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Not the Dunne thing…

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, December 13th, 2011 - 46 comments
Categories: alcohol - Tags:

Peter Dunne, holder of the critical asset sales vote, has – according to Alcohol Action NZ spokesperson Professor Doug Sellman – “deliberately suppressed” the biggest and best survey on Kiwi attitudes to drink legislation this country has (not) seen.

82% want strong restrictions on alcohol advertising (half want it banned altogether).  56% want to see the price of cheap booze increased.

And no wonder – research shows that by far the biggest lever on reducing drinking (and in particular problem drinking) is price.  And National refuse to pull that lever.

The second most effective thing?  Reducing advertising.  National are doing nothing there either.

Lianne Dalziel is unimpressed:

“John Key’s approach to alcohol law reform has been driven by a desire not to offend the vast majority of responsible drinkers rather than trying to deal to and minimise the harm alcohol causes in society.”

“That’s why suppression of the Health Sponsorship Council’s research — showing the public are on the side of major reform — is so appalling.

“Quite clearly Kiwis are not in tune with the John Key-Peter Dunne softly, softly, weak-kneed approach. They want decisive action to curb alcohol abuse, but, for reasons best known only to itself, the Government decided to conceal this research at the time when it could have done most good.”

So why was the report shelved?  According to Dunne it was to save $10,000 that it would need to be peer-reviewed.  Quite why it was commissioned if they weren’t willing to pay the final cost is unclear.  Or why they couldn’t have sent it to MPs un-peer-reviewed if cost was such a problem in the $12,500,000,000 health budget.

Dunne’s other excuse was that it just agreed with other things in the public domain.  But there’s never been a survey like this, so it is important extra evidence of Kiwi attitudes.

It’s a poor show.  But then, Ohariu will realise Dunne’s responsibility for the loss of our assets, so we only need put up with the hair for 3 more years.  Just a shame how much damage he’ll let National do in that time.

46 comments on “Not the Dunne thing…”

  1. vto 1

    How does putting the price of alcohol up affect those for whom price is not a factor? Putting the price up only affects the poor. Typical.

    Just like fags.

    • Ben Clark 1.1

      It affects the drinking habits of the young (who are poor) and alcoholics (who buy greatest volume) more than anyone else. Yes it will affect the poor more, but it also reduces the drinking of most across society. Alcohol is far cheaper compared to income than it ever has been in history, so its not too great a surprise that we’re drinking far more as a society…

      Of course changing societal attitudes is the ultimate in fixing drinking problems, but that’s a whole lot harder. And while John Key regularly makes comments about having a few beers and organises photo ops of him drinking (with Prince William etc), he only perpetuates the drinking culture he was telling us during the election that he wants to change. Not that I don’t like the odd drink myself, but just saying: actions speak louder than words John.

      • Puddleglum 1.1.1

        Of course changing societal attitudes is the ultimate in fixing drinking problems, but that’s a whole lot harder.

        There’s nothing hard about changing attitudes. Attitudes follow, they do not lead.

        This needs to be more widely understood. Note that in the 1980s radical structural changes occurred in the economy – over the intervening decades, New Zealanders’ attitudes have conformed to this new reality, as anyone should expect (much as I regret those attitudinal changes).

        Humans are ‘adaptable’ – far too adaptable for their own good, at times. The aim should be to produce structures which ‘socially engineer’ outcomes that are favourable for human beings (as opposed to the 1980s ‘reforms’).

        I should add that collective social engineering is much to be preferred to its alternative; engineering individuals (e.g, through policing, prisons, therapy, pills, etc.). Social engineering is much less coercive and should be proudly promoted by all humane people.

        ‘Collective social engineering’ is also called ‘democracy’ – not that you’d notice, given the former term’s bad press.

      • Rich 1.1.2

        Alcoholics and the poor can deal with more expensive booze in a range of ways other than by cutting drinking:
        – spend less on essentials
        – drink at home or in the street rather than in bars
        – drink cheaper product
        – drink homebrewed or bootlegged product

        Alcohol is far cheaper compared to income than it ever has been in history

        Have a look at the “Gin Craze” of 18th century London. It was fairly cheap then, maybe 1/3000 of annual earnings for enough to get drunk on.

    • Ianupnorth 1.2

      The only really effective way of achieving behavioural change (not only in the poor, but in the rich too) is via price.
       
      You can limit availability of purchase, e.g. put out of view, reduce hours, etc, helps short term, but the change in behaviour is minimal.
       
      You can ‘educate’, ‘scare’, ‘publicise’ as much as you want – just remember the alcohol industry (and food, pharmaceutical and similar industries) have at least 200 times the advertising spend of the whole of the Ministry of Health has, example Coke spend 200 times the amount of the ministry on advertising per annum, and that is just one company.
       
      Only making dangerous things hard to afford is the only way to reduce its usage (NB I like a beer and a wine too, but I am happy for the price to go up if it stops kids being killed)
       

      • Ben 1.2.1

        “The only really effective way of achieving behavioural change (not only in the poor, but in the rich too) is via price.”

        You only mean that in relation to this particular issue, surely?

        To say that the only road to behavioural change is by manipulating prices is to suggest that the effect of economics supersedes the effect of everything else. Economists like to believe that – they like to feel important – but in the real world, that’s not even close to true.

        • Ianupnorth 1.2.1.1

          It works with tobacco, it works with unhealthy food, it works with alcohol.
           
          When petrol prices go up people are more likely to seek alternative measures. What I was getting at is that education and publicity/scare tactics don’t work, prices rises do.

          • Vicky32 1.2.1.1.1

            It works with tobacco, it works with unhealthy food, it works with alcohol.

            I assure you that it doesn’t work with tobacco! That being said, I think it would with alcohol… it’s physically impossible to smoke more than  a certain (small) amount – but it is sadly, perfectly possible to drink enough alcohol to kill oneself or others.
            No one ever went berserk under the effect of a pack of cigarettes and killed their spouse, or crashed a car, or burnt a house down. These things and other bits of ghastliness happen all the time with alcohol. Drinking is socially acceptable, smoking isn’t – a colleague confessed today, that after a Christmas party last week, at which I had explained why I drinking a Mango Lassi and not alcohol (because to quote Suzanne Paul, “once (I) start, I don’t want to stop”) she went home, poured herself into bed and realised that she didn’t even remember getting home. I refrained from smoking through out the party (except for the time I went out on to the wharf!) but almost everyone drank happily. Double standard, what?

  2. tc 2

    Key has alcohol interests and dunne has nat party interests to keep his baubles of power…..end of story.

    Geez labour sure has spawned a bunch of rat bags over the years, dunne, the act party, tamaheri etc……whereas with the Nats they rise to the top.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Right wing disingenuousness reaches new heights of hypocrisy over this issue. One the one hand, we must punish the undeserving poor with food stamps and demeaning micro-management of their social security cheque so they don’t waste it on booze and baccy. On the other hand, when the profits of corporate drug dealers are threatened, we must fanatically die in a ditch to protect the right of the poor to be able to afford to buy large amounts of cheap booze and tobacco.

    Right wing middle class “responsible” drinkers complaining about putting up the price of booze is the ultimate expression of neo-liberal selfishness in my view. heavy drinkers and young binge drinkers are the most price sensitive drinkers of all. All research tells us this. Stopping supermarket sales and higher prices would have a dramatic impact on crime and health statistics. But no. We can’t do that. Because if we did, some booze baron wouldn’t make as much money and some arsehole in Remuera or Fendalton doesn’t want to pay $5 more for their cleanskin sav – and to hell with everyone else.

  4. Tom Gould 4

    It is just plain ‘common sense’ to legislate in favour of the booze barons while lying to the public, isn’t it? After 27 years in the trough, that’s just how he rolls.

  5. If alcohol law was to be reformed by popular opinion what would we end up with?

    How much would the price of alcohol go up?
    How much would the sale of alcohol be restricted?
    What would be the purchase age? The drinking age?

    Isn’t the lower socio-economic demographic over represented in smoking statistics after heavy regulation?

    • rosy 5.1

      Who knows? How about we get all the research out in the open so we can have the conversation that’s sorely needed?

      Btw how much does alcohol affect the violence against children you’re so passionate about preventing? How about we have that conversation included in the mix as well?

      • Pete George 5.1.1

        I agree rosy.

        Alcohol is a major adverse influence in all violence – and quite involved in poverty (along with other drugs).

        Personally it wouldn’t bother me if the price of alcohol was doubled, but I have no idea if the positive effects would outweigh the adverse effects.

        It would reduce consumption, but by how much? And with the target (problem) drinkers would it make make much difference? It’s possible it would add more financial stress to alcohol stress.

        Whatever we try the aim needs to be to change our binge drinking culture, our escapism culture, our blame-something-else culture.

        But we need to maintain some degree of socialisation – if it were possible to ban alcohol altogether would that push us more into our bubble living?

        • mickysavage 5.1.1.1

          Personally it wouldn’t bother me if the price of alcohol was doubled, but I have no idea if the positive effects would outweigh the adverse effects.
           
          Well educate yourself Petey.  Go and talk to Jenny Connor at Otago University and find out from her.  Until you do know something, with the utmost respect, you are not qualified to comment.

          • Pete George 5.1.1.1.1

            I’d like to talk to Jenny about it, and a lot of other people locally. But on the basis of your claim that I’m not qualified to comment that would rule out most blog comments wouldn’t it? Does your blog have a ‘must be qualified to comment’ rule?

            No one knows what would happen if the price of alcohol doubled. There would be predictable consequences and unintended consequences. History has shown what can happen if it is banned altogether, and that didn’t seem to reduce violence.

        • rosy 5.1.1.2

          PG – you clearly see the need for information on alcohol to be available for proper policy and decision-making. So what is your opinion on some relevant information about what NZers think about alcohol being with-held for, it seems, political purposes?

          • Pete George 5.1.1.2.1

            Has it been withheld? For political purposes?

            Peter Dunne says he never tried to deliberately suppress a survey about attitudes towards alcohol.

            “That’s simply a lie. I have covered up nothing because I’m in no position to cover it up,” he says. “I’m not responsible for the report. I don’t have responsibility for the Health Sponsorship Council. I can’t tell them what to do or what not to do.”

            “Why they didn’t produce it publicly on their website, as I had anticipated they would, is something they need to answer not me.”

            While the Health Sponsorship Council declined to be interviewed, a spokesman told 3 News it was not the council’s responsibility to publish the survey.

            http://www.3news.co.nz/Peter-Dunne-responds-to-cover-up-claims/tabid/419/articleID/236274/Default.aspx#ixzz1gM0frWDn

            Who is responsible for releasing the survey results?

            • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Dunne is responsible, Pete. He’s the one who stopped it being released by turning off the funding tap. Muldoon used to do the same sort of shit; play ball or no money for your organisation. What a creep Peter Dunne turns out to be and how very very far away his is from your ideals of openness and transparency. You must be gutted to be so badly let down.

              • Dunne says he expected it to be released anyway. It appears as if it’s been released, Stuff are quoting from it. Someone must be responsible for that.

                • McFlock

                  If he really expected it to be released unedited, unproofed, and unreviewed, then he’s a moron.
                  Otherwise he’s just a liar.

            • rosy 5.1.1.2.1.2

              My guess is the Board reports to the Minister and the Minister approves, or doesn’t approve the report/recommendation. What’s yours?

              • I don’t know who is responsible for it. Tony Ryall? Why isn’t he being asked about it?

                • rosy

                  Maybe because it didn’t get that far because the necessary funding wasn’t there? Which brings me back to the original point…..what’s your opinion about this potentially valuable information being with-held?

                  • I’d prefer as much information as possible was made public.

                    From what I’ve seen of the survey it doesn’t tell us anything much new, but it does add weight to what is already known.

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      So why do you think Dunne suppressed it? And what are you going to do about it? It would be a terrific blow for democracy if you, the senior leader of UF in the south, called for his resignation on a point of principle. Though I imagine you’d have to explain to him exactly what principle means, because it’s not a concept that Dunne appears to be familiar with.

                    • rosy

                      I’d prefer as much information as possible was made public.

                      Exactly. Now… as for Peter Dunne, he seems to have a different view.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      From what I’ve seen of the survey it doesn’t tell us anything much new…

                      Really? See, I read it and it told me a hell of a lot that I never knew. For example I was thoroughly surprised to find that most people supported raising the price of alcohol.

                      It appears as if it’s been released…

                      Yes, but after the enquiry was finished rather than it being available before. Timing is everything as they say.

                      BTW, I’m also pretty sure that what you said was word for word what Dunne said when he got caught suppressing the report.

    • Vicky32 5.2

      Isn’t the lower socio-economic demographic over represented in smoking statistics after heavy regulation?

      Are you being a wee bit precious here? Snobbery? I have observed that a lot of anti-smoking hysteria is simply snobbery. “We” drink “nice wines”, the “Lower orders smoke and drink DB”…
       

  6. Tigger 6

    Hmmm, Dunne did mention how much he likes wine at a public meeting…

    Seriously though, this is creepy and disgusting. Dunne, resign.

    • Jackal 6.1

      Approximately 1000 New Zealander’s die each year from alcohol-related causes… Dunnes despicable decision to hide relevant information has contributed to these deaths and he should resign.

  7. Campbell Larsen 7

    The Nats are desperate to maintain alcohols status as the only legal recreational drug in NZ – despite the fact that hands off nothing to see here approach means that people will continue to be needlessly harmed. The hipocracy of the war on drugs being pushed by a party that is knee deep in booze and tied up with links to the barons is astounding. When we grow up and adopt a rational and reasonable approach to these issues? No time soon with these clowns at the helm.

  8. Pete 8

    National will never do anything that might adversely affect the profits of Lion, Dominion Breweries or any other part of the hospitality industry. The only measure of any success in reducing alcohol harm in NZ will be the downward trend of the share prices of these companies.

    • What about Labour? Did they raise the purchase age? Did they restrict supermarket sales? Did they ban alcopops?

      It’s not a single party problem, it’s a wide ranging political and social issue.

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        It’s not a single party problem, it’s a wide ranging political and social issue.

        Yes, but it was Dunne who had responsibility to see that this specific report was published in a timely fashion. He chose to withhold the funds.

        That’s his responsibility and you really can’t duck that.

        • Pete George 8.1.1.1

          He’s saying it’s not his responsibility.

          “I’m not responsible for the report. I don’t have responsibility for the Health Sponsorship Council. I can’t tell them what to do or what not to do.”

          “Why they didn’t produce it publicly on their website, as I had anticipated they would, is something they need to answer not me.”

          While the Health Sponsorship Council declined to be interviewed, a spokesman told 3 News it was not the council’s responsibility to publish the survey.

          http://www.3news.co.nz/Peter-Dunne-responds-to-cover-up-claims/tabid/419/articleID/236274/Default.aspx#ixzz1gM0frWDn

          Who is responsible for releasing the survey results?

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.1

            As has been repeatedly pointed out to you Dunne withheld the necessary $10k funding to ensure the report was properly published.

            Just banging it up on a website is not the same thing.

            Or do you think the Health Council… having paid to produce this highly significant report, was content just to idly sit on it?

            • McFlock 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Just banging it up on a website is not the same thing.

              lol

              Maybe pete believes that his web-jizz carries the same weight as a large-scale, peer-reviewed piece of research.

      • Ianupnorth 8.1.2

        See 1.2 – no party wants to be seen as nanny state – a label used (incorrectly) against Labour, as they actually wanted to improve health and well-being, not just fix ill health like the Nats.

  9. randal 9

    the big reform is that alcohol will not be sold between the hours of 4am and 7am.
    whipty friggin doo.
    thats really making a difference to the all pervasive climate of violence and loose behaviour in noo zillun.

    • Bored 9.1

      To think he was head of ALAC years back when he lost his “job” as Pres at Canterbury Uni Student Assoc. Back then his modus operandi was to get the clubs to vote for him by promising them funding from the student association fees for club purposes. Remember it well. Seems nothing has changed, he is still for sale. That means that the assets Shonkey wants to sell will be weighed up against the job and benefits to Peter.

  10. Augustus 10

    How anyone can regard Doug Selman as a voice of reason is beyond me. The man is a zealot in the truest sense. A bit like the Sensible Sentencing Trust in that he has one simple solution for a very complex problem.
    It seems that there is broad agreement in these comments about price increases, but I don’t believe that the divide in opinion is political, ie Labour vs National or Left vs Right, beyond the majority position each party has arrived at within itself (not a problem in one-man bands of course). I would be very surprised if there was a 100% majority in Labour for price increases and similarly 100% against them in National, hence alcohol affairs usually being subject to a consience vote in parliament.
    Instead, alcohol and its abuse are cultural and societal phenomenons and need to be approached on this level, bearing in mind that we have descendents of cultures other than protestant presbitereans here. “Price signals” might influence behaviour, but in more than one way. They would cause a rise in home brewing (lower quality alcohol – more health problems), and they would, in my case at least, make me consider to vote for a party campaigning against them (so long as its not National).
    As for advertising, one could think that ALAC has never heard of the old meme that there is no such thing as bad publicity, with its constant ridiculous preaching on TV every night. It just follows the “cater to the biggest idiot” approach politics, too, seems to take every time.

    Having said so, Dunne should have released the report.

  11. ropata 11

    all you naughty kiwis out there

    tobacco, cannabis, and bzp are bad

    booze, hookers, and casinos are fine though

  12. A BERL report on the cost of alcohol-caused harm to our society; http://www.berl.co.nz/874a1.page

    Guess who picks up the tab for it all?

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    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    3 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week 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
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago