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Nats push-polling on your dime?

Written By: - Date published: 1:19 am, July 1st, 2010 - 58 comments
Categories: melissa lee, parliamentary spending, polls - Tags:

A reader sent us these images of an addressed ‘survey’ he received in the mail from Melissa Lee. It makes interesting reading.

First, note the Parliamentary crest. These are your tax dollars at work. Probably the Nats using up the last of their taxpayer budget before the end of the fiscal year.

Second, this generic wording with a few changes relating to Lee and Mt Albert. So, I’m guessing this has been sent out around the country – if you’ve received something we’d be keen to see it.

Third, this is personally addressed and professionally delivered. This isn’t a cheap mail drop of generic material by volunteers. It was expensive. It would be interesting to know if this was a targeted drop based on what National’s databases tell them are the soft Nat/Lab voters or if it’s broader.

Note, the personal addressing means that National will use any reply you send to add to their dataset on you and use that information for electioneering.

Fourth, look at the questions. When you’re doing a real survey you have to be very careful that your questions don’t bias the answers. You don’t get useful information from a slanted questionnaire.

So, you don’t ask “Budget 2010 clearly demonstrates National’s commitment to reform the welfare state, support people into work, and grow the affordable  housing” or “Budget 2010 is firmly focused on lifting economic growth to create jobs, boost incomes, raise living standards, and provide world-class public services to help Kiwi families get ahead” if you’re really interested in the answers. This is push polling.

It’s not an attempt to gather our opinions to inform their policies. It’s a cynical attempt to influence our views while pretending to care what we think. It’s National propaganda masquerading as consultation. And they’re using our money to fund it.Thanks, Melissa. You’ve dumped your party in it again.

58 comments on “Nats push-polling on your dime?”

  1. Push-polling is common to surveys funded with Parliamentary money. Asking which party represents your views isn’t. And that should be enough to rule it out.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Although there is no “other” option. Clearly if you don’t fit one of their provided 7 boxes, you don’t have an opinion worth measuring.

  2. NZP 2

    Hate to say it, but I got a very similar piece from Labour before the last election (carefully coloured red). It’s a careful use of our parliamentary funds to get our opinions. Go the taxpayer dollar at work 😛

    • lprent 2.1

      But it wasn’t a questionnaire? Just information with a labour bias? That is the usual leaflet drop – mps newsletters.

      What gets me with this one is the sheer extravagance of it all. Not only is it personal mail delivery rather than dropped by volunteers, but because it is a questionnaire it also has a costly backend processing data if anyone responds.

      This goes well beyond the usual mps newsletters – which is the most common thing that the parliamentary crest pays for.

      Looks like national is deeply into rorting taxpayers to pay for their expensive campaigning.

      • TightyRighty 2.1.1

        deeply into rorting the taxpayers they sure are. The probably learned how to from the sensei’s of taxpayers rortage

        Zetetics third rule of politics comes to mind.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          Andrew has already linked to that TR.
          He didn’t hat tip DPF either.
          Nor did he say whether or not he thinks that’s a push poll.
          Nor did DFF, as it happens.

          Go figure I guess.

          • TightyRighty 2.1.1.1.1

            yea, still no denial of the fact zetetics third rule should have been considered before going off half cocked. DPF at least allows people to make their own mind up. the issue as presented in the post was that parliamentary funds were being used by national (cue horror) to poll in the electorate. turns out labour, of course, have, are, and probably, will continue to do so. push polling is only a concern to the bias that appears in the results. hat tip zetetic and DPF.

            just to remind you; zetetics third rule: If you’re going to reduce your entire campaign to smearing your opponent, better make sure your own house is in order.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.1.1

              nah.

              . the issue as presented in the post was that parliamentary funds were being used by national (cue horror) to poll in the electorate.

              The point is the push polling. The post is mostly about the nature of the questions and the purpose of the leaflet. A clue to that can be found in the comment thread where that is what everyone is talking about.

              You clowns seem predisposed to think it’s all about the funding, and I guess that is because you spent so much time bleating and screaming, and getting all het up with fake outrage about that angle a wee while ago.

              At the time, IIRC, the left was saying that your outrage was fake and that the all parties used funds this way. Pointing out that we were right about that is a secondary point to the post.

              If you have another look at what dpf asked you to think about, it’s the wording of the questions. So he gets it, but decided not to analyze them himself, for reasons to be guessed at.

              On zets rule, you might want to think about your charge of hypocrisy here. For it to stick, you have to show that the leftie survey is as bad, and that you guys really were upset about the funding angle.

              So far it’s faily mcfail on both counts.

              • TightyRighty

                Right, so one point out of four mentions push polling, sure it was elaborated on more than the rest, but the other three are points of criticism none the less. you can’t say that this post is only about point four and not points one, two and three. why? because you didn’t write it. unless you are a sock puppet. funnily enough, i think points one, two and three are more important here, especially if we take the reading order of them as inferring the hierarchical level of nationals evilness.

                For zets third rule to stick, there are two conditions to be met. one, the campaign is nothing but smears. ergo, no real or effective policy, but lot’s of mud being slung. check. Two, to make sure your own house is order. well, criticising an mp for using parliamentary funds to poll the electorate and too extrapolate from the one piece of evidence of it that it is happening all across the country, when mp’s from your side (the losers) of the house are doing the same thing, flies right in the face of that. wouldn’t you agree?

                You probably wouldn’t agree. It will be your narrow minded focus on point four which you think will justify your increasingly fragile argument. so your cute accusations of failing, when you are wrong, makes you the fail master.

  3. Stanko 3

    I work in market research and this is quite beautiful, entirely cynical and completely party-political. It very obvious that by stating the wonderful things National are doing as the precursor question they are influencing responses. But it is the second part of each question that is the most effective. “Economic Issues you are interested in” does not include the economic issue that I am interested in e.g. social spending. It kind of removes that from the agenda for anyone who doesn’t have a mind of their own. Repeat regularly.

    This is definitely push polling and should not fall within the tax-payer funding gambit, regardless of which party is doing it.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Yeah, I thought the “issues you are interested in” question was a bit oddball too. ‘Science & Research’ is an option – what does that even mean?

      What about the way the rest of the boxes have Agree, then Somewhat Agree, and Disagree last. Or Enough, Not Enough, Too Much. Seems like even the ordering of the options is biased.

  4. illuminatedtiger 4

    Lee puts her foot in it yet again.

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    Melissa Lee ? Who is Melissa Lee

  6. Polls are used because they fall within Parliamentary Services requirements for funding.

    It is poorly constructed and is heavily biased.

    I suspect that the data will never be collated.

  7. James Francis 7

    We received the same thing in Tawa, from Katrina Shanks.

    It’s a questionnaire that’s impossible to answer unless you’re an unquestioning adherent of National’s policies.

    My wife started filling in her copy before realising where it was headed. Her comment was that she was giving them her name and address for future use. She then screwed it up and hiffed it in the bin.

  8. just saying 8

    A few years back I used to receive something very similar from Katherine Rich, including question 9, while she was in opposition. It was clearly party propaganda, it would have been worded completely differently if it was designed to gauge my opinions.

  9. Mossaman 9

    Apart from the obvious problems of leading questions, ordering and stategic blindness to alternative (or even just plain neutral) framings of the issue, the survey’s also methodologically unsound at the most basic level.

    Where the response options say: Agree; Somewhat Agree; Disagree – there is a missing response option Somewhat Disagree – without that counterbalancing there will be a response bias towards agreement. probably want they want but it’s unsound and dishonest if intentional.

    I presume Curia put it together.

  10. Tiger Mountain 10

    John Carter MP (Northland) has done this for years, though usually with an enclosed reply envelope rather than self mailer. I encourage my friends to write “fuck off tory fucker’ on them and send them back.

    • The Voice of Reason 10.1

      Nice, Tiger. A mate in Whanganui tells me he did something very similar, though even less diplomatic, when the Chester Borrows version of the survey turned up a couple of days ago.

      • felix 10.1.1

        I’m struggling with “even less diplomatic”.

        Was it in the form of a pictogram perhaps?

    • toad 10.2

      Yep, I got something similar from Paula Bennett a while back. Come to think of it, it must have been about a year ago – also around the end of the financial year when the Nats presumably had some unspent Parliamentary Service money they needed to get rid of.

      Guess I can look forward to her smiling face in my letterbox again sometime soon.

      • Jilly Bee 10.2.1

        Yes, Toad her smiling face turned up in our letterbox this morning with the ‘survey’ – sheesh what a ghastly photo of John Key. Is it the botox or bad dental work.

    • Lew 10.3

      Alternatively: http://bash.org/?127039

      1. Save every Free Credit Card Offer you get, Put it in pile A
      2. Save every Free Coupon You get, put that in pile B
      3. Now open the credit card mail from pile A and find the Business
      Reply Mail Envelope.
      4. Take the coupons from pile B and stuff them in the envelope you hold
      in your hand.
      5. Drop the stuffed to the brim envelopes in your mail and walk away
      whistling.
      I have now received two phone calls from the credit card companies
      telling me that they received a stuffed envelope with coupons rather
      then my application. They informed me that it they are not pleased that
      they footed the bill for the crap I sent them. I reply with “It says
      Business Reply Mail” I’m suggesting coupons to you to ensure that your
      business is more successful. They promptly hang up on me.
      Now, I did this for about a month before it got boring, so I got an
      added idea! I added exactly 33 cents worth of pennies to the envelope
      so they paid EXTRA due to the weight. I got a call informing me about
      the money, I said it was a mistake and I demanded my change back. After
      yelling at the clerk and then to the supervisor they agreed to my
      demands and cut me a check for the money. I hold in my hand at this
      very moment a check from GTE Visa for exactly 33 cents.

      On second thoughts, for a political party this would probably be interpreted as a donation.

      L

    • Graham 10.4

      Nice to see a calm, intelligent, well-thought-out and reasoned response there …

  11. yeshe 11

    I have received the exact same ‘survey’ with Lockwood Smith’s face on it and sent from Parliament … now torn ‘twixt advice to bin it or accept Tiger Mountain’s tempting encouragement above …

  12. Bright Red 12

    At least it doesn’t say [insert MP’s name here]

  13. ianmac 13

    A couple of years ago I received a questionnaire in the mail with local Nat MP Mr King’s face on it. I wrote a letter to the paper pointing out the bias. (Can’t remember the detail.) Mr King replied saying that it was something that head office had run and was nothing to do with him personally. Huh?

  14. BLiP 14

    National Ltdâ„¢ don’t send any mail me : )

  15. Santi 15

    I am surprised Farrar’s Curia is not involved.

  16. butnahyeahnah 16

    Two identical ‘manufactured consent forms’ in the mail today (one addressed to me one to the missus).
    This time though it has Paul Quinn’s name and photo on it. (I in Lower Hutt).

    If you hold the photo of Donkey up to the light, you will see the words”Drugs, Gangs and Youth Crime” – Right where I believe Hon.Keys policies are designed to take us to; new and worse, levels of them all.

  17. Tui 17

    Santi: why so ? It might be ..

  18. Andrew 18

    different to this Labour one how?

    • Ari 18.1

      Looks to me like the only difference is asking about likely party support. Looks like this is a case of Everybody Needs to Stop Itâ„¢.

    • burt 18.2

      Andrew

      It is different because Labour are doing it. The rules are confusing and others were doing it too so It’s OK when Labour do it. National on the other hand – ohhhh the outrage – they used a blue logo.

    • The Voice of Reason 18.3

      Different because of the nature of the questions. The Hodgson one has neutral questions apparently intended to get a genuine snapshot of his electorate’s views. The National one has loaded questions and appears designed not for feedback, but to set an agenda.

      Ie: the difference between the simple ‘do you prefer candidate A or candidate B’ or the manipulative ‘if you knew candidate B shagged goats, would that influence your vote?’.

      • Ari 18.3.1

        I don’t know. The consistent emphasis on positive outlooks in that survey does make it look just a little pushy. It’s certainly closer to a real survey than the obvious push-polling that this post deals with, but I think it may well dip a toe across the line.

  19. Rex Widerstrom 19

    Push polling? Doesn’t seem strong enough to fit the description to me. Push polling generally states a negative about the opponent (named or unnamed) (cf TVoR’s “if you knew candidate B shagged goats…” example above).

    What it does smell of to me is a cheap focus group exercise, running NACT’s spin past a number of people and seeing if the lines make them choke. The “which party” question then helps them discern whether the lines are resonating with their base, opposition supporters etc.

    The lack of a “swinging voter” or “other” option in that question – and a follow-up question asking about strength of support for the previous option – renders the data considerably less useful however.

    That lack of professionalism makes it seem like the work of some keen National acolyte who thinks they understand political communication but is in fact a poorly trained amateur with an unrealistic view of their own ability – i.e. Melissa Lee – rather than someone like Curia, who’d know what they were doing.

    • Bright Red 19.1

      looks like another Farrar special to me. He can’t help himself, his polls never ask neutral questions. I think it’s more about giving his clients the answers they want.

      his quick reply post suggests his involvement.

      • Rex Widerstrom 19.1.1

        giving his clients the answers they want

        That’s all very well for nutjobs like the SST. First (and most importantly) they actually believe their stuff. Second, they’re so convinced of their own righteousness they don’t want to hear anything that challenges their worldview.

        National, on the other hand, would surely want to know what people were actually thinking, so they could adapt themselves to fit (with no reference to principle)?

        I remember Winston describing the Nat’s philosophy with a quote he borrowed which went something like “There go my people. I am their Leader!! I must follow them to see where it is they want me to lead them”.

        That would require better data than this survey would provide. To me, it’s redolent of the smugness of Melissa Lee, whose mis-steps coupled with a determination to do things her way led, lets us not forget, to her abandonment by Key after the Mt Albert by-election.

        Mind you, I accept your theory could equally be correct, BR.

        • Pascal's bookie 19.1.1.1

          I agree that nat will have someone (presumably dpf) doing that sort of polling, and that this isn’t that sort of polling.

          But we know the Nats are doing this poll, so that just means they are doing it for some other reason than getting useful results.

          So if I had to guess, I’d say it was along the lines of finding out who is amenable to responding to their literature, who wants to know more, and if so about what. If the last question isn’t filled in they don’t bother looking at the rest. Collect the email addresses and chuck em on a mailing list for more targeted business that doesn’t have the parliamentary stamp.

          On that basis I’d fill it in as a middle of the roader, bit more on health and education please, more roads, bash the bennies, I’m a bit worried about crims etc, and see what turns up in my inbox.

  20. schrodigerscat 20

    While I don’t appreciate the fact that you and I are paying for this, I hope people return them filled in in such a way that they are misleading or meaningless.

    In this age of data warehousing I am not so keen on recording my opinion in this way though, and can understand anyone being reluctant.

  21. Us old wrinklies have recently recieved a letter from Key telling us about the tax changes ect, However it is not just about the tax/super changes but a whole page of National propoganda. Down right electioneering .

    • ianmac 21.1

      Yes Pinkpostmån. Agreed. It is å wåy of being present in the eyes of the people. Wonder if the questionnaire serves the same purpose regardless of its content?

    • TightyRighty 21.2

      sheesh remember the pledge card you old wrinkly?

      anti-spam: slower

  22. roger nome 22

    [come on roger, you’re better than that — r0b]

  23. True Blue 23

    Who’s money was used on the “TAX BUS”

  24. Pascal's bookie 24

    heh, It’s funny when dpf points to a post but doesn’t tell them what to think about it.

    ‘hur’ and ‘dur’.

    ‘fargle?’

    ‘narfin splurt!!one1″

  25. si 25

    Compared to the waste of money that was the axe the tax bus (which right now appears to be the outrage bus onto which you are all boarding), I dont really see a huge drama. Pledge cards anyone?

  26. chris73 26

    Just to avoid any confusion, if any of those evil, baby-eating tories come on here…if a Labour MP sends one out thats ok and a sign of a robust democracy at work but if a National MP sends one out its a sign that the four horsemen of the apocalypse are just around the corner

  27. schrodigerscat 27

    Given that the government obviously has no conflicts of interests should they be answering the questions? http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2010/07/questions-government-will-not-answer.html

    0 yes 0 no 0 maybe

    Since Labour and National both send out stupid pointless polls, where is the McGillicuddy Serious Party when you need them?

    0 Hawaii 0 jet-setting 0 curling in Scotland

    Mirror mirror on the wall, what a hunk Gerry is, right?

    0 wooo 0 what are you thinking? 0 Lockwood rings my bells 0 sexy coal!.

    I think we need a better poll to give the politicians some inkling how to behave. I am sure they once knew.

  28. Maggie 28

    I received same thing from Paul Quinn. Unfortunately the dog ate it before I could respond. The vet reckons dog will be fine once her stomach is pumped, but she should be deterred from eating garbage in future.

  29. Maggie 29

    I love the way Tories react when their sneaky ways are exposed.

    Their only defence is: “Labour did it, too”

    I thought they reckoned their lot was better and had higher standard?

    • TightyRighty 29.1

      what sneaky ways? it’s hardly sneaky to use the parliamentary crest, and mail it out. This is a non-issue, as all parties do it. it’s not “labour did it,too”, it’s “labour is doing it, so what?”

      it’s a weak attempt at a smear that breaks zets third rule of politics

  30. Maggie 30

    So there’s a difference between “Labour did it, too” and “Labour is doing it, so what?”? The mind boggles…..

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    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    11 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
    13 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
    13 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
    13 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
    13 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
    16 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
    2 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
    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
    3 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
    6 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
    7 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
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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