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Key: quakes to cost 125,000 jobs

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, March 3rd, 2011 - 68 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags:

We’ve heard figures of $20 billion damage from the Christchurch quakes, $5 billion uninsured for the government to cover. Now, Key has given an estimate of the lost economic output this year – $12 billion, 6% of GDP. He says that will mean $5 billion less government revenue – a hole the size of the defence and law and order budgets combined.

Speaking on NewstalkZB, Key said “From June to June, my guess is that we’ve lost $12 billion in GDP. In other words, just less activity. Crudely, from the government’s view, that’s $5 billion we don’t get.”

Frankly, these numbers seem far too big to me. Canterbury contributes only 15% of the country’s GDP and I don’t think these two quakes can have eliminated 40% of Canterbury’s annual economic activity. But, I don’t see any reason why Key would be so irresponsible as to make them up, so let’s consider the consequences.

$12 billion less economic activity implies about $5 billion less in employee compensation. The average employee gets $40,000 a year, so that’s 125,000 jobs lost – 40% of Canterbury’s workforce and enough to take national unemployment close to 13%. The extra dole bill would be on the order of a billion dollars.

The $5 billion slice out of government revenue and the billion extra dole bill is ‘only’ 12 days worth of the country’s economic output but when you ask who the government gets the cash from it’s huge, especially when you consider that the government is facing an extra bill of about a billion a year for the next five years for the rebuilding. While a disaster levy, like the one proposed by the Greens, could raise a billion a year to cover the extra costs, there’s going to have to be some extra debt to cover the lost revenue and extra dole.

Let’s be clear, cuts like National is mincing around won’t cover it. Trimming Working For Families would only save a million a year if (somehow) limited to families on incomes over $100,000. Excluding some more people from higher education, as Key is suggesting, will only save a few million too. Yes, National is planning to use the shock doctrine to do things they otherwise couldn’t but covering a $5 billion hole and the extra dole bill with cuts would be a slash and burn exercise like we’ve never seen. Thankfully, I don’t think Key has the guts.

Before anyone says ‘asset sales’, they still make no sense. We’re better off keeping the dividend stream to help pay these bills because the SOE’s returns exceed the cost of government borrowing.

The other question is how long the economy would take to recover from such a hit. You can’t expect it to slump 6% under expectations one year and shed 6% of the national workforce and then have everything bounce back the next year. Especially in the middle of a global oil/food shock. Even with insured property owners, hopefully, using the money to rebuild, we’re looking at years of economic activity well below the projections that the government’s budget is based on.

To avoid debt spiralling, National will have to make hard choices: it will have to ditch the least worthwhile government spending, the new motorway construction programme, and restore revenue to a sustainable level by reversing the tax cuts of recent years. I estimate those two moves would raise $20 billion over the coming decade, enough to cover the ongoing revenue losses and reconstruction costs, hopefully.

If the situation is as serious as Key says, there’s no other choice.

Update: Key has corrected himself – “$15 billion of lost GDP, which translates to about $5b less tax potentially (over four years).” So, that brings the job losses down to, maybe, 30,000, still a huge number. I wish Key would get his numbers right. He is a money man, after all.

68 comments on “Key: quakes to cost 125,000 jobs”

  1. lprent 1

    The problem is that at present the government appears to be dithering around the edges. The only realistic alternative is to raise revenue to ensure that the immediate debt to be raised can be serviced. That means raising taxes or doing a levy. Since this is going to be a multi-year issue rather than a one off.

    The longer they dither, the more that Christchurch will become a ghost town and the larger the eventual bill gets with accumulated employment and business losses further reducing the existing revenue stream.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Plenty of organisations in other municipalities are taking active steps offering Christchurch businesses (and workers) help to relocate to other cities. This is understandable, given that Christchurch may not have even a minimally functioning CBD until 2012, maybe longer.

      Beware, Australia will not be able to act as a sink for our excess labour pool much longer. That’s when things will start turning nasty.

      • SPC 1.1.1

        Their growth was 2.7% last year, the forecast is for very strong growth this year (higher despite the floods).

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Assumptions of continued high hard commodity demand from China. limited energy price increases and ever increasing private debt is needed for Australia to continue on this “growth” track.

          • SPC 1.1.1.1.1

            No problem – the constraint is actually access to energy and the Chinese and Australians have plenty of coal – there is also uranium for the transfer to nuclear energy.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1.1

              No problem

              I envision you as the guy egging the Captain of the Titanic on to make a speed record to New York.

              One thing I will say about nuclear energy – it takes a decade to build a nuclear reactor and while China has very many going up, Australia has (I think) none.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1.2

              No problem – the constraint is actually access to energy and the Chinese and Australians have plenty of coal

              So no constraint on the CO2 content of the atmosphere then?

              • SPC

                No, not on the coal shipped to China and that speaks to why growth is occurring in both countries.

                And uranium resource exploitation will add to the revenue flows to Oz.

                • RedLogix

                  My bad.. I didn’t realise the Chinese had this marvellous technology to burn coal without releasing CO2.

                  Or are you saying that the Chinese are growing their economy by ‘cheating’ on the rest of the world, willfully ramping up their CO2 emmissions (now 40% greater than the USA’s) …while much of the rest of the world struggles to find ways to limit theirs?

                  • SPC

                    You do know the different obligations on nations that did not sign Kyoto?

                    • RedLogix

                      So those nations that did not sign on to Kyoto… and perhaps more importantly, have no commitment whatsoever to the global expectation that CO2 emmissions should be limited… are simply freeloaders, growing their economies at the expense of the rest of us. No?

                      Highly recommend the linky above… it’s a fascinating read. But enough thread-jacking from me.

                  • SPC

                    In mitigation it can be argued that they import the high grade coal from Oz and us (as do the Indians) – lower emmissions – and they are investing more in green tech than the Americans.

                    The irony of Kyoto is that some western nations are meeting their committments by transferring production offshore – either to the Chinese or to plants in Eastern Europe.

                    The flaw of Kyoto is that the appropriate measure is not production but consumption. And the appropriate global control is not 1990 level caps on a few nations but placing a tariff on the carbon content of goods traded between countries – so the market price provides an incentive to reduce carbon inputs.

                    We for example bear the production burden of methane emmissions rather than those consuming our exports – and we are world leading in efficient production (and grass fed contributes less to greenhouse gas build up).

                • Colonial Viper

                  Can’t just look at the revenues, gotta look at what assets the Australians have built up over the last 20 years.

                  Its arguable that they have a far more dispersed population base than us – but they were doing better than us even 10 years ago when China was a much smaller player.

                  Frankly, we have failed to diversify our real economy base. Relying on low paying/low employment dairy and low revenue per employee/lowish skill tourism.

                  • SPC

                    They have of course the assets built by their super savings and an expansion into assets offshore (especially here) – they have also been measured in selling public assets – and not doing so when the market is weak – allowing buyers an easy capital gain at the public’s expense.

                    It’s an irony that Douglas would look at any radical idea since 83-84 but his own from the 70’s.

        • south paw 1.1.1.2

          A yankee hedge fund manager is in the news saying Aussie houses are 42% over valued and due to crash. Other bad signs the game is up over there too.

          • SPC 1.1.1.2.1

            The average value of a home sold in the USA this year is about $160,000 and there is currently parity between the two nations currencies. So housing is valued a lot higher in Oz.

            But wages are lower in the USA (average public sector wage is 49,000, average private sector wage is 47,000) than in Oz, the unemployment is at 9-10% and understated, and they built too many homes on the cheap credit binge and now have surpluses in most areas, and in some areas simply no jobs.

            Also in the USA people can leave the debt with the bank owning the house whereas here and in Oz the person has to pay back the mortgage even if the house is sold for less. So as soon as a house value falls to the value of the mortgage people walk – more sales push the value down further and the whole cycle continues over and over. People simply leave their old property and buy another one (bidding low at auctions) or rent until prices fall further. This may mislead American commentators assessing property values in other countries. Not all countries are that stupid or that mismanaged.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes… I agree. I’m not sure on all the details but I also understand that in the USA mortgage interest, even on the family home, is fully tax deductable. This has to have an impact as well.

              The Aus/NZ situation isn’t 42% overvalued. But they aren’t right either.

              • SPC

                Yeah, with the mortgage tax relief and a jobs recovery their homes will be worth more – but in their system the floor value has to be seen to be reached first. They’re worth less than ours at the moment.

                The Australians can grow into their house values with rising wages – whereas we have a long period (like 76-81 when prices were flat while inflation was high) at our current low inflation about 10 years (c2017) before housing gets back to/rises above the 2007 nominal value.

                It’ll be like farm values of tha pst year, income return from rent will the be the new measure of value until more home buyers can afford to buy.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.1.2

        Abbott advocated capping immigration (of all comers) at 180K per annum during the election last year. Tearing up the Oz-NZ agreement and limiting NZ migrants would not be an unpopular move. If that happened you could be looking at 10-15% unemployment in NZ eventually. Hope it never happens though I fear one day it will.

        • SPC 1.1.2.1

          So it would be a smart move by the current governments to develop CER to prevent that being possible.

    • U 4 United 1.2

      Whither the dither? I see a decisive government in CHCH,

  2. bobo 2

    Does that include jobs lost before the quake…. seems like their poor economic record to date will all be scapegoated on the quake (and previous labour gov) leading up to election.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      People who are suffering won’t buy that rationale. Although the upper middle classes unaffected elsewhere might.

      100,000 new direct Government funded jobs is what we need over the next few months.

      Bring back the Ministry of Works as an entity to oversee and direct the rebuilding of Christchurch over the next 10-15 years.

    • Marty G 2.2

      It does include all under-performance compared to forecasts. But, like I t,say, I think Key’s numbers must be too large.

  3. bobo 3

    “Upper middle classes unaffected” is probably the majority of swing voters… would like to see Labour come out with a alternative plan in next month or so fast tracking youth apprenticeships with maybe business grants and tax relief to companies who commit to rebuild and stay in Christchurch.. I’m not holding my breathe on the gov having the vision or follow-through, wasn’t it only a few months after the first quake Brownlee said to shop owners to move on and stop asking for hands outs or something to that effect? Besides organizing party central in Auckland was hard enough for National.. How is party central going by the way??

  4. SPC 4

    The government gains $5B by axing the Kiwi Saver tax credits over 5 years (the cost is currently $1B pa and can only increase as more people adopt Kiw Saver).

    Labour should make this a bi-partisan move. It’s not gutting Kiwi Saver to acknowledge one cannot subsidise private savings with public debt. Not when the public interest has a short term focus on budget pressures and a long term interest in a savings Fund to afford tax paid super.

    • lprent 4.1

      Short-term thinking. The point about kiwisaver is to increase the number of people saving in NZ from across the economic spectrum, especially the young and the poor.

      This has widespread support across the political system simply because it has been long recognized that out chronic savings deficit constrains our economy. What you are talking about is to remove one of the incentives to meet a short term issue (less than a decade) by helping to gutting the incentives to relieving a long term issue. It seems totally silly.

      It’d be better to do a short-term solution to a short-term problem. Of course I haven’t even gotten into the social issues related to breaking contracts.

      • SPC 4.1.1

        What contract?

        The 2% employer contribution is sufficient incentive to save – it’s a doubling of the amount saved by the worker.

        As for the ethics – paying people who can afford to save (dollar for dollar for many) and making provision for those who cannot afford to save less affordable results in what exactly? Hardship to the least well off in society.

        As for the stupidity – stupidity is subsidising private savings without providing for any means to save to afford tax paid super itself.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          The 2% employer contribution is sufficient incentive to save – it’s a doubling of the amount saved by the worker.

          Meh. A cheap pittance compared to Oz.

          It’s not gutting Kiwi Saver to acknowledge one cannot subsidise private savings with public debt.

          The exact rationale English used to stop paying into the Cullen fund. And look, we are $300M worse off because of his (and your) bad economics.

          • SPC 4.1.1.1.1

            It’s not English’s fault that the Cullen scheme was dependent on surpluses for its finance.

            Cullen apologists cannot have it both ways – “we repaid debt and did not cut taxes as much as National advocated because we knew about economic cycles and what was affordable etc” and yet Kiwi Saver was left as dependent on borrowed money as the Cullen Fund was to be financed whenever there was a recession.

            PS Actually I argued that English should have borrowed that year because it was good buying (after the crash) – even Treasury noted that point was relevant to the decision.

            Neither Labour nor its supporters should be committed to past error.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Sorry, what was the past “error” in your judegement? This?

              It’s not English’s fault that the Cullen scheme was dependent on surpluses for its finance.

              Cullen did not hold a gun up to English to cancel contributions, did he?

              • SPC

                How many people taking over a job would continue an unfunded programme launched by their predecessor.

                Cullen knew that English opposed the Fund from the beginning and this is who would end up deciding whether it would continue when there were no surpluses.

                Any politician that wants to protect a programme has to ensure that it is funded and will continue to be funded – only dedicated funding ensures that across the economic cycle.

        • SPC 4.1.1.2

          A better plan would have been 4% paid by the worker, 4% by the employer – with half (2%) of the employer contribution going to the Fund to afford tax paid super. The only tax payer contribution being a $1000 start-up.

          And with all 4% paid in + employer 2% being available for a home deposit.

          A 2% rate being compulsory – still with 4% from the employer.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    “Frankly, these numbers seem far too big to me.”

    You forget about the multiplier effect of money. This means that a much smaller direct loss could equate to a very substantial loss if that money was not available to spin through the economy.

    • Marty G 5.1

      “you forget about the multiplier effect of money” . No I don’t.

      • Herodotus 5.1.1

        All the figures commented on are short term. I have read nothing should we rebuild Christchurch whatthe long tern up swing would be. The money paid out by private insurers and EQC also have a multiplier effect plus the abililty to plan a new Chch, modernise it with infrastructure (fibre etc. though I note that should Chch be totally fibre optic then analog phones should another quake occur would be usless- they require mains power to operate on from the central box in the garage).
        Why is it always a 1-3 yr out planning time table (same applies to funding for the retirees for pension, health care and housing). What are the benefit over 20-30 years? they maybe so great that the short term cost is well worth it. Samll thinking results in stagnation.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Yeah the multiplier effect of money, which Key and English completely disregarded when they decided that sending train builds to China was the thing to do, instead of having those tens of millions bouncing around the South Island instead.

  6. SPC 6

    There will be a recovery in tax revenues with the rebuild.

    But first a job loss in Christchurch, then a transfer of workers (lost existing workers replaced by workers active in the rebuild), then a new equilibrium (possibly lower than before because of business restarted elsewhere – capital used to launch new business elsewhere).

    As for capital works spending – there are two separate issues, labour force use (availability) – the project management side of it and the public debt management side of it (giving foreign lenders a look at the longer term plan to use debt, a peak level and then a pay down).

    • SPC 6.1

      So there is a reason to cut road work construction in Auckland if the reason is make the workforce available for road building in Christhchurch (and operate within existing debt finance schedules as well).

  7. The quake is good news for the NACTs all round. They can use it to build support for their policies.
    125,000 jobs losses means a big inflow of unemployed into the reserve pool of labour. Many are already relocating without any instruction from WINZ. Razor Gang policies will force thousands more onto the job market. Liquifaction means a fluid supply of labour. So that’s a downward pressure on wages that no present bureaucratised union can fight.
    As for recapitalising ChCh, that will come out of the pockets of workers, both in cuts to their wages and increased exploitation, but also more taxes on that reduced income. ChCh will revert to a service centre for agriculture, tourism and museums. Other industry will migrate north and across the ditch as it has been doing for years.
    Privatising the SOEs is not about economic efficiency but extraction of monopoly rent. Privatising farm land, water, foreshore and seabed (Maori will fail to get any sort economic benefit except a small elite that buys into monopoly capitalism), the NACTs class backers will extract whatever value they can from NZs land and labor into their increasingly tax free pockets.
    All of this demonstrates the Marxist theory that as capitalism gets more crisis ridden it can only survive by more and more destruction. The growing gap between rich and poor is a surface symptom of this process. ChCh at the moment is a microcosm of how it functions.
    Years of underfunding and deregulation leads to much destruction of physical and human capital. The solution is a further destruction of both as excess housing stock is destroyed and workers thrown onto the scrap heap.
    The banksters come along and rationalise the recovery and rebuilding to suit the now restructured Canterbury and hinterland economy owned by the 21st century gentry. What about the workers?
    What has the Labour Party to offer? Labour was the party of class reconciliation in the age of national capital. The reconciliation only worked while protectionism allowed high profits to pay high wages.
    The end of the boom in the 1970 ended all that. In 1984 Labour had no choice but to switch from national to international capital. After deregulation class reconciliation became a dream. So it has no answers for workers today. As ChCh workers are liquifacted and become more class conscious and reliant, they will look to their own organisations and leaders. So welcome to the new age of labour struggles that match those of the Red Fed a century ago.

  8. Tigger 8

    Succinctly put Marty, wish the MSM would start calling National on this…

  9. infused 9

    Well the Fiber to the door program is going to go…

    • SPC 9.1

      That should depend on whether the workers who would do the work are required to work in Christchurch or not. Otherwise the investment is in future economic growth and that pays for itself.

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      I still haven’t seen any real justification for it. Sure, fast internet is good, but it’s much more needed in rural areas where they’re still putting up with unreliable dial-up and expensive satellite connections.

      In all of the official press releases and announcements about the plan, the only thing I’ve ever seen them specifically mention what it would be used for is “TV over the internet” and then handwavy things about economic growth that apparently is going to spring forth from nowhere.

      Now, I guess education could be a particular sector that could really benefit from that, but you don’t have to wire up every house in the country for that, just wiring up the schools would get a lot of the benefit. I know that some schools in some cities already have WAN and MAN connections amongst themselves anyway.

      • aronwatson 9.2.1

        Never really personally saw any justification for it either Lan 🙂

        But, this is solely targeted at e-commerce sites relating to the music and movie industry.
        As we move away from dvd’s and into blueray, it may take awhile to download a 25gb movie.
        Now I think Kiwi isp’s would have trouble keeping up with there broadband plans to handle it, let alone the network. So it’s no insentive to buy a movie online when like the dial-up days, you got the message ‘Download complete in 2 days, 5 hours, and 32 minutes”, and who wants to go back there lol 😉

  10. Fisiani 10

    You write an update of 30,000 and yet still keep the headline of 125,000. Wonder why????

    • Marty G 10.1

      Because your tears sustain me

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.2

      Tell us why Key cant make simple statements without mashing them up completly.

    • Lanthanide 10.3

      I too find the editorial accuracy/slackness of this site irritating at times.

      • Marty G 10.3.1

        Off the high horse, lanth. We’re volunteers and we can’t be on the site 24/7. As for this post, I quoted the pm and I noted that he had corrected himself. You don’t change titles or delete content on blogs, because it’s bad practice to try to pretend errors never happened. Instead, you put in updates, as I have done.

  11. Adrian 11

    I bet that the most relocation is limited to the wealthy , already in Marlborough big numbers are enrolling with one of the largest intakes in the smallest most remote school in the country that’s in the outer Sounds where a bach is a half a million. The Nat’s bullshit will last only so long as the unemployed should be limited to around Chch, and people must eventually ask, “Hey how can you blame unemployment in Auckland or Hamilton on the Chch quake?

  12. Graeme Taylor 12

    I HOPE I don’t have to help Christchurch.I hate that city.

    • RedLogix 12.1

      That’s fine GT… tell us again where is that you said you live in NZ that’s perfectly immune to natural disaster?

    • Maynard J 12.2

      And everyone in it, including those who died? Hate them too?

  13. Jenny 13

    The declared national state of emergency needs to be extended to the finance sector.

    A moratorium on mortgages in the Greater Christchurch area, for a period of three months. (renewable on review) to be declared by the government.

    To provide immediate practical financial relief, for the Christchurch municipality, local business and citizens.

    A moratorium on mortgages would:

    1# End the brutal war breaking out between landlords and tenants.

    2# Leave funds in Christchurch for families and municipalities to be able to deal better with the costs of the quake.

    3# The immediate easing of living costs would keep many productive families who otherwise would leave the city. Many of these people will be vital to the rebuilding of the city’s infrastructure.

    4# Not cost the government anything, as this revenue stream is untaxed.

    I expect the banksters would immediately threaten punitive actions against the rest of the economy, if their profit stream were to dip by as much as 15%. (Christchurch being 15% of New Zealand’s economy).

    An investment strike, or lobby of the IMf for a national credit down grade, could be some of the actions the banksters would threaten.

    Both of these actions could be countered, an appeal to the IMF and the UN to overrule a credit downgrade, stating the nature of the emergency and the need for extraordinary measures to deal with it.

    And at the local level, retaliatory actions against any bank that threatens an investment strike. (The same sort of punishments proscribed against strikes in the ERA could be implemented against the bankers, ie. arrest, confiscation of property, daily fines for as long as the strike continues)

    Due to the nature and the scale of this disaster, can anyone suggest why this shouldn’t be done?

  14. Afewknowthetruth 14

    The article makes the false assumption that loss of GDP is a bad thing.

    GDP is a false measure of economic activity and simply records money flows. It records how quickly we are destroying ourselves via consumption of non-renewable resources and destruction of the environment. GDP effectively is a mesure of how quickly we turn fossil fuels into waste. GDP is no measure at all of the well-being of a nation. Every time GDP goes up the quality of life goes down and the oil and envronmental catastrophes get closer.

    It follows that the lower the GDP the better off we will be in the long run.

    I’m sure that’s too hard for most people, who have been subjected to the bansters’ and economists’ propaganda for decades and actually believe it.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      GDP doesn’t “simply record money flows” it records the total value of products and services produced in an economy.

      It follows that the lower the GDP the better off we will be in the long run.

      Yeah, no it doesn’t, unless your idea of being “better off in the long run” is forcing hundreds of thousands of people on to the breadline, causing the Government to default on its financial responsibilities (including paying its own public servants), and having such a withdraw of services from the community that it returns to every man and woman for themselves.

      AKA the Great Depression.

      • Robert Atack 14.1.1

        >forcing hundreds of thousands of people on to the breadline, causing the Government to default on its financial responsibilities (including paying its own public servants), and having such a withdraw of services from the community that it returns to every man and woman for themselves.<
        Yes … that is a great description of what it is going to be like after the oil tankers do not deliver the energy all the above is dependent on.

        captcha – disadvantage, IE where you place yourself if you believe the rebuild/BAU crap all politicians spout.

        • Afewknowthetruth 14.1.1.1

          Yes Robert. Most people do not recognise that we are in ‘The Long Emergency’ now and are headed straight into the Second Great Depression, with financial collapse and massive unemployment AS A DIRECT CONSEQUENCE of business as usual policies, even if the oil tankers continue to arrive.

          And if the oil tankers stop coming it will all be over in a month.

      • Afewknowthetruth 14.1.2

        ‘ it records the total value of products and services produced in an economy’

        It is a physical impossibility to ‘produce\’ services. Services are a form of consumption of energy – the energy in food and oil. And since most of the energy in food is delivered courtesy of oil, even someone delivering letters on a bicycle is still using up oil.

        Most of the NZ economy is consumption, not production. Only trees and grass (and the oceans) produce anything. And the way the system has been set up even the trees and grass are dependent on huge inputs of oil and fertiliser to produce.

        The way the system works, if someone crashes their car and gets its fixed, that is called productivity in the service sector. If the panel beater is twice as busy because twice as many cars get smashed that is twice as much productivity in the service sector.

        The entire system is screwed, I’m afraid. Has been from its inception. That’s why we are in such deep shit.

        As I said, the truth is too hard for most people.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.2.1

          Oh get over yourself.

          No one is voting for your peasant based agrarian future vision, from a practical standpoint nor from a standpoint of masochism.

          • Afewknowthetruth 14.1.2.1.1

            You are quite right. Nobody will vote for sanity, which is why collapse is inevitable.

  15. Kevyn Miller 15

    According to Treasury the earthquake is responsible for only $5bn of the $15bn reduction in forecast GDP growth but they are vague about th earthquake’s impact on tax revenue. However I would expect the earthquake’s impact on tax revenue to follow Treasury’s summary of the overall economic impact: “The earthquake will have a negative impact on economic activity in 2011, but a
    positive impact from 2012 as the rebuilding gets underway.”

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    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    3 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    4 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    4 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    5 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    1 week ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    1 week ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
    Supply Side How are we doing with CO2 emissions? It's an important question, increasingly posed to a mixed bag of CO2 contributors who may or may not provide accurate reportage. Liu et al present a new, additional means of measurement based on satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide co-emitted from ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Donald Trump’s strategic gamble
    There’s a meme going around the Internet at the moment claiming that Donald Trump is a bit of an idiot. To outside eyes it does seem as though the President of the United States thumbs his nose at his own countries laws and administration far too often to be taken ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Is the prostitute the seller or the sold?
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the third part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna Whitmore. Part 1 was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • The climate crisis is also a biodiversity crisis
    Dr Andrea Byrom Like many of us, the summer break has seen me transfixed with horror at the scale and magnitude of the bushfire crisis in Australia. As an ecologist, I can’t help but be appalled at the loss of some of Australia’s most beautiful ecosystems and landscapes. And ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Apathy in the face of disaster
    Warning: This article contains topics that might trigger right wing snowflakes!Unless you’ve had your head buried in a billabong for the last four months you’d of heard about the Australian bush fires. The fires have been unprecedented, with approximately five million hectares (12.35 million acres) of land burned nationwide. More ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Jeremy Clarkson – God is an arsonist
    You've really got to wonder if Jeremy Clarkson is worshiping the right deity? I mean thinking that Australia is somehow deserving of the calamity that has befallen it in the form of unprecedented bush fires is one thing, but claiming God intentionally likes to cause people and animals immeasurable pain ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour opposes leisure
    Finland's new Prime Minister has made headlines by pushing for a 4-day week. So what does new Zealand's "centre-left" government think? Nope. They'd rather people kept working themselves into misery and death:The Government does not plan to follow Finland's lead to encourage businesses to offer staff a four-day week. [...] ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    4 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    5 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    6 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    7 days ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • ‘No Body, No Parole’ Bill is pointless dog-whistling
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order National MP Tim Macindoe Member’s Bill, Concealment of Location of Victim Remains Bill does not do what he claims. The Bill specifies a requirement for the Parole Board to only “consider” denying parole if an offender refuses to disclose the location of the body. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
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    1 day ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
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    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
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    3 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
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    4 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
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    4 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
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    4 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
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    4 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
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    5 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
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    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
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    6 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
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    6 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
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    6 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
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    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
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    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
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    1 week ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
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    2 weeks ago