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Key’s leadership questioned again

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, October 2nd, 2008 - 26 comments
Categories: articles, john key - Tags:

When a commentator like Jenni McManus raises questions over Key’s leadership ability in troubled global economic times you know National should be getting worried. In today’s Independent Financial Review she writes:

Just as the United States House of Representatives this week rightly refused give a US$700 billion (NZ$1.04 trillion) blank cheque to Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson, Kiwi voters should think twice about handing power to John Key….

Much has been written about Key’s failure to release policy detail — or even policy frameworks — in critical areas and his lack of a coherent economic vision to lead the country through the next three years.

Five weeks out from the election is simply too late for voters to absorb complex policy platforms. Is this actually what National wants?

Where, for example, are the detailed and decisive policies to combat the recession? Where was National’s strategy midway through last year when the US sub-prime market began to unravel? Where were Key and Bill English when the Kiwi property market tanked in March? How would they have handled the economy as increasingly desperate householders struggled with sudden increases in petrol, food and mortgage interest rates?

The simple answer is we don’t know. And the electorate needs to know these things before people can cast an informed vote…

Key might try to convince people that his five slogans are a plan, but voters are looking for more than rhetoric when deciding how to use their vote.

It’s time John Key delivered his main policy planks
The Independent Financial Review, 2 October 2008
By Jenni McManus

Just as the United States House of Representatives this week rightly refused give a US$700 billion (NZ$1.04 trillion) blank cheque to Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson, Kiwi voters should think twice about handing power to John Key.

Congress reacted with what commentators have termed “visceral discomfort” at the thought of giving Paulson, himself a product of Wall Street, carte blanche to save the butts of his mates, all on the taxpayers’ bill.

There was an information vacuum bordering on arrogance about the bailout itself, said the scheme’s critics. There had been insufficient grovelling from Paulson and Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. Taxpayers should get more than “just the avoidance of the apocalypse” for their dollars.

Such was the level of anger in some quarters that one Washington research economist, noting the Bush administration had allowed the crisis to happen in the first place, said: “It’s almost amazing that they can do this with a straight face. Paulson has been totally wrong about almost everything.”

Some viewed it as the banks effectively recapitalising at the expense of the taxpayer; others described it as a reward for failure. Best comment of the week came from The New York Times’ veteran columnist Maureen Dowd: “Who would have dreamed that when socialism came to the USA it would be brought not by Bolsheviks in blue jeans but by Wall Street bankers in Gucci loafers?”

How does all this relate to John Key?

A lack of leadership at the top echelons of government and an arrogant refusal to be accountable to voters.

Like George W Bush, who took 10 days to front up to the American people with some guidance on the proposed bailout, Key — five weeks from our election — has yet to tell voters what he believes about anything and what he might do if handed the Treasury benches on November 8.

Like Paulson, he wants to be handed a blank cheque. Clearly, he expects voters to elect him with no real notion of his plans. He wants to skid into government with as few policy commitments as possible. And voters might be stupid enough — or so despairing of what the business community views as nine years of weak economic management and “crackpot social issues” (Independent, August 14, 2008) — to let him get away with it.

Much has been written about Key’s failure to release policy detail — or even policy frameworks — in critical areas and his lack of a coherent economic vision to lead the country through the next three years.

Five weeks out from the election is simply too late for voters to absorb complex policy platforms. Is this actually what National wants?

Where, for example, are the detailed and decisive policies to combat the recession? Where was National’s strategy midway through last year when the US sub-prime market began to unravel? Where were Key and Bill English when the Kiwi property market tanked in March? How would they have handled the economy as increasingly desperate householders struggled with sudden increases in petrol, food and mortgage interest rates?

The simple answer is we don’t know. And the electorate needs to know these things before people can cast an informed vote.

Like the Senate Banking Committee, which heard the initial arguments on the US bailout plan, New Zealanders are being offered a pig in a poke.

For the past year, Key and English have been dodging anything that smells like policy commitment, telling private business dinners in Auckland and in Wellington that many of these matters will be decided when they get elected — or words to that effect.

Not only do we have no detailed policy in key areas such as the economy, health, education and the environment, but National has failed so far to spell out its plans for the Resource Management Act (a contentious issue for business), the Employment Relations Act (another key bone of contention), infrastructure development (becoming urgent as two power companies increase their prices this week), a new regulatory regime, dealing with crime and the long- promised referendum on MMP.

Nor will the party disclose what it will do about relatively straightforward matters such as the future of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and, more contentiously, whether it will repeal the SFO Act, thus allowing fraud suspects the right to silence when interrogated by the SFO.

Unemployment will be another big issue. Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of the Auckland Employers and Manufacturers Association, says 25% of the work being done by his organisation is helping employers who want to downsize.

These are not big companies; the layoffs are coming from small-to- medium sized businesses. So far the redundancies have been done quietly but the total is expected to be evident in the next quarter’s employment figures.

As a Washington commentator noted this week when discussing the proposed US bailout: “One might thank God that the cavalry is coming but what exactly is the cavalry going to do?” Ditto New Zealand. Five weeks from the election only one thing is certain. As always, we will get the government we deserve

26 comments on “Key’s leadership questioned again”

  1. randal 1

    hey hey hey. calm down. not all is lost. not yet anyway. allthough sooner or later the whole thing will go into meltdown. dont forget the part we as consumers played in demanding goods and services! this is the way we run our system and its add hoc with no gurantees. John Key does not have the skills necessary nor the team to run this government properly. Nor does he have a coherent vision.That means that though he can cheespare and chisel he cannot yet create. bummer. He is not going to get the chance to learn on the job either. Tough titty jk. The country requires a steady hand at the moment.

  2. lukas 2

    Readers digest version anyone?

  3. Felix 3

    lukas are you saying you want someone else to read it and explain it to you?

    Fuck it then, just vote National, eh?

  4. Matthew Pilott 4

    C’mon Felix, it’s not that hard!

    Here: “National have not once demonstrated that they could manage the economy better than Labour, so you’re an idiot if you vote for them.”

  5. vto 5

    Am I missing something? Haven’t seen anything concrete from Cullen or Clark over this meltdown either.

    But either way no politician will really have a lot of sway except to keep the social welfare coffers topped up as it seems they are about to be drawn on.

  6. Matthew Pilott 6

    vto, Cullen is managing it, right now. National haven’t said what they would do, whether they’d do anything different, or done anything to give the slightest indication they could be trusted to continue to manage the economy.

    So what you’re missing, common on the right these days, is that there is a difference between Government and the Opposition!

  7. Dancer,
    Did you find this article online and if so any chance of posting the link here.

  8. vto 8

    Well obviously that’s the case there MP. How any person would manage such an event in the event they become PM etc I don’t believe can really be understood until they are in fact in that position. Within reason. What I have seen from Key so far imo points to an ability to handle such an event.

    So what has Cullen done to manage it? Curious.

  9. randal 9

    vto…you never had it so good so just stop the whingeing will ya. If you dont like it here then go to Australia.

  10. vto 10

    sheesh its hard on here when you’re a so-called rightie. it’s enough to make me go and have a cry. randal i don’t think i actually complained about anything. other than certain politicians. which is what the site is about. what you getting at ya sausage?

  11. DeeDub 11

    Of course National are relying on the ignorance of the electorate to a large degree. They know full-well that if they spell out what they intend to actually do if elected, the wavering middle-classes will desert them in droves.

    If they’re elected (God forbid!) I’m sure we’ll just see more of the same old, failed Friedmanite ideas dressed up in new clothes.

    Everything else from the eighties is back in vogue….. so let’s have ‘retro’ economic policy to go with our jump suited synth-pop.

  12. r0b 12

    So what has Cullen done to manage it? Curious.

    I’m not an economist re what is happening now, but a large part of it has been a matter of good preparation – being cautious and prudent over 9 years, building the fundamentals, getting debt down.

    Now that the chickens are coming home to roost NZ is well placed to weather the international financial crisis. See for example this Treasury summary:

    Economy well placed to meet challenges in 2008
    The New Zealand economy is well placed to meet challenges in 2008 but uncertainty and market volatility is likely to persist in the short term. In addition, the current high inflation environment further complicates the outlook for 2008. However, the sound fiscal position; the prospect of tax cuts; and the ability of the Reserve Bank to move quickly on interest rates, if growth and inflation drop more quickly than expected, mean that the New Zealand economy is well placed to meet potential challenges over the next year.

    Or how about Reserve Bank Governor Allan Bollard in January this year:

    New Zealand had responded positively to significant global shocks in the past few years, and there was no sign of those shocks abating, Dr Bollard said.

    “We have enjoyed a decade of growth, the longest period of economic growth since the post-World War 2 era. Inflation has been low, averaging 2.2 per cent since 1998. …

    “We have been able to absorb recent shocks reasonably well because of the improvements in our economic institutions and policymaking frameworks, avoiding the boom-bust cycles of the 1970s.”

    Though it is very early days even new policies like KiwiSaver are starting to show their potential in this respect:

    According to funds industry performance analyst FundSource, net outflows for the quarter of $48.6 million would have been much uglier without KiwiSaver inflows of $353 million. … Mr Atkins said the high voluntary uptake suggested a big proportion of the funds would be invested in growth assets. “This will provide a boost to the financial services industry, with greater funds under management also potentially boosting local equity markets.”

    Labour led governments have been good managers of the economy – thanks Dr Cullen!.

  13. vto 13

    ha ha well done r0b. I will concede that Cullen’s particular management has been ultra-conservative and that that is always good when bad times roll around. However there are other management styles which would have no doubt been equally as effective while contributing more than Cullen has done in other areas of the economy. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

    Big topic, but I have to depart. The whitebait are calling. Later

  14. vto 14

    r0b, I actually meant what is he doing right now when the storm is intensifying? Not what has he done over the last few years. Right now. We are all aware of what the US govt is having to do at the moment. What is he doing? right now? with banks and bollard and etc etc??? I am actually curious, but gotta fly.

  15. r0b 15

    r0b, I actually meant what is he doing right now when the storm is intensifying?

    Again, I’m not an economist up on details. But I can tell you one thing he’s doing. The same cautious prudent fundamentals. Like say not promising huge electoral tax cut bribes that have to be paid for by borrowing at the worst possible time of international crisis. No one in their right minds would do something that stupid, right? – Oh, but – wait…

  16. Matthew Pilott 16

    vto, r0b has provided far better examples than I could, but when you’re back I’d be interested to know why you think Key (or English) could do as good or a better job, and why they’ve chosen to share exactly none of those thoughts with us.

    For example: try and give me one example from the last few months where either of those two have said: NZ is in a bad way because of ‘X’. ‘X’ is because of/exacerbated by Labour’s policy/action ‘Y’. If we’d done ‘Z’ we’d be better off.

    We’re talking about the economy, but in my mind you could do the exact same for anything and still come up dry.

    Here’s my best attempt: people are dying in hospitals. this is because Labour has spent too much on bureaucrats. We’d get rid of the bureaucrats and have more doctors.

    Now that, to me, is incredibly weak – it proves nothing. In my mind, get rid of the bureaucrats, and the doctors will have to do their work, and spend less time seeing patients. Hence I think National sucks.

  17. randal 17

    vto if you are that curious then go to his web site…stop whingeing on blogs. then you can come back and tell us all with your newfound wisdom and information.

  18. Pascal's bookie 18

    Is there any way of doing back of the envelope calculations on what the government’s books might look like if Brash had been PM for the last three years?

    There’d be no kiwisaver, and we’d have had bigger tax cuts, which in all likelihood most of us would have spent on crap. I’m guessing inflation be be chugging on a little bit higher.

  19. Bill 19

    Farrar and co are desperately trying to spin the U.S. meltdown as the result of leftist pressure for affordable housing. They are very aware how damaging the crisis is to their Merrill Lynch poster boy.
    Here is how the argument goes:

    “the vast accumulation of toxic mortgage debt that poisoned the global financial system was driven by the aggressive buying of subprime and Alt-A mortgages, and mortgage-backed securities, by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.’

    “It is important to understand that, as GSEs, Fannie and Freddie were viewed in the capital markets as government-backed buyers’

    ‘ In order to curry congressional support after their accounting scandals in 2003 and 2004, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac committed to increased financing of “affordable housing.’ They became the largest buyers of subprime and Alt-A mortgages between 2004 and 2007, with total GSE exposure eventually exceeding $1 trillion. In doing so, they stimulated the growth of the subpar mortgage market and substantially magnified the costs of its collapse.’

    “By late 2004, Fannie and Freddie very much wanted subprime and Alt-A loans. Their accounting had just been revealed as fraudulent, and they were under pressure from Congress to demonstrate that they deserved their considerable privileges.’
    http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.28664,filter.all/pub_detail.asp

    …..and the rebuttal:

    First the time line. The market for SIVs had been on the boil long before Fannie Mae entered it in “late 2004″. It had nearly doubled in 2003.

    Second, Fannie and Freddie were not “viewed in the capital markets as government-backed buyers’ as these citations from Deutsche Bank and Wikipedia attest:
    Neither the certificates nor payments of principal and interest on the certificates are guaranteed by the United States government. The certificates do not constitute a debt or obligation of the United States or any of its agencies or instrumentalities other than Fannie Mae.’
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fannie_Mae#Guarantees_and_subsidies

    “Despite the fact that Fannie Mae is not explicitly backed or funded by the US Government, nor do the securities it issues benefit from any statutory government guarantee or protection, most investors believe that, because it is a “quasi’ governmental agency, it has an implicit government guarantee. But Fannie Mae receives no direct government funding or backing. And Fannie Mae securities carry no government guarantee of being repaid. ‘
    https://www.dws-investments.com/EN/market-insight/fannie-mae-freddie-mac-are-no-laughing-matter.jsp

    Thirdly, Fannie Mae only ever absorbed 40% (if that much) of subprime at its peak in 2007 – had little when the thing took off in 2003.

    Lastly, even if the above were to be the case, it would not excuse the behaviour of the Banks. Nobody forced them to ignore the creditworthiness of their customer and thereby break what few regulations were left at the time.

    Here is a link to another good rebuttal:
    http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=did_liberals_cause_the_subprime_crisis

  20. Pascal's bookie 20

    Bill. Thanks.

    It’s worth noting that the argument has a lovely little dogwhistle, where “affordable housing” equals Blacks and Hispanics. The PC liberal government made the banks loan cash to swarthy types and now your retirement savings are gone. Lee Atwater still owns the GOP.

    Another rebuttal here:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122282690823092989.html

  21. Draco T Bastard 21

    Pascal’s bookie:

    Is there any way of doing back of the envelope calculations on what the government’s books might look like if Brash had been PM for the last three years?

    At an educated guestimate I’d say:
    Wages would be down in real terms
    Government borrowing would be up with total government debt between 23% and 25%
    Inflation would be between 5% and 6%

    And then we would have had the sub-prime crisis.

  22. Draco T Bastard 22

    In the spam trap again 🙁

  23. “questioned”…? Wow.. are kiwis going somewhere.. at last?

    Catching up fast Curtains UP!! Definitely for all those who will get to see.. the whole story.. and nothing but the whole story..

  24. T-Rex 24

    “and we’d have had bigger tax cuts, which in all likelihood most of us would have spent on crap.”

    By which I assume you mean housing 😉 Afterall, that’s where large sectors of the country have put the money they DID have.

    And those who were the benefactors of the boom have (by the looks of our balance of payments) largely also sunk it into crap (cars, boats, electronics).

    Poor old Rod Donald.

    Thank christ the govt hung onto it! Now we have kiwisaver, Cullen Fund, and non-completely-ridiculous foreign debt.

  25. randal 25

    god reading this thread is worse than watching ‘waiting for godot’ as performed by the waikikamukau players…think I’ll stick to fantasy comics.

  26. Paul Robeson 26

    are they doing a touring version? sounds hilarious

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    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks 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
    21 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    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
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago