web analytics

John Key: Evidence please!

Written By: - Date published: 6:17 am, June 2nd, 2011 - 54 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: , , , , , , , ,

John Key was characterised by some of his fellow money-men as “good antennae, no compass”, and he does seem to have a good gut instinct for (usually) saying what the average Kiwi wants to hear.  But sometimes going with your feelings isn’t enough.  Sometimes reality needs to intervene.

His willingness to go with his gut rather than evidence has been seen a lot recently.  And it will send our country down the wrong path.

My first recent egregious example was on Hard Talk:

John Key: Well that might be Mike Joy’s view, but I don’t share that view.

Sackur: But he is very well qualified, isn’t he? He’s looked, for example, at the number of species threatened with extinction in New Zealand, he’s looked at the fact that half your lakes, 90% of your lowland rivers, are now classed as polluted.

Key: Look, I’d hate to get into a flaming row with one of our academics, but he’s offering his view. […]

Sackur: Yeah but he’s a scientist, it’s based on research, it’s not an opinion he’s plucked from the air.

Key: He’s one academic, and like lawyers, I can provide you with another one that will give you a counterview.

Key fails to understand the difference between a scientist whose job it is to gather evidence and weigh up the truth, and a lawyer whose job it is to present the best case for whichever side they are paid by.  He follows up his casual dismissal of science with New Zealand being “relatively 100% pure”.  He has also failed Mike Joy’s challenge to come up with another scientist with “a counterview”.

Whilst it is popular to dismiss economics as ‘the dismal science’, John Key has put a lot of trust in Treasury’s high GDP, job and wage growth forecasts, so certainly acts as though he believes them.  But when departing Treasury head John Whitehead stated in his final report and Q&A interview the measurable fact that New Zealand was the 7th least equal in the developed world (and that we need to do something about it), we got:

Key: Are we deeply unequal? I’m not sure that’s right. I haven’t had a really good look, apples with apples comparison. If you take New Zealand’s welfare system for starters, which we’ve just been discussing, that’s universally regarded as a more generous scheme than in many other countries. So at one end of the scale you could say New Zealand is arguably providing more support for a lot of people.

Once again he’s “not sure that’s right” trumps actual evidence.  And instead he comes up with an opinion that our welfare system is “universally regarded as … more generous” – even though it is significantly less generous than almost all of western and northern Europe or even Australia.

As another recent example yesterday the youth working group Key set up with  his science advisor Sir Peter Gluckman reported back.  It cited evidence that some schemes had limited effectiveness in reducing poor youth outcomes, or were even found to be harmful – including boot camps and military-style training and ‘Scared Straight’ programmes, where troubled youths meet convicts who attempt to scare them away from a life of crime.

Sir Peter: Our research suggests that many programmes have been introduced, albeit with good intent, that are unlikely to succeed as they are not supported by the evidence base, whereas other approaches likely to be effective have not been implemented.

John Key though knows Boot Camps are working – even if the evidence says otherwise:

Key: we can see with our own eyes that they work… The results speak for themselves.

Also released yesterday was the ECE working group’s report.  It calls for limits on how few trained teachers can be employed, starting at 50% and rising to 80%, with the re-introduction of incentives to have 100% qualified teachers.  All this with plenty of evidence that qualified teachers are important to young children’s success and Sir Peter Gluckman saying how important those early years are – by adolescence it’s all too late…

I’m wondering what Key’s response will be, and in which direction he will lead our country…

I have been meaning to post about Steven Joyce’s report into the economics of the Auckland Central Rail Loop.  Auckland Trains cover it very well.  The NZTA report would seem as car-biased and government-influenced as most NZTA reports, and the list of international experts backing Auckland Council’s much less pessimistic report certainly reads much more impressively.  Greg Presland at Future West points out that even the Auckland Council report fails to take into account Peak Oil, something that occurred in 2006 according to the IEA – and they should know.  We’ll see how $4/litre fuel affects 2041 car use projections…

Still, at least Joyce has the grace to make some evidence up to support his case, rather than saying he just knows Public Transport doesn’t work…

1954 Herald Cartoon of a previous National government stopping Auckland’s rail system…

54 comments on “John Key: Evidence please!”

  1. Peter 1

    Very insightful, thanks for putting in the effort.

  2. Lazy Susan 2

    The determination to by NAct to try and block the construction of the rail loop yet steadfastly continue to support the construction of the “holiday highway” defies all logic. Is this simply a result of a very powerful roading lobby or is there more going on here? Is the government trying to force the council into a PPP? Is there already a PPP set up for the “holiday highway”?

    I never use the existing tolled extension to the Northern Motorway both on principle and because it only minimally reduces journey times.

    BTW anyone not familiar with the Northern Motorway and using it to go north for the first time I suggest you ignore the “Free Route” signs if you want to avoid tolls as they get you to exit a junction before you need to. Go to the next exit as that is just before the toll and bypasses both Silverdale and most of Orewa and means the difference in jorney time toll versus is non-toll is minimal.

    • higherstandard 2.1

      Lazy S

      I do a clinic up at Wellsford twice a month, the toll road saves me around 20-25 minutes each way and I’m sure most of the people living in the warkworth/wellsford area and the freight companies coming find the same thing.

      • Lazy Susan 2.1.1

        Must be comparing with the “Free Route” described above and stopping for petrol and a pie in Silverdale HS. It doesn’t even take 20-25 minutes to drive from the Orewa exit to the end of the tolled section on the other side of the hill. Journey time saving is 10 minutes at best

        • higherstandard 2.1.1.1

          LS

          I’ve been doing the clinics up there for a number of years i can assure you it has improved my travel time between 20-25 minutes each way compared to prior to the toll road going in.

          Different strokes for different folks I prefer the toll road you prefer the original nothing wrong with that.

  3. TightyRighty 3

    So what, scientists who disagree with other scientists aren’t scientists? what a load of garbage. Of course it now proves john key doesn’t know anything because he knows that scientists who disagree with scientists can actually still be scientists.

    • Luva 3.1

      Not only that, what other anser could the Prime Minister and Tourism Minister of New Zealand given to an international audience. He dealt with a curly question by giving a plausible response and not conceeding that New Zealand sux

    • Pascal's bookie 3.2

      TR, what scientists would they be? Name 5.

      Luva, he could have said that the 100% pure is a marketing slogan not a scientific report, that we take it seriously and that we are doing x,y, and z in response to the disturbing levels of pollution we are seeing.

      • Puddleglum 3.2.1

        Exactly, P’sB. When adverts are taken to the Broadcasting Standards Authority as a result of a complaint, one of the most common defences is that ‘everyone knows’ what was notionally claimed is not 100% factual (e.g., that a hilux can climb vertical cliffs – Barry Crump/Scotty style).

        Key could easily have said, “Look, we don’t expect anyone to take the 100% Pure campaign 100% literally – we know we have environmental issues and we’re confronting them with x, y and z policies. But, let me be very clear about this: The quality of our environment and scenery is repeatedly shown to be what impresses our visitors. So we take our environmental issues seriously just because our visitors expect us to be doing the best we can to preserve the remarkable environment we still have. 100% pure makes a point – and we see it as a challenge to ourselves to maintain our environment to the highest quality.”

        It’s not hard to come up with a perfectly reasonable response to that question (I wrote the above off the top of my head with no edits) so long as (a) you know your stuff; and (b) you don’t have a default setting to be affably dismissive about ‘inconvenient truths’. 

        BTW, I’m not actually that keen on the slogan. It invites pretty obvious criticism.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          It’s actually very hard to come up with such a reasonable response when you aren’t doing x,y or z but are doing d,e and f which actually make the matter worse.

          NZ under the NActs are doing d,e and f.

          • Puddleglum 3.2.1.1.1

            I know, you’re right.

            All I can say in my defence is that, when I wrote it, that point was swirling around in the back of my mind but never made it to the page …

    • Carol 3.3

      Key’s response was that the scientific evidence & the scientific process doesn’t matter. He’ll make his decisions without looking at the science, then he’ll go find a scientist/s that supports his views and ignore the rest – thumbing his nose at the whole premise of science, based on rigorously collected data and evidence.

      • Jim Nald 3.3.1

        Surely he is not like an opportunist who is a well-practised con artiste !

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.4

      The point is Tighty, Key does not get his info from scientists to offer a counter view its Shonkey’s view on the spot repeating his bias eg boot camps

      This is the trouble when you create/ pitch every decision/policy to the level of a morning tea discussion/sound bite. Sooner or latter and sadly it has been much latter commentators are going to realize hey that 170,000 new job line, I have heard that before didn’t you promise that last budget.

      As the commentators start to cast a considered analysis of what National is dishing up Key is going to look more and more “oh shucks”.

      • Jim Nald 3.4.1

        Shonkey pitches his policy to morning tea discussion level … and he’ll be gone by lunchtime.

  4. queenstfarmer 4

    Key fails to understand the difference between a scientist whose job it is to gather evidence and weigh up the truth, and a lawyer whose job it is to present the best case for whichever side they are paid by.

    No, I’d say he has it right, and you have it wrong with that very naiive statement.

    I presume you are not saying that every scientist comes to the same conclusion on every matter, are you? What would you say about industry-sponsored (directly or indirectly) scientific research? Or, as you raised the law, expert scientific witnesses who give conflicting evidence for each side? Or, scientific “truths” that are later overturned?

    I should say that I agree with Dr Joy’s comments (well the ones I read) and there are real problems that need urgent action.

    • Carol 4.1

      Key still needs to engage with the science. He didn’t show he had looked at diverse scientific arguments & evidence, and had made an informed decision based on the evidence he looked at. He gave no alternative scientific argument – just said he was sure he could find one. Courts, judges, juries till need to look closely at the scientific evidence they are presented with and make judgements based on their critical evaluation of the evidence.

      The general public can base their opinions on whatever they like – phases of the moon, tossing a coin, the colour of a politician’s eyes, whatever – it doesn’t make them correct in their judgements. But we expect our MPs, Ministers & PM to make decisions based on a knowledge, and careful critical evaluation, of the most rigorous available evidence.

      • Jim Nald 4.1.1

        Shonkey does not make evidence-based decisions but gambles with policy while the media jackpot is there to pull. He is happy to indulge in speculative policy-making and take NZ into a new dark age of governing based on irrationality.

      • ianmac 4.1.2

        +1 Carol

    • queenstfarmer, you’re quite right. As Popper argued, science and the growth of scientific knowledge, doesn’t depend upon any characteristic of individual scientists (e.g., impartiality, curiosity, intelligence, etc.). It depends upon the social institutions that support it – e.g., peer review; scholarly journals; open communication between scientists; education, etc.. So, some – maybe many – scientists might be pushing a barrow, in terms of what view of the facts (or what facts) they are committed to. From Popper’s point of view, however, that doesn’t matter so long as the institutions of science continue.

      But (there’s always a ‘but’), what those institutions do (or are supposed to do) is create a current body of knowledge (note, not ‘truth’) around which there is some, or even considerable, consensus and a further area of research that remains contested, debated and, possibly, publicly controversial. In an ideal world, that latter area then becomes exposed to the ‘competition of ideas’ from multitudinous scientists and scientific research studies in the hope that some resolution or consensus will be reached there as well. 

      So far as I can tell, however, Key was confusing the former area of scientific knowledge (i.e., about the reality of issues to do with biodiversity, lake pollution, etc.) with the latter (i.e., areas with remaining fundamental disagreement). Joy’s points, so far as I can see, were definitely within the category of consensual, accepted knowledge – at least at present – so it is simply naive for Key to say he could find other scientists who might seriously contest Joy’s claims and that each of these views are ‘equivalent’, which is the implication (unless, of course, Key knows of some intense debate over those issues currently raging in scientific journals?).

    • Ben Clark 4.3

      Coming from a science background, I most certainly do not claim that every scientist will reach the same conclusions.

      But it should be each scientist’s own legitimate conclusions, based on the evidence, weighing it up against various hypotheses. Not presenting one side to their benefit. Scientific (or any expert) evidence in court is meant to be similarly independent and their best conclusions based on the evidence, even if it is being presented by one side or ‘tother. Industry sponsored research should also still be independent (altho there are issues there occasionally).

      But as Carol and PB have already said – there is no: “here’s a different valid scientific view” or “I dispute the evidence because”, just a casual dismissal of its worth compared to what Key believes. He’s not even finding one outlier scientist challenging the consensus to dispute it.

      As I said with Steven Joyce – I may not believe his evidence for his case, but at least he’s presenting some.

      Key’s technique is quite clever though – you can’t dispute the substance of his argument if there isn’t any there…

      • Puddleglum 4.3.1

        Agree completely. In a sense my comment was an attempt to simply argue that it doesn’t matter what the individual scientist might be motivated by – it’s the social process of science that gives us some confidence about what ‘stays standing’ as knowledge.

        Of course, all scientists – and all people – should act in the best of possible faiths (‘good faith’). Individuals don’t necessarily do that, however (there’s plenty of psychological science on that point, too, irrespective of the ‘expert’ status of someone). The history of science is littered with prominent scientists pushing ‘barrows’ – e.g., R.J. Fisher’s defence of smoking on the basis of some statistical argument about the basis of the, then very persuasive, scientific evidence (while being supported by tobacco companies in his research).

        And, ‘yes’, Key’s “I could find a scientist with a different view” argument is totally inept and shows no understanding of either the ideal or actual scientific process (Joy would be shot down in flames – by other scientists – if he was making outrageous claims unsupported by the present state of scientific knowledge – especially if he was claiming that they represented the ‘state of the art’ in that area.).

        I was also, of course, putting far too generous an interpretation on Key’s position when I said he was ‘confused’. He was simply being (conveniently) ignorant.

  5. If Key perfers his Gut to real evidence he would fit in well with the green party, they are all about their ideology and not the facts. (Im not talking about climate change either, because I beleive that is real)

    • onsos 5.1

      What are you talking about? Or is this just one of those vague generalisations that doesn’t need evidence?

  6. William Joyce 6

    It’s the free market applied to science – all facts are contestable, any constant can be redefined in order to reset the frame of a debate, and (something the right do so well) any contrary evidence can be overcome by stating your ideological mantra over and over again until you foam at the mouth and fall over backwards.
    This last habit, (foaming at the mouth and falling over backwards) was first identified by one “Monty Python”, a used car sales man of Leeds, four decades ago in his ground breaking study of members of the British conservative party.
    Unfortunately we don’t see any of that in NZ. Instead we have do have the repeating of mantra followed by compliant indifference from the cleverly mesmerised MSM who move on to their next scripted question.
    I for one would enjoy watching John Key if he did foam at the mouth and fall over backwards on occasion – but then I guess he’s just a one trick pony.

  7. Carol 7

    Righties are doing well in this discussion in employing a creative mix of the Rules of Disinformation (author unknown):

    Jackel’s 25 rules of disinformation

    In my estimation they have drawn on Rules # 1, 4, 9, 14, 15, 20, 22 at least.

    Brett is also employing Rule #7

  8. ianmac 8

    “Key: we can see with our own eyes that they work… The results speak for themselves.” re Boot Camps.
    You see the next question should be, “What is the evidence Mr Key and what are the results that speak for themselves, which refute Dr Gluckman’s research?”

    Neither Key nor the Minister are willing to release the data on, for instance, the reoffending rate of graduates. They have been asked in Questions but won’t say which suggests that the news isn’t good.

    So Key’s response that Boot Camps work is a lie.

    • Jim Nald 8.1

      “we can see with our own eyes that they work” ?

      well, if we are blind, we need some of his Whitechapel eyes

  9. jackal 9

    There is a serious issue here in that not only is John Key deluded, he is perpetuating an untruth that most people will see through. This is ultimately damaging to New Zealand’s credibility in more than one way. You can check where John Key is happy to swim on this Facebook page:

    http://on.fb.me/mfpi13

  10. lyndon 10

    Earlier in the year Kim Workman got some stats on the Fresh Start reoffending rates and Key was asked about it in the press. It was a bit odd. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1102/S00111/scoop-audio-pms-presser-gillard-the-gap-and-boot-camps.htm

    An OIA Rory MacKinnon got pretty much said they didn’t have a plan for evaluating the programmes; so I doubt at this point that it’s possible.

    Might be worth trawling back through parliament questions as well; Key seems to have taken up variations on ‘I don’t accept that’ as an immediate response to inconvenient factual statements this year.

    I recall it on immigration to australia being up and (either in parliament of at a press conference) doubting the rise in ECE costs (per Stats NZ) applied across the whole country. One or two others?

    At least one acrimonious argument has concluded that, in Parliament, that sort of thing is allowed. But that doesn’t mean he should be allowed to get away with it.

    • Bunji 10.1

      Yes, we definitely saw it on the 2 instances you mention (immigration to Aus & ECE costs).

      It needs following up with: “You may not accept that Mr Key, but that doesn’t stop it being true… (and what are you going to do about it)”

    • ianmac 10.2

      Thanks Lyndon. That Workman item was back in February. It also flies in the face of Key’s defence of the Boot Camps.
      “The Ministry of Social Development staff should not be blamed for the poor outcome. The programme design was forced on them by those who knew that the measure would have popular public support.” said Mr Workman. A bit like the Herceptin decision.
      Mr Key told the News Conference that 50% recidivism was a good result for the Boot Camp.
      Excuse me for my eyebrows meeting my scalp!

  11. Maui 11

    .. and now a multi-millionaire ex-Merrill Lynch hitman brings you

    a ‘beneficiaries and bludgers’ dog-whistle campaign

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/social-issues/news/article.cfm?c_id=87&objectid=10729115

    • Bored 11.1

      Theme tune for the National Election Campaign….Kill the Poor, (Dead Kennedys).

      • Maui 11.1.1

        One thing I don’t understand is the role of the Exclusive Brethren in all this. There was footage in the film ‘Hollow Men’ of him meeting with them. Were they a conduit for external funding ?

        • Bored 11.1.1.1

          Easy Maui, if you are one of the Brethren you have poll position in Heaven and on Earth, God is on your side and nobody else is as worthy and deserving as you. God has favoured you, beneficiaries are not favoured by God (or else they would not be beneficiaries) therefore they are not worthy of your favours (or tax). In fact they are the spawn of the Devil.

    • marsman 11.2

      ‘pushing 100,000 beneficiaries into work within the next decade’ What is it with these Tory arseholes that everything needs to be punitive if it concerns people, it is always the people’s fault.No mention of creating, or at least fostering the creation of, JOBS. They fuck the economy then blame someone else for it. Men-boys, bully-boys.

  12. Nick C 12

    “Key fails to understand the difference between a scientist whose job it is to gather evidence and weigh up the truth, and a lawyer whose job it is to present the best case for whichever side they are paid by.”

    See this just makes me think you are making shit up as you go along. Lawyers perform a huge variety of tasks, one of which is to advocate for a client. But often clients will simply want their unbiased legal opinion as to whether the law favours them on any particular set of facts.

    • Hanswurst 12.1

      Not really. You see, a statement like, “He’s one academic, and like lawyers, I can provide you with another one that will give you a counterview,” strongly suggests that he might be paying someone to give the point of view that he wants. The post isn’t criticising the practice of law per se, but the job performed by a lawyer when advocating for particular moneyed interests.

  13. deemac 13

    his self-belief in the face of inconvenient facts reminds me of Tony Blair. At his peak Blair could sell snow to eskimos; it took ten long years for most of the public and media to see through him. If Key’s aura lasts that long we will be left with a very nasty situation indeed in NZ…

  14. JonL 14

    “Whilst it is popular to dismiss economics as ‘the dismal science’”
    Economics is not a Science!
    Nor are “Social Sciences”, – they are more, self serving, self fulfilling fantasies……

  15. randal 15

    unfortunately the only thing he undersatnds is bond yields and who to sell the duds to.
    see “liars poker”

  16. wtl 16

    Does any one know of Gluckman’s respose to Key’s statements? If I was Gluckman I would be pretty peeved by the PM publicly discounting the in-depth scientific report like that. Gluckman really should make it an issue and take a principled stance about this – tell the government publicly that this is something that is important, and we must do a lot better by implementing evidence-based policy in this area. Otherwise the report was a waste of time and why stay on as the PM’s science advisor if you are only there for show?

  17. Chris 17

    So many silly comments here that are not going to change any election outcomes. It might make people feel good on this forum here but otherwise it does diddly squat in the real world. Suggest starting to sort out the lefts in-house problems first will be a major step to recovery. At present Labor are being a totally ineffective opposition. Labour has failed to make any traction in 2 1/2 years – why ? There appears to be a dearth of collective IQ here about this fact.
    Sometimes one needs to take the red tinted glasses off to see the truth. Opposition bashing certainly does not work. Realistically however any real change will not happen this side of the election.

  18. HC 18

    Gut instinct = superstitious efforts to read the future out of the extracted guts of an animal. Yeah right! That is what Don Key is all about. No substance, no proof, no integrity, no sincerity, just populist appearance and uncommitted words of no plans and no solutions. Trust in me and we will get there, is the message. Not trust in me, because I have the knowledge and evidence. Sadly too many Kiwis just so busy trying to survive neither have the time or make the effort to see behind this facade and analyse what is really going on.

  19. vanakast 19

    John Key could do nothing, and his plan would still be superior to both the Greens & Labour.

    • McFlock 19.1

      Only for 1% of the population.
       
       

    • HC 19.2

      vanakast: You believe in elitism and a preference for the rich, that is the only explanation for your unqualified comment!

  20. pepeketua 20

    he’s at it again!!! this morning in the Southland Times, John Key says he has ‘no problem’ (he’s so casual and cool) with lignite mining in Southland, despite Dr James Hansen’s recent warnings, AND THEN, when asked about the increasing dairying in Southland contributing to the catastrophic collapse of the internationally recognised Waituna Lagoon, he says “But NZ’s water quality is second only to Iceland”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5094448/PM-backs-mining-souths-lignite/

    BUT, hang on, that study (which he also quoted in the BBC Hardtalk interview – how embarrassing!) was a social science study based on people’s perceptions! Media 7 have been the only media outlet who bothered to dig into it – see here http://tvnz.co.nz/media7/s6-e16-extra-video-4181157

    ANYONE OUT THERE? there must be some (good) journos trawling this site??? come on guys?
    *cries*

    • HC 20.1

      Perfect comment! Most of the media is in private ownership and does in fact practice some voluntary form of self-censorship. Also have many real journalist jobs been cut. There is very little investigative journalism, so many stories do never really come to the surface!

      The Chief Editors are also selecting what may appeal most to the public, whether it is headlines about crimes, disasters and similar stuff.

      Most people are not scientists and have little patience to look at matters thoroughly.

      What the government departments do in the areas of the environment is equally done in tourism, economic and social areas of concern. So we get the figures that the government wants or allows us to get.

      That is why alternative media like the Standard need to play a special and crucial role in exposing all this.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    37 mins ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 hour ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    4 hours ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 hours ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    1 day ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    1 day ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    1 day ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    2 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial 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... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    2 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    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
    2 days 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, ...
    2 days 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 ...
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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? ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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

  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    35 mins ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 week 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
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago