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Nats’ low wage economy hollowing us out

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, February 8th, 2013 - 42 comments
Categories: defence, International, jobs, national, wages - Tags:

The Nats were elected on a promise of a high wage economy. When it became clear that they were achieving the opposite, they tried to spin a disaster into a “competitive advantage”. Remember this from Bill English?

It’s time to take on the Aussies, says English

More competition, rather than collaboration, should drive the transtasman economic relationship, Finance Minister Bill English says. Throwing down the gauntlet in a speech yesterday…

The fundamental competition is for capital, including Australian capital, he said, and over the next few years New Zealand’s advantages would become more apparent. “One is the wage differential. We have a workforce that is better educated, just as productive and 30 per cent cheaper,” he said. [my emphasis]

We’d better hope those Aussies don’t pick up that gauntlet, because they’d smack us down with it without breaking a sweat. This morning The Herald reported one of the unintended consequences of National’s low wage “competitive advantage”:

Cobbers keep navy afloat

Planned Pacific mission only possible because Australian sailors replacing Kiwis leaving for big pay across Ditch.

The New Zealand navy is relying on Australian sailors to keep it afloat as skilled crew leave in droves for higher-paid jobs across the Tasman.

There are now about 20 Australian sailors at the Devonport naval base in Auckland, many of whom will soon make up the numbers for a New Zealand-led mission in the Pacific. One patrol vessel has been tied up for a year, and two others for seven months, because of recruitment and staffing issues.

This exodus to Australia is hollowing out our country in all sorts of ways.

42 comments on “Nats’ low wage economy hollowing us out”

  1. tracey 1

    If you listen to Joyce you see clearly how he spins things.

    He walked into novopay made some BIG statements about things, including how bad the latest pay round would be, then went live and said of it was only a few hundred, not as bad as we thought…

    Clearly he had been well informed about novopay long before he pretended to just be seeing it for the first time two weeks ago…

    Then he talked unemployment… – it’s not great but moving in the right direction, and it shows as we thought that the previous figures were a bit high (Trans wrong) –

    Punch it up as being really bad, then smile and be pleased cos it’s only bad not really bad.

    • Akldnut 1.1

      It’s OK we’ve cut your legs out from under you but you should be happy because you still have your armes and head.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Will we get anaesthetic for our legs, that is the question.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          Don’t be silly, that costs money and money should only go to the rich who still have their legs and thus don’t need anesthetic.

          /sarc

  2. vto 2

    I know, if we abandoned the minimum wage we could compete with China then. That’s a good idea. But then I guess others would undercut us again. But that’s okay because we could lower our wages again to beat them. This is what it is about isn’t it. Competition in the global marketplace.

    but hang on

    …. something’s not right here ……

    .. hmmm

    head down and swimming for the bottom …….

    … I don’t know

    what’s the answer Key?

  3. alwyn 3

    So it is claimed that we have a low wage economy.
    Perhaps we can follow the Green party policies.
    Let’s have a go at wrecking our currency, say bring it down to about to about half its value against the US dolllar. This will, if Russel is to be believed, reduce the costs for our manufacturers by halving the real wage costs they have to pay their staff. It will also increase the cost of living for everybody who lives in New Zealand by doubling what they have to pay for tradeable goods (those that are either imported to or exported from New Zealand).
    Sure everyone who lives here will take a drop in their standard of living but red Russ and his cohorts will be happy. What doesn’t he understand about the fact that a high New Zealand dollar means a higher standard of living for New Zealanders and a low dollar means a lower standard of living?
    Why do the Green and Labour parties want to REDUCE the wages in New Zealand even further?

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Hmmmm, it seems you don’t understand a number of basics.

      A high NZ dollar only helps you if you are already wealthy in NZ dollars and have a strong income in NZ dollars.

      If the high NZ dollar has destroyed your job and exported your income, its not of much use to you, is it?

      Let’s have a go at wrecking our currency, say bring it down to about to about half its value against the US dolllar. This will, if Russel is to be believed, reduce the costs for our manufacturers by halving the real wage costs they have to pay their staff.

      Did you get hit with the ignorance stock last night, alwyn? A low NZD makes our NZD priced goods appear far more attractive to foreign buyers. Nothing to do with “real wages”. What are you tripping on, silly fella?

      Now, lets recognise that the US is deliberately devaluing its dollar. (“Wrecking” it if you like). It’s what they call a “currency war” and disadvantages all their trading partners by making their goods look much more expensive. By the way, China and Japan is doing the same.

      At the end of the day, Russel Norman is about the most sensible politician we have in this environment.

      Why do the Green and Labour parties want to REDUCE the wages in New Zealand even further?

      You’re a shit head.

      • alwyn 3.1.1

        Oh dear, where do I start to try and correct your errors.
        1) You don’t have to be wealthy for a high NZ dollar to help you. You only have to buy something that is imported, and everyone does that.
        2) How about we word it as halving the wages the manufacturers have to pay when measured in the currency of the country they are exporting to?
        3) Of course lower priced goods look more attractive to the foreign buyer. The point is that we don’t want the goods to be cheaper to the foreign buyer. If we are happy to sell the goods for less in foreign currency but continue to pay the same foreign price for our imports every New Zealander is going to be worse off due to the declining terms of trade.
        You appear to have the deluded belief that the thing we want to do is export, and that exporting per se is somehow a good thing.
        The only reason we want to export is so that we can buy imports.

        As for your last statement I would note that resorting to profanity is the last resort of the truly ignorant.

        • framu 3.1.1.1

          “As for your last statement I would note that resorting to profanity is the last resort of the truly ignorant.”

          kind of up there with calling people communist (red Russ)

          Have you even read any green party policy? seeing as you claim that they want to lower NZ wages im guessing you havent.

          for an extra 10 points, which leader of which party said this “We would love to see wages drop”

    • Phil Stevens 3.2

      The only thing maintaining an apparent high standard of living in this country (for the ones in stable employment, anyway) is debt. Most of our public and private borrowing is overseas, and the currency wars are simply masking the outflow of interest. More to the point, the high NZD is wrecking our current account and over time will utterly bankrupt us. Then we won’t be able to borrow any more and it won’t matter what imported goods cost.

      By the way, your contention that high exchange rates hurt the affordability of domestically produced goods is false. The Greens’ policies at least would favour local manufacturing and the multiplier effect of the jobs created, while the magical thinking of neoliberals who got us into this mess leaves it to a market which is only able to concentrate wealth at the top.

      • alwyn 3.2.1

        I think you have misread what I said when I read you second paragraph. I did NOT say that “high exchange rates hurt the affordability” etc. I said the LOW exchange rates do this.
        Firstly I regard a high exchange as being that a NZ dollar buys a lot (say 85cents) of a US dollar.
        A low exchange rate means that a NZ dollar buys a little (say 42.5 cents) of a US dollar.
        If we produce, in New Zealand a good that we can sell overseas, say milk powder, that is a traded good. If we can’t sell it overseas, say electricity, it is not a traded good.
        For a traded good the price is primarily determined by what it will fetch overseas. Thus if the exchange rate is high the cost in New Zealand dollars to a New Zealand purchaser will be lower that if the exchange rate is low.
        If for example Fonterra can sell milk powder overseas for $US8/kilo (and I have no idea what the price is) we are going to be paying $NZ10 here if the exchange rate is $US0.80 and $NZ20 if the exchange rate is $US0.40.
        The only real way you can change that is by subsidising purchases by New Zealanders.

        • bad12 3.2.1.1

          The problem with your whole rant is that you have used a LIE to base your whole fear fear fear argument around,

          No-one, not Russell Norman, not me, NO-ONE is suggesting a dilution of the NZ$ which has it ‘trading’ at 42 cents against the US$,

          When you can come back with an actual scenario that has a basis in reality, for instance the dilution of the NZ$ by printing money that has the NZ$ trading at 70-75 cents, then it might be worth taking the time to debate the issue with you,

          Other than that based upon a 42 cent NZ$ it’s all just bovine defecation on your part…

          • alwyn 3.2.1.1.1

            My assumption is no different to yours. I have illustrated my argument with a hypothetical exchange rate that makes the arithmetic easy.
            You have simply given another hypothetical number of 70-75 cents. Your scenario has no more basis in reality than does mine
            All right give me a real number.
            Just give me a place where Norman has said what he wants the rate to be I will discuss it using those values. He is however very careful NOT to give a value for what he wants the rate to be. Until he does so I allowed to put in what it MIGHT be and it has, for your edification, been under 40 cents. It had that value in late 2000.
            With that in our history, and in the absence of any estimate at all by the Green party I am entitled to use a figure from the past.

            • bad12 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Feel free to carry on with your wee bovine defecation, 70-75 cents has been discussed by Manufacturers and economists as a desirable level for the NZ$ to be trading at for quite some time,

              42 Cents makes all your assumptions that of a horror story, 70-75 cents makes what is best described as a fair price for the NZ$ when considering imports and exports…

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      It will also increase the cost of living for everybody who lives in New Zealand by doubling what they have to pay for tradeable goods (those that are either imported to or exported from New Zealand).

      The other point that you seem to miss is that it would become financially viable* to make those trade-able goods in NZ.

      What doesn’t he understand about the fact that a high New Zealand dollar means a higher standard of living for New Zealanders and a low dollar means a lower standard of living?

      Not really, it means that we would be forced to live within our means rather than be able to live beyond our means as we do ATM and, considering that we would be forced to make a lot of stuff that we presently import, it’s entirely possible that our standard of living would actually go up over time.

      * It’s already economically viable

      • alwyn 3.3.1

        Of course we could make most things in New Zealand, if we don’t care what they cost.
        For example I can remember when we used to make television sets in New Zealand.
        In 1966, when they were first included in the CPI a 23 inch black and white TV cost 131 pounds.
        That is the equivalent, after inflation, of about $4,500 today.
        Do you really want that? Wouldn’t you rather import a 40 inch colour LCD set which sells for $700?
        The whole point of foreign trade is to sell what we can produce of goods in which we have a comparative advantage in order to buy goods where we don’t.
        Exporting is NOT a good thing. It is only a means to buy imports.
        Similarly producing everything we use here is not a good thing. It only reduces the production of things we are comparatively better at.

        • framu 3.3.1.1

          “That is the equivalent, after inflation, of about $4,500 today.
          Do you really want that? Wouldn’t you rather import a 40 inch colour LCD set which sells for $700?”

          how much was a flat screen back in the 60s? oh shit the tech didnt exist and production cost were higher

          way to shoot yourself in the foot.

          now if you had compared the cost of producing a tv in nz in the 60s to the cost of another tv in the 60s you might have a leg to stand on

          • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.1.1

            We need bigger TVs in 3D while NZ children go hungry and thousands of workers, our friends and family, leave the country a month.

            No?

            Maybe it’s time to get out ideas straight. Consuming more and more material shite is not really “improved living”, that’s just what sales people tell us.

            • framu 3.3.1.1.1.1

              and oddly enough – ive long thought a marketing ethos that is centered around telling us what we personally want (as opposed to need) fits very nicely alongside a political ideology that likes to trick us into thinking that we are all rational acting individual units and that society is just a quaint ye-oldie concept

              not claiming a conspiracy – but happily compatible evolution of a situation at the very least

              but yes – about these bigger TVs…… can i get some more debt to build a bigger lounge to put the damn thing in?

              • alwyn

                If you are really desperate for a giant screen go ahead. I am a believer in letting you choose what you spend your own money on. Just don’t ask me to pay for it though. I would also be grateful if you don’t join the groups who insist on telling me what to do with my money.
                In fact you could be like me. I own one TV, a 21 inch and 20 years old. It isn’t flat screen though I will probably get one when we go digital in Wellington. The colour needs to be turned up to the maximum values these days.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Sorry mate there are times when the needs of the country and of the community are more important than your individual convenience.

                  And we’re not “telling you” what to do with your money. Just providing market incentives to help you make good choices lol

                  • framu

                    “we’re not “telling you” what to do with your money”

                    well – no more than numerous economists, treasury, politicians, business ‘oracles’, pundits and so on 🙂

                • framu

                  dude – it was a joke! no need to act all hollier than thou

                  Care to address your logic fail regarding production issues of the 60s vs now? Or are you just going to witter on about how awesome you are?

                  • alwyn

                    It wasn’t meant to be holier than thou. The main reason for the TV is that the stuff broadcast on free-to air is almost exclusively crap. About all I do watch these days is the last few minutes of the news to get the weather.

                    In terms of technology and prices of course electronic goods are much cheaper. However whereas we now pay about the same prices for things as people in the US in the mid 60’s we paid much more. In the US in 1965 a 21 inch colour TV was about 80 pounds in NZ currency. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the comparison. I wasn’t there and the number is just a rough estimate from a google search.
                    That’s about 40% cheaper for a colour set as compared to a NZ made b&w of the same size. Of course everything is cheaper today but prices here for such goods have fallen much faster than in larger markets.

                    In terms of telling me what to do addressed a little up politicians are of course quite different to the other groups you mention. The problem is that politicians can mke me do things. The others can be ignored if I want to.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.2

          Ah, the old but it’s going to cost more excuse for fucking over the economy.

          The whole point of foreign trade is to sell what we can produce of goods in which we have a comparative advantage in order to buy goods where we don’t.

          Except that we could produce TVs here for the same cost as what they’re made overseas as they’re made in factories and every country is quite capable of producing everything that they need and doing it cheaper than importing it. What that means is that there is no comparative advantage as there is no export market.

          • TheContrarian 3.3.1.2.1

            “Except that we could produce TVs here for the same cost as what they’re made overseas”

            Draco – It is cheaper in China because the cost of health and safety, compliance and worker pay is much much lower.

            This point has been made to you several times yet you haven’t ever addressed it.

          • alwyn 3.3.1.2.2

            “Every country is capable of producing everything they need and doing it cheaper than importing it”
            and
            “there is no comparative advantage”
            Did you bother to think about these statements when you wrote them?
            What you a saying of course is these sorts of things.

            Singapore (about the size of Lake Taupo) can produce all the food it needs.

            Monaco can build a chip factory and produce its own computer chips as cheaply as in Intel’s factories.

            New Zealand can produce, from its own mines, the rare earth elements needed in modern electronic gear and magnets.

            One doesn’t have to go that far of course. Just look at the theory of comparative advantage in any elementary textbook

            • TheContrarian 3.3.1.2.2.1

              In Draco’s world the Sudan is perfectly capable of building all their own computers.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And in the world of modern economics, which seems to be your preferred world, there aren’t any limits. It’s called Planet Key.

                • TheContrarian

                  So the Sudan is totally capable of making their own computers? Fascinating.
                  You should let them know.

                  • bad12

                    You know the one, planet Slippery where even the banks think that if you push people out into the street to look for work they will ‘magically’ have ajob appear befor them,

                    Funny how the figures just don’t show such ‘magic’ actually occurs…

            • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.2.2.2

              Singapore (about the size of Lake Taupo) can produce all the food it needs.

              It could, if it wasn’t over populated.

              Monaco can build a chip factory and produce its own computer chips as cheaply as in Intel’s factories.

              Yep, it could.

              Just look at the theory of comparative advantage in any elementary textbook

              I have done but, more importantly, I’ve looked at reality and realised that modern economics textbooks don’t come close to it.

              • alwyn

                So Singapore could produce all its food, except that it can’t.
                Not a very rational statement that one.
                Monaco could produce its computer chips as cheaply as Intel.
                Don’t be so bloody stupid. Factories to produce these chips cost billions.
                Are you really going to create a factory like that to produce the 10,000 or so chips that Monaco would need in a year? After all you have said that there will be no foreign trade so they can only use the ones their population (about 30,000 I think) need. I assume no foreign trade because you say “there is no export market”.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So Singapore could produce all its food, except that it can’t.
                  Not a very rational statement that one.

                  It’s perfectly rational – you just didn’t grok it. The problem isn’t that they can’t produce all the food that they need but that they’ve become over populated. Of course, the whole world is presently over populated.

                  Monaco could produce its computer chips as cheaply as Intel.
                  Don’t be so bloody stupid. Factories to produce these chips cost billions.

                  Yep, and if Monaco built the same type of factory it would cost them the same amount to produce computer chips. Fairly obvious really.

                  Are you really going to create a factory like that to produce the 10,000 or so chips that Monaco would need in a year?

                  Nope, I’d make a factory to produce 10,000 per year. And, yes, I know what you’re going to say: But that costs more than the factory that can produce 10,000,000 million chips per year. Except that it doesn’t. The use of the big factory does because it results in fewer people working to produce the chips resulting in less innovation.

                  After all you have said that there will be no foreign trade…

                  No I didn’t although I can see how it could be construed as that. What I meant was that there would be no foreign trade in products that each country is capable of supplying for themselves. What I’d expect would be a trade in information and luxury items.

                  The use of money produces a false economy.

                  • TheContrarian

                    “Yep, and if Monaco built the same type of factory it would cost them the same amount to produce computer chips. Fairly obvious really.”

                    It is fairly obvious the Monaco couldn’t sustain that based on it resources.

                    Draco fail

    • Fortran 3.4

      I did not know that Russel trained as a Nurse in Australia.
      Wish his bedside manner was better.
      No wonder he is out of his depth as an economist – he needs more bandages.

  4. Skinny 4

    If I recall correct Key is on record spouting off at a Business New Zealand conference ‘that wages were too high in this Country.’ which really shows that he is out of touch with the everyday struggle the a vast  number of Kiwis face on low wages. 

    Speaking of Business New Zealand, I heard an interview with their chief executive Phil O’Reilly, on the Radio yesterday. How this guy defended the poor running of the economy by National was utterly incredible. From the high NZD slaughtering 
    his manufacturing members to the drain of skilled workers heading to Australia, excuse after excuse. I got the impression that he is so well versed at defending Key, English, Joyce & Co that the gribble just flowed out of his mouth. 
     
    The thought of the heat O’ Reilly would be getting from the likes of his manufacturing members made me smile 🙂  “Actions talk & bullshit walks…remember that Phil.”

    • tc 4.1

      Phil O’Reilly coming to a safe national seat soom probably, he’s such a gov’t shill I wonder if their membership has suffered under his non existent lobbying for their interests.

      A decent MSM would have these nat fanboys shown to be the shysters they are.

      • Skinny 4.1.1

        O’Reilly becoming an MP  wouldn’t surprise me in the least tc. The guy is such a Joyce clone he even looks like the bald headed prick & preaches the same snake oil remedies of deregulated free market tripe. 

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    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    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
  • 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
    1 week 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, ...
    1 week 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
    15 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
    16 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
    21 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    24 hours 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
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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