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Natural Dairy NZ & Chinese neo-mercantilism

Written By: - Date published: 10:23 am, September 13th, 2010 - 56 comments
Categories: Economy, farming, food, International, overseas investment - Tags: ,

To have power and independence, any country needs a solid economic base. That’s even more true of superpowers/empires. To secure their economic sovereignty they need the raw materials and markets of less powerful countries. They reinforce their economic sovereignty by taking others’. The British did it through colonialism. The US, USSR, and Germany through expansionism. During the Cold War, the Superpowers used ideology and proxies to gain political control and access to markets. China’s approach is different. It is less concerned with political control. It just wants to buy up supply chains.

China gets that we are living in an increasingly resource-constrained world and it’s getting in to buy up what it can while it can.

This is an extension of the ‘neo-mercantilist’ approach to trade. Neo-mercantilism is an economic strategy whereby countries attempt to maintain and improve their economic power by running high current account balances – exporting more than they import. It emphasises central control and currency control, while discouraging domestic consumption to build the State’s economic power on the world stage.

With its current account surplus and the need to keep its currency down, a neo-mercantilist country needs to spend its surplus overseas. China does it, in part, by buying up the foreign resources it needs to import. In doing so, China is able to re-coup the profits from its own imports and further builds its economic independence. Of course, some element of political control is usually necessary.

We see this in Africa, where China’s oil investment Sudan, for example, helps prop up a government that the West wants to isolate but that is more of a side-effect. The objective is control of the oil. In the Pacific, China buys the favour of rulers with mana-enhancing white elephant projects like the Samoan Aquatic Centre. Built by Chinese workers with Chinese funds for the South Pacific Games, even the expense of maintaining this glory project is beyond Samoa, so its rulers are dependent on Chinese money to keep it running. In return, China is allowed to buy up fishing licences.

And we also see it in New Zealand. Natural Dairy New Zealand, which is aiming to buy the Crafar farms as a first foothold into owning the base of New Zealand’s dairy supply, is really China Jin Hui Mining Corporation Limited. This is a state-owned company. By buying Crafar farms, the Chinese government would be starting to gain control of the supply of one of its fastest growing imports. The farms would be in New Zealand but the product and the profits would flow to China.

Some switched on people asked ‘what’s in it for China?’ when they agreed to negotiate a free trade deal with a small country that already had nearly no tariffs on its imports. Well, this is the answer – control over the source of most of its dairy imports.

In light of this, and the growing concerns in New Zealand about regaining a measure of our economic sovereignty, the formation of the ‘New Citizens’ Party and the new ‘United’ newspaper are very interesting. Both seem to be about pushing Chinese government interests, keeping New Zealand open for Chinese investment. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that the people behind both rather shadowy organisations are Party members.

New Zealanders shouldn’t have any problem with immigration, it’s a central feature of our history. Immigrants enrich our culture. We shouldn’t necessarily be anti-foreign investment. While we continue to fail to save to build our own capital base, we need others’ money. But letting a foreign government – it doesn’t matter which government – buy up our primary export industry is a strategic mistake.

56 comments on “Natural Dairy NZ & Chinese neo-mercantilism”

  1. B 1

    You don’t have to look as far as China: (Aussie Treasurer) Costello to Bollard:

    “Remember, you sold your banks to us: you don’t own your financial system any more. Leave the regulation to us.”

    • Mr Magoo 1.1

      I am glad you brought that up.

      China will have to compete fiercely with Australian in this. We already sold most of everything else to them already…

      And when we use that fact to flesh out this issue it avoids cries of “racism”. It is an issue for any tiny economy with something worth selling. And it is VERY hard to stop.

      For examples of what happens when a country tries to stop the wholesaling of their natural resources one only needs to look at South America…

  2. Bill 2

    From my perspective it doesn’t make any difference whether the private entity owning the land is the Crafars or China Jin Hui Mining Corporation Limited.

    Private ownership is private ownership and is not in my or anyone elses interest.

    Shareholders might make some financial gain. And ‘New Zealand’ might have better or worse financial indicators depending on how and where the profit flows.

    But that which is good for private investment and the NZ economy is usually detrimental or at best, of no consequence for us citizens living out here in society.

  3. prism 3

    Fancy that – the Crafar farms’ Chinese investor (presented as a business woman with many interests and who has already had financial failures, so one wonders where is her backing money coming from) is a paper tiger.

    The Chinese have opened up to NZ which had already abandoned home and hearth to join the diaspora looking for a living in the new world markets. Why? Was it warm fuzzies from our apologies for past indignities, or from relationships with idealistic and individualistic NZs like Rewi Alley and Kathleen Hall and other NZs working in China and who were far ahead of their biased, incurious contemporaries (still numerous)?

    Now the Chinese are looking for the opportunity to own and profit from our major industry, agriculture. (We have sold our banks to Australia, also our supermarkets so another country is already creaming both our financial profits and from our food industry.) It makes good sense for China to do so. But are we going to see the colonisation of Maori repeated, this time the recipients being Maori/Pakeha. How ironic that would be.

    Food is not in short supply in theory. There is always some happy chappy to tell us that the world can produce more than required by growing populations, the problem is just distribution. B..it. Lies and statistics can be interchangeable descriptions. The reply to positive theories on food supply adequacy is the common-sense cliche “There’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip”.

  4. Loota 4

    The Chinese Govt is flush with US treasury bonds, foreign cash and equivalents. I’m not sure on the latest stock pile of monies they are sitting on but it is roughly 1.5 trillion USD (or close to it).

    But here is something the Chinese know very well: that money is essentially useless. You can’t eat it, drink it, or shelter from the cold with it.

    So it makes sense to trade in that useless stuff (often just numbers on an electronic record) for things which are real and which are actually useful. Food generating facilities, raw materials, productive assets, technology.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    The export led recovery of which our politicians speak is also merchantilist. Capitalism is always merchantilist and empiricist as it requires growth to survive and it can only get that growth from import of raw products and exporting completed products. The end result is that the countries exporting raw products (i.e. NZ) goes backwards as it produces less and less and the country producing the completed products becomes better off at the others expense.

    While we continue to fail to save to build our own capital base, we need others’ money.

    No we don’t – money is not a resource.

    • Richard 5.1

      No we don’t – money is not a resource.

      Tell that to someone with no money.

      In a similar vein, land ownership rights are just a bit of paper.

      Landownership and money are both abstract resources. They are resources nonetheless; what matters in both cases is what you do with those resources.

      • Loota 5.1.1

        Land ownership may be abstract, but the land itself is very definitely a resource.

        As for capital – the NZ Govt could just print notes if it wanted to, without going into debt to foreign banks.

        • Richard 5.1.1.1

          So, if we want the land back we can just print money and buy it back? Somehow I don’t think that “printing a whole lot of cash” is quite as simple as you think.

          Anyway, because landownership is only abstract, if we want the land back, we can always nationalize it.

          • KJT 5.1.1.1.1

            I suspect in future the Chinese may follow the example so amply provided by the UK in the past and the US now.
            Not saying they will do it. But there are plenty of examples to follow. See: Boxer revolution, Opium wars, Boer war, Iran and the Shah, Indonesia, Chile, Afganistan, Honduras, Panama, Iraq, Venezuala, Granada et al.

            In future, if China follows the UK and US examples of imperialism, any attempt to nationalise land for the benefit of the local inhabitants or to expell or limit Chinese business may be met with a forced change of Government or invasion.

            Especially as many Chinese have memories of being the victims in the past of imperialism.

            • Richard 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I doubt they’ll invade us over some spilled milk. It’s not quite the same as oil, and we’re not ever going to be talking about the same value of product.

              If (once sold) the farms are subsequently nationalized by some future local NZ government, the Chinese might kick up a fuss, but ultimately, they’ll either just buy the same milk from the newly nationalized company, or they’ll buy their milk from somewhere else.

              If in the future, the Chinese are a really powerful nation, then nationalizing their NZ assets only hurts us. If in the future the Chinese are a really weak nation, then we can nationalize their NZ assets with impunity.

  6. Bill 6

    So does the concern about the foreign ownership scenario extend to NZ companies buying up dairy farms in S. America?

    Or is it only a matter worthy of consideration when it’s NZ being bought and sold?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Of course it does Bill. If it’s bad for us then it’s bad for them as well and for the same reasons.

      It’s more a question of how many and who will actually admit that.

      • insider 6.1.1

        What if it were a 999 year lease?

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1

          It would still be bad for us as our resources would then be used to benefit someone else.

          • insider 6.1.1.1.1

            So similarly your house/property is ‘ours’ I assume. do I get a cut when you rent/sell it? because I wouldn’t want “our” house benefitting someone else, such as you or the family who buys it.

            • Bill 6.1.1.1.1.1

              “do I get a cut when you rent/sell it? because I wouldn’t want “our” house benefitting someone else, such as you or the family who buys it.”

              And there is the signposting of a number of problems inherent to private ownership. Resources aren’t utilised efficiently or with an eye to what is best for society, but only what is best for the owner(s) and then usually only on a financial level. And whereas ownership confers decision making capacity, it sets up an inevitable conflict with genuine democratic concerns. And benefits flow to a minority while the majority get nothing beyond picking up externalised costs such as environmental downsides etc.

          • Richard 6.1.1.1.2

            Regardless of whether a Chinese company or a NZ company owns the land, roughly the same customers will receive the benefit of the land; i.e. some relatively wealthy subset of consumers (probably in China) who buy the milk products.

            Likewise regardless of whether a Chinese or NZ company owns the land, roughly the same number of people will be employed working the land, and they will likely be the same people in either situation; barring a few executives, perhaps.

            Regardless of whether a Chinese or NZ company owns the land, roughly the same amount will be spent in NZ on farming the land (on fertilizer, farm machinery, etc).

            The only difference is where any profit flows (which you say is not a resource). And it doesn’t really seem to make much difference whether the profit goes to a group of wealthy people in NZ or a wealthy group in China; in either case the benefit of the wealth is not seen by the majority of NZers.

            • prism 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Thanks for spelling it out Richard. It is a fine thing to be able to indulge in terse dialectic while the rest of the country has to manage the realities that you spell out.

              The NZ wealthy can feel part of the country and wish to live and invest here, foreigners may also, or just want to profit with as little benefit to the country and its people as possible.

              • ZB

                You are in error. If ‘owners’ all live overseas and little money cycled through the economy you would expect low wages, youth being attracted overseas, highly wealthy retirers….

                What stops the government writing more money, creating jobs, and so diluting the value to the external economy? Also what happens when people here cannot buy NZ carpet so they have to import carpet?
                Someone taking profits out will find they are harmed by a lack of local manufacturing exporters, and a government having to increase spending to placate its voters, with a higher risk premium on their investment.

                With trustworthy journalism, who don’t peddle the foreign investment interest, one could see the voters electing a party that made their government more like the N.European model.
                Its as easy as NOT importing big country economic policies, and implement small country
                success stories – ask ACT for their policies and ignore all of them.

                It looks like we’ve gone too far, already owned by too many foriegners. The way out is
                too vote Green, start taking your economic activity away from foriegn owner banks,
                finance, fast food, etc, etc. Rebuild the economy without the infectious agents.
                The foriegn owners will then demand, too cut their losses, that government build
                a viable local economy and stop shortchanging them, something like an edict
                in the unwritten constitution against hiring currency speculators and their ilk.

                Saddam was on able to stay in power because he had a army of yes men who
                made money off Saddam Inc and shorthchanging Saddam the most!

                • Richard

                  You are in error. If ‘owners’ all live overseas and little money cycled through the economy you would expect low wages, youth being attracted overseas, highly wealthy retirers….

                  Most of the money that passes through a dairy company is not profit though.

                  Most of the money is spent in the local economy on supporting manufacture or production. It doesn’t matter who the owners are, if the company is in NZ most of the money will be spent in country.

                  Also, if the commie Chinese owners are really not especially interested in profit (because they have access to interest free money), but instead interested in security, quantity and quality of supply, then they would logically be less likely to cream off lots of profit, and would rather invest in ensuring supply. Which means lots of local expenditure.

    • RedLogix 6.2

      No all foreign investment is bad ipso facto.

      In the case where it creates new greenfield infrastructure and broadens the local enconomy then it is worthwhile. That may well be the case for our private sector involvement in Sth American dairying.

      But the CCP directly buying up NZ’s largest, most strategic and mature dairying assets definitely fails such a test.

      • insider 6.2.1

        LEt’s get this in perspective – the Crafar farm business was a failure. It’s scale did not make it a quality or sustainable business. I believe part of the reason it was a failure was that much of it was marginal dairying land. If true, it was neither strategic nor mature

        • rosy 6.2.1.1

          They were mortgaged to the tune of $200million – I’d guess poor lending decsions by banks played a big part in the failure

  7. Richard 7

    But letting a foreign government – it doesn’t matter which government – buy up our primary export industry is a strategic mistake.

    Not necessarily. If we jump the right way it could be a tremendous strategic triumph.

    Although it certainly wasn’t a voluntary decision, NZ when all is said and done benefited tremendously from being a British colony. Sure, there were costs, but there were also benefits. Likewise, we benefited tremendously from being part of the US sphere; particularly because being on the periphery we have some “independence”.

    The same thing will likely be true of China. Think ahead fifty or hundred years from now. Will we be better off as an peripheral economic colony of China or not? The answer, of course, depends on how the international scene plays out. However, if things play out how China wants, then there will be tremendous benefit in being part of their sphere.

    • insider 7.1

      ah yes, like the good old mutual co-prosperity sphere… 🙂

      • Richard 7.1.1

        Well exactly. And (like the rest of the Asia-Pacific region) we chose to not be in Japan’s Mutual Co-Prosperity Sphere.

        However, we chose instead to be a part of the Anglo-American sphere. Or in the case of China, they chose, to kind of uneasily sit alongside it. We have subsequently benefited heaps from being part of the Anglo-American sphere…and ironically Japan has also eventually benefited heaps from being a powerful regional player in the Anglo-American sphere.

        The question is what will the situation be like in 50-100 years time.

        • insider 7.1.1.1

          And my answer is – ‘Dunno’.

          Go back 50 or 100 years and see if any of the predictions then were remotely close to what the world is like. That will tell you whether it is worthwhile making decisions today on trying to second guess the future. (No doubt one would have got it right, a la monkeys with typewriters, but is that the one that you’d have chosen?)

          • Richard 7.1.1.1.1

            Look back 50-100 years ago, and you’ll find people deliberately planning for and setting out to make NZ an exporter of agricultural products.

            Whether that was a good strategy or not is perhaps a matter for debate. However, how our economy works is not an accident.

            Of course people made right and wrong bets on various specific technologies and products, but the general thrust that “we will grow stuff” and “we will get it in as good a quality as possible to an overseas market” has been deliberate.

    • Loota 7.2

      It would be an interesting play, this one. We would have to be very smart about it as decisions made and frameworks set up must be in our long term national interests.

  8. rich 8

    Whoever owns the farms, they’ll want to produce as much milk as possible and sell it for as much as possible. If milk gets expensive and they sell it into China at under market price, then they’re losing money just as much as if they bought it at auction.

    *All* businesses are evil given the chance. They need to be taxed and regulated to mitigate this. That goes whether its a Chinese multinational or a good old boy from Eketahuna.

    If anything, a foreign owner is better because they can’t wrap themselves in the flag and tug the heartstrings (with the avid assistance of our 100% foreign owned media, of course)

  9. Cactus Kate 9

    “China’s approach is different. It is less concerned with political control. It just wants to buy up supply chains”.

    What would you rather they do? Let a billion+ people starve and run amok. China is looking after its people, unlike Africa where they take aid, steal it or buy weapons. Food for the people and supply chains for it is the last thing on their minds in Africa.

    You lefties are never happy.

    • nzfp 9.1

      I don’t support China buying up New Zealand but consider this:
      Chinese at our door with fists full of cash wanting to negotiate deals to buy stuff
      The USA at our door with fists full of guns wanting to blow us away and steal our natural resources (Iraq/Afghanistan)

      I don’t want either but I know which one looks more appealing.

      B.T.W. what’s a leftie?

      • rosy 9.1.1

        I have no problem with China’s approach to supporting its people, but I do have a problem with us taking the cash and possibly reducing the ability of New Zealand to support its people

        • nzfp 9.1.1.1

          Same and I applaud the Chinese for looking after their people – I wonder if our own government could take a leaf out of their book and look after us 😉

    • Blighty 9.2

      No-one’s saying China’s being evil, cactus. They’re looking after their interests. We should look after ours.

      • Richard 9.2.1

        Why do you think that our interests are incompatible with Chinese ownership?

        Regardless of who owns the farms, the milk production (assuming they remain dairy) is ultimately going to be consumed off-shore. Even if the farms switch to some other kind of agriculture, the consumers will be based overseas.

        As long as the farms are located in NZ they will be subject to the same employment laws, environmental laws, etc as any other farm. What’s the problem with foreign ownership?

        • The Chairman 9.2.1.1

          Ponder this:

          With large productive ownership comes political influence, and there’s already a political aspiration.

          What affect will this political influence have on the laws they will be subject too?

          • Richard 9.2.1.1.1

            And how is this different to the current situation?

            What will make Chinese dairy owners “worse” (or better depending on your perspective) at manipulating local laws in their favour, than (say) Fonterra.

            • The Chairman 9.2.1.1.1.1

              The Chinese abuse human rights and are known for corruption. Do you really wish to allow their political influence to take growth here?

              • Richard

                I see, that’s an excellent point.

                Further to that I’ll add that: Americans are “obese, gunslinging morons”, and Italians are “corrupt and lazy, but well-dressed”, the French are “chain-smoking sexpots that smell of garlic”, and New Zealanders are “ignorant, racist, rugby players who have a noble sense of fair play and a love of extreme sports”.

    • mouse 9.3

      “Cheng Siwei, head of China’s green energy drive, told me last week that eco-damage of 13.5pc of GDP each year outstrips China’s growth rate of 10pc. National wealth is contracting. “We have an intangible environmental debt that we are leaving to our children,” he said. So does India. Much of the globe is stealing food from the future”

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/7997910/The-backlash-begins-against-the-world-landgrab.html

      So where is this going Kate?… can you think beyond Left vs Right Dogma.

      • Cactus Kate 9.3.1

        http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/harvard-endowment-fund-keen-natural-resources-129908

        How come no one is questioning the Harvard Endowment Fund in the same way as they look to “gobble up” natural resources with their large economic power?

        Left v Right? Well I can see through that. There are plenty on the supposed “right” that cannot view the argument outside of Nationalist concerns. The difference I guess is that the right don’t go around hugging trees and chanting “Feed the world”, then getting upset when China uses its own money to secure food supply lines for its own people.

  10. Adrian 10

    China or the Chinese Govt disguised as private enterprise owns and controls the whole chain so that it can transfer price, i.e, lose money on NZ production = tax credit in NZ , collect tax on end sale in China. Money for jam (milk) and us stupid bastards are paying for it. How do you lose money on milk in NZ? Easy, charge big interest, payable in China, downgrade milk or milk product quality leaving factory, cheat anyway you can, perfectly legitimate capitalist behaviour. Wake up, we are in the middle of a soft war and we are fucking losing. The only thing I find amusing is why their front person, May Jang, is seemingly so incompetent and compromised.

    • prism 10.1

      Hey Adrian that’s a scary scenario and I recognise it. The oil companies played around with value as they transferred product from the originating country to their final market. The Australians were complaining about it in the early 70’s. We’d be gutted if it happened to our dairy industry.

      • nzfp 10.1.1

        Fascinating what cartels can do when they control the entire production chain. They can even offset costs so that the majority of costs “occur” in productions centers in countries that have zero or near zero corporate tax meaning they pay near zero taxes across the entire production chain.

        For eample NZ may have a 20% corporate tax but Kiribati has 1% corporate tax then the transnational could claim that purchase costs in Kiribati resulted in a net loss when components were transported from NZ to Kiribati making taxes on profits zero in NZ.

        Yeah it is scary alright.

        • insider 10.1.1.1

          It’s only scary if you don’t understand what the consequences are. Transfer pricing is something the IRD keep a very, very close eye on, so I wouldn’t worry too much.

          Trying to charge an artificially low/high price will soon be obvious, particularly as it will be happening in a number of places (if a multinational) and it only takes one country to find it for every other country to start asking for a close look at the books. Just not worth the hassle.

          • The Chairman 10.1.1.1.1

            The multibillion-dollar web search giant Google paid less income tax in New Zealand last year than the average construction worker or teacher
            http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/3832727/Sales-set-up-makes-wealthy-Google-a-Kiwi-tax-lightweight

          • Loota 10.1.1.1.2

            These people have better lawyers and accountants than the IRD can afford.

          • Adrian 10.1.1.1.3

            Bullshit about the IRD keeping an eye on it, Google paid 7K tax in NZ last year because all NZ ads have to be booked and paid for in Ireland, the international rest homes owners are doing it , probably by charging themselves big interest and management fees paid offshore, (btw , this is an election winner for Winston as hes already fired the first shot) and the big wine companies are doing it with Marlborough Sav Blanc, not all of bulk surplus is “low quality juice”, ( theres really no such thing with MSB) it’s top quality exported at $1.50 a litre when it should be $5-6 , run thru a couple of company owned shell companies in say Ireland (12% tax) while in transit where it’s value trebles, bottled in GB or US and flogged off for the top dollar, currently $8.50-$9 a litre. IT IS FUCKING THEFT. The Chinese are going to do it with milk, they want to do it with our coal and don’t forget it was Rudds downfall, trying to get 40 billion a year that the mining companies had been scamming

    • Richard 10.2

      Security of supply is solely what China is after.

      They have a big population, insufficient local resources, and (ironically) a deficit of manpower. Profit is the last of their concerns.

  11. Carol 11

    How much is the issue to do with China alone, and how much is it to do with the whole neoliberal enterprise, with NACT more than happy to deliver NZ economic enterprises to powerful overseas interests from a range of countries?

    As I understand it, Chinese companies are not the only overseas interests buying into NZ farms. And, also, if you like at the line-up of companies that have recently been added as contenders for producing new Auckland rail stock (probably due to NZ government interference?), it includes, Chinese, Japanese and Aussie companies:

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/09/13/just-what-deals-are-being-done-to-build-trains-for-auckland/

    Although, the problem with Chinese companies is that they are government controled in ways that the Aussie & Japanese comanies are not.

  12. prism 12

    Tuesday a.m. A piece on Green Monkey NZ food enterprise company. It cannot sell successfully in USA as there are too many interests wanting ‘to clip the ticket’
    and trying to get volume and force the price down because they want to make 2 for 1 offers etc.

    But there is good demand in China,because all the ingredients and production are from New Zealand. The consumer in China does not have the faith in their own manufacturers that they feel for NZ product. Would be a shame to have foreign companies introduce fraudulent approaches and besmirch our clean, green and ‘with integrity’ standing.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    2 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    3 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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, ...
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    13 hours 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
    15 hours 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 day 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 day 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 day 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
  • 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    2 weeks ago