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National will be gutted – Moodys gives New Zealand an Aaa credit rating

Written By: - Date published: 12:47 pm, September 23rd, 2018 - 59 comments
Categories: Amy Adams, business, capitalism, Economy, grant robertson, labour, national, Politics, same old national - Tags:

Remember all the doom and gloom about the country’s economic future and how the economy was going to hell in a hand basket and how business confidence was crashing?

Moodys must have missed the memo because they have recently confirmed New Zealand’s Aaa AAA credit rating.

In response Grant Robertson has said this:

The Coalition Government is welcoming another sign that our economic plan and decisions to run surpluses and pay down debt are paying off for New Zealand, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.

International credit rating agency Moody’s last night reaffirmed its Aaa rating with a stable outlook on the New Zealand Government’s financial position – the highest score it is able to give.

“In its latest update on New Zealand, Moody’s says the Government’s fiscal management has created the space needed for investment in areas like infrastructure, affordable housing, education and policies to support families. This is exactly what we planned for at Budget 2018 – while continuing to live within our means by running sustainable surpluses,” Grant Robertson said.

“Moody’s says they expect New Zealand’s growth to be stronger in the next few years than other Aaa-rated countries. They also say our debt reduction track will see government debt fall significantly lower than other Aaa countries.

“As Moody’s notes, this is important because New Zealand is more susceptible to the classic rainy day – natural disasters and changes in the international economy – than some of our peers.

“That’s exactly why we are staying within the Budget Responsibility Rules. These include running sustainable surpluses, getting net debt down to 20% of GDP within five years, and making sure government expenses remain under control and in line with what Governments over the past 20 years managed.

The National Party has predictably not taken this well.  Amy Adams has come out with this jumble of words.  The headline “Moody’s praises National legacy now being eroded” makes no sense.  Moody’s has maintained New Zealand’s current rating, not decreased it.  And just to pick two examples Auckland’s Regional Fuel Tax allows for investment in much needed infrastructure and cancelling the last planned tax cuts allowed for investment in affordable housing, education and policies to support families and both results are important for continued economic stability.

Of course there is a very valid debate to be had on the Budget Responsibility Rules and if they are too tight.  As noted by Robertson compared to other AAA rated economies our debt levels are very low even though National spent up large on the country’s credit card in its last term.

59 comments on “National will be gutted – Moodys gives New Zealand an Aaa credit rating”

  1. Rae 1

    Gutted? They will be trying to take the credit for it.

  2. Morrissey 2

    Excellent news! However, our friends over at another blog are not too impressed…

    https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2018/09/general_debate_23_september_2018.html/comment-page-1#comment-2316326

  3. Kat 3

    “It is good news for the New Zealand economy that Moody’s Investors’ Service has affirmed our Aaa rating but we shouldn’t let the Government now waste it, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

    Curiously the “sharp as a tack” Amy ‘I know what GDP is’ Adams missed reading this part: “Moody’s says they expect New Zealand’s growth to be stronger in the next few years than other Aaa-rated countries.”

    Definitely a weak, leaking, in chaos and pitifully led National opposition.

    • Morrissey 3.1

      the “sharp as a tack” Amy ‘I know what GDP is’ Adams…

      I presume from the quotation marks that you’re being sarcastic.

      Because “sharp as a tack” is the LAST thing I would think of to describe Amy Adams.

      • Kat 3.1.1

        And coming from “Mother of all Budgets” country I should have mentioned “fierce” as well: New Opposition finance spokeswoman Amy Adams will be a “fierce” marksman against a Government in danger of “squandering” New Zealand’s economic gains, says National Party leader Simon Bridges.

      • Ross 3.1.2

        “sharp as a tack” is the LAST thing I would think of to describe Amy Adams.

        Cold as ice springs to mind. Come to think of it, I can’t recall her ever smiling.

  4. Dukeofurl 4

    Flaws in other parts of Adams piece
    “Moody’s also praised National’s debt reduction, pointing out that ‘the central government’s gross debt fell to 26.5 per cent of GDP in 2017 from a recent peak at 31.3 per cent in 2012.’

    Gross debt ? What that means is that national borrowed to the hilt but our sovereign wealth funds in the Cullen Fund and ACC grew even faster. They used to count EQC as well but thats empty.
    I wonder how we got the Cullen Fund of something like $8 bill of taxpayers money into $37 bill last year.

    And we can clearly see why nationals debt ratio was declining while borrowing was increasing ( despite an nominal accrual ‘surplus’)
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/97337661/nz-super-fund-reveals-a-20-per-cent-return-in-12-months

  5. Vaughn 5

    Good post, Micky.
    In my life, I’ve learned four things about the Tory politician and their perception of themselves:
    1. They have a strong sense of entitlement
    2. They are born to rule
    3. They are masters of managing the economy
    4. They are never wrong.
    While I’m sure others will have their own items for this list, I could add a fifth observation:
    5. They will be hating this latest piece of news, especially having occurred as it has under Jacinda’s watch. Ouch.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      In my life, I’ve learned four things about the Tory politician:

      To clarify, that would be what the Tory politicians believe about themselves which are manifestly untrue.

      Except the last one.

    • joe90 5.2

      Arsehole values are universal.

      Asshole Culture has carved out a very clear, unsavory role in American film, literature and life. Entitled, wealthy, bros who take what they want, treat everyone around them like shit and then rise to positions of power is practically a cliche it's so common.— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) September 22, 2018

      (thread)

      https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1043496223259418625.html

    • OnceWasTim 5.3

      Unfortunately @ Vaughn, over the past decade, probably gradually over the past 30 years, the same can be said of our senior public servants in both central and local government.

      Good news however if your subscribe to the idea that the ratings agencies are the world’s economic sages. I wonder who rates the rating agencies. I seem to remember we had a bit of a problem 10 years ago

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Of course there is a very valid debate to be had on the Budget Responsibility Rules and if they are too tight.

    Actually, the question is if a country that has its own currency even needs a credit rating. It’s not as if the government needs to borrow or ever should. Under those conditions that country’s deficit should be the same as the growth rate.

    It’s only the delusion that the government needs to borrow at all that the idea that it needs a credit rating and budget responsibility rules even applies.

  7. Incognito 7

    So, this Government is equal or better at managing the economy than National. I’m so glad that this issues has been cleared up once and for all. It is BAU for NZ (code word: economic stability) as we fully comply with international ‘guidance’ on how to run an economy within the neoliberal framework that benefits the few disproportionally more than the many.

    Unlike Amy Adams’ press release, Moody made no direct reference to the previous (National-led) government).

    Interestingly, Moody also didn’t mention immigration or population growth as far as I can tell.

    https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-affirms-New-Zealands-Aaa-ratings-maintains-stable-outlook–PR_387946

    • Stunned Mullet 7.1

      I would recommend everyone read the full report – it’s surprisingly balanced.

      “The very high strength of New Zealand’s institutions is a key factor underpinning New Zealand’s Aaa rating. It manifests in very high government and policy effectiveness to respond to both gradual changes in the economic or social environment and sudden shocks.

      New Zealand’s fiscal institutions have a strong record of managing shocks through effective fiscal policy, while demonstrating fiscal discipline over the long term. Fiscal metrics improved swiftly in the aftermath of the 2008 recession and the 2011 Canterbury earthquake; they continued to improve through the downturn in commodity prices from 2014-2016 and the Kaikoura earthquake in late 2016. The central government’s gross debt fell to 26.5% of GDP in 2017 from a recent peak at 31.3% in 2012.

      Moody’s expects the coalition government comprising Labour Party, New Zealand First and the Green Party, elected in September 2017, to remain committed to fiscal discipline, as shown in the budget’s projections for continued fiscal surpluses and government debt reduction. In line with the government’s projections, Moody’s forecasts that the budget will remain in surplus and that gross central government debt will edge down to 26% of GDP in 2019 and likely fall further thereafter, significantly lower than many other Aaa-rated sovereigns.”

      • Incognito 7.1.1

        Well, thank you! That’s why I provided the link …

        • Stunned Mullet 7.1.1.1

          You provided little more than a thinly disguised smear of the last governments.

          • Stuart Munro 7.1.1.1.1

            Didn’t the last govt get downgraded? Standard & Poors, 2011.

            You could of course hark back to 2009 and blame the GFC, but real rockstars wouldn’t want or need to make such pitiful excuses.

          • Incognito 7.1.1.1.2

            Your obvious bias is blinding you and affecting your reading comprehension as well.

            Please point out the smear of the last governemnts [sic l] in my comment.

            You obviously completely missed my thinly disguised criticism of the current Government. Never mind.

            At least I provided the link. You, on the other hand, only quoted verbatim what was in the link without proper reference. You can obviously type so I have to put it down to sheer laziness on your behalf.

      • Dukeofurl 7.1.2

        Still repeats the false mantra of gross debt. The reason for that fall was because the Super fund and ACC funds greater increase which meant the NETT debt ratio was lower. Gross debt ratio is more like 45% of GDP( 205 bill GDP. $85 bill + ddebt)

      • WILD KATIPO 7.1.3

        Home Brew – Listen To Us (feat. Tourettes) – YouTube

  8. Bill 8

    The Coalition Government is welcoming another sign that our economic plan and decisions to run surpluses and pay down debt are paying off for New Zealand, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.

    Is it unfair to suggest that this really isn’t much more than Brownie Points getting handed out for demonstrating an acceptable level of adherence to (bankrupt) liberal economic theory?

    And it also unfair to suggest that we, Jo Public, are now expected to gasp in a state of dumb wonderment at the adroitness of an economic disciple offering up exactly what economic High Priests ordered?

    living within our means“running sustainable surpluses”“rainy days” etc is all nauseating bullshit that Robertson’s spouting off the back of (or so it seems) viewing a national economy as a scaled up household.

    But yay. Triple A. Well done. (fcks sake)

    • Molly 8.1

      Agree. The so-called independence of rating agencies was reasonably brought into question when the 2008 financial crisis was reviewed.

      Their income is inextricably linked to financial services, and ratings are influenced accordingly.

      Primarily, the measure of ratings, as you mention, are aligned with a certain perspective, and not one that includes the general wellbeing of the populace of NZ.

  9. Point taken Bill, but many wanting reliable growth in their super, low cost mortgages and a steady supply of work will be saying “Yay” IMO.

    Expecting a Coalition Government to bring about sharp change won’t happen.
    They are doing their best to balance differing views and expectations within a frame.

    They are trying to go towards a distribution of wealth and dealing with anomalies in laws which have disadvantaged many, ( too slowly according to many).

    However they have managed to begin this process without “scaring the horses”, Moody’s being one of the “nags” in question.
    Had they caused Moody’s any concern our costs of borrowing would have risen as our rating sank.

    • Bill 9.1

      This government won’t bring about change (sharp or otherwise) because it’s ideologically comfortable with the status quo and simply having their shot at “playing manager”.

      WInston Peters didn’t sign NZF up to the austerity framework that the government’s hanging everything from. James Shaw’s merely a fucking idiot who got duped by Robertson ( at least I hope he’s a duped idiot and not an enthusiastic idiot like Robertson).

      So the opportunity was there. Everyone’s struggling to hold steady or going backwards. Generally speaking, people have had enough.

      Retirement savings and low cost mortgages versus quality and free healthcare, quality free education? Higher wages versus starvation wage job vacancies? It would be nice to be given a choice.

      There’s plenty of evidence suggesting that any politician or political party promising to rip up the liberal play book gets rewarded at the voting booth – Trump, Corbyn, Cortez and the other Progressives taking on the Democratic Party, Sturgeon, Five Star, Podemos, Syriza….

      • Kat 9.1.1

        You are not going to get the “change” (economic revolution) you are looking for Bill anytime soon, but there will be incremental change. With Jacinda and Winston at the helm we are likely to experience a more sunny side of capitalism, should the coalitions tenure in power prevail.

        The only alternative is more of Nationals brighter future for the top 10% and their cronies.

        • adam 9.1.1.1

          WOW a TINA, it’s not the 80’s Kat.

          “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”

        • Bill 9.1.1.2

          Social democratic priorities and the change in economic settings that’s required to pursue them are a million distant miles from anything that might be sensibly regarded as an economic revolution 🙄

  10. alwyn 10

    MickySavage states in his comment that New Zealand has a AAA rating.
    It doesn’t. It has an Aaa rating from Moodys who use that form for ratings.

    AAA is used by the other 2 major rating agencies S&P and Fitch but not by Moodys.
    They actually rate New Zealand as AA. (They rate Australia as AAA).
    It may seem a minor point but the banking system do actually care which Rating Agency issued the grade and it would be nice if commenters actually understood the things they are talking about and the difference between the Agencies.

    Moodys are the only Agency to lift their rating for New Zealand since 2011. They raised the New Zealand rating to Aaa in March 2017.

    It is still nice that Moodys have continued their high grade for New Zealand of course. It would probably be different if the Labour-led Government was to abandon their Budget Responsibility Rules.

    [And I thought it was a type. Now corrected – MS]

    • Dukeofurl 10.1

      Auckland council Moody’s rating Aa2, which causes right wingers heads to explode

      • alwyn 10.1.1

        You should read the rating agency raison d’etre.
        They don’t actually care in the slightest what you spend the money on.
        All they care about is whether you are likely to be able to pay the interest and return the capital on the due dates.
        Spend it on a tram system or a sewerage system, it’s all the same to them.
        Just as long as they think you’ll cough up to the people you borrow from when the debt comes due.

        • Patricia Bremner 10.1.1.1

          So right Alwyn. Must admit I’m rather shocked to be agreeing with you.

        • Dukeofurl 10.1.1.2

          Yet the right wingers still claim Aucklands credit rating is stuffed or the Council is ‘bust’

          And if it was just based on councils power to compel rates to be paid, then all NZs councils would be near the Aa region . They arent.

  11. Brian Tregaskin 11

    I said it before and il say it again big business in New Zealand will keep the winter of discontent going right up to the next election.
    Call their bluff and put company tax back up to 39%.

    • alwyn 11.1

      “put company tax back up to 39%” you say.

      God, you must be both very old and have an excellent memory.
      It is more than 30 years since the Corporate tax rate was that high.
      It hasn’t been over 33% since about 1987.
      Do you really want to go back to the way things were when Muldoon was King?

      • In Vino 11.1.1

        Sorry, alwyn, but I remember very well how well-off people in general were BEFORE Muldoon, and I do not think our society is healthier now than it was then.
        We are on the threshold of a hell-hole of a society, mainly because of unwise policies since Muldoon himself started the downward trend with his autocratic bullshit.

    • greywarshark 11.2

      Good idea Brian T, with a proviso. That 39% tax on profits will be diminished on the basis of the number of NZ residents that they employ under reasonable working conditions. Or that number, plus extra off for the number they put through a planned work introduction and training system. That would apply to all NZ businesses over a certain size, and even perhaps to individual tradesmen who if they would take on one extra guy or woman would be helped with their job organisation and costs would be offset by a generous tax advantage to make up for the effort of responsibility for the offsider.

      Because it would apply to all companies, there would be a level playing field, and a huge boost to NZ workers and spending power with a great ripple effect on money in people’s hands and a boost to the mindset of young men to a hopeful one where they can feel part of society and respected for themselves and their skills. (I think it is young men who are the biggest suicide numbers.)

  12. jcuknz 12

    It is good to have both sides , or two versions, of this available thanks to the internet…. and also that The Standard lets opposing view stand on this thread…. it is good there has been no change as any reduction would cost the country.
    Really BT if they did that the rating would go down for sure in view of other and competing countries reductions since it would really stuff the country’s efforts to survive in the world competition.
    Without business earning foreign exchange we all would be worse off by a long way.

    • greywarshark 12.1

      jcuknz
      Without business earning foreign exchange we all would be worse off by a long way.

      You are quite right. Since the decision in the 1980s to go gangbusters on exporting there has been little interest in NZ for NZs and a growing reliance on imported products. A very chancy situation that has left us with little resilience and has undermined our economy and our respect for our own citizens standard of living. This mania has to be adjusted, from its present skewed position that will lean further until we topple.

      Think of NZ as the leaning tower of Pisa, without the particular foundations and type of ground that seems to support it despite its lean, along with the strength of the building and quality of its materials. NZ fails in these qualities; poor quality buildings, poor materials, shaky ground etc. A parallel for our economy and society. We need to make changes to our present path that will take a concerted actions of thoughtful people who care about people living here, and bring wisdom, experience, commitment to the country and people’s welfare, and pragmatism.
      Not simple-minded tub-thumpers or conservatives. Difficult, i don’t think we can make it but hope keeps trying to grow, like a weed.

      • jcuknz 12.1.1

        Part of my feelings on that subject come from memory of TV’s costing four or five times in NZ than what folk on holiday in Fiji could get them for…. TV that were made in Japan or somewhere, disassembled so that Kiwis could re assemble them in some small town in NZ.
        I agree that NZ industry should be encouraged but not if they cannot compete with imports.

        • greywarshark 12.1.1.1

          Cheapness isn’t everything jcuknz. The decision of how an economy is going to be balanced, how life opportunities are going to be balanced so that the whole country can prosper, goes beyond slooking at differing price levels for objects of desire. People say now that NZ is an expensive country to live in. That’s after the concerns of people with your perspective have been met!

  13. One Two 13

    Where do the ratings agencies get their funding…

    CDO – AAA+
    CDS – AAA+

  14. NZJester 14

    The Aaa rating was only kept during the last National government’s term due to the Labour government before them having paid off our international debt. It is amazing that with all the reckless borrowing and spending of National that NZ was not heavily downgraded. Borrowing for a crisis like Christchurch is one thing, but they wasted a lot of it on tax cuts and vanity projects that did nothing for the NZ economy.

  15. Says it all…

    Home Brew – Listen To Us (feat. Tourettes) – YouTube

    • Takes a while to load and comments on the original you tube make the same observations…

      Critical of John Key and the National party,- seems someone got to some right wingers in the GSCB to jerry rig the play time… c’mon , boys,… you can do better than that… are you afraid of democracy so much so you have to impede, stonewall and try all sorts of delaying tactics to ‘censor’ your ideologues wishes ?

      Get a life.

      Just get a life, why don’t you…

      Pathetic.

  16. Ross 16

    Let’s not forget that our beloved former PM, John Key, claimed that Standard and Poor’s would’ve downgraded our credit rating, or were more likely to do so, under a Labour government. He lied.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/87882/standard-and-poor%27s-rejects-pm%27s-claim

  17. cleangreen 17

    100% to Micky, Wild Katipo and Ross.

    National get a spine and admit that Labour are being very frugal with spending as better adminstrators of finance tha National was when spending millions on flag refendums, smelters, Warner brothers movie companies, and “roads to no-where”.

  18. soddenleaf 18

    Stupid argument. Ratings are not a reflection of our economy, if we were a slave nation and had good govt balances…

    …despite our noted risk premium, due to our endemic poor productivity, due to our conservative elite who think it’s cost effective to hugger the poor. Productivity is a measure not of things but of we the people, since half the people are poor by dfn, to have the rulers talkjng down, enacting laws that are rigged against the poor yet supposedily are call efficient… …like how is paying too much for energy, whenthey work to jobs and can’t hire a energy broke….

    Sorry, but it ludicrous the Nats are seen as competent, these people are insanely mad and angry about everyone and everything, esp. the present govt.

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    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 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? ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago

  • 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
    1 hour 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
    7 hours 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
    21 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    5 days 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
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    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
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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