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Keith Ng: Nat bullshit on inflation and earnings

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, October 20th, 2010 - 34 comments
Categories: Economy, national, wages - Tags: , , ,

Keith Ng’s recent post at Public Address is so good I have to reproduce the whole thing here. Keith – tried to get in touch via your contact web form, hope it is OK, if not let us know, thanks. — r0b

Did you know we’re in a recession?

Dear Bill English. Let’s make a deal. I won’t do something stupid, like blame National for the recession, if you don’t do something stupid, like try to claim that all the side-effects of the recession are actually good things that National can take credit for.

Bullshit #1: “The lowest annual inflation rate in more than six years confirms that cost of living increases have generally been low… price increases [are] significantly lower across the board under National” – English

I can’t believe that National is trying to claim credit for low inflation.

1) It’s the Reserve Bank’s job to control inflation. If anyone should be taking credit, it’s Alan Bollard, not Bill English.

2) But the current low inflation is not because of anything English has done, it’s not even because of anything that Bollard has done. Prices have not increased much because people haven’t been buying. This is what happens in a recession.

3) If English really wants to stake his government’s reputation on keeping down prices, he’ll need to resign in exactly three months, when the impact of GST flows through to the inflation statistics and they go through the roof.

Bullshit #2: “Real after tax average earnings in New Zealand have increased 8.7 per cent since September 2008 – a significant improvement on the 3 per cent total growth over the previous nine years.” – English, in August

“[English] released figures which he claimed showed real after-tax wages had risen under National (from minus 1 per cent from December 2006 to September 2008, to 9 per cent in September 2008 to June 2010).” – English, in October

Let’s think about this for a sec. He’s telling us that wages grew faster during a global recession than economic golden weather. In fact, in August, he claimed that wages grew 13 times faster (on a per year basis) during a recession than during the boom.

Come on. A little more common sense and a little less LSD please.

Why do the numbers look like this? Because English used the average wage for employed workers. During the Clark years, policies like WFF brought more people into the lower end of the workforce. This bought the average down. The people who were already in the workforce didn’t get any poorer – the only thing that actually went down was the average.

When the recession hit, people got laid off, or got bumped down to part-time. Because the low earners tend to get laid off first, when they got taken off the books, this perversely made the average go *up*.

This shows the number of full-time equivalent employees (e.g. Two half-time employees count as one). The last two years saw the biggest dip in employment since Ruth Richardson.

(Source: FTE Employees by Sector, Quarterly Employment Survey, from StatsNZ InfoShare)

A lot of people became unemployed, or less employed. The only thing this bumped up was the average – it didn’t actually make the people who were still employed any richer. This is what happens in a recession. This is what Bill English is taking credit for.

The real statistics on income comes from (duh!) the New Zealand Income Survey. This shows the median weekly pre-tax income. No prizes for spotting the trend here – these have been the worse two years for income since the survey started. This is what happens in a recession.

(Source: Household income by source of household income and household type, NZ Income Survey, from StatsNZ TableBuilder)

So far, I’ve only looked at pre-tax figures. English’s numbers are after tax. How can that be, when National’s tax cuts just started this month? Oh. Turns out English was measuring the effect of Labour’s 2008 tax cuts and National’s April 2009 tax cuts, but doesn’t include the one that has just come into force. 70% of the tax difference came from Labour’s tax cut, and 30% from National’s. So, English is trying to take credit for *that* as well.

This stuff isn’t National’s fault. There was a global recession. People lose their jobs, income takes a hit, consumption slows down. It’s what happens. But all this stuff about how we’ve suddenly become better off because it’s a National government is just a lie. Nothing magically happened when John Key took office.

Please stop making shit up.

Keith Ng

34 comments on “Keith Ng: Nat bullshit on inflation and earnings”

  1. M 1

    Just read this on PA – excellent.

    He’s right – while National didn’t cause the meltdown they sure haven’t done anything to ameliorate the suffering and have not shown any will to do anything to help the average working person.

    Keith’s final line says it all.

    I think that Labour should as part of its election campaign play the song ‘Nowhere Man’ for Johnny.

    He’s a real nowhere man,
    Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
    Making all his nowhere plans
    for nobody.

    Doesn’t have a point of view,
    Knows not where he’s going to,
    Isn’t he a bit like you and me?

    Nowhere Man please listen,
    You don’t know what you’re missing,
    Nowhere Man, the world is at your command!

    He’s as blind as he can be,
    Just sees what he wants to see,
    Nowhere Man can you see me at all?

    Nowhere Man, don’t worry,
    Take your time, don’t hurry,
    Leave it all till somebody else
    lends you a hand!

    Doesn’t have a point of view,
    Knows not where he’s going to,
    Isn’t he a bit like you and me?

    Nowhere Man please listen,
    you don’t know what you’re missing
    Nowhere Man, the world is at your command!

    He’s a real Nowhere Man,
    Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
    Making all his nowhere plans
    for nobody.
    Making all his nowhere plans
    for nobody.
    Making all his nowhere plans
    for nobody!

      • M 1.1.1

        Ooops, haven’t been reading TS that long 🙁

        Maybe one of the easiset ways to disarm Key and Bling would be to ask “If we’re doing so well, why isn’t everyone feeling so much richer?”

        Spongebob could do a better job as PM.

    • felix 1.2

      It’s great idea and a perfectly fitting song but there’s zero chance of Labour (or anyone else) being able to license it for a political ad (or anything else). Same goes for any Beatles material.

      So if you want to use it you’ll have to do it yourself, underground stylez – no legit organisation will be able to touch it.

  2. the sprout 2

    Keith does this stuff very well.

    I agree National is really exploiting the inumercay of the the public and msm in a systematic way that I haven’t seen in NZ before. I mean, all organizations manipulate stats for PR purposes, but National is doing it so blatantly, day after dat after day.

    • Lazy Susan 2.1

      I agree, but do you think the MSM are inumerate or complicit here? These things are really not that hard to understand. Surely the concept of a median income is still taught in schools and a few of those flash TV graphics can explain how English is being highly manipulative.

      The truth is that National are manufacturing silver linings when there are none and they know it. The bad news for National and the rest of us is that the global economy is on course for a “double dip” recession – seems kind of appropriate for the Dipton illusionist.

      • Marty G 2.1.1

        I think for the most part they can’t get their heads around it, so they feel bound to let the government’s claims go unchallenged.

        It’s a problem having economically illiterate people as your main msm political writers when so much of the meat of politics is about the economic impacts of policies. Instead we have people who are good at describing the ‘game’ of politics and the msm economic commentators, who are mostly rightwing.

        • Lazy Susan 2.1.1.1

          I think for the most part they can’t get their heads around it, so they feel bound to let the government’s claims go unchallenged.

          I think you’re letting the MSM off the hook Marty. All the work is being done for them in numerous articles, such as this one, so I find it hard to believe that they can’t get their heads around this. All they need to do is package it in a way that viewers/readers will understand.

          As for the MSM economic commentators I think there are a couple, both Rod Oram and Bryan Gaynor, who generally do a good job. I wouldn’t describe them as rightwing. Oram particularly has frequently been extremely critical of National. I just think that they consider this stuff is more for the political commentators and opposition than themselves.

          Cunliffe really should be on Key and English’s back and give the MSM some sound bites to work with.

  3. Yeah, I’ve been writing about this but I like the way Keith articulates it.

    If we accept Key and English’s approach we have to believe something very odd: that wages are rising quickly in a time of high unemployment and recession when teachers can’t even get an inflation-matching payrise.

    The government is using the full-time, ordinary time, average wage. They say it’s the ‘official’ measure because it’s the measure used to set the superannuation rate against. But that’s bollocks, just because it’s sued to benchmark super doesn’t mean it’s the correct measure when you’re looking at wages in general.

    This measure ignores:
    part-time workers,
    over-time
    changes in employment levels that not only mean those people are earning less as they lose their jobs but the average wage of the those remaining employed will tend to rise

    If you want to measure how wages are moving, you’ve got to do the median for the whole working age population.

    • the sprout 3.1

      i think that like Goebbels, this government is finding that the need to lie through their teeth increases as the amount of reality-based positive news becomes more and more scarce.

      misrepresenting the numbers is an easy way to achieve that, especially when they know the msm is inumerate or complicit as suggested above.

      this observation from Claire Trevett today is the norm:

      “The pair engaged in the tango of jiggery pokery statistics…”
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10681755

      wow ‘jiggery pokery’, that sure is some mighty fancy analysis there Claire. you didn’t go to the LSE for your degree per chance?

      • Marty G 3.1.1

        yeah I saw that too. Says to me that the whole debate over the numbers goes over her head and she just switches off until something ‘political’ happens.

        If they can’t even follow the debate, how can they offer any insight into which argument is more valid?

        Of course, the myth of ‘objective’ journalism means they don’t offer judgements on policy anyway, just scorekeeping in the ‘game’ of politics.

        • Carol 3.1.1.1

          But Trevett (intentionally or unintentionally), fails to really identify the significance of the game-change that happened in parliament yesterday.

          IMO, the “shambles” in question time yesterday was the result of increasingly desperate tactics from National, as they realise that the momentum is swinging in Labour’s favour (especially after the weekend conference). It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Key government is not very competent, and has no solutions to the GFC, and the challenges facing NZ now & in the future. They over-rely on spin and PR, and have nothing to offer except their adherence to neo-liberalism, which is a theory on the way out.

          Lockwood Smith got cross, not because of the routine use of “patsy” questions”, but because, in their desperation, National blatantly crossed the line to use such questions to attack Labour – a desperate move by Nat.

          I am thinking that this is most likely to be the beginning of the end for Key. Sure he has high “popularity”. But he lacks political skills, and has no way of re-evaluating an economic theory-in-crisis, because he was totally constructed by and through that philosophy.

          As evident in Ng’s analysis, the spin and PR surface is wearing thin. I think it’s highly likely that National and Key will begin to slide down the polls from here on. And if that happens and leads to a big drop, would National do a Gillard and roll Key before the next election?

          Anyway, I think the next year will be fascinating, and far from totally predictable.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            Gawd I hope you’re right and English gets another shot at the title. G 😀 FF 2 😀 11!!! (thanks Spud!)

  4. burt 4

    Your kidding me – the same recession that started before the global economic crisis while the rest of the world was still basking in the golden economic weather is still with us… Better not vote for the productivity killing red team in 2011 then.

    Remember people; VOTE ABL – Anything but Labour.

    • bbfloyd 4.1

      Burt.. i’m glad it was you who said that about the recession. anyone else and i might have had to take it seriously..

    • Marty G 4.2

      “the same recession that started before the global economic crisis while the rest of the world was still basking in the golden economic weather”

      Burt, you’re not honestly repeating another of English’s lies in a post that exposes what a liar English is?

      New Zealand entered the recession in the same quarter (Q1 2008) as the US, Ireland, Sweden, Norway etc and only a quarter ahead of the rest of the world.

      The sparks for the recession: the oil price spike and the sub-prime crisis had started the quarter before in Q4 2007.

      You’re still the dumbest commentator here, burt.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        And I should say, Ganesh Nana counts the real meat of the GFC hitting world financial markets from September 2008. He made a point of it in his presentation saying that Treasury hacks were still determined to suppress the risk of growth fueled inflation as late as June 2008. Yeah I guess there’s not much risk there now, well done team.

        • Pascal's bookie 4.2.1.1

          hey Burt, care to comment on what the fed reserve was doing for much of 07-08 and how that relates to your oft repeated bullshit?

          Cheers.

      • felix 4.2.2

        “Burt, you’re not honestly repeating another of English’s lies in a post that exposes what a liar English is?”

        Not honestly, no.

    • George.com 4.3

      Burt, you are absolutely an ABL – anyone but Labour. You’d vote for a party of 50 Rodney Hides & David Garretts if your only other choice was Labour.

  5. Jim MacDonald 5

    Dipton is taking us all for dipsticks.

  6. freedom 6

    reality is shown to us in many forms, though i believe the massively increasing numbers of people unable to pay their bills says a whole lot more than how much they earned.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      I hear from English that this is just a sign of how confident people are about being able to pay their bills in the future.

  7. xy 7

    I don’t understand why you’d copy and paste the entire article instead of excerpting and linking – surely it’d be more polite to do that while you wait for a response to your question!

    It really strikes me as bad form to do this, especially the way you’ve titled it.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Yeah, would’ve been nicer to take this more cautious approach. Hope KN is cool with it.

    • r0b 7.2

      I don’t understand why you’d copy and paste the entire article

      Because I think it’s so good and I want more people to read it, the whole thing.

      instead of excerpting and linking

      It is linked twice – once at the top, once at the bottom.

      surely it’d be more polite to do that while you wait for a response to your question!

      No response to the contact form “email” – how long does one wait? It’s a very timely piece, I hope it gets widely noticed and discussed. I hope the note at the top of the post is clear, and I will certainly respond to any communication from Keith.

      It really strikes me as bad form to do this, especially the way you’ve titled it.

      My apologies to anyone offended. The title was to make it clear right from the start who wrote the piece, and I think it is a fair and accurate summary of the piece.

  8. ianmac 8

    It seems incredible that with a country of such high literacy, so many can be fooled by so few. It seems as though English can be Muldoon-like and flash a few graphs around, cherry-pick the stats and convince the country that we are in safe hands. Car salesman?

  9. M 9

    Don’t know if anyone has seen the Hitler parodies re the financial crises but maybe someone could make one about Key and Bling desperately lying to keep support shored up.

  10. MikeG 10

    The new Blingish Economic Theory:
    Savings have increased under National + Interest rates have decreased under National = The more we decrease interest rates, the more savings will increase.

  11. George.com 11

    So National want to claim credit for low inflation. Never mind the fact that the global recession has given us that. That is a desperate move, even for National. Still if National do want to claim credit for low inflation they can also get the credit for:

    a massive increase in unemployment
    growing government debt
    falling house prices
    ongoing mortgagee foreclosures
    failing businesses
    stagnant wage levels
    SCF failure

    I lokk forward to English putting out the press release announcing that the unemployed, homeless, bankrupt etc can thank National.

  12. Jan 12

    I listen to Morning Report and am always surprised when Bill’s boss can’t differentiate between incidents, instances incidence and incidences(sic) so perhaps the bar on providing analysis satisfactory to allow for providing a “good news” press release isn’t very high. ;-). I’m surprised at the MSM is quite so lazy though – shame on them that volunteers have to do this – and good on Keith!

    Check out the similarities between the Beehive Story and the NZ Herald press release. Cut/Paste CUT /Paste Submit / Approve – not a skerrick of thought or reflection in the whole Herald article.
    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/lowest+inflation+six+years+good+families
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10681451

    ANTI-SPAM unusual!

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    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    6 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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? ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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