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Key’s reshuffle bad news for working Kiwis

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, March 16th, 2012 - 64 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

The reshuffle announced yesterday effectively made Steven Joyce the new Minister of Labour.

Joyce was the Nats campaign manager so he knows exactly what National’s business backers have been putting the money up for.

Call me paranoid but I’m thinking that putting the Government’s bully-boy in charge of the rights of working Kiwis may not bode well for employment relations over the next few years.

That said, Joyce tends to cock up everything he touches – from the exclusive brethren backing to the roading disasters so he might not be as effective as National’s backers are expecting. I guess we’ll wait and see.

64 comments on “Key’s reshuffle bad news for working Kiwis”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    Tories have always wanted to get rid of the name Department of Labour, and Key has delivered. The rest is diversionary puffery. Even the Gallery Gimp is in two minds.

  2. Bunji 2

    But do we really want a cock up of employment?

    At least it won’t impact on the jobs of ministers – the departments may be merging, creating hundreds of job losses, but every minister gets to keep their title and their warm limo seat…

    • rosy 2.1

      Agree, the Department of Labour under Business Innovation is a huge concern. I saw on SkyUK tonight that the UK business ‘union’ is looking for legislation to permit ‘no-fault’ dismissals for small businesses – just send employees off due to ‘under-performing (90-day employment law, permanently). A case of watch this space to see if NZ will experiment with this first? (btw any evaluation to see if a single job permanent full-time job, that otherwise would not have been, has been created under the 90-day law?)

      And small points – what on earth is the Building and Housing doing here? Do they have something planned further down the line? And – is scientific research only about commercial interests now? I know the message had been given awhile ago that science benefiting commercial interests would be prioritised but explicitly grouping it with Business Innovation is very restrictive.

      • Acting Up 2.1.1

        Department of Building and Housing is no easy fit – unless you remember that the Govt have a bit of a problem with the current chief exec, who allegedly takes a very hands-on approach to staffing issues.. I suppose deconstructing the entire department is one way of sorting that out.

      • Vicky32 2.1.2

        I saw on SkyUK tonight that the UK business ‘union’ is looking for legislation to permit ‘no-fault’ dismissals for small businesses – just send employees off due to ‘under-performing (90-day employment law, permanently). A case of watch this space to see if NZ will experiment with this first?

        Oh, horribly likely! 🙂

  3. Peter Martin 3

    “Key’s reshuffle bad news for working Kiwis”

    But good news for taxpayers as we will have three or four fewer Cabinet Ministers to support. Surely…;-)

    • shreddakj 3.1

      And less funding/staffing in essential government services.

    • lprent 3.2

      Nope. There will still be ministers for each, jus under the uber-Munster

    • Hami Shearlie 3.3

      No, they’ll probably all be associate ministers of the new super ministry and keep all the perks – otherwise there would be too much internal fighting – let’s watch and see? It’s only the workers further down the food chain who’ll be axed!

    • Foreign Waka 3.4

      Under true democratic rule it is every citizen or resident (not taxpayer) that decides what the elected rulers are expected to do. It certainly looks like that the form of government has changed from democracy to a capitalist oligarchy with some decorations of deceit within a rather short period of time. How else can one interpret that the reshuffle will have millionaires/billionaires running the show.
      I don’t mind that they are rich (good on them) but they certainly do not represent the majority of people and hence certainly do not speak for them. I do not remember that anyone elected Mr Joyce for a starter.
      Looking at the outcome by which any venture is measured, this government not only has not delivered but failed abysmal the country and its people alike.
      The reality is that too many people loosing their jobs and there is nothing that a “reinvented Dickensian age” will offer to remedy the situation – except excuses.

    • Lets us all know when you recieve you rebate for tax take PM.!

  4. ad 4

    Out the door also goes the idea of “Economic Development”, which contained deep within it from the old Anderton/Sutch wing of Labour the idea that the public and private sectors could indeed work together in both a truly commercial and state-directed manner in a common interest.

    In fact, the first term of Labour asserted (through the Growth and Innovation Framework in the early 2000s) that it was indeed central government that leads economic growth and inovation here, because the private sector in such a small and not well off country will never have enough capital to lead growth by itself, or even innovation. GIF itself forced all Ministries to make budget mids as if there was a common direction for the whole of the public service. imagine that.

    If only GIF had gone this far and forced such hard coherence, rather than budget and process-driven coherence.

    The best hope I could see in this merger is that National’s Green Growth paper is actually implemented and goes further to expecting productivity and growth targets for specific industry sectors, spurred by central government investment. Wonder if Labour and the Greens could come up with an alternative paper by the next election, rather than complaning about National’s Blue-Green effort.

    Seemed like Shearer was indicating pretty much the same kind of policy direction in his speech anyway, so really what was the problem with this merger?

    The Standard followers should be the first to accept that more policy coherence is good. Merging Ministeries with a good fit. Joyce is a bastard Minsiter if you are an official – he never lets you get away with any shonky or unstable number, and keeps drilling down into the papers. Few in Labour can do that among the current lot.

    If Key fell under a bus, National could do worse than Joyce. Couterfactual of Shearer against Joyce, anyone?

    • Georgecom 4.1

      Joyce is a bastard Minsiter if you are an official – he never lets you get away with any shonky or unstable number

      Only one possible reply to that, ‘Holiday Highway’ road of ‘national significance’ with a disasterous BCR. Joyce Minister of Transport.

  5. Ordinary_Bloke 5

    Yup, it’s a clear succession strategy – with Key to become ‘Prime Minister Emeritus’ somewhere around mid-term.

    There is a great line in Marcus Aurelius about organisations being continually reshuffled, but nothing changing substantially on the ground.

    Re. “Couterfactual of Shearer against Joyce, anyone?” – government by local shock jock Vs government by an international reconstructor ?

    Stay Stoic as you head for the exits.

    • Roy 5.1

      I think you refer to
      “We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning
      to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later
      in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing;
      and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress
      while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.”
      which was attributed to Gaius Petronius Arbiter, although the accuracy of the attribution has been challenged.

  6. Fisiani 6

    Stephen Joyce a bully boy?????? Care to produce a scrap of evidence for such a ridiculous claim.

    • tc 6.1

      What do facts have to do with it, we have opinion that differs from yours, thats good enough for the government so let’s apply it consistently.

    • ad 6.2

      Definitely tough on officials – as he should be.
      Not anywhere near bully.
      If only the Left side of Parliament could be trusted to be as tough.

      • Ant 6.2.1

        I think you mean tough on officials when the facts (or reality) don’t suit his agenda hahaha

        • insider 6.2.1.1

          let’s be honest, every minister does that. They are politicians first and foremost; there to push political agendas.

  7. Maui 7

    Fisiani: lack of integrated urban cycling strategy in favour of pushing through the pouring of carcinogenic asphalt all over our “clean ‘n green” islands ?

    • Fisiani 7.1

      Try again. not even close to being a bully

      • Roger 7.1.1

        How about pouring his “carcinogenic asphalt” in places like Kapiti where the local community is required to be displaced and don’t get a say. Also in Auckland where the people wanted a solution to the traffic problem and wanted a viable public transport alternative and Steven said no, you can have roads. He doesn’t allow local bodies to make decisions about their own affairs and uses his position to enforce his own project regardless of the harm it causes, that sounds like a bully.

  8. Maui 8

    Fisiani: Have you ever, or are you now, working for him ?

  9. Fisiani 9

    Clutching at straws Maui.

    • Foreign Waka 9.1

      Fisiani, the pertinent question is: Has he been democratically elected or not. The answer is :NO. So he has no right of “bullying” himself into any position. I hope you know what democracy means and how it works.

      • felix 9.1.1

        “I do not remember that anyone elected Mr Joyce for a starter.”

        and

        “Has he been democratically elected or not. The answer is :NO.”

        What on earth are you talking about? He was elected as part of a party list along with almost half of the parliament – at no.4 on the list of the largest party ffs.

        You might not like him and you might not like the MMP system that he was elected under but it’s a nonsense to say he wasn’t elected.

  10. Maui 10

    It’s a relevant question, Fis .. going to the question of bullying.

    I happen to be acquainted with his working style within MoT.

    I can report that certain views, eg. highways, were encouraged while others regarding
    alternative modes of transport were not even considered.

    His staff – based on my international experience in the area – appeared timid and browbeaten,
    and reluctant to pursue other viewpoints and ideas in broad ranging discussion.

    I have to enquire what you mean by ‘evidence’. Bruises and contusions from a beating ?

    There are many different ways of doing it.

    • insider 10.1

      Every official that I have dealt with inside and outside his office say similar things about him – hard taskmaster, don’t front unprepared or with dodgy evidence, but ultimately a good employer and reasonable, not an unpredictable prima donna. They enjoy working for and with him.

      We need more bullies like that.

      Not having time for your particular personal bandwagon Maui is not bullying it’s called setting priorities – that’s what we voted him in for. If you think he’s wrong, stand for election.

      • Maui 10.1.1

        Sorry, ‘insider’, I see no reason to resile from my observations, nor from my replies to Fisiani’s line of questioning.

      • VB 10.1.2

        Not one of us EVER voted him in! He has no constituency!

  11. Fisiani 11

    So effective efficient and focused are now tantmount to bully boy????

    • bbfloyd 11.1

      so you’re back to playing the “why” game little fizzer? have you no imagination? or are you feeling insecure in the knowledge that you have fallen in love with a failed, and fading star?

      you know that johnny sparkles is getting ready to run away from the hard stuff…. you know joyce is a barely concealed fascist…. are you polishing your jackboots for his coronation parade?

      meanwhile, we are treated to your continuous series of freudian slips as you desperately dissemble on behalf of fascists everywhere…. rather obvious young laddy….. try saying something that doesn’t come out of mein kampf….. at least it might be slightly amusing then….

      • ad 11.1.1

        The moist lefties on this site are just begninig to sound like they woudn’t be able to hack it as an official who has to sit down in front of a half-decent Minsiter and inform, turn their minds, or take orders from them.

        Politics isn’t tiddlywinks people.

        Can you point to anyone on the left of Parliament who would be Joyce’s equal as a Minister? Cunliffe was good in Health according to officials who had to face him. But who else?

        Does anyone really think Parker for instance could take on Treasury? The top three of Labour don’t have a pair between them. Wish they would.

        • muzza 11.1.1.1

          So what you are saying is that the biggest bully with the loudest bark gets to dictate to NZ…

          Sounds like a great place to be!

          None of the bullys, nor the snivelling pansy bridage inside parliament, represent the average kiwi, and have not done so for a long time…

          The moronic left/right fans are enabling the disaster to continue thinking they are making a differnce…the rest of us just have to put up with it!

    • muzza 11.2

      Yeah he is doing a great job, they are are right….

      I’ve watched him in action, and it was pathetic, he is a standover man, the arrogance was beyond belief!

  12. framu 12

    “appeared timid and browbeaten, and reluctant to pursue other viewpoints and ideas in broad ranging discussion.”

    doesnt equal

    “effective efficient and focused”

    you may think that Joyce is effective (or whatever) but thats different to the argument Maui is making

  13. framu 13

    hey – reply button strangness – anyone else getting that?

    is it possible to get a feature where you can shift a comment from new comment to a reply?

    [lprent: Once you hit 10 comments in depth in comments, the reply turns off. Not that interested in seeing one wor per line replies on the right due to indenting.

    Moderators can move comments. I can’t really see a good reason for extending that. ]

  14. Ordinary_Bloke 14

    Some of the greatest mass murderers of our generation were, or are, “effective efficient and focused”.

    Aotearoa-NZ aspires to be a liberal democracy, which implies other values besides effectiveness, efficiency, and focus.

    As Prime Minister, Joyce will have to grapple with such difficult concepts – especially on the international stage.

    On the up side, he might rediscover his degree in Zoology in preserving our unique fauna and environment.

    Hat tip to Maui – the high rate of testicular cancer among young chimney sweeps in London, UK, during the Victorian era provided the first link between it and soot accumulating in their pants.

    Joyce might wish to apply his zoological expertise to the references below.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimney_Sweeps%27_carcinoma

    http://sites.google.com/site/kundaparkneighbours/asphalt-plants-benzene-and-cancer

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34809699/ns/us_news-environment/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1035415/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7892824

  15. ‘Business-facing’?

    On that basis, I’m surprised they didn’t merge all government ministries into one – given that is how all operations of government are seen by this government.

    Education is all about readying people for the workforce (and providing business opportunities);
    Health is about getting people who are sick back into the workforce so businesses can burn them out again;
    ‘Social Development’ is about making sure people not in the workforce are a minimal burden to business and that they become available for businesses asap;
    Treasury is about ensuring that all government expenditure is aimed at preparing a nice comfortable bed for business;
    Corrections is about keeping the riff-raff out of business’ way (and providing business opportunities);
    Conservation is about making sure New Zealand is available for tourism businesses;
    etc.

    When you think about it, what isn’t ‘business-facing’?
     

  16. taxicab 16

    Wake up and smell the coffee !! Joyce is a GRADE A psycopath he has been running this gig since before the 2008 election . Key has always been the glove puppet only interested in his 30 pieces of silver . Soon to be Gonekey he will be replaced by Collins who is more than happy to have The Grim Reapers hand up the back of her skirt , he knows that he can’t be leader he is unelectable . English had better get his finger out soon if he intends to lead the revolt or he will be road kill . All this bullshit from his fan club and appologists above is misguided sure he is efficient but so was Hitler , Mao , Mussolini , Stalin to name but a few . English and his band know he has to be stopped what remains to be seen is whether they have enough bottle to do it .

    • starlight 16.1

      Dont you get the feeling also that the tearing down,pulling apart,restructuring is
      taken off with speed,the asset sales pushed ahead and 3 different thieves to manage
      them.
      Does NZ have enough waste bins to throw everything into and where is key and joyce
      going to stash the thousands they have put out of work?
      Perhaps key is in a rush to ‘get er done’ before he leaves nz,not with honors but
      remembered as the ‘a—-ole’ that stole nz’s wealth.

    • Hami Shearlie 16.2

      Judith Collins as Nat leader? Even her husband would be scared of her. Pretty unpopular generally , nearly as bad as Steven Joyce. The Nats may love Collins and Joyce but they, particularly Joyce are pretty unpopular with the public. The Nats will be regretting the fact that Simon Power left! He was popular, but too centrist for Key and Joyce! We thought there was a good reason that he left – now we know what it was – he knew what the Nats were planning for this term, and if I were him, I wouldn’t want to accept any future directorships that the Nats may offer. Not smart to get tainted with these crazy policies! And he has a good job now, why get sucked into this maelstrom?

      • Lanthanide 16.2.1

        I wonder if Simon actually had a long game planned. Go to OZ now, wait for the poison chalice of 2014 electoral defeat to fall on Key or his successor, then he can parachute back in to National leadership in 2015-2016 and contest the 2017 and 2020 (2021?) elections.

      • taxicab 16.2.2

        Hami ,
        you are right about their relative popularity with the public but since their agenda is to totally slaughter this economy and spread the spoils to their mates the only real challenge is how to get it done before the next election and to maintain order in their own ranks so as to see it through , a third term is not necessary . Key is becoming a liability as he craves too much adoration as soon as he is close to meeting up with Shearer on his way down the popularity polls he will be ‘Gonkey’ and Joyce will be unshackled like a rabid dog let off it’s leash .. enter the enforcer (Collins) yes even the husband would be shit scared so imagine how the Nact govt members would happily get in to line , my reference to electability was more from the party caucus perspective , frankly neither would be electable as leader in a general election context . The Zoology degree is an asset for Joyce in terms of species behaviour in the same way that he has assisted in the creation of the Key phenomenon and subsequent election successes he has also probably compiled quite a hansome stamp collection of information on each and everyone of his colleagues that none of them would wish to see the light of day to ensure his success . On the other hand a psychopathic megalomaniac like him may just want to go it alone but like most cowards he probably feels the need to have someone on hand as a fall guy/gal

        • Hami Shearlie 16.2.2.1

          Yes, I can see it all now! Joycie knowing the dirt about so many Nats. Sort of an upmarket version of the little scruff McCully, without the eyebrows and with a significantly quieter slitheriness, all the better to lure his targets into the mire. Think Swamp Thing without the green tinge!

  17. Jester 17

    Roy Morgan. Have a nice weekend. Jester

    • Ordinary_Bloke 17.1

      Biggest lead for Key Government since election.

      Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows increasing strong
      support for Prime Minister John Key’s National Party 48.5%
      (up 3% since February 27-March 11, 2012) while support for Labour
      has fallen 1.5% to 30%. This is the highest vote National has
      recorded since being returned to Government at last year’s
      New Zealand election.

      [lprent: wish some of the lazy RWNJ’s would exert themselves to link in their rather selective quoting. http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2012/4754/
      The trends for the government haven’t been looking good for the government over the last 4 months.]

    • burt 17.2

      Come on good folk supporters of Labour….

      Wasn’t that poll pre the POAL bombshell. Start calling it, be bold! Try this; It will have swung back by the next one.

  18. U 4 United 18

    How’s the latest Roy M poll…girls?

    • burt 18.1

      It’s a rogue poll.

      • ScottGN 18.1.1

        Wow! You guys really jumped on that Roy Morgan Poll eh? Been sweating it a bit lately?

      • lprent 18.1.2

        Any single poll is a rogue poll and not really that interesting. The bounce around along with sampling bias in polls i(ncluding Morgans) is such, that you have to look at trends for anything to be meaningful. Morgan’s is the only one that has a regular enough cycle to see trends.

        I haven’t looked at the last one. But the trend over the last 10 polls and since before the election hasn’t been good for the government. I guess that is why on the right some are clutching a single poll like it was a life jacket after a shipwreck.

  19. burt 19

    Isn’t two party politics amazing.

    The right screamed when Labour merged WINZ & Social Welfare to create MSD. Economies of scale, single view of client yada yada v socialist empire building… So much has changed this time, now we have Economies of scale, single view of client yada yada v the left screaming tory public service bashing.

    It’s a beautiful game.

  20. captain hook 20

    somebody around here seems to think that the key government is going to last more than 2,1/2 years.
    so who is the tory stooge then?

  21. There was the roy morgan poll taken from 950 people,then there was the ipredict poll which
    labour have increased support, polls are polls and really mean buggar all,in the ‘teapot’saga
    key said winston wouldn’t be back he was polling around 4-5%,so he got that wrong,much
    to his angst.
    I enjoy winston giving key and co a serve.

  22. Further to my post labours predicted vote share is 37% nationals 40%,i predict says that
    there has been heavy trading.
    Based on current trading mana,maori parties are both predicted to get 2 seats each and
    nz first 6,posted on tv3 site 16/3.

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    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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    7 hours ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to 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 welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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