deteriorate to. Read perhaps about the history of Easter Island, to get a grip of what can happen, or about the downfall and destruction of Mayan civilisation, just for examples.

    I am totally for balanced, sustainable agriculture and other development, but do not turn NZ into another Japan, UK or whatever else. You will be digging your own graves, as the future will be very damned bleak, once oil hits $ 200 a barrel and more! Fertilisers also are largely made from oil by the way!

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Once your neighbour steals your crop at night, because his may have been spoilt for a reason, once hedge arguments and more arise, you will know what human behaviour can deteriorate to.

      Yep. Just check out the details of the Scott Guy case.

  16. xtasy 16

    I can easily “feed” millions, no matter where, just give me the capital to do so, and I surely will!

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    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    24 hours ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    24 hours ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    3 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    4 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    4 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    5 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    5 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    5 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    6 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    7 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago

  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
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    7 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 ...
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    7 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 ...
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    7 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 ...
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    7 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 ...
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    7 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, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    1 week 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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks ago