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NRT: Nats killing the Kiwishare

Written By: - Date published: 11:48 am, June 17th, 2011 - 27 comments
Categories: telecommunications - Tags:

When the government sold Telecom twenty years ago, they reassured us that free local calling would be protected under a “Kiwishare”. Now National is repealing it, with an SOP to the Telecommunications (TSO, Broadband, and Other Matters) Amendment Bill removing the relevant provisions “reflect that the KSO will not be operative following the structural separation of Telecom”. Note that there has been no public debate over this; National has done it out of the blue, by stealth. They’re even refusing to front up in the House to explain the amendments.

This will allow Telecom’s foreign owners to introduce American-style local call charging. And it has significant implications for access to information in this country. It should not be rammed through in this fashion,without consultation, without debate. The only reason for the government to do so is because they are afraid of that debate, and seek to limit the political price they will pay for an unpopular move with no benefits to New Zealanders.

This is how National operates: undemocratically. They’re making a major change to the structure of telecommunications in New Zealand, one which affects every single one of us. They should at least be saying why. Instead, we have arrogant silence.

———————————————————-

Eddie: Perhaps more importantly, the Kiwishare prevents a foreign national from owning a majority of Telecom. It’s removal would mean there is no bar to Telecom falling entirely into foreign ownership.

27 comments on “NRT: Nats killing the Kiwishare”

  1. Rusty Shackleford 1

    WTF. Last time I checked, a phone line was 40 odd bucks. What is free about that?

    Oh no! The govt is ending its subsidies for buggie whips! Who cares?

    • The Voice of Reason 1.1

      The calls you make on the phone line are free, you muppet. The forty bucks is the monthly charge to maintain the line, whether you use it or not. Ask your parents, they’ll explain how it works.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        I remember when Telecom had the $25/month plus charges for local calls. It was awesome. I assume Telecom dropped it when they realised that they weren’t pulling in as much money as they were giving people a choice.

        BTW, there’s absolutely no way it costs more than about $20/month to maintain the line.

    • lprent 1.2

      Muppet – you could have just said that you don’t know what in the hell the Kiwishare is. It would have been faster and a lot clearer than your usual method of displaying your overwhelming ignorance.

  2. Jim Nald 2

    That’s another social contract they’re tearing up.
    They’ll stealthily sell the house and land under you before lunchtime if they get a chance.

  3. X 3

    The foreign ownership restrictions remain on the Network. Its only the retail business where they no longer apply.

    TSO regarding local free calling is under the Telecommunications Act. That isn’t to change.

    http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1106/Kiwishare_QA.pdf

    The Government previously announced:

    The government recognises the importance of the TSO as a mechanism to assure the affordability and availability of essential telecommunications services. The government is committed to the option of toll-free local calling as a feature of any TSO for local residential telephone service.

    There will be no change to expected line rental prices as a result of the TSO reforms. Residential telephone line rental charge increases are currently capped in the TSO at the rate of the change in the Consumer Price Index and this won’t change.

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/rural-telecommunications-plans-finalised

    • So Mr X why didn’t the Government put these changes into the original bill?
       
      Why did it not give Labour and the Greens a bit more notice of the SOP?
       
      Why bash the change through?
       
      Why not have at least a limited submission period so that everyone can be satisfied that there is not going to be any actual change?
       

    • toad 3.2

      TSO regarding local free calling is under the Telecommunications Act. That isn’t to change.

      No, as I explained here, there is a significant difference. The free local calling provision is still supposedly protected. But there will be a new and far less robust mechanism than the previous statutory requirements. The mechanism to do this will not be a special rights share, but according to the Ministry of Economic Development in the Scoop link you provided, X, will be:

      …a combination of constitutional requirements on the company, a small parcel of ordinary shares held by the Government, and a Deed between the company and the Government.

      So there will be no protection of free local calling in statute law. The constitutional requirements and the Deed will be able to be reviewed by any future Government without any reference to Parliament. And if Don Brash and his Actoids are part of a future Government, you can bet the farm on free local calling being gone by lunchtime.

  4. This really is bizarre.  The Government have released a paper suggesting that the rights protected by the Kiwishare will continue to be protected by a deed and other action taken.  But this really is a constitutional monstrosity for a few reasons:
     
    1.  There was no consultation.  If it was necessary to remove the Kiwishare when why wasn’t this put into the original legislation.  At least they could invite submitters to submit on the new proposal before enacting it.
    2.  The SOP was tabled on Tuesday the 14th but not given to the opposition until yesterday the 16th.  Some industry insiders knew about it before the opposition did.
    3.  The SOP is technical and its effect not immediately apparent.  The opposition should have been allowed time to at least get advice on it so that its effect could be understood.
    4.  Relying on a deed for protection is crazy.  In a weeks time the executive could decide to amend the provisions and there would be no need for Parliament to be told.
     
    Is this really a parliamentary democracy?
     
    No wonder Joyce has been looking so sheepish this week.
     
    I saw some of the debate and a number of people asked a number of questions of Joyce.  Did anyone see him respond?  The only other things I saw were a number of nats moving closure motions.
     
     

    • Blighty 4.1

      Yeah, I love the ‘oh, don’t worry, we’ll cover it in the deed’ line.

      This is from the same government who didn’t bother to telling anyone it was doing away with the Kiwishare in the first place.

      And the deed is only for Chorus, not Telecom anyway.

  5. queenstfarmer 5

    Wrong. Free local calling is not ending. To quote Computerworld:

    Yes, it appears that sacred cow ‘free local calling’ has not been slaughtered. The last-minute Supplementary Order Paper (SOP 247) added to the latest Telecommunications Amendment Bill will scrap the Kiwishare. But free local calling is safe because it’s part of the Telecommunications Service Obligation – who knew!

    http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/fryup/fry-up-5-tech-things-to-do-this-weekend

    To quote the Minister:

    “No, this is not the end of free local calling or the restriction on price increases.The Kiwi Share Obligation in regard to local calling was superseded ten years ago by the Labour government with the TSO deed. That TSO deed obligation will continue and it will be split between the separated companies – Telecom and Chorus.

    Labour is either unaware that their government made the change or are deliberately setting out to confuse,” Joyce replied.

    http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/end-of-free-local-calling

    • Zorr 5.1

      If this wasn’t something they were afraid of the opposition finding out, why is the government being so deliberately devious as to try to slip it in there at the last possible moment?

      • queenstfarmer 5.1.1

        It wasn’t kept secret, see The Baron’s post below. But the premise of this article – that free calling will end – is clearly incorrect, according to Computerworld who’s reportage of telecommunication matter I am happy to rely on. In fact it appears that the KSO has nothing to do with free calling at all.

  6. The Baron 6

    Slow clap, morans:

    1. The Commerce Commission argues that NZ’s comparatively low value in landlines is due to the kiwishare – see here, page 15: http://www.comcom.govt.nz/assets/Telecommunications/Market-Monitoring/New-Zealand-Retail-Prices-for-Fixed-Line-and-Mobile-Services-November-2010.pdf

    quote:

    “A key driver of price levels and price structure in the fixed line voice market is the Local
    Residential Telephone Service Telecommunications Service Obligation (TSO or formerly ‘Kiwi
    Share’).”

    This is because you don’t get “free” local calling at all – you pay for it with the fucking astronomical monthly line rental charge. Click the link for more, though beware – there are some big words in there kids.

    2. No consultation? Here is a discussion document that contemplates why the removal of all this may be required. See section 6, page 25: http://www.med.govt.nz/upload/74850/Regulatory%20Implications%20Of%20Structural%20Separation%20-%20September%202010.pdf. Plenty more discussion on this in the context of the bill and SOP – but you can find those yourselves on the parliament website.

    That you’re too stupid to realise that consultation has been and gone and you missed it is a whole pile different than no consultation.

    Simple summary, cos I realise I may have lost many of you already – this will likely mean better value phone services, and you had plenty of opportunity to comment. Oh noes, the evil nats strike again!

    Pretty poor work, Malcolm. But then again, you’re a partisan hack. Is getting fisked like this why you no longer allow comments?

    • Ah page 25 of a document that was hidden in a disused filing cabinet in a pile of documents 2 metres high in MED’s basement!  How could we miss it.
       
      Three questions though.
       
      1.  If it was consulted on back then why wasn’t the change part of the select committee recommendations?  The report back by the select committee was on May 16, 2011 and the document was released in September 2010.
       
      2.  Why wasn’t it part of the original bill that was introduced in November 2010?
       
      3.  Why the last minute urgency and why wasn’t the opposition given the SOP on Tuesday when it was tabled?
       
      One possible answer is that Joyce forgot to include it,

      • The Baron 6.1.1

        Micky, your shortcomings are not evidence of a conspiracy.

        For what was such a secret document from MED (you’re challenging the activities of the impartial public service too to fit your conspiracy? the horror!) plenty of people seemed to realise what was going on and comment on these issues: http://www.med.govt.nz/templates/ContentTopicSummary____45018.aspx

        If you read the documents around the Bill and SOP, you would see that issues such as these were indicated as something that would come later, partially because they would only be necessary if telecom was selected. If you actually READ the documents I have indicated above, you’ll see that – come on man, you’re a lawyer, you can read, right?

        Shall I call you and explain it in smaller words? I have your number thanks to your fucking lame letter to Whale Oil. (I thought there was no credit card details exposed by the way – so what are you wahhing on about?)

        • mickysavage 6.1.1.1

          Shesh Baron
           
          Why do some engage in personal attacks rather than addressing the issues.  And why do you attempt to win an argument by belittling your opposition?
           
          Thank you for the explanation.  Yes the choice of telecom may explain why the change was not covered in the select committee report back.  No I have not spent the past few days reading all of the paper on the issue but I believe my criticism of undue haste is valid.
           
          The announcement that Telecom was a preferred supplier was made on May 24.  But, why still the haste?  Why drop the bill on the opposition at the last moment?
           
          I am obviously not an insider on telecommunication issues and I presume you and Mr X are but this is precisely the problem with rushing changes through.  There is no ability to review and no trust.  The opposition are not given the opportunity to comment or make suggestions and stuff ups happen.
           
          This “trust me I know what I am doing” stuff honestly does not work.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    Apart from the acronym “NRT” tagged onto the name, there’s no clear indication that this has come from No Right Turn.
     
    People who aren’t familiar with that as another blog, won’t know what NRT means, or that this is essentially a guest post.

    • queenstfarmer 7.1

      Perhaps whoever accepted this as a guest post could (a) tell NRT it is wrong, and (b) post a correction.

      [lprent: It is always dangerous to suggest what we should do – see this and it is viewed a evident attempt at self-martyrdom (see the policy).

      Posts here are are matters of opinion with supporting links to fact. They are not guaranteed to be perfect and we have no intent for them to be so. The comments section is there for you to disagree, and you’ll usually find somewhere here to disagree with you.

      However, trying to tell us what we should do on our own site will usually result in you getting a swift eviction as wasting our time. I really can’t be bothered with anyone stupid enough not to figure out what the probable response is. We put the about and policy there for a reason. Read them so I don’t have to waste moderating time on you. ]

      • toad 7.1.1

        The post at NRT is wrong only in one minor regard.  That is that the change will not automatically allow for the end of free local calling, as this is proposed to be protected by a Deed between Government and Telecom2.
        However, it still severely weakens the protection, as some future government can just of its own volition agree to amend the Deed.  That is a far lower level of protection than that which exists at the moment, under which a Government would have to get Parliament to agree to amend the legislation.

        • queenstfarmer 7.1.1.1

          It’s not wrong in a minor regard – the very first sentence talks about free calling, and then the first comment about the result of the change is “This will allow Telecom’s foreign owners to introduce American-style local call charging.”. So it’s wrong on its main premise.

          It’s also wrong when it talks about “Telecom’s foreign owners”. Telecom is majority NZ owned by law, and the network company which will inherit local calls will remain so.

    • lprent 7.2

      ...there’s no clear indication that this has come from No Right Turn.

      Agreed. Which is why I usually write a paragraph on the front when I repost them. But there isn’t a standard. It is difficult to see how there could be – we’ll get criticized whatever way it goes.

      I have been criticized for writing material to make it clear where it comes from. For expressing my opinion of a post in an introduction and not being enough of a sycophant (yeah right!). For not making it the way that others thought it should appear. For not writing anything at all.

      Some of the editors (like whoever put up this one up) do it differently with the same effect.

      I think that it is simplier make it a banning offense to mention even mention the issue in comments because there doesn’t seem to be an solution that someone won’t complain about. The effort of a rapid banning it seems like a more productive use of my time than listening to or responding to critics (see the last section of the About for the rationale)

      This isn’t specifically directed at you, but I’ll get irritated if this side track goes on too long.

  8. hellonearthis 8

    I was hoping the free local calling would have become an option as the monthly phone rental (which is really high when you look at other OECD countries) covers the maintenance of local calls. If they where charged then the monthly phoneline rental could drop to match the rest of the civilized world.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4323932/NZ-has-highest-phone-costs-in-OECD

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Let’s just learn that when the NATs govern, they govern in favour of their core constituencies i.e. the monied individuals and the monied corporations, and they don’t care to justify their decisions with debate or evidence. The Right are not here to convince, convert, or win over any one else. That would be a waste of their time and energy.

    They are already on to the next bloody minded thing while the Left is left in a spin wondering what the hell happened and what is going to happen next.

  10. Well looks like the lefties may have been handed our arses on a plate here but I still believe that the process was stuffed.  If this Government wants to get these changes put through they should give notice and allow the opposition to get its collective head around the changes.

    Otherwise the risk is that we will keep jumping up and down about these sorts of issues.

    • MrSmith 10.1

      Mickey: Unfortunately jumping up and downs not going to attract much attention with our media, maybe running around in your birthday suit with your cordless phone might get some attention, But home phones and cel phone companies will become a thing of the past before long, we will all be communicating through the internet mostly soon, unless of-course you are one of the poor hicks like me that live on the edge of the earth.

  11. tc 11

    more of that relentless focus….now watch the smiley wavey clown please everybody whilst the dark lords such as joyce go about ‘their’ business.

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    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    7 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks 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
    9 hours ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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 day ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago