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Joyce’s holiday highway

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, January 28th, 2010 - 60 comments
Categories: transport - Tags:

Steven Joyce has announced plans for a  motorway from Puhoi to Wellsford at a cost of $2 billion ($1.4 billion in today’s money).

The route is used by just 15,000 cars a day (and that has been falling the last few years) and is estimated (optimistically) to save just 15 minutes off the travel time. The New Zealand Transport Agency charged with building the thing says it will deliver just 80 cents of benefit to the country for every dollar the Government spends on it. That means we would be richer as a country if we left the money under a mattress.

Jarbury, who for my money is the best transport commentator out there, has excellent analysis of the so-called “holiday highway” and sums it up like this:

If this is allowed to continue National can quit calling itself the party of economic sense and change it’s name to the ‘We Let Steven Joyce Destroy NZ’s Wealth Party’. As we’ve seen with the approval of the Transmission Gully project he isn’t afraid to write $1.1 billion dollars out of the NZ economy with one stroke of a pen, what is a paltry $400 million dollars compared to that?

Much like Transmission Gully, this monsteriously expensive motorway is meant to clear congestion that simply doesn’t exist most of the time. The only time there is congestion is on the 27th of December and 2nd of January. Even then we’re only talking 22-23,000 cars a day. It might be nice to relieve some of the congestion that exists on one or two days a year for a few thousand people but it simply isn’t worth $2 billion and there are things we could spend the money on that return benefits many times greater than the cost.

This road is basically a way for the rest of us to subsidise a few people heading up the coast to their bachs in summer. We pay, they get a few minutes off their travel time, the country ends up $400 million worse off. Now, who has holiday homes that they could drive to on this new motorway? Why, Steven Joyce and John Key. What an amazingly happy coincidence for them.

[Update: a commenter notes that this motorway will be in Rodney electorate. Lockwood Smith is likely to retire from the seat next election and Joyce is lining up to replace him. Pork barrel politics at its worst]

60 comments on “Joyce’s holiday highway”

  1. toad 1

    Marty, there is another pork barrel aspect worth considering. Lockwood Smith is the current MP for Rodney electorate. He is likely to retire at the next election.

    Stephen Joyce lives in the Rodney electorate and would no doubt love to replace Lockwood as the electorate MP.

    What better way to ingratiate yourself with the local National Party movers and shakers than to give them a brand new motorway even if it is at an overall cost to the economy of $280 million.

  2. PT 2

    porkbarrel is clark wasting a billion on tunnel through her area

    • schrodigerscat 2.1

      Hey PT, stay up with the play, that seems to be what the Nats are doing too.

      • PT 2.1.1

        nats arent spending a billion more than needed on wv to save a few state houses cat

        • schrodigerscat 2.1.1.1

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10622065

          There is lying going on here somewhere

          • Tigger 2.1.1.1.1

            PT – even assuming you are right and that Helen Clark was somehow going to benefit from that tunnel, that makes what Joyce doing also porkbarrel (you imply somehow it isn’t) and more expensive porkbarrell at that.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          Neither was the Labour Party. The TOTAL cost was a little over $1B and the added cost of the tunnel was a couple of hundred million at most. But it still returned more value than was being spent. National don’t do that – they spend more than it’s worth quite literally throwing money away.

    • lprent 2.2

      Are you really that much of a f*ckwit?. Helen didn’t even want the damn thing (nor do I – Mt Albert electorate is where I grew up). The Westmere extension does nothing for Mt Albert – there isn’t even an off-ramp in the new section.

      No-one living in an existing suburbs wants a whacking great big motorway shoved through their houses and parks.

      However the MOT proved that it was required for the REST of Auckland. So she worked with MOT to something that wouldn’t intrude quite so badly into Mt Albert. Even after a more expensive option, it still came out positive – unlike these projects that Joyce is wasting money on.

      Joyce, a National party wanker who normally couldn’t give a shit about wasting money on futile projects (see post above), decided that he’d save money by making the motorway extension as noisy and intrusive as possible. Probably because the electorate doesn’t vote National. Presumably so he could waste money in his own prospective electorates.

      I gather the the SH20 extension is slowly heading back to tunnels.

      • PT 2.2.1

        its porkbarrel because helen wanted to spend twice what its worth to put in a tunnel prentice, roskill didnt get a tunnel

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          I should have read this reply – you really are a delusional f*ckwit and just not worth engaging.

    • Marty G 2.3

      PT. she didn’t waste a dollar. Waterview wasn’t built, no money was spent on it.

      Meanwhile, despite all your fluster over Clark, you seem quite happy for Key and Joyce to waste hundreds of millions on holiday highways.

      • TightyRighty 2.3.1

        Marty is right PT, waterview was a sop to that electorate, but not pork barrell politics. now if you want pork barrell politics Interest Free student loans is a much better example, with a side of WFF.

      • PT 2.3.2

        labour would ha ve built waterview maybe you missed the byelection m, labour would have wasted a bill just to save a few crummy state houses thanks labour. we need good roads not overexpensive waste like labours waterview. good on joyce for finishing roading network, labour would have wasted the money on welfare

        • Sam 2.3.2.1

          Yes because people who live in crummy state houses deserve to be homeless.

        • lprent 2.3.2.2

          The houses aren’t a major issue.

          Motorways are incredibly noisy, so it affects thousands of houses either side. Having lived in a street close to the NW motorway in Kingsland during construction and use, it turns quiet residential areas into incredibly noisy corridors. For some reason the governments never want to either compensate for reduced quality of living or reduced asset values.

          This motorway go straight through part of the greenbelt that is a critical part of that part of the city. It destroys several parks, playing fields and other amenities.

          The government will be plagued with claims for decades if they proceeded with Joyces original plans – pushing the price up a *lot*. That is probably why they’ve now reverted to an under priced tunnel option.

          You really do look like a mindless idiot mumbling lines without engaging your brain.

  3. Scribe 3

    Marty,

    I’m not sure if you thought no one would look at your link, but the NZTA analysis says, and I quote:

    The standard BCR (which is 0.8) measures the direct transport benefits arising from the road. The scale of these corridor investments means that it is appropriate to include wider economic benefits (WEBs); that is, the flow-on effects from the transport improvements. The result is to increase the BCR (to 1.1).

    Were you economical with the fact on the Transmission Gully figures as well? Just curious.

    • PT 3.1

      haha good one scribe

      • jarbury 3.1.1

        The wider economic benefits are pretty “airey fairy”, and NZTA have not actually conducted much research into how real they are yet. So I’d take them with a seriously large grain of salt.

    • snoozer 3.2

      so if we include these WEBs then we’ll get $1.54 billion of benefits over the life of the motorway for spending $1.4 billion?

      Mate, we could just put the money in the bank and do better than that after a couple of years.

      • Scribe 3.2.1

        Oh, and it’ll save lives, too, fixing roads in two fatality crash hot spots. What price do we put on that?

        • Armchair Critic 3.2.1.1

          They will be in the B/C.
          Last time I read the manual (admittedly it was many years ago) the value of a life was something like $5 million. I expect the manual will be available online through the NZTA website and anyone who is curious would just need to read the manual.
          The B/C will also include injury and non-injury accident costs/savings, based on a reasonably comprehensive database of motor vehicle accidents.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2.1.1.1

            The roading cost benefit analysis should only be used to compare roading projects.
            I dont think there is any basis to moving the numbers outside to investment in the bank say.
            the lives saved are minuscule to say what the investment in health dollars would do

            The real waste is the roading projects elsewhere that have better numbers that will miss out.

            • Scribe 3.2.1.1.1.1

              The real waste is the roading projects elsewhere that have better numbers that will miss out.

              Genuine question: What other projects that are in the pipeline have better B/C ratios?

              • Armchair Critic

                I’ve had a look through the NZTA website and the best I can do is this:

                http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/national-land-transport-programme/2009-2012/docs/nltp-2009.pdf


                They don’t seem to be big on providing B/C figures, so I can’t answer your question directly, except to say that I identified some highway projects with B/Cs of between 3 and 6 in the late 1990s and even today most of them are still waiting to be built. And they have white crosses and flowers on the fence lines. Higher priorities, I guess.

              • Bright Red

                Come off it scribe. You really think the best the government can spend its money on is a motorway with a -20% or 10% return over its life time?

              • Armchair Critic

                And if there genuinely are no projects with a better B/C than this one (at 1.1) then it must be time to stop investing money in roading.

    • killingingthenameof 3.3

      If something is funded out of general taxation it needs to have a BCR greater than 1.17 (though estimates vary) to make up for the loss of efficency from taxation.

  4. Many thanks for the link and kind words Marty. It was actually my trusty lieutenant Jeremy Harris who wrote that particular post though.

    Regarding Waterview (what a typical sidetrack that is), the latest plans are for something very similar to Labour’s proposal, but apparently for half the price. I am rather suspicious that delivering such an option for the said price is impossible.

  5. Pat 5

    “The only time there is congestion is on the 27th of December and 2nd of January”

    Oh, so all the other times I’m sitting in queues of traffic, I must be imagining things.

    • Scribe 5.1

      True, Pat. Where do you live, Marty? (City name fine, don’t need street address :D)

    • PT 5.2

      sundays and fridays that road is a nightmare partly because some plonker put lights in and some stupid person put road works in at busiest time of year

      • Tigger 5.2.1

        A nightmare? Really? Are there meterors flying from space at you and dinosaurs running across the road? Or is it just a bit busy, like almost every major road in Auckland at certain times? And is it worth the investment, the losing investment, that Joyce wants to sink into it? No. There are other projects of better value or that would return better economic benefit. But Joyce is building this to improve his and his mates’ situation.

        • Scribe 5.2.1.1

          Where do you live, Tigger?

          • Armchair Critic 5.2.1.1.1

            Why do you care where people live, scribe?
            I live in NZ – tax dollars I have paid will be used to fund this extravagance, and I would rather they were better spent.

            • Scribe 5.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m just wondering if these people have ever driven this road and have any idea what they’re talking about. In fact, looking at the figures quoted about 22,000 cars in peak times, I wonder if the transport people have ever driven the road or counted vehicles.

              • snoozer

                of course they’ve counted the cars, that’s how the minister got the number.

                how did you get your number?

              • Armchair Critic

                I used to drive it all the time. It does get busy, especially on the Friday evenings of a holiday weekend (tomorrow should be packed) and the last day of holiday weekends. I don’t see how it is relevant whether any particular person has driven the route or not.
                The post seems to be about the low B/C for the project and the idea that the promoter of the project could run as MP for the electorate where it is to be built. Coincidentally, of course.
                I’ll take your word for it that the B/C could be 1.1, rather than 0.8. Which leads me to the question of whether there are any other projects with higher B/Cs anywhere in the country. I would much prefer see the money spent on 400 projects at an average of $1million each with B/Cs of at least 2.
                If there are no projects anywhere with B/Cs greater than 1.1, surely we should stop investing in roading infrastructure.

              • Bright Red

                exactly, armchair critic.

                Rather than spend $1.4 billion over nine years on a motorway, I bet you could make a programme for the same money over the same period targeting children at risk of under-achivement and falling into crime that would have a BCR ten times as great.

                Someone wrote about a small programme like that on the Standard a while back. Why not upscale it instead of building a useless motorway where traffic volumes are falling?

              • Armchair Critic

                “Why not upscale it instead of building a useless motorway where traffic volumes are falling?”
                I agree.
                Righties tend to think of investment in social programmes as money down the drain and I was trying to stick to the point, focus on infrastructure investment. One million dollars can do a fair bit of what was termed “minor safety improvements” on roads, cutting back banks to improve visibility around corners, resealing with a different seal to improve traction, upgrading signage, etc. It is not as glamorous as a big new motorway extension, but much more effective. Less opportunity for politicking, but better value for money. Perhaps that explains the desire to build the motorway.

      • snoozer 5.2.2

        PT. So traffic is a little slow for you some days. Why should the rest of us pay build a white elephant to make your life a little easier? It’s nice for you but the minor benefits for a few people just don’t justify the cost to the country.

        There’s so much more we could do with $1.4 billion that would crate many times that amount in benefit.

        captcha – unnecessarily – yup

        • PT 5.2.2.1

          its not a white elephant snoozer youre being stupid again, cost benefit is better than public transport. if you dont like money being spent on roads then protest about public transport spending too

    • Sam 5.3

      Get on a bus.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.4

      tell that to the suburban Aucklanders who are in queues morning and night.

      • Sam 5.4.1

        I do! 😀

      • lprent 5.4.2

        I’m in queues whenever I drive.

        But these days if I don’t need the car during the day, I just get a bus. Doing two buses with the bus lanes takes about 30 mins to get to work very consistently.

        Taking the car takes between 20 minutes and 45 minutes (worst was about 70 minutes), depending if there is a crash on the harbor bridge.

        The bus is no stress, I can read my iphone, and I don’t have to park at the end. It is also a lot cheaper than driving, maintaining, and owning a car.

        The only downside is that I have to use an umbrella to get to the bus stop if it is pissing down with rain.

        • PT 5.4.2.1

          what a stupid idea prentice, how many public transport buses go to warkworth. a big fat zero

  6. Pat 6

    The trouble is Joyce is too green in NZ politics. He doesn’t understand that a minimum 20 year talkfest is required before any motorway can be built.

    Damn his Australian-like Do-it-now attitude.

    • snoozer 6.1

      damn his ‘let’s spend more money on projects than we get in benefits’ attitude

      and you realise that by ‘do it now’ you mean ‘do it in 9 years’ eh? because that’s when the motorway will be done, if (big if) everything goes to plan

  7. I wish they would stop wasting so much money on roading projects and used these billions of dollars they apparently have lying around free to throw away on saving a few minutes of traffic time for some job creating instead.

  8. Clarke 8

    It appears Joyce’s ridiculous roading projects are being given the slap-down elsewhere – Wellingtonians are now comparing them with Muldoon’s Think Big.

  9. Bored 9

    At the risk of being very boring what is the f***g point of investing megabucks building roads?????? it might be wiser to invest the remaining oil based energy in alternatives such as rail. And dont give me the normal techno triumphalist or market rationalist bollocks about “alternatives” (unless of course you can demonstrate realities that dont break the laws of thermodynamics, are sustainable and also meet todays scale of deployment at a price the “market” can deliver at).

  10. Brett 10

    Trains suck arse.

    • Armchair Critic 10.1

      “Trains suck arse”
      Which says more about your arse than it does about trains.

  11. There is a possible link here between Nat’s attempts to exclude parts of Rodney from Auckland Super City and this motorway because it otherwise makes no sense. The start of the motorway (Puhoi) is approximately where the boundary would have started.

    The rumour that I heard was that wealthy supporters of the Nats with substantial land interests wanted the northern part of Rodney excluded from the Super City so that subdivision of their land would be easier. There is an article about the ARC and a map showing the area here.

    Building a motorway near their land is perhaps compensation.

    • Pat 11.1

      Another possibility is that the existing Puhoi to Wellsford road is a 40km windy goat track which contains several notorious black-spots, two sets of traffic lights, and the craziest intersection known to man.

      Just a rumour. I’m sure your rumour about the motorway being a sop to disgruntled fat cat developers is more accurate.

  12. BLiP 12

    National :Ltd®’s overseas banker mates financing the roading must be dancing in delight for it seems this government is humming:

    ” ♫ ♪ . . . The white line is the life line to the nation.
    And men like Joyce and Rodney make it move

    ‘Cos

    Jammin’ gears has got to be a fever.
    And men become addicted to the grind.
    It takes a special breed, to be a road buildin’ man
    And a steady hand to pull that load behind! . . . ♪ ♫”

  13. jarbury 13

    The thing is that 95% of the problem could be fixed by building a pretty simple $50 million bypass of Warkworth. Warkworth’s the problem, so bypass the place – sounds pretty simple to me.

    Instead for some unknown reason we apparently need to spend 30 times that amount on a 38km motorway so the Joyce and Key can get to their beach-houses faster. Sounds crazy to me.

    • lprent 13.1

      Or even if you want to be really cheap – just get rid of the damn lights at Warkworth

      • jarbury 13.1.1

        What really confuses me is why NZTA are spending millions widening SH1 through Warkworth when they’re going to bypass it in just a few years? Does Warkworth really needs a 4-lane superhighway cut right through the centre of town if that road isn’t even going to be State Highway 1 in a few years’ time?

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    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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours 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
    12 hours 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
    14 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
    19 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
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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