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Nats scrap citizens’ jury on electoral reform

Written By: - Date published: 5:49 pm, November 28th, 2008 - 41 comments
Categories: election funding - Tags:

Frogblog reports:

The Green Party initiative to have electoral reform reviewed and managed by a citizens’ jury has been scrapped by the National government today. While not surprising, it does mean that electoral reform falls back into the hands of the politicians – putting the wolves back in charge of the hen house. The press release came at the usual ‘don’t look now’ time of 4 pm on a Friday, a trick that both National and Labour use to hide unpopular announcements.

Attack on democracy, eh?

41 comments on “Nats scrap citizens’ jury on electoral reform”

  1. Robin Grieve 1

    I don’t remember The Standard defending democracy against the Labour Green outragious attack on democracy when they passed the Electoral Finance Act that had a chilling effect on democracy. This is the citizens forum appointed just before the election when convention requires no appointments be made.
    Labour got kicked out for their arrogenc eand their attacks on democracy, may be you could remind us what The Standard said about the EFA at the time.

    [lprent: I personally always find it amusing when some crazy person thinks that a program has opinions. Perhaps you’d be better addressing it to a person? Otherwise it is all just empty assertions aimed at no-one by someone dumb enough to think that a program has a mind. That is a characteristic I view as being symptomatic of a troll – see Rules. ]

  2. sweeetdisorder 2

    And, as Simon Power says in his press release

    Government disbands EFA Expert Panel
    Justice Minister Simon Power today announced that the Government has disestablished the Expert Panel on Electoral Administration which was established by the Labour Government two months ago.
    The panel was to have reviewed the administration of the electoral system under the Electoral Finance Act and whether or not political parties should be state funded.
    Its terms of reference included convening a Citizens’ Forum of 70 people to consider the findings of the panel. The cost of the Expert Panel and the forums had been budgeted at $4.57 million.
    The three members appointed to the panel were Associate Professor Andrew Geddis (Chair) of Otago University, Dr Jean Drage of Canterbury University/Victoria University, and Professor Stephen Levine of Victoria University.
    Mr Power says he has written to the panellists advising them of the decision to disestablish the committee and thanking them for their willingness to contribute their “considerable expertise’.
    “The Electoral Finance Act 2007 was passed without a broad base of support across parties represented in Parliament. Similarly, the Expert Panel was established without wider political consultation. National opposed both of these measures.
    “So we are disbanding the panel and will start this whole process afresh.
    “The next phase in the Government’s plan is to repeal the EFA as an interim measure, as promised during the election campaign.
    “We want to return to the spirit of bipartisanship on this issue which till recently had shaped electoral reform in New Zealand.
    “The Government has been sufficiently encouraged by statements made by the Leader of the Opposition since the election which suggest there is now a willingness to participate in a constructive approach toward the reform of electoral administration.
    “Following the repeal of the EFA, we will start work on a new law that will seek as broad a range of parliamentary and public support as possible, to provide an enduring framework for the administration of elections.’
    Ends

  3. djp 3

    Apparently they will “start this whole process afresh”. So it doesnt mean that there wont eventually be a citizens jury.

    Part of it was to look into state funding of political parties so I will be happy to see that go.

    And in the interim the EFA will be repealled so good news all round really.

  4. gingercrush 4

    Not an attack on democracy just an attack on a failed Labour policy. Not even Labour agrees with the EFA now. Funny that.

  5. Rex Widerstrom 5

    Well a “Citizen’s Jury” was better than “block our ears and go lalalalala we won’t listen to anyone who doesn’t agree with us”, which was Labour’s “consultation” on the issue.

    But I’d still rather a wider alternative than 70 people making the decisions for me, too. Especially since they’re likely to have been made up of well-meaning cardigan wearing “joiners” who devote themselves to do-goodingness mixed with despotic little toffs who’d see it as an opportunity for a bit of gerrymandering.

    Power does say National “will start work on a new law that will seek as broad a range of parliamentary and public support as possible”. There is, sadly, no detail – yet – as to how that will happen and how broad they envisage. Nor whether they’ll go beyond simply looking at the relatively narrow range of issues covered by the EFA and give us a proper review of MMP, the functions and rules of Parliament, the need for a constitution and proper Bill of Rights, opportunities for greater citizen participation in decision making and whole host of other stuff.

    So I’m still waiting and seeing…

    I suspect I’ll be back here complaining when it eventually starts to clarify. Not that I don’t trust them on thse issues because they’re National. I don’t trust them because they’re politicians.

  6. Ianmac 6

    Transparency of Donations was the main reason for the EFA. Yet I still don’t know where the money came from for the 08 Election. Must have been Millions somewhere. I wonder if the transparency will still be the thrust of future EFA?

  7. Quoth the Raven 7

    GC – The panel was going to look at the EFA. Aren’t you always talking about public consulatation? Who do think is better to look at electoral law reform politicians with their vested interests or impartial experts.

  8. Janet 9

    At the same time why not raise the voting age, tighten the criteria for voting, try a bit of gerrymandering, bringing back the rural quota, maybe even a property franchise?

    Administration of elections? Why not let Rodney the Razor into the process and cut out elections altogether and just have a president for life. I’m sure John K would be happy to oblige. Much cheaper. And the Herald will think it’s a great idea.

  9. Felix 10

    Brett?

  10. gingercrush 11

    QtR because National campaigned on getting rid of the EFA so why have public consultation on something National never was going to keep. The EFA was a mess and why anyone defends it is beyond me. Its been attacked by most political commentators including those on the left.

    Janet – You really must be desperate if you’re trying to scare people with silly assertions. Either that or trying to be comedian. Just you’re not that funny.

    Iprent – Relax. If people say The Standard you know they’re not talking about the processes and programming languages that make up a blog. They’re merely stating why don’t the people who write pieces on The Standard do such and such. It isn’t trolling saying The Standard. When something is written in a newspaper large articles etc have people’s names attached to the article. But generally most people don’t use the persons name, they just refer to NZ Herald.

    That and most people would see The Standard as a blog not a program. Yes a blog is made from programming languages but still.

  11. Quoth the Raven 12

    GC – Gerrymandering is exactly what the National party’s rural arm, federated farmers, recommended. Here’s what the head of federated farmers had to say.

  12. gingercrush 13

    QtR – Grow up.

  13. Ari 14

    Ianmac- It looks suspiciously like only the Greens and Act declared their large donations from individuals. If you feel like investigating you could probably burn both the major parties pretty badly with a good leak.

    This is bad forshadowing that they simply plan to game the rules for themselves. I hope you fellows and fellesses are ready to make a lot of noise.

  14. lprent 15

    gc: You’re completely mis-representing the left’s position.

    If I understand the crap (trying to get definite policy apart from headlines from them is hopeless) that NACT are putting out – we’re going back to the EA 1993 with a couple of tweaks. The act that has far more flaws than the 2007 act.

    What people on the left would like to do is to fix the flaws that became evident. What NACT want to do is to move to a system that allowed them to spend their election money at the start of an election year so it is not attributable as an election expense. In other words if I understand the NACT’s ‘policy’ – to make it possible for them to gerrymander a MMP election (in their traditional style).

  15. Monty 16

    Good. the Greenies also better get used to being ignored and becoming irrelevant. The Nats needs to reject every policy initiative and every members ballot for all the next three years. Give these loonies no oxygen and see their support fall below 5%. Hopefully next election the Greenies will be a distant memory.

    On the matter of electoral reform – I would give no voice to those who supported the insideous EFA. The Greenies support of the EFA was a disgrace and they realised it soon after the Bill was voted into Law. Now we have Goff who wants it tossed out – what a bunch of tossers. NZ First has also been punished for their support of it (as well as much else).

    National have the mandate to get rid of the EFA. Labour need to come clean and apologise for bringing it into Law.

  16. Johnty Rhodes 17

    Why not keep the EFA?

    Sure, it needs time to work I reckon. Some parts need to be tightened up I know, such as third parties being able to spend $120K like the EPMU did in the past election. Everyone knows the EPMU=Labour in effect, Andrew Little is in the top echelons of both parties. This will make the playing field more equal.

    No state funding is required also, if you want to be in power surely you should have the means to raise the money yourself.

    [lprent: Damn – removing you from moderation. That is actually a reasonable (if misguided) argument]

  17. Johnty Rhodes 18

    Thanks Iprent:) But tell me why it is mis guided? IIRC the contribtors on this blog were all in favour of the EFA a couple of months ago. What has changed? Being in opposition maybe? I am often a cynic so I reckon keep the EFA. National can use this to use state funded advertising in the months before the election like Labour did. The EFA is opposition un-friedly. But I know that NACTional will repeal this awful legislation and offer bi-partianship in forming new legislation.

  18. lprent 19

    Still checking the javascript comments.

    JR: The reason is not the approach. The problem is the logic.

    EPMU==Andrew Little==Labour

    On that basis I’d have to insist that federated farmers, the NBR, the EMA, and a large number == National

    SST == Act

    etc…

    Now I don’t think that any of those is true.

  19. gingercrush 20

    Iprent I am not mis-representing the left’s position since I never even talked about the left’s position. I merely said the EFA was a mess (an opinion) and that it had been criticised by political commentators with leftish persuasions.

    As for your point about what National is planning to do, that is legitimate for the left to be concerned about. And as people campaigned against the EFA likewise one would expect the left to campaign, if National puts in something they don’t see as disagreeable. But National campaigned to get rid of the EFA and since National has gotten itself into government it has said the EFA will be gone. Likewise, Phil Goff the new leader of the Labour party has said that the EFA was a mistake. Had National said, no wait a minute we’re keeping the EFA I can just say see people from the left saying: “National went back on its word”.

    The fact is the EFA is gone and finished, National has said they’ll work with other parties, Labour has called for National to work with the other parties. And likely that is what will happen something Labour should have done with the EFA.

    Labour wanting to change policy in electoral finance was fine but it was a reckless not well thought out piece of legislation. They didn;t do enough public consultation, they didn’t work with other parties. And it seemed to me, they wanted to fix it so National would be hurt by the act. As you accuse National of gerrymandering I believe Labour was doing the same. That is why I could not agree with the EFA.

    National should be careful not to enact legislation to replace the EFA with something that favours them and instead should legislate something that is good for the democratic process. When that happens and you feel what replaces the EFA isn’t good for the democratic process feel free to criticise.

    And had National said wait a minute we’ll keep the EFA I can just picure SP making a new post saying National failed for not keeping a promise.

  20. lprent_test 21

    Now checking re-edit and javascript comments

    In other words, the misguided part is to equate that fact that some people are in both organizations – like that SST lawyer – who is now an Act MP – and saying that means that the organizations are the same because of it.

    That just leaves it wide open to the national smear unit and others to try and muddy the issue. Of course it will eventually get thrown out of court like the EPMU case that Farrar maliciously brought earlier this year. That was a rather interesting attempt to destroy the law regarding ‘natural persons’ (or whatever it was called).

    It is like saying this site is paid for by the NZLP – when they have never put a penny towards it.

    Now trying re-edit. Ok get the old one there. I may have to code to make that work

  21. Testing in IE6 running on windows 2K inside of virtualbox on OpenSUSE

    Ok – that largely works. Have to say that IE6 looks more ugly everytime I see it.

    I’m not going to make major attempts to IE6 proof this site. Annoy your IT managers…

  22. lprent as anon 23

    Testing on Safari 3.1.2 on Mac OSX 10.4.11

    OK that works as well. Except that the reedit got rid of the formatting damnit

  23. Tim Ellis 24

    Hey LP while you’re testing, just wanted to say that this format is really cool, especially with the window where you can format anything you want to write.  Just a thought if you haven’t done it, might cause a problem with spam, but can you remove the restriction on only linking to one post in a comment?

    EDIT: for some reason the underline and strikethrough stuff doesn’t work.

  24. lprent 25

    gc:

    Its been attacked by most political commentators including those on the left.

    I assumed that is what you meant from that. They didn’t attack the whole EFA – they attacked some parts of it. Repealing it and only fixing a few things that they used to attack NZF with, is a repeal – it isn’t a fix.

    Bugger: blockquotes don’t work.

    I’ll get back to this later, I should have done more testing on the backup server… A bit busy now…

  25. gingercrush 26

    The first step towards repealing the Electoral Finance Act will be taken before Christmas, although new provisions around party donations will be retained.
    National Radio

  26. lprent 27

    Testing Bold Italic Underline Strike

    TE: I don’t think it’d cause spam problems – that gets checked at a different layer. It would probably cause issues with trolls, for instance whenever Wishart has a new revelation, we’d get maniacs trying to multi-link it into all 2000 odd posts…

  27. lprent 28

    Testing link to policy and about

    TE Actually I think that you need to upgrade your browser….

    If you think that this is good, you should have seen what I gave the authors 🙂

  28. Tim Ellis 29

    testing link to the hand mirror and norightturn external sites.

    Let me guess, LP.  You created a separate interface with a spellcheck, just for Steve.

  29. lprent 30

    Bit more than that (he’s had that for a while). Try this link
    It will give you an idea of the additions.

    I’m sure that everyone will welcome the ability to put in tables to add to the charts ( 😈 )

  30. Ianmac 31

    Anyway, I believe that the intent of the EFU was OK. It was some detail that was tricky difficult to manaage. Bath with the bathwater sort of thing. Wah! Wah!

  31. Rex Widerstrom 32

    Lynn using IE7 on XP (SP3, patched), using the “add link” button opens the box, but when I type the data and hit “insert” the box just reloads empty.

    Seems like I can’t add links manually by typing code? 🙁

    Yeah yeah, I know it’s my fault for using the Evil Empire but some of us get told what to do by high priced “IT consultants” who don’t know anything other than how to read a bloody MS manual.

    [lprent: I’ll look at it today – laptop still has XP (and I have zilch vista). There is also meant to be a button appearing giving the option of going back to pure HTML]

  32. Haven’t read all the comments but perhaps someone could answer these questions.Does National have an agreement to implement Green Party policy?Did National campaign on Green Party policy over Citizens’ Juires?If it’s No and No, case closed, and another beat-up from Tane.

  33. Chris G 34

    inventory,

    Can one not express dismay at a favourable policy being dumped? re citizens jury. Or should we all keep our traps shut and let the tories pump through any legislation they want?

    Cos you can bet your bottom dollar ill be expressing some dismay when they start limiting the power of unions.

  34. higherstandard 35

    If you really want to see an attack on democracy look no further than the Brits at the moment ………… what on earth were they thinking ?

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23594274-details/Ordeal+of+MP%27s+family+as+nine+anti-terror+officers+raided+home/article.do

  35. Ari 36

    Haven’t read all the comments but perhaps someone could answer these questions.Does National have an agreement to implement Green Party policy?Did National campaign on Green Party policy over Citizens’ Juires?If it’s No and No, case closed, and another beat-up from Tane.

    So wait… they’re dismissing the citizen’s jury and experts’ panel on electoral law, most likely very consultative and non-partisan methods of review… in order for a more multipartisan review?

    Yeah, obviously a beatup. *rolls eyes*

  36. higherstandard 37

    Ari

    Perhaps if the Greens had not voted for the EFA they could take the high ground.

  37. Ianmac 38

    What happened to those convenient easy-to-use editing functions? They were there at 11:19pm.
    Will the Govt trash every idea that is not their own? So Working for Families should be trashed for no other reason than Labour thought of it? Sounds petulent to me.

  38. Janet 39

    There was a citizens’ jury used by Wellington City Council in the 90s about whether to sell Capital Power (the WCC’s own power company – and how wealthy we would be if we had kept it!). I can’t remember what happened to the process (and I think the decision came out strongly against the sale) but the new mayor Mark Blumsky went ahead and sold it anyway for idealogical reasons.

  39. Westminster 40

    How about a Royal Commission on the whole shebang?  Funny, over the past twenty years, I have heard politicians banging on about “agency theory” and the idea of those with an interest in the outcome influencing an outcome.   In keeping with the politicians’ paranoia, I suggest letting politicians anywhere near the electoral process is likely to end in a result that is compromised.  The community’s interest in an electoral process is slightly different to the interests of politicians.  It is time for a fundamental consideration about all aspects of our electoral system.  Getting a Royal Commission in place would be an effective way of ensuring the politicians’ influence is moderated.  The only caveat is to not let politicians set the TOR.  That’s precisely how we ended up with MMP.  Palmer skewed the TOR to favour “strong parties” and from that little acorn grew the huge oak of MMP and the pre-eminence of political parties.  We could easily opted for STV or some other proportional system that de-emphasised the influence of political parties but for Palmer’s clever sleight of hand.

  40. Ari 41

    Ari

    Perhaps if the Greens had not voted for the EFA they could take the high ground.

    So you’d accuse someone who’d take water instead of milk when they’re dying in a desert of not being thirsty? Because that’s pretty much how the Greens felt about the EFA.

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    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago