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Is this as good as it gets?

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, November 5th, 2009 - 63 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war - Tags:

Most of the wealth in New Zealand is owned by a tiny fraction of the people because our political/economic system makes it that way.
10% of people have more income than 50% combined.

 income deciles

That’s just income. The inequality of wealth distribution is far greater. The net wealth of 10% of people is 20 times the wealth of 50% of us combined. In fact, the wealthiest 10% have more wealth than everyone else put together.

 wealth by decile

These aren’t just numbers. That tiny amount of wealth the lowest 40% have is poverty, the cause of so many of society’s ills – crime, suicide, violence, obesity, social alienation, poor health, poor education are all linked to poverty.

Plutocracy: not as cute as it sounds

Plutocracy: not as cute as it sounds

We allow a tiny portion of the population to control the wealth of this land. This isn’t some natural state, an inevitability. It is the result, the purpose, of the capitalist economic system, which is only possible because of the legal framework that exists to create and support it. Our company law, our land law, our tax system are all set up to enrich those few at the expense of the rest of us.

My question is: ‘why do we let it be this way?’ We have a democracy, we have a relatively uncorrupted political system. The people that capitalism steals from far out-number the people it serves; we can out-vote them. Another way is possible. We can easily create a fairer, and ultimately more successful society than this without drastic reform, just sensible changes.

So why don’t we do it? Why won’t we vote for it? Why don’t we demand change?

 Is it the endless pro-capitalist propaganda in the corporate media (not just the news, the ‘entertainment’ too)? Is it that the promise of some income growth blinds us to the greater injustice? Or is the reason that the capitalists have won and are still winning is that they are the most aggressive and greedy members of our society, while we are too weak and subservient to fight back?

63 comments on “Is this as good as it gets?”

  1. IrishBill 1

    I see unemployment is up. I wonder how many of that top ten percent lost their jobs?

  2. Pat 2

    Phrases like “class war” probably don’t help.

    • snoozer 2.1

      why not? What else do you call 10% of the people controlling more wealth than everyone else put together?

      Which section are you in, btw, Pat? The 10% with everything or the 90% getting ripped off? And are you fighting for that side’s interests?

      • IrishBill 2.1.1

        From the New York Times: “There’s class warfare, all right,’ Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.’

        Nuff said really.

      • Pat 2.1.2

        “Which section are you in, btw, Pat? The 10% with everything or the 90% getting ripped off? And are you fighting for that side’s interests?”

        I’m in neither of those sections. Surely there must be another category for normal people? Maybe I’m Switzerland. In which case I’ll hold your money for you while you have your class war.

        • felix 2.1.2.1

          So you’re in the 50 odd percent who don’t realise they’re being screwed. Goodo.

        • Bright Red 2.1.2.2

          What Pat is saying is he is in the 90% of people with less than half the wealth to share between them (in fact, propbably in the 60% with less than 10% of the wealth) but he defends the interests of the rich 10% in the hopes of getting a few crumbs from their table or (lol) becoming one of them some day

          house slave is the term.

  3. trademark 3

    It’s likely that most kiwis will be unaware of these statistics in the first place. A good start would be to raise New Zealanders’ awareness of just how unequal our society is. That might get people to see all the fetishising of wealth that the MSM promotes in a different light.

    The next question is, who in the political realm can address these inequalities, and how far can you go *without* drastic reform? New Zealand relies heavily on foreign investment, so raising taxes or weakening the pillars of monetary policy will cause adverse reactions in the market, and since we’re so tied to the market, we’ll get screwed. Embedded neoliberalism means that you can only tinker at the very edges before the rich bite back. In other words, ‘sensible changes’ don’t really seem so sensible. Or sufficient, for that matter.

    • So Bored 3.1

      Good question on how to address the imbalance? The issue of national economic sovereignty is high on the list, as is control of the money supply and the creation there of.

      On national economic sovereignty Keynes idea (shot down by the US post WW2) was for an international clearing house that aimed at zero balances…in short fair trade, no international money market casinos. When 95% plus of all foreign currency trades have no relation to a physical transaction for goods and services we have a big problem, so killing that market has to be a top priority.

      On money supply start with severe regulation of all banks, then nationalise the creation of cash by each national reserve bank.

      • trademark 3.1.1

        NZ’s currency is among the most heavily traded in the world, especially considering our small population. Add to that the fact that on the whole, most kiwis are poor savers and the picture becomes more bleak – we have to look offshore to create wealth here, but then much of the wealth that gets created here returns to where it came from.

        “In a land of plenty” has an ad that demonstrates how New Zealand sold itself overseas in the 90s:

        Aotearoa, New Zealand.

        Behind the veil of south pacific beauty is an expanding economy, well prepared for the 21st century.

        Now highly competitive after a decade of reforms, New Zealand invites international partners to share in an exciting business future.

        Supportive government policies provide a commercially transparent environment, with no hidden costs. There are low interest rates and inflation restrained by law, a freely convertible currency with no restrictions on transfers, equitable taxation with no levies on capital gains.

        New Zealand – the profitable partner.

        These are the foundations of our economy, and with a few minor modifications, the ad would still ring true today. The problem with any transformation of the economy that goes beyond tinkering with the edges and marketing it as a transformation is that things will get a whole lot worse before they get better. Without a popular consciousness (i.e., solidarity) against these pillars of inequality, there’s not much anyone can hope to achieve. We all know who has the greatest control over the popular consciousness at the moment.

        So, in my mind, transformation has to be a bottom-up process, not a top-down one. Only when ordinary people clearly understand the roots of inequality (and recognise the power in their hands) will they be able to resist attempts to entice them into apathy or pro-capitalist fetishism that any positive transformation will inevitably bring with it from the other side.

  4. Bill 4

    Just an angle on the whys and wherefores.

    Almost all kids are brought up on a marvellous diet of superman and batman et al. These fictional characters become our stereotypical heroes….our white hats riding out of or into the sunset.

    Oh. And there are the sporting heroes fighting the mythical ‘good fight’ on the green green corporate astro turf

    These, and other mythical heroes have no relevance to our every day life’s except in maybe the most tangental of ways.

    Meanwhile the relevant heroes; he real life heroes and their deeds are buried by the writers of history. I’ll bet that no kids are regaled with the defiance and courage of Mother Jones or the dare and do any number of .anonymous and (sadly) forgotten working class heroes.

    And perhaps that is all we need to know and understand to demand something different or better….that we have been lied to and continue to be lied to. We don’t need to rediscover or reinvent the lost cultural markers to reject our present culture. The level of rejection required to deliver whatever the something better is, is of course, another set of discussions.

  5. Gosman 5

    I know, why don’t you articulate a coherent, detailed and realistic alternative to the current system rather than decrying how unfair and unequal it is and how evil the ‘Haves’ are and how downtrodded the ‘Have nots’ are?

    This has been the problem of the left since the days of Marx and Engels. It is easy to point out faults in society but coming up with something that could be put in place instead beyond some utopian dream is somewhat lacking.

    Heck if all you did was state that we should follow lock stock and barrel what Sweden does it would at least be a starting point.

    • snoozer 5.1

      well, there you go – let’s be like more successful, more equal societies like Norway and Sweden. That’s the beginnings of a solution.

      In fact, there have been endless articulations of different possibilies or at least the creation of a fairer society with a moderated capitalist economic system. You just don’t hear about them because they don’t get a look-in in a world where the capitalists control the media.

    • Daveo 5.2

      There’s no shortage of alternatives to capitalism, but that’s another discussion. The first step is to admit we have a problem.

      • Geek 5.2.1

        Is it really another discussion? The numbers above can’t be argued with. There really is no discussion that can be had with them alone. If you present them to the public the response will always be “That is horrible, but what can we do about it?”. If you don’t have an answer to present right at that point you have lost the audience.

        I am completely uneducated in this matter. I know that other societies do things far better than we do. What I don’t know is what they do. Just saying look at Sweden is not enough. You have to be able to say that it is this policy or this social factor that results in their success.

        If you can articulate that then you stand a far stronger chance of making this the priority in our nation that it deserves to be.

        • IrishBill 5.2.1.1

          For a (social democratic but still capitalist) start:

          * An eight stage progressive tax system topping out at (say) 80% at $2m

          * Incresed regulation of financial markets (this would probably increase investment)

          * Proper taxing of capital gains made by property speculation

          * More publicly funded media

          * stronger labour laws including an award system

          * Free tertiary education offered according to academic merit

          * re-nationalisation of essential infrastructure including the electricity industry and the telecommunications network

          • Geek 5.2.1.1.1

            Are these along the lines that others are using?

            There are some pretty radical changes in what you have there. I don’t argue against them. I just wonder how long they would take to implement. I also wonder what effect on our current market system a true discussion by those who can act upon it would have.

            The progressive tax alone would start sphincters puckering in offices every where.

            Do you know how our close economic ties with Australia would effect these kind of changes? I am not sure on what the economic situation is in the region around Sweden but I would be concerned that if we were to make some of these changes our own economy may suffer as New Zealand becomes a less desirable place to operate business.

          • Bill 5.2.1.1.2

            For a (truly democratic and non-capitalist) start:

            Why start with SD and capitalism Irish when these systems have incrementally delivered for over 100 years precursors to exactly what we have today?

            edit. And what Daveo says below somewhere about the inevitability of arriving right back where we started if we merely fiddle with the extremities….as it were.

            • Geek 5.2.1.1.2.1

              An interesting site Bill. It does however seem like something that really is unattainable with out some for of major melt down that would require rebuilding from block one. People aren’t willingly going to give up ownership.

              I also worry about it being directionless. As stated in its own description Parecon is born from many movements including the Anarchist movement. I understand that there is a valuable input to be gained from all but it seems to me the model lacks control. There is no force controlling direction. The ideal of everyone having input in decisions based upon its effect upon them is admirable but how do you enforce that with out any over riding controlling system?

              Thank you for the link though. I may spend a bit of time running around on that site. i am sure my questions have already been addressed some where in there.

            • Quoth the Raven 5.2.1.1.2.2

              Geek – You should ask yourself why you need force why you need control?
              On parecon I think there are many many problems that I don’t think are addressed adequately. You can read a criticism on the same site Bill linked to. I think the market is democratic and market distribution can handle most things pretty well.

            • Daveo 5.2.1.1.2.3

              How is the market democratic? I mean, unless you think rich people should get more votes than poor people.

            • Quoth the Raven 5.2.1.1.2.4

              Daveo – Read the link. Markets indeed have defects, but they have virtues as well. We need to think dialectically about markets. Markets are democratic (in that they respond to consumer preferences), and they are undemocratic, (since they tend to exacerbate income inequality). And that comes from what seems to be a very radical social democrat. I happen to disagree with the latter believing, like many (many socialists as well) that a free market would be more egalitarian than what we have now – radically so.

          • Richard 5.2.1.1.3

            > * Free tertiary education offered according to academic merit

            I don’t think this is a good idea.

            Tertiary education is about learning to think and developing academic skills. It doesn’t make much sense to limit it to those who already have academic skills.

            Limiting education to the clever seems as unjust as limiting it to the rich.

            Free tertiary education should be offered according to desire. That is, if you want to get a tertiary education, you can.

          • Rich 5.2.1.1.4

            You forget a wealth tax (maybe an annual 1% of global wealth over $1mln, rising to 10% on over $10mln and 40% on anything over $100mln).

            Also, forget old-style nationalisation. That just enriches overpaid senior management who run the business as if they owned it, leaving the taxpayer to provide funds and take the risk. All large businesses should be transitioned to a suitable form of worker/customer coop, where the financial benefits and control of the business are apportioned on an equal basis.

          • SHG 5.2.1.1.5

            If such a tax system were implemented, all the high-earners left in NZ would up and leave.

            Thus the govt of the day would have fewer tax dollars coming in, meaning that “free” this and “nationalised” that and “publicly funded” whatever would never happen.

            • Rich 5.2.1.1.5.1

              Wrong – I’m a high earner and I wouldn’t.

              How come the many wealthy Swedes don’t “up and leave”?

              Besides, if the many wealthy parasites left (having been made to pay an appropriate level of tax on their wealth before being allowed out), others would take over running their businesses.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    I have heard it said before that if all the wealth in the world was distributed equally, in a relatively short time it would be back in the hands of those who had it in the first place.

    Can’t point to a link, but it seems to make logical sense.

    • Chris 6.1

      Or in the hands of the toilet cleaners to the rich. Either possibility is there.

    • Pat 6.2

      As proven by the history of Lotto winners.

    • Daveo 6.3

      If you retained a capitalist system, then yes, it would happen eventually, because inequality is a result of capitalist power relations. Leave those power relations intact and the inequality will return.

      That’s why it’s not just a matter of redistributing a bit of wealth from within the capitalist system. You have to do away with the capitalist system and replace it with an alternative based on human dignity and economic democracy.

      • Pat 6.3.1

        But how do you prevent the people democratically reinstating a capitalist system?

        Or protests from annoying pro-capitalist demonstrators pointing out minor flaws in your new system (like, say, bread shortages)?

        (I think I know the answers – I’m reading “Gulag – A History” by Anne Applebaum at the moment).

        • Bright Red 6.3.1.1

          no-one’s espousing Stalinism here.

          And you would be a fool to ignore the fact that a lot of the problems (the tendency to authoritarianism especially) with the Soviet Union existed in Russia before and exist now – it’s deeper rooted than blaming the system that they purport to have in place at any one time.

  7. roger nome 7

    “stronger labour laws including an award system”

    Irish – do you know why the CTU doesn’t advocate for a return to an awards system? It’s very strange IMO.

  8. roger nome 8

    Pat:

    Why is the capitalist system in Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden far more equal than ours?

    Capitalism doesn’t have to mean extreme inequality, and socialism doesn’t have to mean Stalinism. Your binary thinking is child-like.

    • Pat 8.1

      Daveo wrote “You have to do away with the capitalist system…”

      I don’t think he was suggesting it be replaced with a Scandinavian capitalist system.

      Maybe he could elucidate what system he thinks we should adopt.

    • Pat 8.2

      “…Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden…”

      I would be interested to know whether the opening up of EU borders has resulted in a drift or exodus of skilled labour to other EU countries where they could earn a higher income with less taxes.

      Becuase the natural argument against NZ adopting a similar income/tax system, would be that there would be an exodus to Australia.

  9. Macro 9

    Q. Why are there no workers in the religious right?

    A. Because the capitalists pray for the workers on Sunday and prey on them for the remaining six days of the week

    Good post Marty! It was all going well in “God’s Own” until we were Rogered in the 1980’s and served up a mother of a budget in 1991 – and the last crowd seemed incapable of doing anything constructive to address the imbalances that had been created – despite a huge mandate in the early years.

    There are far more equitable means of distributing wealth – we have to get rid of thae antiquated property laws for a start. Michael Fox hinted at this in an earlier post. For those not aquainted with what I am referring to – the property laws of NZ are derived from the property laws of Gt Britain, which in turn were drafted in the 18th C and based upon the ethics – drawn up specifically – by John Locke. These laws completely overlook the concept of communal property – so we can have the likes of Rodbey Hide now proposing that the common property of NZers ie water can be sold to a private company to manage! Everybody owns that water – the rain from heaven falls on the rich and the poor alike! We need proper government to fairly manage its distribution. Furthermore the laws of property completely overlooked the rights of indigenous people! We have a problem in our parliament today following that oversight!

    There are far better ways to distribute wealth than relying on an amoral and ineffectual market. Markets are ineffectual when there is a need to distribute in an equitable manner. There is a growing need looming for instance to distribute energy equitably. An ETS may go someway towards signaling to consumers the real costs of their energy usage (depending upon the price setting for Carbon) but it will ultimately drive the poor even further into poverty and the distribution of energy will flow only to those who can afford it!

    • Bill 9.1

      Nice comment.

      One point though. By saying “Everybody owns that water the rain from heaven falls on the rich and the poor alike! We need proper government to fairly manage its distribution.”, you are inviting central planning…command and control economics through centralised government power.

      On the assumption that you are not in favour of replicating all the woes of Soviet era planning can I suggest that you’d be better asserting that we need a democratic economy to fairly manage distribution? And while we’re at it, recognise that a democratic economy (as opposed to either a market one or a centrally planned one) would also address the issues of resource use rather than simply the distribution arising from any development of a resource as well as ensuring that all manufacturing or resource use was for social good?

      • Macro 9.1.1

        “On the assumption that you are not in favour of replicating all the woes of Soviet era planning can I suggest that you’d be better asserting that we need a democratic economy to fairly manage distribution? And while we’re at it, recognise that a democratic economy (as opposed to either a market one or a centrally planned one) would also address the issues of resource use rather than simply the distribution arising from any development of a resource as well as ensuring that all manufacturing or resource use was for social good?”

        Yes exactly!

        Central regulation however may be required in some areas initially – where there is wide disparity. eg in China the central government has banned the deforestation in the catchment areas of their rivers – why? because even they could appreciate the effects of the result – sand storms, eroded earth, desertification etc.

    • Bill 9.2

      In fucking purgatory….. or somewhere…… again

  10. roger nome 10

    Pat:

    “Becuase the natural argument against NZ adopting a similar income/tax system”

    One of the many faulty assumptions of the neo-liberal economic model is that all people are driven by avarice. Many are driven by family, community, quality of life – you know, that’s why most business people in the Scandinavian countries actually support the Social Democratic model. It’s a different values system, and a healthier one.

  11. prism 11

    One of the reasons why we are stuck in the economic and political style we are in today is language – we are connected by English to class-ridden, tending towards fascism and hard-line-economist USA and Britain.

    We as a people don’t know enough about how our own country works, what is important for the people and economy’s health and wellbeing, or how we are impacted by larger, dominant countries. That is all stuff we could take in in English, and to go outside the English cabal we would have to learn other languages for real understanding. So many people are reluctant to learn some Maori, and I think foreign languages are being taken from the curriculum in some schools.

    The Scandinavian countries have been having political spats for centuries, and live at the top of the globe, as we do at the bottom. There are similarities, we could learn from them and they seem to have made considered policies that are worth considering. Lucky they are more intelligent about foreign languages than us, and can communicate in English.

    • George D 11.1

      You’re absolutely right, beyond a shadow of a doubt. The relentless obsession of both the ruling classes and the population with the Anglosphere, and the ignorance of anything outside it, means that our policy inspiration is drawn from two of the countries in greatest decline. During the last century you could pretend they were doing just fine – it’s becoming increasingly obvious that they aren’t. We share the English prejudices against foreigners (Europeans), and we’re poorer in every way as a result.

  12. Homo Domesticus 12

    Friends, what do you expect? NZ is being sold out by National, Auckland will soon be asset stripped. The results will be that the 10% will get richer, the rest of us and the country will not. Rise up and drive out Key and English and those that would sell out country.

    Homo d. (FPP)

  13. JD 13

    “we are connected by English to class-ridden, tending towards fascism”

    The National Front could only rally two dozen supporters for their march. So much for tending to fascism whatever that means.

  14. Jenny 14

    If it was the last generation’s historic task to dismantle communism.

    Maybe it this generation’s historic task to dismantle capitalism.

    Future generations and the planet will surely be thankful.

  15. Macro 15

    we are fast progressing towards a “corporatocracy” where corporations run the country on the behest and in collusion with the political power.
    They obey the the new golden rule!
    “those with the gold – RULE”

  16. Anthony Karinski 16

    From table 2 in your:http://www.stats.govt.nz/~/media/statistics/publications/analytical-reports/wealth-and-disparities-in-new-zealand/wealth-disparities.aspx link

    Percent of total net worth
    Top 1% 16.4
    Bottom 50% 5.2

    The top 1% of kiwis is worth more than three times as much as the bottom 50% combined. Meaning on average each person in the highest percentile has assets worth more than 157 times the average for the bottom 50%. I’m sure they’ve worked 150 times harder for it and risked 150 times more. Yeah right.

    Would be interesting to see some historical trends for this.

  17. prism 17

    Jd I was talking about the USA and Britain in that quote that you cut short. The fascism I was referring to is an orientation that the state has, and the National Front are one of the disaffected groups that arise in society.

    Jenny – sounds a bit pie in the sky. No great change will be the answer to struggle, and when something good is done, the details and reasons are soon forgotten plus the sacrifices that those involved made. Example – Sir Keith Park NZ who had a major role in defending London and attacking in the Battle of Britain I think. Got given the push afterwards and was not mentioned in some official report. That was WW2. Then there was the 1970’s feminist push for women to be have better opportunities and to be respected as equals, many young women dismiss the gains made. They have no idea of attitudes and conditions then and the improvements now.

  18. SHG 18

    I look at the graphs and see equal-opportunity policies paying off.

    CONGRATULATIONS COMRADE COMMISSAR EO OFFICERS, YOU HAVE WON

  19. modern 19

    Great post.

    ‘why do we let it be this way?’

    The million dollar question.

    Surely much of the answer is ‘ignorance’.

    So keep up the good work…. keep doing what you’re doing

  20. Harpoon 20

    ” … is the reason that the capitalists have won and are still winning is that they are the most aggressive and greedy members of our society, while we are too weak and subservient to fight back?”

    Folks, everything rightists do is done to achieve one of two things, ether
    (a) move money from the rest of the population to the already rich, or
    (b) distract the rest of the population from the fact that (a) is happening.

  21. Gosman 21

    I love it when you ask leftists to articulate their alternative to the ‘evils’ of Capitalism.

    You tend to get the responses falling into two main camps.

    The first is the social democratic managed capitalism group who think you can just keep the current system but somehow control it via strict controls and the welfare state. People who advocate this approach hold up the Scandanavian countries as the ideal.

    The other group is those who think that the entire system is rotten and you need to replace it with something better. This something is the rather vague and utopian ideas of Socialism.

    I actually have a bit of sympathy for those who fall in to the second camp. They are at least not hypocritical when they decry Capitalism. However the alternatives they propose are of course ‘pie in the sky’ stuff.

    • Ag 21.1

      What’s wrong with the Scandinavians? They’ve had a higher standard of living than most other countries for years.

      They must be doing something right.

    • Sam 21.2

      I love it when people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about carry on as if they do, attempting to command some sort of “daddy knows best” ideal of right wing dominance.

      Read a book.

  22. Michael 22

    Most New Zealanders have a reasonably comfortable standard of living, so they feel no need to question capitalism. Capitalism is preferred by the rich.

    I predict that in a few hundred years when poverty hits a much larger proportion of our country there will be a greater movement towards a socialist economic system.

    Look at what poor countries in South America (eg. Venezuela) are doing now, this is what will happen to us in a few hundred years.

    It took us 1000 years to get out of the middle ages and it will take a similar amount of time for us to realise capitalism doesn’t work.

  23. sean14 23

    Closing down golf courses?

  24. Ben 24

    One possible answer to the last paragraph may be that “You can’t vote the rascals out, because you never voted them in, in the first place”. The sequence of events of the last 30 years are that of capital pressure on governments locally, and internationally. I know this I’m hugarian. I have lost one country already. We can’t pressure such a vote to take place, because we don’t have capital that governments are competing to accomodate, like the multinational corps do. The politicians are in no stronger position than us.

    If they decide to crack down with taxes on the rich, the rich in turn can threaten, or actually take their business to Aus, for instance, or worse, have the World Bank’s MIGA arm put mighty pressure on the NZ government. They clearly have a better hand of cards than the people.

    One reasons why national solutions are off the table for us, the 90%, worldwide.

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  • 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
    2 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    2 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    4 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    5 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    5 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    7 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    7 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks 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
    10 hours 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
    12 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    18 hours ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
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