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Open Mike 05/01/2015

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, January 5th, 2015 - 130 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeThe Authors of the Standard are now in holiday mode. Posting will be less regular and dependant on individual author enthusiasm. Open mike will continue every day and prepare yourself for some year in review posts and some recycling of old stuff. And as R0b has said be nice to each other.

Open mike is your post.

The Standard is not a conspiracy – just a welcome outlet for the expression of views. Leaders that command respect will not be undermined by this.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

130 comments on “Open Mike 05/01/2015”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    It turns out that the higher your mortgage debt, the less likely you are to start a business.


    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      That’s actually one of the reasons why I think that all housing should be state housing. It gets rid of mortgages entirely while also guaranteeing people a place to live. Under such conditions people are more likely to be entrepreneurial.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        And since the state has no interest in maximising life styles for some, everyone ends up living in the same beige boxes with 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. No thanks.

        • TheContrarian

          I look forward to when all clothing is made by the state too. We can all wear our beige blazers in our beige boxes.

          • Once wasTim

            couldn’t be any worse than a Ryall stripe/check/polka dot mix in fashion hues that are 5 years out of date with the feshun movas en sheikas en entra prin-oohers, but then your proposition is ridiculous anyway and designed to confuse. Mrs Ryall – poor bitch! I bet she’d be praying for a communist alternative (just as soon as she runs out of gingham table cloths)
            By the way, did I tell you how utterly gorgeous you look and how it seems everyone in here holds you in awe as a sage and the voice of reason?
            Give us peasants a tip will ya? How on Earth do you do it?

            • TheContrarian

              Huh? All I got was something about Ryall dress sense, reference to his wife as a ‘bitch’ then some pointless abusive comment.

              Care to expand?

        • Draco T Bastard

          One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is the ever increasing amount of beige boxes to live in. Take the street I live in – every single house is almost identical to each other and all of them built by private enterprise. Why? Because it’s cheaper and thus they can make a higher profit.

          Basically, you’re talking out your arse again.

          • Lanthanide

            Basically, you’re cherry-picking examples and pretending they’re somehow evidence to support your weird idea.

            • Draco T Bastard

              No, I’m not. Most major housing developments in NZ over the last 40 years or so have been done with houses that have a similar design resulting in entire suburbs with houses that look the same. There are very few individually designed houses made today.

              You’re the one who considers this to be a problem and yet you refuse to believe that it exists simply because you don’t want to believe that private ownership also results in the beige boxes that you apparently despise.

              There’s a reason for the term McMansions and it has nothing to do with government ownership.

              • Lindsey

                Yes, look at British Victorian and Edwardian housing. Only 2 house plans and all in rows as that was the most economic to build. All done by private enterprise.

              • Lanthanide

                Here’s what you said, Draco:

                “why I think that *all* housing should be state housing”

                I’ve added emphasis on the key word in your statement.

                Similarly, just because houses made by developers have a set number of house plans, that again does mean the current situation we have would be the same as if every single house were state-owned, which is what you’re advocating.

                For example, you can buy off-the-plans houses of 320m^2 if you have the money to do it. If all houses were state-owned, do you think the state would be building *any* houses that large? I doubt it, which is what my entire comment is about.

                Furthermore, even if the exterior is fairly similar between the houses built by private developers, the owners still have the option to change the interior fit-out to a higher standard if they want it. Would you get that option if all houses were state-owned? Probably not.

                Similarly if you wanted (for whatever reason) a 3-bedroom 4-bathroom house, under a situation where all housing is state-owned and provided by the government, do you think it is likely you would get your house? Again, I think not.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  For example, you can buy off-the-plans houses of 320m^2 if you have the money to do it. If all houses were state-owned, do you think the state would be building *any* houses that large? I doubt it, which is what my entire comment is about.

                  I seriously question the sanity of people who think they need a 320m^2 house. But, if you really thought you did need such, you can always move to the US where such insanity is the norm.

                  Furthermore, even if the exterior is fairly similar between the houses built by private developers, the owners still have the option to change the interior fit-out to a higher standard if they want it. Would you get that option if all houses were state-owned?

                  You’d have a choice in interior fit out of course. It’d all be of the highest quality – just not name brand BS that’s usually made in some unknown factory/sweatshop in Asia.

          • Herodotus

            Your reasoning for why is a bit misplaced, it is not primarily profit based, but dictated by the section size and town planning rules that apply :site coverage that maximises the area of land of a footprint of the dwelling & driveway,, height to boundary constraints, where stormwater drains are located as they are extremely expensive to bridge over, and fall of the section to name a few. To cater for a greater variety & to allow dwellings to be built at a lower cost increase section sizes. This will allow for single level dwellings that are dramatically more financially effective to build than multi level dwellings, but then there is the issue of lower pop. densities and the costs associated with that.
            So as you have said that these are built by private enterprises they are bound by what has been deemed allowable by local authority and even central govt.
            Many kiwis are experts with residential properties but possess minimum knowledge and understanding in this area. 🙂 yet this lack of understanding still results in the best returns available in NZ, go figure !!

            • Draco T Bastard

              it is not primarily profit based,

              Everything that the private sector does is primarily profit based. In this case getting lots of different designs is really expensive and so they don’t. They, seemingly, get one design and change it slightly.

              So as you have said that these are built by private enterprises they are bound by what has been deemed allowable by local authority and even central govt.

              The town planning rules allow a near infinite variety of design within those constraints.

              To cater for a greater variety & to allow dwellings to be built at a lower cost increase section sizes.

              Land is the most scarce resource that we have and you think making the sections bigger will make houses cheaper?

              • Herodotus

                Most developments I am familiar within Auckland delivery product that is far superior than what the min. council requirements permit ( there are many examples of what compliance of council rules result in e.g. stancombe road, flat bush school road
                You made the statement of rules allow a near infinite variety, really, examples would be appreciated to allow me to see where my experience & knowledge is lacking. Town planning rules are so prescriptive that they hinder almost all innovation. Look at what there is just to proceed with a plan change !!!
                Buy increasing densities in zoning all that does is dramatically increase the value of raw land, and as sections reduce in size then by default there is then only allowed by site coverage rules multi level homes that on a per m2 rate are more expensive to build than a house of the same area on a single level. So according to this making sections larger would make housing less unaffordable.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Most developments I am familiar within Auckland delivery product that is far superior than what the min. council requirements permit

                  And yet my family in the building industry has difficulty reminding the developers that they have to build to code because the developers are continually cutting costs. The result is often that the work has to be redone because the developers wouldn’t listen and told them to build how they wanted it done and then it failed code compliance.

                  Town planning rules are so prescriptive that they hinder almost all innovation.

                  How is it that the rules determine the shape and design of the building? They don’t. Just so long as the structure meets the building code they can be built. You can get a round house built – you just have to get it designed. The developers aren’t paying for the extra designs.

                  Buy increasing densities in zoning all that does is dramatically increase the value of raw land

                  I think you’ll find that running out of land does that as well. Throw in the higher costs of travel, sewage and provision of other services that larger sections entail and you’re working on a false economy.

          • Once wasTim

            Yep @ Draco. Here in Mt Vic 25 years ago, I painted my house in ‘Conservative Grey’ with White framing, and a lovely ‘Bottle/English Racing Green’ for the windows and trim. Charcoal Roof. Within 5 years, as others were anxious to begin gentifying the area (basically house owners being the eqivalent of ‘wolves of Wall Street’), I counted no fewer than 11 houses who’d copied my utterly gorgeous colour scheme). I’d expected originality, and if not that – then possibly the grey and pink hues in vogue – with perhaps as much stainless steel as they could get away with – without being called Jaffas at the time.
            …… and they profess ‘individualism’ and a loathing of nanny state, yet their entire being is unoriginal, plagiaristic, ideological (and they’re usually just a wee bit fick).
            So I thought I could be forgiven when I passed the house on to my offspring, bought another in Kapiti and painted it in the campest purple pastels you could imagine – in the hope I’d inspire the neighbouring Natzis to think a bit, and do something a little artistic and original. Guess what!
            (I shudda realised!, they’re represented by good ole boi Nafe Goi after all – he that doesn’t inhale and isn’t a racist git)

            • greywarshark

              @ Once was Tim
              People copying your originality because they haven’t any. I think that is a compliment to you. I confess i have taken photos of housing colours I like the look of. Sorry that the NACTs only like purple prose.

              (What a great example of a brew of ideas in Open Mike on a subject of interest, housing. Quite inspiring after seeing pu’s and TAs diatribes for some time.)

        • Murray Rawshark

          I’ve seen plenty of private developments that are just rows of identical boxes. There is no law of nature saying that state housing should be the same. As to the interests of the state – it does seem to want to maximise the lifestyles of quite a few people, including the executives of state enterprises. Bill English has also done pretty well from the state as far as housing goes. The tax cuts for the rich and the reticence in chasing up tax avoidance also act to maximise the lifestyles of some.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    G20 Rules mean bail-ins a reality.
    – What will this mean for the payment system if bail ins are instigated? People won’t want to put money in a bank again once they realise it can be taken to pay off debts the bank accumulated.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      It’s already happened (ie: the law is on the statute books) here, iirc. Has there been a subsequent slow-down in bank deposits?

      People won’t get upset about it until their money is taken.

      • vto 2.1.1

        100% correct.

        If ever there was evidence needed that most of the public are mushrooms, being kept in the dark and fed bullshit, then this reality is it.

        Our money in the bank can be taken off us to pay the bank – by government decree. Most of the public wouldn’t even believe you if you tried telling them that.

        Another law to thank John Key for …. makes laws to support and pay foreign-owned banks. Unbelievable. John Key’s legacy.

        • Rosie

          Ah yes. They can can’t they? Like feudal over lords, the banks can raid our money, that we entrust to them for safe keeping, should they find themselves in a sticky situation.

          Now, I recall I was in a fog of personal crisis at the time this law passed, and despite that was still horrified that a government of NZ would do that to it’s people, and horrified at the lack of response, but I don’t recall the details, the name of the Act, and the date it was passed.

          Worst case scenario, the scene wouldn’t be dissimilar to the images we saw a couple of years ago, of the Greeks lining up at the ATM’s to withdraw their money before the banks stole it to cover their arses.

        • phillip ure

          @ vto..

          “..Another law to thank John Key for …. makes laws to support and pay foreign-owned banks. Unbelievable. John Key’s legacy..”

          + 1..

        • Bearded Git


          “If ever there was evidence needed that most of the public are mushrooms, being kept in the dark and fed bullshit, then this reality is it.”

          Bernard Hickey yelled from the rooftops at the time the OBR law (see Miracle below) was enacted that it was not fair and people would be disgusted when the banks started taking their money to cover the banks’ own stuff-ups.

          The way to minimise the amount that can be stolen by the banks is to split your money between 2/3 banks because that will split your risk and I think there is a threshold above which the banks will steal your money-the so-called “haircut”.

        • disturbed

          100% vto.

          All bankers stick together so why did dumb arsed Kiwis think voting him back in was good for us all?

          Look this year for the big bang as the economy falls apart.

          Ha Ha Ha, best sell us now and last one leaving please turn the lights off as they said in 1987 as Douglas did his worst.

      • Tracey 2.1.2

        or they know lirc exists… they havent been well educated

    • Miracle Worker 2.2

      You are correct – this is a fact and it exists in New Zealand legislation now.

      It is called the “OBR” policy, standing for (Open Bank Resolution).

      All NZ trading banks were required to be fully compliant with this policy, by Treasury decree, by October 2013.

      In order to test this, I wrote to the ANZ Bank (who I bank with) and requested their assurance in writing that I am a first ranking creditor, as a depositor, in the event of their default.

      The ANZ took two months to reply to the question properly, initially refusing to answer it categorically or state one way or the other whether this is the case.

      In the end, I threatened them with legal action forcing them to state their position and mine if they did not do so voluntarily, accusing them of being in breach of any sense of fairness or recognised disclosure practices or rules.

      As a depositor with no debt owing to the bank there was no commercial risk for me in taking this position, although if I had held a mortgage with the bank I am reasonably certain I would have been punished somehow for placing the bank in that position.

      The ANZ ultimately answered after two months, confirming that as a depositor I *am not a secured creditor in the event of the bank’s default*.

      I then applied for the Treasury documents under the OIA, relating to the OBR.

      They confirm that all trading banks in NZ were required to comply with the OBR by October 2013.

      The Treasury documents also refer specifically to the fact that, in the event of trading banks defaulting, they will be closed for up to 48 hours, during which time *no* transactions can or will occur in any way via any means, before being reopened for business.

      During that time, the Treasury documents specifically refer to the process of “haircutting” and “haircuts” occurring on all private deposits in every trading bank in default.

      While the documents do not refer to the exact amount of the “haircut” in NZ’s case, my understanding is (from asking people in the know) that the NZ government has elected to cap it at no more than 20% of all private deposits.

      My understanding, as I have been led to believe, is that the OBR policy only applies to private deposits/depositors and not to company/business trading accounts, but I am not 100% certain on that aspect.

      I was told that Greece and Cyprus were test cases for this policy, and in the case of both of those countries, the “haircuts” were significantly higher than 20%.

      In my personal opinion, I believe there may be a link between the recent rushed-through surveillance legislation and the potential for the OBR to kick in at some point, given the way the public behaved in Greece and Cyprus when their personal savings were all shaved in the same manner.

      In other words, I believe history may prove it has more to do with crowd control and control of dissent than any threat of actual terrorism, but this is only my opinion.

      Either way, as far as the OBR goes, it is an absolute fact and is already in place, just waiting to happen in New Zealand.

      • phillip ure 2.2.1

        @ miracle worker..

        ..thanks for that clear-detailing..and yr work @ challenging them..

        ..do you mind if i put it up @ whoar..?

        ..it needs shouting from the rooftops..

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.2.2

        Good work dude.

        You probably first gave the ANZ legal dept a headache figuring out what the actual position was, then their PR department as they tried to couch the truth in as soft terms as possible.

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.2.3

        Basically the global central banksters co-ordinated the implementation of the “bail-in” regime throughout the western world last year (as described as it was in progress, by Zero Hedge):



        we can see clearly now that the banks are at the top of the global hierarchy, and the people will go on being sacrificed to on their alter, at their discretion.

        • Rosie

          “we can see clearly now that the banks are at the top of the global hierarchy, and the people will go on being sacrificed to on their alter, at their discretion.”

          “Cause it’s not you you and me, it’s the fu*king banks”

          OM song of the moment brought to you by M.I.A

          “Truth’s like a rotten tooth, you gotta spit it out”

      • Rosie 2.2.4

        Thanks for the specifics on the OBR Miracle Worker. Thanks also for sharing your exchange with the ANZ. An interesting and disturbing post, with a dark warning expressed in your summary:

        “In my personal opinion, I believe there may be a link between the recent rushed-through surveillance legislation and the potential for the OBR to kick in at some point, given the way the public behaved in Greece and Cyprus when their personal savings were all shaved in the same manner.

        In other words, I believe history may prove it has more to do with crowd control and control of dissent than any threat of actual terrorism, but this is only my opinion.”

      • alwyn 2.2.5

        For anyone who wants to see how it would work the Reserve Bank has published quite a lot of stuff on the policy.
        The simplest summary is probably this one.
        There appears to be quite a lot of confusion about it, and in particular I see commentators here are talking about how it is the bank affected that can take a cut of the deposits. It isn’t the existing bank that can do this. For this policy to be implemented the bank would be placed, effectively, in receivership. It will be liquidated.
        It should also be noted that before any “haircut” was administered all the share holders funds in the bank would be taken. They will bear the first losses and all their funds would go before any depositor’s funds were affected.
        It will also apply to all depositors. Company/Business accounts are not trated differently to private individuals.

      • Tracey 2.2.6

        thanks for this. my understanding from some research i did a month or so ago is the figure would be around 25%

        • alwyn

          Where did you find this estimate of 25%?
          As I understand the policy they will make a very rapid review of the status of the banks liquidity problems, make a conservative estimate of the amount necessary and freeze that fraction of each customer account.
          They will then make the rest of the account balances available for normal use.
          They doesn’t seem to be any real way to make such an estimate as 25% prior to a liquidity failure happening.
          You also don’t lose the money. It is simply an upper figure until the whole affair is sorted out.
          I very much doubt it will be necessary to use the policy in New Zealand. The major banks are pretty sound. It is better to have this available than to freeze the whole of the accounts until the liquidation is complete.

      • Murray Rawshark 2.2.7

        “In other words, I believe history may prove it has more to do with crowd control and control of dissent than any threat of actual terrorism, but this is only my opinion.”

        Since the threat of terrorism, apart from any state actions coming from our allies, is virtually zero, I share your belief. Our squirrels were totally useless against the French act of war in Auckland Harbour. In fact, their greatest achievements have been to spread lies about Ahmed Zaoui (lies from the same country that attacked us in Auckland Harbour), illegally spy on Dotcom, and illegally break into Aziz Choudry’s house. You have to wonder whose side they’re actually on, and I have to wonder why Andrew Little’s Labour was happy to give them extra powers. It’s not usually good practice to reward organisations for failing in such a spectacular manner.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Agree. And don’t forget intelligence services quick footed admin support for Slater.

          Except who said they (the intelligence services) have been failing…

          • Murray Rawshark

            True. I forgot to include the stuff about Goff and Whalespew which, if I remember correctly, came to light just before Goff and his colleagues voted for extra powers. Funny old world we live in.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Personally, I don’t have any problem with people who take on risk being subject to that risk. The real problem I have is that the shareholders, CEOs and directors won’t be subject to that risk even though they were the ones making the decisions.

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.3.1

        Exactly what “risk” do you think Worker Joe and Worker Jane think that they are taking on when they put $50 a week into their savings account?

        Hasn’t someone told them that the government “guarantees” the money in their bank?

        The idea being to prevent the old spectre of bank runs.

        Well I guess there is only one solution to this. Instead of keeping money in the bank (money which can then be “vapourised” en masse by keystrokes), buy houses with it.

        We are really a stupid society.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Exactly what “risk” do you think Worker Joe and Worker Jane think that they are taking on when they put $50 a week into their savings account?

          I’m pretty sure that they don’t think that they’re taking on any and that they’ll just be getting lots of free money from the interest. Of course, the existence of the interest should be telling them that they’re putting their money at risk as is what happens when you loan people (in this case, banks) money.

          Hasn’t someone told them that the government “guarantees” the money in their bank?

          Yep. Ever since the Great Depression the government has guaranteed banks. This guarantee is massive subsidy to the banks and pretty much allows them to cause the GFC and similar with no consequences to themselves or their customers.

          Well I guess there is only one solution to this. Instead of keeping money in the bank (money which can then be “vapourised” en masse by keystrokes), buy houses with it.

          Pretty sure that won’t work as bubbles always burst.

          We are really a stupid society.

          Yes and the major proof of that is that we base our economy on finances rather than actual physical reality.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            I agree with your comments but would just note that the traditional link between interest rates and risk (i.e. interest is the reward you get for accepting some investment risk) is entirely a pretend one.

            Central banks throughout the world are now enforcing zero interest rate and negative interest rate regimes. And not because risk is very low, but just the opposite.

      • alwyn 2.3.2

        As I commented just before here, a “haircut” will be used only after the existing shareholders have lost all their equity in the failing bank. They bear the first losses.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That makes me somewhat happier about it. Now to see what actually happens.

        • Ad

          Well thank God for that.
          But top work to MiracleWorker for pushing it anyway. Chilling.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            I wouldn’t be too relieved because shareholder funds in a bank are only a balance sheet entry, and usually inconsequential when compared to overall bank liabilities.

            • alwyn

              It isn’t just that item they would lose.

              They would lose, in the event of a liquidation of the bank, ownership of the whole company. If you had bought some Westpac shares, at say $35.00 each, out of the 2 billion or so outstanding you wouldn’t be terribly happy.

              Incidentally the smallest “shareholder funds” I have seen, in relation to the value of the business they were doing was Shell BP & Todd Oil Services as it was at the time. They developed and operated the Maui and Kapuni fields in Taranaki. The funds were reported in the balance sheet as being share capital of $2,000 less incorporation expenses of something like $700. That was it, for a company that was developing a multi-billion dollar project.
              It helped of course that they were guaranteed by Royal Dutch Shell, BP and the Todd corporation.

    • Colonial Rawshark 2.4

      1) They have already instituted effectively negative interest rates on the bank accounts of poor people via various “charges” and “bank fees.” So they are already directly taking peoples bank account money already, all the time, without asking.

      2) It’s a nonsense to talk as if the numbers in the account spreadsheet stored in the bank’s computer’s are somehow “your property.” Just thinking about it for a minute makes it clear how absurd a delusion that is. Similar to when you were a kid and you deposited a $20 note of “your” paper run money into “your” bank account, thinking that they keep it somewhere safe for you and when you withdrew it later on it was the same $20 note.

      • The Murphey 2.4.1

        Q. How is the illusion maintained that banks can ‘legally’ embezzle deposit holders funds as necessary when the central banks can quite literally ‘print’ the deposit funds back into existence ?

        • phillip ure

          @ the murphey..

          + 1..

        • Colonial Rawshark

          The aim is to funnel the balance of wealth to the top 1%, and to leave the bottom 99% with access to less and less resources. Central banks printing more money “dilutes” the value of the dollar holdings of ordinary people who can’t get that cheap new money, in favour of the wealth elite who can access it. However, a more direct way of achieving the same thing (especially when many smaller central banks like NZ’s aren’t allowed to print money outright) is to simply haircut ordinary depositers accounts.

          For poor people, the bulk of their financial assets are in ordinary bank accounts. For wealthy people the bulk of their financial assets are in their property, stock and bond portfolios.

          A policy of haircutting bank deposits hits poorer people the hardest.

          edit: I see that I did not answer your question directly. The illusion is maintained because most people in the 99% (and many in the 1%) have no idea how money is actually created, or about the “monetary operations” that every central bank can conduct as necessary to produce or destroy money in society.

          • Bearded Git

            Exactly CR.

            There is no “haircut” on the shares, securities and property owned by the 1% (though I prefer to refer to the top 5% when talking about the rich economies).

          • Colonial Rawshark

            I’ll follow on to say that once clear how the Reserve Bank can create money at will, and how our nation has hundreds of billions of dollars in bank deposits and similar financial instruments sitting around on various institutions electronic spreadsheets, that the phenomenon of child poverty/hunger and homelessness in NZ is an utter disgrace on a leadership elite which is becoming increasingly blind and deaf.

            TL:DR as a nation we’re not short of money to help NZers. We’d just rather get new Italian marble tiling for the bathroom, and German appliances for the new kitchen.

            • The Murphey

              My original question was rhetorical but thank you for the response CR

              With the outing of bank fraud LIBOR illicit laundering of cash FX manipulation HVT and such like…

              Having to listen to the charade play out that ‘we can’t afford it’ – how will ‘it’ be funded and such like should have any person(s) responsible for suffering or death of any human being due to continuation of the acknowledged charade up on charges and tried for the suffering they have forced onto human populace

              Pick the scenario in which bank fraud and the charade perpetuated by politicians and assorted talking heads has created suffering and death then understand it is one of the most vile conspiracies ever known

          • Draco T Bastard

            Central banks printing more money “dilutes” the value of the dollar holdings of ordinary people who can’t get that cheap new money, in favour of the wealth elite who can access it.

            Actually, that’s wrong.

            The central banks printing money with the government then spending it into the economy would help the poor to have more money but it would dilute the value of high savings amounts. In other words, the central banks printing money would devalue being rich if it’s done the right way which, as we saw with Quantitative Easing after the GFC, it isn’t. The money is printed and given to the rich to protect their wealth.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Yep, money creation for fiscal (government spending) purposes would have been helpful to far more people. In other words, bail out communities, not bail out the banks.

              • Poission

                money creation for fiscal (government spending) purposes would have been helpful to far more people.

                The fed profits since QE was started 2009-2013 has transferred to the US treasury 350 billion$ or greater then the total profits over the previous 18 years,a good little earner.


                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Yes, and of course the whole thing is a mathematical contrivance which allows the US to print $$$ to fund its wars and its war machines for corporate profit.

                  The Federal Reserve prints money to purchase debt (Treasuries) from the US Treasury. Those Treasuries pay the Federal Reserve interest – but has to print even more money to give to the Treasury, so that the Treasury can pay that interest to the Federal Reserve.

                  The Federal Reserve ends up making a profit on the whole deal (its profit consisting of dollars that it created, originally). And then shifts that profit to the US Treasury to spend on wars.

                  What a happy money merry go round, if you are in on it.

        • Miracle Worker

          I think you will find it has something to do with the fact that all trading banks are only required to hold 5% in reserve to cover all outstanding mortgages and loans, meaning they are effectively ponzi schemes, reliant on borrowers to keep paying interest in return to cover any withdrawal(s) you may wish to make.

          The potential for a run on the banks is significant if you factor in the probability of another GFC occurring again.

          John Key’s supporters literally have no idea of the degree to which he and Bill English are confusing luck with skill in their ‘management’ of our economy.

          “Gambling” is too kind a word to describe it.

          I predict that financial illiteracy will be the undoing of many, many New Zealanders, sooner than many would want to believe is possible.

          But as they say – “the annual general meeting of the Apathy Society is cancelled this year due to an increase in interest”.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            And bear in mind they only have to look for that 5% of reserves AFTER the fact i.e. lend first, look for reserves sometime later. IE at any given time they might not have that 5% on hand.

            And the idea of have 5c on the dollar of reserves is laughable anyways when you consider that derivatives “investments” (bets) that banks make can balloon out to multiples of liability.

  3. Saarbo 4

    Prior to the election, our lightweight media were raving about Rod Drury and his company ZERO, now the share price is starting to match reality, I expect that ZERO will be one of NZ’s more spectacular flops as its financial performance reflects its name.

    Rod Drury was one of our hopeless business elite who loudly supported the Nats/John Key prior to the election.


    and surprise, surprise…nothing on this in the NZH.

    • @ saarbo..

      to be fair to the herald..

      ..memory sent me diving into my archives..

      ..and they have been covering the fall of the share-price..


      • tricledrown 4.1.1

        Tighty righty will be taking a haircut from the ponzi dream that is Zero!
        Zero has failed to get a toe in the US market which was what the hype by Drury and many others said was going to make this company global.
        When you look at Zero’s profit it reflects reality.

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.2

      I laughed back then, when Drury told Dotcom that Xero (and some bizarre concept for a centralised corporatised ‘Internet Tsar’) represented the real internet and social media innovation in NZ, not MEGA.

      Our corporate elite are so out of touch. But that’s what you get for living in a world formed by just 1% to 2% of the Earth’s population.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        Our corporate elite are so out of touch. But that’s what you get for living in a world formed by just 1% to 2% of the Earth’s population.

        IMO, it’s not that much of the worlds population that determining the path we tread.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Hmmm, true, only the top 1% of those have any real power. The rest are just well paid hangers-on and professional service providers.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      Xero has been struggling since its inception. It’s a good idea but it won’t be a commercial success ever as the majority of people just don’t need expensive software to do their accounts.

      • Once wasTim 4.3.1

        another example of a company trying to get too big too quick. I heard somewhere recently that los americanos were ditching them in favour of MYOB for various reasons.
        I’ve wondered about Drury’s ACTUAL expertise and creds as a bizzniss wonderboy ever since I tried to get in touch with him over an alternative to our reliance on the single undersea fibre via Fiji and his efforts for an alteranative (which failed). There was an alternative at the time which there was enough money for – but one that would have seen routing and reliance on Orange, Brazil, Papaete, etc (the latter now having some of the fastest connectivity).
        I’m not sure Drury is ekshly the bizzniss sage people should be putting faith in – but you know …… more fool them and those that do: free market, bullshit and jellybeans and all – let ’em get on with it. I’m sure his employees have the utmost faith in him – why some of them even paint their houses grey, white and british racing green with charcoal roof. bahahahahahaha

  4. saveNZ 5

    John Key is our Nixon.

    On another note saw this article about how ‘successful’ charter schools are in the US. By successful I mean successful in taking money for kids education and it transforming it into corrupt money making schemes for business.


    One of the main ways to improve inequality is through education. Taking the ‘burger king’ charter school style approach with big business ‘advertising’ a way to fundraise, is a complete failure and the US has poor scholastic results compared to Finland which lead literacy.

    In Finland there is virtually no testing of students, children start school at 7, and teaching is considered to be one of the most important professions. Charter schools has failed everywhere. The new test, test, test system in NZ is labelling kids as young as 5 years old as ‘below standard’. Of course the testing is necessary for ‘performance pay’ initiatives for teachers. Again will be a total failure and taking money which should be for kids back to administration to administer all these ‘performance enhancing’ schemes which are proven not to work.


    Here is one of the best articles I have read about educating kids for the future.


    • @ save nz..

      “..In Finland there is virtually no testing of students, children start school at 7, and teaching is considered to be one of the most important professions..”

      and let me guess..they also don’t do homework..

      ..i think imposing homework on children..(esp young ones..)..apart from exhortations to read..!..read..!..read..!..it doesn’t matter what it is at this stage..just read..!..read..!..read..!

      ..is both cruel and illogical..

      ..i really feel the hours spent in school are enough of any day to be spent ‘learning’..

      ..what about living..?..what about play..?..what about goofing-off/doing nothing..?..dreaming..?

      ..homework is given mainly at the insistance of helicopter-parents..

      ..and with ‘the boy’..he knew my attitude to homework..and also knew that he cd ask for help if he wanted/needed it..

      ..(and that he wd always get a ‘yes!’ to the ‘can we go to the library?’-question..)

      ..but that aside from that it was up to him to do as little/much as he liked..to get thru..

      ..and that managing that time/those tasks were his business…

      ..among a list of things i have never said to him is:..

      ..’shouldn’t you be doing yr homework?’..

      ..and any questions of that ilk..

      ..and if i were king for a day..i wd ban homework..

      • Molly 5.1.1

        Phil, you would find yourself in agreement with Alfie Kohn. He has written several book on education and parenting worth reading, including one called The Homework Myth.

        I am always surprised at the notion that quantity is better than quality – or as you say – creativity.

        • The Fairy Godmother

          Also anything by Ken Robinson. He has done some good TED talks about creativity and how schooling undermines it.

      • Murray Rawshark 5.1.2

        “..i really feel the hours spent in school are enough of any day to be spent ‘learning’..”

        No, they’re not enough and you show this yourself with your willingness to take your kid to the library. Kids learn from almost everything they do, albeit at different rates. The hours spent at school are plenty to be spent in a formal and structured learning environment. Many learn more in a freer environment, which teachers will be less and less able to provide under NAct’s plans for miseducation.

    • Clemgeopin 5.2

      John Key is our Nixon

      …and our Pinnochio and New Zealand’s Judas.

      • Paul 5.2.1

        He is our Thatcher, Reagan and Pinochet.

        • Bearded Git

          Pinochet is a bit rough….. Key hasn’t started throwing opponents out of helicopters yet.

          Key is awful, but incredibly in Abbott, Australia has managed to elect someone even more awful.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            I always suspected that they had more awful people in Australia in general; that is more of them, and of a more awful nature.

          • Murray Rawshark

            I’m not sure Abbott is more awful. I think he’s just less manufactured. The worst of the Abbott regime is the refugee policy, and FJK climbed aboard that even though no boats come to our shores. In many ways, Abbott is just catching up to what FJK and his predecessors back to 1984 have already done.

            • Bearded Git

              MR-agreed on the “manufactured” point. One of Key’s strength’s is his ability to take advice from Crosby-Textor.

              Like it or not taking this advice has worked, though Key has been lucky with earthquakes, dairy prices and Kim Dotcom and an infighting opposition all of which have now gone……..discuss!

  5. RedLogix 6

    Two days ago we drove from Nhill in the Wimmera down to the coast via the Henty Highway which runs just west of the Grampians. The day before had peaked at 43 degC – but the winds had been light. When we woke that morning there was a strong wind from the NW.

    Setting off it was plain this was a Severe fire warning day. Across to Horsham by about midday was hot, even the turbo-diesel sluggishly sucking in overheated air felt wilted.

    But the drive down through the Cherrypoole forest area was something else – the heat and dust limited visibility to just a few km. The Grampians loomed dimly like the backbone of a long desiccated dinosauar. The landscape creaked and crackled.

    At one point we stopped and looked over a field to the jagged peaks – less than a 1 km away but dim in the searing haze. The metal gate I leaned on for a moment was too hot to touch. The grass crunched underfoot, every twig was kindling, the gums stank of a vapour milliseconds from exploding.

    It wasn’t a smart place to be so we did not linger – and a few hours later the southerly change brought lightening and fires.

    • Colonial Rawshark 6.1

      Bloody hell.

    • Colonial Rawshark 6.2

      Yer got the heart of a poet, mate.

    • Manuka AOR 6.3

      “The grass crunched underfoot, every twig was kindling, the gums stank of a vapour milliseconds from exploding. ”

      The sun scorches through a broken softdrink bottle by the road… instant inferno.

      Then they blame and hunt down some “arsonist” kid who may or may not have had matches, so that the actual situation, the causes and any ameliorating factors, or calls for radical change in approach to all things climate related, can be ignored or denied yet again.

      • weka 6.3.1

        There’s also the issue of deforestation.

        • Manuka AOR

          Not so much for bushfires, but for general land degradation, desertification and massive dust storms – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Australian_dust_storm – the pastoralists may have something to answer for. One of the ancient legends told by a Wirradgeree elder, passed down from ‘pre-invasion’ times, was that devastation would be wrought over the land when strange beasts appeared with cloven hooves. The soil was too fine and too dry to sustain such creatures.

          Camelids would have been more sustainable.

          • weka

            NZ soils have the same problem I think (pasture/hooves), but we get away with it because of the rainfall.

            Given that forests change local climate as well as the general watershed, do you think that this would have an effect on fires?

            • Manuka AOR

              Well in Aus, the trees are mostly eucalypts, which are super-combustible. The oil is in the air in what feels and smells like vast clouds of it. The way RedLogix put it is spot on: “a vapour milliseconds from exploding. ” So the trees over much of Aus are a part of the bushfire problem. They have to be cleared in strips to make fire breaks – though the fires leap across wide spaces anyway. It’s like having the air full of kero or petrol fumes. (In the tropical north it is different, and clearing those rainforests for mining etc.. aargh).

              In NZ we have done something else again by clearing vast tracts of natural bush that maintained moisture in the air and soil, and replacing it with pines, that look cloned – It was heartbreaking to return through the ranges to Rotorua after a long time away and see those mono pines stretching to the horizon — where once were our own beautiful living, diverse natives. That large scale removal of our native forests and replacement with these very different trees has to have a huge impact on our climate and soil (apart from the loss of native birds and wildlife).

              • weka

                ok, deforestation is the wrong term (yes, I know about the gums). Let’s say land clearing instead. I think the clearing done in the last 300 years has altered the water cycles. Do you know Peter Andrews’ work? He’s not working with natives, but he is showing how waterways in Australia should be working (slowing water flows, letting them seep into the landscape) rather than the slash and burn farming which creates trenches for water to move through very fast and stops it from spreading into the land. Replacing ecosystems with pasture seems like a general drying out and I’d guess that alters local climate too.

                • Manuka AOR

                  Replacing ecosystems with pasture seems like a general drying out and I’d guess that alters local climate too.

                  Yes, definitely, and that applies equally across NZ. The good news is it can be reversed – at least on small scale local projects. I have seen land that was dried out and rendered near infertile through overuse for grazing, restored to natural bush with return of wildlife and increased moisture in soil and air (something virtually anyone can do), and also in the same valley, turned into a flourishing, multi-food producing oasis via permaculture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Mollison

                  • weka

                    Me too 😀 It’s one of the few things that gives me hope. The people doing this work are unsung heroes in the face of AGW and other catastrophes.

      • Murray Rawshark 6.3.2

        I always wondered about the clamour to find arsonists in a country that has been spontaneously catching fire since before Adam got his first pair of long pants. I suspect it’s not hard for vigorous interrogation techniques to get a confession out of one of the inbred products of outback life.

    • aj 6.4

      I’m not sure many New Zealander’s understand just how dangerous conditions become with temperatures 35C+, humidity in single figures and then wind … it hard to describe Australia as a ‘lucky country’

      • Draco T Bastard 6.4.1

        Oh, they may be in some places:

        “We’ve had fires started by mowers, power lines, camp fires, car fires, target shooting and even you know the pile of grass clippings that secretly gets thrown over the bank into a local reserve which eventually simultaneously combusts.”

        Pity about the english language that that guy is presently ripping apart though.

  6. ron 7

    Shearer’s Showdown starts today. Headline on Stuff. For a moment my heart beat faster as I thought someone in Labour was finally acting.
    Then I read the article what a pity.

  7. Manuka AOR 8

    NZ Glaciers .. Going, going … gone

    I tramped with my school class right up to the Fox and we scrambled all over it. Unforgettable, awe inspiring. But that was “back then” and this is now:

    “New Zealand’s two big glaciers, Fox and Franz Josef, are now only accessible to tourists by air and their retreat has been highlighted over the way global warming is impacting on businesses that depend on ice and snow. Glacier-related tourism on the West Coast directly contributes at least $100 million a year to local economies, New York Times reports.

    “But now at Fox the river has changed course cutting the trail up and Franz Josef lost hiking access in 2012. Helicopter landings are the only way to get on the glaciers now.”

    • vto 8.1

      Tracks to access again can be installed easily, but yes retreat is the name of the game…. at least you can still hoist blocks of centuries-old ice from the river below to cool the gin & tonic later in the day. Best ice in the world… quite something

    • lprent 8.2

      I don’t think that any temperate lowland glaciers will survive the coming decade. For that matter it is unlikely that any of our South Island glaciers will.

      There are a few localities, where local climate shifts conditions and wind up favoring increased snow precipitation, that will briefly (ie decades) outweigh the warming effects and you can see small numbers of glaciers increasing in mass. Like the smallish volumes of ice in the Kathmandu range in the Himalayas.

      But our existing climate change effect will kill virtually all glaciers outside of the polar regions within the lifetime of people living today. The downstream effects of that are likely to be difficult for farmers and populations in many areas.

      The drop in summer flows (no glaciers == no large storage of ice to melt throughout summer) in places like the Canterbury Plains will just cause shifts in agricultural practices, either causing reversions to dry farming or major irrigation schemes.

      In places like the deltas of the great rivers in in China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh the likely summer effect on food production is going to be catastrophic.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        The drop in summer flows (no glaciers == no large storage of ice to melt throughout summer) in places like the Canterbury Plains will just cause shifts in agricultural practices, either causing reversions to dry farming or major irrigation schemes.

        Oh, I’m sure that the farmers will first try massive irrigation schemes (paid for by the taxpayer) and then possibly revert to dry farming after they’ve massively damaged the ecosystems there.

      • Manuka AOR 8.2.2

        I don’t think that any temperate lowland glaciers will survive the coming decade. For that matter it is unlikely that any of our South Island glaciers will.

        Antarctica itself is losing a phenomenal amount of ice – “159 billion tonnes a year” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11258217

        The drop in summer flows (no glaciers == no large storage of ice to melt throughout summer) in places like the Canterbury Plains will just cause shifts in agricultural practices, either causing reversions to dry farming or major irrigation schemes.

        The irrigation schemes are grabbing at the already vanishing supplies of water and diverting them (wiki Central Plains link above). It’s a matter of time before the rivers run dry, and not much of it: http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/fish-from-dry-canterbury-rivers-rescued-2015010115#axzz3NyB8TGOn

        It is mind boggling that they are still not making a radical shift to diversification and sustainable farming – instead just rolling along till every last drop is gone.

    • RedLogix 8.3

      One of my best days tramping ever was exactly 40 years ago – over the Main Divide at Scone Creek and down the Godley Glacier. Perfect weather in a setting I’ll never forget. Even then the retreat of the glacier made for some tricky moments, skirting the terminal lakes and unstable slopes.

      We may have been one of the last parties to have taken that exact route.

      When I look at google Earth these days – the last 15km or so of the glacier are not there anymore. Now it’s just a mess of impassable moraine.

      • Manuka AOR 8.3.1

        We were lucky to have had those experiences. My feeling at the time – at the Fox, was that it was achingly beautiful (having only known the subtropical North). Now, equally, I feel an aching sadness that so much has gone.

  8. The Fairy Godmother 9

    Phil Ure totally agree with you about homework. I had battles with the school about it. Thankfully the new principal of our primary is far more sensible. Also on the charter school front. If you want to see how they might run in nz look at private for profit childcare. Some of them aspire to the minimum standards to get very generous govt subsidies can be as much as $450 per child including moe and winz and there programs are more geared towards marketing their product rather than what the children actually need.

  9. The Fairy Godmother 10

    Phil Ure totally agree with you about homework. I had battles with the school about it. Thankfully the new principal of our primary is far more sensible. Also on the charter school front. If you want to see how they might run in nz look at private for profit childcare. Some of them aspire to the minimum standards to get very generous govt subsidies can be as much as $450 per child including moe and winz and there programs are more geared towards marketing their product rather than what the children actually need.

  10. greywarshark 11

    The weather outlook for us is hot but with a hint of rain and perhaps gales and fires in Otago where it got to the high 30s with only 12% humidity. In Palestine no doubt it is similar, more predictably hot, and just as uncertain. Confusing.

    Robert Fisk has written a fine, fair and heated exposition on Palestine and its decision to ‘request to join the International Criminal Court’ and the monster-mash of the big powers with their bigoted and unreasonable response to it.

    Yet still these wretched Palestinians persist, after this most humiliating of insults, in resorting to international law to resolve their conflict with Israel. Here they go again, dutifully seeking membership of the International Criminal Court. Will these Arabs never learn?>/i>

    Please note – for the feeble-minded – this is sarcasm, irony, what-you-will.

  11. Philip Ferguson 12

    While the working class in New Zealand remains depressingly passive as successive governments have whittled away hard-won rights, conditions and living standards, large chunks of the working class in Ireland are in rebellion against the Fine Gael-Labour coalition government and its vicious austerity measures in the south. (Fine Gael is, historically, the most right-wing of the major parties in Ireland and always forms governments with the Labour Party as junior partner.)

    At present the key battle in the south is around the attempt to impose domestic water charges. While workers in New Zealand have largely forgotten the industrial meaning of the word ‘picket’, working class communities in Ireland have been involved in physically resisting the installation of water meters, sabotaging them were they have been installed, marching in huge demonstrations in the capital, Dublin, and resisting violence by the state.

    To the forefront of the resistance in working class communities has been the revolutionary group éírígí, with whom several members of the Redline collective are affiliated. éírígí was formed as a tiny Dublin-based campaigns group in April 2006, on the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rebellion of 1916. Since then it has transformed into a revolutionary political party with ciorcail (circles) across the island.

    Below is the party’s New Year statement, which we’ve put up on Redline. (Stormont is the parliament in the north; Leinster House is the parliament in the south.):


  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    Advertisers overcome death

    She may have been dead for more than half a century, but that has not stopped Marilyn Monroe becoming the new face of a beauty brand.

    I suppose it’s cheaper, they don’t have to put up with any eccentricities of the actor and skin is always going to be perfect.

  13. There must be thouands of working people who every day give thanks to the Labour Government who made housing ownership possible by the State Housing co-operation system. I cannot understand why it has not been revived .It was the best housing ownership system available for working people ever.The envy of the world.

  14. Clemgeopin 15


    :/ @CurvedDaily

    who tf is paul mccartney???!??! this is why i love kanye for shining light on unknown artists
    4:48 AM – 3 Jan 2015


    • Yes, in a stunning development, the kind of young, American, 21st century teens who listen to Kanye aren’t Beatles fans. It’s almost like they’re not especially relevant these days except for their historical impact. How utterly terrible. 🙄

  15. Clemgeopin 16

    Top 10 girls’ names in 2014 (2013 place in brackets):

    1. Charlotte (1)

    2. Olivia (5)

    3. Isla (6)

    4. Emily (2)

    5. Sophie (4)

    6. Amelia (7)

    7. Ella (10)

    8. Harper (19)

    9. Sophia (16)

    10. Ruby (3)

    Top 10 boys’ names in 2014 (2013 place in brackets):

    1. Oliver (1)

    2. Jack (2)

    3. James (3)

    4. Mason (5)

    5. Liam (6)

    6. William (4)

    7. Noah (9)

    8. Lucas (8)

    9. Benjamin (14)

    10. Jacob (13)

    The full list is available on the Department of Internal Affairs website.


    • alwyn 16.1

      There was a death notice in the Dom/Post on Saturday.
      It gave the names of the deceased and her descendants. I think you could, from the names, say immediately what generation they were part of as the names seemed to be so typical of the fashions through the years.
      The deceased was Elsie.
      Her children were Mark and Scott.
      Grandchildren included Christina, Melissa and Madison
      Great grandchildren included Mishaylah, Jahvam and Braxdym.

      I rather like the simpler form of the current names, as reported by Internal Affairs, although I looked in vain for my own distinguished nomenclature in the list.

      • Clemgeopin 16.1.1

        I looked in vain for my own distinguished nomenclature in the list

        Sadly these names don’t figure on the list either :
        Clemgeopin, AsleepWhileWalking, TheContrarian, Phillip Ure, Colonial Rawshark, Poission, Once Was Tim, Tricledrown, RedLogix, The Fairy Godmother, Bad12, The Pink Postman, Draco T Bastard nor the Bearded Git!

  16. Morrissey 17

    They’ll sell Radio NZ National soon;
    it’s already sounding like Fox News

    Outspoken, Radio NZ National, Monday 5 January 2015

    Today’s episode is billed grandly on the Radio New Zealand website as “Guyon Espiner examines the rapidly changing media landscape.”

    Sadly—infuriatingly—the people he is “examining” this with are: Bill Ralston, Gavin Ellis and Tim Watkin, which means the “examination” is being conducted by three right wingers and a wimp. Watkin is accustomed to being kicked from pillar to post at least once a week on NewstalkZB’s risible Huddle segment and on Jim Mora’s programme; [1] today Radio NZ has him lined up for pretty much the same treatment.

    To his credit, early in the programme, Watkin ceased giggling dutifully in response to Ralston’s wisecracks, and refuted the notion that Blubberguts Slater is a journalist. And when that National Party stalwart Ralston idiotically tried to suggest that Nicky Hager is somehow equivalent to Blubberguts, Watkin refuted him on that too.

    Ellis, who evidently thinks of himself as some kind of elder statesman of journalism, announces that Blubberguts IS a journalist, because….(wait for it)…he broke the story of Len Brown’s sexual affair. That was a “legitimate story”, according to Ellis.

    God save us all. Judging by the quality of this discussion, and the makeup of this panel, there doesn’t seem to be any hope for Radio New Zealand, however.

    [1] /open-mike-31032011/#comment-314772

  17. Miracle Worker 18

    When John Key referred to “aspiration” on the campaign trail, he forgot to add that mediocrity was the thing he most wanted his supporters to aspire to. Clearly they are living his dream, oblivious to the nightmare they are inflicting upon anyone else with a shred of intelligence.

  18. Weepus beard 19


    Is Russell Packer involved in Slater’s new media outlet, Freed?

    Russell Packer having urinated on a football pitch in front of 15,000 and king-hitting a pub patron late at night, it would not surprise me.

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    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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, ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    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
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • 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
    9 hours 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
    12 hours 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
    19 hours ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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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    1 week ago