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Key hopping on Hobsonville

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 pm, February 13th, 2008 - 38 comments
Categories: housing, john key - Tags: ,

Just spotted this statement from Maryan Street up on Scoop which suggests at least one reason why Mr Key would like the issue of housing afforability to go away. Hobsonville is turning into an embarassment for him:

In June 2006 he said on National Radio:

So you’re talking about very expensive land. I mean, I would describe it as economic vandalism, frankly, to be doing what Housing New Zealand are proposing.

To Scoop in June 2006:

“Absolutely it’s economic vandalism, and for the reasons I pointed out.”

He has also said:

“National are committed to cancelling it, once we get back into Government.”

Yet this morning he told National Radio:

“But if you look at Government land, well, Hobsonville is in my electorate, they’ve identified that as a place where affordable housing could be built. I agree with them ‘

I know we should be getting used to Mr Key saying different things to different people at different times, but I guess I was expecting him to be lifting his game now he’s seriously trying to convince us he can make the step up.

38 comments on “Key hopping on Hobsonville”

  1. lemsip 1

    Can we please have the full quote Dancer

  2. Dancer 2

    to which quote? i’ve just got what was in the press release (as linked) but see no reason not to ask for them!

  3. The Double Standard 3

    Key goes on to discuss how long Hobsonville has been on the go, with little progress. You can get the whole thing here:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/mnr/housing_affordability

    Hobsonville? Somewhere near Taupo isn’t it?

    Anyway, good to see that Teh Standard is keeping up with the latest press releases from Teh Party. How about this apparent policy reversal?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0802/S00162.htm

  4. lemsip 4

    “I agree with them ‘ is not a complete sentence. I sense a big BUT such “I agree with them BUT I think involving the private sector in developing affordable housing is better than using government intervention via the Housing Corporation.”

  5. pete 5

    Have to agree with lemsip here, the partial quote is unfair to Key. Are you trying to be a mirror image of kiwiblog, or do you hold yourself to higher standards?

    I don’t think this is a flip-flop. He’s reframed his position from anti–HousingNZ-development to pro–private-development; same position, different spin. I think Key’s trying to hide the fact that his party would do less for housing affordability.

  6. The bigger story here is John Key’s plans to privatise the Hobsonville development, as stated on Three News tonight.

    Details here:

    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2008/02/nationals-answer-to-housing.html

  7. Chemist Peter 7

    Nearly all of the locals at Hobsonville are against ‘affordable’ housing there as it will just turn into a shithole ghetto. At a meeting on this issue in 2006 3-400 people turned up to hear JK, Chris Carter talk about this. I can still remember the laughter when Carter said ‘trust us’ when it came to who will be in the affordable houses. It is prime land, not cheap land. People in the area do not want the likes of the (Chris) Kahui’s live there was another statement. South Auckland is the place for affordable housing I am afraid. I know, this will be a contensious issue but that’s where the poor live. (As a generalisation). There are areas for poor, there are areas for rich, thats how it is. West Harbour/North Shore is a middle-upper class area. (Why do you think South Africans live in the North Shore)? I moved from Papakura to the North Shore as Papakura was turning into a suburb that could have developed well into a shithole from the time I was there, (1996-2003).

    BTW, slagging off JK is a real turn off. Clark is a big bat lier, ask her about the BNZ in 1990.

  8. The Double Standard 8

    Sadly, Teh Party’s affordable housing development isn’t affordable. I guess they will need to tip more taxpayer funds into it, so that ‘the poor’ can get in amongst the rich pricks.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4399688a6000.html

    IS: Is your traffic dropping or something?

  9. Whoa,

    Chemist Mate, that post is really asking for it!?

    While obvious rich-poor differentials may exist, it is in no one’s interest to over emphasise it on a political blog. Freeman’s Bay was once a poor man’s area. Now look at it. Maybe Hobsonville could become a rich/poor area. You know, things aren’t that cut and dried.

    I do agree though that suburbs do tend towards a certain socio-economic level, sometimes defined by school zones (esp. the US), sometimes by geography, and that it is not realistic to expect rich and poor on the same block. If Hobsonville is a ‘rich’ area, then the ‘poor’ who are first established there, will simply sell up to rich folk and leave.

  10. Chemist Peter 10

    Which is what has happened in Hobsonville. Even the old airforce houses are worth a lot as that area has gone up in value. Apparently Upper Harbour (Hobsonville, Greenhithe) property values 19% last year, making the building of State/low priced housing more rediculous. Point taken on Freemans Bay, also Kingsland, Ponsomby etc. But the market sorted that out. The Islanders saw the money and took off and brought cheaper houses in palm lined Otara. (This was also close to the heavy industrial employment).

  11. burt 11

    There are many areas in NZ where real estate prices are dominated by school zones. The school zoning system which is solely to make life easier for the Dept. of Ed. administrators has completely skewed the housing market.

    I guess it’s easier to restrict access to a popular school forcing people to use an unpopular school than it is to “fix” an unpopular school. God forbid we allow schools to pay for better teachers in undesirable schools – why would we do such a stupid thing like try and solve the problem when all we need to do is scratch a few lines on a map and send kids to schools that suit the administrators.

  12. r0b 12

    The school zoning system which is solely to make life easier for the Dept. of Ed. administrators

    Burt strikes again, with another masterful analysis. Actually Burt, it’s a wee bit more complicated than that.

    There was a piece in The Listener a while back that covered a range of issues around this topic.

    http://www.listener.co.nz/issue/3430/features/5446/school_wars.html

    Here’s an extract:

    Labour’s reintroduction of zoning, after it came to power in 1999, was designed to ensure that students had the opportunity to go to their local school. In 2000, then Education Minister Trevor Mallard told Parliament that nearly half the Maori parents who had tried to get their children into schools with enrolment schemes under the previous system were turned away compared to just 10% of Pakeha parents.

  13. burt 13

    rOb

    That’s a very selective quote you have used, as you have read the article you will know it’s not really representative of the picture.

    Primary school principals say that their students are being pushed into independent or integrated education at intermediate level because parents cannot afford to buy homes in the school zone of their choice, and other state secondary schools are not keeping up with the type of education on offer in the independent market.

    So how many of the “Maori” you quote above are able to afford to get their kids into the ‘affluent’ school zones?

    This next quote states an alarming statistic, also along racial lines like the one you provided.

    “At Auckland Grammar, for instance, there were a significant number of Maori and Pacific Island students, but now it’s gone right down [the number has dropped to 1.5% Maori and 2% Pacific Island from a high of 8% each, according to head John Morris]. That’s a sad thing. One student who had worked really hard to get into [Wellington College] and missed out on the ballot said all it had taught him was that life is just a lottery.

    Which way is delivering the best outcome?

    Independent Schools of New Zealand executive director Joy Quigley agrees the reintroduction of zoning has helped the growth of independent schools’ rolls. In the first two years of the new enrolment scheme, independent schools noticed a significant growth though this has dwindled slightly in successive years.

    Zoning sure helps the rich pricks eh?

    And, according to Wellington College principal Roger Moses, the ballot has only served to make it harder for the very target groups that the system was intended to help.

    Zoning has many consequences, intended and unintended.

  14. Pablo 14

    “South Auckland is the place for affordable housing I am afraid. I know, this will be a contensious issue but that’s where the poor live.”

    So you want to condemn “poor” people to live with other “poor” people, and give them no opportunity to experience better quality of life? You can fuck off if that’s your attitude, frankly. You have no right to determine where people live on thebasis of their lack of wealth than their skin colour and the market allows this discrimination to happen, it is up to the government to regulate it the market to achieve certain outcomes, as it does in other markets.

    Prior to the 1980s what you now think of as the “quality” areas of Auckland were slums. Parnell, Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Freeman’s Bay. (Why do you think the Harbour Bridge is where it is? If Freeman’s Bay had been a rich area then it would never have gone ahead). When they became desirable places for more wealthy people the Maori & Pacific Island populations were driven out, Maori out West and PI down South.

    Saying Driven out is going to raise some hackles, so as an example, property values go up as developers move in, rates go up, police harrassment, harrassment at the local schools (my wife went to Seddon/Western Springs College, which had a far worse rep than it does now) all number of subtle and not so subtle measures that gentrify an area.

  15. burt 15

    IMHO this is the money quote:

    The changing rolls of schools will almost certainly impact on real estate trends. Massey University property group professor Bob Hargreaves reports that buying in or out of high-profile zones such as Auckland’s Grammar zone can mean a six-figure price differential. “Two houses on exactly the same street one on one side in-zone and the other across the road out-of-zone could have a difference of $100,000 between them.’ Hargreaves says that buying in the sought-after areas and zones is not an option for most New Zealanders. “It’s symptomatic of society changes. Society is becoming more of an hour-glass shape there’s less in the middle and more at the top and at the bottom.’

    Which end of the hourglass are the target group we set out to help in?

  16. r0b 16

    Pay attention Burt. I didn’t defend school zoning. I linked to an article that I said discussed a range of issues. I was simply pointing out that your claim (repeated below) was totally fatuous.

    Burt: The school zoning system which is solely to make life easier for the Dept. of Ed. administrators

  17. Billy 17

    “You have no right to determine where people live on thebasis of their lack of wealth…”

    What an utterly remarkable thing to say. What next: stand up for the right to drive an Aston Martin?

  18. burt 18

    rOb

    Sorry about that, I’ll take that back.

    The school zoning system which, among other things, was to make life easier for the Dept. of Ed. administrators.

    However do we agree that Labour’s school zoning system has had a substantial impact on house prices. Inflating house prices around desirable schools. Desirable schools are usually desirable because of their good results and therefore zoning further restricts good education to affluent people?

  19. r0b 19

    However do we agree that Labour’s school zoning system has had a substantial impact on house prices. Inflating house prices around desirable schools.

    Agreed.

    Desirable schools are usually desirable because of their good results and therefore zoning further restricts good education to affluent people?

    There must certainly be an element of that effect. It has to be balanced with positive effects of zoning that increase access. As per The Listener article it’s a very complicated issue – it needs to be approached openly and rationally, not with shoot from the hip one-liners.

  20. burt 20

    rOb

    People renting out houses in good school zones have made a killing in rental income and capital gains sine 1999 🙂

  21. r0b 21

    People renting out houses in good school zones have made a killing in rental income and capital gains sine 1999

    Is that supposed to annoy me Burt? Fine, good for them. But I thought the issue was how best to provide equitable access to education.

  22. burt 22

    rOb

    Kent Parker thew the school zoning bone into the debate so I chewed on it. Sorry if my drooling has offended you.

    Equitable access to education is a fine topic, one I like to discuss. As we agree the zoning system has produced so quite significant unexpected consequences and possibly made access less equal in many areas the Labour party will surely have something about it in the election run up?

    The chaps here at the standard could post a thread about Labour’s policies and National’s policies for education and we could debate the relative merits of each. It would completely take over this thread if we continued the debate past housing affordabilty.

  23. r0b 23

    The chaps here at the standard could post a thread about Labour’s policies and National’s policies for education and we could debate the relative merits of each.

    Well Burt, here at least we are in complete agreement. I do hope The Standard and many other media outlets and blogs can post full and detailed policy positions from Labour and National (and other parties). We voters need to know what we are voting for.

    Of course, that would require National to release full and detailed policy. Which is difficult for them, because their policies are anathema to most Kiwis.

    Why don’t you get on to Kiwiblog, write letters to the editor, email National MPs, and demand that they release policy, so that we can have the kind of important discussion that you describe?

  24. The Double Standard 24

    Rob – when is the election going to be? And by what law do the Nats have to conform to your imaginary timetable?

    No doubt H1 will be announcing the election date so that the other parties have plenty of time to promote their policies.

  25. r0b 25

    Rob – when is the election going to be?

    I think from memory the latest legal date is by November 15th, but don’t quote me.

    And by what law do the Nats have to conform to your imaginary timetable?

    I don’t have an imaginary timetable TDS. It was young Burt who was hoping that we could discuss National’s education policy. So there’s no law at all. National are quite free to head into the next election counting on John Key’s pretty face, and without releasing policy at all. In fact, that’s rather what I expect them to do.

  26. burt 26

    Yes I would like to discuss National’s education policy, especially against an open and honest back drop of the current system Labour have delivered us over the last 9 years.

  27. burt 27

    Oh, Labour’s plans to address the unintended consequences would also be nice to consider in the mix. Any idea where I can find these rOb?

  28. Dancer 28

    Finally fully transcribed the section and it reads:

    Key: But if you look at Government land well Hobsonville is in my electorate, they’ve identified that as a place where affordable housing could be built. I agree with them but I’ve been the member of Parliament there for six years. I think it was underway for three years before that. It’s still got no infrastructure in the form of roading or sewerage. It’s years away from that.

    and i see there’s a section in Maryan Street’s statement that reponds to that assertion:

    Street: “Earthworks to develop that infrastructure are set to begin later this year, subject to consents being approved. Houses in the first precinct are set to be built and on the market by the end of next year.” http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0802/S00182.htm

    I should also like to highlight this section from Duncan Garner’s piece on TV3 (posted above) where Garner says:

    “So Key’s position on Hobsonville is at its best much weaker than a year ago and at its worst, Labour can rightly argue that he’s flip-flopped. He once said he’d cancel the
    development, now he says he’ll keep it going, but under the eyes of the private sector. That’s gold for Helen Clark, she will exploit that, the mere mention of privatisation usually backfires for National. (TV3 News, 13 Feb 2008).

    All confirms for me that Key and National would really like Hobsonville to drop off the political radar!

  29. burt 29

    Dancer

    Should Hobsonville be on the political radar, it’s an example of how fricken hard it is to make progress against any goal, from any level, when the RMA is involved.

    Why the “F” is it taking so long and what’s the deal when the affordable houses won’t be affordable? Whats going on?

  30. r0b 30

    Any idea where I can find these rOb?

    Certainly Burt, if such policy appears I imagine it will appear on an updated version of this page:

    http://text.labour.org.nz/policy/education/2005policy/Pol05-570681v/index.html

    You might want to compare and contrast that page with the National equivalent:

    http://www.national.org.nz/PolicyAreas.aspx?S=6

  31. burt 32

    rOb

    One of them is gonna take some time to read! Cheers.

    PS: Any idea where the missing chapter ’13’ is for the outcomes of equality of access to public education?

  32. burt 33

    rOb

    In the Labour party one, under achievements.

    The new Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning (AsTTLe) are helping to give teachers more information about the learning needs of pupils, and therefore making teaching more effective.

    There is no mention of the fact that the new supa dupa tool (AsTTLe) is optional and many schools don’t use it.

    It goes on under ‘training and learning outcomes’

    Initiatives like the Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning (AsTTle) programme, that provides teachers with more information about the learning needs of their students at primary school level, are also bearing fruit and have recently been expanded to cover years 9 and 10.

    Still no mention of it being optionally expanded. IE: If schools want to take it on.

    Now things get a little tricky, under ‘Rigorous Standards – During our next term in government, Labour will’ we see.

    Encourage more assessment in the early years on problem solving and teamwork, in addition to assessment of literacy and numeracy.

    So is literacy and numeracy testing going to become mandatory?

    National make it pretty clear on their site.

    Introduce literacy and numeracy standards.
    Improving basic literacy and numeracy standards should be a national mission. Every illiterate school leaver is an indictment on our education system. National will set national standards in numeracy and literacy, so that no child arrives at high school unable to read and write, or unable to understand basic arithmetical functions. We will also make schools accountable for ensuring pupils reach those standards.

    Brevity can be fine thing!

  33. r0b 34

    Sorry Burt, I’m not on the policy committee, so I don’t know the status of the most recent education remits. However, I happy to be a member of a party that develops and discusses policy openly at regional and annual conferences. Unlike National, which gave up such trivia long ago. How does the National Party develop its policy Burt? By auction :-)?

  34. Historian 35

    Audrey Young in the Herald on Key’s latest flip-flop:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10492460

  35. Dancer 36

    thanks historian. i liked this bit:
    “He used to sound like a rich man holding his nose at the thought of the poor getting too close to the rich. He hasn’t dropped his opposition to having state houses in the mix (up to 15 per cent) but now he is very positive about the moves to offer “affordable housing” (up to another 15 per cent) in the project and is complaining that it is taking so long.”

  36. Chemist Peter 37

    Pablo

    I am sure if you did a survey Sth Auck is the poorest area, it’s a fact.

    I don’t want to condem poor to live with poor but how the fuck could they afford to live in my suburb, Upper Harbour where house prices are $500K plus? I can have any attitude I like, it’s not up to you to tell me. You say I have no right to tell people where to live but this fuckarse govt. we have says they have.
    Do I have the right to experience a better quality of life like Bill Gates when I earn $75K PA when he earns that in an hour? No, it is not about rights, but maybe desire. Who is paying for this better quality of life, why it’s me and my taxes. Hence I can have the attitude I have.

    And lastly Pablo, you are the one who should fuck off, back to Mexico my boy.

  37. toms 38

    One of the easiest ways of dealing with school zoning affecting house prices is to a) abolish all private schools and b) insist all schools strive to achieve an average decile rating of 5. even that means bussing in poor kids to rich schools and vice versa.

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    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • 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
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