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Journalistic independence, or why Radio NZ matters

Written By: - Date published: 12:11 pm, February 19th, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: Media - Tags: , , , , , , , ,

One of the strongest arguments for keeping Radio NZ properly funded and not reliant on advertising and sponsorship is the need to give journalists the independence they need to fulfil their role as the fourth estate.

While journalists at commercial stations are all too aware of the need to appease their corporate owners and the advertisers who pay the bills, the public broadcasting model means journalists at Radio NZ have the independence and the resources they need to serve the public properly. In fact, they’re required by legislation to do just that.

There’s no better illustration of this than how the debate over National’s funding cuts has played out on Radio NZ compared to its commercial counterparts.

As Lew notes in The Standard‘s comments:

This interview on Morning Report today is the case in point of why we need NatRad: Geoff Robinson tackles the issue head-on as an important matter of the public interest, plays devil’s advocate and at one point when John Boscawen asks him to say whether he thinks there is a lack of funding, tells him ‘it’s not my job to defend Radio New Zealand, it’s my job to ask questions of both of you’. Goddamned right.

That’s called professionalism. Even when it’s an issue directly affecting Robinson’s work he refuses to insert his own or his employer’s interests into the story. He maintains his critical distance and simply does his job as a professional journalist.

Over at Radio Live and ZB the breakfast hosts have dropped any pretense of public interest, and have instead taken upon themselves the role of shills for the interests of their corporate owners.

Marcus Lush, who happily uses public money for his TV shows, used his breakfast slot on Radio Live yesterday to call for RNZ to be forced to play commericals. “Then there’ll be a level playing field”, he says. I can only assume he means we should gut RNZ to make it easier for his employers to increase their market share and, by extension, their profits.

Over at Newstalk ZB, their breakfast host Mike Hosking (who learned his craft on the publicly funded RNZ) sneered that the only people against cutting Radio NZ’s funding are the unions and the writers’ guild. He went on to imply that it was all some kind of conspiracy from the Labour Party.

This is what it comes down to. Radio NZ is the last bastion of public service broadcasting left in this country. It’s funded by us and it’s accountable to us. I don’t want my democracy left in the hands of Ironbridge Capital and Clear Channel Communications USA. Because that’s what’s at stake here.

33 comments on “Journalistic independence, or why Radio NZ matters”

  1. felix 1

    Excellent post, Guest.

  2. Phil O'Brien 2

    Brilliantly put!! Thank you.

  3. Bill 3

    Again. Forth Estate clap trap. There is not and has never been any such altruistic entity or dynamic. Media serves power and or vested interests. Always has.

    And state run media are not independent. Just because they are not readily identifiable as ‘left’ or ‘right’ doesn’t mean they are not as bias as all hell. They essentially peddle orthodoxy and as such could be said to be both conservative and reactionary…

    …and are still far preferable to any corporate media.

  4. Chris Ford 4

    Too right!
    I have to comment on one other irony as well. This week the Nats announced that they would prop up the deficit ridden Timberlands West Coast operation while saying stuff you to the equally underfunded National Radio. Therefore, is there a political conspiracy theory here whereby trendy liberal lefty Nat Rad listeners can afford to be pissed off while voters in a marginal Tory seat (West Coast-Tasman) can’t be?? Something to ponder there.

  5. schrodigerscat 5

    Mike Hosking drove me away from morning report some years ago, I was thrilled when he came onto morning TV, knowing I wasn’t going there.

    Back these days to happily listening to Nat Radio, gets dubious with Jim Mora and his guests DPF and M Boag sometimes though.

    Boscowan, known around our house for politicing to my kids on the bus to intermediate school.

  6. Sonny Blount 6

    “Ads. We’ve been pissing a bit of money away, basically. We could be using that money to pay for the server, rather than out of Lynn’s wallet and the generous donations. We can also use it for enhancing The Standard and left activism. The point of ads is not to enrich ourselves. The money will be held by The Standard Trust and used to pay for the site and to advance the progressive left principles the site was founded on.”

    This statement suggests to me that you believe that you are able to maintain adherence to your vision whilst receiving advertising revenue, why would you think RNZ are not capable of the same?

    [lprent: You’re a bit of a dickhead.. The site doesn’t cost anything to run and we don’t rely on it. If Irish (?) hadn’t already banned you then I would. This is what the 4th thing saying essentially the same thing. That is trolling and more importantly pisses off the moderators. ]

    • Daveo 6.1

      Oh dear, a bit of a lack of perspective there Sonny. Clearly The Standard is not a major media outlet, it does not employ staff, it is not owned by a company, it does not return a profit to shareholders, it doesn’t rely on advertising to exist and the writers are not doing so at the behest of employers trying to make a buck. In fact it doesn’t even appear to have any central editorial control.

      There’s certainly potential for bad shit to happen if they started letting advertising interfere with content like DPF does but fact is this is a blog, not a news media organisation like RNZ or Mediaworks. The Standard will no doubt face new conflicts and tensions now they have advertising but I don’t think your point is valid until this site is employing staff under some sort of central editorial control and relying on advertising to exist.

      Nice you’re having a go though.

  7. Sonny Blount 7

    “mickysavage
    14 February 2010 at 3:27 pm
    I am fine with the use of advertising. Lefties should not flog themselves to death in the interests of being philosophically pure.

    travellerev
    14 February 2010 at 3:55 pm
    I agree,
    It’s all nice and dandy to work 8 hours a day for free but in the end it’s not fair on the one who has been supporting me.

    Stever
    14 February 2010 at 4:56 pm
    Yes! I think it was Tony Benn (a gadget freak, apparently) who said “the devil should not have all the best toys’. So, use that advertising!

    BLiP
    14 February 2010 at 7:12 pm
    But, hey, since its The Standard I’m prepared to give it a go and put my eyeballs on the line in the name of a good cause.

    SD
    15 February 2010 at 7:51 am
    advertising is nessercary for revenue”

    It seems some of your posters are also fine that advertising is not going to pollute The Standard. Why would anyone think RNZ are so weak as to have problems with it?

    [lprent: Use your brain. We don’t employ anyone and the site about costs $70-90 per month to run depending on exchange rate.

    If a particular advert interferes with the site operation then we dump the advertiser.

    If advertising interferes with the site operation then we dump the advertising panels or start advertising for free. The donations alone recently have been paying for the sites main server.

    No-one relies on this site to generate their income, so there aren’t the pressures to comply with the advertisers wishes that RNZ would face. For us any revenue off the site will also be used to pay for that server and then for any other cause that the trust deems ‘worthy’.

    Quite different when you, your dependents, and your mortgage depend on your income, which depends on the ‘goodwill’ of advertisers, and if your clientele are going to leave because of the bloody useless mindless and terminally boring ads that the industry likes to churn out. ]

    • Daveo 7.1

      Like I said above. Idiotic comparison that shows you don’t understand the issues involved.

    • Bright Red 7.2

      The Standard clearly doesn’t have the role of public media outlet/news source of record and depth that RNZ does.

      [lprent: Nope we’re more into Opinion pieces. Just look at almost every post. ]

  8. La Grand Fromage 8

    I’m sorry all I am hearing is “who will peddle our ill concieved, arse scratchingly stupid ideology if National Radio can’t?”

    • IrishBill 8.1

      And all I’m hearing is the high-pitched whining of a right-winger with no substantive logical point. Less a grand fromage and more a petite merde I’d suggest.

      • La Grand Fromage 8.1.1

        [Banned for repeated disruptive behaviour and personal attacks on authors and on the site. Consider this handle and your other one, “Sonny Blount”, banned for life.]

    • Armchair Critic 8.2

      It’s the only place I’ve regularly heard Farrar, Hooton and Boag, too.

  9. tc 9

    public broadcasting is another feature of a mature society that allows freedom of speech and diversity of views…..so out it goes in the NACT world.

    As for that media whore Hoskings….what do you expect from a commercial network lackey who pissed money up a wall suing those photographers ….not only a tosser but one with an ego as big as his coiffured hairdo.

  10. randal 10

    my aologies for going off topic but getting rid of the big cheese and his alter ego has made my day.
    maybe he should just stick to ringing radio squawkback when he is drunk and try not overdosing on the viagra they peddle to the high performance types.

  11. Rex Widerstrom 11

    There’s no doubt in my mind that we need RNZ. But it’s only been told it’s funding won’t increase, no? And for Annette King to claim the world will end if it “shuts down” between midnight and 6am… well what’s wrong with a feed from the BBC, PBS, or any other excellent public broadcaster?

    I enjoy Radio National here in Australia, which is local 24/7, but sometimes in preference I’ll switch to NewsRadio which, as well as local content, has a lot of PBS and Candian stuff, amongst other places.

    We need to protect RNZ, but that won’t be achieved by a Chicken Little like response to a fairly minor announcement.

    [And yes, it’s totally inconsistent that the goverment prop up Timberlands et al while preaching austerity to RNZ. What we need is austerity across the board, except where it would be more damaging not to (e.g. job creation)].

    • Duncan 11.1

      Rex, you do understand that a freeze for five years means a major cut in real terms, right? For an organisation already operating 20% under budget that would be a serious blow.

      • Rex Widerstrom 11.1.1

        Inflation (08 to 09) ran at about 2 percent IIRC. So yes, I understand that’s around a 10 percent reduction in real terms (though that depends… I would imagine the largest cost by far is salaries).

        When you say “operating 20% under budget” what do you mean exactly? 20% less than what they wished they had? They may not be the optimum.

        I accept there’s a huge difference in scale, but I’ve run a couple of private stations (with a large degree of current affairs programming) and breakfast on Radio Pacfic (which had almost nil budget beyond salaries and still managed to fill four hours a morning with rolling news and interviews). The end result wasn’t anywhere near as good as Morning Report, but I’d put it up against Marcus Lush or Mike Hosking quite happily.

        So my point is that it’s possible to do a lot with a little, if you’re prepared to be creative and put in the hours.

        A further point worth making is that the radio industry pays absolute crap money to most people (while grossly overpaying a few “stars” like Hosking, Lhaws, Lush et al). A provincial breakfast show host would be lucky to be making $40k these days. And for that he or she probably has to spend their off air time flogging ads.

        Not that I’m advocating that as a solution, merely making the point that you can throw lots of money at bad talent and get crap, while there are underpaid and overworked radio people across NZ (and elsewhere) producing excellent programming on very tight budgets.

        One thing that characterised the operations with which I’m proud to be associated was a very flat management structure. I’d have to analyse the RNZ budget line by line but I’ll bet that, like most government operations, there’d be some administrative overheads that could go, or be cut back, without affecting the on air product.

        • Duncan 11.1.1.1

          Price Waterhouse Coopers says they’re 20% underfunded for what they are required to do. That’s an independent analysis. They’re already working well under budget and cutting corners all over the place. Cutting that budget by 10-15% would be devastating.

          • Rex Widerstrom 11.1.1.1.1

            Well then perhaps there needs to be a change to what they’re required to do. A debate on the cost benefit of RNZI for instance. I might even (no doubt to gasps of horror) question the need for Concert FM when surely the A/B audience that listens is a primary market for advertisers.

            We need in depth, independent news and analysis and a reflection of our culture, as provided by NatRad. We don’t need the music of old dead white European men (and a haldful that are still with us).

            Then an eye cast over the budget, starting with presenters’ salaries. As I said there’s a lot of talent in the provinces for whom $40k is a good offer. The executives’ salaries, and the need for those executives.

            And who was responsible for the Lynne Snowdon debacle, what it cost, and whether it’s recoverable from those people.

            And so on…

            All I’m suggesting, really, is that before smiting our brows we have a look at what might be done better (or not at all) with what they’ve got. Debate whether we really want all the stuff it’s expected to do, and then talk about funding it (by we I mean the country, not you and I Duncan :-D)

            It may seem like I’m picking on RNZ but I don’t mean to. I’d like to see the same analysis and debate undertaken about most functions of government. We pay for it all, we surely have a right to direct how it’s spent.

  12. PK 12

    “Ms King said it would be like living in a Third World country if National Radio had to shut down between midnight and 6am.”

    Heh, I’m sure the working classes share that concern.

    • Rex Widerstrom 12.1

      No National Radio between midnight and six? You were lucky!!!

      We was made to listen to Kelly Clarkson CDs. Backwards!! We had to do our own announcing while we changed CDs, read from Hansards of Paula Bennett…

  13. Onomatopoeia 13

    And obviously, we need NatRad Concert because all taxpayers should have a responsibility to fund music written by dead Austrians for the enjoyment of the spouses of University Lecturers while they hang out the washing and dream of social justice.

    • prism 13.1

      Allsounds positive onom. dreams of social justice, duh, mmmmm.dribble.slurp.

    • Stacktwo 13.2

      That is a remarkably silly statement to make, Onomatopoeia. Here in Sleepy Hollow (sometimes known as Nelson) we have just had the most successful “Opera in the Park” ever, with over 15,000 people of all ages turning out, a third of the population of the city, to enjoy great music in all its variety.

      The Concert Programme and National Radio generally serve a large and diverse population – day and night, as I can attest, being one of the thousands who are getting a bit old, decrepit and insomniac and don’t like the garish and trivial stuff churned out endlessly by commercial radio. Concert Programme 12pm to 6am must be the cheapest of the lot, with a machine playing a small pile of CDs, no announcements or talking of any kind, so not much of a drain on the taxpayer.

      And as the only worthwhile broadcaster of news, current affairs, documentaries, music (of all kinds, even yours) and the general flavour of New Zealand culture in all its richness, National Radio performs a job of helping to keep that culture healthy on behalf of us all, and amply justifies the taxes we pay to keep it going. Yes, PK, we could slide into the Third World if we gave all that up merely to enlarge commercial bank balances.

  14. logie97 14

    Onomatopoeia – just how much classical music gets onto the airways on commercial radio. If the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra did not receive tax payer funding, it would die – I guess you want that subsidy removed as well. Most neanderthals who hold your view have no idea what class is. The two bit, here today gone tomorrow artists that pass as musicians and fill your favoured stations’ airways, wouldn’t have a clue what hard work, practice, and perfection meant. It takes decades to produce classical musicians.

    Funny what you remember from your primary school days. In the early 1960’s when teachers called a spade a spade, one particular teacher had a couple of signs in the room – one said, “Remember that it is not just cream that floats to the top.” I wonder how he would have classified posters like Onomatopoeia.

    • Quoth the Raven 14.1

      Whilst I love much classical music and (very mediocrely) play myself why should I expect the taxpayer to pay for it? Should I expect tax payers to support my love of Japanese noise music (and none of that gets on the airways)? I don’t think so it’s an argument based on nothing more than taste and tradition (and one could argue elitism). Classical music is still going strong and I believe would do so whether supported by the state or not.

    • Gekko 14.2

      ” If the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra did not receive tax payer funding, it would die I guess you want that subsidy removed as well.”
      If people show that they do not wish to voluntarily support it (as clearly indicated in your statement), what is the justification for it’s continued existence?

      • Lew 14.2.1

        Look at it another way. Without state support, virtually every major orchestra and operatic society in history would have died. If you’re going to make arguments of principle like this, you might want to consider a world without music.

        L

        • Gekko 14.2.1.1

          “If you’re going to make arguments of principle like this, you might want to consider a world without music.”
          To say that music would not exist without state funding is a non-sequitur of gargantuan proportions. If few enough people like a form of music that they cannot afford then it is unfortunate that they do not get their wish, but I cannot see how that justifies forcing others to supply it for them. There are many things I wish for that I do not get because I cannot afford them yet I cannot force others to pay for them.
          If their interest really is that important to them then there are many avenues open to them to try and raise the funds required if they cannot afford them directly. I cannot see the justification for state funding so that a tiny minority can have their otherwise non-affordable whim satisfied on-demand.

  15. Macro 15

    I’ve said it before – but I’ll say it again.
    Bill English had the opportunity today to discuss with Kathryn Ryan on 9 to noon the proposed tax changes and what the pros and cons of each were. I guess it would have been nice if it had been headlined “The following interview is sponsored by The Treasury”
    The sports bit could be sponsored by NZ rugby/cricket dependent upon season and who was winning, the farming by Federated Farmers, the numbers by the NZ Stock Exchange, and the court reports by NZ police. I’m sure we could find something for the Northern Employers and Manufacturers – perhaps a regular section on educating for neo-liberal jingoism?

  16. Lew 16

    Thanks for doing the leg work I was too busy to finish today, Anonymous Guest. It deserved a more complete treatment than I gave it.

    Cheers,
    L

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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, ...
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • 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
    18 hours 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
    22 hours 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
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    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
    5 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago