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No, National shouldn’t have balanced the books.

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, August 28th, 2015 - 34 comments
Categories: bill english, debt / deficit, Economy, national, tax, unemployment - Tags: , , ,

Simon Louisson recently made a post on the Standard about National’s profligacy, and all of the debt they have racked up.

Yes, National was profligate. Yes, Bill English’s budgets did run six consecutive deficits. Yes, nominal government debt has nearly quadrupled. Yes, New Zealand’s debt-to-GDP ratio has nearly tripled.

No, National should not have balanced the books. No, Bill English, should not have attempted to pay off the debt he racked up.

Let’s face it: the economy was in recession for quite a while due to the GFC. And sure, it was – on paper – growing again by 2010, around two years after going into recession. But the economy wasn’t back to normal by then – we were not operating at capacity. Unemployment peaked at around 170,000 in 2012. This was two years after the recession officially ended. Keep in mind that in 2007, only 70,000 people were unemployed. At the time of writing this, about 140,000 people are still unemployed. Of course, the labour force has expanded quite a bit so we can look at the overall unemployment rate: it’s around 5.9 percent. If we look at the period from 1999 to 2008 where there was solid growth each year, the unemployment rate was, on average, below five percent. We’re much closer to that number now.

Should National have attempted to balance the books by 2012, when unemployment peaked, four years after the GFC began? Based on the numbers, as any good Keynesian would, I’m going to have to say no. As far as debt as a percentage of GDP goes, we’re still in a pretty good position. We have one of the lowest debt-to-GDP ratios in the OECD, and we are far below the average. Greece has a debt-to-GDP ratio of nearly 180 percent. We shouldn’t make up a crisis where none exists.

This brings me to profligacy. National can’t escape all of the blame. They were profligate. National handed the top ten percent a big tax cut – from 38 to 33 percent. They also reduced taxes on the lower brackets which, again, as any good Keynesian would say, was justified as tax cuts for low- and middle- income people stimulate the economy. But cutting taxes for the wealthy – partially compensated by a GST rise – is not just bad for the economy, it was bad for the budget.

Deficits and debt are not the problem. What National did do wrong, though, was increase the deficit and debt by cutting taxes for the wealthy when there was no reason to, it was not good for the economy based on any form of Keynesian logic, and it increased debt. Perhaps if they hadn’t done that, we could have instead borrowed to stimulate and diversify the economy via investment in new industries, or perhaps, we could have borrowed less and seen the books balance a year ago.

National’s economic mismanagement is the problem – not the fact that Bill English hasn’t produced a surplus yet.

Michael

34 comments on “No, National shouldn’t have balanced the books.”

  1. Colonial Rawshark 1

    Michael is spot on correct here. I would go further and say that NZ Govt should be producing a govt surplus until we run a consistent current account surplus.

    Otherwise all the government will be doing is sucking more money out of the economy than it spends back in. Over a couple of years this will inevitably lead to a (deeper) recession.

    The only thing I would say Michael did not mention is the level of PRIVATE debt held by NZ. That level is high, and dangerous. Governments can always manage debt better and more cheaply than the private sector.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      I would go further and say that NZ Govt should NOT be producing a govt surplus until we run a consistent current account surplus.

      Argh corrected now

    • lprent 1.2

      I have several difficulties with this analysis. Most of them relate to the changes in society since 1936 when Keynes was doing his economic analysis.

      Firstly, looking at the unemployment stats in gross isn’t useful anymore. Employees transition from job to job, from career to career, and town to town a lot more frequently than they did back in the 1930s. Just being employed in the same place for more than a five years is becoming quite rare because employees now get their major pay increases by moving.

      So you need to look at what is important in the employment stats for actual capacity. Not the transient unemployment while people are looking for work for a couple of months (it usually takes a month to start getting interviews).

      The statistical focus need to be on longer term unemployed (>3 months) and those who could work but have stopped looking. In other words, a measure based on the details of the household survey rather than gross stats.

      My bet would be that if we looked at such a measure that the effective medium-long term unemployment rate worth worrying about would be quite small over the last 3-4 years. In 2010 it would have been pretty high, but now I’d be surprised if it is more than 2% and, except among the younger workers, mainly of people who really have little chance of getting work. We have returned to having a lot of transient unemployment in areas where there are jobs, and longer term unemployment in areas without jobs.

      Secondly, there is a demographic nightmare looming in the future. Quite simply the whole population and especially the workforce is getting older. The Keynesian solutions were predicated on the need to get an increasing workforce involved in being productive and paying taxes. But the workforce size appears to be almost stagnant these days, and would be without the immigration that is currently sustaining it. We are losing older people to retirement.

      This means that, in practice, our economy won’t bounce back as fast in the taxation side as it once did during the middle of last century.

      Increasingly, as any employer will tell you, the constraint isn’t about getting people for jobs. It is getting the people with the right skills who are ready for a particular job or are worthwhile training for a particular job.

      When we have a downturn in businesses these days, employers drop staff with replaceable skills and guard those with hard to replace skills. That means that when they start hiring they are still constrained by the same skill shortages that they had prior to the downturn in their business. It simply isn’t worth throwing unskilled people at jobs because that means that you wind up using skilled people to train them for about 3-6 months – an incredibly costly exercise.

      Effectively the only soak for new employment is new startup businesses who will take the risk of training new people because they can’t attract valued skilled employees. But that is a targeted strategy rather than a macro-economic one that a wider Keynesian macro-economic strategy demands. And of course National hasn’t been doing it because that isn’t their constituency.

      Quite simply pouring money out on a macro-economic untargeted strategy has very limited effectiveness these days in boosting the economy. Raising debt by the government to put people in employment via infrastructure projects (the classic favorite) doesn’t raise the real skill levels sufficiently to be effective long term. It just gives people limited skills in transient jobs, while making it harder to do the same thing in the looming next downturn.

      Raising debt for starting new industry sectors that (unlike dairy) have jobs is a far more effective proposition. Raising debt for training kids has a massive return into the future.

      Raising debt to just give people unskilled work with limited economic value simply limits how much we can do the other effective strategies into the future.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        New start up businesses with only a few employees don’t have the time or the funds or the experienced personnel to spare to train new people up.

        What is going on of course is that NZ businesses, which chronically under invest in staff any way, have simply been hiring older more experienced more reliable workers ahead of young workers. Even for shelf stacking jobs.

        Firstly, looking at the unemployment stats in gross isn’t useful anymore. Employees transition from job to job, from career to career, and town to town a lot more frequently than they did back in the 1930s. Just being employed in the same place for more than a five years is becoming quite rare because employees now get their major pay increases by moving.

        What this says is that our old established system of counting the unemployed becomes increasingly useless as more employment is of a precarious and unstable nature.

        Society needs to be able to provide work and income of a nature which enables people to start forming households.

        If you did paid work for a single hour in the last month, I bet they don’t count you as “unemployed.”

  2. greywarshark 2

    My comment on debt that would follow on from CRs from an earlier post. Still useful, still relevant, and will be to the unforeseeable future.

    Guest post: How the left should respond to financial crises

    This was relating to Paul’s comment at –

    Open mike 27/08/2015

  3. Aaron 3

    Yes, yes, yes. Finally someone talking sense about the economy.

    The level of economic debate in this country is staggeringly poor so I have to congratulate anyone trying to address this.

    For anyone interested in hearing from an economist who makes sense can I suggest people google Steve Keen – one of the few who wasn’t surprised by the GFC.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    I think that this argument is over-reliant on the validity of statistics we know to be seriously flawed. The unemployment numbers do not reflect the real situation of massive underemployment and WINZ hazing to promote suicide and UE benefit avoidance.

    When the next left government takes power it ought to collect more sophisticated numbers – probably the ones that reflect that 40% or more of the working age population is not working – most of whom would prefer to.

    That said, having been frankly murderously antisocial this government has no excuse whatsoever for their pathetic budgetary performance. If we have to have vicious and unprincipled neo-liberals in power occasionally the least we can require of them is that they not run up Grecian levels of debt.

    This government is a failure on every level.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Yes that term – WINZ hazing is apt.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazing
      Hazing is seen in many different types of social groups, including gangs, sports teams, schools, military units, and fraternities and sororities. The initiation rites can range from relatively benign pranks, to protracted patterns of behavior that rise to the level of abuse or criminal misconduct.

      Perhaps it would be more straightforward for understanding of the realities of dealing with WINZ and the awfulness of it to have regular hazing street theatre?
      Or it could be satisfying for contorted minds in the I’m all right belt, to turn up on a volunteer basis to form a hazing passage outside or inside the WINZ lobby, where they beat people unsuccessful in getting jobs with those sponge thumpers. Apparently in organised authoritarian systems, two lines are formed and the unsatisfactory person runs between while everyone takes a hit at him or her.

      Then there is the business of shaving your hair off. Some men, often police, like the skinhead look but it still isn’t in for women. So shaming as in post WW2 could carry out hazing like that.

      At present the naicer people can pretend that they don’t know what’s going on and hide the fact that they don’t care about others’ treatment. Let’s have it all out in the open. Stocks anyone and not the floral scented ones?

  5. Murray 5

    The Keynesian v monetarist debate has been buried under a neo-liberal smoke screen. It needs to be reinstated.

  6. Deadsmurf 6

    Following the GFC the government should run deficits until the economy is growing. Grant Robertson shouldn’t be attacking the English on this point, rather he should be attacking English for the complete lack of a plan.

    The tax cuts were structured wrong. The increase in GST hurt those on the lowest incomes the hardest, and reduced their overall spending and impacted negatively on aggregate demand.

    The positive drivers in the economy are from migration and the Canterbury rebuild (which is peaking).

    The Investment part of GDP is far too narrow in just roads. There is nothing that increases the productive capacity in the economy.

    The Reserve Bank operates under settings that fight inflation that is a battle from the 1980s. Employment needs to be included in their settings.

    Access to higher education should be widened, what Joyce is doing in this sector is criminal.

    English is so far out of whack with mainstream economics it is frightening.

  7. dukeofurl 7

    When did ‘balancing the books’ become a sign the cash flow was positive.

    If you are concentrating on borrowing, which happens for two reasons, not enough cash and old debt comes due to be paid in full ( unlike mortgages which are mostly payment of interest and borrowed capital over the period)

    2015/16 Domestic Bond Programme Set at $8.0 Billion

    $6.8 bill of that is NEW debt. And its $1 bill higher than its earlier forecast.
    Throw all those forecasts out the window as its all changed in last month.
    In addition there are short term Treasury Bills, essentially more borrowing to even out cash flow in the shorter term

    http://www.nzdmo.govt.nz/publications/mediastatements/debtprogramme/2015-05-21/

    For a look at all the borrowing in one page, will tell you immediately there is no balancing of books- its just become a marketing term

    http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/tables/d1/

  8. greywarshark 8

    A song about balancing the books should be the first thing that school children do at school each morning. The regimented children should sing a sweet little ditty about how we’re going to balance the books,. As they do so they will all walk around in a circle while they balance the last of their schoolbooks on their heads.

    Then they will go inside and study using their advanced technology which clever people are working on, at a different level, to replace the jobs they would have done when they got out of school.

  9. maui 9

    Logically I thought Labour paying off debt from 2000-08 was a good thing to do in good times. I don’t see the logic behind National not paying off debt when our economy has remained fairly strong over the last 5 years.

    • Glenn 9.1

      I remember going to a family function mid 2008 where my SIL from my first marriage ranted and raved to all and sundry about how evil Michael Cullen was operating a surplus while “those that had worked hard and got ahead” should be having their tax reduced.
      Unfortunately Key gave her what she wanted and she was rewarded for her devotion.

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      the only reason the economy has been ok for the top 50% in the last few years is that English has been deficit spending into NZ to the tune of $50M per week. Now you suggest he should have been net removing money from the economy instead???

      That is austerity that would have crushed the economy and made life much less tolerable for the bottom 50%.

      • Stuart Munro 9.2.1

        It is a monetarist fiction that government spending is somewhat equal – this is manifestly untrue. $26 million spent on women’s refuges, food in schools or in fact less austere welfare policies will achieve a great deal more than subsidizing the gross and profligate corruption of the flag panel, US apartments or flying sheep.

        My friend in Korea used to cost benefit everything – they had more time than money – and the results were pretty good. Hard work though – Gnat MPs would never do anything like that. Bill English spends money so poorly that redirecting it might indeed not materially affect the economy.

        The obvious example would be replacing Bill with a rubber chicken. It is austere, and the $2:50 goes offshore. But it’s more intelligent than Bill, and less corrupt. A rubber chicken wouldn’t have collapsed Solid Energy, played dirty pool with SCF, or lost $101 billion dollars. The direct savings, if redirected to areas that enjoy a spending multiplier (the classics are childrens’ health or education) could have a worthwhile positive effect.

  10. infused 10

    The GST change knocked on businesses for another year. While the GFC technically finished earlier, businesses I believe only really got back on track last year – now we look like we are heading back there.

    • ropata 10.1

      Small businesses maybe. The 1% are having an amazing time. Big Aussie banks, telcos and power companies are making record profits. Fletchers and other property magnates are keeping quiet about their massive tax free capital gains as well.

  11. Simon Louisson 11

    I argue that governments can’t indefinitely keep running budget deficits, particularly when a country is running continuous and substantial current account deficits which are essentially an increase in private sector debt. Such policy results in ever increasing interest payments or selling off more and more assets so we do indeed become tenants in our own country. While our government debt may be low by OECD standards, our international debt position is high, more than our GDP, which is why the international credit rating agencies are twitchy. The consequence of high private sector debt is that more and more of our assets are owned by foreigners.

    I accept that when you are faced with an event such as the Global Financial Crisis, it is desirable to run a deficit, but if you accept that continuous budget deficits and increasing government debt is not sustainable, then you have to question National’s economic management. The idea of the automatic stabiliser is that you run surpluses and save when the economy is strong and deficits in poor times. The economy has been growing at 1.5% or better for each of the last five years — at 3.3% in the year to March 2015 which is considered by the Reserve Bank as faster than its sustainable growth rate (ie without creating inflation). During the Labour government, under Michael Cullen’s stewardship, the government racked up numerous and sometimes substantial surpluses and copped considerable flack for not cutting taxes, but that was what allowed the country to survive the GFC in reasonable shape.
    Both of us agree Bill English was irresponsible to cut tax personal taxes in 2009, especially as the cuts most benefitted those in the top tax bracket, and therefore it had least effect in stimulating the economy and added considerably to the $50 billion his government has accumulated.
    The failure of National to get the unemployment rate below 5.0 at any time during their seven years in office is evidence of English’s economic mismanagement. The jobless rate of 5.9% is unacceptable after five years of economic growth, especially when you consider the stimulus provided by the $50 billion of debt built up in achieving that economic growth, plus the stimulus of spending EQC’s store of funds.

    We are currently taking in a net 60,000 of long term migrants, of which I accept a good number are students. Britain this week announced it had record immigration of 330,000 for the year and that is causing ructions. Given their population is 14 times New Zealand’s we should maybe question our level of immigration, looking at such things as why dairy farm workers are coming from such places as the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

  12. Murray 12

    In 1975 when Keynesian economic theory was replaced by monetarist economic theory I said it was a very bad mistake. I have seen no reason to change that opinion since. I am glad to see this issue debated on the Fabian Web . I hope it is very deeply examined. I question the term neo-liberal that dominates today’s economic debate. l suspect that term was instigated by the monetarist lobby as a smoke screen in which to bury the Keynesian v monetarist debate. Whether or not the change of name was initiated by the monetarist lobby or not it certainly played into their hands. What is named neo-liberal today contains every single facet of the monetarist argument with only two or three miner but reprehensible additions. The unacceptably high levels of unemployment, all the recessions and the global credit crisis that have plagued world economies since the return of monetarist economic management around 1975 would have occurred with or without the neo-liberal additions to the monetarist management.
    When the left cheerfully but foolishly went along with that inappropriate change of name I suspect there would have been those on the right would have been laughing all the way to the ballot box.
    The question that should have been placed before voters in the last election should have been “Was the replacing of Keynesian economic management with a return to monetarist economic management around 1975 a monumental economic blunder and the answer to that question is, yes it was.
    The inappropriate, un-necessary and misleading change of name from monetarist to neo-liberal effectively shielded voters from the main question that should have influenced their votes. I suspect that over 80% of those who voted in the last election would see no connection between the name Keynesian and the word monetarism and our economic problems.
    I believe it was Milton Friedman who attached the word monetarism or monetarist to the economic theory. There are many on the left who would prefer not to give Milton Friedman credit for anything but credit where credit is due. The word monetarism is derived from the word money and it fits the theory perfectly. Monetarist economic theory evolved in the world of established money and it evolved under the influence of established money for the sole benefit of established money with total and cynical disregard for the pain inflicted on any other section of the community.

  13. Murray 13

    The following statement is near the beginning of chapter 7 in the publication by John Maynard Keynes “The general Theory of Employment Interest and Money” “But since for the community as a whole the increase or decrease in the aggregate creditor position is always exactly equal to the increase or decrease in the aggregate debtor position”.
    Analysis of that statement reveals it to mean the same thing as the following statement “For the community as a whole saving is and must remain exactly equal to debt.
    Keynes repudiated much of what he said in that publication shortly after it was published and I agree that much of it needed repudiating but not all of it. I believe the statement or a statement equal to the same thing as “Saving is and must remain exactly equal to debt” was still part of his post general theory argument as I believe that statement is essential to an understanding of the economy and by any honest judgement the economy performed better during the Keynesian period of economic management than under the monetarist economic management that preceded and followed it.

  14. Murray 14

    Further to my statement “For the community as a whole saving is and must remain equal to debt I present the following companion statement “Saving is equal to investment”
    That statement is taught as a very important economic truth in most universities and the theoretical underpinning of monetarist argument is founded on a corruption of that statement. They claim that as saving is equal to investment more saving will promote and or enable more investment and therefore more production. To reveal the fallacy of that claim we must first define in this context the meaning of the word investment.
    Investment in production is the financing the debt that is the cost of production. By this definition of investment the financing of consumer debt must be investment in consumption. Total investment must then be the sum of investment in production plus investment in consumption.
    It should now be obvious that for investment to be equal to investment in production as suggested by the monetarist argument there would have to be zero investment in consumption (zero consumer debt) and that is impossible in any real economy. The monetarist argument that as investment is equal to saving more saving will lead to or enable more productive investment is economic hogwash.
    There will no doubt be those who will complain that they define investment as only money invested in industry. They are of course entitled to define investment in any way they choose but if investment is defined as only money invested in industry then by that definition investment can’t possibly be equal to saving so the theoretical underpinning of the monetarist argument will still be economic hogwash.
    Saving is equal to total investment therefore more saving must equal more total investment but more saving is not equal to productive investment and more saving will neither enable nor promote more productive investment.

  15. Murray 15

    Michael corrects the persistent but erroneous claim by the monetarist lobby that a budget deficit is always the personification of economic evil, except of course when that budget deficit is created by John Key. It is part of the post general theory Keynesian argument that a budget deficit coupled with measures to address the cause of a recessed economy is an effective answer to a recessed economy however a budget deficit without measures to address the cause of a recessed economy is in fact quite dangerous.
    The national party’s budget deficit was created by a multi-millionaire prime minister giving tax cuts to his wealthy mates and that very definitely does not address the cause of a recessed economy, it does in fact aggravate the cause of a recessed economy. I believe our prime minister is reported to have suggested that balancing the budget is now more difficult than landing a 747 on a pin head. He should know as he has tried in vain to balance a budget deficit that was created while aggravating the cause of a recessed economy.
    An effective method to counter the cause of a recessed economy when in combination with a budget deficit is to impose a progressive tax on wealthy rentiers. No, I have not got my Keynesian economic theory confused with my Thomas Piketty economic theory. Both theories complement each other. They start from a different point and take a different path but they arrive at the substantially the same conclusion.
    When I saw DR. Geoff Bertram’s comments re Thomas Piketty’s book on the Fabian web it came to me as a shining light in a great sea of darkness.

  16. Murray 16

    Getting old, that’s my excuse. In my argument re saving being equal to investment I incorrectly made the following statement. For investment to be equal to investment… I should have said “For saving to be equal investment…

  17. Murray 17

    I thank you for your comment AD. Michael twice referred in a positive way to Keynes in his reply to Louisson. I believe the issue of monetarist V Keynes is grossly under debated on the Fabian Web. Those who refer the global credit crisis in the past tense are making a very bad mistake. We have not yet felt the pain. When that pain finally hits us I dare to hope that it will finally trigger the end of monetarist economic theory obscenity and we will then return to Keynesian economic management. A great deal of the Fabian debate is then going to look pretty irrelevant.

  18. Murray 18

    I have never seen the Simon Louisson post that Michael responded to and I suspect that post is necessary to understanding Michael’s response. I have re-read Michael’s response and concluded that he was not defending the Keynesian budget deficit response to recession as I first supposed. Now my on balance judgement is that Michael was claiming that this government’s budget deficit could be justified from Keynesian economic theory. If that was the point of his response I believe he is wrong. Keynesian economic theory does not justify this government’s response to a recessed economy.
    Keynesian post general theory does recommend a budget deficit response to a recessed economy but only if that deficit is coupled to measures to correct the cause of a recessed economy. This government’s budget deficit was coupled to a multi-millionaire prime minister giving tax cuts to his wealthy mates and that aggravates the cause of a recessed economy.
    John key is reported to have said that balancing the budget is now more difficult than landing a 747 on a pin head. That is the end result of a budget deficit response to a recessed economy without measures to correct the cause of the recessed economy and it is exactly what the post Keynesian general theory claims would happen.

  19. Murray 19

    29 August 10.17 am.
    Except as an answer to past economic mismanagement budget deficits should always be avoided but to suggest that a conservative government should correct a budget deficit when unemployment is far too high is inviting disaster. A conservative government would likely respond to that suggestion by imposing the lunacy of economic austerity.
    This budget deficit could be quickly brought back to surplus with money obtained by imposing a progressive tax on wealthy rentiers but this government is unlikely to do that. Conservative governments, especially those with multi-millionaire prime ministers are not noted for increasing taxes on their wealthy mates.

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    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    2 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    2 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    3 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    3 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 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
    7 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
    7 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago

  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours 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
    17 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
    20 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
    20 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
    20 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
    20 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
    23 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
    2 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
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  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
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  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
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  • Government working to keep air freight moving
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  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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    2 weeks ago