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National and the wage gap

Written By: - Date published: 2:24 pm, December 13th, 2007 - 62 comments
Categories: same old national, workers' rights - Tags: ,

I see National’s complaining about the wage gap between New Zealand and Australia again. As usual they have no answers on what to do about it other than to blindly hope that tax cuts for the rich will lead to economic growth and somehow it’ll all trickle down into the ordinary worker’s pay packet. Ever feel like someone’s trying to sell you a dud for a second time?

Because as anyone who lived through the 90s can tell you, National has a shameful record on wages, as this graph of median wage growth shows:

nominal-small-revised.jpg

The reason for this is simple. When National and its allied employer groups introduced the Employment Contracts Act in 1991 it was deliberately designed to reduce the ability of workers to bargain for better wages through their unions. This was done in a number of ways, but one of the most effective was its restrictions on the ability of unions to negotiate collective agreements across an entire industry.

This meant each collective agreement had to be negotiated on an enterprise (site by site) level, which both moved the balance of power firmly towards the employer and encouraged companies to compete against each other on labour costs. The result was a race to the bottom. Workers lost conditions, wages stagnated or fell for the majority of workers and collective bargaining was largely replaced by the market. Productivity suffered as the low cost of labour made capital investment uneconomical.

So when National talks about the need to lift wages and improve productivity, just remember who it was that slashed Kiwis’ take home pay in the 90s and put us in the position we’re in today. And don’t for a second think they wouldn’t go back there if given half a chance.

The challenge now for Labour is to finish the job they started in 2000 and strengthen the Employment Relations Act to restore effective industry bargaining. Wage growth has improved under the ERA, but it’s not nearly enough if we want to catch up with Australia.

As Council of Trade Unions economist Peter Conway points out, leaving it to the market alone hasn’t worked:

“New Zealand now has a structural problem of low wages, and the 30% wage gap with Australia will only be closed through more widespread industry wide collective bargaining, supported by ongoing improvements in productivity.

‘Wages were broadly comparable with Australia until the late 1980s, but then fell to 60% by 2002, according to Treasury analysis.

‘Similarly, in 1978 New Zealand and Australian workers had about the same amount of capital per hour worked but by 2002, capital intensity in Australia was over 50 percent greater than in New Zealand.

The CTU agrees that lifting productivity is essential to lift incomes on a sustainable basis. However this must be accompanied by effective measures to ensure the benefits are shared, with a strong minimum code and effective industry bargaining.

The next election may well be fought on the wage gap between New Zealand and Australia. It’s up to Labour to show the electorate which party’s really looking out for the interests of working New Zealanders.

62 comments on “National and the wage gap”

  1. SweeetD 1

    Pretty graph Tane, but if you are comparing NZ with Aust, what is the point in showing the last 15 years of NZ medium wage growth? Could you post similar Aust data so we can comapre?

  2. James Kearney 2

    Thank you. It really sticks in my craw to hear National talk about wages as if they’ve going to do anything but cut them to make their big business backers even wealthier. Why don’t the media ever take National to task on this? Maybe the PM was onto something about youth and inexperience…

  3. The Double Standard 3

    Double Standard Alert!

    Tane, I’m wondering what Labour is doing about it – after it was Clark who made the ‘top half of the OECD’ prediction? Surely it is the job of the government in power to provide the solutions, not the opposition?

    After 8 years, I’d have thought that they could have made more progress. The Nats haven’t been in power since last century and it is a bit lame to be continually blaming them.

    Apart from quoting Peter Conway, how is Teh Party addressing the issue? How about nationalising Toll NZ, and agreeing to an immediate doubling of wages for the employees. Would that be a good plan? Or maybe doubling the income of those 44,000 core civil servants?

    It’s not like there is a magic wand to wave!

  4. Tane 4

    SweeetD, that’s a graph I already had on hand from a previous post:

    National: it’s not worth the pay cut

    I used it because I felt it illustrated the effect the ECA had on our wage path and what’s happened since its repeal. People often don’t understand the effect industrial relations law has on people’s wages.

    Certainly some Aussie stats would be good but I don’t have them on hand right now. I’ll get something together eventually though.

  5. Lampie 5

    We must also not forget we have to make a “comfortable” environment for business to grow (someone got stats on that?) as in tax relief towards R&D (addressed already?) and company tax (addressed already). Even if this has become more of a reality we still have to a)don’t forget about business and b)blow our trumpet that we have created a better business environment.

  6. Tane 6

    TDS, taken another read of what I said:

    The challenge now for Labour is to finish the job they started in 2000 and strengthen the Employment Relations Act to restore effective industry bargaining. Wage growth has improved under the ERA, but it’s not nearly enough if we want to catch up with Australia.

    As for your suggestion that we double wages etc, you obviously haven’t understood a word I’ve written. But then given your efforts last night I suspect you’re here to disrupt rather than to engage.

  7. Lampie 7

    Bet they wouldn’t print your graph in the Herald, Tane. It’s too positive for them.

  8. djp 8

    I think the graph needs to be inflation adjusted.

    Also how did the Nats “slashed Kiwis’ take home pay in the 90s”? Does not the graph show steadily increasing there in the blue zone?

  9. SweeetD 9

    Tane

    without the aussie evidence, the graph simply shows that medium wage growth has carried on at the same rate under labour as they they receieved from national.

    I might be making a gereralised statment on this one, but then again, so are you. No where does this data show the economic conditions present at the time, so that in isolation, this data set is pretty much meaningless, but it is still a pretty graph.

    Get thise aussie figures up, as we’ll have something to compare.

  10. The Double Standard 10

    Tane – if you think that abusing me personally makes you look better then I guess I can’t stop you. Disappointing though. You might have to do better if you want H1 to comment on your little blog.

    You seem to be saying that improved collective bargaining is a magic wand. If so, why do you think Teh Party hasn’t done it already? Surely it would be an easy election winner?

    And why doesn’t it ‘lead they way’ with state sector wages – after all if its good enough to impose increased labour costs on businesses, then shouldn’t the state cough up significantly as well?

    Might help with our chronic medical staff shortage.

  11. Tane 11

    DJP, there’s a graph adjusted to inflation and taxation in this article:

    National: it’s not worth the pay cut

    And a large number of Kiwis did have their pay slashed in the 90s. See for example Conway’s research on the wages of supermarket workers under the ECA:
    http://www.dol.govt.nz/publication-view.asp?ID=96

  12. Santi 12

    “..that tax cuts for the rich will lead to economic growth..”

    That’s where you problem lies Tane: the notion that people earning over $60,000 per year are rich. You’re wrong, completely wrong.

    Families with that income are probably getting even after having to pay mortgages and living expenses. They are not able to put some funds aside for later in life.

    The income belongs to the people who earn it, not to the state, which in the case of Labour’s Cullen & co appear so ready to get thier sticky fingers in opur wallets.

    Labour’s Working for Families is another attempt at wealth redistribution, with the idea of making some of the middle class even more dependent on the state (Do I need to mention the votes gained in the process?).

    Blatant socialism at its worst.

  13. James Kearney 13

    “medium wage growth has carried on at the same rate under labour as they they receieved from national.”

    Ah no it hasn’t. Look at the trend lines.

  14. SweeetD 14

    James

    under national from ’98, the graph edged up. It has carried on more or less in the same direction under labour. Yes, the increase is slightly steeper under labour, but it is still in the same gereral direction. Therefore, labour is just carrying on the work achieved under national.

    As I said to Tane, without aussie data to compare, this data set in isolation is pretty much meaningless if the whole point of this post is the wage gap between nz and aust.

  15. The Double Standard 15

    Interesting too to consider the effect of housing affordability on perceived income. Spiralling interest rates and house prices (to be following by rents no doubt) will have soaked up much (if not all) of wage growth in the last few years. Prices have more than doubled in many places since 1999 after all.

  16. Tane 16

    SweeetD, the point of the post was not about the difference in wages between NZ and Australia, it was to point out that National has no credibility criticising the government over wages, and to offer an idea of what we can do to lift wages in general.

    We don’t need Australian data to do that. Having said that, I’m happy to pull together some comparative data at some stage. In the meantime you might want to check out NRT’s post over here:
    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2007/12/productivity-and-wage-gap.html

    And spin all you like, the trend lines for wages under National and
    Labour are significantly different, and the reason is industrial law. Workers were better able to bargain collectively and the wage path showed that. Why else do you think business has been so vehement about attacking work rights and repealing the ERA?

    TDS, I don’t know why you keep demanding I defend everything Labour has or hasn’t done. My position is that National will attack workers while at worst Labour will keep the status quo. I’d like to see them do better.

    Santi, my point was that the bulk of National’s tax cuts (at least based on 2005 policy) will go to the rich while the average worker will get crumbs. They’re certainly not a substitute for wage growth, no matter how many times Bill English says so.

  17. The Double Standard 17

    Tane – Maybe because you complain that National is not providing all the answers for Teh Party to steal? If the Nats are not providing the answers surely its not unreasonable to ask why Teh Party is not providing them either?

    Or maybe its because you continually misrepresent the facts. As djp pointed out you say “National… slashed Kiwis’ take home pay in the 90s

    The word slashed means that take home pay reduced under National but your chart clearly shows that it increased. I take it this is a new standard for the definition of slashed. This will be useful when the next health minister claims that “New Zealanders who have already seen their primary health bills slashed by Labour” or somesuch we will know that they have actually been increasing by 15% a year?

    It is obvious to all that the primary purpose of this blog is to attack National and John Key, but doesn’t banging the same note on the old piano get boring for you?

    How about some thoughts from the standardistas on how to go about this? “The CTU agrees that lifting productivity is essential to lift incomes on a sustainable basis.”?

  18. Pascal's bookie 18

    “but doesn’t banging the same note on the old piano get boring for you?”

    You don’t have any self awareness whatsoever do you TDS?

  19. Sam Dixon 19

    kiwiblogblog has a look at the economic indictors report and that stas its based on http://kiwiblogblog.wordpress.com/

    double stndard – the grpah only shows increase becuase it isn’t inflaiton adjusted… went went through this a couple of months ago.

    And this, mate ” Maybe because you complain that National is not providing all the answers for Teh Party to steal?” is both desperation stuff and shows the fundemental hollowness of National poltiics – for them its gettign into power that matters first and foremsot not getting policies in place.

  20. The Double Standard 20

    PB – hook, line, and sinker.

    Cap: week work hmmm.

  21. The Double Standard 21

    Sambo – I hope you use a spell checker in your professional life, and post here under an assumed name, because what you write online is just embarrassing.

  22. James Kearney 22

    “Sambo – I hope you use a spell checker in your professional life, and post here under an assumed name, because what you write online is just embarrassing.”

    I thought you were taking a stand against personal attacks double.

    And I still don’t get why you think Labour would steal National’s right wing policies on employment relations that are completely at odds with their policy programme of the last eight years. Why in the world would they do that?

  23. Pascal's bookie 23

    You might need to expand on your fishing analogy TDS/IP, the portion I quoted was pretty much the only content in your comment. If you are suggesting that it was in some way satirical, then I’m afraid I don’t get it.

    Perhaps you are acknowledging that you are a repetitive, boring one (flat)note wonder. If so, well played Sir. You done got me good.

    I would also second Sam’s point that the idea that “labour would steal our policy” is a good reason for not having any policy at all, only displays yourself to be hollow in the extreme.

    If you had a political bone in your body, an ounce of actual ideology or even a coherent philosophy, you would realise that when your opponents steal your policy… you win. That is because, and it’s sad that this has to be spelled out on a political blog, only partisan fuckwits care who initiates the policy, serious people just want the policy. So all your cant about ‘Labour good National bad’ is just (more) projection.

    Who woulda thunk it?

  24. r0b 24

    “you would realise that when your opponents steal your policy. you win.”

    Bookie is right on here. And we should all smile ourselves a smile every time Key flip flops and adopts a Labour policy. Because, much as I abhor the thought of a National led government, it won’t be so bad if they are implementing Labour policy (and constrained form the worst of their own excesses by the magic of MMP).

  25. The Double Standard 25

    What are you guys, a double team?

    PB – It was entirely predicable that Tane or one of his acolytes would post a response like you did. A pity that y’all have nothing better to do than bang on at me eh?

    JK – I don’t usually mention spelling (glass houses and all that), but that one was soooo bad. Ask Robbo – bad english over a threshold gets him a bit wound up too. Of course, he wouldn’t point it out to any of the standardistas though.

    As for National’s employment policies – why are you so keen to know then? I’ve seen various commentary that Teh Party is going to try and make it an election issue, so I guess posts like this are just a bit of framing for Labour.

  26. Tane 26

    Na, I just put this post up because I was pissed off that National would have the audacity to talk about lifting wages given their history and the fact they still have exactly the same policy agenda. I bet their business backers (especially the Australian ones) are gagging for a bit of WorkChoices over here too – gotta keep the flame alive now that Johnny Howard’s gone.

  27. The Double Standard 27

    Rob – funny that I was thinking along the same lines. I wonder if we will see posts here praising the Nats when they confirm (yet again) that they will keep Kiwisaver. I won’t be holding my breath though.

    And of course, I’m sure all here are pleased that Labour picked up this little gem from National for this years budget. Shame they hadn’t thought of it before.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10440386

  28. Pascal's bookie 28

    TDS, you’re so hollow I suspect you come with “life like sucking action”.

    The phrase ‘hook line and sinker’ implies that you caught me out in some ploy.

    So what was the ploy, to get someone to respond? Is that it?

    Jeebus wept. Aside from the fact that it confirms that as well as being an politically empty partisan fuckwit, all you are doing here is trolling. Which is sad more than any thing else. The only thing you can do, for hours and hours is to try and get people to talk to you on-line by being a contrary wanker. Why don’t you take up bridge or something?

  29. r0b 29

    Rob – funny that I was thinking along the same lines.

    That must be a first!

    I wonder if we will see posts here praising the Nats when they confirm (yet again) that they will keep Kiwisaver. I won’t be holding my breath though.

    I’ll try and remember to do so on that happy day. Have they confirmed supporting KiwiSaver II yet?

    And of course, I’m sure all here are pleased that Labour picked up this little gem from National for this years budget. Shame they hadn’t thought of it before.

    Indeed. A good idea is a good idea, no matter where it comes from. National could probably have achieved so much more over the last 8 years if they had grasped that fact, and been a constructive opposition, instead of being a knee-jerk “anti everything” opposition.

  30. Phil 31

    30-odd posts on this topic, and yet not a single reference to GDP… another case of wanting to beat people over the head with an ECON101 textbook, I suspect.

    We can argue all we like about the root causes, but if the national income “pie”, GDP, grows fairly weakly, and there isn’t any additional money to go around, there isn’t any reason for wages to increase.
    On the other hand, if GDP has done quite well – the “pie” has gotten bigger – as you would expect, wages should improve.

    Looking at NZ, the economy as a whole grew 24% between June 1990 and June 1999, while growing 32% from June 1999 to June 2006.

    Once you take into account the impact of inflation, as you have done in the previously noted article where this frst came up, you will note that under BOTH NATIONAL AND LABOUR, the increase in GDP is greater than the increase in wages (14% real income to 24% real GDP under National, and 21% real income to 32% real GDP under Labour)

  31. PhilBest 32

    You guys just do not like it when I mock the notion that prosperity is dependent on strong unions, industrial legislation, and minimum wage laws.

    Would you advise Somalia and Bangladesh that this was the way out of their economic malaise?

    Can you guys see ANY role at all for enterprise, investment, and capital? And the right incentive structure?

    You just CAN’T wave a magic wand, and say, presto! henceforth New Zealanders, Somalians, and Bangladeshis, will be paid just as much as Americans or Frenchmen. The wealth has to BE there in the first place before you can “share it around”. And it is not as if it isn’t obvious HOW that wealth GETS created. No GOVERNMENT creates it.

    But I’m banging my head on a brick wall. YOUR type’s legacy to the world is North Korea.

    “Reason supported by evidence is insufficient to dislodge from the human heart, a lie grounded in desire” – David Horowitz.

  32. “30-odd posts on this topic, and yet not a single reference to GDP. another case of wanting to beat people over the head with an ECON101 textbook, I suspect.

    We can argue all we like about the root causes, but if the national income “pie”, GDP, grows fairly weakly, and there isn’t any additional money to go around, there isn’t any reason for wages to increase”

    Guess you haven’t read my links then Phil.

    Actually, from 1991-2004 GDP growth in NZ averaged 0.2% per year less than Australia, yet growth in average wage was 0.6% per year lower than Australia’s. So NZ has been doing fine with regard to GDP growth – it’s just that, unlike the situation in Australia, workers haven’t been receiving the benefits of that growth. I hear growth in corporate profits haven’t been too bad though.

  33. Phil 34

    I started reading them, Roger, but got bored and fell asleep.

    Just kidding.

    Here is a little bit of speculation, which I have no data for, but is still a reasonably interesting thought that I’ve just considered (take that as a disclaimer, if you will)

    I suspect that a great deal of Australia’s growth has been in Minerals (especially the mines in WA). Going down a mine shaft is a dangerous job, but it doesnt require a great deal of training (I have an older brother over there, a qualified mechanic, repairing machinery) so it’s fairly easy to get a foot in the door and earn good money quickly.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, the compositional effect of all those workers has pushed up the averages?

    Contrast this to NZ where our growth has been more Agricultural – an industry comparatively dominated by sole traders and family owned farms – whose income is probably not included within employee wage and salary measures.

    Might help to explain some of the apparent lack of growth here?

  34. I suspect that a great deal of Australia’s growth has been in Minerals (especially the mines in WA). Going down a mine shaft is a dangerous job, but it doesnt require a great deal of training (I have an older brother over there, a qualified mechanic, repairing machinery) so it’s fairly easy to get a foot in the door and earn good money quickly.

    I read in a treasury report that the mining industry only represents 3-4% of Australia’s GDP – it really doesn’t impact the economy that much.

  35. Leftie 36

    On the subject of increasing NZ pay…
    We should not forget the manipulation of the unemployment rate upwards, resulting in worker versus worker competing for jobs. This is an excellent tool to control escalating wages.

  36. The Double Standard 37

    I read in a treasury report that the mining industry only represents 3-4% of Australia’s GDP – it really doesn’t impact the economy that much.

    Similarly, the diary industry is a bigger contributer to GDP in NZ. I’ve seen it quoted at 7% for Fonterra alone.

    Makes me wonder why Cullen gets away with statements like this

    Well if we had the kind of natural resources they have we’d be digging them up and exporting them to Japan and China as they do and getting the kind of growth that they’ve had

    Just trading on public ignorance I suppose.

  37. burt 38

    Tane

    Pledge to do better as NZ slips back

    New Zealand has “a solid platform for future growth” but is 22nd out of 30 OECD countries on material standard of living – two places lower than in 2005.

    So Tane, just how is this graph representing the big picture in NZ?

  38. Robinsod 39

    DS – you’re citing an agenda transcript I see. That’s some nice work bro, but just outta interest did you come up with the quote first and then frame the dairy angle around it or did the dairy=natural resource=mining angle come first and the quote follow?

  39. The Double Standard 40

    Robbo – you are getting boring. Perhaps another curry? It might help you have an original thought or two.

    PB – no, not a ploy to get a response. Just an feeling that some standard plonker would likely respond in that way to that bit of the post and completely ignore the rest of it. Have you ever heard of self-deprecation? I guess not. Why don’t you go defenestrate yourself?

  40. Robinsod 41

    DS – it was a kebab you fool. Now you’ve bored us all to tears lately and we’ve answered you. How about a little reciprocation?

  41. The Double Standard 42

    Curry/Kebab who cares?

    Here’s a link that might help you understand

    http://www.monpa.com/wcp/documentry.html

  42. Robinsod 43

    So you do have a sense of humour. Nice diversion bro, but it still doesn’t answer my question. Here’s an easier one: how’d you come across the agenda transcript anyway? Actually more to the point – why were you looking for it?

  43. Dean 44

    roger nome said:

    “Sweet – at the risk of appearing to be self-promoting i’ll post a couple of links that may answer some of you questions re-Australia vs NZ.”

    Have you remembered to include tax rates in those posts roger?

  44. The Prophet 45

    Mike, why do you use the name Robinsod?

  45. Robinsod 46

    Robinson was my Grandmother’s maiden name. I changed it to Robinsod after “Robinson” was disabled on KB – it was funny at the time because it is only one consonant different and “sod” is a funny word. See how easy it is to answer a simple question.

    Now, why do you refuse to call me by my handle and instead use my real name?

  46. The Prophet 47

    Well Mike, I like to think I’m a friend of yours so I thought I’d use the name your mates call you.

    ‘Sod’ – Yeah man, that IS pretty funny.

    Ha ha

    Ha ha

  47. Robinsod 48

    Um dude – between that comment and your handle you’re sounding a little creepy. Oh, and you’ll never be a mate of mine, even I’ve got standards higher than that so you better start calling me “robinsod” again. Sorry.

  48. r0b 49

    The Prophet has appropriated a very auspicious handle, but methinks that Khalil Gibran would not approve…

  49. The Prophet 50

    So Mike – you don’t want to be my friend? Oh, thats sad. I quite like callng you Mike though, so I hope you don’t mind if I continue to in our future conversations.

    The “even I’ve got standards” comment is much funnier than ‘Sod’ by the way

    Bahahahahaha.

    Rob – KG is dead mate, he won’t care.

  50. r0b 51

    “Rob – KG is dead mate, he won’t care.”

    False Prophet, I don’t think your words will be remembered as long as his.

  51. Mike Porton 52

    Ok Prophet – If you’re gonna be my mate we should probably catch up and make it official. I get the feeling you’re a Wellington boy so you should ring me, my number’s in the book and it’s a local call. Or if you want you can email me at mickyporton[]hotmail.com

    I reckon we’ll get on like a house on fire.

  52. The Prophet 53

    Are you asking me out on a date Mike?

  53. Mike Porton 54

    Damn straight Prophet. I figure clever fellows like you and me would hit it off real well. We should have a beer or something. I’m thinking the Bristol – I’d say that’s probably not too far for you to go. I don’t want to post a time up here though ‘cos there’s like y’know some odd people on line. How about you email me at mickyporton[]hotmail.com?

  54. “Have you remembered to include tax rates in those posts roger?”

    No – not sure how you would – they have property taxes and stamp duties that NZ doesn’t. Mr Farrar and the rest of the Nat research unit never seem to take these into account so their figures are always flawed.

  55. Matthew Pilott 56

    Phil, Roger Nome and TDS – i was looking at this: http://kiwiblogblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/13/what-do-the-indicators-indicate/

    and noticed the WA stats were much higher than the rest of aussie. Reckon that could be because of mining?

    If so, then NZ having WA’s resources would have quite an impact! Mebbe Cullen ain’t so dumb after all…

  56. The Prophet 57

    THE BRISTOL – Fuck, I wouldn’t be seen dead in a joint like that.

    How about Liks?

  57. Mike Porton 58

    Prophet. Ring/email me.

  58. Mat Pilott:

    WA only represents about 10% of Australia’s population. Nuff said?

    BTW – while not being overly significant in terms of wages, the mining industry certainly could be considered an important part of Australia’s export industry – remember, most GDP in Aus is accounted for by goods and services produced locally for domestic consumption. So while the mining industry only represents 3-4% of GDP in Aus it might comprise something like (at a guess) 10% of export $. So it certainly is important for the Aus economy in terms of balance of payments (i.e. stopping capital from leeching oversees).

  59. PhilBest 60

    At 0.2% growth per annum, how long will it take for OUR economy to double in size compared to an economy that is growing at 0.6%, or at 6.0%?

    0.2% is PISS-POOR. NO-ONE is going to get the increases in wealth, living standards, and social services that we WANT and feel entitled to because we’re a “first world” nation. Yeah right.

  60. Matthew Pilott 61

    PhilBest, bash yourself once more with the ECON101 book yeah?

    Do you seriously think that our economy is growing at 0.2%??

    Roger Nome mentioned that our economy is growing at a rate 0.2% slower than that of Australia’s. Unless Australia’s economy is growing at only 0.4%…

    With knowledge like that, I can see why you imagine New Zealand isn’t a developed (you used the backwards “first world”) nation. BTW Have you ever been to a developing nation?

    Roger Nome – what I meant is that if NZ had WA’s resources, while it cotributes only 3-4% of Australia’s GDP, that would be a far greater percentage in NZ.

    That would make Cullen’s comment accurate – the one TDS thought was clearly wrong…

  61. Joshua 62

    Very interesting graph, although perhaps for completeness it should be extended back to 1984 to show what happened during the Douglas Regime. This is not an argument that the ECA was not detrimental to wage conditions, rather an attempt to ascertain what kind of position the National government inherited in 1990

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    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    21 hours ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    22 hours ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    23 hours ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 day ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    2 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    2 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    3 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    3 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • 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
    14 hours 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
    18 hours 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 day 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 day 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
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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
    3 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
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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 ...
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    4 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 ...
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    4 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, ...
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    4 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 ...
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    5 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 ...
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    7 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 ...
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    7 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 ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago