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Novichok II

Written By: - Date published: 12:39 pm, July 6th, 2018 - 48 comments
Categories: International, uk politics - Tags:

Moscow’s using the UK as a dumping ground for poison after the hospitalisation of two unemployed people with a room in a homeless hostel.

At least, that’s what the UK’s Home Secretary is saying these days. And Russia must explain what the hell is going on, in spite of the fact that Russia has previously been accused of losing control of its stocks of nerve agents, even though the OPCW verified the destruction of the Russian Federation’s chemical weapons in 2017. Meanwhile, no evidence connecting the Russian government to the poisoning of the Skripals has been produced.

As far as I can gather, we’re to believe that a team of highly trained Russian door handle poisoners, swabbed the door handle of the Skripal’s home in Salisbury…and then drove away along B roads instead of taking the obvious A roads out of there, and wound up in Amesbury about eight miles away, where they threw away the container containing the poison. Something like that anyway.

And sure, it’s possible.

Then again, it’s also possible that back in May, when the Director General of the OPCW claimed in an interview with the New York Times, that he’d been informed that up to 100g of Novichok was kicking about (that up to 100g may have been used in Salisbury), that his information was accurate enough. The entire story was subsequently pulled (not amended or updated) and the OPCW issued a statement saying there was no way they could possibly ascertain the quantities of agent used in the Salisbury attack. And that seems reasonable enough.

But not knowing what quantity of an agent was used in a particular incident, and not knowing the quantity of an agent available for use are two entirely different matters.

Back in May, I did a post on the Guardian’s reporting of the Üzümcü interview. Brigid commented that she’d sought to find the name of who-ever told Üzümcü there was up to 100g of Novichok by dropping a line to the journalist who interviewed him. She didn’t get a response. I also dropped the first of two emails to the OPCW asking who had given that information to Üzümcü. But apparently there was nothing to add to the OPCW press release that followed off the back of Üzümcü’s interview.

But I can’t see why Üzümcü would pull the figure of 100g from out of his arse, and am persuaded to think he was indeed told, by a source he’d consider to be reliable or reputable, that authorities were looking at that sort of quantity. The thing is, that removes the Russian Federation from the picture. Obviously.

And then we are simply left asking whose inventory of Novichok is shy by some 100g. That’s who has lost control of their chemical weapons. That’s who has a lot of explaining to do. And I’d be thinking that who-ever told Üzümcü about that 100g (if their information is accurate) leads right back to where we need to go.

Porton Down, the UK’s chemical research facility, is a few miles away btw. And I think I’m right in saying that it must have samples of Novichok or else it could never have identified the substance used in Salisbury. Which may or may not have anything to do with anything. Much like the Russian Federation may or may not have anything to do with anything.

Whatever it is that has happened, is happening, or will happen, I do wish journalists and the employers they work for were less accommodating to official spin; that they were a lot more critical, curious and tenacious.

48 comments on “Novichok II”

  1. McFlock 1

    Fewer cameras on B roads.
    You don’t need physical comparators to identify a chemical structure.
    As for whose inventory is shy by 100 grams or milligrams, that relies on them reporting their full production of it, no?

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    And I think I’m right in saying that it must have samples of Novichok or else it could never have identified the substance used in Salisbury.

    That would be failed logic.

    How to test for any known chemical would be written down. All they’d have to do is to perform the needed tests and see if they get the noted reaction. No need to have their own source of Novichok.

    • Bill 2.1

      Failed logic and incomplete knowledge or lack of knowledge. Two different things Draco.

  3. Drowsy M. Kram 3

    F*****g commies Ruskies, is no one safe? #RussianToJudgement

    http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/land-at-porton-down-masterplan-2007-february.pdf

    “Masterplan” 😉

    A workforce of ~4000 in 2007. Imagine one disgruntled/unwell employee or former employee – the stuff of fiction?

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    Your assertion that Porton Down must have had samples of Novichoks and that someone would be able to abstract 100g from there is fanciful.

    Russia is the only country known to have possessed significant stocks, and it also had lax security for some of them, which precipitated the US funded destruction program.

    Your Porton Down scenario requires two steps – both creation of Novichok agents, and someone getting them out undetected. Small quantities of rare nerve agents created for specific work in a research facility are probably not as accessible as poorly warehoused weapon stockpiles. The Russian scenario only requires someone to have abstracted some of stocks already known to have existed – one step.

    Only a perverse determination to exculpate Russia prefers the more complex explanation given the absence of evidence.

    • Bill 4.1

      Gee Stuart. Where is it that I “assert [..] someone would be able to abstract 100g (of Novickok from Porta Down)”?

      Don’t bother looking, because the fact is that I haven’t asserted any such fucking thing.

      Where are you getting the information that allows you to assert that” Russia is the only country known to have possessed significant stocks”?

      Why are you asserting there are stocks of various(?) nerve and chemical weapons in the Russian Federation when the OPCW has verified the destruction of said stocks? There must be some basis for that particular assertion, no?

      And how “rare” do you think the group of chemicals labeled as Novichok by some western governments actually is? Iran developed some. And reported as such to the OPCW. You don’t think other countries and/or other facilities can produce or have produced the stuff?

      All that aside, it seems you are not paying attention. In the posts I’ve done on this, I’ve simply been asking where the evidence is (where-ever it may point) and/or questioning aspects of what we’re being fed on the grounds that it comes across as bullshit. (Bad mushroom!).

      If that’s “perverse determination” in your book, then hey, what can I say? Why don’t you just you carry on clinging tenaciously as you get reeled in, if that’s your thing?

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.1

        “Where are you getting the information that allows you to assert that” Russia is the only country known to have possessed significant stocks”?”

        It’s a matter of public record that they did – The OPCW report described them and the conditions in which they were stored. You could of course try to produce evidence of other country’s stocks, but given that these are usually secret, and no evidence has surfaced thus far of such programs you’d struggle. A research paper is not a production facility, much less a series of warehouses and compounds secured by simple padlocks and sporadically guarded.

        I’m sure the OPCW are wonderful, but the ability to detect 100g of forbidden materials in a country making up half a continent is not one they possess.

        Peverse determination it is – you have no new evidence – you’re simply wasting our time.

        • Bill 4.1.1.1

          Peverse determination it is – you have no new evidence – you’re simply wasting our time.

          New evidence?

          I have no evidence. But neither, it seems, does anyone else. So that leaves the main difference between me and others, not on the evidence front, but on the pointing of accusatory fingers front, aye?

          • Stuart Munro 4.1.1.1.1

            There is evidence – both the victims and the modus operandii are linked to Russia. The investigation proceeds. Your denials nothwithstanding.

            • mauī 4.1.1.1.1.1

              The last victim was a known heroin user, not a vodka drinker or anything like that.

              • Bill

                Possibly an unemployed user of heroin with some awkward explaining to do given his address in a pricey area of town. (Muggleton Rd)

                And I’m surprised no-one has gone for a “taking out Muggles” angle. Where’s Draco?

  5. Treetop 5

    The life of novichok has been reported to be effective 4 years later.

    The background of the latest people affected by it, what the link is needs to be established.

    • Gristle 5.1

      I think the comment about the expected potent life novichoc needs some explanation as surely to be highly toxic bl nerve agent it would breakdown reasonably quickly in rain and sunlight. My guess is that the 4 year figure being raised was in relation to a sealed package and in good storage conditions. Any insights?

      While we are on the topic of nerve agents, any update on why green mussels from Marlborough Sounds have stopped being sold? Perhaps we have our very own source of paralytic nerve toxins.

      • Graeme 5.1.1

        There’s a paralytic shellfish poisoning alert for Pelorus Sound

        https://www.mpi.govt.nz/travel-and-recreation/fishing/shellfish-biotoxin-alerts/

        These are pretty common, and nothing new.

      • Treetop 5.1.2

        I heard the time frame on the midday news. You are correct in asking what the storage condition is. I do not know the answer.

        • Treetop 5.1.2.1

          According to the now – retired scientist,
          “novichok” can bury itself in paint, trees, and perhaps, in wooden benches: “It can get in and remain there for a very long time. If it is on a neutral surface, it will only degrade on account of evaporation. And that would be a long process.”

          https://www.independent.co.uk

          • Brigid 5.1.2.1.1

            “In fact, rain affecting the “novichok” on the door handle was given as the reason that the Skripals were not killed. But now the properties of the agent have to fit a new narrative, so they transmute again.
            It keeps happening. Do you remember when Novichok was the most deadly of substances, many times more powerful than VX or Sarin, and causing death in seconds? But then, when that needed to be altered to fit the government’s Skripal story, they found scientists to explain that actually no, it was pretty slow acting, absorbed gradually through the skin, and not all that deadly.
            Scientists are an interesting bunch. More than willing to ascribe whatever properties fit the government’s ever more implausible stories, in exchange for an MSM appearance fee, 5 minutes of fame and the fond hope of a research grant.”
            Craig Murray

            https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/07/the-amesbury-mystery/

            The whole article is rather entertaining.
            Except for those who are horrified as Russia’s so called attempt at the genocide of Brits two by two.

            • Treetop 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Vladimir Uglyov one of the men credited with inventing the “novichok” series of nerve agents is the now retired scientist.

              Dangerous to have a substance which the long term effect is unknown.

              • Brigid

                Yes but he says
                “In order to make it easier to understand the subject matter, I will not use the name “Novichok” which has is now commonly used by everyone to describe those four substances which were conditionally assigned to me to develop over a period of several years. Three of these substances are part of the “Foliant” program, which was led by Pyotr Kirpichev, a scientist with GOSNIIOKHT (State Scientific-Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology). The first substance of a new class of organophosphorous chemical agents, I will call it “A-1972”, was developed by Kirpichev in 1972. In 1976, I developed two substances: “B-1976” and “C-1976”. The fourth substance, “D-1980”, was developed by Kirpichev in the early 1980s. All of these substances fall under the group referred to as “Novichkov”, but that name wasn’t given to the substances by GOSNIIOKHT.”

                https://thebell.io/en/the-scientist-who-developed-novichok-doses-ranged-from-20-grams-to-several-kilos/

                • Treetop

                  Thanks for the link.

                  The fact that the substance can be transported and on a cotton ball in a prepared container, it could not be detected in a person’s luggage.

  6. Ike 6

    First the Russians were accused of poisoning an ex agent who they had in custody for years and ample opportunity to dispose of, and his irrelevant daughter. Now they are accused of poisoning two completely inconsequential persons. Wake up and smell the truth. These incidents are contrived by the UK intelligence services whenever positive news about Russia is about. Oh yeah and where are the Skripals now? Word is Yulia’s cousin says she wants to return to Russia. That bastion of freedom the UK will surely allow that to happen. sarc.

  7. Brigid 7

    And then theres this:

    Swindon Fire RDS
    “77 mile round trip for our Operational Support Unit last night to Amesbury.
    Thankfully the incident wasn’t serious and our decontamination shower wasn’t required”

    “An incident in the Kings Gate are of Amesbury on Saturday evening 30 June is thought to have bee a drug-related medical episode.
    A number of roads around the estate were closed for a time but re-opened within a couple of hours”

    The original tweet by Swindon Fire RDS has been deleted.

  8. AB 8

    The Russians killed my cat. Poor thing.
    Most likely a tiny dose of Morganov on the catflap. It’s not so much a nerve agent as a ‘get on the nerves’ agent.

  9. Booker 9

    I’m with you, the whole situation is extremely suspicious, and not because it points to Russia. I saw the graphic in the Guardian of the locations, and that both are a short drive from Porton Down, and it reminded me of this case: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Edwards_Ivins

    Shortly after 9/11 anthrax started turning up in envelopes around the US. There was never enough evidence to charge Bruce Ivans and he committed suicide while being investigated, but he was the lead suspect (and no one else was ever charged as far as I know).

    Seems to me that a more likely scenario than Russia poisoning random people on UK soil is that someone with access is doing this.

    • dukeofurl 9.1

      The interesting thing about Bruce Ivins, apart from the very weak evidence used against him by the FBI who closed the case with his being committed to psychiatric hospital and then convenient death.

      Results of the investigation were initially distributed to the public via ABC News claiming “four well placed sources” attesting to the fact that “trace amounts of the chemical additives bentonite” were found in the anthrax samples, and that this was the chemical signature of Iraqi-made anthrax.[33] It has been confirmed that bentonite was never actually found in the anthrax samples.

      So ABC news was used to plant a false connection to so called ‘Iraqi Anthrax’

      Do we see a picture of how western security agencies use these chemical incidents ?

    • Grtaeme 9.2

      “that someone with access is doing this.”

      The proximity to Porton Downs, along with “access” could be purely coincidental.

      I’m thinking more along the lines of a fuckup by the local parks and reserves dept or farmers, spraying an organophosphate and another incompatible agrochemical too close together in space or time. There’s plenty of combinations that can be quite nasty.

      I’ve heard several instances where stock have been killed by spray interactions effectively creating an organophosphate nerve agent. Interactions are are often linked to “drift” incidents as well.

      exkiwiforces made a comment a while ago about being a bit of a hazzard to life and limb with the contents of a garden shed, I think this is what he was alluding to.

      Once the first victim happened to be an ex Russian who had a difference of understanding with the regime, paranoia hit factor 11 and it was all on.

  10. corodale 10

    Paraglided in, and escaped down river discused as a large beaver, to catch a waiting submarine back to Atlantis. It was Putin himself, maintaining proficiencies. A family of beavers have come forward as witness, to the delight of conservation workers.

  11. mauī 11

    This keeps on providing the lol’s. Smart people trying to explain the absolutely absurd.

    • Brigid 12.1

      Note the bbc don’t provide a link to the report, at the risk of looking as stupid as they are.
      “The FFM team needs to continue its work to draw final conclusions regarding the alleged incident and, to this end, the investigation is ongoing.”

      https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/S_series/2018/en/s-1645-2018_e_.pdf

      • Bill 12.1.1

        So the BBC headlines with the announcement that the OPCW have stated chlorine gas was used.

        But when you bring up the pdf you linked and word search chlorine, it’s mentioned precisely twice in the main body of text –

        There were mixed reports of what toxic chemicals had been used, with some citing chlorine and others citing sarin, or mixtures of chlorine and sarin.

        And under annex 3 some (among many others) samples from those cylinders that came through a roof, ran across a floor and set themselves down on a bed for a snooze. Remember them? (No CWC – scheduled chemicals found)

        Lots of TNT residue. (2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene). Some chemicals routinely found in wood and clothes (flame retardants, surfactants for textiles etc)

        • Incognito 12.1.1.1

          No Sarin. On pg. 10:

          Analysis results

          8.7 The results of analysis of the prioritised samples submitted to the designated laboratories were received by the FFM team on 22 May 2018. No organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties. Various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from Locations 2 and 4, along with residues of explosive. These results are reported in Annex 3. Work by the team to establish the significance of these results is ongoing. [my bold]

          In fact, the information in the bolded part appeared 8 times in the document.
          Add “chlorinated” to the search and you’ll find three instances in the document.

          Coincidentally, Shoko Asahara got executed yesterday: https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/105294255/japans-doomsday-cult-leader-behind-sarin-gas-attack-is-executed

  12. Incognito 13

    And I think I’m right in saying that it must have samples of Novichok or else it could never have identified the substance used in Salisbury.

    No, that’s an incorrect assumption and substance identification does not rely on an authentic sample to be present at the time of testing for a direct comparison. Think of breathalysers or illicit substance testing at airports, for example. Put differently, you don’t need the finger to compare fingerprints and make a positive identification (that stands up in court); same applies to DNA samples.

    • Bill 13.1

      Yup. I get that I was wrong on that front.

      • Incognito 13.1.1

        No worries, we live & learn.

        As far as I know they have not released anything to show they ‘identified’ the substance allegedly used in Salisbury. Nothing that can be scrutinised by independent people (experts), nothing at all. It is in the public interest, I’d say, to be as open & transparent as possible and gets as many facts in the public arena as possible!

      • francesca 13.1.2

        Well Bill
        I think we can safely assume that Porton Down would most certainly have samples of the novichok group

        https://www.dailysabah.com/europe/2018/05/17/germany-received-novichok-sample-from-russian-defector-in-90s-report-says

        https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/russian-defector-gave-novichok-sample-to-germany-in-90s-report-1853524

        second link pretty much the same

        And incognito, to match a dna sample, one must already have a sample to match up against
        Having a hair and nothing else will get you nowhere
        The same for a fingerprint, there must be a physical sample in the system to match with

        • Incognito 13.1.2.1

          Hi Francesca,

          To match DNA or a fingerprint you only need the data generated from an original sample. This data is usually (but not always) transformed and stored in digitised format.

          Without that data from an original sample to authenticate or to confirm the identity of a sample all is not lost. For example, when a compound is synthesised for the first time it has to be properly identified, checked, confirmed, and authenticated by various techniques with stringent limits of acceptance (confidence). The point is that the same can be done with an unknown sample and it is entirely possible to confirm Novichok even in the absence of an original sample or authentic standard.

          With a hair sample you can establish quite a few things, e.g. whether it is human, sex, etc. In any case, strictly speaking a DNA match won’t tell you that the sample and an original came from one and the same individual; it will tell you how likely (or unlikely rather) the two samples match as well they do by chance alone (i.e. samples from two different individuals).

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_profiling#Considerations_when_evaluating_DNA_evidence

          • One Two 13.1.2.1.1

            Novice is the translation…

            If you can match the chemicals you can manufacture the agent…

            • Incognito 13.1.2.1.1.1

              If you can match the chemicals you can manufacture the agent…

              Can you please explain this for me?

  13. Siobhan 14

    Gee, Russian secret agents/assassins aren’t very good at their job really.

    They would have to have the competence level of Mr Bean to pull this off.

    Wait a few months for the next dodgy victims and then sit back and laugh as they try to join the dots.

  14. dukeofurl 15

    We seem to be looking too closely at reports from the UK media expecting ‘information’
    The D Notice system is still in operation, or as they became DA notices and now DMSA

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/jul/31/d-notice-system-state-media-press-freedom

    examples of recent use:
    ‘The Observer kept secret its 2004 revelation about a memo showing Britain helped the US conduct a secret and potentially illegal spying operation at the UN in the runup to the Iraq war.’

    and
    ‘And the Guardian did not consult the DA-notice secretary before publishing first Snowden leaks , although it did so with subsequent stories.’

    This site says they have seen copies of some DMSA for the Skripals case
    https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/12746/spinwatch-publish-confidential-media-d-notices-skripal-case

  15. cleangreen 16

    Another ‘gotta russian moment hatched by NATO’

    NATO wont stop building another case of a war with Russia untill they are singled out as ‘war mongers’.

    NATO are controlled by European corporations and war armaments supplliers.

    These captains of EU industry want bussiness to increase now because the banks are about to fail, and they want to take land off Russia again.

    By the way the NATO are holding a summit in two seeks before they began this next Novichok event as the time seems to suggest it was staged, before this NATO meeting planned, so we are in a planing mode to antoher European war in 2 -10 yrs or less.

  16. francesca 17

    Well Bill
    I think we can safely assume that Porton Down would most certainly have samples of the novichok group

    https://www.dailysabah.com/europe/2018/05/17/germany-received-novichok-sample-from-russian-defector-in-90s-report-says

    https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/russian-defector-gave-novichok-sample-to-germany-in-90s-report-1853524

    second link pretty much the same

    And incognito, to match a dna sample, one must already have a sample to match up against
    Having a hair and nothing else will get you nowhere
    The same for a fingerprint, there must be a physical sample in the system to match with
    sorry if this damn well repeats
    god dammit , it has!

  17. Lola 18

    Saturday 30 June – Trowbridge – is this just another Wiltshire registered Methadone junkie in a poisoning “incident” ?
    http://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/16323717.six-emergency-services-vehicles-attend-trowbridge-medical-incident/?ref=twtrec

  18. Liberal Realist 19

    Realpolitik manifests itself in some very strange ways doesn’t it? Dam those evil Russians wanting their independence and sovereignty! How dare they.

    Seems Russia is to blame for any number of things from ‘election hacking’ with the purpose of putting Trump in the White House, to not quite knocking off a useless turncoat for an unknown transgression.

    Not that evidence is important in ascribing culpability these days is it? If it’s chemical, it must have been Russia!

    Quite the coincidence the UK’s only chemical / bio weapons labratory happens to be located within less than 10 miles from the location of both incidents… Has Porton Downs been infiltrated by the Russians perhaps?

    Guess the football world cup in Russia is just going far too well for the UK establishment to stomach?

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    . . 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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? ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    7 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    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
  • 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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, ...
    1 week 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
    9 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    14 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    1 day 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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
  • 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
    1 week 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 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago