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Justin Lester: begging is a social issue, not a crime

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, April 9th, 2016 - 50 comments
Categories: local government, poverty - Tags: , ,

The Auckland local government race isn’t the only one where begging is becoming a top issue. Here’s what Labour candidate for Wellington City mayor Justin Lester had to say about it on Facebook this week.

On Friday the National Business Review asked me and all other mayoral candidates whether we’d support a ban on begging in Wellington’s CBD. The suggestion was it would be a sure-fire route to the mayoral chains.

My response was a firm no.

Begging is a social issue with many causes. It is not a crime.

Let’s make one thing very clear from the outset, begging is not a lifestyle choice. Suffering a mental illness is not a lifestyle choice. Being raped or sexually abused is not a lifestyle choice, nor is being beaten up by your partner.

It would be great if no-one had to beg. It would be great if no-one was poor. The sad fact is that this is not the case. Beggars are often Wellington’s most vulnerable people and there are valid reasons why they’re on the streets. It would be great if every single Wellingtonian was educated, in work, and had a safe, warm home to live in, but we know that will not always be the case.

I’ve never had to beg, far from it. But I have seen what it’s like to be poor. My mother did her best to raise three children alone. She would have preferred a life with a caring husband and financial security for her family. But when my dad left and refused to pay child support, she was forced on to a benefit with three kids under five. It was hard for her to re-enter the workforce because after years doing it tough by herself she was broken, depressed and lacking confidence. Her situation did not come about by choice, it was imposed upon her by external forces. As a father, I see that now.

Take a situation like that and add a cocktail of domestic violence, drugs and alcohol. Remove the community and government support from around the individual and we begin to see why begging is prevalent.

So, how many people are begging on our streets? Council’s study shows it’s about 12-13 people at a given time. Those are not big numbers, but they are highly visible.

What can we do about it? We’re already doing a lot. We work closely with agencies like Work and Income, Police, Corrections, social service providers like the Night Shelter, Womens Housing Trust, DCM, Salvation Army and the Soup Kitchen. It requires funding and support, from both central and local government, but also from community and business. Those are the two biggest hurdles and almost always fall short. Funding is always hard to come by.

It also requires leadership. Just last month the Night Shelter told us they would be forced to close in April 2016 without immediate funding assistance. That would have meant 40 of Wellington’s most vulnerable men being forced to sleep rough. It would have inevitably led to some of them begging. I was proud to work with Councillor Paul Eagle and the Mayor to ensure short-term funding was provided. More support was confirmed in future years to reshape the Shelter’s service provision to help improve these men’s lives. How would a ban have improved these men’s lives if they were forced on the street, with no home or accommodation and a few weeks’ notice?

No-one wants to be poor, no-one’s first preference is to have to seek charity to survive. Sometimes things happen in life that we can’t control.

Making criminals out of beggars by introducing a bylaw that bans it does not address the root cause. It hauls them into prison and exacerbates the problem. Intimidating or threatening behaviour by beggars is already against the law and needs to be reported. Our local host ambassadors and Police address this behaviour. Call Police or WCC if you are experiencing it.

I recognise Wellingtonians are concerned about this issue. I’m concerned about this issue. We need to understand the problem, provide appropriate funding at all levels and try to address the root causes. Wellington is a generous, compassionate city, let’s not lose that by turning our head and not facing up to the issue in front of us.

50 comments on “Justin Lester: begging is a social issue, not a crime”

  1. weka 1

    Good post.

    What’s a local host ambassador?

  2. Sirenia 2

    They are people employed by the council (I don’t think they are volunteers) who wear a city council uniform and walk around Wellington giving directions to tourists, answering questions and just keeping an eye on things. Very useful people.

  3. Stuart Munro 3

    It’s a crime alright – and Paula Bennett is to blame – together with the rest of this corrupt and inadequate ‘government’.

    • Rodel 3.1

      “Hey John/ Bill. (Sirs). I’d like to go to an environmental/social development/economic/ conference in Seattle/ New York/London. Can I have some money to go? “(Got any spare coins mister?)
      ‘Why Seattle/New York/London/?’
      ‘Well I have family members there and it would be nice to to catch up with them again”
      “How much?..Would a dollar/$20,000 do?”
      “Thanks boss./mister”

  4. gsays 4

    What a refreshing change.

    Perhaps this is one of our new leaders who is not beholden to a ‘market’.

    Contrast this compassion and empathy with ms trolleys excuse for not raising the age (from 10 to 12 )a child can be charged.
    She doesn’t want to given the impression of not taking child crime seriously.

    The excuse is all about a political party and their appearances.
    Nothing to do with child welfare.

  5. Paul 5

    Criminal.
    Amoral.
    Treasonous.
    Parasitical.

  6. fustercluck 6

    Hungry people beg. Ergo hungry is a crime. And I must agree. I find it uncomfortable to be confronted with acute need as I cruise through my middle class day. I, as a taxpayer, deserve to be protected from this discomfort. So I vote yes to criminalizing anyone who displays anything other than a comfortable level of affluence. Perhaps chain gangs, debtor’s prisons or just a bit of soylent green would be appropriate in this case.

  7. AmaKiwi 7

    If you have a chance, read some of the firsthand accounts of life during the Great Depression.

    It started with:

    – private and public lay-offs to “economize” (austerity)
    – a dramatic drop in farm prices

    It started with . . . . no, read it yourself and tell me if today doesn’t sound exactly like then:

    – austerity is the only medicine
    – it’s their fault they are poor and they need to accept the consequences
    – the banks, big businesses, and the rich are above reproach
    – the free market will cure everything

    “Empathy is evil” was the mantra of the “haves.”

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Yep. The parallels are astounding. Same policies now as then. Same response now as then. Same result.

      History is repeating because we failed to learn the lessons of yesteryear.

    • maui 7.2

      Surely a National voting middle-class can’t be made destitute when our Economy/Ponzi scheme carks it… if so it’s going to make for some interesting dynamics and not entirely savoury ones either.

    • Richard McGrath 7.3

      “– austerity is the only medicine
      – it’s their fault they are poor and they need to accept the consequences
      – the banks, big businesses, and the rich are above reproach
      – the free market will cure everything”

      Half-right:
      1) Yes, national and local government spending needs to be less than revenue (“austerity”), especially if there is debt to pay down. There is nothing stopping private charity and philanthropy from responding to personal poverty situations.

      2) Sometimes (not all of the time) the poor have contributed to their own misfortune by failing to take advantage of opportunities and making bad decisions. At other times
      events outside their control have been the main contributing factor.

      3) Banks are not beyond reproach, particularly the ones that accepted bailouts, and ons that operate without adequate reserves of funds. Rich people that have become that way through hard work and honest endeavour ARE generally above reproach; those that have benefitted from smooching up to politicians and having laws passed in their favour are scum.

      4) A free market can only operate in the absence of government controls such as minimum wage laws and other labour market regulations which the Key administration is so keen to implement. So the free market is not going to cure anything as it’s not been allowed to function.
      2)

      • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1

        Yes, national and local government spending needs to be less than revenue (“austerity”), especially if there is debt to pay down.

        Nope. That’s just an excuse to keep taxes lower than expenses.

        The government can create money and thus never needs to go into debt.

        There is nothing stopping private charity and philanthropy from responding to personal poverty situations.

        Charity doesn’t work. Never has done, never will do. If it did we wouldn’t have poverty.

        Sometimes (not all of the time) the poor have contributed to their own misfortune by failing to take advantage of opportunities and making bad decisions.

        Pretty much never in fact. You can’t blame someone for not recognising an opportunity or in choosing to take another opportunity.

        Rich people that have become that way through hard work and honest endeavour ARE generally above reproach;

        There’s no such thing. The only way to get rich is to steal off of others – lots of others, the entirety of society in fact.

        A free market can only operate in the absence of government controls such as minimum wage laws and other labour market regulations which the Key administration is so keen to implement.

        Wrong. Or to put it another way, would you still be keen on the free-market if the person you just ripped off could turn round and shoot you without consequence?

        The ‘market’ is defined by the rules and regulations. Rules around currency, rules around behaviour, rules around what you can and cannot sell. Without these you do not have a market but chaos.

        And, yes, ‘the market’ is a small subset of society.

        • AmaKiwi 7.3.1.1

          Draco,

          Thanks for answering Richard McGrath. I’ve been busy and didn’t checked The Standard until 2 pm Sunday. I didn’t think my remarks would kick off a conversation. You covered the bases quite nicely. Thanks again.

        • International Rescue 7.3.1.2

          Charity isn’t designed to eliminate poverty but to alleviate it. Charity has existed for eons, and fulfills a vital role no economic or political system have ever substituted.

          There isn’t a political/economic system devised that eliminates poverty. The free market is the best system for reducing it, but the poor will always be with us.

          The suggestion that you can’t get rich without stealing from someone, and that the poor have ‘never’ contributed to their own circumstances is fatuous nonsense, and could only come from a left wing ideologue with no experience of the real world.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.2.1

            Charity isn’t designed to eliminate poverty but to alleviate it.

            If we had a working system we wouldn’t need it.

            Charity has existed for eons, and fulfills a vital role no economic or political system have ever substituted.

            Wrong, go read Debt: The first 5000 years and you’ll learn of several successful societies that didn’t have charity and didn’t need it.

            There isn’t a political/economic system devised that eliminates poverty.

            Yes there is – you just don’t like it due to your ideology.

            The free market is the best system for reducing it, but the poor will always be with us

            No it’s not and no they won’t. The free-market capitalism is pure failure. That’s why it keeps falling down and needing massive bailouts by the non-capitalists which, of course, creates even more poverty.

            The suggestion that you can’t get rich without stealing from someone, and that the poor have ‘never’ contributed to their own circumstances is fatuous nonsense, and could only come from a left wing ideologue with no experience of the real world.

            No, the fatuous nonsense is that capitalism and the free-market will provide everything despite all the evidence to the contrary. Even my assertion that the only way to get rich is to steal from everyone else is based upon evidence.

            And I have lots of real world experience. I’ve been a manager, self-employed, unemployed, a student, made redundant, mugged, assaulted, drunk, stoned, sober, etc, etc

            • International Rescue 7.3.1.2.1.1

              “Yes there is – you just don’t like it due to your ideology.”

              What is it? Because there isn’t a single nation in the history of man that has completely eliminated poverty.

              “If we had a working system we wouldn’t need it.”

              We do have a ‘working system’. And we will always need charity.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Because there isn’t a single nation in the history of man that has completely eliminated poverty.

                Yes there is. The Australian Aborigines didn’t have any poverty before the English arrived. And that’s true for many indigenous peoples (also called nations) around the world and throughout history.

                We do have a ‘working system’.

                No we don’t. If we did we wouldn’t have poverty. Poverty is proof that the present system is failing.

                • International Rescue

                  “The Australian Aborigines didn’t have any poverty before the English arrived. ”

                  Rubbish. They lived in abject poverty, as did most indigenous peoples.

                  “Poverty is proof that the present system is failing.”

                  Rubbish. Again. Poverty in NZ is mostly self imposed; people have the freedom to live in poverty or move out of it. We are a remarkably generous nation, with significant wealth redistribution.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    Well said, IR. The reason many indigenous peoples lived in poverty was the unsophisticated nature of their labour markets and the tribal collectivism that ensured equal misery for all.

        • Richard McGrath 7.3.1.3

          DTB – your comments are staggering to say the least and reveal much about your mindset.

          Yes, the government can create money out of thin air – it’s called fiat money. That and easy credit are what causes inflation and debases the currency, destroying personal savings and dragging more of the middle class into high tax brackets.

          Individual charity is a moral response to perceived hardship on the part of others. It is not a “cure” for poverty, which incidentally has never been adequately addressed by simply throwing money at people.

          “You can’t blame someone for not recognising an opportunity or choosing to take another opportunity.”

          Whose fault is it then? You are saying no-one has to take any responsibility for their choices?

          “The only way to get rich is to steal off of others”
          So it is impossible to succeed in business by offering products that other people find useful and will pay money to purchase? So the multi-millionaire owners of TradeMe stole from the entirety of society? Likewise the billionaire owners of AirBnB and Uber? Wow that’s a pretty extreme viewpoint.

          “…would you still be keen on the free-market if the person you just ripped off could turn round and shoot you without consequence?”
          The free market you so egregiously misrepresent involves protection of property rights and the rule of law. “Ripping off” implies theft or fraud, which are not free market activities. Shooting someone will result in the police and justice systems determining whether shooting was justifiable; this would need to be on the grounds of self defence.

          “The ‘market’ is defined by the rules and regulations. Rules around currency, rules around behaviour, rules around what you can and cannot sell. Without these you do not have a market but chaos.”

          Yes there is the rule of law under which markets operate. As long there is no violence (extortion, fraud, physical assault or threats thereof) used, any rules around currency and what can be sold is a private matter between buyer and seller. Yes, there is chaos: also called the spontaneous order of the market.

          “And, yes, ‘the market’ is a small subset of society.”
          Think outside the box. The market is the sum total of peaceful human behaviour: consumption, production, purchases, sales, gifts, etc. Almost everything we do involves products made by others. We are not atomistic individuals living in isolation. The market = peaceful society.

          • sabine 7.3.1.3.1

            The market = peaceful society.

            and when some want something that you don’t want to part peacefully with you get bombed into the stone age.

            No the market is anything but peaceful. It is cruel, it is discriminatory, it is in many circumstances criminal and it is absolutely inhumane.

            And as we are always told by our politicians that are market orientated, the market is best left to its own devises, if regulated it would stunt growth and innovation, and if there are needs surely the market will fix it. Like housing. Or jobs. Or food. Or access to water. Oh yeah, it does not.

            • Richard McGrath 7.3.1.3.1.1

              So voluntary exchange, the specialisation of labour, the need for sellers to meet the desires of buyers in order to make a profit – these are cruel, discriminatory, inhumane?

              Let’s look at the examples you provide:

              Provision of food is perhaps the greatest example where a market economy beats the planned socialist economy hands down. The famines in communist China and Soviet Russia killed tens of millions of the unfortunate citizens of those slave pens. I can’t recall the last famine in an industrialised Western country.

              Jobs: the regions of Tasman, Taranaki and Southland – heartland NZ – all have over 85% of people employed working in the private sector. In Southland, Matamata-Piako and Queenstown-Lakes districts this figure is over 90%. So I guess the market has provided New Zealanders with a little bit of employment.

              Access to water – at the risk of sounding facetious, anyone with a roof can catch rainwater. The private sector provides a wide choice of bottled water in supermarkets; growing sales demonstrate consumer enthusiasm for this product.

              The provision of housing in this country is hampered by government and council regulation which restrict availability of building sites and make new housing expensive. However there are dozens of companies that can build good quality houses; some have been around for decades, e.g. Lockwood, a great Kiwi enterprise.

              I simply fail to understand your suggestion that bombing someone into the Stone Age is an appropriate or common response to a failure to secure a sale contract. It does not occur in civilised (i.e. Western) countries. Bombing people is generally the act of one government against the people of another country, not of private citizens and corporations.

              • McFlock

                Allende would disagree, if he were still alive.

                You might also want to look up the origins of the term “banana republic”.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    We need to understand the problem, provide appropriate funding at all levels and try to address the root causes.

    The problem an root cause is capitalism. That being the case what we need to do is change our system from the present delusional one to one that works (or at least have a better chance of working).

    Capitalism has failed throughout recorded history destroying civilisation after civilisation.

    • Incognito 8.1

      The root cause is people. We make choices, individually and collectively, and these have consequences on an individual and societal level, even on global scale. The OP is saying that a lot of human suffering is not (because of) a “lifestyle choice”. I agree insofar that they were not predetermined conscious choices from the outset. But choices, very many choices, did lead to the present situation that people find themselves in.

      We like to be able to identify and point to big drivers or decisions, forks in the road, that we then use to ‘explain’ our current predicament. But life is not really like that; it is a chain of instantaneous choices and consequences. Life is constant renewal and (re-)creation.

      We can only direct and change our fate when we’re aware of our choices and their consequences. To put the entire onus on the individual, for ‘success’ or ‘failure’, fits/suits the Western ego-driven mentality, with its emphasis on personal responsibility, etc. However, each of us can only make conscious choices within his/her personal ‘awareness sphere’. We’re limited in our choices because we’re limited in knowledge & education, experience, vision, skills, role models & values (morals), (support) networks and so on.

      So, in my opinion, we have an individual and collective responsibility to help ourselves but also each other, others, and to shape the world we’re living in the way we choose.

      This does not take or require being ‘chosen’ into office, be it Mayor, MP (PM), Secretary General of the UN, or whatever; we all play a role in this, without exception.

      As a closing comment I’d like to say that I think the TS community is wonderful, all of you, without exception, together.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        We make choices, individually and collectively, and these have consequences on an individual and societal level, even on global scale.

        And those choices are limited and directed by the system that we operate within.

        • Incognito 8.1.1.1

          Exactly! But we created/chose this system and we can change it and create a new one if we choose to. Will it require a paradigm shift, evolutionary or revolutionary, will it (need to) be transcendental, or will it be variations on a theme? Obviously, the present leads to the future, but exactly how?

          For some reason this reminds me of a joke about a slow driver who listens to the radio and hears about a slow driver causing a huge traffic jam on the route and he (!) comments to his wife, with relief and in disbelief, that the radio must have it wrong because the road ahead is completely free.

          • AmaKiwi 8.1.1.1.1

            “we created/chose this system and we can change it”

            No, we inherited this system from those who went before.

            No, we can’t change it.

            The whole point is that those in power are working hard on all fronts to make sure the people do NOT have the power to change the system or control parliament.

            Parliament is sovereign. There are no checks and balances that enable the majority of the voters to direct parliament except a once every three years beauty contest to choose Dictator A or Dictator B, both of whom refuse to contemplate making the system more democratic or meaningfully socialist.

            • Incognito 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Unless you just got dropped on Earth from another world you made your contributions to your own life here, the lives of your nearest & dearest, and society or system as a whole. And you continue to do so, actively but maybe not completely willingly & knowingly. To inherit is a completely passive exchange; future generations can say the exact same thing: “we inherited it”. To me, it has the same ring as saying “Labour did it too” – saying such things does not absolve you from (taking) responsibility.

              Of course we can make changes and create new; change is inevitable. Our society and culture as we know it wasn’t built overnight, this is true; it was built by myriads of decisions & choices and actions by many people over many generations. Only a fatalist would argue that our present reality was entirely inevitable and thus predetermined by fate alone.

              Indeed, Parliament is sovereign, but it does not dictate how we feel, what we think and what we do. We elect MPs but our power and influence don’t stop there & then; it’s ongoing. I agree that our socio-political system AKA democracy is far from optimal with less-than-ideal outcomes but it can be changed – it has to.

    • Richard McGrath 8.2

      “Capitalism has failed throughout recorded history destroying civilisation after civilisation.”

      Whereas socialism succeeded so admirably in Soviet Russia, Romania, Red China, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, East Germany…

    • Richard McGrath 8.3

      “Capitalism has failed throughout recorded history destroying civilisation after civilisation.”

      Examples?

  9. Petertoo 9

    Let’s cut the crap here. Lester wants to become Mayor so utters the words the uncritical want to hear. The reality is that he is a below living wage employer with his personal business, so hardly one to be vested in addressing poverty. In his Councillor/Deputy Mayor capacity, he consistently supports re-diverting rates revenue to business orientated ventures and is an executive member of the Property Council – hardly the credentials for a poverty buster. His bleating is obviously to cynically counter the competition which includes “beggars are lazy bludgers who need a kick up the arse” type mayoral contenders.

    • The Chairman 9.1

      +1

    • Wainwright 9.2

      Keep seeing this “below living wage employer” line. Never seen any evidence?

    • weizguy 9.3

      Goodness you’re cynical. I’m not sure what your personal beef is with Lester, but it’s clearly affecting your ability to assess statements objectively.

      On the living wage, Kapai has committed to getting all of their staff onto a living wage – more than you can say for most businesses of that type.

    • Richard McGrath 9.4

      A below living wage employer – what, like former Labour MP Mark Peck?

  10. I have a modest proposal in the same spirit as banning begging.

    Why not simply kill and eat those who dare make us uncomfortable on the city streets? You’re not only eliminating beggars, but also saving people whose impoverishment risks them resorting to begging from having to buy food, thus creating a virtuous cycle that avoids begging.

    Oh, sorry, was that particular piece of satire too much for anyone? Well, I think it’s only deserved by those who propose banning begging, (which ought to be prevented by BORA, as begging being protected is a natural outgrowth of freedom of speech) or fining people for being compassionate. (people should of course be aware that often giving money to beggars can be an issue because some may prioritise alcohol or drugs, risking their safety. That said, never giving beggars money can also be just as risky for them, if they need to obtain new clothes, etc… rather than just fill their stomachs, and giving them food directly also has its downsides. (eg. some people will buy people who are very hungry very rich food, which they may not be able to keep down) Overall it would be best if we had actual experts helping so that they could make those critical decisions, and that we had programs to help lift these people out of poverty. But that would require a lot of political effort, and good luck selling right-wing councillors on that)

    And yeah, I’m not particularly convinced by Lester either. He’s saying the right words here but doesn’t really propose any positive course of his own. That’s not leadership, that’s simply responding to outrage. A potential mayor can and should do better.

  11. Ad 11

    Lyn what’s the policy on candidates posting in election season?

    Personally I’d like to see this site used a whole lot more by candidates to display their credentials.

    Good post BTW, but the writer could have been a lot clearer than get to “recognize” and “concern” and even “provide”, to state a specific amount or policy instrument that he would stand on the alleviate the problem. No, I’m not talking ‘solve poverty’. Just something concrete that potential voters can decide upon.

  12. Sirenia 12

    By the way Justin is a really good guy, good values, great backstory. For some reason right wing ex Labour member Nick Leggatt from neighbouring city Porirua has decided to stand against him. I would be suspicious of his backers and their motives. He has certainly lost his credibility with many locals.

    • Anne 12.1

      Is he not part of the Phil Quin/Josie Pagani gang? Should it be so, that is enough to be suspicious of his backers and his motives!

      • Jenny Kirk 12.1.1

        Anne – are you talking about Leggatt, or Lester ? I don’t know much about either.

        • Sirenia 12.1.1.1

          Nick Leggatt is the carpetbagger. He was a great promoter of a monster Wellington super city, and was on the right of the Labour Party. The media loves to use him as a commentator. Why he would stand against Justin Lester who is a young local businessman who has done a lot of Labour Party work and has developed a cohesive left team, is a mystery. Nick could have stood for selection as the official Labour candidate but didn’t.

          • CC 12.1.1.1.1

            Stop re-writing “secret slush-fund Lester’s” background and illusory attributes Sirenia. He and Leggatt are much of a muchness and neither are valid representatives of the left.

        • Anne 12.1.1.2

          @ Jenny Kirk
          Leggett.

    • millsy 12.2

      Legget implemented a harsh austerity program during his Porirua mayoralty. He is not the progressive wunderkind everyone makes him out to be. He also tried to flog off Porirua’s pensioner flats, but was forced into a humilating backdown which saw the flats managed by Wellington’s council – sort of a pre-cursor to his dream of One Wellington (something I am not nessesarily against).

      There seems to be a lot of furore about whether political parties should stand candidates in council elections, but IMO I am all for it. At least when I vote, I know which candidate is going to vote to sell pensioner flats, privatise water and close libaries.

      Celia Wade Brown may have been a lacklustre mayor, but it seems her real crime in the eyes of the establishment was to not toe the ‘lets build roads everwhere’ line.

  13. Begging is a social issue, not a crime. Spot on. I concur with that.

    Regards,
    Elsie

  14. Jollo 14

    I think clearly some more analysis needs to be done on it.

    It’s a fact that there are agencies working directly with the ‘beggers’ to try and get them off the streets. And this includes MSD, HNZ, and various community groups like the Auckland City Mission etc. But the reality is, to some extent, it is a life style choice, in so much as there are viable alternatives.

    So what more can you do, to the proportion who actually through alcoholism, mental illness or just by choice, choose to stay on the streets. Begging represents an extremely lucrative way to supplement income, it’s tax free and involves no work or pesky WINZ case managers harrasing you about job opportunities or courses.

    The best way to get them help is to cut off that source of income.

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    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 day 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 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 day ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    2 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    4 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    4 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    5 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    6 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago

  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour 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 hours ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
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  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
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  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
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    1 week ago
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  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
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  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago