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Nats planning to drive down our wages further

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, June 9th, 2011 - 32 comments
Categories: Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

National’s election plan is becoming clear. They are going to put a lot of nasty stuff on the table and trust that people love Key’s smiling face so much they will still vote National. If they win, they will take it as a mandate to do everything they’ve said, and more. The latest election policy is more attacks on our work rights.

Key won’t be drawn on details but it seems likely that removing workers’ right to the minimum wage, at least for youth workers, will be part of it, as will allowing employers to refuse to engage in collective bargaining with unionised workers.

One of the joys of blogging is when I/S at No Right Turn has already written what you want to write, and done the tedious job of finding all the links:

National is planning a further attack on workers rights if they are re-elected, according to Radio New Zealand:

Mr Key has told the Seafood Industry Council conference in Wellington a more flexible labour market is better for both employers and workers.He was reluctant to spell out what other changes National might make to employment law, refusing to say whether they include further restrictions on collective bargaining.

But he says that while the changes will be good for both employers and workers, trade unions won’t be happy.

Cutting through the spin and bullshit, this means tilting the field even further in favour of employers. And the result will be lower wages and poorer working conditions for Kiwi workers. National thinks this is an “advantage”, but its not. Instead, it is the reason why our living standards are lower than those of Australia, why our businesses are less productive, why our managers are crap – because they’re insulated from their own stupidity by a favourable regulatory regime.

National, in typical fashion, is refusing to say exactly what changes it will make. This is downright deceitful. We have a right to know, so we can judge them at the election on those policies. But no doubt that’s exactly what National is trying to avoid.

John Key, to the Kerikeri District Business Asociation, December 2008:

Another point raised by Ms Brookes-Quan concerned the exodus to Australia by New Zealanders, lured by attractive wage compensation, and the recent call for employers to pay more.Mr Key would like to see the opposite occur.

“We would love to see wages drop,” he says.

When Key couldn’t spin and obfuscate his way out of this admission, he pulled the strings of his tame Herald editor to have a “correction” printed (for another paper, for giving an incorrect “impression”). But in light of National’s policies in office (which have seen mass unemployment and sub-inflation wage rises), and today’s announcement of a further attack on worker’s rights which will further reduce the wages and living standards of ordinary Kiwis, maybe we should be taking Key at his word.

As I’ve pointed out before, extracting higher profits through lower wages is a core policy of the National Party. When they talk about “raising living standards”, they’re not talking about raising them for us, but for the top 0.1%. Its about transferring wealth upwards, by making ordinary kiwis actively worse off. And I can think of no better definition of “evil” than that.

So, it’s the same old agenda – rip off working people and further enrich.

The politics of how it will be done is interesting, too. The game plan for this was set by Reagan’s fight with the air traffic controllers and Thatcher’s stoush with the miners in the 80s (hell, the same pattern was at play in the 1951 waterfront lock-out):

  • Pass some strongly anti-worker, anti-union laws, then target a strong and militant union.
  • Spin the resulting strike action as an example of the excesses and abuses of the union movement.
  • Win the fight no matter what the cost to the economy (remember, this isn’t about ‘growing the economy’, it’s about permanently changing who gets the lion’s share of the economy’s wealth).
  • Break the union.
  • It works as both PR justification for the law changes and forces every other union to toe the line.

The public sector unions, probably the teacher or medical unions, or maybe the PSA, will be National’s target.

No doubt this will give the unions another reason to fight hard at this election. It gives each of us more reason to vote Left and get everyone we know to do the same.

32 comments on “Nats planning to drive down our wages further”

  1. vto 1

    Stand and fight!

    Bastards.

    This election is definitely going be one of my swing vote moments. Let’s hope I am not alone.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      A lot of voters are starting to cotton on. Every man woman and child to the barricades, we’re going to take this corporate profit at the expense of NZ Government all the way down.

  2. ianmac 2

    Yes. The MANDATE is the issue for the Election.
    All those wedges will become an avalanche.
    The difficulty is to convince the electorate that the threats will damage NZ life for everyone – except the well off.

  3. jackal 3

    My grandfather was part of that 1951 waterfront lock-out. The blacklist the Government created for those striking had far reaching consequences for years to come. I wouldn’t put similar tactics past this National Government. They obviously have a lack of decency about them.

  4. marsman 4

    For a lying, thieving, corrupt Gummint vote National.

  5. Can only repeat what I said yesterday.

    Actually, one more thing – this drip-feeding strategy has to be countered. Perhaps a publicly viewable list that can be added to progressively – with the last line being ‘and’ followed by a series of question marks. All of these sought ‘mandates’ need to be consolidated so that people get the picture and don’t forget that we’re talking hailstorm, not refreshing summer shower.

    • ianmac 5.1

      Exactly what I thought Puddlegum. Unless we see the thousand little cuts in their total like rust it will creep up and form the MANDATE.

  6. Peter 6

    They’ve already got 58000 unemployed and 160000 job seekers ready and waiting to work so why put the knife in any further?

    • Verity 6.1

      160000 so called job seekers willing and ready work?And what qualifications would many of these have. They may be ready and willing to work but the days of getting a job on a building site, the wharves where nepotism ruled or down on the farm because you left school as soon as you could are long gone.

      Even a halfway decent education is not good enough – too many good people around for too few jobs – how do we deal with that? In a world recession how do we cope with an expanding population especially for those who have not much to offer. And we bring in seasonal workers from abroad?

      Expanding the public services, WFF, interest free student loans for diplomas in “clown degrees” etc. just to bring the numbers on the dole down so statistics looked good was always going to lead to trouble – anyone with a brain was always going to sell their services to the highest bidder and that was never going to be NZ. Pity that the ones to really gain from vote getters like this had the intelligence to realise that NZ was going nowhere with policies like this, took their degrees and expertise elsewhere. Any fool could see what was going to happen and it has.

      We don’t need Polytech diplomas in beauty therapy” aromatherapy, and artistic diplomas in painting yet another Phoenix palm – we should have given the children realistic ideas instead of spending taxpayers money on fantasia where every other youth thinks they are going to be the next Michael Jackson, rapper star or break dancing king did not serve them well. The youth were cocooned and conned about the real world out there.

      Sending cussies to the States (via various other cussies countries to visit rellies) to find the origins of NZ hip-hop and other assorted irresponsible ridiculous ideas like this just to retain power got up an awful lot of the the ordinary taxpayers noses. We worked hard for the money that Labour so casually flung around all and sundry who jumped on the band wagon but never had anything real to contribute.

      Would these who lived in the ether in the era of Labour now be amongst the 58000 unemployed or 160000 ready and willing job seekers? You betcha!

      P.S I have a Diploma in Hamburgertherapy – I was assured it was an absolute essential to get a job at a burger bar but it seems noone wants to know so I will just get myself some more burger therapy from one of the take away burger places that so many of we unemployed inhabit. We counsel each other about how awful we feel about not being able to pay back our student loans on all these therapy diplomas and can only afford burgers and fizz which makes us fat, dial up computers, basic Sky and cheap cell phones -how do you expect us to live on the dole and stay slim? Can hardly afford a taxi to get the fags these days.

      You owe me a job – Labour told me so.

      Twilight golf anyone?

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Your attitude is exactly why a quarter of our graduates leave this country to work in countries for people who will actually appreciate them and pay them what they are worth.

        You devalue education and trades.

        Devalue labour.

        Devalue arts and culture.

        Devalue the livability of our society.

        Devalue the caring professions and the importance of looking after each another from cradle to grave.

        Devalue anything that won’t make the capitalists the returns on their investments that they want.

        All the shit which has made 700,000 NZ born Kiwis decide to make Australia their home.

        You’re a fuckhead.

        • Verity 6.1.1.1

          You cannot devalue that which has no value. Where on earth did I devalue education and trades – those are two of the most important elements in society. And I certainly did not devalue the caring professions – your response is so typical of those who cannot see outside the square, especially your sign off – those who cannot think just swear.

          I am totally in support a welfare state for those who cannot earn a living for one reason or another, but I, probably like you, know too many physically capable people lying to obtain benefits, lying in bed rather than making an effort to better themselves and knowing that the state will support them from cradle to grave.

          I watched the same thing happen in Britain where generations have never actually worked.
          I see the same attitude here by those who do not value education and parents who couldn’t care less and make no effort to instill respect or ambition in their children or the knowledge that in order to have a lovely welfare state, everyone who can, must contribute. But then, for many parents, that would be hypocritical. You do not have to be wealthy to have ethics. But Labour addressed this problem with even more handouts – NZ cannot sustain itself in this manner, our demographics and geographal isolation should have made a much more radical shift in Labour’s policies.

          Ballance, Seddon, Savage and Kirk – brilliant men in their time. But this is 2011 and the world is a very different place. You can’t keep living in the past – the times of aristocrats and serfs says much about your way of thinking. Those times are well past – we have no workhouses or penniless beggars! And I think the four men you mentioned would turn in their graves if they saw how their ideals were so badly abused in the present day. I don’t think that what happened over the last few years is quite what they intended. We are now broke – where would you find the wherewithal to support the Kiwis who think they all have a right to own a SUV’s, pile up their trolleys in the supermarket with disposable nappies and beer and don’ tell me it doesn’t happen. Some of us have our priorities completely skewed.

          As for your aristocrats – do you include the wealthy rugby player is this category? The ones who go abroad to earn millions. Or the Helen Clarks of this world who aquired another six houses during her reign? Human beings will always be human and we in the democratic countries are a darn sight more humane than some. Think of all those millions of poor muslim illiterates in Egypt etc. who do not know where the next meal is coming from. Noone in NZ has to be illiterate and at least we have WINZ and food banks in the worst of times.

          And the oustanding idealists of our time, Stalin, Mao, Castro Blair etc. – how did their people benefit from their left wing ideals? Your speil was just “same old, same old” – it didn’t work last time, it just made NZ broke which is why you are not in power now. And unless some Labour policies are rethought it is not going to work in the future.

          But you are in a catch 22 situation – in order to find votes you have to offer the same policies(freebies, open all hours drinking time for the young, interset free loans and benefits to those earning six figure salaries) – the very things that broke us last time.

          Some ideals, wonderful as they may be, are just not financially sustainable in this modern age.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            Some ideals, wonderful as they may be, are just not financially sustainable in this modern age.

            Meh

            The top 100 on the NZ Rich List control $40B between them, and the Reserve Bank notes that $230B exists in the money supply. So there is plenty of money, and you are lying.

            The Right attempts to destroy idealism at every turn. You have to because a capitalist world where capital not labour is important is what you have to create.

            And we are going to stop you, because labour outnumbers capitalists twenty to one.

            Ballance, Seddon, Savage and Kirk – brilliant men in their time. But this is 2011 and the world is a very different place. You can’t keep living in the past – the times of aristocrats and serfs says much about your way of thinking.

            NZ wage serfs are not going to stand by while Government Ministers luxuriate in new BMWs and the wealth are given more of the country’s riches on a silver platter.

            This is class war, you peasant blaming asshole.

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.2

            I can see where you are coming from verity.

            If you have a decent job in this country it’s still possible to pretend things are all ok. And hope that they will stay that way. And heck you are right; look about the world and most of it by comparison to our quiet little home is not pretty. Downright ugly in fact.

            But NZ is not special. We don’t have some special immunity to fracking up. Mostly NZ has gotten away with a lot of dumb decisions because we have a low population density and until recently most folk’s lives had a fair bit of resiliency left. We could get away with shit and still stage a recovery.

            But here are some of the numbers that are slowly killing us as a nation:

            7-9% of our GDP is being siphoned off every year by overseas profit takers, rentiers of our national assets and wealth.

            Despite the fact that New Zealanders work more and longer than any other OECD nation our wages & salary share of GDP is 42% and falling. The lowest in the OECD; other people gain the majority of the benefit from our collective efforts.

            25% youth unemployment. Killing our future.

            Us ordinary kwis are already serfs and servants in our own nation… most of us just haven’t quite clued into it yet.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.3

            it just made NZ broke

            NZ isn’t broke – that’s just a lie that the bankers want you to believe. We have all the resources we need but we have, at the bankers bidding, a massive misallocation of resources.

            • Descendant Of Smith 6.1.1.1.3.1

              “I am totally in support a welfare state for those who cannot earn a living for one reason or another, but I, probably like you, know too many physically capable people lying to obtain benefits, lying in bed rather than making an effort to better themselves and knowing that the state will support them from cradle to grave.”

              No you’re not you don’t support it at all but just like to pretend you do. It’s like saying I’m not a racist but…/../

              From the MSD website here’s the figures for 2007.

              18-19 years 2,893
              20-24 years 4,123
              25-29 years 2,873
              30-34 years 2,425
              35-39 years 2,249
              40-44 years 2,097
              45-49 years 2,111
              50-54 years 1,665
              55-59 years 1,375
              60-64 years 2,474
              Total working age clients 24,285

              Only 24,000 people on unemployment benefit. Many of those in rural areas with little work and not a static group but one where people move in and out of the welfare system.

              Niow lets look at duration for 2007 as well.

              Under 6 months 14,032
              6 months-2 years 6,403
              2-4 years 2,076
              Over 4 years 1,774
              Total 24,285

              Only 1,774 over 4 years and some of those will have been in and out of work and some of these will be working part-time, again some will be in rural areas with low employment and quite a few will be in that 60-64 year old group as well waiting to go on NZS (oooops they are baby boomers with their so called wonderful work ethic the older generation like to criticise young people for not having).

              When work is there people work. You act as if there is a massive problem with people unwilling to work – there’s not. If the jobs are there they will work.

              And just to reinforce the point:

              I was looking for a recent article in the Hawkes Bay paper that said that unemployment had risen everywhere in Hawkes Bay but Flaxmere (you know the much maligned, low socio econnomic, low decile gang ridden Flaxmere) and came across this one in 1997:

              http://www.hawkesbaytoday.co.nz/local/news/mp-rapt-at-suburbs-zero-jobless-figure/3732658/

              zero on unemployment benefit.

              I can’t find the more recent article but this again indicates when the work is there people from all communities will go and do it.

              If you supported the welfare system you would look at the facts – not the rhetoric.

              Besides if you think that if people who can support themselves shouldn’t get any assistance at least be consistent and push for the removal of NZS from those who have income, assets and trusts. This will return far more to the taxpayer than stopping a few unemployment benefits ever will.

  7. Postie 7

    How you like that mums n dads Nat voter’s ? Time for a what ??? At the end of the day we are all workers and if are kids are not workers yet they soon or one day will be, What a backward path NZ is on ! Welcome to the new class system you are number zero in the line!!

  8. JS 8

    What do voters like about National apart from John Key? Anything?

    • Well JS I wish I knew. All my life I have seen Conservative Right -Wing parties just bash working people .Yet they still vote for more and more.

      Tories do of course have money to spend on clever covert advertising .
      Union bashing has had it effect , just think of the working people who voted to “stop union power ruining the country ” . Some will remember the Cossack advertisments that scared ignorant workers to death. Muldoon knew just what would happen when he invited the racist springbok tour but it won him the election. It would be most interesting to know how many Solo mums and unemployed voted for the Key smile Lefties would be shocked if the knew. They now have Crosby-Textor and they are masters at winning elections by stealth and underhanded ways . Be aware my friends those Nat bastards will do anything and I mean anything to win.

      • Verity 8.1.1

        Including speeding across the Tasman (on whose money?) to try to discredit other party leaders while everybody on the right kept mum about the Labour leader for years. Maybe that is the difference between gentleman and muckrakers!

        • Anne 8.1.1.1

          And what murky, mucky bit of fallacious crap are you trying to insinuate Verity?

        • RedLogix 8.1.1.2

          Oh he’s still smarting over William’s somewhat misguided attempt to link Key into the H-Fee affair just prior to the 2008 election.

          At the time there was a lot of material posted here at The Standard speculating around this matter. I personally have seen evidence that clearly suggests Key has definitely lied about something he did in the 1980’s. His official CV contains details that are contradicted by other information. But why the lie and why the cover up is not clear.

          One of the best ways to keep a secret is to spread around a number of misdirections, and Williams may have been following one of them. While he didn’t turn up a smoking gun, it did show how close Key was to the H-Fee affair and how remarkably fortunate he was to have slipped past it with his hands apparently clean. But even then I’m of the opinion that H-Fee was not the main show… there was something else.

          Nah… there is stuff in Key’s background that is interesting to say the least. One day something will come to light.

  9. Zaphod Beeblebrox 9

    So how is this even a remotely sensible idea when we have a single Trans-tasman labor market? Those that can leave for better working lives will leave, those who can’t will be stuck.

    In Australia they have an upper house (Senate) to stop the worst excesses of idiots, here we only have ourselves to try and stop stupidity.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      In Australia they have an upper house (Senate) to stop the worst excesses of idiots,

      Bollocks, upper house does nothing of the sort. If the same party controls both houses then the stupidity still passes and if one party controls one house and another party controls the other then no legislation gets passed.

      • William Watson 9.1.1

        (+5 / insightful)

        Don’t always (often?) agree with DTB. But this comment is spot on. The house of lords system in the UK is theoretically better, but doesn’t actually seem to be a practical improvement.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 9.1.2

        The Senate saved Australians from a lot of bad shit under Howard. Unfortunately there’s no upper house to save us from the current idiots.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2.1

          We have select committees to do that and they’re actually better at it. The big problem is that the select committees can be bypassed with urgency – especially when the government doesn’t want a select committee to look over the legislation.

        • Verity 9.1.2.2

          Those would be the idiots who were mostly successful in the private sector before they were elected to Parliament? And many of them were not born with silver spoons in their mouths, they earned a living and gained experience in this competitive world we now inhabit.

          And your real life field of expertise and long experience in which you are/were employed is ………? I am sure you have much to offer but it is better to walk the walk than talk the talk. Ideals are wonderful but it is realism that gets things done.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.2.1

            Ideals are wonderful but it is realism that gets things done.

            Bullshit.

            Its time this country regained it’s ideals. And again strive for the vision that Ballance, Seddon, Savage, Kirk and others saw for our beautiful country and its peoples.

            Because the “realism” we are being offered by Key and his corporatist masters involves selling our country’s most valuable assets off to foreigners, turning our people into lowly paid wage serfs, and kowtowing to an aristocratic elite who don’t care about the underclasses beneath their boot.

            Fuck you.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 9.1.2.2.2

            Running a business and providing for the welfare of your citizens are not the same thing.

            NZ does not want to end up with the same fate as Merrill Lynch. If that is a success I would hate to see a failure.

  10. Akldnut 10

    Sounds like Joh Bjelke Petersen may have been a poster boy for this pack of thieves as well.

    I was in Brisbane when he carried out the harrasing of unions and their members during the 80’s during the power strikes/demonstrations.

  11. tc 11

    True DTB however the greens and democrats have pretty much held the balance of power in the senate for decades…..the democrats were formed by Don Chipp to ‘keep the bastards honest’ and the oz electorate, being a lot more savvy than ours keeps it that way.

  12. Gazza 12

    There is nothing much more to say except it looks like the only way National will be gone is when he has the smile wiped off his arrogant self-serving face.

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    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
    2 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    3 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    3 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    7 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago

  • 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
    7 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    13 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 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
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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