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Open Mike 09/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 9th, 2017 - 64 comments
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64 comments on “Open Mike 09/03/2017”

  1. amirite 1

    Kiwis wouldn’t recognise corruption if it punched them in the face:

    Grant McLachlan: NZ should raise the bar on corruption http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11814325

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Kiwis wouldn’t recognise corruption if it punched them in the face:

      Pretty much.

      The cash job that they have the builder do. The tax haven laws that this government seems so keen on. Taking side trips for business while on parliamentary business. The list goes on and on.

      Many are small and so engrained in our culture that we simply don’t see it. We really need to start education people about what is corruption.

      • gsays 1.1.1

        Hi draco, I get what you are saying, and have followed yr argument for a cashless society.
        Must confess to doing some of the cash work you elude to.

        For my sins I view it as a little financial ‘lubricant’ that more often than not is keeping the wolf from the door (vehicle rego or repair, child expenses etc).

        Secondly, it could be argued that I am merely following the prime minister’s sterling example of fiscal enthusiasm.

        Generally the jobs (firewood, simple maintenance, lawns) are done for friends or some of my mother’s biddy friends.

        You could also add the times that a business vehicle is used for private use.

        Yes, cashless society could bring big business into line, but we have those rules already, just a lack of conviction from the PTB.

    • Antoine 1.2

      It’s quite a good article but a gripe is that it does use the term ‘corruption’ to cover several different things (fraud, nepotism, organisations closing their ranks, witch-hunts etc) that wouldn’t usually be regarded as corruption..

      • KJT 1.2.1

        Interesting statement.

        What, then, do you consider corruption?

        • Muttonbird 1.2.1.1

          I wondered that yesterday but couldn’t be bothered asking the question of Antoine because if that person doesn’t see fraud (for instance) as corruption then there’s no point in even directing him/her to a dictionary definition.

          • KJT 1.2.1.1.1

            The revolving door where politicians get directorships, or lucrative positions, with corporates they have supported through legislation, after they retire.
            Or, on the other side, legislation favorable to big party doners.

            The “old boy network” where the same people sympathetic to National are rotated around various sinecures, where they usually fuck up mightily.

            In New Zealand that is seen as BAU, not corruption.

            Antoine will tell us, “It is not corruption”.

            • Antoine 1.2.1.1.1.1

              If you get someone to do you favors, in exchange for the promise of a position, then that is definitely corruption and is a Bad Thing.

              Otherwise it’s nepotism, not corruption – I think! It can be either good or bad, it may not always be easy to tell which. It’s not exclusive to the right, either.

              A.

        • Antoine 1.2.1.2

          To me “corruption” simply means bribery.

          All the other things in the article are bad, for sure (*), but they aren’t corruption.

          I guess I’m just splitting hairs.

          A.

          (*) With the possible exception of appointing cronies to posts, which I guess can just be a matter of trying to get people in place that you see eye to eye with and can work with.

          • Muttonbird 1.2.1.2.1

            (*) Like National is doing with the Maori Party.

            • Antoine 1.2.1.2.1.1

              Are you talking about how National tries to get the Maori Party into the Maori seats? That doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable as a way to cobble together 61 votes in Parliament.

              Or something else that I don’t know about?

              A.

          • KJT 1.2.1.2.2

            There is a reason why we say “Bribery AND corruption”.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.2.3

            To me…

            You don’t get to redefine words to suit your purposes.

            1. dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.

            Note the word “dishonest”. Note the number of times the National Party’s ministers and MPs have been caught distorting facts. Read Dirty Politics to inform yourself of some the evidence that this dishonesty is coordinated and deliberate. Recall Simon Lusk running his mouth about cronyism.

            Compare this to your own relentlessly dishonest comments.

            The National Party meets the definition of corruption many times over.

            • Antoine 1.2.1.2.3.1

              I still don’t think lying to the electorate counts as ‘corruption’ (in and of itself).

              But haggling over the meanings of words on here isn’t helping anyone, so I’ll let it slide.

              A.

              • When processes decided by law and by agreed convention become corrupted, that’s corruption. Giving lobby groups special privileges; corruption. Using funds for purposes not intended; corruption, a Prime Minister lying in response to fair questions; corruption – that sort of thing. Where the commonsense of “right behaviour” is contravened; corruption, imo.

              • KJT

                “don’t think lying to the electorate counts as ‘corruption”

                Why not?

  2. bwaghorn 2

    given that Ardern will likely pass Little as preferred pm is it time for labour to move to a co -leader scenario a la the greens.

    • Anne 2.1

      If Ardern passes Little it will based on the shallow premise of “looks”. It wouldn’t surprise me because a large section of voters are very shallow when it comes to politics. For Little to be forced to act if it happens would show just how low and base politics has become in NZ.

      Don’t forget Helen Clark dropped to 5% after about 2 years into her leadership and look where she ended up…

    • Carolyn_nth 2.2

      Little is much more of a capable manager of the caucus. Ardern does not have the same sort of experience in leading.

    • saveNZ 2.3

      @bwaghorn – Nope – Little seems to be pulling Labour out of the hole they sunk themselves in, so not a good idea to rock the boat.

      Agree with the comments about Clark, popularity polls don’t mean anything.

      Key, disappeared very fast and after NZ were “told” how popular he was for years!

      • Given the media hype about Key’s level of popularity across the nation, I was expecting weeping and wailing from the Cape to the Bluff when Dear John “resigned”, but nix, nada, nowt, nought, nuffink, save gales of sobs from Fisiani, Dave C, Puckish Rogue et al! Seems we weren’t in love with John after all, we were just being sold a fairy tale.

        Question: what has happened to Key’s Goon Squad, famously swollen in number and status by our fairy tale PM’s “popularity? Have they latched on to English? Are they still shadowing Key?
        Anyone know?

    • Rightly or Wrongly 2.4

      Initially it will just give the media hacks something to annoy Little with at various media interviews.

      The difficulty may arise if Labour’s party vote doesn’t rise in the polls over the next 3 months.

      As the election draws closer unconscious pressure may come on Labour to do something/anything to change in order to increase the vote.

      Perhaps Labour’s best option is to keep Little and Ardern as a combined tag team at various events over the coming months.

      If they campaign separately I guarantee that some in the media will try and write up comparisons between both of them which may cause a perceived popularity contest between the two of them rather than a combined team against the Nats.

    • “So Ardern can become as popular as Princess Diana and it will still be no skin off Little’s nose. He’s auditioning for the role of New Zealand’s prime minister – not for the next series of The Batchelor.”
      Chris Trotter dismisses your idea, bwaghorn. Quite rightly too, imo.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    This shared equity home ownership idea seems like a great idea for Labour to pick up for the super fund, especially as an aid to ethical investment. Win win!

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/a-shared-home-equity-scheme-will-put-roofs-over-more-peoples-heads-20170307-gut1lp.html

    The guts of it is: “…institutions be encouraged to enter into silent partnerships with homebuyers where they would own, say, 20 per cent of a property and allow the homebuyer to live in it in return for, say, 40 per cent of any increase in price when it was eventually sold. They could bundle the contracts and sell them to super funds…”

    • mikesh 3.1

      A better idea might be for the government to purchase the land and lease it back to the homeowner, leaving the latter only needing to purchase the house.

      • saveNZ 3.1.1

        … or we could stop selling off NZ assets and concentrate on raising wages so that people could afford to own their own house again and encourage Kiwis to invest in their own country’s businesses.

        If all the profits are going offshore, NZ as a country is getting poorer and losing control of it’s own resources.

        One of our biggest exports is now ‘profits’.

        “Who Owns New Zealand? CAFCA Releases Latest Key Facts

        The main trends are:

        · A sharp increase in the proportion of overseas ownership of shares listed on the share market from 33% of listed shares in 2015 to 36% in 2016, reversing a trend that had been falling since 1997.

        · An even sharper increase in the estimated proportion of the value of all privately owned shares (included unlisted shares) from 37% of shareholdings in 2014 to 47% in 2015 – a rise that began in 2012 when it bottomed out at 30%.

        · In 2016, the Overseas Investment Office approved the acquisition of 465,863 hectares of interests in rural land by overseas investors, of which 362,132 was freehold, 103,731 other interests in land (e.g. leases), and all but 39,971 hectares was from one overseas investor to another. The 465,863 hectares compare to 79,897 hectares in 2015.

        · Once again the statistics show a significant ownership of New Zealand companies by investors using tax havens.”

        http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/03/08/who-owns-new-zealand-cafca-releases-latest-key-facts/?utm_content=buffer0457f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

        • mikesh 3.1.1.1

          … … all true, no doubt … but … … whatever.

          • saveNZ 3.1.1.1.1

            Well we actually need those lost profits to fund the health, education and social services ….

            If our Governments sell off the assets… then government income is less.

            If Kiwis don’t own and are not profiting from their own businesses then they can’t spend the money they don’t have anymore…

            so not whatever, it’s important

  4. Keith 5

    The parallel universe of New Zealand’s media.

    Stuff.co headline, NZ unis fall in rankings. A lack of funding is behind a slump in university rankings, days academic organisation, but it’s not all bad.

    NZ Herald – Revealed: New Zealand’s best universities. New Zealand universities have scored high rankings in the annual QS World University rankings.

    The Fact is it appears we consistently underfund our uni’s and as such our rankings continue to decline. Some are not flash at all and with the exception of hospitality courses we aren’t that good.

    Another stuff up by National.

    The Herald are certainly in election mode worried for National and the illogical good news headlines announced daily are making it look like a North Korean daily.

  5. Chris Trotter makes great reading today – weep, James and co, into your cold Nescafe!

    “For Little, himself, it’s as if the impenetrable fog blanketing Labour’s leadership since 2008 has suddenly lifted, revealing a clear pathway to victory. From being ham-fisted and flailing, Little’s gestures have become purposeful and precise. For the first time in nearly nine years, Labour appears to have a leader who sees where he’s going, and knows what he’s doing.

    Just as suddenly, the same fog of misfortune which had formerly enveloped Labour has wrapped itself around Bill English and the National Party. The self-assured political touch of John Key has been replaced by ill-considered improvisation and counter-productive communication. English cannot seem to avoid either insulting or upsetting the electorate. If he’s not dismissing young New Zealanders as drug-addled layabouts, he’s informing them that they’ll have to wait an additional two years before becoming eligible for NZ Superannuation.

    From having a National prime minister who worked tirelessly at being “Everyman”, New Zealand finds itself saddled with a prime minister who appears to have it in for every man, woman and child unfortunate enough to have been born outside the top 10 percent of income-earners.

    Have New Zealanders told the pollsters this? Not yet. But that’s probably because they have yet to admit to themselves that their love affair with National is over.”

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2017/03/a-gut-feeling.html

    • Alan 6.1

      yeah, because Chris Trotter is always right about everything

    • james 6.2

      Im a Nespresso not a Nescafe kinda person.

      I like his writing, he is very good. However – personally I disagree with that column.

      Stil not weeping.

      • Ad 6.2.1

        Will take some pretty sustained polling trends to persuade that the consistent and nine-year-long “honeymoon” is really over.

        It’s a long, hard road to September and Trotter would do well to breathe through his nose for a bit.

        • Robert Guyton 6.2.1.1

          To persuade who, Ad?
          Not me. I look for signs of intent at a level deeper than “the polls”. Trotter just provided one and I believe he’s genuine in his reporting. Those in National who recognise those pathways to future events will be chewing on their beards right now, just as I am chuckling into mine.

      • “Personally disagree” – ‘course you do, james. You won’t see it till it’s all over you, like an avalanche.

    • saveNZ 6.3

      Well it seems like nothing works anymore and nobody can get anything done.. there’s growing frustration all around…

      $443k spent on cathedral working group, with no result
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/326158/$443k-spent-on-cathedral-working-group,-with-no-result

    • Red 6.4

      Chris trotter is the devil incarnate to most on this site? Now Roberts a fan boy on one article I think poor Chris is getting a little carried away, albeit I like his writing and Chris as a commentator

      • “Carried away”, Red?
        Trotter titles his piece, “A gut feeling”; he’s put his usual grey-matter-centered thinking and is describing a deeper “radar” that comes from his solar plexus and from there he gets a message that perhaps surprises him and certainly frightens you – that Labour and Little are headed for victory and National and English, defeat. Trust your gut feelings, Red, as obviously Trotter does his. And make preparations for the change of government to come.

        • james 6.4.1.1

          You can trust a blogger and his “gut” – I prefer to trust in the polls – and they just arnt showing Labour doing that well (really bad in fact).

          But hey – time will tell.

          • Robert Guyton 6.4.1.1.1

            Yes, I do “trust what Trotter reports in his most recent article. A long-time political commentator “feels” the shift, feels the tide turn, feels the rise and feels the fall; you’re a fool not to notice the value of such a report, James. Stick with your faith in the polls, but I reckon you’re unsettled by Trotters comments; you don’t understand them but your gut tells you something else again. Try Eno, James, if the feeling persists (and it will).

  6. joe90 7

    Meet the new Reichsführer-SS change agent.

    (1/2/3/ of 9)

    1. Trump who is repeatedly dismissive of US intelligence community has tapped a billionaire buddy, Stephen Feinberg, to help with its purge pic.twitter.com/iG6YYGMyoK— Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur) February 16, 2017

    2. There's a reason Feinberg of Cerberus Capital is "reclusive" and "shy"–as news reports describe him–he also runs private military bases pic.twitter.com/Btxu162Ldp— Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur) February 16, 2017

    3. Feinberg is literally the "Lord of War"–his Cerberus Capital-run Freedom Group is also the biggest supplier of arms and ammunition pic.twitter.com/5RJZLaXRlu— Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur) February 16, 2017

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Interesting choice of corporate name – Wikipedia –
      Cerberus “often called the “hound of Hades”, is the monstrous multi-headed dog that guards the gates of the Underworld to prevent the dead from leaving.”

  7. james 8

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/03/m-ori-king-to-publicly-endorse-m-ori-party-candidate-in-hauraki-waikato.html

    Maori King to endorse the Maori Party candidate

    He said Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta “To me, she’s got no mana in there now”.

    “The strategy could also have strong influence over the entire election. If the Māori Party can secure two or three seats and the National Party polls well, it could see them edge across the line to form a government without Winston Peters.”

    Nice!

    • Ski 8.1

      Hey Robert, what has Chris Trotter got to say about this????

      • Don’t knowski, but he does comment on the Ardern-will-topple-Little fairy tale being pushed by trolls here;
        “So Ardern can become as popular as Princess Diana and it will still be no skin off Little’s nose. He’s auditioning for the role of New Zealand’s prime minister – not for the next series of The Batchelor. ”
        He’s hitting his straps right now, is Chris Trotter!

  8. greywarshark 9

    Good comment from Slavoj Zizek about the man we love to hate.

    That is what horrified left liberals really fear: that Trump will somehow not be a catastrophe.

    We should not succumb to such panic. Even if Trump will appear successful, the results of his politics will be ambiguous at best for ordinary people, who will soon feel the pain of this success. The only way to defeat Trump— and to redeem what is worth saving in liberal democracy—is to detach ourselves from liberal democracy’s corpse and establish a new Left.

    Elements of the program for this new Left are easy to imagine. Trump promises the cancellation of the big free trade agreements supported by Clinton, and the left alternative to both should be a project of new and different international agreements. Such agreements would establish public control of the banks, ecological standards, workers rights, universal healthcare, protections of sexual and ethnic minorities, etc. The big lesson of global capitalism is that nation states alone cannot do the job—only a new political international has a chance of bridling global capital.

    An old anti-Communist leftist once told me the only good thing about Stalin was that he really scared the big Western powers, and one could say the same about Trump: The good thing about him is that he really scares liberals.

    There are as many different takes on Trump as there are plastic bags in the ocean.
    This one offers some ideas. Any thinking politically-connected lefties interested to comment?

    • Morrissey 9.1

      Glib “liberals” like Zizek said the same things about Hitler in the 1930s: he’d shake up the system, which could only be a good thing.

      Zizek is a fop, a fool, and a poseur. He’s nothing more than Sam Harris with a funny accent and extravagant hand movements.

  9. greywarshark 10

    Link for above for Slavoj Zizek – it takes so long for my comments to come up that I usually miss the edit button, if there is one.
    http://inthesetimes.com/article/19918/slavoj-zizek-from-the-ashes-of-liberal-democracy

  10. Morrissey 11

    She’s a Trump supporter

    • reason 11.1

      She may well be a Trump supporter ….But shes an American above all …. and cruel racism against Mexicans is well worn ground for them https://www.democracynow.org/2017/2/28/forgotten_history_in_1930s_us_deported

      her demographic remember when the u.s.a was great https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of-eUSyjuEg *

      … a time honored delusion for ‘nationalists’ including ours.

      The truth must be denied …. for any nation to be great or special…

      ” Wayne Mapp. On the same Morning Report interview, immediately before he made his embarassing and inconsistent comments about secularism (it applies to Maori, but not to Christians, it seems), he provided the following example of a “politically correct” body in need of eradication:

      [The] Waitangi Tribunal would be another good example. There’s a mixture of remaking our history” ..

      ——————————————————-

      Trump like our Nacts in particular( iwi/kiwi), is tapping into and fanning prejudice and bigotry which is already there …

      In the democracy now link, they also show how the poor Mexicans cop the blame and pay for the crimes of the rich (wall st ) ….

      Which reminds me of New Zealands Dawn Raids https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/dawn-raids-2005 …or ongoing Govt attacks on solo mums/the poor ….

      ——————————————————————

      * that racist war was also our war.

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    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
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
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