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Legal vs. Moral

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, September 28th, 2009 - 66 comments
Categories: bill english, national - Tags:

There’s an old lawyer joke: “When the facts are on your side, bang the facts. When the law’s on your side, bang the law. When you’ve got neither, bang the table”. National have a similar tactic, of banging on legal vs. moral tests as it suits them.

When sacking Richard Worth, Key was at great pains to point out that the test was not a legal one, it was a matter only of his “confidence”. In defending Bill English over his lavish accommodation claims, Key is at equally great pains to insist that all that is relevant is that English has met the “legal test”. It’s entirely possible that the Auditor General’s investigation will conclude that this is the case. But the real issue is not legal, it is moral:

There can be few sights more unedifying than that of a politician countering accusations of improper behaviour by claiming that his actions are consistent with the letter of the law. The idea that someone is innocent unless and until he is demonstrably guilty quite properly carries weight in criminal proceedings but for those elected or appointed to high office, the rules are different. Their tenure being the result of electoral fortune, their tenability will always depend on public confidence. And public confidence, as Richard Worth can attest, relies on something more ineffable than precise legal niceties.

It isn’t just editorialists that make this point. Consider the contentious issues of Bill’s pecuniary interest in his family trust. Pecuniary interest arose in the Peters case in 2008, and was addressed in the Report of the Privileges Committee: Question of privilege relating to compliance with a member’s obligations under the Standing Orders dealing with pecuniary interests (Simon Power, Chairperson). Here’s an extract (p15, PDF link) relating to the inadequacy of a legalistic approach:

Initially, the rules for the register were to be set out in statute, which would have left open the possibility of the courts ruling on their application. This proposal was not pursued, and the House instead established its own rules to deal with pecuniary interests, within the Standing Orders. If legislation had been employed, a legalistic approach to registering interests would have been appropriate. However, the House chose to keep the matter within its own confines. This places a stronger moral imperative on members to comply with the requirements, and to do so in the spirit of the House’s own rules.

… Members should follow the approach used in relation to the Standing Orders relating to the declaration of financial interests under Standing Orders 165 to 176—if in doubt, declare it.

That seems pretty clear. In this case a legalistic approach will not do, it’s a moral issue. Simon Power knows it. Editorialists know it. We the public know it. Deep down, Bill and John probably know it too…

66 comments on “Legal vs. Moral”

  1. Good post.

    I think that even under the legal test Blinglish fails. Why is payment of money to a MP a potential breach of the pecuniary interest rule but the payment to one’s spouse or to a trust set up for the benefit of one’s spouse and children not a breach?

    This sort of differentiation would put even Winston Peters’ attempts to shame.

    • Armchair Critic 1.1

      My last employment contract had a section about bribes in it. Part of this section included a list of people who wold be considered as being capable of being bribed or providing bribes. And partners, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, business associates, ex-partners, neighbours and close friends were all on the list.
      Bribery and rorting accomodation allowances are different things, of course, but I have to agree that the definition of pecuniary interest is very narrow if Blinglish is deemed to not have one because the payment goes to his wife.

  2. RedLogix 2

    The PM’s failure to act decisively on this open and shut case of corruption is fatal. Eventually English will be sacked, but Key’s aquiesence and failure to act decisively will taint him as well.

    When Coney and Bunkle were caught in the identical mistake Clark sacked both of them promptly. That’s the valid comparison here, and Key has failed it.

  3. BLiP 3

    Why not let Blinglish answer this himself:

    The question is not whether he has broken the law, but whether he has behaved according to the standards of a minister.

    That seems pretty clear to me.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      @BLiP.

      Totally off topic, but after getting home yesterday morning I spent the day unwinding watching all the Adam Curtis docos you linked to on YouTube in one hit. I’d seen only a few of them on tv, but absorbing them in one coherent picture of Western social history since the rise of the PR profession, was a moving experience.

      There is undoubtedly a dark side to the PR industry, one that casts a real shadow over the Nats use of Crosby Textor (or is it CT using the Nats?).

      Thanks again for the link.

      • Lew 3.1.1

        RL, if you liked The Century of the Self, it’s probably worth you watching The Power of Nightmares as well, if you haven’t already.

        (Assuming BLiP didn’t link to those, too).

        Curtis is like a thinking man’s Michael Moore. And British, which helps.

        L

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          Lew,

          I overdosed and watched the lot. The Trap is probably the most chilling of them.

          It’s left me feeling like I should go away and have a long hard think.

          • Lew 3.1.1.1.1

            RL, yeah, I know the feeling very well.

            If you want top see how the other side thinks, Obsessions is a good place to start. Short and sharp.

            L

      • BLiP 3.1.2

        No worries, mate. I see Lew has mentioned some other masterpieces but can I also recommend “The Mayfair Set” – makes me wonder if this latest recession wasn’t in fact just another move in the chess game.

        This is a great link and, from there, you can find everything else Adam Curtis has done.

        Spread the word. Download. Duplicate. Distribute.

        • Tigger 3.1.2.1

          BLiP – keep reposting that Blingish quote – nothing like being hoisted with one’s own petard…

  4. Tim Ellis 4

    The Labour Party seem to be backing off on the claims that what Mr English did was illegal.

    r0b as you know the questions around Dr Worth were issues of confidence. Mr Key stated that confidence is not a legal test.

    The issues around Mr English are issues of accommodation entitlement, which are a legal test. Labour would like to muddy the water and make it an ethical test (which is amusing from a party that backed Mr Field for so long and said he was guilty of nothing more than helping people).

    If accommodation allowances are now down to moral tests rather than legal ones, then Mr Goff might have some explaining to do about why he rented out his apartment in Wellington, pocketed the money and took up a Ministerial residence when he was a Minister.

    • Bright Red 4.1

      But, Tim, the question of whether English can remain in his role given he is rorting (even if it isn’t illegal) is one of confidence…. and confidence isn’t a legal test.

      • Tim Ellis 4.1.1

        BR, if the Labour Party want to make “rorting” as you define it the test for confidence, then they might want to open up their own trust and property arrangements. Given the pledge card scandal of a few years ago, they might be on shakey ground.

        • Daveo 4.1.1.1

          What’s the Labour Party got to do with anything Tim? As a citizen and a taxpayer I’m outraged by Bill’s rorting. Is the best you’ve got to offer some distraction about what Labour did back in the day?

          Your dishonest arse-covering for bill is fooling no one.

          • Tim Ellis 4.1.1.1.1

            Daveo I would like to see MPs from all parties held accountable for their rorts. Whether it be accommodation allowances (as with Mr Goff renting out his apartment in Wellington while living in a Ministerial home), rorting leaders budget allowances (as Mr Anderton has done for a non-existent progressive party), rorting parliamentary services (as the Labour did to pay for its pledge card in 2005), etc etc.

            When it comes to ethics, I don’t think the Labour Party is in a good position to be giving any lectures.

            • Daveo 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Interesting though that you prefer not to engage with the substance of the issue, or the point r0b is trying to make.

              No, for you it’s all “look – over there! – some other guys did stuff that I think is bad too!”

              It’s called misdirection Tim. We all know what you’re doing. You’re not fooling anyone.

            • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.1.1.2

              So just ignore the LP then Tim. Problem bloody solved mate.

              (Unless your problem is that you think your beloved tory party is faring badly, in which case a transparently ad hom distraction might be just the ticket).

            • Tim Ellis 4.1.1.1.1.3

              PB, I think a higher standard of ethics and accountability should be expected from MPs than we have had in the past. If Mr English fails the test then he should be given his marching orders.

              What I do find intersting is r0b’s inconsistency between his defence of the Labour Party’s actions yet insistence that National should be held accountable to a much higher standard than the Labour Party has ever held up to.

            • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.1.1.4

              So why do you keep talking about how the Labour party should shut up then, rather than what you think about English’s actions? It doesn’t add up mate, and makes you look like a hack.

              Honest advice would be to drop all the repititious bs about the LP, Goff’s house and what have you. The analogy is false in the important repsects, (as I pointed out the other day) and it detracts hugely from what you claim here to be your motivations and concerns. No charge mate.

            • Tim Ellis 4.1.1.1.1.5

              PB I don’t have the facts and with all respect I refuse to rely just on the evidence that Mr Mallard puts up. Mr Mallard is not an independent party in this matter, he is the lawyer for the prosecution.

              If the Auditor General rules that Mr English acted illegally or unethically, then I hope the Prime Minister sacks him.

              It is intersting however that despite the initially furious charge from Mr Mallard, in which he accused Mr English of being a “money laundering hypocrite” and claim to have a water tight case concluding Mr English acted illegally, Mr Mallard appears to be backing off, as r0b is now doing, by talking about the “morality” rather than the legality of Mr English’s claim.

              That’s a fair enough position, I suppose, but morality and ethics are relative. It is a little bit hypocritical in my view to defend the actions of the Labour Party while trying to take the high ground over National.

            • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.1.1.6

              Just more ad hom Tim. People are putting forward evidence. Who those people are is irrelevant to what the evidence says/points to. Basic stuff.

              It really is pretty weak to say:

              If the Auditor General rules that Mr English acted illegally or unethically, then I hope the Prime Minister sacks him.

              and

              If Mr English fails the test then he should be given his marching orders.

              Surely that goes without saying. It amounts to saying that you think Key should certainly sack English if he has no choice to do otherwise. Awesome.

            • Tim Ellis 4.1.1.1.1.7

              I’ve made it quite clear PB the test is the Auditor General. Unlike Labour who abused the Auditor General when he criticised Labour Party use of parliamentary services funding, where no heads rolled for it, I hope that Mr English does get his marching orders if Mr English is established to have acted inappropriately by the auditor general.

              As much as you might like to think that it doesn’t matter who is putting the evidence forward, you have to be joking. Mr Mallard is the attorney for the prosecution. The auditor general is the judge. I would hope that the auditor general hears both sides of the story before forming an opinion.

              Even Mr Mallard appears to be backing away from his earlier allegations of illegal behaviour. So far, coupled with calling Mr English a “money laundering hypocrite”, it’s fair to say that Mr Mallard has form when it comes to making up smears against other people that later prove to have little substance.

              I’ll await the auditor general’s report. I wonder why Labour is in such a rush to convince people to take a position before the auditor general comes out with hers? Will Labour accept the AG’s ruling, if it is that Mr English acted lawfully and appropriately, or will they return to form and attack the integrity of the Auditor General again?

            • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.1.1.8

              As much as you might like to think that it doesn’t matter who is putting the evidence forward, you have to be joking.

              Not joking Tim. Like I said, it’s basic stuff. The ad hom fallacy isn’t something I just made up, it’s logic, which ain’t known for its lolz.

              I’ll await the auditor general’s report. I wonder why Labour is in such a rush to convince people to take a position before the auditor general comes out with hers? Will Labour accept the AG’s ruling, if it is that Mr English acted lawfully and appropriately, or will they return to form and attack the integrity of the Auditor General again

              To respond in kind; I wonder why you won’t comment on the substance of English’s actions and how they measure up to the standards you would like to see. It appears that you don’t want to do so because if you call for him to go and the AG says what he did was legal, then you’d be in an awkward position, likewise if you say he should stay and he ends up having to go.

              If you don’t want to discuss the matter untill the AG reports back, that’s fine, but you should perhaps stop discussing it. Like I said, you look like a hack. But hey, your call.

              Honestly, who cares what Labour/Mallard is saying or what their motivations are? You claim you want a higher standard than the last governement, and yet the only guide to what that standard might be is ‘it’s up the AG, if she says it’s legal, it’s sweet”. Which sounds like something Winston might say.

            • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.1.1.9

              “and claim to have a water tight case concluding Mr English acted illegally,”

              Where/when was that, precisely?

          • burt 4.1.1.1.2

            Tim asked;

            Will Labour accept the AG’s ruling…

            Interesting question. rOb will tell us that the AG has no authority over parliament but I’m not so sure that is how it should be. Labour have demonstrated before that the AG produces interesting reports but that they have no consequence if they say things that you didn’t want to hear.

            I’m loving this.

            [Burt has no authority to state my position on any topic, since he usually has it wrong. Burt, I’ll ask you to stop thanks. r0b]

            [lprent: good to see you’ve found that you can moderate your own posts…. BTW: been enjoying the posts. ]

            • burt 4.1.1.1.2.1

              rOb

              Can I provide liks that support my position or will they be removed ?

            • r0b 4.1.1.1.2.2

              I don’t know Burt – can you?

              Has anything you’ve ever posted here ever been removed? Your comment calling Helen Clark a “lying bitch” is still here Burt.

            • burt 4.1.1.1.2.3

              You never did get over me calling you her that did you. I’ll be back later tonight, much later, because that is how I work. I’ll paste a few links and we can discuss them. Moral vs legal is a debate we have had before, at length.

            • burt 4.1.1.1.2.4

              rOb

              Who is legally responsible if money was improperly spent?

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      “(which is amusing from a party that backed Mr Field for so long and said he was guilty of nothing more than helping people).”

      Given that the Field trial was one of the longest in NZ’s history, clearly the Field case is a lot more complex than Blinglish’s rather simple housing rort, don’t you agree?

      I believe Labour were taking their minister at his word, which is not an unreasonable thing to do – it’s not really their fault that he lied each way from Sunday to cover his ass in the affair. Are you now suggesting that the government should stop what it is doing and thoroughly investigate any charge laid at their MPs before they publicly comment on the matter? Nothing would ever get done if that were how parliament works. So no, Labour in that case spoke on the matter to the best of their ability and didn’t cover anything up.

      Blinglish’s rort is very simple in comparison, and the facts are pretty clear-cut and available to everyone, the question is whether it is appropriate and falls into a moral grey area or not – especially when Labour ministers were sacked for pretty much the same offence back in 2001.

      • Tim Ellis 4.2.1

        Lanthanide that’s an interesting piece of history that doesn’t really stack up given that the Ingram report said that Mr Field’s testimony wasn’t reliable yet Labour still claimed he was doing nothing more than helping people.

        If the Auditor General finds that Mr English has acted inappropriately or raises doubts about Mr English’s integrity, I expect him to be sacked with no equivocation. Labour’s record in investigating its own doesn’t give it a lot of credibility in my view.

        • r0b 4.2.1.1

          yet Labour still claimed he was doing nothing more than helping people.

          Evidence for that claim please Tim.

          • Tim Ellis 4.2.1.1.1

            Numerous quotes from Dr Cullen reported r0b.

            • r0b 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Such as…

            • Maynard J 4.2.1.1.1.2

              Classic, I googled this “Labour still claimed he was doing nothing more than helping people.” meme of Tim’s and all it comes up with comments here, kiwiblog, and this:

              “He was trying to help people in his style, naive in the way he did it…came back and bit him,” says Arthur Anae, former National MP.

            • r0b 4.2.1.1.1.3

              Maynard J – nice catch!

              Folks, Tim likes to live in a world constructed largely of imaginary “facts”. If he says something that doesn’t sound right, ask him for the evidence. He usually then disappears…

  5. Trevor Mallard 5

    And what if she finds a judgement issue? And do you believe he is eligible Tim? Do you think the change in the trust arrangement is an indication of appropriate ethical standards? And do you think he retains the credibility to be Minister of Finance? And why when the pressure came on did you run away from similar questions on Red Alert ?:-
    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2009/09/28/english-docs-the-a-g-will-consider-ii-the-lease-device/comment-page-1/#comment-11757

    • Tim Ellis 5.1

      Mr Mallard I haven’t been running away from questions on Red Alert. As you know you have been moderating my responses on Red Alert, which creates a time lag to reply, among others.

      You may not have caught up with my responses on Red Alert to those questions. I suggest you do before accusing me of not answering the questions. I’ve made it quite clear that if the auditor general finds an issue with integrity or ethics around Mr English, I expect him to be sacked. That would create an interesting precedent, since the Labour Party didn’t roll any heads when the last Auditor General criticised the Labour Party’s use of parliamentary expenditure. Instead the Labour Party went on the attack against the Auditor General and accused him of bias.

    • burt 5.2

      Ethics training Trevor, that’s all that is required. Some form of distraction about perhaps people need to learn how to not make such mistakes….

      Remeber the need for ethics training – it was never delivered was it.

      • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1

        Maybe Rodney should tell us what he thinks? Has he commented yet? What’s ACT’s position on Ministerial ethics, collective responsibility and the relationship between parties in a coalition?

      • burt 5.2.2

        So what have ACT and Douglas got to do with this? Or are you just getting ready to say ‘others were doing it too and the rules were confusing so we shoud just move on’ ?

        • Pascal's bookie 5.2.2.1

          Nah, I just know how important this stuff was to both yourself and Rodney last year. No biggie.

        • burt 5.2.2.2

          Still important to me, I can’t speak for Rodney and I’m not compelled by some partisan loyalty to support him if he is being self serving. I’ll bag him as quick as anyone if he is being corrupt.

          • Pascal's bookie 5.2.2.2.1

            good for you. What about if he sticks around in a corrupt govt? that was the stndard re Peters I seem to recall.

          • burt 5.2.2.2.2

            If National decide that the AG has no idea what she is talking about and validate English because that is better for them than being accountable then I’ll be surprised if;

            a) It is not supported on this blog like it was last time it happened
            b) ACT accept it unlike last time
            c) I’m not called an idiot for saying it is wrong wrong wrong

            • Pascal's bookie 5.2.2.2.2.1

              eh?

              I seem to rmember people saying Helen should’ve kicked Peters out without anything like that standard of proof of wrongdoing. I was supposng those people would hold ACT to the same standard with regard to this coalition, esp seeing that standard was one ACT was fond of. Am I wrong?

  6. RedLogix 6

    Instead the Labour Party went on the attack against the Auditor General and accused him of bias.

    As did many others who thought the rulings eccentric and flawed. Whether Brady was compromised or not is beside the point, the effect of his rulings (especially the arbitrary three month limit) created a bias in favour of the party with the deep enough pockets to spend up large before that time period.

  7. Tim Ellis 7

    If the Labour Party thought Mr Brady’s rulings were “eccentric and flawed” then they should have moved to remove him from office RL. It is unprecedented for senior government ministers to go on the attack against an auditor general.

    • burt 7.1

      Tim Ellis

      But it was OK to just ignore the AG, parliament know more about the law than anyone. Hell even Trevor voted that the AG didn’t have the authority to constrain parliament when Labour were govt. Bet he thinks the AG has a more authority nowe that National are in charge.

    • RedLogix 7.2

      If the Labour Party thought Mr Brady’s rulings were “eccentric and flawed’ then they should have moved to remove him from office RL.

      You persist in running the line that it was only Labour who was unhappy with Brady. In fact 7 of the 8 parties in Parliament at the time were affected by the arbitrary lines he took.

      Of course removing Brady from office was never an option; that would have been a wholly dangerous undermining of an important Parliamentary Office and would have had very bad long term implications. Instead Labour, and most of the other Parties affected, took the responsible approach and paid the monies back.

      Does this mean that you are suggesting that if the current AG rules against English, and the Nats disagree, that they should have her removed from office? I wouldn’t think so, so why run such a pointless argument?

  8. Tim Ellis 8

    RL I thought the Deputy Prime Minister railing against Mr Brady was appalling behaviour and I hope that New Zealand politics never stoops so low again. Criticising a report of an Auditor General you might as well remove him from office.

    I would hope if the Nats disagree with the Auditor General on the English ruling they take it on the cheek, remove Mr English, and uphold the status of the Auditor General.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      So are you saying that the AG is forever abover criticism? That anyone who disagrees with a ruling from that Office is to be muzzled ‘out of respect for the office’?

      The real respect lay in obeying the ruling.

      • Tim Ellis 8.1.1

        No, the AG isn’t above criticism RL. THere is a difference between saying: “Our interpretation and Parliamentary Services interpretation for years has been different to what the Auditor General has ruled. But we accept the ruling and will obey it”, and attacking the Auditor General as biased.

        The timeline shows that for a long time leading up to the 2005 general election, the auditor general was concerned and warned parties about use of parliamentary services money for election expenses. The ruling of the AG wasn’t a shock. Some parties decided to work within what the AG was saying during the 2005 election, others chose to do what they had always done. Attacking the AG for bias was totally reprehensible in my view.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.2

        Obviously what Tim is saying is that it’s not ok for the *government* to say such things about the AG. Other parties in parliament presumably get free reign to do so, though. Apparently if the government has any beef whatsoever with the AG, the only course of action they have is to sack them – there’s no possible middle ground available.

    • burt 8.2

      It would seem to me that if the AG alleges that laws have been broken then a court would be the logical place to resolve the issues. But I have taken a lot of abuse on this blog for suggesting that in the past. I’m thinking this time the same suggestion will be more acceptable.

  9. Ianmac 9

    News at 12:00 Bill English has not received any payments since July???!!!

    • Ianmac 9.1

      Actually I only half heard that, but did they say that “he” had not received any money rather than the Trust? Odd.

    • toad 9.2

      I wonder why, if he hasn’t been claiming any housing allowance since July, he didn’t publicly state this back in July?

      Now the next question is how much he is going to pay back, given that the Double Dipton rort has been going on for years.

      • BLiP 9.2.1

        Best case outcome all round would be him selling the Wellington house to repay the taxpayer – Blinglish gets to keep his Dipton residence while all his living costs in Wellington have been met so he’s not out of pocket at all – and – the taxpayers don’t get ripped off. Win win.

  10. ben 10

    There’s an old lawyer joke: “When the facts are on your side, bang the facts. When the law’s on your side, bang the law. When you’ve got neither, bang the table’. National have a similar tactic, of banging on legal vs. moral tests as it suits them.

    It’s entirely possible that the Auditor General’s investigation will conclude that this is the case. But the real issue is not legal, it is moral:

    You’re just banging the table. Neither facts nor the law are on your side. So, yeah, play the moral card and keep banging that table.

    And, sorry to harp, but where were you just 12 short months ago when the Cabinet manual was being openly ignored by a senior minister and openly defended by the PM and democracy itself was being re-written to suit the incumbent and penalise its opponents?

    You might almost have a chance at being taken seriously on English if you would acknowledge the rather more serious transgressions of the previous government.

  11. r0b 11

    Oh Ben – are you still cross with me?

    Neither facts nor the law are on your side.

    You should let the AG know, you could save her some time.

    So, yeah, play the moral card and keep banging that table.

    The “moral card” Ben? Just listen to yourself.

    Cabinet manual was being openly ignored by a senior minister and openly defended by the PM and democracy itself was being re-written to suit the incumbent and penalise its opponents?

    You’ve been spending to too much time at Kiwiblog Ben. Remind me again – which party abused the political process so badly that the public backlash forced their leader out of office? Could it have been the National “so long Don” Party?

    • burt 11.1

      rOb

      You missed the most important point;

      You might almost have a chance at being taken seriously on English if you would acknowledge the rather more serious transgressions of the previous government.

      • r0b 11.1.1

        The previous government made mistakes burt, but not nearly as many and not nearly as serious as you slobbering partisan attack dogs froth and rant about. As per felix below burt, were you there holding a sign?

        Goodnight!

  12. felix 12

    …democracy itself was being re-written…

    Really? Missed that.

    Is that you holding the sign, ben? Are you one of those people?

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

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    3 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    3 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    4 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    4 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    4 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    5 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    5 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    6 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week 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, ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

  • 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
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    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. ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    2 weeks 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, ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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. ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    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 ...
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    2 weeks ago