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Minimum wage rises good for workers

Written By: - Date published: 1:31 pm, December 18th, 2007 - 41 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

Reports suggest that the government is set to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour. Coming toward the start of 2008, this would mark the ninth rise in as many years.

When it comes to income, one trick ponies John Key and National would like you to believe that the only thing that counts is the tax rate. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Dom reports that this latest modest rise to the minimum wage will be worth around $30 a week to the 200,000 or so workers on the lowest pay rates. While some may claim that the minimum wage still isn’t high enough let’s not forget the alternative. Over the years National have opposed rises to the minimum wage at nearly every turn. Their record is shameful – John Key desperately wants you to forget the injustice of the National-90s. Just check out the graph below.

In nine years in government the Nats raised the minimum wage only three times.

In nine years under the Nats the minimum wage rose a mere 88 cents.

That’s less than 10 cents a year.

I’d call it “pocket change” but it’s not. The astounding fact is that the Nats were so miserly that we don’t even have a coin of low enough denomination in our circulating currency for the Nats to have added it to your hourly pay.

Workrights are going to be a huge issue at the next election here – the same way they were in Australia. Howard’s wholesale attack on Aussie workers was one of the main reasons the electorate rejected him. Bear that in mind when National releases the Business Roundtable’s their Industrial Relations policy.

My guess is that it’ll be heavy on slogans, light on real substance: John Key and National writ large.

min_wage.gif

UPDATE: The inflation-adjusted figures paint an equally compelling picture. Check them out at kiwiblogblog.

41 comments on “Minimum wage rises good for workers”

  1. Billy 1

    We could solve all poverty if the government would only set the minimum wage at $120 an hour. You know it’s just common sense. Why won’t the government of the people do this?

  2. Sam Dixon 2

    Billy, that’s so stupid.

    No-one’s talking aobut raising the minimum age to $120 and it obviously wouldn’t solve poverty. However, raising the minimum wage by an above inflation amount does lift the standard of living for low-pay workers, making up for the gap tht National caused in the 1990s.

    Why is it people like you can only see things in such simplistic terms? Like those of you who say ‘carbon dioxide is needed for plants to grow, therefore spewig massive quanitities of it into the atomsphere cna’t be a bad thing’

  3. Sam Dixon 3

    kiwiblogblog’s got another look at this issue – http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=883 – their graph is inflation adjusted, but the standard’s looks better with the colours and all

  4. The Double Standard 4

    Anyone have any figures of how many people actually receive the minimum wage over the past decade?

  5. Tane 5

    Darn it AYB, I was working on a similar post myself!

    That’s some amazing progress right there – 70% over eight years. Here’s hoping Labour adopts the CTU’s call for a $15 minimum wage at the next election.

  6. Billy 6

    “people like you”

    You mean Jews?

  7. Kimble 7

    Sam, Billy was making a point that you seem too stupid to understand.

    You guys never listen to National’s reasons for opposing increases in the minimum wage. Even here you dont address them.

    You are obviously incapable of having a dispassionate discussion of minimum wages laws. You need to grow up.

    You have never even considered that the minimum wage-increase lull in the 1990’s is why Labour can increase the minimum wage now. Nor have you considered that wages may have increased beyond justifiable levels before National took power and that their industrial relations policy merely allowed the labour market to correct this mispricing.

    If wages had increased at the rate they had before National (and good old Labour) what would they be now? What would inflation be? Would the minimum wage be over $25?

  8. Kimble 8

    Will there ever be an increase in the minimum wage that you wont support? If there was a Labour led proposal to double it, would you campaign against it?

  9. Tane 9

    Kimble, good to see you agree National’s industrial relations policy in the 90s was aimed at reducing wages. But given how often National talks about wages in NZ not being high enough and complains about people leaving for Australia, don’t you think it’s time they took the blame and reviewed their anti-worker IR policies?

  10. Tane 10

    Will there ever be an increase in the minimum wage that you wont support? If there was a Labour led proposal to double it, would you campaign against it?

    Kimble, I’ll refer you to Sam Dixon’s earlier comment in this thread:

    Minimum wage rises good for workers

  11. Kimble 11

    Actually, I said that you lot had never considered it. I wasnt stating it as my opinion, just pointing out the lack of reasoning that led you to yours.

  12. Santi 12

    What about making tax free the first 10,000 dollars of income, or even more? That’ll do more for people who really need the money.

    You can almost hear Scrooge Cullen saying No way!

    Where is Dunne, the Minister of Revenue and champion of commmon sense (…not!) when you need him? Missing in action, of course.

  13. Kimble 13

    Well, $1.5billion in tax cuts have been announced.

    Stand back for the wall of silence from the Standard on why these tax cuts are good, but Nationals would be bad.

    100 points for the first loser to say that the tax cuts are bad of course, but they will be good if it means that National doesnt win the election next year.

    (With the implication that Labour is promising the cuts now but will renege on that promise if they win the election. God bless lefties and their “principles”.)

  14. Tane 14

    What about making tax free the first 10,000 dollars of income, or even more? That’ll do more for people who really need the money.

    Yeah, that’d be nice too, but I don’t see why the government should use public money to subsidise low wages.

  15. Matthew Pilott 15

    Santi, increasing the minimum wage has a better effect as it targets only those on minimum wages – fair enough to assume they’re the people who need it the most.

    However I agree with you that a threshold change would work if it was coupled with an increase in taxes for other brackets, especially if it was geard to income-neutrallity at the median wage.

    Someone asked how many people this would Affect (TDS) – think the DomPost quoted 200,000 (this would include anyone not on the minimum wage, but below the new level i.e. between $11.25 and $11.99). I can’t recall what percentage of our workforce this compromises.

    Nice to see eight years of consecutive increases haven’t negatively affected employment levels. Now where are those doomsayers?

  16. Sam Dixon 16

    Kimble – “Well, $1.5billion in tax cuts have been announced” no they haven’t the Treasury has said there is headroom for that much and the RB has factored that much into their projections… that’s not government policy.

    and your “Stand back for the wall of silence from the Standard on why these tax cuts are good, but Nationals would be bad.” agian shows this lack of ability to realise that its levels not absolutes that matter.
    decent minimum wage rises good – rises that would cripple the economy bad
    medium-sized tax cuts good – large ones that would put the govt in deficit and boost inflation, bad

  17. Seamonkey Madness 17

    Tane,

    You are deflecting the question(s). Please answer it(them).

    Now being a person without time to do the research, and The Standard people being so passionate about the issue of MW – could you please graph the rise in the average FTE wage vs the MW over the same period please?
    (I said please! 🙂 I don’t care what side of the argument would come out best, I would just like to see it, thats all…)
    Also while you are at it, could you graph MW vs inlfation rate and/or OCR?

    Also, at what level do you find it acceptable to raise the MW? You have stated $15. What about $16? $17.50? A round $20?? The public want to know how much you are willing to pay that spotty teenager, with 3 months experience behind the grill, to flip your burger. =)

  18. Matthew Pilott 18

    Kimble, incase you haven’t noticed, National hasn’t got anything in term of policy regarding tax cuts! Apart from that they will.

    Bit premature there…

  19. Kimble 19

    “Yeah, that’d be nice too, but I don’t see why the government should use public money to subsidise low wages.”

    Tane, are you shitting us? What do you think WFF is?

  20. Tane 20

    SM, if you want inflation adjusted blogblog’s done a graph that’s already been linked to on this thread over here:
    http://kiwiblogblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/super-sizing-the-minimum-wage/

    I don’t have time to graph it next to the average or median wage and frankly I’m not sure what the point would be. The minimum was far too low and needed to catch up. It still does. The CTU’s call for a $15 minimum wage sounds reasonable enough to me as it’s around 2/3 of the average full time wage.

    If you want to see what’s happened to wages under National and Labour go here:

    National: it’s not worth the pay cut

    For a copy of the CTU’s submission on the minimum wage go here:
    http://union.org.nz/policy/ctu-submission-on-the-2007-review-of-the-minimum-wage

  21. Sam Dixon 21

    Seamonkey – the Standard has done median wage over the same time period before. http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=527 that’s an annual figure, as opposed to an hourly rate there are basically 2000 work hours a year.

    (you don’t want average, you want median, don’t want to have to explain why again).

    The CTU wants $15 an hour, which would restore the minimum wage to its historic level of to thirds of the average wage.

  22. Tane 22

    Tane, are you shitting us? What do you think WFF is?

    It’s a tax credit targeted at families to help offset the cost of raising children. I think it’s good that tax cuts are going where they’re most needed. Some employers may see it as an excuse not to pay higher wages but they’ll find any excuse, won’t they?

    But certainly I’d agree WFF is not a substitute for higher wages – no tax cuts never are. That’s where National has it so very wrong.

  23. The Double Standard 23

    Kimble – technically WFF is not a low wage subsidy, its a low wage kids subsidy.

    The funny thing is though that Tane referes to public money subsidising low wages, but it is really taxpayers own money that is being recycled back to them! Reducing or eliminating taxes on the first component of income seems like a sensible idea to most, but it fails the socialist test of sticking it to the rich pricks.

  24. Kimble 24

    Treasury has said the same thing for a number of years, but now MC decides to listen to them. They must be over their bout of brain farting.

    Sam, it is you lot that are accepting that the increase in the minimum wage is an absolute good. You havent justified it beyond the point that it gives people more money.

    FFS, even I can justify this increase in the minimum wage better than you have!

    “Nice to see eight years of consecutive increases haven’t negatively affected employment levels.”

    How can you be sure they havent? What would employment levels be if there wasnt 8 consecutive years of increases? Maybe the impact of the 8 increases has been masked by the good global economy? Perhaps we wont see the impact of the increases until the economy tanks?

    As I said, maybe the increases by Labour have had a limited impact because of the hard political work done by Naitonal? Perhaps Labour is reaping the rewards of the unpopular policies of the 1990’s?

    If you havent ever considered these possibilities, or have dismissed them without giving them proper consideration, I dont think you can justify your current position as having been achieved through rational thought.

  25. James Kearney 25

    You’re grasping at straws Kimble. Really. It’s sounding desperate.

  26. Seamonkey Madness 26

    I just noticed the update link to KBB.
    Nice graph.

    What years do you consider ‘historic’ for your 2/3 of average FT wage?
    I say this as the line track up…and up….and up, not back to a flatline from where National picked up the reins.

  27. Sam Dixon 27

    historic is pre-neoliberal revolution.. i’m not sure of the years but the CTU says that 2/3 of average wage was the traditional norm for the minimum wage (there has been a minimum was since 1893)

  28. Seamonkey Madness 28

    Could you please ask the KBB lads to extend their graph back another 20 years and show points where Governments take over please? I think it would be interesting and a good exercise.
    Can’t be bothered signing up to it. 🙂

  29. Kimble 29

    JK, just admit you simply arent capable of thinking things through rationally.

  30. Leftie 30

    While many employers annually review and increase their starting hourly rate, many employers do not. Those that do not, generally pay their lowest workers the minimum rate. Effectively the only way these workers get a pay rise is when the government lifts the minimum adult rate. This situation happens whether productivity increases or not.

    What some people forget is it can all start from the bottom. For example, the boss is not going to say “give me a 2 percent payrise” when lower ranked workers at the same place of work have received a 5 percent payrise. People that argue against any steps taken to raise hourly pay (industrial action, increase minimum wage etc.) are shooting themselves in the foot in my opinion.

    Boil this up, down or any which way you want. This will directly put money into low paid worker’s pockets and put pressure on pay right through to management levels.

    Kimble said:
    “If wages had increased at the rate they had before National (and good old Labour) what would they be now? What would inflation be? Would the minimum wage be over $25?”

    – We sure wouldn’t have the National party campaigning on the difference of pay between here and Australia.

    National’s actions do not match their words. I think an honest political party campaigning on lifting wages would be happy to vote for initiatives to lift worker’s pay and conditions.

  31. Seamonkey Madness 31

    Thanks for humouring me KBB lads. And yes it does make for interesting reading doesn’t it!

    Doesn’t make good reading for National does it? 😐
    I guess you have to take into consideration global economic conditions, but it does paint a picture that National doesn’t keep at the 2/3rds level that is the supposed historic level.

    If they really like humouring me (and perhaps unwittingly showing National up again) then have a line showing the 2/3 average(median!) FT wage. 😀

    Once again, thanks for whipping that graph up.

  32. Matthew Pilott 32

    “Nice to see eight years of consecutive increases haven’t negatively affected employment levels.”

    How can you be sure they havent? What would employment levels be if there wasnt 8 consecutive years of increases?

    We’re pretty much at full employment now Kimble.

    KBB and Wat Tyler have done plenty on this, but from memory, if you remove the long-term unemployed, and a percentage from structural unemployment (i.e. in between jobs) you’re looking at SFA of a percent!

  33. Kimble 33

    “Effectively the only way these workers get a pay rise is when the government lifts the minimum adult rate.”

    Not true. They can also use their increased experience to find new employment at a higher rate.

    “This will directly put money into low paid worker’s pockets and put pressure on pay right through to management levels.”

    What is scary is that you consider this unquestioningly good.

  34. Kimble 34

    “We’re pretty much at full employment now Kimble.”

    If we had reached full employment a few years ago, who’s to say we wouldn’t be in a better position to ride out the global turbulence in the next recession?

    And the word you were looking for was frictional. Frictional.

    Structural unemployment may be what we had in the 1990’s, and is what you lefties whine about constantly never considering that without those changes NZ wouldn’t be as good a place as it is today.

  35. burt 35

    all_your_base

    These numbers don’t look so flash when compared to housing affordability.

    http://www.chranz.co.nz/pdfs/regional-housing-markets.pdf

  36. Wayne 36

    Burt are you arguing for even higher minimum wages?

  37. The PC Avenger 37

    Kimble, since they tend to be low skill, the experience minimum wage jobs provide makes it easier to get other jobs that pay minimum wage, not higher paying jobs.

    By the way, since you seem to be suggesting a market driven solution to low wages, you might be able to answer this nagging question I have.

    Why, if it is the best means of creating change and causing improvement, has “The Market” has been is has beaten to the punch by every piece of progressive employment legislation ever?

  38. Kimble 38

    PCA, you obviously dont know what the “Market” is, other than something to heap irrational hate upon. But lets just address the point you made before you reverted to a gibbering mess.

    Does your minimum wage worker, who is stuck in that job for decades at a time with no ability to find better employment opportunities, even exist?

    Is minimum wage employment merely a transitory state?

    A real study needs to be done on minimum wage jobs. There are people who are paid the minimum wage (though many more who are paid relative to it I would say), but how long do these people stay in those jobs? How long are people paid the minimum wage before their situation improves?

    Are there other things that mean the value of the job to them makes up for the minimum wage? For example, are most of the people on the minimum wage for their second job? In which case their take home pay is affected by the lower tax rate.

    How many people on the minimum wage are employed by a family member? How many self employed people pay their spouses the minimum wage?

    I doubt we have this sort of detailed information available and easily accesssible, but it would make a good doctoral thesis for some lucky young student.

    Even in minimum wage employment, experience makes employees more efficient and therefore more valuable. I cannot think of a single minimum wage job where this doesnt hold, and its not as if I lack imagination. Can you suggest any?

    captcha: pamela defeated (didnt she just file for divorce?)

  39. The PC Avenger 39

    Actually, the reason why I used the term “The Market” was not because I misunderstand the principle of a free market, or hate the concept, but to parody the people that advocate deregulation as the solution to all of lifes problems.

    I have a minor form of dyslexia, so you’ll have to excuse the mangled grammar in my previous post.

  40. Here’s some interesting information that provides a little more historical context for this discussion..

    “The minimum wage was 78 per cent of the average wage in 1948, the highest it has ever been. It was allowed to fall to 40 per cent of the average wage by the start of the 1980s. Then it was raised from 30 to 53 per cent in 1987 by the new (Lange) Labour Government. By 1988 it was higher than the minima specified in 20 per cent of prevailing awards. Since September 1990 it has been kept at $6.125 per hour and in the year ended March 1991, for example, relative to the average wage the minimum had fallen back to 1987 levels. In 1992 it has been lower still, in relative terms.”

    http://www.hrnicholls.com.au/nicholls/nichvo13/vol133de.htm

    Now, the minimum wage will be raised to $12 in early 2008, and assuming that average hourly rate stood will stand at around $23.00 at that time (it’s about $23.00 now) the minimum wage will be 52% of the average wage – slightly less than it was in 1987 under Lange.

    http://www.dol.govt.nz/lmr/lmr-wage-growth.asp

  41. Kimble 41

    Think of free marketeers as the naturalists of the political and economic realm. They want to return to a more natural state.

    It is quite easy to show that government interference doesn’t lead to the optimal (or even the intended) outcome. Think about rent controls. The problem is rents are going up too much, the government decides to solve the problem by legislating a cap on rents. Result? Less houses built, black market forms, black market prices are higher than what the market price would have been, people in rent controlled houses never move.

    We would have been better off if the government hadnt bothered trying to help.

    captcha: stern indifference

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    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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
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    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 ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
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    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    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
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    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
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks 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
    19 hours 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
    21 hours 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
    1 day 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
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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