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Open mike 03/12/09

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 3rd, 2009 - 32 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

mike

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

32 comments on “Open mike 03/12/09”

  1. Ron 1

    I was interested and horrified to hear Garth McVicar on the death of Wanganui prison inmate Taffy Hoten: “There’s not going to be any tears anywhere I mean, the justice system is failing, but ultimately there’s justice at the end of the day, it appears.”

    Given McVicar has also recently said that they’ll be pushing for the Death Sentence in the future I think we have a fight coming.

    • prism 1.1

      I didn’t hear whether his lobby group had been able to establish their charity status so that they still get the handouts that provide the fuel for the continued rant.
      It was under consideration and the committee? were considering withdrawing the status. What is the latest? McVicar said that he wouldn’t be able to carry on if status wiped.

      • Angelsadvocate 1.1.1

        For your information Mr McVicar does not get paid for the work he does on behalf of past, present and future victims. As a victim I would not wish the life I now live since by daughter was killed on anyone even those ill informed about the Trust. Believe me, if the trust is denied the status as a Charitable Trust there will be many people myself included demanding change. I also contribute to “the fuel for the continued rant” at my own personal cost. Why? because my 20 year old daughter was killed. Her death could have been prevented if police and corrections were doing their job to ensure pubic safety rather than pandering to the “status”, rights/needs of the repeat criminal offender. on parole and given a new identity, a new start in life under the Police Witness Protection Programme.

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          Personally the victims support side of the SST seems to reasonably effective from what I have anecdotally heard. The problem is that they seem to do less of that than they do pushing a political agenda.

          That seemed to occupy the majority of the SSTs time and funding over the last few years as far as I can see, and looks suspiciously over-funded. The speculation is that it is largely funded by offshore private prison companies. To date the SST hasn’t convinced virtually anyone that they aren’t just a conduit for pushing covert political lobby funds.

          They should either get a lot more transparent about their funding or stop being a charity and become a taxed lobby group.

    • Dave 1.2

      Garth Mcvicar is a calm and rational man. Id like to see your source for claiming he wants to reinstate the death sentence. I think youve made that up.

      I know the family of Kylie jones. I saw what that animal did to her. Its easy for you to jump on your moral high horse about Garth saying there will be no tears, because you still sleep at night. You go about your normal life happy as larry. The people who are left after a crime like this, never get to go about their normal life again. I had the most tenuous connection possible to Kylie, the crime was almost 10 years ago, and I still wake up in the middle of the night to check the house is locked, even though I know it is.
      Things like that are across the board, with her family, her fiancee’s family and her friends. we’re talking about 20 or 30 people who have a huge hole in their lives.

      Then there’s Taffy. Someone who not only made a concious choice to rape and Murder another human being, who managed to go ahead with it despite her screams and pleading. But who was comfortable enough with what hed done to take her bank cards afterwards, withdraw her money and spend it on booze and KFC for his mates.
      He had a party while her fiancee sat at home wondering where she was, phoning anyone and everyone.
      No one has moved on from that, and his parole hearings were going to start in only another 8 years. And everyone was going to have to relive it again from scratch.

      His death has brought relief to the family that you could never understand. Everyone reads about these horrendous crimes, and everyone imagines themselves in the families shoes and thinks gosh wouldnt that be awful. But untill you sit there, with your family in ruins, with police coming and going through the house, not giving you information making you wait days for the tiniest scrap, being able to stand at the drive way and see the crime scene and know this persons body is still there. Until you experience a total paradigm shift of genuine horror like that. You can have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

      There’s not going to be any tears anywhere.

      In fact, I drank champagne.

  2. A disturbing number of such people are dying in prison (Antonie Dixon another one). Convicted admittedly of extremely unpleasant crimes, it is disturbing because it looks like some prison staff adopt an “I know nothink’ approach to what in some cases appear to be proxy executions. McVicar definitely supports, just not openly yet, the return of capital punishment for sure.

    • Angelsadvocate 2.1

      Maybe you should spare a thought to the distrubingly increasing number of innocent victims who have had theirs lives ruined or taken from them by the people who are in prison. Maybe the offenders have woken up to the fact, albeit to late, that they are not nice people and cannot live in a controlled environment like prison let alone out in the community so have decided to end their heinous lives themselves. Don’t think you can blame the prison staff or anyone else. The responsibility lives with the offender and if he/she choses to take their own live so be it.

      • Well Angel I am with Russell Brown from another blog who maintains that victims of horrendous circumstances should get a free pass basically. But I see McVicar as an opportunist advancing his political agenda on tragic events such as you describe.

        In the long run we are all in this together, if we allow an unequal society we all reap the crap that results. Societies with less inequality do better.

        Some of these alleged prison suicides are actively encouraged in the absence of mental health care, and some of them are clearly murders. I don’t begrudge you for cheering when some sick soul expires but this is not where a civil society should be heading.

        • prism 2.1.1.1

          It is sad that little seems to be done to cut the number of crimes. Many people have been calling for a limit to alcohol sales by time and place for instance. It seems that the other problems that confront politicians and movers and shakers are seen as more serious yet a huge amount of our country’s cash is lost through crime and its aftermath.

          But politicians can’t steel themselves to do what’s necessary, carrot and stick stuff. Those prisoners who haven’t become Hannibal Lecters should be trained and taught skills so they can find a job, and moved out of prison. They would see education as a hard punishment at first. Many have never disciplined themselves to learn at school or have had unknown disabilities, deafness, mental illness etc. The other prisoners, who have shown themselves to be repeatedly violent or repeatedly to prey on society need custodial sentences, long ones perhaps whole of life. Such people may be mentally ill but once it has taken that line, they need to be locked away, for public as well as their own safety.

          There is always demand for a bold politician to show leadership (that word has so many facile meanings at the end of the day). But it is usually a cry for more punishment. We need to be selective and keep the worst repeat offenders locked up, and habilitate the others who, once they have proved themselves able to conduct their lives, would be released on suspended sentences into a job on the outside. We should also not let the police trade new identities and clean slates with crims for information, as in a recent case.

          The tragedies go on and the media suck up the grief like thick spongey towels. Thursday morning we seemed to have each family member of the murdered Christchurch woman commenting, one reading a prepared statement, about their grief after the killer Peach was convicted. And the same refrain, that the sentence isn’t long enough, that the loved one has had life extinguished while the killer goes on, and it is all true and sad to hear repeated, with so little effective change being made.

          I wonder how much hands-on work is being done to reduce habits of violence being passed on from adults to children. There is much education, and publicity as for White Ribbon Day. But do sports people after a few drinks think its okay to attack others? Policemen think its okay to gang up and
          intimidate women or men? What are NZ’s attitudes really? And what about the angry, violent women who assault? I wonder is any academic studying the crimes who can put some context on them. Greg Newbold for instance.

          How do parents teach their children to handle rejection, bullying, abuse etc.
          It would be interesting to know if the demand that women name the fathers of unplanned babies causes resentment and the extreme tension that boils over into attacks on the women, and perhaps the attacks on babies are from fathers linked to the child in this legalistic and moralistic way. I wonder if there is informed comment on the crime stats.

  3. Jenny 3

    Oil company and automobile industry lobbyists get their way with the public purse.

    In the age of climate change and predicted sea level rise, an undersea tunnel to accommodate even greater car use, is a scandalous and irresponsible use of a huge amount of tax payers money.

    The parliamentary opposition parties particularly, the Greens and the Maori party need to be challenged to join a grand coalition against this lunacy.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3121081/Auckland-bridge-fix-for-86m-then-3-5b-for-tunnels

    Auckland bridge fix for $86m then $3.5b for tunnels

    The Dominion Post

    Last updated 05:00 03/12/2009

    The cost of upgrading Auckland’s harbour bridge has doubled, it has emerged, as officials take the first steps to replace the route with tunnels.

    The cost of strengthening Auckland Harbour Bridge’s clip-on lanes was set at $45 million when announced in 2007. Yesterday, New Zealand Transport Agency’s regional director, Wayne McDonald, said an extra $41 million had been approved to complete work.

    The announcement came as the agency lodged notices of requirement with the Auckland City and North Shore City councils to earmark land for two road and two rail tunnels under the Waitemata Harbour. The estimated cost of the routes is $3.5 billion.

    Mr McDonald said it was important to recognise that the 50-year-old bridge could not continue as the city’s main harbour crossing.

    The 1.2-kilometre bridge has an average of 154,000 vehicle crossings daily, at times reaching 200,000. About 60 more cars are estimated to join Auckland roads every day.

    He said repairs to the bridge required 43 per cent more steel than originally estimated. The complexity of the work had also increased labour hours, he said.

    “The scale and complexity of this project is huge. The initial funding approval was an urgent measure to address an urgent need. As the work has progressed, the need for further investment to complete it to the required standard and extend the service life of the bridge has become apparent,” Mr McDonald said.

    The strengthening is expected to be completed next year and keep the bridge open for heavy trucks for the next 20 years.

    NZTA has filed documents with Auckland City Council and North Shore City Council to ensure land on the proposed tunnel routes remains free. They will link the central city at Victoria Park to North Shore City at the Esmonde Rd Takapuna interchange.

    • Agreed. We are quite possibly at peak oil now and these plans for the construction of motorways for decades on end appear to me to be severely short sighted.

      We should be electrifying the rail system and building the Queen Street tunnell with the money that would otherwise be used on the bridge replacement.

      To make such a decision would require political bravery and the ability to anticipate the future.

      So I am not holding my breath …

      • Bored 3.1.1

        I am looking forward to walking across the current bridge, hesitating only to avoid the cyclists and trams in the centre lane, perhaps buying a snack from a vendor parked under the arch….a lot of people think I am joking and that “technology” will save us.

    • prism 3.2

      Good info Jenny.
      Interesting bit on What Works The ST 2/11 on NZ geology. Wonder what Auckland harbour rock base is like. And who decides on tunnel which Banks says he prefers? Questions! Surely LTSA can’t be the lone decider. And why more connections at Takapuna? Why not spread to say Point Chev across?

      What role has ARC got? Will that be vanishing when the all-Auckland crowd get power?

  4. vto 4

    Imagine if we were allowed to keep kiwis as pets. And native frogs and lizards. And, well every native creature. It would surely boost the populations of those endangered species. Sounds like a good idea … Sounds a tad foolish that we can’t …

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Not all animals can be tamed and the main benefit of maintaining the population only exists if they’re in the wild.

  5. prism 5

    The company has to make a profit if it makes an investment. Straightforward and incontrovertible. That’s what electricy company Mighty River head Doug Heffernan said this morning. Also that there are no price controls, no limits like cost plus which I suppose is more like a not-for-profit system.

    It’s what you get when you have privatisation of infrastructure, ie electricity, prisons, health services, old age care, contracted out needs. The company carrying them out has to make a profit. Why should it be a holy grail that private companies do it better, cheaper, more efficiently? Every hour paid for by the contracting organisation is diced and sliced, and the worker dangling at the end of the key ring gets as small a portion as possible and probably poorer work conditions. If the org priced on cost of labour plus administration, it would be cheaper. And keeping them efficient, and up to standard, there would need to be adequate overview, it’s necessary but merely privatising everything is no answer.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Majority favour MMP – poll

    A new opinion poll has shown MMP is the favoured voting system.

    So, why are we having the referendum again?

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      It’s annoying, but if MMP wins the first round in any sort of knockout, that’ll be all she wrote for at least a few decades.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Garth George: A taskforce not to be reckoned with

    The description of the report by Finance Minister Bill English as “too radical” is the final absurdity. The report is not just too radical; it is economic and social bullshit, a serious waste of taxpayers’ money, and every copy should be recycled into toilet paper.

    Another Garth George opinion piece that I mostly agree with.

  8. Armchair Critic 8

    Two more disappointments from the right today.
    1. Auckland City Council continue with their policy of abandoning the homeless to their fate. Why use a carrot and stick approach, when you can just use a stick?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10613125
    2. A constraint on the gas supply to Auckland is identified. So, as Minister of Energy, Gerry Brownlee calls the interested parties together and then proceeds to issue a statement saying “there’s nothing the government can do.” Why actually solve infrastructure problems when you can leave it to the market? After years of failing to plan, now the various parties are going to get their act together. And all because Gerry told them to.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/stories/2009/12/03/1245d905af3d

  9. a little disappointed that no-one’s pointed out John Key being a ‘fast follower’ yet…

  10. kiwiteen123 10

    I move that this country has no confidence in the official opposition.

    “The Opposition aims to hold the government accountable and to present itself to the electorate as a credible government in waiting’

    The opposition led by Phil Goff and the Labour Party has failed to meet these aims.

    They have not managed to hold the Government accountable on the issues that really matter and instead have focused on the petty things. The job of the opposition is to ask questions and publically hold the government accountable for their actions. If the National-led Government was so minded they could do what ever they wanted with the opposition doing nothing.

    The Labour Party (and Jimmy) have not presented themselves as ‘a credible government in waiting’. They are failing (or should I say “they have not yet achieved’). They are ineffective and present themselves as tired faces with tired policies from the 1980’s. In the latest poll, Phil Goff was at 5%.

    They present a man who appears to be drunk onto television prattling on about how bad Roger Douglas is/was and that New Zealand started to go down hill from his time. I’m sorry but, what party did he belong to?

    For the Labour Party to gain real traction, they need to have a turnover. They need to remove the old faces and bring in new ones. They need to scrap the leader and his deputy and gamble on a younger face.

    As I see it, the real problem with the Labour Party is that their more experienced members are too old and their brighter faces are too young. For the time being, Labour is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    I move that this country has no confidence in the Labour-led opposition because they fail to hold the government accountable and they fail to present themselves as a credible government in waiting.

    • Armchair Critic 10.1

      KT123 – You need to read the whole wikipedia article that you sourced that quote from. Even with a tiny imagination it is clear that Labour has held the govt to account.
      As for presenting a credible government in waiting, the next election is a long two years away. And what with a week being a long time in politics and all that….
      Why are you trying to run this distraction, are National so bad that you need to divert the attention away from them with crap like this?. Honestly, it stinks of desperation.

      • kiwiteen123 10.1.1

        @Armchair Critic Please do provide the quotes from the article that you a referring to.
        @Lynn National was a bad opposition under Shipley and English. I know that. I never said otherwise. Where did I even mention history? As typical you completely change the topic to suit you.

        • Armchair Critic 10.1.1.1

          I didn’t quote anything KT123 – you did.
          I just cut and pasted “The Opposition aims to hold the government accountable and to present itself to the electorate as a credible government in waiting” from your comment and googled it. The first thing that came up was a wikipedia page on the official opposition in NZ. Coincidence? I doubt it, it is a long quote.
          So now you are writing rubbish, as a distraction from how awful the government actually are, based on information from wikipedia and you can’t even acknowledge it. Weak.

          • kiwiteen123 10.1.1.1.1

            I am an avid user of Wikipedia. (check my profile, same name.)
            I am not denying that I sourced it from wikipedia.
            My point was, What do I need to read on the wikipedia page that makes Labour a good opposition.
            I can’t see it there.

            Of course you weren’t quoting it, that’s why I asked you to quote it.

            • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.1.1.1

              I, for one, am not too sure what your complaint about Labour as an opposition actually is.

              It seems that you don’t think they are a credible opposition simply because Phil Goff is polling so low. While that means that they obviously aren’t in any sort of position to govern, that’s all it means.

              An opposition, by definition, will tend to be polling lower than the govt. Especially at this point in the cycle, and especially after having so recently been in power for so long.

              If you define ‘credibilty as an alternate government’ solely by whether or not they have the support to govern, then you are not really giving any opposition the chance to fill the definition, so your complaint is rather senseless.

              I suspect the phrase means something else.

              You say:

              If the National-led Government was so minded they could do what ever they wanted with the opposition doing nothing.

              and I’m, again, a bit confused as to what you might mean.

              This is what governments are like. They have the power to govern despite the opposition. That is what governments are, the group of politicians in parliament with the confidence of the house, and the votes to do whatever they want, over the objections of the opposition.

            • kiwiteen123 10.1.1.1.1.2

              @PB Well reasoned but I fail to agree… National is leading Labour by 22%. In my opinion, to be a credible opposition you need to be within 10% of the Government.
              The Government is leading the opposition by 58 to 31. (I got these figures from a Wikipedia page btw.)
              “No matter who loud you shout, you will not drown out the voice of the people” Marches, protests and talk-back calls mean something to the Government. The opposition has failed to get the country behind them in holding the government to account.
              I look forward to another mature and insightful discussion with you, PB.

              • lprent

                That is a good rule of thumb for an election year.

                There isn’t an election this year. There is unlikely to be one next year. The next election is likely to be in November 2011. Because a good rule of thumb is that governments that call for early elections tend to get punished for early dissolutions.

                Please look for the “engage brain” switch. Turn it on.

            • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.1.1.3

              Sorry KT, but polling isn’t the point of credibility. Credibility as it applies to oppositions goes to whether or not they could credibly govern if they had the support.

              The fact that they do not have the support is what makes them oppositions. ( The following is longer that I intended, but the last para hints at what credibilty actually means for oppositions)

              This government for example, has the support to govern, but they at times make an awful hash of it. I’m not here talking about policy that I disagree with, but the mechanics of governing.

              Look at the scramble to get an ETS, where they pork barreled the maori Party to get over the line. The forestry issue relating to treaty settlements needed to be resolved one way or the other, but the least credible way of doing it was the way they chose. It would have been far better to keep the two issues separate and dealt with on their respective merits, instead, neither issue was dealt with on the merits.

              Or the gang patch legislation fiasco which ended up trading ACT votes against themselves for the 3 strikes bill.

              Or the ACC legislation which Nick Smith had to hold back from bringing to the house because he didn’t have the votes.

              Or Gerry Brownlee’s management of the house, with urgency brought in, but then the house having to stop sitting because they run out of things to do.

              The underlying issue to this events is that this government, for all it’s popularity, is incoherent. Key has tried an experiment with getting as many parties on board as he can. Good on him, he can do that, but it comes with costs.

              Were we to face some sort of dire emergency, the system would survive fine (I’m thinking here about a war of necessity or a natural disaster) but only because the solutions to those types of events are generally non ideological, so parliament tends to act in unison.

              With a crisis that was prone to ideological solutions however, this govt would struggle. Should a major trading partner, or a central player in the world economy face a genuine collapse or crisis, what would this government do? There would be the same mad dash for votes in the house that we see over any issue that is ideological, with the lead party, National, flailing around trying to find which of it’s smaller partners it wants to wag it’s tail.

              And that is why we have a credible opposition. National are not prepared to do anything too radical, or even to put a mark n the sand about much. Most of the position taking under Key has been done by the junior partners in govt, with the Nats picking sides between them on an ad hoc basis. the explanation for that strange behaviour, is that key is all too aware that in Labour there is a credible opposition that people will vote for if he moves too far from the centrist pragmatic branding that he carved out for himself.

    • lprent 10.2

      kt123: So young, so inexperienced, so much learning to do.

      Also your history is crap. If you want to look at a really pathetic opposition, read up on the 1999-2003 national party. They really did bring a new meaning to the word ‘pitiful’, with exactly the the issues that you’re describing in age ranges.

      They basically spent 4 years wondering why in the hell the electorate rejected them and back-biting themselves. This opposition has pretty well pulled itself together in less than a year.

      Labour looks pretty good to me as an opposition at present. Mind you, they’d better be. Otherwise I’d be kicking some arse.

      In the meantime they’ve managed to get the 1000 cuts campaign underway that is required to destabilize a government (with a bit of help from here). Of course the NACTs are so disorganized that it has been pretty damn easy to date. The wingnuts are starting to do their bit out on the right…

      Policy is Labours issue next year, to be done by the end of the year. They started the discussions at annual conference. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes next.

  11. TF 11

    ACC’s reserves are now above forecast by $739 million (5.4 percent), a further improvement over last month
    hmm
    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2009/12/04/mirrors-smashed-and-smoke-dispersed/

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    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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    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
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • 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
    17 hours 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
    19 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
  • 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    7 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
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