web analytics

Myths and moralising – the conservative trademark

Written By: - Date published: 2:17 pm, December 29th, 2011 - 36 comments
Categories: Economy, history - Tags: , ,

The Economist has a wonderful blog post from “Democracy in America” tearing apart an  argument by a conservative columnist for the New York Times

DAVID BROOKS argues that analogies between today’s America and that of the Progressive era are misplaced, and Progressive-era solutions ill-suited to modern times, because today’s America faces challenges it didn’t face back then. For example, today inequality is rising:

Moreover, the information economy widens inequality for deep and varied reasons that were unknown a century ago. Inequality is growing in nearly every developed country. According to a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, over the past 30 years, inequality in Sweden, Germany, Israel, Finland and New Zealand has grown as fast or faster than inequality in the United States, even though these countries have very different welfare systems.

So, what was happening with inequality a century ago? In the 19th century, as basically everyone has always recognised, the budding industrial economy created very large increases in inequality.

The Gini coefficient on taxable wealth in Massachusetts increased from 0.734 in 1820 to 0.907 in 1900, and in Ohio it rose from 0.806 in 1830 to 0.864 in 1900 (Steckel 1994).

But maybe Mr Brooks meant to refer to the beginning of the 20th century? What was happening with income inequality from, say, the point when we can start consulting income-tax data, in 1913? Well, the share of pre-tax income earned by the top 1% of American households went from 18% in 1913 to 24% in 1928, pretty much exactly the same thing that happened again in America between 1993 and 2007.

Lovely – cutting with links, facts, and above all an understanding of the linkages between the multitudes of factors that make up modern societies that Brooks’s simplistic understanding clearly misses.

David Brooks tries to say that the recent increases in inequality are unique and are due to recent efficiency gains leading to changes in individual productivity. But as the DIA post points out that is complete bollocks (except he does it far more politely than that). Extreme improvements in efficiency and therefore individual productivity have been going on throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. We have been through the productivity increase cycle many times over the last 200 years.

Multi-factor productivity growth was highest between 1928-1950, and in general was much higher from 1890-1950 than from 1980 on, though it has picked up again since 1996.

Like most “progressives”, I think that rising inequality is a symptom of the inability of societies coping with the rapid changes in productivity rates. When we get rapid improvements in productivity there are more people thrown out of their jobs. Pretty much what we are seeing today.

In the past this has lead to rising inequalities and recessions rapidly falling into depressions as the wealthy hoover up surplus wealth without putting it into new enterprises. Meanwhile the jobless and underemployed tighten their belts and the economies stall through lack of customers apart from a small group of extremely wealthy – who start sliding backwards as their customers diappear. This is characterised by a rapid reduction in the velocity of money in the economy. It is a negative sum system that ultimately beggars everyone and leads to extremely frightening political consequences.

The general solution that evolved through the first half of the 20th  century was twofold. Firstly the state redistributed wealth from the wealthy back into the economy through taxation of various kinds. This redistribution was largely used to upskill the working population through government interventions in the market to form new industries by subsidies or infrastructure development of retraining. This has been shown to work at both reducing the crippling wealth inequalities, and to cause the formation of new industries and employment. But it does stick in the craw of conservatives and capitalists who have an emotional dislike for realising how dependent their prosperity is on the prosperity of others.

In the current ‘recession’ (which is looking more and more like a depression to me), the main response to date has been to simply prevent banks and financial institutions failing. That needed to be done. However very little has been done to deal with the consequences of changes in productivity. Instead what we get is standard response of conservatives everywhere when they don’t like ideas. It isn’t the lack of jobs, lack of investment capital for new industries,or the poor training – they blame the victims of productivity increases for “moral” issues.

The rest of Mr Brooks’s column criticises high rates of out-of-wedlock births and other vague indicators of moral malaise. “Bad habits have accumulated. Interest groups have emerged to protect the status quo,” he writes; apparently interest groups did not attempt to protect the status quo in 1911. “The job is to restore old disciplines, strip away decaying structures and reform the welfare state,” he finishes. This leaves him open to the riposte “no it’s not”, a rebuttal against which his column has failed to provide any evidence.

Even smart conservatives in my experience are generally idiots because they think far too short term, fail to look at history  and in the final analysis view everything from their own narrow short-term interests rather than those of society as whole. That is why despite my natural inclinations towards the right, I could never standing the sickening myth-remaking of history and the external moralising about other people that hypocritically concealed naked self-interest. David Brooks is just another example.

36 comments on “Myths and moralising – the conservative trademark”

  1. Georgecom 1

    One important aspect of the 20 century social welfare compromise was matching wage increases to productivity. In the US, for example, wage growth in the core heavy metal industries was linked to productivity. In NZ the state linked a ‘living wage’ and general wage orders to economic coditions, including productivity rises. In this manner rising productivity was shared with the workers and simply not captured by capital. Rising living standards were ensured for the many.

    The benefits of current rises in productivity are not flowing through the population but are being captured at the top of the socio-economic spectrum. A society ‘struggling’ to adjust to rising productivity must include meausres to spread the benefits around, not merely hope for some trickle down (in reality it’s trickle up).

    • Gosman 1.1

      Quite possibly you are correct however that doesn’t explain why some of the areas that had high productivity gains due to the deregulation of the economy starting in the 1980’s, (e.g. Telecommunication and Transportation for example), were generally the most Unionised and highly paid prior to the reforms. This would suggest that productivity was being inhibited rather than enhanced by the system.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        high productivity gains due to the deregulation of the economy starting in the 1980′s, (e.g. Telecommunication and Transportation for example), were generally the most Unionised and highly paid prior to the reforms.

        Absolutely nothing to do with de-regulation… and everything to do with the massive implementation of new automation technologies that was occuring at the exact same time.

        Indeed if we look at the consequences of de-regulation in the finance industry; it’s obvious that the consequences have been a stunning destruction of wealth and productivity; while at the same time highly unionised and very well paid industries like the German automakers have remained exceedingly successful.

        I’ve pretty much spent my entire adult life as tiny part of that revolution, and I can assure you the idea that somehow ‘market de-regulation’ was the principle drive of increased productivity in the last 30 years is a total… well myth.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.2

        “Productivity gains” are weasel words. The gains didn’t go to the laid off workers, nor to their communities wracked by unemployment nor to the country which lost strategic assets from its balance sheet. The gains all got offshored, and now the Government is subsidising broadband infrastructure for Telecom. How productive is that.

        • grumpy 1.1.2.1

          I think we used to call it Marginal Revenue Product of Labour…………………..?????

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1.1

            Firing workers tends to be more profitable than having them around.
            No company that I know makes management decisions based on the ‘marginal revenue product of labour’.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3

        If there had been any productivity gains in telecommunications since deregulation then we would expect to see two things:-
        1.) Significant reductions in real prices
        2.) An improved, high bandwidth network capable of supporting modern needs, ie, 100mbps broadband

        We haven’t seen either of those things. We have seen Telecom rip ~$20b dollars out of the economy in profit, extra costs to the economy as multiple networks get built and the need for the government to step in and pay Telecom and others to bring the network up to speed. If deregulation and privatisation shows anything it’s that it’s very expensive and doesn’t achieve what all the people in favour of it say it will – Lines their pockets with our wealth though.

      • Georgecom 1.1.4

        You are correct that it doesn’t explain productivity increases in certain sectors of the economy, and nor is it intended to. It reflects that we previously had mechanisms for ensuring rising productivity levels were spread amongst the many, not simply trapped by the few as we presently have.

        But changing the subject, at least 2 answers have seemingly been provided. New technology has come about and in the 1980s anyway, thousands of state sector workers laid off which will show higher productivity per labour input.

  2. Gosman 2

    Interesting arguments from both sides. What I find especially fascinating about this subject is that I very much doubt that the amount of direct income transfers from wealthy to poor has changed much over the last few decades.

    For all the left’s bemoaning of a supposed cuts in support to the poorer sections of society I would argue that spending has been realitively consistent over the past few decades. Indeed if we have a look at the graphs in figures 2, 3, and 4 of this paper ,(http://ips.ac.nz/publications/files/99f91186d74.pdf), it should be obvious that the State’s expenditure on welfare as a percentage of GDP has been remarkable consistent over time.

    Even the infamous ‘Mother of all Budgets’ didn’t seem to make much of a dent in this percentage figure. Certainly it is clear that prior to the economic reforms of the mid 1980’s Social welfare spending looks to be about 11 to 12 percent of GDP and that was about the extent of the spending in the late 1990’s.

    What is also clear from those graphs is that the size of the State has been steadily rising over the last hundred odd years and it was only in the 1990’s that this started decreasing significantly. Yet the areas that led to this reduction weren’t obviously in one area and certainly not in cutting welfare. In fact it looks like a large part of the reduction is as a result in reduced financing costs.

    So why do we have such an inequality problem then if we are essentially spending the same amount on welfare that we did thirty odd years ago before we were meant to have such an inequality issue? Well perhaps the answer to that is related to where we are spending that welfare money. Instead of reaching the people it should be targetted at , i.e. the bottom sections of society, it is being skimmed off by those who are better off. In short we are providing welfare to the middle and upper income groups via welfare programmes such as Working for Families and Superannuation.

    This is why I am comfortable with Labour party policies such as increasing the age of entitlement to Syuperannuation and even imposing a Capital Gains tax. Coupled with more effective targetting of benefits to those who need them rather than those who don’t you might be able to reduce the social impacts for those on lower incomes.

    • lprent 2.1

      Yet the areas that led to this reduction weren’t obviously in one area and certainly not in cutting welfare. In fact it looks like a large part of the reduction is as a result in reduced financing costs.

      It was. I think at one point we were spending about a quarter of the governments revenue on interest – and this was on the governments interest rates. Fortunately the reduction in global interest rates helped a lot as did the reduction in inflation down to manageable levels. There may have been a impact from asset sales in the 80’s and 90’s. But is suspect when you looked at the nett costs of increased people on unemployment in areas without employment, I suspect it was minor and largely eaten up by middlemen.

      But I wasn’t talking about welfare. The vast bulk of that is superannuation or highly variable based on a lack of jobs during recessions. A few minutes of reading on the latter will show that the numbers of people on long term benefits is minimal when there are jobs available. The problem is how to get those jobs.

      The question is how do you get new industries created in times of depression to create jobs, when the wealth required to capitalize those industries is being held in a small population of increasingly risk adverse wealthy? We have been through this cycle numerous times in the last 200 years, and in the absence of new resources, it gets increasing more difficult for the “market” to it without a shove from the state.

      It is the indirect transfers from the wealthy to the whole of society via infrastructure, incentives, and direct training that pay the dividends.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        That is fascinating. So in lieu of direct transfers from wealthy to poor via welfare you think there is some other method involving Governmental support of business do you? I therefore presume you support the reimposition of high tarriffs and import substitution as the solution to this issue do you? The alternative is direct subsidisation of industry. This would require the renegotiation or outright withdrawal of NZ from a number of international trade agreements, (many of which were negotiated and signed under the previous Labour led government it has to be stated). I have yet to see a political grouping in Parliament seriously argue for this. It is a valid policy to pursue though, just not one I subscribe to. Why do you think no political party is pushing for this?

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          High import barriers, subsidies and other government protections were critical to the success of Japanese and South Korean auto, heavy machinery, ship building and high tech precision machining industries.

          The US Govt continues to subsidise their pharmaceutical and military-industrial complex to the tune of trillions per year.

          Government intervention and protection has also been critical to the success of the NZ ag/hort industry, including dairy.

          Other countries understand that close co-operation between a country’s industries and its government is absolutely necessary for global success. Germany, USA, Japan, Taiwan, China, Singapore, South Korea all get this implicitly.

          Why are we so slow.

    • McFlock 2.2

      Indeed if we have a look at the graphs in figures 2, 3, and 4 of this paper ,(http://ips.ac.nz/publications/files/99f91186d74.pdf), it should be obvious that the State’s expenditure on welfare as a percentage of GDP has been remarkable consistent over time

      Really? Of those charts, figure 3 is the only one that even mentions welfare. It seems to show around a 2 or 3% of GDP drop in welfare and GSF from 1994, which according to table 1 was 13.5% of GDP in 2008/9. So it would have been around 16% of GDP if it were “remarkabl[y] consistent”.
       
      Oh, and when comparing us to the 1970s you need to factor in unemployment rates, union membership keeping wages reasonable, the opportunities provided by the education system at the time, and demographic changes /  the entire gender politics thing. Plus, of course, the stuff we chose to ignore then like “domestic” violence.
       

      • KJT 2.2.1

        I would expect the total payments for welfare to be relatively constant. Recent Labour Governments may raise things such as the UB slightly, but NACT always causes has many more unemployed.
        Neither change the biggest welfare payments, super, by much.
        Most likely this largely cancels out.

  3. Georgecom 3

    One extra factor I neglected to mention in NZ was the Awards system and relativities. A wage increase struck in one of the core Awards, like the metal trades, was passed through the economy by the mechanism of relativities (pattern bargaining) that saw productivity dividends flow through the working class.

    Anything like that now?

    • Gosman 3.1

      If those productivity gains were truly being spread around the economy as you claim then there wouldn’t have been distortions requiring Government interventions to support productive sectors of the economy. This is the reason Farmers supported reforms that led to increased productivity in the transport sector as part of the Quid pro quo for removing direct subsidies such as SMP.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        In a near zero growth environment, the more productivity gains we have, the higher unemployment will be.

        • grumpy 3.1.1.1

          Seems to me that higher relative incomes are more disproportionate in the non-productive sectors………………

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            The ponzi-financial and banking sector, particularly. Also amongst the financial asset ownership class.
            Driving workers out of employment can be very profitable.
             

      • Georgecom 3.1.2

        The Awards and relativities framework allowed econom ic gains to be sp[read around the economy. One of the determinants for Awards and GWOs was productivity.

      • mik e 3.1.3

        Farmers didn’t support Roger Douglases reforms because all other farm export economies still haven’t reduced their subsidies.
        If they supported ACT they would have voted for Dinosaur Dons Nicholson.

      • mik e 3.1.4

        Gooseman road transport is still being subsidized heavily.

    • Mike 3.2

      Productivity has increased 90% in the last 30 years, whereas wages for those on lower incomes have remained stagnant or decreased in real terms. We used to share the gains from productivity increases by raising wages, etc. But in the last 30 years, the rewards have been mostly sucked out of the economy by way of profits.

  4. randal 4

    yeah like consultants, pr people, and general liggers and sausage roll abusers, all wrapped up in the sobriquet of nashnil gubmint parasites.

  5. ropata 5

    I don’t think the charge of propagating mass inequality is fairly laid against traditional “conservatives”, it is more the result of the neo-con / neo-lib movements who decided that the social contract was boring and getting super rich was much more exciting. Conservatism by definition puts great stock in history. The “Conservative” label has been greatly undermined by those with a (dominionist/evangelical/apocalyptic) religious agenda who forget the secular humanist foundations of democracy in the USA and elsewhere.

    Nowadays we all understand conservatism to mean the Brit “Conservative” party, US Republicans, or NZ NACToid corporate drones. Their moralising about identity politics was conservative in tone but their economic acts (and wars) were devastatingly radical.

    It’s the neocons, not the paleocons, who have screwed up the world.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      +1

      Its the neoliberals, and especially the neocons, who are the corrosive fuckers.

      Give me a ‘right wing conservative’ guy like Holyoake or Eisenhower any day.

      • Lostinsuburbia 5.1.1

        Yeah well Eisenhower wanted to tell the military-industrial complex where too go. That took some balls

  6. jcuknz 6

    I wonder if in the time being until people stop over copulating and over populating the world the solution would come from down skilling so that more people would be involved in less production to waste the worlds resources. Somehow, and I don’t have a clue how, we have to get away from the system that relies upon increased production and find an equilibrium … but first we need fewer humans … and spare me all the rude words such common sense seems to bring from short sighted un-thinkers.
    All the best for the New Year …..God help us all, or somebody ….something.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      A steady state economy powering a steady state society. Anything else and we will be screwed…soon too.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    The debunking handbook (pdf) discusses effective strategies for countering misinformation. Perfect for those wingnut moments.

  8. M 8

    ‘Even smart conservatives in my experience are generally idiots because they think far too short term, fail to look at history and in the final analysis view everything from their own narrow short-term interests rather than those of society as whole. That is why despite my natural inclinations towards the right, I could never standing the sickening myth-remaking of history and the external moralising about other people that hypocritically concealed naked self-interest. David Brooks is just another example.’

    Nice one Lynn – as you have said in the past you’re right leaning by heredity but left leaning intellectually (not exact words I know – forgive me) and thanks for having the balls to write this because for me right leaners in the main are short term thinkers who seem to operate on thinly disguised fear that by someone getting a slice of the pie too that they are somehow diminished.

    • lprent 8.1

      *grin*. It isn’t really by heredity – there are quite a few manual workers and unionists in the family tree along with the assortment of entrepreneurs, managers, shopkeepers and tradespeople. But I do have quite that strong tendency to have extremely individualistic tendencies and confidence in my own abilities verging on outright arrogance that shows up here frequently – usually when I’m tongue-lashing a fool. That tends to predispose you towards the ‘right’ way of thinking. I was particularly enamoured of it when I was doing the MBA in the mid-80’s.

      But there are different types of right leaners. The envy ones are almost the least of the problem. There are a lot of right leaners who intellectually see the issues but who have this interesting disassociation between understanding the issues, seeing how it will cause future problems, and feeling the responsibility for doing something about it in reasonable time frames. They tend to view everything as being someone else’s problem, usually the governments, while also decrying the government interfering in whatever they are doing. Kind of strange when they are the government….

      This shows up most clearly in the climate change debate. I just find it kind of weird.

  9. Mike 9

    “But maybe Mr Brooks meant to refer to the beginning of the 20th century? What was happening with income inequality from, say, the point when we can start consulting income-tax data, in 1913?”

    Interesting year 1913. Also the year the Federal Reserve Act was unconstitutionally enacted.

  10. randal 10

    Yes it is much easier to lean to the right. compound interest and all that, plus the psycholoigical satisfaction of bossing people around and last but not least professing to beleive in God so that it is all his fault.
    and they are all so smug and smarmy.
    so where are the f*cking jobs you nimnuls?

  11. Lostinsuburbia 11

    At the end of the day we exist in a modern quasi-feudal society. The majority of us devote our time to labour for the enrich of our boss/Corp aka The lord. Our spare time and capital is used to either rest or invest in our marginal scraps of the economy (I.e serfs got to farm thir own individual plots when not tendering their lordsfields).

    Then we have the modern equivalent of guilds, allowing the major companies to dominate and control their respective markets.

    And above it we have our modern version of the king and the royal court, which is place to make favours, give money for deals, and kid the lower classes that they might get a say.

    Things haven’t changed much – we just have more food, better teeth, and most can read.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government confirms Bayfair underpass to go ahead
    Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter today confirmed an underpass for people walking and cycling will be part of the Baypark to Bayfair Link project in Tauranga, following thorough investigations by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. “I’m very pleased to announce that the underpass will be going ahead,” said Julie ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago