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Norman on the economy

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, March 12th, 2016 - 58 comments
Categories: Conservation, economy, farming, farming, russel norman, sustainability - Tags: , , ,

Russel Norman is still commenting on politics – and he’s still making a lot of sense:

Oil was always speculation. Gambling on bulk milk is turning in to an economic disaster, and the intensive farming methods required are trashing the environment. Lose lose.

Why is NZ not playing to its strengths? Smaller scale organic milk production (see “Per tonne, organic milk powder sells on the international market for more than NZ$14,000. By comparison, conventional milk powder prices languish at NZ$2900”). Sustainable and safe farming methods that preserve our environment, and therefore our “clean green” image and our tourism industry. And of course, while we’re dreaming here, early adoption and development of renewable energy sources, public transport, and other aspects of a green economy.

We could be planning and innovating and leading the world, but we need to change the government to do it.

58 comments on “Norman on the economy”

  1. saveNZ 1

    +100 Russel Norman + Anthony Robins

    NZ should be diversifying into more diverse areas as well as diversifying each area. Government has a history of not being able to concentrate on more than a couple of economic areas at a time.

    At present it is Dairy and Property. Dairy is heading down the gurgler while putting thousands of farmers close to bankruptcy. This could easily be predicted – of course – commodities are cyclical. Fonterra should have diversified and looked at areas of higher Yield – organic milk is obviously a winner when worldwide it is growing far faster than conventional farming. But apparently Fonterra, (even though charging consumers more for organic milk) failed to give organic farmers extra revenue or incentives to go into this market. Fonterra could have concentrated on higher value products and IP but instead wasted the opportunity in a group think, with the government.

    Property and ‘infrastructure’ is now the big government mantra. Don’t worry about getting the balance right or working out long term implications – just dump as many migrants into Auckland and change as many laws as possible to let them and NZ developers go for it in any way they like. Retirement homes, McMansions, ‘social bond’ high rise specials. I have a feeling they want a “Thai’ feel to Auckland – slums mixed with glistening high rises, the largest possible house on each section and 5 lanes of traffic all across and around the city so that it take hours to get out. Of course our government does not believe in public transport like the Thais, so don’t expect any extra buses or trains apart from the much touted rail loop around Sky City.

    What is the other big export out of Thailand? Oh yes Tourism. Lets see how sustainable that is, when you start having Tsunamis. Might find that market stops like the Thais. Not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket with climate change.

    In addition the NZ tourism market and ‘clean, green image’ of NZ is being destroyed by the ad hoc, non innovating and non sustainable government and business management of the above.

    The government should be looking at IT, science and so forth, and keeping them ethical and loyal. NZ is actually good in surprising export areas that never get promoted, or are promoted to cronies only. Even media and film could be areas NZ tried to promote. I’m not talking about tax breaks and changing our laws for Warners and having a special friend like Peter Jackson or Julie Christie, I’m talking about pushing jobs into that area with state funding of NZ programming (like Australia that kick started their industry) to create opportunities for other film directors and their crews.

    With the rise of neoliberalism, companies feel zero loyalty to their employees or even the governments that take them in. Just heard a well known internationally owned gaming company is shutting it’s doors in Auckland and moving all or much of their business to, wait for it, Nigeria!! This is a international start up firm that apparently used a lot of migrant labour bought them into NZ never gave anyone a pay rise, just kept wages as low as they could, and now their ex employees are signing up to the dole. How’s that working for a sustainable business plan by government?

    In the future, quality is going to be as important, as quantity. The environment and the purity and safety of it, will also play a key role.

    Will anybody learn any lessons?

    • Chooky 1.1

      +100… the Greens economic policy makes the most sense ….and a pity Russel Norman is no longer in parliament to articulate it…come back Russel Norman

      • James Shaw seems pretty effective too, tbh.

        • Smilin 1.1.1.1

          More of them both is what this advertising dunderhead political wasteland needs
          Get the people who really do know what is needed in power not a bunch of sellout yes men for the TPPA and get rid of these fucking ambassadors and national boundaries .And save the country some money
          Who says we need american fast foods
          Why not McMaori Hangis, Kiwi sushi

    • One Two 1.2

      Unlike Nz,Thais have a culture of their own. It belongs to all of them, and they know what it represents. Thais are also self sustainable through traditional village structures which are the backbone of local Thai society

      Thailand primary industry was being severely damaged by the neo liberal owned western sponsored, Shinawatra governments.

      Unlike NZ, the populace understood what was being done to them. Thaksin was exiled andYingluck faces a prison term

      Yingluck was accused of malfeasance under Section 157 of the Criminal Code and Section 123/1 of the 1999 Anti-Corruption Act.

      She is accused of failing to stop the rice scheme which caused 500 billion baht in damages to the country. If she is found guilty, she could face up to 10 years in jail.

      • David 1.2.1

        “Thaksin was exiled andYingluck faces a prison term”

        By a military junta…..

        • One Two 1.2.1.1

          >95% of Thais support the military

          Thailand, along with other SE Asian nations are removing the rot of western interference, which is what the Shinawatra governments represented

          Do you have any comment on that, David ?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      NZ should be diversifying into more diverse areas as well as diversifying each area.

      NZ, and every other country for that matter, needs to fully developing their economy up to the point of self-sufficiency. This isn’t really optional considering future resources shortages. Sure, we could develop that afterwards but it’s going to be easier to do it now.

      With the rise of neoliberalism, companies feel zero loyalty to their employees

      Companies have never felt any loyalty to their employees. Neo-liberalism hasn’t changed that but it has allowed them to show it as unemployment increases.

      Will anybody learn any lessons?

      Probably not because the lessons aren’t ones that they want to learn as they go against their ideology.

  2. weka 2

    “We have been like a rockstar trashing a hotel room up until now. Now it’s the morning after, and if we don’t change, we are going to get voted off the island”

    Kenny Ausubel, Co-Founder of Bioneers

  3. Ad 3

    +1,000
    Our economy is holding up, but absolutely no thanks to this government.

    • adam 3.1

      Is it, holding up that is

      I’m seeing deflationary pressure in a big way.

      Having property worth a bucket load more than it is in reality, does not an economy make.

      But fully agree, we still have an economy, despite this government .

  4. saveNZ 4

    Another ‘unmentioned’ economic factor being hidden by the government is the rise of drugs and gangs into NZ. From Granddaddy Herald…

    “ASIAN CRIME syndicates “dominate the organised crime landscape in New Zealand”, alongside local gangs, according to a classified police document released under the Official Information Act.

    “Over the next three to five years it is almost certain that New Zealand Adult Gangs and Asian Organised Crime groups will continue to exploit existing opportunities, as well as increase their involvement in criminal activity locally,” according to the 2013 National Drug Intelligence Bureau report.

    Police have been aware of organised crime in the Asian community in New Zealand since the late 1980s. From behind a facade of legitimate commerce, the groups work across a range of illegal businesses from money laundering, drug imports and prostitution to credit card fraud, extortion and paua-smuggling.

    Back in the 80s and 90s they were relatively minor players, but the growth of P in the past decade gave them a huge opportunity. When gangs like the Headhunters saw the profits to be made from methamphetamine, they needed criminal contacts to buy the drug, or its main ingredient, pseudoephedrine, from a source country like China. Quickly, the Asian-organised crime groups in New Zealand became crucial players in the drug trade and, over time, their international links made them the real power-brokers.

    “Having strategic alliances is basic economics,” says Detective Superintendent Virginia Le Bas, who is in charge of all organised crime operations in New Zealand. “And it’s all about money.”

    She prefers the term Transnational Organised Crime Groups, as opposed to Asian Organised Crime, as many of those involved now were born in New Zealand, or have lived here for many years.

    “And they are the ones with the contacts offshore. But I don’t think there is one big network throughout New Zealand.”

    New Zealand did not register on the international drug market until the millions of dollars being made from methamphetamine grabbed the attention of bigger players overseas. Police here do not call them “triads”, as they’re referred to in popular culture, as the hierarchy here is a fluid, molecular structure rather than the traditional pyramid but the links to notorious international syndicates are real. Gangs like Hong Kong-based 14K, rival Sun Yee On, Water Room, and Big Circle have all had a presence here, as well as Malaysian, Thai, Taiwanese and Vietnamese gangs.

    There is plenty of business to go around. Police and underworld sources agree that the organised Asian criminal groups “sit around the board room table together” with the local gangs, rather than starting a turf war, in the interests of making money.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11604108

  5. Bearded Git 5

    “Per tonne, organic milk powder sells on the international market for more than NZ$14,000. By comparison, conventional milk powder prices languish at NZ$2900”

    I just hope Labour are picking up on these numbers and writing an economic policy right now to put in their manifesto supporting organic milk (and maybe other products) production. This would make economic sense and would help the regions.

    Of course the Greens, as ever, are far ahead of them.

    • tc 5.1

      Are fonterra taking organic milk again ?

      They stopped doing it years ago in my neck of the woods to focus on the lowest common denominator commodity market and screwed over organic milk producers.

      Time to smash this top heavy boys club up into niche value added segments. Plenty of fat can be trimmed to give farmers a much better deal.

      • David 5.1.1

        How are you going to find the billions you will need to build the plants to produce the value added products, and how are you going to handle being a competitor to your existing customers?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          Easy – the government creates the money to research and develop and build the necessary plant.

          The existing non-organic farmers can be put out of business through good regulation that prohibits non-sustainable practices such as GMOs, importing feed and excessive use of fertilisers.

          • David 5.1.1.1.1

            Ah, I see, just print it. So not only have you nationalised the dairy industry, you have outlawed all the existing operations. Nice one.

            Do you think all the companies like mine who provide the technology to build these plants are going to accept your mass-production dollars to provide equipment?

            Do you think perhaps there might be an issue with a nationalised industry funded this way getting a bit of kick back from the international markets?

            • dv 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Ah, I see, just print it

              David where do you think the 100 billion debt we have now comes from.

              • Macro

                I know! I know!
                It grew on trees!

              • David

                Well, if it was just printed, why is it a problem?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  1. The private banks print it and then charge interest on it. Logical result is that it can never be paid off as the interest ever accumulates.
                  2. If the money was paid off there’d be no money in circulation.
                  3. Government should never, ever delegate he creation of a nations currency to the private sector as they’re incentivised to over create – which they do, with abandon creating asset bubbles and when the bubble pops they get bailed out by the taxpayers.

            • One Two 5.1.1.1.1.2

              ‘companies like mine’

              No David. That’s a line you’ve been given to regurgitate

              Neo liberalisation is dead. The decaying corpse is whats pretending to be the global economy

              It’s been exposed as the lie it always was, and every single day more people are seeing whats going on, and taking action

              Bankers will be hung by the neck when they crash the global economy this time

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1.3

              So not only have you nationalised the dairy industry, you have outlawed all the existing operations.

              The existing operations are unsustainable and thus need to be outlawed ASAP.

              Do you think all the companies like mine who provide the technology to build these plants are going to accept your mass-production dollars to provide equipment?

              Why should we be concerned if you do or not? Others will. Or, more likely, the same people will just working for themselves or in a cooperative or for the government.

              Do you think perhaps there might be an issue with a nationalised industry funded this way getting a bit of kick back from the international markets?

              Again, who cares?

    • gsays 5.2

      Couldn’t agree more b g.
      Why not the whole milk supply?
      Then the lamb, beef, porkand chicken markets.
      Vegetables, grain etc.

      Clearly the current way is part of a race to the bottom (cheapest), a circuit breaker is needed.
      Not the same old same old.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Labour and the rest of the opposition should be writing up plans to go full organic. That would be staring with buying out the farmers who are in too deep.

  6. UncookedSelachimorpha 6

    Fresh water ecologist Mike Joy points out in his book “Polluted Inheritance” that you can have the same profit from many dairy farms at about 40% lower stocking than most actually practice – with far lower environmental impact. He believes farmers stock high to increase the capital (real estate) value of the farm (because properties sell by milk solids produced, more than profit produced).

    This situation is caused by pollution being free to the polluter.

    • tc 6.1

      Country calendar has done a few episodes on farms that have done exactly that over the past years.

      Better quality milk, animal welfare, pastures and less outgoings on fertilisers, animal remedies etc.

      A no brainer now the inevitable slump in milk powder has landed the debt backed dairy farms in more shit than they stick in our waterways.

    • Well, that, and people not understanding that sustainable profitability is far more important than output.

    • Stuart Munro 6.3

      It’s the same psychology that caused a lot of overfishing – and the massive overcrowding of slaveships – a kind of dumb risk aversion.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    I remember when huge increases in bulk dairy production and massively increasing dairy farm debt didn’t occur, during the Helen Clark Government.

    Oh wait, yes it did.

  8. Steve Withers 8

    Hold on a minute!

    The Greens are a fringe, loony party. Who cares if they are correct all the time? Very few indeed, or they would be the government today.

    Talking about climate change and sustainability and a diverse, locally-based economy over 20 years ago…..the “fringe” Greens have repeatedly made the mainstream parties look like dribbling idiots over the long term.

    Voters don’t much care…..though to be fair, the vapid media narrative regarding the Greens’ policies over the long haul gives them little reason to.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        You’ve been playing too much WoW.

        • David 8.1.1.1

          WoW has better economics than the Green party….

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.1

            And yet WoW creates money without limit. Every time a mob is killed or a quest completed money is created.

            Of course, it also has taxes in the form of repairs to armour that takes money our of circulation. No where near as much as created of course but there you go.

            WoW’s economy is as delusional as the one we have.

            • Stuart Munro 8.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s probably better planned in fact – game economies are designed to foster participation by lowering entry costs. Neo-liberalism allows monopolists to raise participation costs to make some activities exclusively elite property.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    We could be planning and innovating and leading the world, but we need to change the government to do it.

    This.

    We need to stop doing the stuff we did in the 19th century and enter the 21st.

    National seems to only do the easy stuff that they think they understand and that leaves them doing shit that research and knowledge shows is wrong.

  10. OneTrack 10

    C’mon Russel, start your own farm, with your own money, and show those silly traditional farmers how it should be done. Oh. Wait.

  11. saveNZ 11

    Even banking analysts agree…

    “Moynihan has for some years commented on the need for New Zealand to remain a low cost, pre-dominantly grass-fed, producer.

    That has largely fallen on deaf ears as production – and costs – have ramped up through a raft of measures, including use of supplementary feeds, off-farm grazing and higher stocking rates per hectare.

    “The industry was growing at such a pace in terms of lifting production and in terms of the number of new farms – particularly over the last decade,” Moynihan said.

    “With that growth inevitably comes a period of consolidation. “What this particular downturn will do is refocus our energy on competitiveness inside the farm gate because we are still a long way from our markets and there is a lot of competition out there. That’s where the core focus needs to be,” she said.

    “It is still a good industry but we did lose sight of the fact that we needed to be very competitive so that we can get through these periods that we are experiencing now.”

    In 2008-9 farmers geared up in terms of their production costs to capture higher milk prices, on average.

    “What I think this particular downturn is going to cause is a re-assessment of what the New Zealand farming system looks like,” she said.

    Resilience and the ability to survive downturns was imbedded in the grass-fed farming system, Moynihan said. “I think that we will see a change – not necessarily back to the way we were – but a change to cope with what will inevitably happen as a result of this downturn. That’s going to be quite a shift and that’s where it will be quite painful.”

    Moynihan said she expected farmers to take a “more holistic” approach to land use, moving away from dairy as the first port of call.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11604153

  12. Cowboy 12

    It’s all very well for Moynihan to bag farmers farming models but they were only responding to the economic signals of the day. The forecasts that Moynihan and the like put out have proved woefully inaccurate and the consequences of those errors will be wide reaching.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      It’s all very well for Moynihan to bag farmers farming models but they were only responding to the economic signals of the day.

      Yes, the financial system is wrong and gives the wrong signals. That said, the farmers have been egging on that particularly failed financial system so, yeah, they carry a lot of the blame.

    • weka 12.2

      High cost farming (economic and environmental) that is dependent on export markets that have no commitment to us is always going to fall over at some point. It’s inherently unsustainable no matter what the economists are saying in any given year or decade and it’s even more so now that we have climate change.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1

        +1

        Most economists wouldn’t know what an economy was if they tripped over one

  13. Smilin 13

    Cracka Russ with that kind of clarity you might be able to do two jobs PM and Greenpeace because the time its taken Dickhead Key to get past himself and realize he has ruined this country you could have fixed all this shit ie 2008 till now .
    Pity this country is full of capitalist totalitarian arseholes in power who owe big time to this country .
    you could easily do it. We still need that great way you have of showing Key and co up for idiot sellout bastards they are

    8 yrs of lies more lies, corporate welfare, destruction of the environment, Crime, police resources cuts, education mismanagement ,Destruction of the need for Railways, giving away the natural resources of the country, THE ECONOMIC ZONE pilfered,
    Workers rights , The failure to govern the country in a sound and legal manner etc

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  • 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 ...
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks 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
    1 day 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
    1 day ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to 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 welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
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