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Local Bodies: Neoliberal Economics Limits Food Choice in Southland

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, January 10th, 2015 - 62 comments
Categories: business, Economy, farming, food, health, sustainability - Tags: , , ,

bsprout on the Local Bodies blog, provides a case study, specific to Southland.  At the same time, it outlines a more general pattern that can be seen in many places, each with their own local circumstances. The post below was originally posted on Local Bodies on 8 January 2015.


 

My first post for the year probably reflects the fact that I have spent a good amount of time in my garden. Watching my garden thrive in our current patch of good weather and harvesting a variety of vegetables and fruit has made me appreciate what a wonderful environment we have for growing food.

Southland doesn’t produce good bananas, pineapples or kumera, our climate isn’t warm enough for them, but we do grow great potatoes, gooseberries, rhubarb, currents, apples and swedes. My wife makes a delicious gooseberry sorbet that we love in summer and a gooseberry crumble in Winter that is par excellence. It seems strange to me that, gooseberries and currents are not grown in commercial quantities here and they are not commonly sold fresh in our local supermarket.

At one time our local dairy used to stock a small amount of locally sourced fresh fruit and vegetables (and even bought some of our gooseberries when we had more than we could use or store), but no longer. Supermarkets now have a monopoly in selling fruit and vegetables and have been quite aggressive in how they do this. When the Dunedin Farmers Market was being established supermarkets lobbied the City Council to police the private car parks around the market that were being used by customers. The car parks weren’t being used by businesses over the weekend but the supermarkets wanted to limit the access to their competition.

Supermarkets buy in bulk, want consistency of supply and because most Southland Island supermarkets have a centralised distribution system, produce must be able to be stored and transported for a number of days. This means that to ensure consistency of supply, fewer varieties can be sold and fruit is picked green and does not have the flavour of those that are tree ripened.

My sister, through her open orchards project, has identified around 50 different varieties of apple that have been grown in Southland with an amazing diversity of flavours and unique names (Merton Russet, Cornish Aromatic, Dipton redburst, Peasgood Non Such, Keyswick Codlin…). You will find none of these in a supermarket and now few people will have experienced the delights of a really large cooking apple as a baked treat in the middle of Winter.

We no longer manage our food production and supply to provide the best quality and variety to local consumers, we now have the situation where the corporate culture dictates what is eaten in most homes. Gareth Morgan has identified the dangerous trend for New Zealanders to eat the heavily processed and marketed ‘fake food’ rather than the real thing and obesity and Type 2 Diabetes has developed into a health crisis. Fast food has shifted from being an occasional treat to the main diet for many. Since the Government removed the necessity to provide healthy food in schools, educating young people to make informed, healthy choices is more difficult. It is hard to promote healthy food when the canteen sells packets of chips and coke that are cheaper than a salad roll.

Sadly most people don’t realize what we have lost through the corporate domination of our food supplies. Most New Zealanders will go through their lives without ever experiencing what it means to eat a diet that is full of locally produced fresh food and being aware of seasonal changes. This ignorance has meant that when McDonalds wanted to open a new outlet in Invercargill’s South City health organisations submitted objections, but most of the local residents appear to be supporting it. There are few complaints about the cost of fresh food but the availability of a fast food outlet is supported with some energy.

Our Southern Farmers Market is struggling to attract new stall holders and we have few local suppliers of fresh food. Our local strawberry farm has just closed down, we lost our independent supplier of A2 milk and we have no fish stall because of the corporate control of fishing quotas. Few people want to risk growing the fruit and vegetables that Southland grows well because when the median income in Invercargill is only $27,400 there is little discretionary income to pay for good quality local food and supermarkets have cheaper options. Many customers walk away from our market because they feel can’t afford the prices.

Even our local hospital will be spurning local suppliers of food when the contract goes to HBL. A similar thing has happened in Auckland and it will mean that the cheapest suppliers will be used even if the fish comes from Vietnam and the potatoes from Holland (as has happened in the past). The free market trade system has meant that our local producers have to compete in international markets where carbon footprints and worker exploitation are not factored. There is even a strong objection to providing clear country of origin labeling so that consumers have little way of telling where their food comes from. This is nothing about serving the best interests of consumers but supporting the best interests of corporate profits.

The neoliberal corporate culture has seen the likes of Monsanto and supermarkets control the production of food to suit their needs and this supports industrial, monoculture farming. Dairying now dominates agriculture in New Zealand and the quantity of milk produced is now more important than the quality or variety of products. Our local, lignite powered, Edendale Dairy factory has a drier capable of processing 100 litres of milk per second, producing 28 tonnes of milk powder per hour or 35 shipping containers full of milk powder every day. However when we have European wwoofers stay with us they tell us that our cheeses are not nearly as good as what is supplied by the many family businesses in their home country. Southland used to make the best porridge oats in the country but we are now a dairying province.

A recent UN report has claimed that if we really wanted to make the best use of our land to feed the world, we need to shift to small scale organic farms. The report advocates for a transformation towards “ecological intensification” and concludes, “This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small scale farmers.”

Cuba has proven the success of small organic farms when trade embargoes stopped the importation of pesticides and herbicides and forced them to produce their own natural fertilizer and compost. Food production has increased and their mortality rate is now about the same as New Zealand and their life expectancy is better than the US.

Havana food market

A Government’s role should be to regulate and control markets to make sure that that bullying monopolies and duopolies don’t occur and that the health and welfare of the citizens aren’t compromised by corporate greed. New Zealanders should have access to healthy fresh food that is grown locally and we should be supporting our own growers and encouraging quality and diversity.

(The image at the top is an early Summer harvest from our own small organic garden a couple of years ago)

62 comments on “Local Bodies: Neoliberal Economics Limits Food Choice in Southland”

  1. RedLogix 1

    One of the things I really miss living in Australia is that in moving we lost our connections to all sorts of local food sources we had back home.

    For quite a few years we had gotten our food budget to the point where probably only 25% of it was being spent in supermarkets. Now it’s back up to 100% and it sucks.

    The only upside here is no GST on fresh food.

    • Murray Rawshark 1.1

      Brisbane has plenty of markets. I have no idea where you are, but there may be something nearby. We probably spend less than 20% at the supermarket, with the rest being at the butcher and the greengrocer. We seldom bother buying fish.

      I went to the Dunedin farmers’ market last January. I wasn’t too impressed with the look of some of the fruit, but there was some good cheap meat. I remember we had a good feed there, but I can’t remember what it was. Aotearoa has great stuff to eat and it’s a real shame that supermarkets and dairy are taking it away from us.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        Aotearoa has great stuff to eat and it’s a real shame that supermarkets and dairy are taking it away from us.

        Ballarat has a couple – but we didn’t take to them. Maybe we should try again. It’s hard to put a finger on it but it’s the quality and selection of real foods that I miss the most here in Aus.

        But yes – the supermarket juggernauts might deliver on price, reliability and consistency. But they do lack soul.

        • Murray Rawshark 1.1.1.1

          In Brisbane you can buy a lovely looking peach and half an hour later it’s starting to rot. I haven’t got a clue what they do to them. Most of the Kiwis I know here have nostalgia for the sweet, sweet kai of home.

  2. weka 2

    Here’s the UN report referred to,

    ​Farming in rich and poor nations alike should shift from monoculture towards greater varieties of crops, reduced use of fertilizers and other inputs, greater support for small-scale farmers, and more locally focused production and consumption of food, a new UNCTAD report recommends.

    http://unctad.org/en/pages/PressRelease.aspx?OriginalVersionID=154

  3. Bill 3

    Excellent piece.

    One small thing that could significantly boost local access to locally produced foods is a complete overhaul of food and safety regulations. Small cottage industries, that could supply local markets/outlets with prepared produce, are being routinely sunk before they launch by onerous compliance costs related to certification.

    • weka 3.1

      In the US one thing that happened in response to this is the introduction of Cottage Food Bills. These allow people to make certain foods at home, for sale. Meat and dairy are excluded.

      Here’s the Californian one,

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Homemade_Food_Act

      However, the meat and dairy one also needs sorting. At the moment very small scale farmers can produce enough to supply local markets but generally can’t afford the compliance costs. This is little to do with safety, and largely to do with the rules being designed for large producers who have completely different economic scales.

      There is some movement on the raw milk one, with MAF doing a couple of rounds of consultation. These aren’t difficult things to design (safe systems for small growers), the blocks seem largely ideological.

    • Wayne 3.2

      What nonsense this item is. When Cuba gets cited as an example of the market in action you know the whole discussion has gone off the rails. And the evils of Southland becoming a major diary producer. Yet another disaster to overwhelm the region.

      I have no doubt that the supermarkets in Southland and North Shore stock pretty much the same items from the same source. They use their purchasing power pretty effectively.

      But I can also go to at least 6 greengrocers in a 3 k radius and get a wide variety of different items that I won’t find in the supermarket. I could also go to the Takapuna market on Sunday morning and get all sorts of alternatives.

      But hey if the Left want to get stuck into the evil neoliberal nature of the food supply in New Zealand go for it. Shane Jones seemed to think it was a good idea to push up the cost to consumers.

      But on reflection I guess the writer is probably a Green who would shoot the cows so the land can be redistributed to needy organic farmer tilling small plots.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1

        No, no, no.

        If you’re going to repeat ridiculous lies about a managed reduction of the dairy herd, you need to do them up front, to catch the tl;dr crowd.

        Are you sure you’re cut out for this tr*lling lark, Dr. Mapp?

      • RedLogix 3.2.2

        But on reflection I guess the writer is probably a Green who would shoot the cows so the land can be redistributed to needy organic farmer tilling small plots.

        What a good idea Wayne. If we take this to the next Green Party conference as a remit – can we put your name on it for the credits?

        Or you could have actually read the link in the post:

        So far Cuba has been successful with its “transformation from conventional, high input, mono-crop intensive agriculture” to a more diverse and localized farming system that continues to grow. The country is rapidly moving away from a monoculture of tobacco and sugar. It now needs much more diversity of food crops as well as regular crop rotation and soil conservation efforts to continue to properly nourish millions of Cuban citizens.

        In June 2000, a group of Iowa farmers, professors, and students traveled to Cuba to view that country’s approach to sustainable agriculture. Rather than relying on chemical fertilizers, Cuba relies on organic farming, using compost and worms to fertilize soil. There are many differences between farming in the United States and Cuba, but “in many ways they’re ahead of us,” say Richard Wrage, of Boone County Iowa Extension Office. Lorna Michael Butler, Chair of Iowa State University’s sustainable agriculture department said, “more students should study Cuba’s growing system.” (AP 6/5/00)

        http://www.projectcensored.org/12-cuba-leads-the-world-in-organic-farming/

        Seems to me a great example of the market in action. Why would you not be proud? Or is it an example of the ‘wrong’ kind of market. One that might work for ordinary people instead of the already very wealthy?

        • weka 3.2.2.1

          yeah, but where’s the profit? Farming isn’t about producing food. Show me the money!

      • weka 3.2.3

        wow, so many ad hominems and reactionary cliches in one comment.

        Cuba wasn’t cited as an example of the market in action, it was cited as an example of how small, localised, organic food production brings benefits that the neoliberal model doesn’t.

        Southland is running in cow shit and nitrates. That the authorities and ratepayers have let this happen for the individual profit of some farmers is a disgrace. Google waituna lagoon +pollution if you want to read a classic example. Locals now talk about how many rivers are unsafe to swim in now.

        “I have no doubt that the supermarkets in Southland and North Shore stock pretty much the same items from the same source. They use their purchasing power pretty effectively.”

        Actually supermarkets vary quite a bit in what they stock.

        “But I can also go to at least 6 greengrocers in a 3 k radius and get a wide variety of different items that I won’t find in the supermarket. I could also go to the Takapuna market on Sunday morning and get all sorts of alternatives.”

        Good for you. So are you saying that because you can do that, everything must be alright? Or do you mean that Kennedy is right, that there are some places where that’s not possible.

        “Shane Jones seemed to think it was a good idea to push up the cost to consumers.”

        here’s the dilemma. Food costs to produce. At the moment it is subsidised by economies of scale underpinned by fossil fuels, and because pollution costs are still largely being born by those not doing the producing or retailing. Once peak oil and AGW effects kick in more we will be forced to look at how to produce food locally, and how much that actually costs. Having said that, some producers are keeping their costs down, and they’re the ones largely working outside of the neoliberal structures.

        “But on reflection I guess the writer is probably a Green who would shoot the cows so the land can be redistributed to needy organic farmer tilling small plots.”

        You do realise that conventional farmers shoot cows, right? And what precisely would be wrong with converting heavily polluting and unsustainable dairy farms to sustainable and organic small farms that provide multiple benefits to the community and landbase?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.4

        Shane Jones seemed to think it was a good idea to push up the cost to consumers.

        Food brought in from the other side of the world costs more than food grown here. The only reason why it has a lower monetary cost is because of our delusional monetary system that’s backed by government. A monetary system that ignores and denies the full costs preventing proper accounting. One good example is climate change and another is our ever more polluted rivers from farming. One way or another those costs will be paid. It’s just a question of if we account for them now or if Nature* accounts for them later.

        Nature bats last, doesn’t negotiate and doesn’t take hostages.

      • Murray Rawshark 3.2.5

        Shane Jones was always one of yours. He recently made it obvious.

        Have you been to a fruit and vege market in Cuba? They’re great, cheap and have heaps of variety. What Cuba does have problems with is car parts, for example, where Washington interferes with the market. Please publish your lies elsewhere.

  4. Colonial Rawshark 4

    An ideology which sees market and corporate forces as the ultimate shapers of our whole civilisation will lead first to the degradation, than to the fragilisation, then ultimately the destruction, of our society.

    Localised, diversified food production is survival-critical in an energy depleting world.

    Which means that both central government and local governments have to constrain the large supermarket groups in order to give both physical and economic spaces to a value chain which promotes local producers, local distributers, local retailers and local buyers to interact.

    I am fascinated that we would use Dutch potatoes. The minimum wage in Holland is roughly $16/hr. Then you have to store, ship, refrigerate the potatoes. Are EU agricultural subsidies making all the difference here?

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.1

      Ahhh I see, youth rates in Holland go as low as $6/hr.

    • weka 4.2

      This would be an area where I see the people needing to lead the way (not waiting for central govt to do anything useful).

      For the people that can afford it and have access, use the Farmers Markets, and support other sources of local food. The people selling at Farmers Markets are often highly motivated and are pioneering the growing and economic models that will be needed to replace the globalised system. They need more support, and the more support they get now the more likely we will be able to make the transition.

      In the bigger centres there are bucky box schemes too, where a group sources local produce and delivers it to your door.

      Buckybox is a software development that allows such schemes to run, so it’s also about other aspects of kiwi ingenuity and working smarter, and ties in with NZ’s other economic potential to sell ITC globally (as opposed to AGW creating and land destroying milk powder)

      http://www.buckybox.com/

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10844166

      One of the local food box schemes,

      https://foodbox.co.nz/

    • Ad 4.3

      Gardening your own vegetables takes too much damn time. And hell there are people a whole bunch better at it than I could ever be. Cash is fine thanks.

      We are pretty blessed in Auckland with as many farmers markets as you can shake a stick at. And it’s not just for the haute-bourgeoise set for our take-home packs of Waiheke Virgin Olive oil. Plenty of them operating at scale in Mangere and Otahuhu.

      I sometimes wonder if Robert Guyton is on an heroic bender that ain’t going to work where he is. There are simply not enough people in Riverton who get what he is trying to do.

      Robert, crazy as it sounds, move to the periphery of Auckland, Wellington, or Whangarei. Stop busting your ass. Buy a patch of land and convert some run-down orchard.

      We have squadloads of green orchard and garden groups, doing their little communitarian thing. Much more fun up here growing your new life in the winterless north!

      • karol 4.3.1

        But then we lose the diversity added by the kinds of crops specific to the lower South Island climate – and not to mention, the people living in Southland lose out in terms of the kinds of local foods available.

        • Ad 4.3.1.1

          Ah! But we would gain Robert!

          • weka 4.3.1.1.1

            Auckland is already well served by localists. Why do you need Guyton?

            • Ad 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Because he’s my hero!

              Seriously I know they need him down there as well.

              There’s just far too many like him.

              I get forced to hang around with Annabelle Langbein – which is an entirely different cultural altogether. I prefer his vibe.

              • weka

                lolz, you’re moving in the wrong circles mate. Try dropping down a few notch or two if you want to find the Guytons in your area.

                • Ad

                  In Wanaka we try and hang out with the Wanaka Wastebusters people – they are pretty cool. And then we rattle our jewellery with the nobs on the weekends.

                  In Auckland particularly in the west we are rather spoilt for choice.

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.3.2

        You are pointing to the vast gulf emerging between the regions and the large cities of NZ. But you’ve ignored Guyton’s comments on how it USED “to work where it is” and how neoliberalism/corporatism over the last 10 years has made it otherwise, and basically said – just adapt to it mate.

        Telling people to leave their family homes and roots is also no answer. In fact, it’s exactly the same as telling people to continue to abandon the regions if they want a job and go to Auckland. Where unless you are in a top 5% pay group, you’re screwed as selling your nice house in Invers or Dunedin will get you 2/5ths of fuck all in Auckland.

        • weka 4.3.2.1

          Ae, and too many people leaving wrecks communities.

          btw, the post is written by Dave Kennedy, not Robert Guyton.

        • Ad 4.3.2.2

          Nostalgia and windmill-tilting.

          Regrettably in New Zealand, the majority of the customers are Hamilton north.

          I love what he does. I’ve seen the before and after shots of what he did on his little place. He’s heroic. We get advice off his site all the time.

          And there are plenty of co-ops to buy into up here. Especially around Whangarei if you want it cheap. The co-ops and communes in its periphery are terrific.

          It simply doesn’t sound much fun being isolated, seeing what hope there could be disappear, seeing the little battles lost year after year.

          At least you have the Dunedin market – which is as close to a Breugel painting for village interaction as I have seen anywhere.

          • weka 4.3.2.2.1

            Southland isn’t isolated. What are you talking about?

            “Regrettably in New Zealand, the majority of the customers are Hamilton north.”

            This misses the point entirely. The point is that each area can produce food locally, and are currently being prevented from doing so by corportate and bureacratic interests.

            Kennedy’s post focusses on what’s not working in the context of neoliberalism, but don’t assume that this means there’s nothing good going on south of Hamilton. The South Island is full of people that are leading the way in sustainable land management and food production (bet the lower NI is too). These are the people that will save us when the shit hits the fan. Large population isn’t the asset you think it is.

          • vto 4.3.2.2.2

            Isolated ….ha ha, if anywhere is isolated it is Auckland, stuck as it is right near the top of the lands. And the only way out is via horrid multi-cars, plane or boat …….

            The empty lands of NZ are not the isolated lands matey, it is the packed lands that are isolated. You just need to take off your personalised glasses and look objectively to realise this ……. of course being stuck in the retail – Waiheke – motorways – retail – Matakana – motorways – consumerism – Parnell – motorways – cars – cars – cars – sad existence of a mad consumerist society it will be nigh impossible to imagine this to be so

            • Robertguyton 4.3.2.2.2.1

              It’d be a pleasure. I’ve some red currants to pick and nectarine seedlings to plant out – once I’ve done that, I’ll get tapping.

              Robert

      • weka 4.3.3

        Riverton is the perfect place for the Guytons to be. You can’t shift the oldest food forest in NZ to Auckland. You can’t save and restore Southland’s heritage apples trees from Auckland. You can’t support the shift back to local production from Auckland either (the Guytons and others are having an impact down South).

        Besides, RG is on the local regional council, which is massive. Complete waste if he went up north.

        Ad, you comment strikes me as the epitome of individualist culture. You take a crucial social and environmental issue that is about the good of all and reframe it to be about one person’s self interest.

        • Ad 4.3.3.1

          Oh I’m not being too serious.

          He just sounds like he’s going to spend his life losing, and there are few good people like him to see that kind of effort go to ease.

          • weka 4.3.3.1.1

            What makes you think he is losing? That’s a pretty weird comment tbh, given how successful the Guytons are.

            • Ad 4.3.3.1.1.1

              I was reading the post above and pretty much it all looked like losing.
              Admittedly I got the author wrong, but it would apply whomever the author was.

              • weka

                I’ve already pointed this out. Kenedy is talking about a specific aspect of food production and how neoliberalism is blocking it. He puts that in a Southland context but the core issues apply across the country.

  5. Dammit, it was going so well until the “ZOMG OBESITY!!!!” panic-mongering. Would the supermarket duopoly not be a problem if everyone were thin?

    • weka 5.1

      I think the question is more ‘would eating junk food/highly processed food not be a problem if everyone were thin?”

      (the answer to which is yes, it would still be a problem, IMO).

    • The Murphey 5.2

      Q. Stephanie Rodgers are you ok ?

  6. vto 6

    Neoliberal policies and the market-driven approach has failed, clearly, and the food supply is another example as so amply evidenced here by mr bsprout.

    Failures include;

    Leaky buildings.
    Global financial crisis
    Pike River
    Food supply

    there are many others, please add ……

    To think that some people such as gosman, Rodney Hide, Prebble etc think that people make their decisions solely on price ….. sheesh, the most short-sighted, shallow, brainless idea ever in the life of manwomankind

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    The free market trade system has meant that our local producers have to compete in international markets where carbon footprints and worker exploitation are not factored.

    Basically, the ‘free-market’ system has managed to persuade us that the more expensive items are cheaper.

  8. coaster 8

    Plums on the west coast 10.99 per kilo.

    lucky I have a number of trees, admitaly they have spots, arnt huge and not the nice colour the supermarkets have, but the taste a hell of a lot better.

    The regions are screwed for choice, there are no markets, no other options other than supermarkets or grow your own. But we do have big sections at cheaper prices and the gumption and ability to grow some of our own.

    Another upside are the kids in the regions that know where the fruit and veges come from, and have eaten food right out of the garden.

    the sad thing is how hard it is to get meat, rather than the crap meat we have in the supermarkets, there are no local butchers on the west coast anymore, so supermarkets are the main source, unless you have frinds with lambs or beefys.

  9. DoublePlusGood 9

    Market fruit and veg is way cheaper than supermarket fruit and veg in Wellington, and of higher quality in general. It’s strange to me that a supermarket can manage to undercut the farmers market food in Invercargill.

    • Our main fruit and vege growers come from Central Otago and are small enterprises and they can generally undercut supermarkets, but not always. Supermarkets often discount some lines to levels where they can’t compete on price, although our quality is better. Sadly the majority of Invercargill (remember $27,400 is our median income) are price focussed. It is also about economies of scale, I don’t think our population can support many smaller providers of fruit and vegetables.

  10. Corokia 10

    Regarding type 2 diabetes, for diabetics (and the huge number of people who are ‘prediabetics’) to manage blood sugar levels we need to know the ‘glycemic index= GI’ of foods. I know this is a bit of a tangent, but most of the processed food sold in supermarkets is ‘high GI’, and makes obesity and diabetes worse. It is rare for the GI of any food to be on the label. Supermarkets have lots of ‘gluten free’ products (especially in wealthy suburbs), but its just tough shit if you are diabetic. We are told that diabetes is a major cost to the health system but unless low GI food is clearly labelled and available at reasonable prices, the problem is only going to get a lot worse.

  11. saveNZ 11

    Great article. Considering we are a food producing nation there needs to be more debate on this issue. One way that stupid decisions are made are to look at everything in a very narrow field that does not take into account other costs and outcomes. i.e. as you say hospitals, now the food is being outsourced to presumably save money, however other issues like ability to supply locally grown healthy food, ability of food to achieve greater health outcomes, loss of local jobs, loss of quality jobs i.e. replacement of jobs for zero hour contracts, poorer conditions etc, loss of control of the health care provider to actually make decisions regarding the food that it serves, the pollution and carbon miles produced by dehydrated and off shore food, GM food that is not labeled, pesticides etc in the food (new practise put everything in chloride to kill all germs but not sure how much long term testing has been applied to this especially in the context of sick people), more plastic and rubbish produced by the “food”.

    Quality is not given the same level of hierarchy as cost. And many cost of ‘cheap’ unhealthy food is borne by the government and consumer in a case of corporate welfare. i.e. rubbish

    One really interesting article I read recently about ‘coca – cola capitalism’ describes how the state became responsible for disposing and recycling waste products of companies rather than the company themselves. i.e.

    The organization launched in 1953, as Coca-Cola, along with PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch and others, were making the switch from returnable glass bottles, which they cleaned and refilled themselves, to the “one-way” metal and plastic bottles we’re used to today, a cost-cutting move that shifted the burden of responsibility for dealing with the bottles onto consumers. Keep America Beautiful’s public service campaigns, as Bartow J. Elmore, a professor of environmental history at the University of Alabama, describes it, basically served to reinforce this new message: That America’s trash problem was the fault of individuals littering — not of the manufacturers that produced that litter in the first place. Taxpayers are the ones who end up funding expensive recycling programs, Elmore argues, for precisely the same reason.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/01/02/coca_colas_anti_american_outsourcing_scheme_how_big_soda_gets_the_public_to_shoulder_its_costs/

    • Good comment, saveNZ, the external costs of any product should be factored in to the price. The higher taxation on tobacco, helps to cover the external costs of healthcare that normally has to be borne by the taxpayer. There should be similar taxes placed on processed food that leads to poor health and diabetes. Price recognition for the lower carbon footprint involved with eating local food would be useful. Southlanders should be buying locally grown potatoes at their supermarket.

  12. millsy 12

    Its good to see that we have a former National Party cabinet minister somehow coming to the conclusion that questioning why we are eating Chinese processed fish means we support USSR-style collectivisation of agriculture ay gunpoint.

  13. Glenn 13

    10 years ago I picked and packaged a few dozen bags of coloured heirloom tomatoes and took them to the New Plymouth SPCA bootsale. Upon arrival the person in charge of the market took my $5 entry fee then informed me that I could sell the tomatoes that day but for future markets I would need a New Plymouth District Council food handling certificate. Cost $50 from the District Council.
    I thought fuck em and after giving friends and neighbours any excesses dumped what I didn’t need.
    Bureaucratic bastards.

    • weka 13.1

      I think they were wrong. You don’t need a certificate to sell unprocessed garden produce. Maybe this varies from council to council but think roadside stalls selling fruit and veg.

    • Our Council tried to hit some of our stallholders with a considerable sum for a food license (cooked food) but it was for a full year and we negotiated it down to a daily rate which was minimal.

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    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    17 hours ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    17 hours ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    18 hours ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    18 hours ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 day ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    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
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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
    5 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
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  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
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  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
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    6 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    7 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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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
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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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
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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
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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