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ODT on the Electoral Finance Bill

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 pm, December 12th, 2007 - 79 comments
Categories: election funding - Tags:

Here’s an article from the ODT. It’s by Simon Cunliffe, “a senior Otago Daily Times journalist”.

I’m loathe to reprint it in full but the ODT doesn’t provide full online access to articles. Perhaps the best I can do is to encourage you to subscribe to their digital edition if you enjoy the read.

Electoral Finance Bill is the price of undeclared interests

LISTEN up. Suppress that yawn. This week will decide the fate of the Electoral Finance Bill. It comes with serious historical baggage and a radical payload of forward freight.

This is an argument about how elections are financed. But it is also, in the end, a presentation on the nature of our democracy.

There has been much bitterness in the debate. It derives from the baggage. The Left saw developments at the last election that, if allowed to become commonplace, could render it electorally irrelevant. Equally, the Right, elements of which have steadfastly refused to come to terms with MMP, sees next year’s election as its last best chance to unseat Labour and its centre-Left coalition partners as the natural parties of Government.

In 2005, knowing an election was imminent, but with a war chest that exceeded its electioneering allowance, the National Party embarked on an expensive billboard campaign. This was entirely legal, but coming in such close proximity to the three-month election period, it was possible for opponents to construe it as electioneering.

Second, as it was to emerge through Nicky Hager, author of The Hollow Men, National’s new leader Dr Don Brash owed his position — and possibly his allegiances — to the influences of big money, in particular the Act New Zealand Party and the Business Roundtable.

Third, sophisticated offshore techniques were deployed in Dr Brash’s election strategy and campaign.

Fourth, the campaign itself saw the intervention of third party pamphlet advertising, spending up to $1 million attacking the policies of Labour and the Greens.

It added up to a seismic shift in the New Zealand political landscape — irreversible and not especially attractive. The genie was out of the bottle.

For its part, Labour, spent about $800,000 on a pledge card using funds that had been set aside for that purpose in at least two previous elections without reproof, but which was now seen by the Opposition, the Auditor-general and much of the electorate as at best inappropriate. Legal minds were divided but in the court of public opinion Labour and most of the other parties took a hiding.

So much for the baggage.

The forward freight is the recasting of the electoral financing laws. For normally sure-footed Labour, the initial drafting of the new Bill was shoddy. Allowing itself to be blindsided by the Human Rights Commission in its submissions to select committee was uncharacteristic — even accepting this is where a great deal of the shaping and horse trading of democracy routinely occurs.

Outside Parliament, opposition to the Bill has been led by John Boscowen, who discovered the existence of the Human Rights Commission with all the fervour and glee of a true convert. He has made great play of the Commission’s submissions dating back to mid-October, even though many of these have now been addressed. He continues to insist the Bill will severely curtail democracy. If you are an individual, it won’t, unless you plan to spend more than $120,000 on a politically-directed campaign.

As much as we like to imagine that freedom of speech is an absolute, it isn’t. There are several laws that proscribe it. Mr Boscowen’s ideal democracy is one in which money is free to talk whenever, and however loud, it likes. The suggestion there might be times — during election year, for instance — when it should be constrained to a whisper, seems gravely to offend him.

Mr Boscowen is a multi-millionaire. Good on him. He’s been a fund-raiser and office holder for Act. No problem. He is also an associate member of the Business Roundtable. His privilege. And he’s articulate, but possibly a little shy in his appreciation of irony.

He has spent $140,000, and rising, fighting the Bill. That money has bought newspaper and radio advertisements denouncing it, printed placards, marshalled involvement in protest marches, and paid — everybody still comfortable? — for a Canadian call centre to telephone 82,000 Auckland homes to drum up support for the last protest.

So much for the spontaneous outpouring of opposition to this dastardly anti-democratic Government’s election finance Bill. The truth is, Mr Boscowen has bags of money and no hesitation in using any amount of it to try to influence the course of our future democracy.

Some might say he is the perfect illustration of why the new laws, imperfect though they might be, are necessary. And there’s no small irony in that.

UPDATE: It’s come to our attention that the author of this article was formerly employed as a Labour Party press sec. While his opinions are no less valid because of this we are putting it on the record in the interests of disclosure.

79 comments on “ODT on the Electoral Finance Bill”

  1. Gruela 1

    It can’t be a coincidence that the ODT is NZ’s last privately owned daily. (It still is, isn’t it?)

  2. Policy Parrot 2

    Not only does Mr. Boscowan attempt to intercede in our democracy, he is shipping jobs offshore while doing it…

    And annoying us by getting telemarketers to call us at dinner time, in order to consult us about lies.

    Maybe people should call Mr. Boscowan continously from 6-9pm, rattling on about how he is a threat to democracy?

  3. Daveo 3

    PP – great idea. Got a spare $9,000? No? Neither do I. Great thing this free speech for the rich.

  4. The Double Standard 4

    Congratulations on finally finding a journalist that partially supports your warped worldview, base.I guess you didn’t enjoy the other 99% of editorial and journalistic comment trashing the EFB?

    Maybe the PM is just upset because of the tirade from most media outlets against the Electoral Finance Bill. She singled out the New Zealand Herald in her speech, but there isn’t a newspaper in the country that I know of that has written in favour of this legislation.

    From http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/politics/2007/12/11/she-said-we-were-too-young/

  5. The Double Standard 5

    I wonder why you didn’t highlight this other blog entry which also discussed John Boscawen?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/politics/2007/12/05/spending-up-large-for-democracy/

    Was it because he said unfavourable things like this?

    But Labour has bought itself this fight on the back of fears over Nicky Hager’s book The Hollow Men and fears the Exclusive Brethren would spend up large in the election again if it got the chance.

    Things have got so ridiculous now, however, that passing this law is going to leave so much bad blood that Labour may well rue the day it did so. As John Key said in Parliament yesterday, it could be Labour’s epitaph and cost Prime Minister Helen Clark her job.

  6. Gruela 6

    Double

    Actually, most newspapers have come out in favour of the legislation. Most of them just thought some of the details needed adjusting.

  7. Daveo 7

    Shock! horror! An openly left-wing site published an article that supports their position! It’s almost like they’re finding articles they agree with and distributing them to a wider audience. Double Standard, go inform the party. You’re onto a scandal with this one.

  8. Lampie 8

    just goes to show the intelligence

  9. Lampie 9

    of the right wing dumb arses

  10. The Double Standard 10

    “Most of them just thought some of the details needed adjusting.”

    What, more than the 150 amendments that Teh Party put forward?

    It must be pretty tiring swimming against the tide of public opinion on this one.

  11. Lampie 11

    Actually I’m disappointed, why haven’t we mentioned this?

    New Roy Morgan New Zealand Government Confidence Indicator at 110 for Mid-November
    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2007/4254/

  12. The Double Standard 12

    Lampie – maybe because Rudd gets 144.5 on the same kind of rating?

    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2007/4255/

  13. Gruela 13

    Double

    I was just making the point that not many commentators are arguing against the intent of the bill, simply it’s execution. When the election gets underway in a few months, and no-one gets arrested for holding unlicensed placards but certain right-wing stirrers try to take the issue to court, I suspect public opinion will swing behind Labour. No-one likes monied-up stirrers with an inflated sense of entitlement.

  14. the sprout 14

    “It can’t be a coincidence that the ODT is NZ’s last privately owned daily. (It still is, isn’t it?)”

    indeed, and yes it is.
    pisses all over the transnational conglomerate-owned papers.
    it even experiments with concepts like ‘balance’.

  15. Gruela 15

    Yeah, the Herald is starting to look ridiculous. It’s campaign against the EFB seems to have turned into a vendetta against Labour, and tomorrow’s front page isn’t going to assuage those perceptions. If I were their overseas masters I’d start to be getting worried about now. The Herald’s editorial staff are starting to smell like they’re in the grip of some form of mania, and that can only turn off regular readers. (Kiwi’s don’t like continually reading about how much better Aussies are than us.)

  16. the sprout 16

    i guess if those overseas owners were less concerned about extracting double digit profits from the Herald year after year, and more concerned with maintaining quality to ensure long-term circulation, they would take your advice.

    of course issues of journalistic integrity and ethics don’t enter the equation.

  17. Gruela 17

    $ is $ sprout. I still reckon the drum they’re banging is going to turn people off. People expect news in newspapers, not the same op-ed on the front page for what seems the 17th time.

    I figure the ratio has to be
    75Z% don’t care
    20% are interested, but not THAT much
    5% are ACT voters

  18. deemac 18

    5% ACT voters? that many?

  19. ragtag 19

    “I figure the ratio has to be
    75Z% don’t care”

    The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil [wo]men – Plato

  20. Prisoner Porter 20

    I am locked up in a red round cell 24/7 !!

  21. the sprout 21

    i’d say your analysis of audience interest is about right gruela.

    prisoner burns, i’d say that’d be the right place for you

  22. r0b 22

    “The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil [wo]men – Plato”

    It’s deja moo all over again. (As in, we’ve heard this bullshit before).

  23. the sprout 23

    “The price of stupidity is to be ruled by Hollow Men” – Sprout

  24. Lampie 24

    The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil [wo]men – Plato

    sHIPLEY RETURNS?

  25. Phil 25

    Ah, The Generals[Bloggers? Politicians?]! they are numerous but not good for much. – Aristophenes

  26. gobsmacked 26

    Back on topic:

    It’s taken them months, but the penny has finally dropped. Yes, even the NZ Herald has woken up, and worked out what National are up to:

    “Surely, when the issues at stake are as profound as who is allowed to spend money and how much they can spend on public issues advocacy in the best part of an election year, National needed to put its own money where its mouth is. To offer the public a concession that, while potentially hampering itself, would also get to the heart of the most basic concern: the secrecy of some donors and advertisers. Where was National’s grand amendment to this ill-conceived and anti-democratic law? It could have proposed a ban on all secret donations, eliminating trust payments like those from its clandestine Waitemata Trust million-dollar donor and making funding upfront and transparent to the public. … But is it too much to ask that even one party put the public ahead of its own interests? Probably.”

    (today’s editorial)

  27. the sprout 27

    the Herald’s owners must be getting the jitters about what their campaign for the rights of the wealthy to manipulate elections is doing to their circulation

  28. Tane 28

    I hear its circulation is down to 200,000 nationwide, and sliding. It’s the paper that fewer than one in seven Aucklanders bother reading.

  29. Phil 29

    If 200,000 is the correct circulation figure, then I hardly see need for concern. Per head of population, it works out at roughly the same sales as the Press and Dom-Post.

  30. gobsmacked 30

    This editorial appears to have gone unnoticed on Kiwiblog. For once there’s no Herald post n’ link, in the guise of commentary. Wonder why?

    I’m sure we’re all EFB-ed out, but it’s a pretty big deal when the whole flimsy facade of National’s opposition is torn to shreds by its best buddy.

    So who’s fighting for democracy – the Nats or the Herald?

    Lee C, can you help?

  31. the sprout 31

    ah but Phil, enough is never enough for APN. they’ve long since stripped all the fat and muscle the Herald could afford to lose, now there’s only sales.

  32. the sprout 32

    “who’s fighting for democracy – the Nats or the Herald”

    gs, that would be a tough call.

  33. PhilBest 33

    Maybe Simon Cunliffe is one of these people who will excuse ANYTHING that gets us on the way to the great egalitarian utopia? Like he will excuse the jailing of John Boscawen or the like next year, and like he never had any difficulty over Andrei Sakharov or Vaclav Havel either, probably. That goes for Tane, Sam Dixon, Sonic, Roger Nome, Nicky Hager, John Minto…….. fine upstanding specimens of the milk of kindness of the brotherhood of humanity all.

    Maybe Simon Cunliffe won’t have any problem with Our Dear Leader regulating media commentary either – the next stage if she gets away with this. Simon Cunliffe’s colleagues might end up out of their jobs/ jailed. Who cares? John Minto and Nicky Hager and the Aro Valley fellow-travellers can fill in for them all.

    Thought of the day for you all: What happened to Trostky? Bukharin? Beria? Kirov? Zinoviev? et al, et al, et al,……..

  34. DS 34

    “Maybe Simon Cunliffe is one of these people who will excuse ANYTHING that gets us on the way to the great egalitarian utopia? Like he will excuse the jailing of John Boscawen or the like next year, and like he never had any difficulty over Andrei Sakharov or Vaclav Havel either, probably. That goes for Tane, Sam Dixon, Sonic, Roger Nome, Nicky Hager, John Minto…. fine upstanding specimens of the milk of kindness of the brotherhood of humanity all.”

    Just to nip your right-wing paranoia in the bud, the ODT is no friend of Labour. I know: I work for them. It’s just that the ODT (unlike certain other papers I could mention) very rarely gets hysterical about issues like this: they’re a very crusty “Dunedin Establishment” paper, but like to maintain at least a veneer of non-partisanship on national issues.

  35. Robinsod 35

    PB – you’re hysterical. Get someone to slap you. Quick!

  36. Matthew Pilott 36

    Robinson, what worries me was if that was hysterical – where was all the SHOUTING?

    Let’s just hope it was satire 😉

    Cap: booby human . Hmmmm….

  37. The Double Standard 37

    Thought of the day for you all: What happened to Trostky? Bukharin? Beria? Kirov? Zinoviev? et al, et al, et al,..

    Or Robespierre for that matter!

  38. Billy 38

    ‘sod,

    Are you going to make good on your threat to out IP? Or was it hollow? Should we now start taunting you in the manner you taunted Whaleoil?

  39. Robinsod 39

    Billy – I’m not going to out IP/DS unless I’m given good reason to. I figure it’s better to keep that info for a rainy day. I should also point out that it’s not a case of me having “taunted” Whale because I continue to do so for a long time yet.

  40. PhilBest 40

    DS, I know the ODT is a fine establishment paper and no friend of Labour’s and their efforts at providing balance content are to be applauded.

    I still stand by what I am saying about the kind of people who are SUPPORTING the EFB. I am not being fanciful at all in saying that there are political activists on the left in NZ who have no moral difficulty about ANYTHING that will advance the arrival of their egalitarian utopia.

    Presumably DS, you KNOW this Simon Cunliffe person. How deeply have you scratched his surface on where he stands re freedom vs socialist totalitarianism? The acid test is, does he hate totalitarianism more than he hates the inequality that is a consequence of freedom? Does he think that the media should be controlled, and that commentary like Roger Kerr’s column in the ODT should be banned (which it de facto is already in the Dom Post and probably all the other main dailies too) and a steady diet of Chris Trotter, Finlay MacDonald, John Minto and Nicky Hager (and himself of course) (and regular Chomsky excerpts) would be just the best thing for NZ?

    Call me paranoid, but there is far too much of this sort of thinking in NZ today for comfort. 49% of Venezuelans thought that de facto Communism would have been OK by them. What would the % be in NZ? The result might shock you (and please Tane, roger nome and Co.)

  41. Billy 41

    And PhilBest, let’s not forget that the favourite mouthpiece of the left, Chris Trotter, has shamelessly advocated electoral corruption to keep the right out of power. No wonder so many feel uncomfortable about the EFB.

  42. r0b 42

    I still stand by what I am saying about the kind of people who are SUPPORTING the EFB.

    The EFB is supported by an overwhelming majority of political parties (5 supporting, 2 opposed, with the Maori Party seemingly undecided).

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10481042&pnum=0

    It is only opposed by those with a vested interest in buying elections.

    Go people power – go MMP!

  43. Billy 43

    So, R0b, are you with Trotter that corruption is forgiveable if it keeps the right out of power? You see, when people like him say that sort of shit, people like us are likely to think that the EFB is a deliberate attempt to screw the scrum.

  44. Robinsod 44

    Billy – I’d like to read that, can you post a link?

  45. Billy 45

    I can’t find a link. But, having explained that there would be a revolution if the Nats took power (!!!), he said:

    “Social peace for a paltry half-million dollars? Strikes me as the most courageous and forgivable kind of corruption.”

    I don’t think he denies it. Mike Moore had him up on it a couple of months back on National Radio and he was quite unrepentant.

  46. Robinsod 46

    What did the half-million dollars refer to?

  47. Graeme Edgeler 47

    For its part, Labour, spent about $800,000 on a pledge card using funds that had been set aside for that purpose in at least two previous elections without reproof, but which was now seen by the Opposition, the Auditor-general and much of the electorate as at best inappropriate. Legal minds were divided but in the court of public opinion Labour and most of the other parties took a hiding.

    Certainly there’s a range of reasonable opinion over whether the spending of Parliamentary Services Money on the pledge card was a proper use of that money.

    Unfortunately, there is basically no legal debate over whether it had to be included as an election expense. It had to be included, and it pushed Labour over the spending limit.

    The Auditor-General’s investigation over the money wasn’t a big deal for me. I was a little annoyed when Labour started attacking him personally, but the use of the money itself wasn’t a great concern. The deliberate over-spending was a big concern however, and it’s a great pity Labour weren’t called to account for it (as National should have been for it’s broadcasting act breach).

  48. Pascal's bookie 48

    I completely agree with Graeme’s post.

    Why is the window so narrow for prosecution, if that was what the problem was?

  49. r0b 49

    “So, R0b, are you with Trotter that corruption is forgiveable if it keeps the right out of power”

    If that is what Trotter actually said (can I see the original quote please?) – then no of course I don’t agree. The principles of democracy are more important than the party that happens to be in power at any given time.

    I may have seen more governments than many here. They come and go. But if the system gets broken, as it is for example in America, then it’s game over.

  50. Pascal's bookie 50

    I’m down with that rOb.

    Trotter rarely speaks for me in any case. And the US just makes me cry these days.

    Well it would if I wasn’t such a triple hard bastard, he says, stroking his beard and sipping the chardonnay.

  51. gobsmacked 51

    So in reality, what this ranting all comes down to is:

    Conclusion – New Zealand is threatened by a quasi-Bolshevik Left that will stop at nothing to gain and keep power, trampling all over our basic rights in the process, and warrants comparison with Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Nazis, blah blah blah …

    And the damning evidence is (drum roll) …

    – a snippet of one quote on one occasion by one columnist, who holds no position of authority in the government, the Labour party, or any other party, or any affiliated organisation, and who has been cited approvingly by the National leader (Orewa).

    Yep, paranoid sounds about right.

  52. Billy 52

    No, gobsmacked. No-one has said that. Stop making shit up.

  53. Robinsod 53

    Billy – it does seem kinda like that (though I think gobsmacked was using hyperbole for effect).

  54. Billy 54

    You put the quote together with the Bill, and it is not inconceivable to be concerned. Nothing more than that.

    Go on, defend him.

  55. Robinsod 55

    I read Fran O’Sullivan talking about letting the sick and the old die rather than become a financial burden, Billy, you put that together with Key’s policy of “go down the road” in healthcare and it’s not inconceivable to be concerned about National’s hidden eugenic agenda. Are you?

  56. gobsmacked 56

    Billy

    Read Phil Best’s comments on this thread. Read the various international comparisons, past or present.

    More importantly, listen to the rhetoric of the anti-EFB campaign – the leaders, not the fringe – urging us to “Fight Fascism”.

    That is “making shit up”.

  57. Billy 57

    My point exactly ‘sod. You have put those two together and are concerned. Yet somehow it is not legitimate for me to do the same.

  58. Robinsod 58

    Bro, I might have some serious misgivings about National but I don’t think they are eugenicists. Jesus, how crazy do you think I am?

  59. Billy 59

    ‘sod
    1. I thought we had agreed it was “bro'”.
    2. See, gobsmacked was not using hyperbole.
    3. I have no idea how crazy you are.

  60. gobsmacked 60

    So Billy, do you believe (as John Boscawen does) that the EFB is fascist?

  61. r0b 61

    Billy – it’s hard to believe that you are constructing a genuine fear of an evil left wing conspiracy out of a random comment by Trotter. If you are – please – for heaven’s sake – let it go. The point of robinsod’s example was not to reinforce your fears, but to illustrate what insubstantial foundations they are based on.

    Most people on the left and most people on the right want the same thing – peace and prosperity. They just disagree about the methods. (Oh – and the right are wrong!).

  62. Billy 62

    gobsmacked,

    I am worried that it is a partisan attempt by the government of the day to remove the tactical advantages that its opponent has (the government having its own, but different advantages).

    I am not so simple-minded to believe that National’s objection is out of a concern for democracy.

    I have a genuine concern that some on the left have been smoking so much of their own weed that they genuinely believe that a little bit of corruption is OK because a right wing government would be such an unpalatable prospect.

    Fascism is in the eye of the beholder, it appears. I do not consider that it is bandied about with such abandon that it is pretty much meaningless.

  63. Billy 63

    remove the “do not”

  64. r0b 64

    I am worried that it is a partisan attempt by the government of the day to remove the tactical advantages that its opponent has (the government having its own, but different advantages).

    The government’s advantage is exactly that. The advantage of the incumbent. It’s impossible to avoid (unless you want to forbid the government communicating with citizens). And it applies equally (over time) to National or Labour.

    The advantage that National has from covert funding is exactly that, an advantage for National (and only National). Now – if you believe that it’s OK for covert money to buy elections, then you’re fine with that. But if you believe in a level playing field democracy, you have to try and fix the problems so starkly highlighted by the 2005 election.

    So the EFB is designed to level the playing field. For everyone. (Put aside the advantage of the incumbent government – that is NOT a systemic Labour advantage. And the balancing advantage for the opposition, if you like, is that people tend to get sick of governments and fancy change for the sake of it).

    I am not so simple-minded to believe that National’s objection is out of a concern for democracy.

    Good for you. Me neither.

    I have a genuine concern that some on the left have been smoking so much of their own weed that they genuinely believe that a little bit of corruption is OK because a right wing government would be such an unpalatable prospect.

    Probably, sure. “The Left” and “The Right” are big, diverse groups of fallible humans. Neither is perfect.

  65. gobsmacked 65

    Billy

    OK. The word then (for your first sentence) would be “gerrymander”. I do not agree that the EFB does this, but even in stable democracies that is something to guard against, and so it can be a legitimate criticism.

    Whereas this kind of thing (printed placards for the anti-EFB campaign) is just silly:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/423466/1469545

    But I suspect that when the dust settles, next year we will have free and fair elections, and NZ will remain one of the least corrupt democracies on earth. Even if National win.

  66. r0b 66

    gobsmacked – hear hear!

  67. Tane 68

    Billy, you obviously missed my response on Kiwiblog:

    # Tane Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    David, good to see you’re an avid reader of The Standard. A pity though that you felt the need to cast aspersions on our honesty and accuse us of double standards. You certainly kick up a stink whenever you think people are accusing you of that.

    Just to set the record straight, we weren’t actually aware of Simon Cunliffe’s former position as a Labour press sec, but now you mention it I agree entirely – it would have been useful if his recent political affiliations had been disclosed.

    Same goes for your old pal Richard Long, who feels fit to write columns dismissing the importance of the Brethren and attacking the Electoral Finance Bill without mentioning how utterly conflicted he is on these issues.

    A bit like yourself as an independent commentator on the EFB, eh David?

  68. dave 69

    Cunlffe wasn’t just formerly employed as a Labour Party press secretary – he was ” recently employed” ie he was employed within Labour when the EF bill was going through select committee.

    Now hes popped out to write about it as a journo. Richard Long has long gone from National

  69. The Double Standard 70

    Yes, and Dr Michael Bassett has been even longer gone from Labour – seemingly far enough to disagree with them….

    Current laws place spending limits on personal and party advertising at both the local and central levels. They have stood the test of time. If applied, they would even have caught the Exclusive Brethren last time for failing to carry adequate authorization for their leaflets. It’s taxpayers’ funds spent on mood music that is a greater threat to the electoral process. No existing or proposed laws cover that. Our ministers, these days, thrive on double standards.

    http://www.michaelbassett.co.nz/articleview.php?id=176

  70. r0b 71

    “It’s taxpayers’ funds spent on mood music that is a greater threat to the electoral process.”

    TeDiouS – are you sure you want to be citing this sort of rubbish in your defence?

  71. Pascal's bookie 72

    Does Michael Basset disclose that he lied about what was in those Brethren leaflets, or rather that he lied about whether or not those leaflets were truthful about Green party policy on capital gains tax?

    Probably not. He seemed a little titchy about it when he lost his gig at the dompost.

  72. PhilBest 73

    I’m not talking about one political columnist. I’m talking about the EFB and the people who support it, even if very few newspaper columnists or editors do. The most public representation he people who support it, are people like Chris Trotter, Nicky Hager, John Minto, and bloggers like Tane, Roger Nome, Sonic, Sam Dixon, Robinsod, rOb, et al. One can take it that the whole Aro Valley mob, much of the VUWSA, and all that kind of ilk are included. And this lot ARE by by their own frequent admission part of a plot to undermine NZ society to advance their Marxist egalitarian “utopia”.

    “Drum roll”, indeed. A stereotype grand martial-music fanfare a la Red Square march-past would be much more appropriate.

  73. Red Square 74

    Forward the red army tank division to front line kiwi’s as they have a facade of a democracy .

  74. Mike Porton 75

    Hi dad.

  75. Matthew Pilott 76

    And this lot ARE by by their own frequent admission part of a plot to undermine NZ society to advance their Marxist egalitarian “utopia”

    Shit that was a good laugh. Ok so the drink helped a little.

    Mike – You got those SIS files for me?

  76. Mike Porton 77

    Nah, bro I left them in Helen’s office. Or was it at communist party HQ ? Y’know I spend so much time moving between the two I’m always losing track of things…

    You won’t believe this but the capture is “darn laundryman” – I guess this is a cue to discuss just why we need the EFB…

  77. r0b 78

    The most public representation he people who support it, are people like Chris Trotter, Nicky Hager, John Minto, and bloggers like Tane, Roger Nome, Sonic, Sam Dixon, Robinsod, rOb, et al.

    You forgot:

    Annette King (and the Labour Party)
    Winston Peters (and NZ First)
    Russel Norman (and the Greens)
    Jim Anderton
    Peter Dunne (and United Future)

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10481042&pnum=0

  78. Pascal's bookie 79

    Speaking Of VUWSA, it may be a myth but I was told that the Monty Python club once organised a whole crowd of people to attend a meeting, and they managed to pass a motion or something that the VUWSA should invade Poland just as soon as the panzer divisions could be made ready. Watch out Phil!!

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  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    6 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    10 hours 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
    10 hours 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 ...
    11 hours 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 ...
    12 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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? ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    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
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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    5 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 ...
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  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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    5 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 ...
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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  • State of National Emergency extended
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  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
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    6 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    7 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    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 ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks ago