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Kerr shows how the Right lie to themselves

Written By: - Date published: 5:33 pm, September 21st, 2008 - 42 comments
Categories: im/migration, national, spin - Tags:

The Business Roundtable held another in their series of forums on political issues targeted at young people on Thursday. The aim is obviously to get along the type of kid who goes to his (sorry for the gendering but they were 90% male) commerce classes in a suit that he can’t yet fill and give him an ideological steer. It’s pretty funny and there’s free pizza and beer, so worth going along to.

This forum was on the dreaded brain drain. Roger Kerr hosted a usual and the panelists were the CTU economist Peter Conway and Opus head Kevin Thompson. I can’t make up my mind if Kerr’s presentation was amusing or outrageous. The man’s a trained economist, he knows statistics and he knows when he’s mis-using them, so it speaks to a deep arrogance that he would present flawed statistics to what is, after all, meant to be a friendly audience; on the other hand, it’s amusing that none of them seemed to see the flaws in the numbers they were being shown but, then, there’s none so blind…

Three examples of how Kerr used faulty figures to make an argument about the mythical brain drain:

He did not show the historical trend in migration figures, he just said there were spikes in net emigration 1979, 1989, 2002 and now – he failed to mention that these ‘spikes’ are actually just peaks in a cycle and that the earlier peaks were much larger in terms of % of the population than the present one.  He also failed to show that peaks in the net migration were correlated with anything else.

Which didn’t stop him concluding that the wage gap is the problem (despite the head of Opus not mentioning wages once in his talk on retention strategies and studies showing we, like Australia, like Canada etc don’t have a brain drain but lose a small % of people representing a cross-section of skills and gain more highly skilled workers) and presented a graph of average full time equivalent wages in Australia and New Zealand. He knew this isn’t adjusted for purchasing power parity, that one should uses medians rather than averages because a situation as in the 1990s when the rich get richer and most people get poorer can show a rising average when most people are actually worse off, and that just look at FTE wages is useless if other sources of income are changing, like the removal of overtime and penalty rates in the 1990s, or if the composition of the workforce changes (ie casualisation and high unemployment in the 1990s) but chose to misrepresent the numbers that suited his argument – ie. that the wage gap grew less in the 1990s than the 2000s thanks to de-reguation.

He then brought up the productivity growth figures. The argument being if we are to raise wages we need more wealth (a higher GDP) and the way to do that is to increase productivity (through lower taxes, weaker work rights, and less regulation). Of course, that’s falsely premised. We know that growth is not passed on to workers in wage rises automatically it only happens if workers have a good bargaining position (eg low unemployment and strong work rights). It also seems somewhat odd that we should try to catch up to the wages paid in Australia, where there are stronger work rights, by further weakening our work rights. But the clincher is this: productivity per worker grew at something like 2.7% per annum under National and has grown 1.5% per annum per worker under Labour but GDP per capita barely rose under National and has grown much faster under Labour. How can GDP growth be faster when productivity growth is lower? Because under National we had hundreds of thousands of workers unemployed and lots of capital sitting ideal – only the highest quality workers and capital were used. Labour has succeeded in bringing New Zealand to practically full employment but that means lowering the overall quality of the workforce which makes productivity growth appear slower. According the Brian Easton, a study of workers employed in both the 1990s and 2000s showed their productivity growth rate did not change.

Of course, Kerr knew all that when he made be presentation but he chose to do it anyway. The interesting thing was that he was trying to fool young Tories (and succeeding, a smattering of questions from Lefties had him floundering by the tory-boys just swallowed it). Why lie to your own side, why not all just believe in something that is supported by the facts instead? I think there’s two answers. One is that the brain drain argument is veiled xenophobia. National certainly dog-whistles xenophobia when it talks about the number of ‘native-born New Zealanders’ who are overseas; if so many ‘real Kiwis’ weren’t leaving the proportion of the population from non-European ethnic groups would be smaller. For the second answer we have to look not at the ‘problem’ by the proposed solutions. The Right’s remedy is tax-cuts, weaker work rights, lower government spending, and weaker regulation. No serious person could think these would really solve a brain drain were there one – is anyone really leaving over $20 a week, $1000 a year, of tax? Would weakening work rights somehow see workers paid more? of course not. But it does just so happen that the ‘solutions’ proposed by National and others like Kerr for the brain drain are their solution for everything from growth rates to heartburn and the people who would certainly gain from lower tax, smaller government, weaker work rights (=lower wages), and less regulation are the big business owners that employ Kerr and finance the National party. Funny that.

42 comments on “Kerr shows how the Right lie to themselves”

  1. randal 1

    even If I made a truthful contribution to this post I would still leave myself open for slander libel and defamation so I will refrain.

  2. Steve:
    What is wrong with a male who takes a commerce class in a suit he cant fill? You write like its a bad thing.

    What did you major in anyway?

  3. brett.

    tory boys in suits they can’t fill just strikes me as metaphorical

    It’s not any of your business what I studied and I’m not interested in what you may have studied but, what the hell, I have an LLB, a BA majoring in Politics minoring in Economics, a Diploma in European Studies, and a Graduate Diploma in International Relations.

  4. Carol 4

    And IF all these folks are currently leaving NZ in droves, why are they doing it at the same time as the polls are showing them that the Nats are soon to govern and going to (allegedly) line everyone’s pockets, and pave the streets with gold?

    Could people be emigrating because they’re appalled at the idea of a Nat government?

  5. There wasn’t really any need for the first two lines of your reply.

  6. My comments in my previous post were directed at Steve. Anyway I was Just trying to guess how you have came to have your political views.

  7. i’m planning on doing a series of posts on political philosophy rising from first principles, so that might give you a look in on where my views come from… they were well-established by uni, bit raw though

  8. randal 8

    brett dale…do you have a qualification in little people backbiting and dragging others down to your level?

  9. Randal:

    No I don’t, but thanks for sharing.

  10. roger nome 10

    Steve, good post. Jafa Pete not long ago, gave DPF a going over for his unquestioning use of Roger Douglas’ faulty productivity statistics. DPF tries to defend the misleading figures, but quickly dissapears from the argument once it’s obvious he’s lost. Here’s that, fairly amusing thread:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/07/salient_interviews_sir_roger_douglas.html

    BTW steve – you need to fix up the grammar in your post.

  11. Phillip Mason 11

    Yes Steve, please fix the grammar. Thank you.

    [lprent: dad you’re still banned. You want me to isolate you from this system permanently regardless of which IP range you come in under?]

  12. Mr Mason 12

    Hi roger
    [lprent: dad you’re still banned. You want me to isolate you from this system permanently regardless of which IP range you come in under?]

  13. Roger Nome: that thread was awesome! Just count up the blatherers getting their heads handed to them on a plate there, including DPF. Really, that was the dog’s bollocks.

  14. Millsy 15

    Meanwhile, in our arrival lounges, thousands of English, South African and Indians queue up waiting to get into our communist, high tax, unsmacked kids hell-hole…..

    [lprent: dad you’re still banned. You want me to isolate you from this system permanently regardless of which IP range you come in under?]

  15. Nedyah Hsan 16

    I guess it shows we’re doing something right Millsy that other nationalities want to come here.

  16. roger nome 17

    Psycho Milt:

    yeah – always craks me up how the right accuse the left of being economically illiterate, when it’s so often the market fundamentalists that get it completely wrong.

    oh and, hey Dad – how’s the wheather in chchs? It’s a beautiful Sunday morning over here in Liverpool.

  17. Mr Mason 18

    Do watch out for a Liverpool kiss roger. It’s that hot here it melted all the red billboards that feature some computer generated huckster bitch.

    [lprent: dad you’re still banned. You want me to isolate you from this system permanently regardless of which IP range you come in under?]

  18. Janet 19

    I wonder if anyone can tell me the answer to this question about the Oz statistics? Many NZers who currently live in Australia come home frequently to visit – sometimes 2 or 3 times a year with the cheap fares. Each time they leave NZ they tick the box that says Are you leaving permanently? or Where will you spend the next 12 months? – or whatever (I can’t remember the exact wording). So are they counted each time as a new person leaving? If so the stats will be very exaggerated.

  19. randal 20

    roger…dad’s feeling his oats after he harassed and hectored some poor judge somewhere today. It made the news so I gues he’s pretty fired up and his cojones are getting in the way of a rational argument.

  20. Pascal's bookie 21

    i’m planning on doing a series of posts on political philosophy rising from first principles,

    Yay. Can’t wait 🙂

    But it’ll be libertarian bait I tells ya. Just ignore them.

  21. “The aim is obviously to get along the type of kid who goes to his (sorry for the gendering but they were 90% male) commerce classes in a suit that he can’t yet fill and give him an ideological steer.”

    Ahh I know exactly the type of person you mean! Gosh what a joke they are. In fact last night I came across one at a party, in wearing chinos and the most chump-tastic private school knitted sleeveless jersey you’ve ever seen, this one had the nerve to interupt my conversation and attempt to defend the USA in Iraq.

    Its more an ideological smack over the head (so as to deal to any last trace of independent thought) than it is an ideological steer.

  22. gosh, this guy still going..huh..

    aka roger of the rolling arrrrs.. resentment being the first, rolling(as per political figures) somewhere close…BTW is rog still into buying speakers that dummie him.. and stats that deny reality..???

  23. Pascal's bookie 24

    There’s a type of religious apologetics that jumps whole heartedly into accepting that many of the things they are asked to believe don’t make sense.

    During the enlightenment various big brains were pulling apart religious claims and pointing out inconsistencies and asking how can that be right, and don’t you have to be retarded to think this and so on and so forth.

    One response was to come up with some tidy theodicy or another to show that the claims did, in spite of all appearances, make sense. Another approach was to say, you know what, it doesn’t make sense, and that’s why I believe it. Look at how faithful I am! I really do believe five impossible things before breakfast. Jesus loves me so.

    Right wingers have internalised a lot of that shit.

  24. randal 25

    nah…pb…they just lie as a matter of course because they want money and they will do anything to get it.

  25. Anita 26

    Janet,

    I wonder if anyone can tell me the answer to this question about the Oz statistics? […]

    Your best bet will be asking Stats NZ. From memory they have a really handy service where you email them a question about their stats and they get back to you within 2 working days.

    If you’re asking them, you might want to check how they’re counting the Australian resident NZers coming in to the country. As NZers coming home? Or as holidaymakers?

  26. Janet 27

    Thanks Anita.

    And SP re the principles of political philosophy I presume that covers morality as well?

    The lack of morality in the financial market crashes has been worrying me. Did Adam Smith or the earlier men (they were all men I presume while the women cooked and cleaned and soothed their brows and changed their ink wells) have anything to say about the role of morality in politics?

  27. Janet 28

    This is what worries me about lack of morality in business/politics – a lack of personal responsibility or accountability for actions which have significant negative effects on others. Here is a quote from JKey which I found on the Sunday Star Times website in the 08 campaign section

    ‘Key says he does not believe a moral issue arises for the traders who make these speculative attacks on currencies, or for the dealing rooms that carry out their orders. “I don’t really see it as a judgemental business. You’re simply executing orders for people.”‘

    That last sentence is particularly chilling.

  28. jbc 29

    Janet

    Each time they leave NZ they tick the box that says Are you leaving permanently? or Where will you spend the next 12 months? – or whatever (I can’t remember the exact wording). So are they counted each time as a new person leaving?

    The form asks that question under a section titled “Answer these questions if you live in NZ, or lived in NZ until today, otherwise answer 4. [Visitor to NZ]”

    I don’t know about those NZers that moved to Australia, but I can say that I can follow the simple instructions and count myself only as a visitor on my trips to NZ.

    The Auckland Airport immigration/customs people don’t hesitate to treat as as visitors either. I was back in NZ to attend a funeral recently – a 3 day trip. While holding my NZ passport (the only passport I have) the officer proceeded to interrogate me in their best stern voice about my visit, why I was there, staying where, etc. Felt like I was visiting USA. I’ve never had such a grilling anywhere else.

    As far as I know natural born NZers can’t be denied entry to NZ can they?

  29. Janet,

    The other day Ms M another commenter provided this link this article was written in 1999 and it interviews a couple of investment bankers.

    One of them being John Key. It turns out that when the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed in Nov 1999 John Key was the managing director of debt for Merrill Lynch.

    The repeal of the Glass Seagall act is important because until than a bank could be only of of two forms of bank. You were either a gambling investment bank or a bank to help people finance business based sound investment principles.

    After the 4th of November 1999 these two types of banks could merge and merge they did. This meant that the big investment bankers could do some really big gambling and boy did they ever.
    According to John Key himself in the 19th of June NZHerald “unauthorised” biography, he was running a department that was developing all these cool new investment products like bonds and derivatives.

    The act that was repealed was called into existence after the previous Wall street crash of 1929 in 1933.
    It was repealed because Bankers would “regulate” themselves.

    The bankers of Wall street and London must have been pissing themselves with laughter when the got that one through.
    Of course bankers do no regulate themselves. Banksters are in it for the money and only the money and our Smiling Assassin was a very good bankster.

    The people of the US and make no mistake the UK, Australia and New Zealand are going to pay the price for the scheisters of Wall street robbing and gambling spree and John Key was one of them.

  30. ropata 31

    @PB.
    Your prejudice is showing. So much for Mickey Savage‘s “Applied Christianity” huh?

  31. Pascal's bookie 32

    Which Prejudice Ropata? Care to explain?

    No out of context quotes please.

    Depending on what you came up with I’ll either defend myself or apologise tonight, bit busy at the mo’

    cheers

  32. TRAVELLEREV:

    Trying to tie the wall street collapse to John Key is like the right in the USA trying to tie Clinton to Bin Laden.

  33. ropata 34

    @PB
    Sorry ’bout that misunderstanding. I see that you were basically critiquing a head-in-sand approach, but not all religion is like that. Cheers

  34. Pascal's bookie 35

    No worries.

  35. jbc 36

    travellerev,
    Lots of completely unconnected links and strange ‘facts’ there [bonds and derivatives ‘new’ in 1999?].

    Had me thinking back to the only govt-bailout of a NZ bank that I can remember.

    Which type of bank was BNZ in 1990? A gambler or one that helped people based on sound principles? Or was it the 3-day old governments fault? Where was John Key at the time?

    [apologies for getting way, way off-topic]

  36. jbc,

    I just checked the links and they open on the correct pages, perhaps there is something wrong with your browser?
    I don’t know about BNZ. I wasn’t living at that time and have not done any research on it but all banks can go bankrupt if they have liquidity problems.

    John Key was working for the Bankers Trust at the time as forex manager and Treasurer.

    No, bonds and derivatives are an old speculative vehicle. They have just been taken out of the cupboard dusted off and with the internet deals could be made in seconds in totally non-transparent ways and with complicated computer models

    Brett,

    Are you suggesting that Clinton is a nice lefty president? He was hand in glove with the banksters. It was his administration that repealed the Glass- Seagall act making the road clear for the biggest speculative bubble in human history.
    With the paltry 700 billion Bush has just given Paulson to play with nothing is going to get solved. The banksters have created a derivatives bubble of some 700 trillion while the entire worlds annual GDP is something in the order of 60 trillion. That means US$640 trillion in leverage and it’s deflating fast.

    John Key was the managing director of debt for Merrill Lynch and one of only 4 upon invitation only advisors to Alan Greenspan and the fed, just as Alan Greenspan was pumping masses of cheap money in the system and the unsuspecting punters were told what a brilliant investments foreign exchange and other derivatives were.
    The other three were representatives for Lehman bros (just gone belly up), Citigroup (also in very serious trouble) and UBSWarburg again a bank very badly damaged by the subprime crisis.

    In fact Merril Lynch was one of the most prominent and advanced derivatives dealers and it was no accident that John Key was head hunted by them because the Banker trust had been developing derivatives and CDO’s and the whole alphabet of debt backed junk in the as if 1987 when John Key started to work for them.

    The Bankers trust was a bank who got in trouble as John Key said in the NZ herald, “in ’95 it all went to shit and I said I’m out of here.” because they sold derivatives to Proctor and gable and when the derivatives started to loose money they were taken to court and due to the phone tapes that were made off all the conversations Proctor and gamble was able to prove that the Bankers trust bankers were lying and cheating scum specialised in racy derivatives who derived their value from bonds, currencies commodities etc. What do you reckon is the chance of John Key ending up as a specialist in a variety of complex financial products and him ending up heading that department and as advisor to Alan Greenspan with the other three most hit banks and him being squeaky clean?

    He lived off and on in New York and had employees and an office in the Merrill Lynch head quarters in New York. In fact he lost three colleagues in the attacks on 911. According to his New York John Key had an expert knowledge of a multitude of complex financial products and in the link I gave previously John Key describes ho the internet is a fantastic medium to do trade in derivatives etc.

    John Key was a shark with the sharks mate, and very good at what he did.

  37. jbc 38

    travellerev,
    by ‘unconnected’ I mean that if you follow the content then there is no connection to your argument.

    Attempts to link Key to the present global financial malaise are comical – but I suspect that most making these links are not trying to be satirical.

    Helen Clark was deputy PM in the government that sold Telecom. Can we blame her for that? It’s a pretty darned strong connection if you ask me. She must be at least partly responsible. Deputy PM. How could she not know?

    I don’t believe that any more than the rubbish about Key – but it is a stronger argument than those against him.

    OK, nuff said. Next time I’ll just skip the Key/meltdown conspiracy stories. I’ll be keeping my eye out for any argument that holds water though.

  38. Pascal's bookie 39

    jbc, If a party leader ran on the fact that they were a leading trade unionist then I think it would be fair to say that they brought along with them, as a supposed qualification, a certain set of views reagarding labour policy at the least and economics in general.

    By the same token, the fact that Key used, until recently, his career in finance as a supposed qualification we are entitled to ask what exactly he brings with him to the job. The roles he had, and the level he reached surely point to the fact that he held certain views with regard to economics and the role of the free market. He was picked for the National party precisely because of his international success in the deregulated world of high finance. Which has just imploded. Until he explains, in detail, what his views are about neo liberalism and the ability of markets to regulate and discipline themselves with a light hand from the government, it is reasonable to assume that that he was on board with the Washington consensus, which has served us so poorly.

    What are his instincts? What does he think went wrong? Does he agree with the BRT? Did he see this coming? Has he changed his mind? Did he push for more regulation when he was on Wall street?

    All legitimate questions that Key won’t have a bar of. When the issue is raised, he attacks the questioner, which is less than reassuring.

  39. Millsy 40

    …I am not Dad4Justice…even though it would be nice to be a far-right jackboot wearing wannabe Nazi who hates gays and women and thinks the earth was made be a magical pixie fairy named “God”….

  40. jbc,

    According to John Key the subprime crisis was not hard to predict: this is what he said about it:

    Did he foresee the problems which resulted in the sub-prime crisis? “Was it hard to predict? Not really.”

    And the next sentence is:

    The products which underpinned the sub-prime boom – then bust – were hatched in 2004-2005, long after Key had left Merrill.

    Yeah right.

    In 1997 Fred Harris predicted the boom and bust of the subprime crisis and derivatives scam. In fact he warned Gordon Brown this would happen in that year.
    In 2001 a senior Treasury official, Sheila C. Bair tried to persuade subprime lenders to adopt a code of “best practices’ and to let outside monitors verify their compliance.

    Didn’t happen. Why not? They could sell the crap mortgages to unsuspecting suckers.

    This is what John Key had to say while being the managing director of debt for merrill Lynch.

    FX is just the first serving in a feast of products that banks are bringing on-line. “The initial thought was that, yes, the Internet’s great for foreign exchange because it’s vanilla. But there are applications that are just as wide in many other areas: corporate bond trading, government credit, equity underwriting, credit derivatives-it’s endless,” says Key.

    Isn’t “vanilla” a term for bland sexual practices?

    And lastly this is what John Key had to say about the debt department he was running: Key explains: “I had a whole lot of people working for me who were at the cutting edge of delivering quite complex and new and innovative products. They tended to either be a new product or into a new market, usually the emerging markets, Russia, Brazil, Argentina. I wasn’t the guy sitting there dreaming it all up, but I was the guy who was responsible for those people.”

    That and the fact that he was an upon invitation only advisor to the architect of the bubbles for the last 20 years Alan Greenspan and the fact that he was prepared to lie about his involvement in the attack on the New Zealand dollar in 1987 gives me reason enough to think John Key was up to his eyeballs in the derivative scam.

  41. Oops deleted some stuff.

    In 1997 Fred Harris predicted the boom and bust of the subprime crisis and derivatives scam. In fact he warned Gordon Brown this would happen in that year.
    In 2001 a senior Treasury official, Sheila C. Bair, tried to persuade subprime lenders to adopt a code of “best practices’ and to let outside monitors verify their compliance.

    Didn’t happen. Why? because they could sell the crappy mortgages on to unsuspecting suckers.

    In 1999 John Key Managing director of debt for Merrill Lynch has this to say about derivatives:

    FX is just the first serving in a feast of products that banks are bringing on-line. “The initial thought was that, yes, the Internet’s great for foreign exchange because it’s vanilla. But there are applications that are just as wide in many other areas: corporate bond trading, government credit, equity underwriting, credit derivatives-it’s endless,” says Key.

    This is what John Key had to say about his debt department:

    Key explains: “I had a whole lot of people working for me who were at the cutting edge of delivering quite complex and new and innovative products. They tended to either be a new product or into a new market, usually the emerging markets, Russia, Brazil, Argentina (very interesting by the way him mentioning those countries since a lot of them collapsed in the late 90s). I wasn’t the guy sitting there dreaming it all up, but I was the guy who was responsible for those people.”

    That makes his department a breeding ground for speculative crap and not as some might think the debt collection department. John Key was managing 140 geeks who were dreaming up ways to make money out of nothing with speculative crap and Foreign exchange manipulation.

    That and the fact that he was an upon invitation only advisor to the architect of the bubbles for the last 20 years Alan Greenspan and the fact that he was prepared to lie about his involvement in the attack on the New Zealand dollar in 1987 gives me reason enough to think that John Key is a scam artist and that he was up to his eyeballs in the derivative scam.

    As for the Key/meltdown conspiracy stories. The above is from the horses mouth. you can check the facts. What is it with you guys and the “Conspiracy” stories (theories, what ever) when I support everything I say with links to articles etc?

    I said here months ago that we would have en economic meltdown based on what Roubini, Engdahl and other eminent scholars and finance specialists have been saying for years. Fred Harris predicted a 10 year boom and a collapse in 2007. I don’t just make this shit up. What is it that makes it a “conspiracy” theory if you can see with your own eyes that it is actually happening?

    And if John Key himself places him in the middle of the grubbiest scummy business then what do I have to theorise about it? It’s there in plain sight.All I did was put a few quotes from different interviews together and they paint the picture not I.

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    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? ...
    2 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    3 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago