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Key’s economic bravado now reduced to whining

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, October 21st, 2010 - 24 comments
Categories: bill english, economy, jobs, john key, labour, monetary policy, national - Tags: , ,

In three short years John Key and National have gone from economic bravado, to failure, to lies, excuses and whining. The Nats are desperately trying to spin excuses for their failure. How did we get here? Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.

The recession and Labour’s legacy

In 2008 the world was slipping into what was obviously going to be a very difficult recession. Economic projections were dire, but 9 years of prudent management of the economy by Cullen and Labour had left New Zealand well placed. Treasury said so at the time in their briefing to the incoming government:

A stable macroeconomic environment gives investors confidence in the New Zealand economy as a place to invest. It gives New Zealand businesses a degree of certainty for making business decisions. Successive governments have done a good job of getting the New Zealand economy in a position where it can respond well to economic shocks. Low levels of public debt allow freedom to look through short-term cyclical fluctuations and there is room to adjust monetary policy to support demand.

Bill English said so too, on Dec 18 2008:

“I want to stress that New Zealand starts from a reasonable position in dealing with the uncertainty of our economic outlook.” “In New Zealand we have room to respond. This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for,” he told reporters at the Treasury briefing on the state of the economy and forecasts.

Bill is still saying the same, in May 2010. The IMF agreed, and according to Reserve bank Governor Dr Allan Bollard in 2008: “We have enjoyed a decade of growth, the longest period of economic growth since the post-World War 2 era.” More details here.

In short, the coming problems were clear, the economic projections were dire, but New Zealand was well placed to respond. This was the context in which the 2008 election was fought, and in which the new National government took office. So – what were they saying about the economy?

National’s economic bravado: Before the election

Before the election John Key was in no doubt at all about the nature or extent of the economic crisis. He said:

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is no ordinary election campaign. Because this election comes at a time when the global economy is in turmoil and at a time when we are all concerned about what the future may contain. … Earlier this week … I released National’s economic management plan. It’s a plan to bring discipline to government spending, to reduce red tape, to reduce personal taxes, to boost infrastructure investment, and to raise education standards. It’s a recovery plan to ensure our country and our families get through these tough times.

Key and National were chock full of economic bravado. Of their tax cut bribe Bill English promised:

“National has structured its credible economic package to take account of the changing international climate. Our tax cut programme will not require any additional borrowing.” A few days later, Mr Key launched “a tax package for our times” that is “appropriate for the current conditions”. He said it would require “no additional borrowing, or cuts to frontline services to fund it. …

On December 16, Mr English was up in the House confirming “National will not be going back on any of those promises, as we fully costed and funded them”.

Tax cuts were, of course, the centrepiece of National’s five point recovery plan:

Only National can provide a government that is focused on the big economic challenges our country is facing. Only National has a serious, considered plan for delivering financial security to New Zealanders. …

Our economic plan focuses on the long-term needs of New Zealand. It isn’t a short-term set of band-aid solutions. It is a considered plan to get New Zealand through this downturn, put the economy back on its feet and raise incomes. Because in good times and in bad, National will be resolutely focused on strengthening our economy and delivering better wages and living conditions to New Zealanders. We won’t just care about those things in election year.

In short, John Key told us that he was fully aware of the state of the economy and the extent of the global problems, and he promised us that National had a recovery plan to get us through. Key promised to deliver a strong economy and good wages.

National’s economic bravado: After the election

Key’s vacuously “sunny” optimism continued after the election. In 2009:

“…we’re starting to come out of the recession which is good news,” Key said. … “The government has a comprehensive plan, not just for managing through the current recession but also for improving the fundamentals of the New Zealand economy,” he said. “The six policy drivers I have outlined will help to create an environment that allows businesses to thrive.”

Key infamously predicted that New Zealand would come “reasonably aggressively” out of recession. As recently as July this year he was saying:

I also want to pay a special acknowledgement to my friend and deputy, Bill English. What a great job he is doing as Finance Minister. He’s delivered two Budgets that have steered New Zealand out of recession and put the economy firmly back on track to grow and create jobs.

So much for the promises and rhetoric. How did it all turn out in reality?

It all turns to custard

I’ll spare you another big mess of quotes. We’ve all seen the news.

August 2010: Unemployment rate jumps.
August 2010: Tasman wage gap $40 a week wider
September 2010: Kiwi dollar tumbles on weak GDP.
October 2010: Economy ‘fragile’ – Reserve Bank gov.
October 2010: Economy contracted last quarter, says NZIER.

And so on and so on. It doesn’t sit very well with all of National’s bravado does it?

And now the whining starts

National have been caught out badly. They promised that they understood the problem and had a recovery plan. The reality is that they did nothing (except cut taxes, which is somehow supposed to fix everything by magic). The reality is that National have failed badly, and it is becoming more and more obvious. So how do they respond?

(A) Tell lies!

The Nats are spinning all sorts of nonsense about the economy. Fellow Standardista Marty G has been taking these lies apart for weeks (e.g. here, here, here, here). The Nats are claiming that average wages are increasing! Keith Ng takes that lie apart (well yes, because so many low wage people have lost their jobs). The Nats are claiming that the current low inflation is an economic victory! Gordon Campbell demolishes that one (there’s a lot of desperate sale pricing of luxuries but the essentials are still rising). And so on.

(B) Whine and blame Labour!

Perhaps sensing that the lies are too transparent to last, Key has fallen back quickly to Plan B — whine and blame Labour:

“Tens of thousand of Kiwis are finding they just can’t pay their bills,” says Labour leader Phil Goff. Mr Key says that’s not his Government’s fault – he blames Labour. “It’s a lagging indicator, and these people are having to deal with the mess Labour left the country in,” he says.

People can’t pay their bills and that’s a “lagging indicator”? Hello! Out of touch much? Let’s go full circle back to the start of this post — Labour left the economy well placed heading in to this recession (even Bill English said so). Key campaigned on a recovery plan, and said that only National could fix the problems. Key claimed that two National budgets “have steered New Zealand out of recession and put the economy firmly back on track to grow and create jobs”. And now when all the bravado is revealed as bullshit he wants to blame Labour? Yeah good luck with that.

Time to learn the lessons John

John Key, you need to face up to some basic lessons:

(1) Your “tax cuts will solve everything” sham of a “plan” for the economy is a failure. Labour left you well placed to respond to the crisis, and you’ve blown it. As early as June 2009 we were out of recession, but because of your do-nothing “plan”, two budgets later, we are slipping back in.

(2) What is happening in New Zealand is only a microcosm of what is happening internationally. Neo-liberal economics has failed. It died in the heat of the global financial crisis of 2008, and only trillions of dollars worth of “socialist” tax payer bailouts have animated the corpse since then. Even that half life is likely to end soon on the twin pyres of sovereign debt and American foreclosure fraud.

Conclusion

This is a time for fresh thinking, both globally and locally.

Some people get it. People like Bernard Hickey, who has renounced neo-liberal economic orthodoxy. Some organisations get it. Organisations like the Labour Party, who used their recent conference to break the economic mould and promise fresh new thinking.

On the other hand, some don’t get it at all. John Key doesn’t get it. The National Party doesn’t get it. As long as they are in power they will have nothing to offer economically except tax cuts for the rich. As the economy languishes they will have nothing to offer except more lies and pathetic attempts to blame Labour. If the economy does stagger back to health it will be despite National not because of them.

Trace National’s path from economic bravado, to failure, to whining. Consider the alternatives. A reinvigorated and open-minded Labour, or a closed-minded National clinging to failed policies and excuses. That’s the choice facing New Zealand at the next election.

24 comments on “Key’s economic bravado now reduced to whining”

  1. lprent 1

    Great post. It is exactly how I feel about these clowns. They’re full of bullshit, able to piss around the margins with idiot legislation, but totally ineffective at the basic roles of government, and increasingly incoherent as Ministers go off doing their own thing.

    Right now they’re starting to seriously annoy me with the PR lying – with blatant misuse of bogus numbers out of context.

    But I guess that National is getting worried. Those poll trends are Not good for them, and neither is the feeling I am getting when talking to people. Quite different to last year

  2. burt 2

    Good post rOb, you just forgot to mention that NZ was already in recession prior to the global economic crisis.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Ooh again. Care to comment yet on the actions of the fed reserve in 07 and 08, particularly in comparison to our RB, and how this relates to your oft repeated bullshit?

    • Marty G 2.2

      burt. NZ entered recession in the same quarter as the US, Ireland, Norway, Sweden etc and one quarter prior to the rest of the world.

      We entered recession the quarter after the oil price spike and the sub-prime crisis took off.

      It’s OK to be ignorant of these facts the first time. Now it just looks like you can’t read.

    • Marty G 2.3

      and, guess what, the recession started three years ago.

      Key is the PM now. It’s his job to sort things. Instead he’s whining.

      • Jim MacDonald 2.3.1

        Key, Double Dipton and the other Cabinet Dipsticks

        – they have wasted opportunities that would have put NZ in a better position

        – they have stuffed up priorities that would have helped NZ cope with the recession

      • burt 2.3.2

        and, guess what, the recession started three years ago.

        I agree, late 2007 – So we were in recession before the global crisis, actually before the sub-prime debacle….

        As rOb said;

        In 2008 the world was slipping into what was obviously going to be a very difficult recession.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.4

      yes that was part of the Reserve Banks deliberate policy to give a slow landing along ( remember they were ratcheting up interest rates) with the loss of production due to the drought

    • bbfloyd 2.5

      burt.. are you taking the piss? or are you really that stupid? read the post again moron, and this time, have a break between paragraphs.. you just might find the bits that deal with the recession in 2008 specifically… if you havn’t got it after a few hours of patient reading, then i suggest you stick to your knitting. that, at least shouldn’t tax your tiny little mind too badly… what a complete plonker you are….

    • Fisiani 2.6

      There is a common misguided theme on this blog of how awful National have been.
      A good analogy would be if a rugby team passed the ball across the pitch from player to player. No forward progress just transferring the ball sideways. Finally it gets tossed to the player in the Blue shirt a microsecond before he is hit by 3 huge forwards. it’s called a hospital pass.
      How dare he fumble the ball. The rest of the team did not. He must be awful. They call him nasty names. (unemployment up, deficit up, loser)
      Despite this he has shrugged off the opposition and made more progress in the last two minutes than the reds on his side did in nine minutes.

      • lprent 2.6.1

        It looks more like progress backwards than forwards to me…

      • Draco T Bastard 2.6.2

        Wow, a delusional RWNJ propounding more delusion to justify the way his preferred government fails at, well, governing.

        I’ll spell it out for you Fisiani, NACT have fiddled while the economy burned and now that it’s in ashes they’re blaming Labour even though Labour left the books in better shape than at pretty much any time in the last 30 odd years.

        Now, Labour made some mistakes, the biggest is in supporting capitalism, one of the other one was supporting the delusional neo-liberal paradigm that has, once again, proven that it doesn’t work. NACT are, of course, still pushing this paradigm because it’s made them rich – at everybody else’s expense. Of course, being a bunch of psychopaths they’re not concerned about the damage that they’ve done to everybody else with their greed. In fact, their out there right now blaming the victims.

  3. Carol 3

    An already the MSM, and NACT supporters are whining (in a Stuff article & on the Standard & Red Alert comments) about the actors’ unions being responsible for (predicted) loss of filming the Hobbit in NZ. But, Gordon Campbell shows that it is NACT’s and Brownlee’s fault for not making the financial incentives to film in NZ competitive enough:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1010/S00119/gordon-campbell-on-the-hobbit-countdown-to-d-day.htm

    Wednesday, 20 October 2010, 9:26 am
    Column: Gordon Campbell

    At his post Cabinet press conference last week, Prime Minister John Key was asked (by me) whether the government-convened talks to keep The Hobbit in this country had included the possibility of raising the level of film production subsidies available in New Zealand. “No,” Key replied, “that hasn’t been on the agenda.” Interesting. Offhand, I can’t recall any other negotiations where this country has had so much at stake, and where we have seemed quite so complacent about going into them at a trade disadvantage.

    After all, it isn’t as Minister of Economic Development Gerry Brownlee isn’t aware of the benefits or major film productions to New Zealand – both now, when we’re offering a 15% rebate on the local spend by foreign film companies or later, if we chose to raise our bid slightly. Last year, Brownlee reportedly put the case for production subsidies this way – “Can anyone tell me what’s wrong when we put up 15% and they give us 85%?” Right. Yet surely, the same logic applies if the ratio is 20% to 80% – or even if we raised our subsidy level to the 25% that some parts of Eastern Europe are now offering, and settled for a 75% share of the bounty? That still sounds like a good deal to me. Why isn’t Spada – not to mention Sir Peter Jackson – putting on the table at least the possibility of the government sweetening our bid? After all, back in January, Spada’s Penelope Borland was saying publicly that “in fact New Zealand now has one of the more modest rebate schemes for international productions.” Exactly. So why is Spada (and everyone else) now choosing to ignore that reality?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      I read that and laughed.

      One of the major selling points of the neo-liberal delusion was that you didn’t need subsidies as the “market” would fix it all automatically and make everything cheaper due to “competition” and yet every major undertaking in NZ, and around the world, still has massive government subsidy. Privatisation is failing, as it always has, to step up to the challenge of actually improving society. All it (privatisation) does is ask that the people take pay cuts, lower working conditions and also pay for the capitalists to become even richer and then blame them for being poor.

      We need to get rid of capitalism, and its irrational market as it is, quite literally, killing us.

  4. ZeeBop 4

    Brownless says employment legislation not flexible enough to allow actors to negotiate
    a better deal over the Hobbit movie and so we are going to lose it offshore because of
    existing laws. Actors will still be employed but not here in NZ. But its a timely
    reminder than unionism can mean loss of jobs, and the current government will crow
    if it happens. But actors are global workers and can move, or take jobs from those
    who do move to the new Hobbit stage in ?E.Europe?

    Government obvious hates the man in the street, as students are now finding, students
    can’t be trusted to vote out complusory student fees. How stupid is our government,
    without the political hustlings put on by unions we don’t get to track the political
    agitators of the future, whether they be gormless rightwing or leftwing ones.
    Student unions provide opportunities to the future radio shock jocks, future
    accountants doing the union books, future politicians, even allow state security
    services a means to discover the new threats or potential staff of the future.
    What is government thinking? forcing a new wave, generation, of political
    activists out of the limelight of student politics to the back alleys of the internet?

    Cut, cut, cut. The voters are rightly targetted by National for voting for neo-liberal
    stupid policies over the years, and well National are going to keep on offering neo-liberal solutions.
    Its like National are forcing voters to prove their faith in the economics of stupid
    by taking the cuts without a fight.

  5. Carol 5

    And when NACT is not whining, it’s cutting back on democratic rights, because it knows most of the less well off don’t usually vote for NACT:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/voting-rights-bill-slammed-3845371

    A bill that will ban all prisoners from voting has been slammed as undemocratic by the Maori Party.

    Currently only prisoners serving terms longer than three years are forbidden from voting – the Electoral Disqualification Bill extends that to all prisoners. The second reading of the bill passed through Parliament 63 votes to 55 last night.

    Labour voted against it, and the Greens said that this bill breaches UN Covenants on human rights.

    So, is NAC’s grand plan to blame everyone else, and meanwhile ensure opposition is diminished by incacerating more and more people, and disenfranchising them?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      NACTs plan is always to blame someone else for their failures. They have no sense of responsibility or a conscience.

  6. WOW… i just had some fatcat mofo buy me a new fridge stocked full of food and paid for by his taxcut.

    he said it was all part of the trickle down generosity for the poor and needy credo he’s decided to live by and that next week he’s going to stimulate the retail sector and develop his social conscience even more by consuming us a new lounge suite.

    …and then i woke up on my shitty couch, hungry as a muthafucka wondering how to meet the rent increase and pay the next hiked power bill.

  7. BLiP 7

    You overlook the fact that Natonal Ltd™ has been particularly successful with its real agenda of making the rich richer and the poor poorer. From that point of view, John Key has truly been a maestro.

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  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    7 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks 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
    19 hours 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
    21 hours 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 day 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
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago