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Look at the future of families

Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, August 14th, 2015 - 51 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, babies, Economy, families, gender, housing - Tags:

In South Korea the colliding intersection between tradition and demographics is probably at its most extreme – see Economist article “I don’t“. However the same kinds of effects are being seen all over the developed world, and increasingly in parts of the underdeveloped world.

The proportion of single people in Seoul more than doubled between 1990 and 2010, and they now account for 16% of households. Four in ten South Korean adults are unmarried, the highest share among the 34 OECD countries. In Seoul over a third of women with degrees are single.

One reason is that wedding expenses, mostly met by the groom and often including the couple’s first home, have become prohibitive for many. Another is that Korean families used to be so desperate to have sons that in the 1980s they aborted lots of daughters. Now one in seven men of marriageable age lacks a potential partner.

Also, some women want to “marry up”, which is harder now that so many women have degrees and good jobs. Many others are no longer prepared to play the role of a traditional wife. The mean age at which women marry has risen from 25 in 1995 to 30 today.

Social expectations have yet to catch up.

The birth selection is an issue that pops up all over various countries because of decisions made by parents back in the 1980s. But the really strong factor is other social expectations.

Some snipe that these women’s “marriage strike” is selfish and unpatriotic, by which they mean that they would like women to carry on shouldering nearly all the burden of housework, child care and looking after ageing in-laws. Even otherwise modern-minded online men’s clubs, such as “I Love Soccer”, have taken to deriding feminists and calling women’s forums childish. Birth rates in most rich countries have plummeted in recent decades (see article)—but further and faster in South Korea than almost anywhere else.

Successive governments have regarded the promotion of traditional marriage as a way to boost procreation, says Kwonkim Hyun-young, a lecturer in gender studies at Sungkonghoe University in Seoul. This does not seem to work. Granted, the stigma against cohabitation remains strong: only 0.2% of Korean households consist of unwed couples, compared with 10% in Britain and 19% in Sweden. But rather than getting hitched, many women remain single. And many married couples are having only one child: the number of children beyond a first fell by 37% between 2010 and 2013. So long as South Korean wives and mothers are expected to behave like their mothers did in the 1960s, many women will opt to fly solo instead.

As a leader in the Economist points out, looking across all countries, what helps is providing the economic way for encouraging women to have children..

The thing that seems to boost fertility most is subsidised child care. By cutting the cost of combining work and motherhood, this encourages both. Subsidised nurseries were pioneered in France, a country that has worried about national vigour ever since it was thrashed in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. It has been rewarded with one of the highest fertility rates in Europe. Cheap nurseries have also helped boost Quebec’s birth rate from one of the lowest of all Canadian provinces to one of the highest.

Few rich countries will ever go back to a fertility rate of 2.1, the magic number which means that the population remains stable. And persuading women in southern Europe or East Asia to have more sprogs will be especially hard. Birth rates there have fallen so far and so fast that they may never bounce back. Countries like South Korea are stuck in a cultural bind: women fought their way into university and good jobs, but family life is far less egalitarian (see article). Many women face a stark choice between an interesting career or a life making bulgogi and tempura.

Yet a culture can change, and the state can nudge it. Creating lots of good, subsidised nurseries would signal that women can keep pursuing a career, if they want to, even after having children. That would be good for women, good for productivity and good for the public coffers.

I can see exactly the same kinds of things happened here as are happening in Seoul. The effects are leavened more by our looser culture and high immigration.

Unlike the world I grew up in during the 1960s, women now make up close to half  of our workforce – albeit still extremely underpaid in many areas. But exactly the same life choices for women that are laid so starkly bare in South Korea also apply to one degree or another here.

As Stephanie pointed out in June, even having children is actively frowned upon by our rather short-sighted employers. Women are effectively given a choice by the expectations of their employers to make a choice between having a career or spending some years raising children. Even if they have a partner willing to share the work to raise kids, the stereotypes land the work and the role squarely on women.  They effectively carry far more of all of the costs (and risks) of having children.

It is hardly surprising that given a choice between having a career that they are involved with and  trained for, and having children – they are increasingly picking the career. By any rational economic measure that is the correct choice. And in our modern world, increasingly economics is overriding biology.

But even without this, increasingly just being a parent is unaffordable. Parent(s) need to have two steady incomes to even have a place to live, especially in Auckland. To buy  a property for raising children requires reasonably low debt levels and a deposit. But something like a third of our younger adults go through tertiary institutions and pick up large student debts that they start paying off as they start their careers, usually on lower wages than they will receive later in their career. So they can’t accumulate large deposits and face the choice of having children when they can’t afford it, or have children later when their bodies in all respects are less able to handle conception, childbirth, and child-rearing.

This was pointed out in a survey of tertiary students  – see “Cost of student debt: no kids“. See also an eloquent opinion piece by Rachel Smalley “Student loans a kick in the teeth to whole generation“.

That is also exactly the message that you get when you talk to people in their 30s who haven’t had children, have finally started making progress on paying off student debt, and who are having problems saving for deposit. They’re looking at the biological clock and their finances and deciding that they don’t have time to have kids. They are literally deciding between kids or career because of the costs.

Labour was starting to deal with this issue in their last term, both through Working For Families, and more importantly with state driven enhancements for Early Childhood Education. These were both designed to reduce the choice between career and children for parents, especially women.

But as usual the short-sighted fools in National were incapable of seeing past their next election and trashed ECE and every other child and parent helping initiative in various ways, like this.

It is hardly surprising that the numbers of two parent families has visibly diminished during my lifetime under a economic onslaught that makes it ever harder to provide a secure environment for raising children. Perhaps if National thought more deeply about what is required to support families that they seem to yearn for, they’d have more of them…

51 comments on “Look at the future of families”

  1. Pat 1

    “Perhaps if National thought more deeply about what is required to support families that they seem to yearn for, they’d have more of them…”
    I suspect National have indeed considered these issues and their actions would appear to indicate that immigration is their solution….and why not, it is their economic policy as well….two birds with one stone? a bargain!

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      +1

      Far cheaper to import than to produce here. National seems to apply that delusion to everything.

  2. Chooky 2

    +100 …good post…it states the obvious… but what is ususally obviously ignored by male dominated politics and male politicians and long term planning for women and families

    …and now it is undermining the sovereignty of our country and our children’s future ( in favour of immigration and house buy ups from grossly over populated cultures where women are or have been second class citizens…ie have been without contraception and often not educated or have jobs to the same degree as males from these cultures…and where in many cases females have been aborted or killed as female babies )

    Recently we have started to watch a television series now on DVD series ‘The Amazing Mrs Pritchard’ about a women’s political party in Britain….It is a good concept and maybe prescient…It is time for women to take charge of national politics …and world politics imo…for the sake of their countries, cultures, families and the planet.

  3. Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 3

    Thanks Lynn. I was trying to address this issue in my “Loss of Hope” article published in interest.co.nz earlier in the year. Your article seems to be a easier read though.

    http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/74229/brendon-harre-wonders-what-global-collapse-interest-rates-and-spectre-deflation-tell

    Somehow as a society we need to widen the public discourse so we can address some of these issues.

    • lprent 3.1

      Your article seems to be a easier read though.

      That was probably because I quoted from The Economist in the first part of the post. As a hint, borrowing from clear writers to establish the scene, then applying to the local is a great way to write a easy to read post.

  4. CR 4

    Thanks for this post, do you remember the ‘battle of the generations’ debate re housing, on the Nation a while back? Where Tau ‘never heard such rubbish’ Henare and Michelle ‘don’t give me evidence’ Boag actually SCOFFED at the Gen X, Y and Millenial/Zero team for ‘not having children because we can’t afford to have children’. I am certain if any on the younger panel HAD any children the scoffing boomers would have jumped on them and told them to blame themselves for being so irresponsible and having children they couldn’t afford.
    I was a young parent at university in the 90s racking up a student loan at 7% interest from day one, while still studying. That’s how it was back then. And no I didn’t piss it up against the wall at Shadows or go on an overseas trip with my ‘free money’ (because it wasn’t free). I didn’t take the TIA because Jenny was telling us all to be socially responsible and it was an investment in our own human capital,blah, blah, blah…didn’t want the stigma of being called a bludger, etc. stoopid me, shoulda done what Paula done. Of course no working for families (Labour) or 20 hours free childcare (Labour) or KiwiSaver (Labour) back then either. But a 17k loan did grow to 38k with the marvels of compounding interest and by the time I paid it off my child was drawing their own (thankfully, thank you, Labour) interest free student loan. Anyway, don’t own a home, maybe never will, never got married, that dream died, didn’t have any more kids (vowed to self I wouldn’t have any more kids til I was married and had own home). I think people like Tau, Michelle the generation who got everything for free really don’t get our reality. They are out of touch. They’ve never experienced it, they can’t empathise and they aren’t listening they’re so focussed on proving they’re right and we’re wrong. The most poignant moment of that debate was the youngest guy saying ‘I don’t expect to ever own a home’, and advocating for security of tenancy in law. And getting scoffed at.

    • lprent 4.1

      …do you remember the ‘battle of the generations’ debate re housing, on the Nation a while back?

      That was a complete farce.

      The young were informed. Most of the aged (there was one exception) came across as ignorant shitheads who’d never bothered to learn anything much after they turned 35 – and thought that the world still ran the same way as it did 40 years ago when they were 20.

      But really Henare and Boag were just jammerheads not interested in doing anything apart from being spewing up the National line.

      No brains or early dementia?

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        No brains or early dementia?

        Or perhaps we should be asking how long before RWNJ enters the DSM as an actual mental disorder? 😈

    • John Shears 4.2

      CR what a sad but revealing post that tells it the way it is.
      Thank you for being brave enough to write it. Good Luck.

    • ropata 4.3

      +999 CR great comment on a very important topic, eloquently put by lprent.

  5. ianmac 5

    In the late 40s my very clever Mum went started working. As a young school-aged kid this was traumatic. No other two parent families had working mums. Mum had until then always been at home when I came home from school. And now she wasn’t there. I got used to it and Mum was a very capable woman who rose up rapidly in retail, so from her point of view it was great that she could realise some of her potential.
    From that point onwards it seems that the shift progressed rapidly. The difference now is that both parents have to work, especially if on minimum wages. And any kids are farmed out to child-care to act as proxy parents. Didn’t the Spartans do that?

    What do we hope will be the future for families? Probably the answer lies with the 1%ers.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    It seems that we have not reached a consensus as to whether or not we want to be bringing many more children into a world which is going to be wracked by climate extremes and resource instability.

    • lprent 6.1

      The logic you are applying is the exactly the one that says the best thing that should be done is to impose on everyone (else usually) and release a war-engineered pathogen to scour the world population.

      For everything less than that, the general idea is to go for softer landings than planetary population annihilation, and be in a position to repair the damage that has already been done.

      There are always major costs involved in any revolutionary change. Demographics is at present going through it in almost every country in the world apart from Africa. Falling birthrates mean that the inter-generational trade offs are failing. And almost everything in the governmental systems from roads to superannuation.

      The prime end effect appears to be the kind of economic malaise that has held Japan for the last couple of decades resulting in them neither being able to restructure their industrial systems to a more sustainable form, nor to become the world leader in sustainable systems that they clearly have the capability to be. As it stands, I suspect the entire culture will remain in a stasis for at least another generation or two until they work through their indigestible body of superannuates.

      *sigh*, remember that the greenhouse gases you are looking at have residence times in the thousands of years especially in the oceans. So we either live with the effects or we start figuring out how to reverse the effects (when we finally get around to stopping increasing them).

      That requires working societies with the required spare resources / wealth to do so. It also means that we need to take care of those societies because they are the only tool we have to do the job apart from large amounts of time after a massive dieback of humans. Societies don’t do new work, even required work when they are broken.

      You need to learn to think strategically rather then just gazing at (and seemingly hoping for) the apocalypse

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        The prime end effect appears to be the kind of economic malaise that has held Japan for the last couple of decades resulting in them neither being able to restructure their industrial systems to a more sustainable form, nor to become the world leader in sustainable systems that they clearly have the capability to be.

        Part of the reason for that, and it’s occurring everywhere, is because they over produced for export rather than solely producing for the local market. When you only produce for the local market then productivity increases allow the local populace to produce everything it needs. Massive over production for export results in economic and social malaise. We see the same here with our over dependence upon farming.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.2

        Declining birth rates are as much a symptom, as they are a cause. My own view is that if we are lucky, we will be back down to 1B-2B humans by 2200. Those numbers would suggest a “soft landing” type scenario. If not, the numbers will be 1/10 that.

        We are living through the de-industrialising economic decline of post peak-energy right now. It doesn’t matter what games of financial musical chairs the powers that be enact, this is an inevitable process which is going to play out over the next century and apart from a few spasmodic blips of short lived and tenuous economic growth, the long term trend will be that of retrenchment.

        A young couple making the decision to have children now is a huge act of faith.

        The wealth of modern global society comes from the energy and mineral resources that it can extract and process, and the quality and affordability of such is in permanent decline. Bringing an energy rich country like Iran which is full of cheap untapped conventional oil back into the fold will be of help for a few decades of course. But the only remaining truly new lands we can conquer and exploit for physical resources are in the Arctic and the Antarctic, and doing so will guarantee a miserable short existence for humanity.

        Thinking strategically requires a correct assessment of the strategic environment and identifying the strategic factors which are going to be decisive. As populations get poorer, resources like good food and good water harder to come by, but levels of education still maintained (for the moment), expect to see fertility rates destabilise further, both on the down side and the upside.

        And the elite 0.1% will go even further in their quest to maintain their own position at the cost of everyone else’s. If there is to be any true “revolution” than the issue of the 0.1% will have to be addressed.

        • tinfoilhat 6.1.2.1

          “My own view is that if we are lucky, we will be back down to 1B-2B humans by 2200. If we are not, the numbers will be 1/10 that.”

          I tend to think it’ll be more in the other direction as per this presentation by Hans Rosling.

      • Pat 6.1.3

        your confidence in a functioning society in the not too distant future, let alone one with sufficient resources to successfully perform the mammoth task you describe can at best be described as optimistic, particularly when one considers the disruption a mere 100,000 refugees a year causes in our most advanced societies….I would suggest the glass is not only not half full but has slipped from our grasp.

        • ropata 6.1.3.1

          that’s the spirit. let’s all give up then shall we?

          • Pat 6.1.3.1.1

            your solution? a miraculous change in human nature overnight perhaps?

            • ropata 6.1.3.1.1.1

              Engage the political process, and work personally to improve things, including myself and the people around me

              • Pat

                a question….do you believe the impact of climate change has been well disseminated in NZ over the past 2 or 3 years?

                • ropata

                  Not particularly, but civil engineers and other members of the technocratic and political class are well aware, why?

                  • Pat

                    because the only political party that even attempted to address these issues polled 11% in the recent election.

        • joe90 6.1.3.2

          particularly when one considers the disruption a mere 100,000 refugees a year causes in our most advanced societies…

          What disruption.

          0.027%

          Hammond said that the migrants would speed the collapse of the European social order. In reality, the number of migrants to have arrived so far this year (200,000) is so minuscule that it constitutes just 0.027% of Europe’s total population of 740 million. The world’s wealthiest continent can easily handle such a comparatively small influx.

          […]

          1.2 million

          There are countries with social infrastructure at breaking point because of the refugee crisis – but they aren’t in Europe. The most obvious example is Lebanon, which houses 1.2 million Syrian refugees within a total population of roughly 4.5 million. To put that in context, a country that is more than 100 times smaller than the EU has already taken in more than 50 times as many refugees as the EU will even consider resettling in the future. Lebanon has a refugee crisis. Europe – and, in particular, Britain – does not.

          http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/aug/10/10-truths-about-europes-refugee-crisis?CMP=share_btn_fb

          • Pat 6.1.3.2.1

            yes the vast majority of refugees are not arriving on europes doorstep…and that reinforces my point….how are they dealing with the minuscule number currently …not how could they, how are they? and then multiply that by ten,a hundred …maybe add in a collapsing economy …..do you believe that as the numbers increase their response will improve? do you believe we will behave any differently? or the Australians?…the Americans?

  7. save NZ 7

    Personally I would want choice. Should both parents really have to work and therefore put their kids into childcare? At what level.

    It has been shown to be harmful to children to go into childcare as babies as their is higher levels of stress for them.

    I would like to see the discourse widened to society making it easier for a parent to care for their child for up to 3 or 4 years. These are critical years for children as their personality, emotions and wellbeing are being developed.

    This might not suit all parents but I feel their should be some sort of choice and support as to the choice of child care of looking after kids by a parent.

    Peter Dunn has the idea that if a parent stays at home to look after kids their income is taxed between both parents for example. Ideas like that can help.

    There should also be more support for early childhood care and more support at a maternity level.

    I can already hear the trolls firing up, with this talk of valuing children and WORSE financial support for them.

    There used to be child support payments made to parents – that’s how my parents got their deposit for their house. In addition the house they bought was built by the state, and able to be purchased off the state at cost.

    It is considered fine that our taxpayers assets are sold cheap overseas to be an asset for a foreign national to profit from like power and housing.

    Now we have moved to this short sighted neoliberal way of ‘user pays’ for everything. What are the costs of this ‘short term’ neoliberal model of making everything about money and short term profit?

    Immigration has been the answer to these governments focus of depriving young people of support.

    It started with student loans – when we were told that Doctors were not a public good and necessary to be trained here as it was too expensive and only they benefit from it we can just import them in fully trained through immigration. Now we just import doctors in and our Kiwi trained ones depart to pay off their loans. Not sure how efficient that system is long term.

    Likewise with children the same ideas. They are considered a personal choice not as a citizen of NZ who we want to raise to be the best person they can be and make this country better.

    Social good replaced by Social bonds – traded by banks and the rich to increase their profits.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Labour helped create a massive private sector professional child care industry. What we really need as you point out are financial options for parents to stay at home and look after their children themselves – whether it is decent single wages or home support payments for parents instead of feeding the $$$ into the child care industry private sector.

    • It has been shown to be harmful to children to go into childcare as babies as their is higher levels of stress for them.

      It has not. It has been asserted, via studies carried out by conservative groups with a mothers-belong-in-the-home agenda, but that’s about it. Give it the same credence as the studies that have “shown” abortion causes breast cancer.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        what’s good about having strangers raise your children while half your take home pay goes to pay those strangers for doing so?

        • Psycho Milt 7.2.1.1

          The sad thing is, you probably genuinely imagine that’s relevant.

          • Colonial Rawshark 7.2.1.1.1

            I repeat the question – why should Government pay strangers in the private sector to look after your children, instead of paying you directly as a parent to stay home to do just that?

            • Psycho Milt 7.2.1.1.1.1

              OK, I’ll indulge your irrelevant tangent. There are various answers:

              1. In some cases, because you have a job to go to.
              2. In some cases, because you lack interest in looking after children full time.
              3. In some cases, because you want more money than you can get child-minding.
              4. In some cases, because professionals will do a much better job of early childhood education than you would.
              5. In all cases, because it would be a waste of taxpayers’ money to fund amateurs to look after one or two children apiece when you can fund professionals to look after them in bulk.

              • The Fairy Godmother

                So you think that institutionalisation of children is a good idea and relationships with families and love and all that sort of stuff doesn’t really count for much. Brave new world indeed.

        • The Fairy Godmother 7.2.1.2

          +1

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    Education cost is the big deal in Korea – social class was largely defined by education so it is fiercely competitive. Whether this can be improved by innovations like blended learning delivery is somewhat doubtful while it functions as much as a social exclusion mechanism as it does as an education system.

  9. infused 9

    The world needs less population, not more.

    Are you now going to have a rant about global warming?

    Also, this wage gap stuff?

    https : //www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDj_bN0L8XM

    [lprent: That youtube link was showing up as a “wierd trick” spam on my page. Was that intended? ]

    • lprent 9.1

      Evidently you are caught in some kind of a strobe effect, seeing points in a process rather than the process itself (mind you that kind of discontinuity of perception probably does explain a lot about your opinions). Or it could be thta you are a bit ignorant.

      The world needs a steadily declining population. It isn’t there yet but it is getting close. Play around on this interactive graph

      However when you exclude immigration NZ, Europe, Japan, Korea, China, and most of the world are already in that position of declining populations. The problem is that in some of these nations the rate of increase is declining rather too fast causing other structural issues. Which is what this post is about.

      If you don’t want to discuss that, then I’d suggest you don’t comment on this post.

      • infused 9.1.1

        If you include this in your post

        Unlike the world I grew up in during the 1960s, women now make up close to half of our workforce – albeit still extremely underpaid in many areas. But exactly the same life choices for women that are laid so starkly bare in South Korea also apply to one degree or another here.

        Then it’s up for discussion. not sure why you removed the youtube link. I think your machine has issues. Try removing the ssl link.

      • Gosman 9.1.2

        Why is any potential decline an issue in the NZ context? You haven’t explained why WE should be concerned about this. Indeed given our rather open Immigration policy and increasing population we should be doing more to reduce the birth rate not increase it.

        • Stuart Munro 9.1.2.1

          Certainly any neo-lib’s offspring were better euthanized and replaced by immigrants – but many folk still prefer to roll their own.

    • Tricledrown 9.2

      With lack of action on global warming Con fused your wishes will be fulfilled.
      Humans will cease to exist.
      But right whingers like you don’t have any human attributes.
      Still stuck in the Neanderthal mentality of only the strongest survive .now the richest only deserve to survive.

  10. Rosie 10

    These people:

    “That is also exactly the message that you get when you talk to people in their 30s who haven’t had children, have finally started making progress on paying off student debt, and who are having problems saving for deposit. They’re looking at the biological clock and their finances and deciding that they don’t have time to have kids. They are literally deciding between kids or career because of the costs.”

    I really do feel for. Those who do decide they want to have children (unlike people like me are child free by choice) are now at the point where it’s external influences that are preventing them from having them. That, surely must cause some resentment.

    If I were in their shoes I’d feel let down by a government who wasn’t prepared to contribute via a number of policy measures, to the nurturing and development of it’s little citizens. In the case of this current government it’s just more evidence of the indifference they have towards social well being. It’s something verging on contempt for other humans.

    Families need affordable housing? Regulate the market. Nah.
    Parents need decent wages so both are not compelled to work full time to make ends meet? Raise wages. Nah
    Prospective parents put off having kids until it’s potentially too late because they have a massive student debt pile? Free or low cost tertiary education. Nah

    All those things would benefit the whole of society as well, not just parents. As it is, we can barely cover our expenses week to week. I really have no idea how families cope. Hats off to ya who do.

  11. Gosman 11

    Why do you want people to have children anyway? Surely it is better for the environment to reduce the number of people on the planet.

    • Rosie 11.1

      I thought you promoters of the free market were into choice!

    • Mike the Savage One 11.2

      I totally agree, Gosman, I trust you do your bit, as that will certainly advance New Zealand society and smart thinking to take hold of more.

    • ropata 11.3

      Is that the RWNJ solution to climate change? Do nothing and let children die in poverty?

  12. Mike the Savage One 12

    The planet is totally over-populated, and the present world human population is totally unsustainable, so perhaps we should besides of more “1st World” citizens also put more South Asians, Africans and Latin Americans into tertiary education, so they lose the desire to pursue having too many off-spring?

    I have no problem with people choosing to not have kids, as it will address one major issue we should all be worried about, un-sustainability on a global scale, caused by human and human society’s behaviour to rape and pillage resources that are finite, not thinking of tomorrow.

    We need less people, and need to learn to live within our means. I also think the stupid, short sighted economic agenda of this and previous NZ governments, to create growth by increasing the population is short sighted and stupid.

    We should focus on productivity, on quality gains, and diversification, than simply choosing the easy and stupid way, to simply increase the consumer and worker base. All those people will want to be looked after in ill health, when unemployed and elderly, that will cost a lot, same as housing and what else there is.

    But tell that John Short Minded Opportunistic Monetary Merchant Bankster John Key and his government, they do NOT care for the future, only themselves.

  13. NEW YORK—Expressing concerns over dwindling resources and the preservation of the environment for future generations, an adult male American cockroach was reportedly worried Thursday about what kind of kitchen cupboard he was leaving to his children. “I look at the state of this cupboard right now and see how young my nymphs are, and I’m terrified there won’t be enough graham cracker crumbs left when they’re grown up,” said the insect, adding that he sincerely hoped his offspring would have the same opportunities to safely skitter around in dark cracks and crevices behind the containers of flour and rice that he had always enjoyed. “Sometimes I lie awake wondering whether the Quaker Oatmeal Squares will still be here when I’m gone, or whether my generation has been too wasteful with the brown sugar leaking out of the plastic bag. After all, this cupboard is the only home we’ve got.” At press time, the cockroach was reportedly grappling with the ethical dilemma of bringing several hundred children into such a cupboard in the first place.

  14. Ad 14

    I am astounded by the number of conversations I have or overhear with people who have given up on owning a house, given up on having children, and given up on an upward career.

    I have very very few conversations – even in my large and very well paid business – with people who have the confidence to step out, start business, expect an upward trajectory of any kind.

    My business is 100% white male led, massively qualified, and about 85% European in general. This used to be the ruling class – and may well still be.

    Oddly, the great Auckland property boom is a signal of the hope running out fast from our society. Apart from that last, highest fraction.

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    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 ...
    5 hours 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
    6 hours 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? ...
    9 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    11 hours 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
    11 hours 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
    11 hours 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
    15 hours 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
    15 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    4 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    7 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago

  • 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
    5 hours 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
    8 hours 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
    8 hours 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
    8 hours 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
    8 hours 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
    11 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 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
    2 days ago
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  • COVID-19 updates
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