web analytics

Not good enough

Written By: - Date published: 2:26 pm, September 3rd, 2008 - 114 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

For any of you who thought the sharp end of capitalism was a nice place to be, the front page story in today’s Dom Post should change your mind. It’s about the lending practices of the loan sharks that have flourished in the twenty years since New Zealand had neo-liberalism foisted on it.

And it’s not pretty. According to the article Super Loans in Porirua is lending money to people at a rate of 8% per week. That’s 416% per annum. And it’s right across from the Work & Income office.

Of course this situation isn’t new. Porirua has six such ‘money lenders’ listed in its yellow pages alone. Manukau has 12.

Helensville has none.

Ponsonby has none.

Mt Victoria has none.

Fendalton has none.

So you’d expect this not to be an issue for those who represent upper middle New Zealand but when Judith Tizard and the Labour party palm the issue off:

Consumer Affairs Minister Judith Tizard said the Government was monitoring the situation – especially in Australia – and planned a discussion paper, but ruled out a cap on interest rates.

You’ve got to wonder if they remember what side their bread is buttered on. It’s part of the folk law of the 2005 election campaign that it was the turnout in Manukau and Porirua and all the other places ‘Labour’s people’ live that gave them their third term. It would pay for them not to forget that.

So Labour put up legislation regulating loan shark parasites and see who opposes it. At the very least it will let your ‘people’ know who still stands for them.

114 comments on “Not good enough”

  1. Billy 1

    You mean in addition to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003? What specific provisions not included in that legislation do you advocate IrishBill?

    IrishBill: Capping rates or tying them to mortgage rates might be a start. Zoning them might be a good idea as well. Extending W&I’s ability to provide interest free loans might be another.

  2. Joe Blogger 2

    This is a major part of the problem for Labour, they’ve stopped caring about the people and are more interested in their personal social agendas like anti smacking, gay marriage, global warming etc.

    In South Auckland Labour Leaders like Dave Lange stood tall with the community and lead from the front. The current Labour leaders are noticibly absent and the only time we see them is when they think they can get a photo op. Meanwhile the homicides keep occurring and even the local cops are throwing their hands up is despair.

    While nobody expects to see National win seats like Mangere (even though their candiate made seemed to be a bloody nice guy when he came knocking on my door) and doubt we’re going to see such one sided support in the area either.

  3. yl 3

    this is an issue that was created in the late 80’s and early 90’s and is still live today.

    There is an article out about the increase in the use of the food banks in New Zealand that started in the 1990’s and still has not gone away

    http://www.times.co.nz/cms/news/2008/08/art100021397.php

  4. Tane 4

    David Lange did more damage to South Auckland than any Labour leader in history. The answers to the disconnection of some Labour MPs from their working class base isn’t in a swing to the right – that’s the source of the problem. The answer is for Labour to be true to its roots.

    It might help if next time they worked out their list they made sure their much heralded diversity took class into account as well as ethnicity and gender.

  5. Santi 5

    What can you do in a situation like this? If people are illiterate (and stupid) enough to fall for this scam, let them go for it.

    You cannot expect nanny state do everything for you, can you?

  6. Daveski 6

    You can’t legislate to cover every situation otherwise you will simply push it underground and the situation will be worse. It’s the same issue with prostitution and other demand based services which have a social negative or at least a perceived one.

    Actually, in fairness, I realise that this is one of those rare threads that is actually attacking Labour. It’s also one of those rare threads where I will defend Labour to the extent that you cannot legislate the problem to go away – it will simply go under ground with even more severe consequences.

  7. burt 7

    So Labour put up legislation regulating loan shark parasites and see who opposes it. At the very least it will let your “people’ know who still stands for them.

    Na, the ETS is sooo much more important. Why stop companies from lending at insane interest rates when you can remove peoples ability to make any repayments and therefore stop them from borrowing at all. The money lenders will be out of business and on the benefits as well and the progression toward full “state employment” is advanced.

  8. monkey-boy 8

    I completely agree with your post IB. Great to see some leadership on this. It is a tragic irony that the bedrock of support tht Labour have relied upon to keep their own snouts in the trough have been thrown to the wolves. But it doesn’t just end there, does it?

  9. Billy 9

    Testing…testing…can anyone hear me?

    We already have such legislation

    The answer to any problem is more legislation: even if we already have perfectly good (and recent) legislation covering the exact evil complained of.

  10. ropata 10

    Daveski, surely driving loansharks underground will reduce their ability to sucker people?

    Gambling, especially pokies, are a worse problem for low-income communities. Yet successive governments have presided over the growth of this parasite.

  11. Billy 11

    Sorry, IB, I didn’t see your comment on my comment. I find I often miss those as I track activity through the side bar. Wouldn’t it be better for the authors to comment in their own comment rather than in the commenters?

  12. Billy 12

    And I still say we already have perfectly workable legislation dealing with the problem.

  13. Bill 13

    Did a wee bit of comparing. So I had a swatch at the warehouse catalogue.

    In the Dom Post story, $300 was borrowed and the repayments came to $636. (The sign clearly says 8% p/w)

    Meanwhile. At the Warehouse you can buy a TV for $349.99 and (so the advert would have our financially illiterate punter believe) pay it off at $3.53 p/w. http://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/advert/MailerTwo.aspx?AdvertID=635&PageNo=14

    Now, because our punter took the advert at face value he didn’t read the small print. ( Maybe didn’t know what the † symbol meant?)

    The $3.53 assumes repayments over 36 months. There is a $40 booking fee. And then there is interest charged over the final 24 months of repayment. I couldn’t find the rate of interest, but allowing for 0% interest, the $349.99 becomes $590.68.

    Not too far removed from the loan shark’s scenario. True, the time scale for repayments is greater, but the same rip applies as far as I can see.

    Now why wont Labour move on loan sharks?

  14. MikeE 14

    So should we deny the ability to lend to those who are percieved to be high risk?

    Should we deny, I don’t know recent immigrants with no credit history loans to start up small businesses?

    YEs I know that these loan sharks are by and large, terrible individuals, but what you fail to understand is that people demand their services. If there wasn’t demand for them, they would cease to exist.

    The reason their interest rates are high is because their clients are either

    a) ridiculously high risk
    b) stupid
    c) both

    Its like the people wanting to regulate/ban sub prime lending. If this was stopped, I wouldn’t be in my first home right now. I’m a perfect example of high risk lending. Sure I pay a higher interest rate, I know I do – but I choose to do so. Noone forced me to buy said property. Just like noone forces Manu in Porirua to purchase a fully modded subaru WRX, or a brand new home theatre system. They don’t need them, but they want them – and if they are dumb enough to get themselves in that sort of financial strife, why on earth should the rest of us have to bail them out/cross subsdise them. Then again, who are we to deny those who can (barely afford it) but want it and are prepared to pay the price.

    NB: This doesn’t mean I agree with those who deliberately take advantage of those who can’t understand the contracts due to language difficulties, those who don’t have capacity, or where they are cooerced into these situations…

    and yes.. people who borrow at 416% per annum are stupid…unfortunately not too stupid to breed, or vote for Taito Phillip Field in the upcoming election

  15. Billy 15

    I do not know why that link didn’t work. Here it is in full:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2003/0052/latest/DLM213510.html

    Also, in relation to weekly interest:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2003/0052/latest/DLM212783.html

    We already have tyhe best solution legislation can provide.

  16. I thought things were going great in NZ?
    Nine years of labour and the crowd at the bottom have not improved their lot.
    Cue the “it’s national’s fault” line of defense, seasoned with a couple of ad hominem attacks on me.
    Where is labour’s incentive to fix this problem? The bottom will vote labour anyway and if they do try to fix things the middle will resent more cash being poured into the bottom for intangible results.
    I have some sympathy for labour, but it is a problem of their own making.
    It may be time to abandon this generation and concentrate all our efforts into Educating their kids. A circuit breaker is required, I defy anybody to demonstrate how these areas can be fixed.
    I visit kaikohe weekly and have seen first hand the hopelessness that is the bulk of the population of this town. It would be a complete waste of our limited resources to even try and fix the adults.

  17. Matthew Pilott 17

    Why is it that everyone thinks what they are going through, BarnsleyBill, is the worst time in History, Ever? Get some perspective, man, you’d think we’re entering the dark ages.

    MikeE, if a mechanism could be created to provide an equivalent service that was shown to be better for society, or potentially less damaging, would you support it?

  18. Daveski 18

    Ropata

    I agree that the moneylenders are a pox on humanity.

    The issue I was raising is similar to MikeE’s – you simply can’t legislate for the problem to go away.

    Prohibition has proven to be a failure in every area its been tried (gross generalisation, accepted).

  19. higherstandard 19

    IB

    Don’t just blame capitalism – there are bottom feeders who will take advantage of the dim or desperate on all sides of the political spectrum.

    I doubt WINZ interest free loans is a solution but I agree that some legislation limiting the level of interest chargeable (linked to x % points above a business loan from a trading bank) would seem to be both relatively simple and a point on which all political parties could agree ?

  20. Bill 20

    Mike E.

    The reason their interest rates are high is because

    a) they are scum
    b) they are scum
    or
    c) they are scum

    As are the ‘everyone gets a bargain’ scum, scum.

    More constructively. I couldn’t work out the Warehouse interest stuff and I’m not remarkably stupid.

    It strikes me that astounding as it might seem, there exists a scenario whereby it would save you money to get the money from the loan shark to pay the Warehouse cash.

    Anybody not think that is totally fucked?

  21. Fuckin aye it isn’t good enough.

    “shop around” says Judith Tizard. We’ll put out a discussion paper, and not do anything about it for quite some time.

    This is why I support the Greens. Sue Bradford gives a shit. She wouldn’t give a bullshit response like that. Look at what the Greens are doing on gambling, an equally abhorrent form of preying on the poor/stupid/impulsive. It’s ruining families and communities, but the Government refuses to do anything about it.

  22. higherstandard 22

    Bill

    If that is the case you are correct it would be fornicated.

  23. Phil 23

    MikeE makes a good point, albeit in a crude kind of way.

    Our education system needs to take a leading role in encouraging fiscal literacy. Sadly, the economic courses that SHOULD be taught are seemingly viewed as being part of a vast neo-con new-world-order conspiracy…

  24. higherstandard 24

    George

    I disagree with the vast amount of Green Policy but I do agree with you that they do care, act on their principles and speak up and for that I respect them and believe they deserve their place in parliament.

  25. yl 25

    Daveski,

    “you simply can’t legislate for the problem to go away”

    i agree, this isnt the problem that we need to address, we need to address the problem of why people are using them in the first place,

    why do they not have money to top up their phone?
    why do they need to borrow the money to pay their bills?

    these are the problems that need to be addressed.

    Labour has worked at helping out the low income families, we now have 50000 less children in poverty.

    The damage of the 90’s is going to take longer to go away then 9 years.

    the problem is idiots like Santi who are happy to blame the individual rather then looking at the bigger picture.

  26. Billy 26

    It’s ruining families and communities, but the Government refuses to do anything about it.

    Oh for fcuks sake. Are my comments invisible? They have done something about it. It is called the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 and it has all the remedies anyone needs.[beats head repeatedly against keybords while drooling and humming the theme tune to the Twighlight ZOne]

  27. r0b 27

    Nine years of labour and the crowd at the bottom have not improved their lot.

    Wrong on so many dimensions: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2823

    Cue the “it’s national’s fault’ line of defense, seasoned with a couple of ad hominem attacks on me.

    The fact that things are improving under Labour is not the Nats fault, and as for you you pretty much get the attacks that you deserve eh.

    Where is labour’s incentive to fix this problem?

    Because it’s the right thing to do.

    The bottom will vote labour anyway

    Wrong, a huge percentage of them don’t vote at all.

  28. Ben R 28

    “The damage of the 90?s is going to take longer to go away then 9 years.”

    And the 80’s. A lot of people without qualifications used to be employed in forestry & freezing works. In the 80’s there were massive job cuts in these industries & it was devastating for many communities.

  29. Bill 29

    HS

    $350 for a TV from the Warehouse and I wind up paying north of $600.

    $350 from loan shark over 10 weeks or 9 week at 8%? Dunno, my ability with figures fall over, but there is a point where the loan shark is cheaper.

    IB Interest free loans from WINZ wont work. They work out debt repayments on a two year period. Given the amount of money in a benefit each week and how little of it is disposable….it’s all digging holes.

    Ramp up benefit levels. Ramp up wages. And as somebody commented earlier, educate people. Re-instil the mind set that says if you can’t afford it: don’t buy it. Save. And although education won’t help when money is short for necessities…(oh, already dealt with that one, higher benefits and wages.)

  30. Excellent post IB – this is an issue that goes way beyond partisan politics. Of similar concern are the “trucks” that ply their trade in low-income areas, hooking people into high-interest HP’s on clothing and household items. They are parasites, and every bit as bad as the Blue Chips and Bridgecorps of the world that have failed so spectacularly. Identifying this problem is the easy part – cleaning this industry up will, I suspect, be a far harder task.

  31. yl 31

    Ben R,

    “The damage of the 90?s is going to take longer to go away then 9 years.’

    And the 80’s. A lot of people without qualifications used to be employed in forestry & freezing works. In the 80’s there were massive job cuts in these industries & it was devastating for many communities.”

    right you are Ben R, i should have said, since the introduction of neoliberlism

  32. lprent 32

    Billy: Do you have a link to it?

    The old Credit Contracts Act wasn’t useful for this because it basically said that the true interest rate had to be shown. What recourse is in this Act?

  33. Stop talking about the 80s and 90s already. That was decades ago. Labour has improved things dramatically for many people, for others much less so (as was the conclusion of the Children’s Commissioner’s report a few weeks ago – http://www.occ.org.nz/home/childpoverty/the_report – at least the Minister didn’t try and deny the conclusions this time). Things like high interest loans can have a huge impact on a family or individual’s ability to get out of poverty. I see the haunting impacts of this debt every time I go home to Mangere.

    Oh, Billy I was saying that the Govt. was ignoring pokies. I’m sure they’re aware of the issue, they may even be concerned about it, but they aren’t addressing the issue. They also continue to run lotteries that take hundreds of millions from those in need of hope.

  34. Bill 34

    Billy.
    What would constitute ‘oppressive’ in the legislation you linked? Seems way too vague to be of much use.

    Also, presenting interest rates in annual terms doesn’t help if the person taking the loan is a) innumerate or b) illiterate.

    And a) and b) are frighteningly widespread.

  35. Billy 35

    Yes:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2003/0052/latest/DLM213510.html

    The Act will work fine. I do not think it takes Lord Cooke of Thorndon to see that an interest rate of 800% is oppressive. The answer is not more legislation.

  36. Bill 37

    18 Meaning of oppressive

    In this Act, oppressive means oppressive, harsh, unjustly burdensome, unconscionable, or in breach of reasonable standards of commercial practice.

    Compare: 1981 No 27 s 9

    Standard commercial practice to charge over $600 for a $350 TV!

    I do like the ‘oppressive mean oppressive’ Dead helpful that.

    The culture of ripping people off is fairly well entrenched. Re-payment times are longer is all

  37. Billy 38

    Let’s hear your argument why an 800% annual interest rate is not oppressive.

  38. Bill 39

    Billy.
    Not sure if your last comment was angled over here or not. Anyway. No argument from me on that point at all.

    What really doesn’t help matters from where I’m sitting is that (yet again) the likes of the Warehouse charge people double the cash price (before interest). Yes, it’s over a longer period of time.

    And the point I tried to make some way back up yonder was that it can be cheaper to go to the loan shark charging 8% p/w and pay cash at the Warehouse as long as you can repay the loan shark inside a couple of months.

    Bottom line. Too many people are poor. Higher benefits. Higher wages. Better education. (Christ! I remember at primary school being taught all about HP versus cash price etc. It can be done)

  39. Daveski 40

    What should worry everyone is that we have this situation after what has been trumpeted as the best economic period since Adam was gainfully employed.

    My point is that as appalling as it is, the underlying issue may not be macro economic factors – what people are paid, whether they are employed – but micro factors and particularly the decisions people make.

    I don’t know enough about current legislation but surely 800% interest is oppressive in the least.

    IB – hats off to you to – a political post without taking cartoon-character positions at the start.

    Lynn – please note my earlier support for the Labour gummit the next time Tane tries to delete my comment for implying the standard is a Labour stooge 😉 Congrats on the stats too – it must be all us righties coming here that’s resulting in the records!

  40. Daveski 41

    LOL – I just made a compliment to the Standardistas and got modded as a result – that will teach me 🙂

  41. randal 42

    save up and buy it. you dont need anything you cant pay for. if yu cant learn that then you will never be rich.

  42. insider 43

    I thought this was the reason the great white hope of Kiwibank was set up? Shouldn’t it be offering free money?

    I love Irish Bill’s idea of tying rates to mortgages. No more 22% interest on my credit card. WHoo hoo.

    are you going to get rid of pawn shops too? I spent an interesting few hours in one recently. An awful lot of playstations and TVs came across the counter. What’s the bet the customers got a fraction of their worth? How is that morally different to no questions asked high interest rates?

    How about making dairies and convenience stores charge no more for groceries than Pak n Save? I bet there are a lot more dairies in Porirua than Khandallah.

  43. lprent 44

    😆 I think you have just found a moderation trap for common misspellings. I tossed a number of them in the moderation trap to encourage a “higher standard” of english a while ago.

    I don’t mind you saying that a particular author is a Labour stooges based on what they write. On that people can make up their own minds eg this post and others.

    What I dislike (intensely) is people saying that the site is run by Labour or the 9th floor or the EPMU or the SWFU or any organisation. I’m into permanent banning as a reward for that (but the other moderators are more charitable). At this point I think it is a case of “evolution in action” – ie stupidity deserves its own reward. Did I ever mention that I’m usually associated with being on the hard right of the NZLP?

    The group writing here is a diverse a group of ‘lefties’ as you can imagine, and it operates as a completely informal coalition sharing a site. I’m not sure that anyone knows who all of the other bods are, because people have come on in a string fashion.

    Amongst other reasons having a rep as being a party site makes it bloody hard to get good writers from the left. For this site to survive past the election and all of the associated excitement, we need to have quite a few more good posters. Just at present we’re probably leaning too heavily on Steve.

    That means that the site can remain dynamic without putting too high a burden on any author.

    Traffic is down a lot today. I think the excitement was the large number of posts, plus people reading those ‘adjusted’ billboards, plus people looking to see what they were.

  44. Bill 45

    insider.

    Pawn shops have ‘always’ existed. However, they were never viewed with the degree of acceptability they enjoy today.

    I see no difference in the morality of pawn shops, loan sharks or the Warehouse exploiting poverty and or ignorance.

    However, the loan shark has an added dimension insofar as things can spiral out of control for the borrower. Then ‘the boys’ come round.

    Dairies don’t have the buying power of Pak n Slave. They pay more for their stock in the first place.

  45. vto 46

    lordy knows the solution to this type of blight. Squash it down in one place and like pus it will ooze out in another. good luck you fullas. I’m off tomorrow to fill the chest freezer to the brim with whitebait…. mmmmmmm the good things in life

  46. Draco TB 47

    Interest free loans from WINZ wont work.

    Actually, it could work. You’d need to put in some other conditions on the loan itself such as 1) Can’t take out any other financial arrangements while on the loan and 2) Compulsory budgeting course.

  47. Paul Robeson 48

    Some people are happy to pay higher amounts over all if they can pay lower amounts per week. Even if they pay more overall it means they can have their tv and watch it too, cos they can pay the power bill. If there is a large risk on the loan and it is unsecured then higher interest rates are fair.

    This may compare favourably to renting things as an option.

    Also it depends what they are taking out that kind of loan for. Plenty of families have done the hand me downs, scrimp and save, put parents through retraining etc etc and not taken out that kind of finance to get tvs.

    I think there are already packages through WINZ for some useful things.

    I know I was always ropeable and F*&$KD off when my live-at-home-rich-parented student acquaintances who had done a period on the summer dole got loaned money to buy new clothes to go to interviews.

    Perhaps there are other similarly laudable schemes available?

  48. T-Rex 49

    “If there is a large risk on the loan and it is unsecured then higher interest rates are fair.”

    Technically, yes, but not really.

    Anything that justifies 8%/week shouldn’t be borrowed for. It is essentially preying on stupidity, which laws should protect against. The problem is that you can’t protect stupid people from unfair credit without them complaining that the law is denying them access to credit, and, as is mentioned above, getting the same credit illegally.

    Irish – exactly how do you see the mortgage rate approach working? You’re going to require that the lending on a house for someone who already has another house shoud be at the same rate as that on a Impreza WRX for someone who’s defaulted on their previous two loans? That is ridiculous.

    Credit rate is basically proportional to risk – there are just some risks that should not be taken. But people play russian roulette. Educate, legislate, and pray that eventually the concentration of morons reduces slightly.

  49. burt 50

    Using high interest finance to buy things like TV’s is clearly economic folly. Bill mentiones above “Standard commercial practice to charge over $600 for a $350 TV!”. The real cost of anything with interest rates circa 400%/pa would just be unbelievable. Yet people do it, they borrow expensive money to buy quickly deprecating assets.

    Quick cash to get a bill paid, well – OK so why is it necessary? How will the cycle be changed once it’s got to that? What other finance costs are soaking up the cashflow so that it has come to this? Where are the budgeting skills?

    I think more generous welfare is the answer, if people have trouble being responsible with their income and expenditure then they just need more cash. Simple as that. Put it on the tax payers tab – let the rich pricks pay for it – they can afford it.

  50. T-Rex 51

    “I think more generous welfare is the answer, if people have trouble being responsible with their income and expenditure then they just need more cash. Simple as that. Put it on the tax payers tab – let the rich pricks pay for it – they can afford it.”

    Are you f*cking kidding me?

    That is your solution?!?

    That is possibly the most retarded suggestion I’ve ever heard. Aren’t you generally an advocate of sustainability Burt? How do you see your brilliant scheme progressing into the future?

    Christ I hope that was a stunningly accurate parody of a left wing retard, but I’ve got a horrible feeling you’re serious.

  51. vto 52

    ha ha burt, yeah lets vote for the party thats gonna stick it to the rich pricks.

    but seriously seriously where on earth does it start and end – I mean the state apparently now needs to tell people what to eat (never used to), to exercise (never used to), how to manage money (ditto), how to raise their children, … It really is cradle to grave and is becoming more so.

    Is it becoming more so because of the very fact of state interference in the first place? I mean, the gummint is responsible for everything (with the correlation that the people are responsible for nothing).

    This topic exposes this rather large conundrum.

  52. Caustic Cullen thinks a rich prick bonked his blow up doll.

  53. vto 54

    Having said that though, the moneylender has, down through the centuries, been the one most in need of control.

    It used to be that the bank did not just take a mortgage over your home if you borrowed money but they took actual ownership. It took the authorities to stop that practice.

    Similarly the right of early repayment.

    Both of these practices, prior to intervention, were justified by the banks as ‘standard practice’ and ‘those are our rules’ (i.e. take it or leave it).

    I personally consider there are further practices of banks today that could do with pulling in – examples, changing lending policies on people at the drop of a hat, the ability to call up a loan at any time and for no reason.

    So despite my earlier post just up above, the moneylender is perhaps exempt from that rant due to their own past practices. If they can get away with it they will, and caveat emptor is not entirely applicable. Control is necessary.

  54. T-Rex 55

    That’s true with most things vto. Cigarette companies, fast foods etc are all just as good at suckering the consumer as money lenders.

    Parenting is different in terms of the motivations (laziness, shortsightedness, bad upbringing), but most people can agree on what good and bad parents do and that bad parents should be stopped from doing bad things. The whole “how to raise our kids” thing is crap – the people protesting are not complaining that there are standards on how to raise kids, just that those standards have now been changed to disallow hitting them.

    People still have vast freedoms to do pretty much whatever they want. They just regularly choose stupid things. And good things. And sometimes the state prevents them from doing good things with stupid rules, but I’d say in general the bias is heavily in the other direction.

  55. Dean 56

    “So despite my earlier post just up above, the moneylender is perhaps exempt from that rant due to their own past practices. If they can get away with it they will, and caveat emptor is not entirely applicable. Control is necessary.”

    If it was just about moneylenders and ridiculously high interest rates I’d agree with government intervention.

    However, as you pointed out, Labour has been concentrating on telling kids how to eat and everyone how to exercise and raise their children. Meanwhile, the education system has been played around with by successive governments to nobody’s benefit. When I was in primary school we were taught percentages and how to calculate them but nowadays the government is far too interested in politicising public servants to care about that.

    IBs call for a government interevention on this is just a natural progression on Labour and especially the Greens to regulate or ban anything they consider might cause people harm. By taking away personal responsibility for how much you pay on a loan they’re just catering to a lowest common demoninator – one they’re actually happy to keep poor. Instead of educating people about basic mathematics and interest rates, they’re happier to send out leaflets threatening them with eviction should National ever control the treasure benches.

    They are trading on fear, and IB is only too happy to play up to this. It suits his political agenda.

  56. Quoth the Raven 57

    So what Dean you’re going to vote for a bunch of conservatives to legislate away anything they see as immoral or perverse. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this here: National doesn’t bleive in personal responsibility. When National starts saying we’re going to end the prohibition on drugs, we’re going to allow euthanasia, we’re going to allow abortions on demand, we’re going allow polygamy and gay marriage, etc, etc, then you can start saying they believe in personal responsiblity. Until that time they’re still a bunch of conservatives willing to pander to christian extremists who don’t give a damn about freedom.

  57. burt 58

    T-Rex

    Yes it was intended an attempt at a parody of a left wing retard.

    I could speak for days on the issues of borrowing, welfare levels and their impact on lifestyle expectations etc. But really – if people are stupid enough (or cornered enough) to borrow at circa 400%/pa then they really need to take a good hard look at their spending to determine WTF went wrong.

    It’s valid to borrow for a house, an education, building a motorway, building a hospital or a power station. There are times it might be valid to borrow for a car, but do the maths on the full price paid vs the resale value at the end of it and it’s clearly economic folly. General rule of thumb – Toys should be paid for with cash – simple as that.

    Big screen TV’s are toys but how many low income or beneficiary families have them? What have the children gone without so the parents can play ‘keep up with the neighbours’ ?

  58. Dean 59

    “So what Dean you’re going to vote for a bunch of conservatives to legislate away anything they see as immoral or perverse. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this here: National doesn’t bleive in personal responsibility. When National starts saying we’re going to end the prohibition on drugs, we’re going to allow euthanasia, we’re going to allow abortions on demand, we’re going allow polygamy and gay marriage, etc, etc, then you can start saying they believe in personal responsiblity. Until that time they’re still a bunch of conservatives willing to pander to christian extremists who don’t give a damn about freedom.”

    I never said I was going to vote for National.

    Why is is an automatic reaction for you to assume that because someone has a problem with the way Labour and the Greens like to regulate people’s lives that they must automatically be right wing?

  59. T-Rex 60

    Burt – I apologise then. You did a good job 🙂

    Has anyone read the article on stuff?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4678589a11.html

    Worse still is the implication of the opinion poll:

    How do you make ends meet between paydays?

    1) If I run out of money I go without
    2) I borrow from friends or family
    3) My overdraft will cover it
    4) I borrow on credit cards
    5) I go to a money lender

    Uhhh…. where is the option for “I have a budget, and savings for emergencies” or more coloquially “I’m not completely inept”?

    Worst of all, is the poll result. 45% of people borrow on credit cards. 45% of people? Take a fail grade.

  60. Christopher Nimmo 61

    Dean – “When I was in primary school we were taught percentages and how to calculate them but nowadays the government is far too interested in politicising public servants to care about that.”

    If you’d been to a school recently, you’d know that that’s rubbish. As is most of the other crap about NCEA and schools in general. Incorrect marking? In which other system would you even find out?

    I could go on.

  61. burt 62

    Dean

    I agree with you 100% on that. Left and right is such a basic division, it fails to explain peoples attitudes across the spectrum or monetary policy, welfare, employment laws, personal responsibility, agreement or disagreement with the death penalty etc.

    This problem is perpetuated by the two party system. One must be left and one must be right eh… must be that way – how else can we easily categorise them? If the major parties were not so ‘major’ and only had about 35 seats each we would seem more education away from the simple ‘left vs right’ mentality that so suits the status quo of two big dominant parties. Two major parties with annoying minor parties forcing them to make occasional concessions to their respective secret agendas.

  62. Quoth the Raven 63

    Fair enough Dean. I just assumed based on your defense of Key in the other thread and use of the National party cliche ‘personal responsibility.’ I was talking about conservatives you can be right wing and not conservative by the way. Telling someone what’s best is not the same as regulating their lives. Telling people to exercise and eat well is not coming from some need of Labour’s to control people’s lives. It’s caring for the health of the people they represent. People weren’t told to eat well and exercise fifty years ago because most people did anyway. You want people to be taught about interest rates, by your logic about healthy lifestyle education, teaching people about interest rates is a way of trying to regulate their lives.

  63. Quoth the Raven 64

    burt – Dean said right. I said conservative. I wasn’t talking about the right left divide.

  64. burt 65

    Quoth the Raven

    Indeed, you are correct.

    I was actually only addressing the;

    “I never said I was going to vote for National.

    Why is is an automatic reaction for you to assume that because someone has a problem with the way Labour and the Greens like to regulate people’s lives that they must automatically be right wing?”

    Portion of his comment.

    So it appears I completely agree with you, and Dean, about the flimsiness of the Labour/National parliament domination. The one size fits all major party thing being a poor proxy to represent the people.

  65. Dean 66

    Raven:

    “Fair enough Dean. I just assumed based on your defense of Key in the other thread and use of the National party cliche ‘personal responsibility.’ I was talking about conservatives you can be right wing and not conservative by the way. Telling someone what’s best is not the same as regulating their lives. Telling people to exercise and eat well is not coming from some need of Labour’s to control people’s lives. It’s caring for the health of the people they represent. People weren’t told to eat well and exercise fifty years ago because most people did anyway. You want people to be taught about interest rates, by your logic about healthy lifestyle education, teaching people about interest rates is a way of trying to regulate their lives.”

    Well Quoth I think you’ll find people exercised a lot more and had a much worse diet by today’s standards. What I question is why it is a governments job to tell people how to do either. If it were simple guidelines and recommendations it would be fine, but banning certain foods in school tuckshops is, quite frankly, control freakishness.

    Teaching is not at all the same as banning or regulating.

    Christopher:

    “If you’d been to a school recently, you’d know that that’s rubbish. As is most of the other crap about NCEA and schools in general. Incorrect marking? In which other system would you even find out?”

    If you’d been around recent school leavers, you’d know very well how many could calculate say an 8 per cent interest rate, with or without a calculator.

  66. Swampy 67

    There’s a simple answer, and that is to not borrow money off loan sharks.

    If a restriction is put in place, where are people going to borrow money from? They are not going to get it off banks. And you and I know that Work and Income have strict criteria for making loans available.

  67. Swampy 68

    Labour’s roots were in the trade union movement, but since unionists are just a small part of the electorate, they now represent a wider range of people.

    The Greens and Jim Anderton claiming to represent those roots never get more than 5% of the vote these days, and all the unions still turn out for Labour.

  68. r0b 69

    If it were simple guidelines and recommendations it would be fine, but banning certain foods in school tuckshops is, quite frankly, control freakishness.

    Guidelines and recommendations have been around for decades. Obesity is increasing, obesity on the young is increasing.

    So given that guidelines and recommendations don’t work – which is worse, banning crap food in tuck shops, or doing nothing to tackle a health problem which is debilitating for individuals and very expensive for society (or if you prefer Dean, for the tax payer). Serious question Dean, guidelines and recommendations don’t work, so (phrasing it in terms that you understand) should the tax payer be footing the bill?

  69. Swampy 70

    Gambling addiction problems like anything of that nature only affects a small percentage of the irresponsible. Even those people are capable of keeping away from gambling, the problem is that they spend endless amounts of effort blaming everyone else. It’s like drug addicts who will blame not being able to get on the methadone programme as an excuse for committing burglaries,

    You’d have us have legislation to protect people from themselves. Yet if we locked them up on a remote island to do this, there’d be a huge protest.

    Who was it that in Australia yelled and screamed the loudest when John Howard proposed exactly that, measures to make sure Aboriginal people were spending their welfare money properly?

  70. burt 71

    rOb

    Please state all the things you think should be banned. You can’t just say ‘bad’ things. Unless of course there is a referendum where we all get to name 10 ‘bad things’ and the countries most unpopular 10 ‘bad things’ are banned. What is ‘bad’ for you might be just great for me, and I do like my pies and I’m pissed my kids can’t have the occasional one at school.

  71. Swampy 72

    “if a mechanism could be created to provide an equivalent service that was shown to be better for society, or potentially less damaging, would you support it?”

    What kind of mechanism would that be?

    I don’t borrow money myself because even if it was an interest free loan from Winz the repayments still have to be factored in. I don’t buy stuff I don’t need with money I don’t have.

    I think some of the people in this predicament have got their priorities wrong, why do they need to borrow the money in the first place?

  72. r0b 73

    Please state all the things you think should be banned.

    I’d like to ban stupidity Burt. Or at least make it painful!

    Goodnight.

  73. Swampy 74

    “Look at what the Greens are doing on gambling, an equally abhorrent form of preying on the poor/stupid/impulsive. It’s ruining families and communities, but the Government refuses to do anything about it.”

    The Greens are a bunch of neo-wowsers who are trying to create their new feelgood morality that says “private money is evil” and want to either force all the pokie money to be handed over to the state (this was rumoured to be the big plan a little while back) or shut down those evil gambling dens outright. Most of Greens policy is extreme left due to where the party and most of their MPs sit politically and as such it reflects a position that is very anti-business, anti-private.

    Let’s face it, a comparative few people who can’t control themselves are a good reason to shut down any sort of gambling? Or just about any hobby or recreation for that matter.

    Labour just wants to impose food controls in schools in order to give another excuse to employ even more bureacrats and give them even more control over things because that’s what Labour stands for. The school tuck shops will just close and all the kids will go to the fish n chip shop up the road.

  74. Felix 75

    swampy I was going to raise a couple of points with you but by the time I got to the end of your “thoughts” it was pretty clear that there’s no point. You’re as ridiculous as burt or d4j.

    Go to bed and stop wasting electricity.

  75. T-Rex 76

    “I’d like to ban stupidity Burt. Or at least make it painful!”

    Ironically enough, that’s exactly what 8%/week does…

    Perhaps it’s not fast enough feedback. Like you actually need each of these places to have a can of mace under the counter, and whenever anyone comes in to ask for a loan at 8%/week interest they give them a blast in the face.

    I mean christ knows nothing else will work. Did you read in the article the woman who borrowed $50 to top up her phone? But he, don’t worry, coz if she can’t pay it back she can just extend it! Phew. And then? That kind of stupid can clearly only be corrected using an “ow ow ow hot!” kind of response.

  76. Rob 77

    I hate loan sharks with a passion. Believe it or not I also hate the very sloppy rules we have around Finance companies and how they can gamble away the life savings of Investors.

    I also detest political interference in our Police Force did anyone see Close up TV 1 Project Equity
    Report written in 2003 on the South Auckland crime scene and what needed to be done to fix it. Forecasting the dire consequences if it wasn’t done.

    Then the message came from on High get every copy of those reports back we don’t want the public to know how bad the situation is and will be.

    Everything that it said would happen is happening I wonder how you would feel if you were a parent of one of those murdered since 2003 in South Auckland. I really hate political interference in our Police force!!

  77. IrishBill 78

    Rob, are you capable of making a comment without trying to veer the thread into another topic? I suggest you start your own blog so you can get all these things that trouble you off your chest.

    On the matter of the post I will say that the best way to deal with these sharks in the medium term is to increase benefits and wages (especially the minimum wage) but in the short term they need to be heavily regulated. Of course I would prefer if they were banned outright but I doubt that is a politically viable option.

  78. coge 79

    Cash loans as such have always been around. Probably the worlds second or third oldest profession are the providers of these services. Of course it seems shocking to the sensibilities of those of us who choose not to use them. But they are needed by many of the less fortunate, for many diverse reasons including basic necessity. So now the Govt considers legislating against such arrangements, what are these people supposed to do? I contend
    that a broadbrushed approach to this would be an oppressive move by any govt.

    Of course the fees and rates are high, this all makes sense as the greater the risk the higher the reward. Make no mistake these are very high risk lending arrangements for the lender. Without the prospect of reward, they would not undertake the work. Remember a good deal of the costs go towards underwriting the bad loans, chasing the debtors, & vast administrative costs on small unsecured lending. Broadbrushed Govt legislation would likely see the rise of criminal blackmarket lending, which nobody wants to see.

  79. IrishBill says: Dad. You were banned for a week and warned about breaking that ban twice. Now you are banned for two weeks.

  80. randal 81

    what is winz there for? these people should be being helped by winz and not being gouged by these predators. oh thats right. national is going to privatise winz and then they will get all the interest to add to their bonuses. the bonusses they get for not giving beneficiarys their full entitlement.

  81. coge 82

    Randal. Do yourself some credit & undertake some reasoned debate.
    I await with anticipation.

  82. burt 83

    T-rex

    randal picks up where my comment @ 7:49pm last night left off.

  83. Bill 84

    My personal favourite solution to loan sharks would be to knee cap them without the option of rolling up their trouser legs first.

    However, that’s not going to happen. Effective regulation probably won’t happen either.

    What if the victimised communities started having a spate of fires in the neighbourhood? Say, loan shark offices got burned in a kind of grass roots poetic justice thing?

    Insurance premiums for them would sky rocket and they would ‘disappear’.

    Meanwhile, raise the benefit levels and extend wff to include unemployed parents.

    For anyone delusional enough to believe you can effectively budget on the benefit, please, get real. The benefit is meant to be a safety net. If large numbers of people are frequenting loan sharks, then it is surely a sign that the time for some net repairs is way over due.

    I’m a wee bit disappointed that no-one has picked up on the fact that large retailers are also preying on poverty to increase profit margins. Oh well.

  84. IrishBill 85

    I’m a wee bit disappointed that no-one has picked up on the fact that large retailers are also preying on poverty to increase profit margins. Oh well.

    Bill, if you want to write a post on this and send it to us we may consider it.

  85. Billy 86

    Legislation will not stop people making stupid decisions, underground loan sharks anyone?

  86. oldhippy 87

    I don’t think people criticising the interest rates per se have really thought this through. These businesses mostly operate on very small loans, $50 here, $100 there. While as a percentage the interest rate seems crazy, as an absolute amount on a small short-term loan it’s not a lot. To use the example from the article of a $50 loan over 10 weeks, they only get $40 for the overhead of setting up and taking weekly cash payments for a $50 loan and taking the very high risk of not recovering it.

    If there is a cap on interest rates of say 50% pa then the interest on the $50 loan for 10 weeks is roughly $5. No-one is going to do it for that. The lenders will either go out of business or find a loophole, and the customers will go to the leg-breaking kind of loansharks instead.

  87. Billy 88

    Oi, Billy. We have a passing off problem. Get another nick.

  88. oldhippy 89

    And for the hilarious collection of loopholes already uncovered by the Queensland legislation mentioned in the Dom Post article see http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,24187752-3102,00.html

    Fast Access Finance, a chain with 31 Queensland stores, offered a loan arrangement where it was selling “real diamonds” through $250 no-interest loans.

    The customer immediately on-sold the diamond to a “completely unrelated” company for $125 cash.

  89. randal 90

    coge dont hold your breath. I dont flap my gums debating with fools who wont see the nub of the problem. if you want debate go and stand outside cash advances in porirua and talk to the peopel going in there about what they need the money for.

  90. IrishBill 91

    OH, every law gets worked around or broken to some extent. The idea we shouldn’t regulate this industry because some people might find a way around it is absurd. At the very least stronger regulation would make it harder for these lenders to access their victims (like not having them across the road from W&I).

    I walked down Courtney Place the other day and saw one of these agencies advertising:

    “Need some quick cash for a big night out on Courtney Place? Come see us”

    You can’t advertise cigarettes like that.

  91. coge 92

    Randal, if things were hunky-dory in Labour land, there would be no need for these cash loans. But that will never happen, regardless of the administration. The businesses go where they are needed. They always have. Maybe you could stand outside WINZ & offer a solution to those who have been turned down additional help for basic living needs. One that doesn’t involve law breaking.
    I’m not as far removed from folk in these situations as you might imagine.

  92. burt 93

    coge

    The only people who are far removed from these people are the people who think welfare will solve the problem. Que randal’s next comment.

  93. Burt – it’s “cue” not “que”. “Que” isn’t even a word. And you’re calling Randal stupid? Stones. Glasshouses. Live in.

  94. Tane 95

    “Que’ isn’t even a word

    It is in Spanish, and it’s my general response whenever I read one of burt’s comments.

  95. I’m more of a WTF??? guy when it comes to Burt’s comments…

  96. bill brown 97

    I’m sorry, he’s from Barcelona.

  97. Paul Williams 98

    Tane said:

    David Lange did more damage to South Auckland than any Labour leader in history.

    I’m not sure what you mean by this, perhaps you could elaborate so that then I can disagree with precision rather than in general (I spent the first 17 years of my life in Mangere during which Lange was the local member).

  98. Dean 99

    r0b:

    “Guidelines and recommendations have been around for decades. Obesity is increasing, obesity on the young is increasing.

    So given that guidelines and recommendations don’t work – which is worse, banning crap food in tuck shops, or doing nothing to tackle a health problem which is debilitating for individuals and very expensive for society (or if you prefer Dean, for the tax payer). Serious question Dean, guidelines and recommendations don’t work, so (phrasing it in terms that you understand) should the tax payer be footing the bill?”

    So, if education on the matter fails then instead of looking at why it’s not working – given that it’s pretty obvious what overeating or eating the wrong kinds of foods in excess does to someone – we should simply move on to banning?

    We shouldn’t look at why the education isn’t working and improve it?

    r0b, I think you just enjoy the control aspect.

    Imagine if the same kind of energy, education and advertising that smoking recieves was applied to the obesity epidemic. But I think we both know why this isn’t being done.

    Anti-smoking promotion is clearly negative, and demonstrates the health issues involved. It does not seek to pull any punches. The most we see on obesity is positive reinforcement, because people are too scared to offend anyone. Of course there are a small percentage of people who are overweight despite an excellent diet and plenty of exercise, but these are very much in the minority, despite what some homeopaths or other quacks have to say. I would put it to you that the majority of obese people choose to be so because they are not being properly educated, because they know the taxpayer will have to foot the bill and – dare I say it – because of cultural influences.

    Banning food in school tuckshops is not going to stop this, or even make much of a dent in it.

  99. Swampy 100

    Pity you didn’t respond Felix cos I’ll just have to assume you are unaware the Greens are communists and assorted fellow travellers from way back. It’s no surprise at all they want to ban so many things, especially many things to do with business activity.

    Most of what they are harping on with food and smoking and what have you is codeword stuff for attacking “greedy corporates” and what not which in turn is pretty much just communists/socialists who hate private business.

    Now, if there was anything else you meant by that rejoinder, feel free to elaborate…

  100. MikeE 101

    “I walked down Courtney Place the other day and saw one of these agencies advertising:

    “Need some quick cash for a big night out on Courtney Place? Come see us’

    You can’t advertise cigarettes like that.”

    If you are dumb enough tto take a loan out to go drinking, you deserve a bloody high interest rate.

    You can’t legislate stupidity

  101. Swampy 102

    “vto
    September 3, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    but seriously seriously where on earth does it start and end – I mean the state apparently now needs to tell people what to eat (never used to), to exercise (never used to), how to manage money (ditto), how to raise their children, It really is cradle to grave and is becoming more so.

    Is it becoming more so because of the very fact of state interference in the first place? I mean, the gummint is responsible for everything (with the correlation that the people are responsible for nothing).”

    Where the rot has set in is the state telling parents how/how not to bring up their kids and other not so subtle ways of undermining parental authority. Once that’s well established then the way is open for all this other stuff, the state telling people what to eat, exercise and so on. Parents are just breeding and financial support units who don’t have a primary role in teaching their children the things of life any more. The state can now take over all the educational stuff and churn out kids attuned to their ideology.

    The fact is that the education system is a poor way of delivering these lessons in life because it is less than one third of a child’s life. They spend a helluva lot more time in their families learning stuff there than they do at school. The other problem with using the education system to deliver these messages is that it crowds out the stuff the education system is supposed to do, like the 3 Rs.

    Back to topic… if you think the government should regulate just about everything that moves just to protect poor people from their own inability to function properly in society, then go for the obvious solutions, like giving people food vouchers, electricity vouchers or whatever for their basic needs each week. So far as I can tell, practically everyone on the left of politics is vehemently opposed to any such idea. But you are seeking to ban everything in sight for the sake of an irresponsible minority. Why not just deal with the irresponsibility directly instead of punishing everyone else.

  102. Hawkeye 103

    RE:-
    When National starts saying we’re going to end the prohibition on drugs, we’re going to allow euthanasia, we’re going to allow abortions on demand, we’re going allow polygamy and gay marriage, etc, etc, then you can start saying they believe in personal responsiblity.

    Reading along I was struck by this comment. Can you tell me which party is saying this please. I want to make sure no one I know votes for them!

  103. Robinsod 104

    Oh Christ its the libertarians. I hope you don’t walk on my footpaths or drive on my roads ‘cos that’s theft bro. And that would make you a thief.

    cap: “rambling mission” – pretty much sums the rightie trolls up perfectly.

  104. Dean 105

    Robinsod”

    “Oh Christ its the libertarians. I hope you don’t walk on my footpaths or drive on my roads ‘cos that’s theft bro. And that would make you a thief.”

    Oh dear, it’s the communists. I hope you don’t earn more than your neighbour or drive a better car than somebody in Otara ‘cos that’s being a top hat wearing capitalist bro. And that would make you a hypocrite.

  105. lenore 106

    The media grabs a trivia reason for borrowing money, no surprise really from them. I have worked with clients who have been crippled in debt, one whose children was going to inherit his debt to his dispair. Why did they borrow?

    Funerals was often a reason and I think myself the cost of a funeral can be expensive to anyone as most of us want to provide a good send off for our loved ones. Funerals are a sudden one off huge expense and coming up with the cash when the banks are not interested – leads on to the money lenders.

  106. T-Rex 107

    Lenore – You can’t “inherit” debt.

    I’d hope my loved ones would feel no compulsion to have an expensive funeral if I died. I’ll be dead, and the last thing I’d want is for them to wind up with a large financial burden on top of everything else. Burn me up and throw me off the top of a mountain and I’ll be happy. Anyone who is goign to be dissapointed because they were just turning up for beers and cake isn’t particularly valuable to me anyway.

    Whatever the reason is, money lenders lend to people who shouldn’t be lent to – it’s not in the best interests of a borrower open to exploitation.

    Borrowing without a realistic plan to repay is financial suicide. There is no way you can possibly not end up f*cked. I think most of the problem is that people get into debts with repayment periods of several years, while their personal financial horizon is usually about 6 days.

  107. Bill 108

    Just heard wind of a case where a person bought a car priced at $8000. Entered into a five year deal….$27 000. But here’s the clincher. They were somehow persuaded to give over $1000 so that a ‘kill switch’ could be installed to be used if they missed payments.

    Now, that’s not loan sharks, just commercial traders.

  108. Bill 109

    T-Rex

    Although you can’t inherit debt in a generational sense you can certainly inherit debt from a former partner. It pretty common for a pile of debts to become apparent (because the ex was a gambler for example)

    And the repo guys are beating a path to the front door and………

  109. Matthew Pilott 110

    Bill – was the switch for the car, or the person? If the latter, I think that might be illegal.

  110. Bill 111

    Tempted to say it should have been…or maybe no point ’cause the switch was thrown way back.

  111. Felix 112

    Swampy you’re a retard. I said there was no point engaging with you and you’ve demonstrated that beautifully.

    If only there were a blog dedicated to right-wing Act-style libertarian bullshit that you freaks could all piss off to.

    Oh hang on, there are heaps of them but no-one’s the slightest bit interested in them. Gee I wonder why…

  112. T-Rex 113

    Bill – Fair point, though Lenore did say children.

    Your example isn’t inheritance of debt anyway. That’s being party to a debt you’re not aware of!

    And I’m not actually sure how that works legally. I’m pretty sure the debt is void if the person signing the borrowing agreement didn’t have sole signing authority for the security being used.

    Of course, most people aren’t that fussy about signing authority with commonly held relationship assets. I probably wouldn’t be…

    Sad thing to happen.

  113. Swampy 114

    Well that’s your problem Felix. You may not agree with what I write but there is a lot more substance to it than just flaming because you don’t like my politics.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 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
    7 hours 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
    8 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    12 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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 ...
    19 hours 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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, ...
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    5 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    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
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    10 hours 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
    13 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    19 hours ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    2 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 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
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    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
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago