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New export ideas not wanted on Stuff.co.nz

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 pm, March 22nd, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: Economy, Media, monetary policy - Tags: ,

A really interesting three-quarter page article by Ben Heather in today’s DomPost is titled “Looking for new tools to help exporters.” Lord knows we need them.

But Stuff.co doesn’t seem to think so – you can’t find the article on-line, and when I enquired about why the answer was “We don’t put everything up.” No place for new or alternative ideas on their website it seems.

A couple of quotes from the article:

Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association  Chief Executive John Walley claims the Reserve Bank’s focus on the Official Cash Rate as the only tool in the regulatory box has left exporters battered by a volatile and over-valued exchange rate at the mercy of speculators. Compounding this the tax regime favours a property investment merry-go-round at the expense of an economy based on value-added growth…

The solution, at least according to Mr Walley, is tightening controls on the volume of money, printing money (quantitative easing) to control the exchange rate, introducing a capital gains tax, and giving tax breaks for research and development. . Kiwibank should be used more aggressively as a foil against anti-competitive behaviour among the bigger banks..

Many of the MEA’s ideas are supported by BERL’s chief economist, Ganesh Nana, who agrees reliance on the OCR has been bad for New Zealand and harmed one of our biggest tickets to prosperity: exporting.

Dr Nana says there is much frustration among exporters who are slowly being ground down by policies tipped against them. “I think we’ve embedded in this country the process and policies that create a low-wage economy. We’ve taken up this wonderful policy that we thought was so great bu it hasn’t worked.”

John Walley’s ideas were “rubbished” by  Roger Kerr who described the ideas as “maverick”. The article goes on to say:

Mr Kerr points to stable inflation as evidence that the status quo in New Zealand is right and says the debate has been raging for more than 20 years.

But while the argument is the same, the global financial crisis may have shifted the goalposts.

An IMF report, Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy, says small countries that abandoned controlling inflation as their one guiding light and fiddled with the exchange rate during the eonomic crisis acted sensibly.

“Central banks in small open economies should openly recognise that exchange rate stability is part of their objective function,” the report said.

This runs contrary to a whole generation of economic wisdom in New Zealand, championed by Sir Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson and never seriously questioned by any government since.

But all is not lost – you can come along to the Fabian Society seminar, Bold Ideas for a Better Future, in Wellington next Sunday 28th March, 12:30 to 4:30  at the Spectrum Theatre, cnr Johnston St and Customhouse Quay; and in Christchurch on Sunday 18 April at Mancan House, 253 Cambridge Street at 1pm to hear about these ideas for yourself from John Walley and Ganesh Nana, as well as Selwyn Pellett and Rod Oram. There will be plenty of scope for debate.

Oh and by the way, you can get Roger Kerr’s regular offerings on Stuff.co. Even though they haven’t changed in 20 years.

33 comments on “New export ideas not wanted on Stuff.co.nz”

  1. deemac 1

    oh, come on! if they put up articles like that, there’d be no room for stuff about Tiger Woods/Lara Bingle/some starlet you’ve never heard of – then where would we be?

  2. SPC 2

    The Kerr apology for international market capitalism, excludes advocacy for a CGT, incentives for R and D, small business loan insurance or even a fairly valued currency (paying for currency insurance does not change the over-value caused by the currency being constantly played with by international fund managers – which is why it is one of the most traded currencies in the world). It is barren and stupid, just as Douglas reform was – on the same grounds.

  3. What I don’t get is why we would want to help exporters.

    • felix 4.1

      Because that’s how we pay for our imports.

    • lprent 4.2

      It is clear from your post that you don’t understand much about exporting except from a very very theoretical viewpoint (ie pretty damn retarded).

      The biggest single issue for exporters in NZ is the extremely variable exchange rate over the last decade that has little to do with our terms of trade and more to do with our high interest rates used to constrain inflation. This carries major structural costs for export companies (such as the ones I’ve worked in during that period).

      Over the last decade, against the US dollar it has been down to about 45c, and up as high as 80c with a lot of oscillations in between. Most other currencies that we trade with have similar but less extreme variations, however the majority of our exports are denominated in US currency.

      The issue is that the variability increases the risk of any export venture. With increased risk, there comes both an increased cost (usually interest) and risk aversion to investment. Basically it is damn near impossible to get business capital for export ventures because at any point our currency could change massively in value against the target markets. Unfortunately the returns are not keeping pace with the risk as typically in all export sectors the prices are relatively inflexible and denoted in currencies that are not the NZ dollar.

      Any rational investor would take the less risky course of something like property, or move part or most of their operations offshore. The latter is what several companies I’ve been with have had to do. It isn’t done for any other reason than to reduce the exchange variation risk. If you run through your head various exporting companies that have moved part of the operations offshore, you’ll find that they’ve done that largely because of the variability of the exchange rate. Basically it isn’t worth investing in a NZ exporting company because all of the risks are largely outside of the companies control. Sure you can hedge currencies, but only so far, and it is bloody expensive. It is cheaper and less risky to move to somewhere where you have a stable currency.

      So your wee homily ignores the risk factor for investment in favour of a historical piety that ignores current realities. Which is why exporters have largely stopped investing here for export. Eventually this will impact on the amount of imports that the country will be able to acquire. Since exports are about what 35% of GDP, and the farming stuff is largely a commodity with the usual price sensitivities that involves, and the manufacturing and services we sell offshore are the stabilising force that drives employment… I guess there will be a extreme structural adjustment.

      The question is, after two decades of fighting inflation with interest rates that now completely drive our currencies value, is it worth continuing that if we kill our export industries?

      I think that most mobile exporters and their employees are now starting to look to move to a country with stable currency. I know I am…

      • Paul Walker 4.2.1

        Actually no, you are the one who doesn’t understand exporting. Exporting, as such, makes us worse off, we send our goods overseas rather than consuming them here, Why would we want to do that? We would be better off if we consumed our goods.

        The reason we do it is that we can import more if we export more, the point felix made. It is the imports that makes us better off as we have more to consume. Hence, imports good, exports bad. Exporting is only half of trade, and we only do it so we can import more, it is the importing that makes trade good for us.

  4. prism 5

    You’re kidding Paul aren’t you. Anyone with any pride wouldn’t want to display such blatant ignorance on a blog or maybe I’m wrong. I was ignorant of the Anti-Dismal blog so I have learned something. Hope you read felix at 2.50pm so you may have also. Simple really. Not worth explaining further. If you don’t know by now, you’ll never, never know dah dah.
    captcha caught me again – smallest

    • I did read felix and his point is right, but think about his point. Exporting as such does not increase our welfare, what increases our welfare is importing. We ONLY export because it means we can import more and it is the importing that increases our welfare.

      To put it another way, if we took all our current exports and sent them overseas for nothing, would we be better off? No, but we would have exported exactly the same amount as we are now. The act of exporting doesn’t make us better off. As felix implies it is the imports that make us better off.

      Exporting is half of trading, the other half being importing. Trading makes us better of because we have more to consume because of it, that is, we have more imports to consume. The idea that trade makes us better off but exporting doesn’t is one of the points Adam Smith made against mercantilism.

      • felix 5.1.1

        Is there a deeper point you’re trying to make which I’ve completely missed?

        Why don’t you think we should help exporters?

        • Paul Walker 5.1.1.1

          Because exporting, as such, makes us worse off. If you want to help those who increase our welfare, help importers. In fact you should, of course, help neither of them. History has told us that picking winners by governments doesn’t work.

          • felix 5.1.1.1.1

            Well yes, if we could just import everything we wanted without exporting anything that would be teh awesome.

            Back in reality though Paul, that’s quite an absurd reduction you’ve performed. I could equally say that chewing and swallowing food makes us worse off, as it uses valuable energy. It’s DIGESTION which allows us to extract energy from food so if anything we should discourage chewing and swallowing in favour of digestion.

            Of course, if I said that I’d be labeled an idiot.

            • Paul Walker 5.1.1.1.1.1

              The problem is that many people even today believe that increasing exports, while not increasing imports, should be the aim of government policy. They believe that exporting alone makes us better off. Many of our exporters seem to think that way. My point is just that exporting as such does not increase welfare. Mercantilism is far from dead. Unfortunately.

              • felix

                Ah I see. You were highlighting the silliness of the “imports bad” mantra by taking the opposite, equally silly position to make the point. Sorry if I misread you earlier.

          • lprent 5.1.1.1.2

            Ummm I suspect that you miss the point. Both exporters and importers get hurt badly by having a highly variable exchange rate. Because exchange variability isn’t part of the reserve banks objectives, their actions are rapidly making investment in production that depends on exports or imports (ie everything apart from maybe internal services) quite risky. Consequently investment money floods to less risky ventures, like property, which are investments that are essentially not dependent on exchange rates.

            Keep spiralling out from there and you find most of the current distortions in the NZ economy come out of that key set of factors.

            • Paul Walker 5.1.1.1.2.1

              It was pointed out back in the 1930s that you need as many instruments as you have targets. The RB has one instrument and thus it can only have one target. Also by the exchange rate do you mean the nominal or real exchange rate, the RB control over them differs. In addition there is the problem of what happens if the inflation target and the exchange rate target are in conflict. But ultimately the exchange rate is just s price like any other price and thus trying to control it, even if the RB could, would have much the same effects as trying to control any other price. Add to this the fact that there is evidence that trying to control the exchange rate actually increases volatility.

              • lprent

                I agree on all of that. Especially the difficulty of trying to ‘control’ a price. However all I want to see is a slowdown in the extreme variability to the point you can actually project returns 6 months ahead without the bloody exchange rate moving 50%.

                The single instrument that the RB has is interest rates. As far as I can see, the interest rates are the problem coupled with political uncertainty in other parts of the world. Everytime there is a panic somewhere else, we wind up with a ruddy great big slosh of money incoming. Plus of course the reverse. The attractive things about NZ is that

                1. it is easy to get money in and out.
                2. it is relatively stable both economically and politically these days.
                3. it has very high interest rates.
                4. there are virtually no financial transaction taxes.
                5. financial institutions here don’t get much stress from the RB about ratios, which makes investment easier via banks and other financial institutions.

                I’d suggest that we should give the RB a few more tools to reduce the intense variability… Personally I think that financial transaction taxes of some form would be the easiest. But since the RB potentially already has 5 in their arsenal, then they should probably start using it.

              • “Personally I think that financial transaction taxes of some form would be the easiest.”

                On the use of financial transaction taxes and why they are not a good idea see Matt Nolan’s posting over at the TVHE blog.

              • lprent

                As I said, there are a number of possible ways of tackling the issue of decreasing exchange volatility.

                Rather than simply shouting stuff down – have a look at the problem (and there is a problem) and suggest possible solutions.

                Incidentally, financial transactionas were excluded from such things as GST for a quite pragmatic reason originally. The software and hardware available was crap. Now that isn’t the case.

            • insider 5.1.1.1.2.2

              There are ways to control that variability. Forex futures and the like. If there is variability surely that benefits when varying one way?

              • lprent

                Have a look at the way that the rates on forward cover have been increasing over the last couple of decades. Effectively they’re covering increased risk. It is also starting to get to the point that getting forex coverage is a fast way to ensure that you don’t make a profit.

                It is simpler to keep your money in a more stable currency. That also means it is simpler to work from another country.

            • Jenny 5.1.1.1.2.3

              “Keep spiralling out from there and you find most of the current distortions in the NZ economy come out of that key set of factors.”

              Lynn, didn’t John key make his estimated personal $50 mill. fortune from gambling on the variable exchange rate?

              Ergo, does Jonkey think that a highly variable exchange rate might be a good thing?

              Seriously though, I think that the extremely variable exchange rate is only a symptom of the crisis. Sure I can see how it can cause you personally, all sorts of problems. But sometimes as the saying goes, it is hard to see the forest for the trees.

              Sometimes it pays to look at a bigger part of the picture.

              It is a fact that the drive to export has distorted the whole history of this country from it’s earliest days.

              From the land thefts to the destruction of the native forests which were mostly burnt to the ground, all to turn New Zealand into to Britain’s off shore farm.

              And when British imperialism collapsed, left New Zealand as a single cash crop (grass) economy, desperately seeking another client super power to prostrate ourselves to. The drive to export has turned New Zealand into a banana economy mostly dependent on one cash crop, grass. (Our climate being to cold to grow bananas).

              On a global scale the drive to export is seen as a way out of internal economic crisis. So much so, that today every country wants to export as much as possible, and none want to import more than necessary.

              The illogic of this scenario is obvious, if all want to export and none want to import where does it all go.

              This is the motor behind all trade wars, where powerful countries force weaker countries to drop their trade barriers against their (often subsidised) export goods, while at the same time using their superior position to insist on maintaining their own trade barriers against the smaller countries selling into their market.

              The question for all political leaders is whether an export led economy is actually sustainable any more.

              The distortion of the world economy by exporting super powers gave rise to the political call (mostly unheeded) for “Fair Trade, Not Free Trade”.

              History shows that trade wars can even turn into shooting wars.

              With their domination of the Pacific Rim both America and the (waning) British Empire were able to keep all other exporters out, particularly the Japanese whose burgeoning export led economy demanded markets.

              The infamous Japanese “Co-Prosperity Sphere” was the name given to the Japanese attempt to secure Pacific Rim markets and oust their export trade rivals by force of arms.

              The question to ask Lynn, is this; Why are exchange rates so variable?

              Is it because the various countries vying for export trade advantage use this mechanism to try and get some advantage for their export goods?

              Is this all part of the export at all costs madness?

              Maybe we should start addressing issues of self sufficiency and sustainability and economic independence instead?

        • insider 5.1.1.2

          We used to help exporters and deter importers. SMPs, licensing and muldoonism. Is that the kind of thing you want?

          • lprent 5.1.1.2.1

            Nope.. I was doing tech sales and later running a small factory then. I’d have to say that Muldoons idiotic state was even worse. You couldn’t get anything much done.

            Now we have pretty much freedom to sell whereever and whenever, but there is an ever increasing risk involved in investing in exports because the uncertainty levels are so high. We’ve been pretty damn good at handling those risks compared to the 80’s or 90’s. But they’re starting to really slow investment here. That is one of the main reasons that manufacturing has been moving offshore, they either get hammered on prices that they sell for or hammered on the price of non-local materials.

            But exactly the same effects have been showing up for most of this last decade in my current area in software. You can now make almost as much profit from getting your income over the web diverted to the appropriate country to make the most exchange value. Then holding and waiting for an appropriate time to send it into NZ. Effectively it is turning exporters in NZ into currency speculators.

            However the intense variability in the exchange rate is caused by the RB effectively only focusing on inflation with (as Paul points out) a single blunt tool. They need more tools to the volatility in the cross exchange rates is reduced to something that doesn’t look like currency speculation, at least if they want exporters to stay in this currency.

  5. prism 6

    Paul W
    I think you have taken too many economics lectures and are now hyper-ventilating as well. I suggest a hot drink, a hot water bottle and a day in bed.
    Lemon syrup drinks might help too.

    • Unfortunately for you my point is a valid one. Much damage has been done to economies because of the mercantilist type thinking that is “exports good, imports bad”.

      • SPC 6.1.1

        There are few ways to recover from a current account deficit and an invisibles deficit – one is for locals to consume less imports and save more money (pay down foreign debt) and the other is a relative increase in exports (the earnings allowing us to pay down foreign debt) and hold imports at the former level.

  6. Recover from a current account deficit??? Why do need to recover from a current account deficit? Apart from anything else they are self correcting.

    • And so?

      How much do you worry about your current account deficit with your supermarket? Or how much do you worry about the current account deficit between the North and South Island?

      Then why worry about the capital account surplus between New Zealand and the rest of the world?

      • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1

        The credit rating co’s seem to care Paul. Perhaps you could try convincing them that it doesn’t matter, and then people will worry less about it.

  7. They will not be worried about the capital account surplus as such, what they may be worried about is what lies behind it. The capital account surplus is not a problem in and of itself but it may act as an indicator of other problems in the economy.

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    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, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
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    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    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 ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
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    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
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    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
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    7 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
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    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • 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

  • 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
    5 hours ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
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    7 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago