web analytics

Open mike 11/03/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 11th, 2020 - 129 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

129 comments on “Open mike 11/03/2020”

  1. Morrissey 1

    How the UK press is misinforming the public about Britain’s role in the world

    by MARK CURTIS, 9 March 2020

    Britain’s national press consistently portrays Britain as a supporter of noble objectives such as human rights and democracy. The extraordinary extent to which the public is being misinformed about the UK’s foreign and military policies is revealed in new statistical research by Declassified UK.

    The research suggests that the public is being bombarded by views supporting the priorities of policy-makers. It also finds that there is only a very small space in the British press for critical, independent analysis and key facts about UK foreign policy.  

    The research, which analyses the UK national print media and does not include broadcasters such as the BBC, suggests that there is little divergence between the liberal and conservative press.  

    This is the first of a two-part analysis of UK national press coverage of British foreign policy.  

    Disappearing foreign policies 

    Key British foreign policies, particularly in the Middle East, are being routinely under- or un-reported in the UK national press.  

    The Egyptian regime under Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took power in a 2013 coup, which killed hundreds of people and has become increasingly repressive, jailing tens of thousands of opponents as well as journalists. During this period, the UK government has deepened military, trade and investment with the regime, in effect acting as an apologist for it.   

    Yet a search for press articles in the two years ending in December 2019 finds none covering the full range of UK cooperation with the Sisi regime. A handful of articles (less than a dozen, mainly in the Independent and Guardian) occasionally mention an aspect of UK support for the regime. But this number is very low given 1,018 articles mentioning Sisi during the same period, Egypt’s long historical relationship to the UK and the fact that the UK is the largest investor in Egypt.  

    The lack of press reporting is especially striking given that the government has itself been consistently announcing its support, especially in military relations, for the Sisi regime. 

    Read more….

    https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-03-09-how-the-uk-press-is-misinforming-the-public-about-britains-role-in-the-world-part-one/

    • Climaction 1.1

      so the west is complicit in supporting both arab despotic regimes and israeli apartheid regimes.

      love them or hate them, you've got to respect the governments of the wests ability to be all things to all people while supporting all sides in all arguments

  2. Ad 2

    Well, if the economy does all go to hell in a handbasket, I want to see our Minister of Finance avoid the cumbersome corporate-welfare routes suggested by National or continued by NZF's PGF. 

    It's time for giving money to the workers. 

    Cut out the businesses: support the people direct, as recommended buy the EPI. 

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU2003/S00170/as-dow-jones-drops-2000-points-progressives-say-response-should-focus-on-working-people.htm

    The Dow's drop of 2,000 points was a decline of 7.79%; the S&P 500 fell 7.60% and the Nasdaq dropped by 7.29%.

    Warning that the economic hit from the outbreak "will come fast" when it arrives and "hit lower-wage workers first and hardest," Josh Biven of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute said it will be crucial for the government to introduce a swift and targeted response.

    Biven called on the government to make a plan for "rapid direct payments to individuals" just as was done by President George W. Bush in 2008—when one-time checks of $600 for individual tax-filers and $1,200 for joint tax filers were issued—in order to stem the bleeding from the financial crash that year.

    "We could use this model but do even better this time," said Biven, suggesting $1,000 for each individual and $500 per child.

  3. Blazer 3

    joined at the hip–.'On Monday both ANZ and National called on the Government to cancel a minimum wage hike from $17.70 to $18.90 per hour slated for April, pointing out that under-stress businesses are already under the pump.'(Stuff)

    Why should  a foreign bank  interfere in NZ politics?

    We do know they have a record of fraud,money laundering and misfeasance,can blame junior staff for non compliance with regulations ,do not welcome the new reserve capital ratios and that a favourite to become  the new executive is former N.Z National P.M-John Key. 

    • gsays 3.1

      With the banks concern for businesses, seems like the time is right for a Tobin tax or FTT.

      Also if business relies on minimum wage to function then perhaps a few of them should disappear.

      • KJT 3.1.1

        Capitalists don't like Capitalism. Not really news.

        The capitalist notion that "businesses that can't, or won't, pay the cost of the resources they use, should be allowed to fail, and make room for more efficient users of resources" very quickly turns into looking for a handout from the "socialists" when things turn to custard.

        Rather ironic. Especially as the businesses looking for handouts, are the ones that have most successfully privatised their profits, and socialised their losses, in recent times. Paying minimal wages, and getting tax payers, and rate payers, to subsidise their business costs.

         

  4. Peter 4

    I heard the roaring inferno this morning. The conflagration, the bonfire of all the regulations being turned to cinders.

    "The reality is though," to quote the esteemed leader of the Opposition, is the Australian bushfire image he's trying to create is a mirage, election crap.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018737887/simon-bridges-promising-bonfire-of-regulations

    It's like someone who can't talk or use sign language trying to sell ice cubes in Greenland. 

     

  5. joe90 5

     Come on covid-19, ninth circle these vile pricks.

    • joe90 5.1

      This fucker, too,

      This is quite unlikely to occur this time around. Not to put too fine a point on it, from an entirely disinterested economic perspective, the COVID-19 might even prove mildly beneficial in the long term by disproportionately culling elderly dependents.

      http://archive.li/eiB5s#selection-2695.0-2695.252

      • Wensleydale 5.1.1

        Occasionally, the mask slips and you see the true nature of things.

        1. If you're not generating revenue, go away and die.

        2. If you're poor, go away and die.

        3. If you're old and dependent upon the state, go away and die.

        4. If you're not old, but still dependent upon the state, go away and die.

        5. If you're disabled, sickly or mentally ill, go away and die.

        6. If you're not one of us, go away and die.

  6. A 6

    I know most people won't care about people with PTSD not being accommodated in social housing. 

    Words cannot express the terror of being constantly triggered due to living in a home that is unsuitable.  We call ourselves civilised while pissing on the most vulnerable and ensuring they know their needs are resented and considered a great inconvenience.

    FYI anyone with PTSD (and with medical documentation stating they need low noise, privacy, etc) is simply told "we don't have properties like that" and it's been that way for decades.  Disabled put last as usual.

    The shit of it all is that the same people in the welfare system will point out that these people, without trigger free/low trigger housing haven’t worked, or don’t want to work. Well, yes because they are in a constant state of panic or drugged into zombie status so they can handle their fucking housing.

    In the meantime Kainga Ora puts up another video letting everyone know the story of the priviliged state house tenants who didn't have PTSD and could use the available housing stock had their lives improved…eg, "living here allowed me to…..". Others are supported in buying the home they are in.

    NOTHING for people with PTSD because after being abused, shot at (possibly in service to our country), tortured they just have to deal with it.  

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/renting/120151726/northland-state-housing-tenant-devastated-over-leaving-home-of-15-years

      • A 6.1.1

        I happen to believe that counseling in particular is the most dangerous alternative therapy we have in NZ.  Why?

        – there is no definition of what counseling is/is not.  This means any number of random or in some cases made up techniques can be incorporated without any oversight or valid research into what is being offered (think of gay conversion therapy as one example)

        – hard to believe but there is no regulation of who can call themselves a counselor (sexual predators, conmen, pretty much anyone you can imagine).  And yes, I am certain that this point is correct – people are so naive they can't understand that there are no barriers to practice.

        – public has a false sense of security around getting help, fueled in no small part by the constant reinforcing blurb at the bottom of any mildly concerning news article

        In summary, counseling presents itself more like an alternative therapy than anything scientific and the lack of skeptics looking critiquing it is concerning.

        The most dangerous place in the world is your mind, so who you permit in there matters.  As individuals we should do everything you can to avoid our broken and overburdened mental health system.  I disagree strongly with the current strategy which is to encourage even more people into this system, many of whom may not even need treatment.

        And I’m waffling on again. I don’t know what kind of therapy Prince Harry had, but the fact that it was 7 years screems exploitation and fostered dependency. In my experience this seems more like counseling, less like other treatment modalities that have science behind them, and set time frames

        • greywarshark 6.1.1.1

          A – I didn't realise there was no basic licensing that would sort out the types of people you mention.    I suppose it is a follow-up on that airy-fairy idea of 'treatment in the community', people rallying round helping each other etc.   As you say the mind is us.    I get confused as to why young people are so willing to take drugs, white powders that could be mostly Ajax cleaner. One way to get the synapses fizzing and fusing.

          • Alice Tectonite 6.1.1.1.1

            A is somewhat misleading.

            Proper counselors have a post grad qualification (diploma  or masters level) in counseling & membership of a professional body with code of ethics etc (NZAC.org.nz). So called or self proclaimed counselors lacking both of these are more likely snake oil types

            • greywarshark 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Are there safeguards against the snake oil merchants?   Something that would limit what a helper/listening ear does, and come down hard on someone getting into real supposed therapy?

            • weka 6.1.1.1.1.2

              "proper counselors"

              There are good counselors out there without postgrad qualifications, some don't even have a professional body. Some of the counselors who are bad for clients have postgrad degrees and a professional body. Being a member of NZAC doesn't mean you are good at what you do or that you don't cause harm.

               

              • Alice Tectonite

                I know people who've had bad experiences & that colours my opinion. I wouldn't go to anyone unqualified or without membership of a professional body. You are correct that isn't an absolute guarantee.

                 

              • KJT

                Agree, Weka. But it does presuppose a degree of monitoring and accountability.

    • weka 6.2

      Thank-you for this comment. All compassion this government.

  7. Stephen Doyle 7

    Simon's front bench must be shaking their collective heads in disbelief and his ineptitude.

    My guess is they've decided to take the loss of the election in 2020 on the chin, and dump him shortly after. It's now too late to make a change at the top without having it look like panic. I know Labour managed it in 2017, but there is no Jacinda in the National Party.

    • Sacha 7.1

      Looks like he has had the hard word from Goodfellow and the other party bosses, judging by the backpedalling. Loser.

    • peterh 7.2

      What makes you think the nats front bench are any better, if anyone heard Mark Mitchel on the radio with Hoskings this morning you would shake your head and say, ineptitude

  8. Sabine 8

    I hope that our suits in parliament have enough brains and heart and above all guts to put something like this forward should shit hit the fan and the thus distriubted shit cover all of us.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51814481

    Mortgage payments will be suspended across Italy as part of measures to soften the economic blow of coronavirus on households, a minister has said.

    Laura Castelli, Italy's deputy economy minister, told Radio Anch'io: "Yes, that will be the case, for individuals and households."

    Italy's banking lobby group ABI said lenders would offer debt holidays to small firms and families.

    Suspending debt payments is not unheard of in Italy.

    Some small businesses and families were given time off during the financial crisis before having to repay.

    I would even go so far that maybe the government could put out a rule that forbids landlords from evicting people who may not be able to make rent payments (commercial/residential) should the country need to pull a shut down like we have now seen in China and Italy.  That may actually help people to get over such a period and then be able to go back to their businesses and start working again. 

    If we can bail out Insurance Companies, the Farming Industry, etc then surely our critters in parliament can come up with something like that to help the people who actually finance government. Joe and Jane Six Pack aka 'The Tax Payer". 

    • joe90 8.1

      Billionaires' economic anxieties first.

      • Sabine 8.1.1

        wonder how many shell companies the orange shitgibbon has and how much he stole from the treasury – not only by way of tax cuts for the rich only – but also by ways of 'building a shitty wall that falls over in the wind', 'sanitizer', 'facemask' and of course 'oil' and 'hotel' and 'tourism' and 'golfing' and "hospitality' and and and. 

        Here is hoping that our overlords have more sense then that. But then, i wonder if forsight is something that is done in our government. Or if they just go lalalalala and wait for the worst to happen before they start doing something. 

        • joe90 8.1.1.1

          tRump declined to use the WHO test kits.

          According to the Associated Press, Donald Trump, the current President of the United States who is supposed to be managing the Coronavirus epidemic and how the testing is conducted, has listed investments in V.F. Corp (VFC) and Thermo Fisher Scientific Corporation (TMO), both of which moved jobs out of the U.S. in high profile outsourcing deals. There is reason to believe that Donald Trump stands to profit from medical testing of coronavirus that will now take place in the United States.

          https://shero.substack.com/p/trump-could-profit-from-coronavirus

  9. Anne 9

    If this scenario plays out, then we will see the longest drought period in the north on record ending with a big bang towards the end of next week and into the weekend:

    https://www.windy.com/?-36.851,174.768,5

    • Sabine 9.1

      And the middle of the country too. Because it has not rained much here either. And the waikato is burned crisp – all these brown hills of New Zealand. Many of whom never grassed over since the drought from the last year.

      • Anne 9.1.1

        Lets hope it happens without damage to structures and crops. 🙂

        • Sabine 9.1.1.1

          Yep. And hopefully not to much soil erosion. Crop you cna replant, structures you can rebuild, but rebuilding washed down soil is another thing altogether. 

    • Wensleydale 10.1

      This is the second soap-box Stuff's given this guy to spout his smug, self-aggrandising crap about how renting is a mug's game and the real money's in ownership. (The last one was about how not all landlords are miserly vultures out to ruin the lives of their tenants.) Thanks for that, Captain Obvious. What's next week's article? Graeme Fowler tells us trees are made of wood and water is wet?

      • RedLogix 10.1.1

        While much of what Graeme writes in this article will be nothing new to anyone over 30, it does have a legitimate audience of younger people who may not have yet thought these things through. Certainly I don't read anything that rates as "Fucker of the Year" in it.

        Very few people go from leaving their parents home direct to owning their own; almost everyone by choice rents for a period of their lives.

        It takes time to get a deposit together and have enough income to qualify for a mortgage.

        Until you are in a stable relationship most people don't want to be tied down to a single home; they want to travel, move to different places, and want the flexibility of renting.

        Or you are going through a period of transition in your life, new job in a new town, break up of a relationship, etc that means renting is the best choice for a period. Sometimes misfortune means that a dream crumbles, life takes a turn never planned for and owning your own home now lies out reach.

        This doesn't gainsay any of the obvious problems NZ has with it's entire housing market, the lack of social housing, the lack of a mature rental market, and the unaffordability of new housing, combined with an effectively insatiable demand are creating many, many problems.

        Renting is a legitimate market … yet it obviously brings out that envious, resentful aspect of many people in the way landlords get routinely demonised; especially on the left. Everyone denies it, but it's plain as the sullen words on the page, and it's weirdly unhelpful because once trust is lost in the landlord/tenant relationship it always ends unhappily.

        • Sacha 10.1.1.1

          Renting used to enable saving the required deposit. Not any more. People 'resent' being told that the moon is made of cheese.

          • RedLogix 10.1.1.1.1

            I agree totally. When we started 20 years ago we had several tenants who made the transition to ownership, and we celebrated with them. That isn't happening now, but it's a problem with the whole housing sector, not just landlords.

        • Chris 10.1.1.2

          He owns 70 houses and says renting is for losers because it's money down a black hole.  That's at least a nomination for Fucker of the Year.

          • RedLogix 10.1.1.2.1

            Almost everyone needs to rent at some point in their lives, so providing them is scarcely a 'fucker of the year' offence.

            What he is saying that renting long term is not a smart plan; which when you think about it's not obviously in his business' best interests. He's giving advice in the best interests of his tenants …

            • Chris 10.1.1.2.1.1

              He owns 70 houses.

              • RedLogix

                Ah … so it really is just envy.

                • KJT

                  Yeah. Sure.

                  • RedLogix

                    Graeme started out as a very working class auto mechanic and has succeeded at something very few people manage at this level. 

                    It's my observation that middle class liberals tend to prefer working class people to remain poor.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  I'll see your 'envy', and raise you 'greed'.

                  Which of the "Seven Deadly Sins" one trots out in a slanging match can be informative. Wonder if, on the way to 70 rentals, the individual concerned ever paused to ask themself: "Is 10/20/30/40/50/60 enough?"

                  Why on earth would anyone envy the greedy – they're 'ugly', and a bit sad.

                  So nice to be off the treadmill – now, if I can just find my Lotto ticket… smiley

                  • RedLogix

                    now, if I can just find my Lotto ticket

                    I have more respect for Graeme's hard work and risk tolerance than hoping on a Lotto win TBH. Yes he is an outlier, most landlords stop at one or two units because the work and risk involved is more than they can accept. A smaller number like us stop at less than 10. Many who try to go past this go broke pushing the limits. 

                    So what exactly is the threshold that defines 'greed'?  And why do so many on the left despise competency and success?

                    • Chris

                      So you've got about nine rentals?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Can’r speak for the “so many”, but I don’t depise.

                      For myself, greed is "more than I need".

                      For others, greed might be "more than I want", in which case the 'greed threshold' becomes much more elastic.  I feel genuinely ‘blessed’ to have steered clear of that particular trap.

                      I predict we will witness, as we have already started to, the worst of humanity, including people fighting over toilet paper in a supermarket, people hoarding supplies meaning that others miss out, people going to work when they’re sick or letting their kids out of the house when they should be quarantined.
                      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/10/as-coronavirus-spreads-i-am-terrified-that-australias-fear-and-greed-could-cost-my-son-his-life

                    • RedLogix

                      @ Chris
                      None of your business … literally.

                      @ DMK

                      That I can accept.

                    • Chris

                      You think owning 70 houses is a measure of success?

                    • RedLogix

                      @Chris
                      There are many ways to measure success, but in his chosen domain Graeme has done spectacularly well. It took a lot of hard work, discipline, and competency. You're welcome to say this isn't for you, but turning it into an ethical issue strikes me as really odd.

                      Consider your favourite big hit musicians … those outliers who make tens millions as distinct from the vast majority of equally talented musos who can't feed their families. We never think of these people as 'ugly' and 'greedy' … because we're primed to like and admire them and we see them as remote from us.

                      But culturally there is a widespread resentment of landlords for a complex of interesting reasons, some psychological and some because of class resentments festering back generations. 

                    • KJT

                      I'm happy about socially useful "competency and success" being rewarded. So long as the "successful" person pays enough tax, to pay for the public expenditures that helped his/her "success".

                      About, finding more "successful" ways of ripping everyone else off, by investing in making a disfunctional housing market, more dysfunctional, not so happy.

                    • RedLogix

                      ways of ripping everyone else off, by investing in making a disfunctional housing market,

                      Again there are all the usual pathology's on display. Providing a home via the rental market is not 'ripping anyone off'. If you cannot or do not want to qualify for a mortgage, nor for social housing, then you need a landlord to provide one for you.

                      The deal is simple, you the tenant get a home on terms that suit your immediate needs, and the landlord invests in their long-term prosperity. 

                      And interestingly if you talk to actual landlords, most of us hate high asset prices. For us the ideal unit to purchase is something in the last 20% of it's economic life, that no-one else really wants, and we can buy cheaply then add some value to bring it up to an acceptable standard. For most buy and hold rental investors, high asset prices are a bit of a PITA and we tend to close our cheque books.

                      Yes I know that paying $400 pw rent looks like we're making out like bandits. But the reality is that after fixed costs like rates, insurance and management typically only 50% is left. Then we have any mortgage interest and tax to pay. Many tenants would be quite surprised if they saw their landlord's annual accounts.

                    • solkta

                      For us the ideal unit to purchase is something in the last 20% of it's economic life, that no-one else really wants, and we can buy cheaply then add some value

                      What utter bullshit. These are the same houses that first home buyers want because they can add value in the same way.

                    • RedLogix

                      @ Solkta

                      I did say 'ideally'.  I agree that a dysfunctional housing sector has created a big shortage of houses across the whole market, and that this now means landlord investors and first home buyers compete with each other all too often.

                      But the idea that we drive prices up is not always correct; typically investors make their best margin when they buy. They work strictly on the numbers and look for properties they can get as cheaply as possible, while home buyers will get emotionally invested and will often pay over the odds.

                • Chris

                  I'm not envious one jot.  I can't see how you've arrived at that conclusion, not logically.   

                  • RedLogix

                    As I said, everyone denies being envious always. Yet for something that apparently never happens, it's kind of odd that we have such a well known word for it.

                    • Chris

                      What do you want me to say to that?  “Yeah, sorry, you've caught me out.  I lied.  I'm envious"? I’m in fact anything but envious. There’d be some situations I’d find repulsive, but I’m likely to be saddened more than anything. I’m certainly not envious.

                    • RedLogix

                      I'm not expecting you to say anything you don't want to.

                      I'm not here to score points, I much prefer to converge a conversation toward at least a common understanding of each other's perspective, rather than diverge into mutually antagonistic dugouts.

                      Yes there is such a thing as greed, but it's doesn't necessarily follow that every competent, successful person must be greedy. Outcomes are by nature never evenly distributed. You might want to look up Price's Law. It's a bit brutal, but it's a fact of life.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "Everyone", "always", "never" – what do they say about hyperbole?

                      Nevertheless, given a choice between being labelled 'greedy' or 'envious', more NZers would opt for 'greedy' – why, it's almost a virtue.  God save us from those virtuous ‘greed-is-good‘ righties.

                      If we allow our appetites to become so disordered that we ignore the welfare of others, our spiritual life dies. We are no longer able to be the channels of God's love and so are cut off from our true life, that which endures for eternity. That does not mean that we are not part of God's plan. We do fit into his providence, but in the same sense that a greedy pig is part of the monks' plan. The pig is eaten and so contributes to the life of others. The greedy and sinful person contributes to the life of others by, for example, enabling them to develop the virtue of patience and the gift of forgiveness.

                    • RedLogix

                      @DMK

                      If we allow our appetites to become so disordered that we ignore the welfare of others

                      So when Graeme Fowler advises people renting to that it's not in their long-term interests exactly how is this 'ignoring the welfare of others'? 

                      He provides rental homes that almost everyone will need at some stage in their life. Not everyone qualifies or wants a mortgage. Exactly how is this 'ignoring the welfare of others'? 

                      There always was an idea that somehow poverty is a virtue. Well it isn't, it's the source of many evils and far too often used as an excuse to justify failure.

                    • KJT

                      For a "lefty" you sure parrot a lot of right wing memes.

                       

                    • RedLogix

                      @KJT

                      There is some truth in that. Mainly because I don't set up a false dichotomy between left and right wing thinking, and I reject the false binaries of typical tribal politics, us good, them bad. 

                      So yes you are going to sniff me and wrinkle your nose because I'm saying things that challenge a lot of left wing assumptions. Put me on a right wing site and I'll get the same response for exactly complementary reasons; they'll sniff the lefty in me.

                      After decades of sterile, largely futile lefty rage, I realised the only people who get anything of lasting value done are those who can create a conversation and sustain the creative tension between left and right. Pete George in his own way has long been attempting something similar. (Whether we’re any good at it or not is another matter.)

                      Yet oddly enough last time PG and I conversed we had such a robust exchange I realised I'm not all that right wing at all.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      @RL – Clearly we need a lot more virtuous lefties like your mate Graeme and your good self.  Would either of you be prepared to share your 'rental property largess' in order to make that happen? Might even go some way to addressing the evils of poverty!

                      Maybe sharing is an antidote for both greed and envy.  Now, what to do about the other five.  You know I'm just kidding, right? wink Why should/would any hard-working individual share more than a small fraction of their wealth – it’s their wealth, for God’s sake.

                      "Hyperbole is the last refuge of the linguistically insecure."
                      "Hyperbole is the last refuge of a scoundrel."
                      "Hyperbole is the last refuge of the incompetent."
                      "Hyperbole is the last refuge of someone with nothing useful to say."
                      "Hyperbole is the last refuge of a failed argument."

                    • Chris

                      Nobody's saying poverty is a virtue.  To the contrary, the left is about, or should be about, eradicating poverty.  That's what the right responds with when accused of denying the poor access to resources.

                      (And saying you're wrong about what I think is far from diverging into an antagonistic dugout.)

                    • RedLogix

                      @DMK

                      Well I'd guess that GF pays more tax than all us combined, but I don't think that is what you mean by 'sharing'; that is a concept that only has meaning when it's undertaken voluntarily.  (By contrast taxation is an essential social obligation that no-one would call sharing.)

                      Many left wingers struggle with the idea that outcomes are inherently unequal, and for a very small minority, spectacularly so. This has always been the case throughout all human history, long before capitalism or bastard landlords, it's a tendency that is baked into all social systems that pass over a minimal threshold of prosperity. Success creates opportunity, which combined with good luck and competency, will always produce more success … in whatever field of endeavour. This of course drives inequality, which left unmoderated drives to gross extremes of wealth, and triggers it's own cascade of known problems.

                      Trying to drive equal outcomes by preventing success is the terrible mistake the Soviets and Maoist's made. We do not need to repeat this failed experiment.

                      Therefore the left might want to look at the problem of inequality through fresh thinking. Andrew Yang promoted his own version and there are a lot of people doing this in quiet corners of the internet working through what is a much more difficult and intractable problem than is commonly assumed.

                      In some senses you may well be in the right domain, that relative poverty (inequality in this context) is not so much an economic problem, but a spiritual or psychological one. 

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      @RL: Not fussed about absolute equality of outcomes; would settle for all NZers having at least enough resources, and there is 'enough' in NZ for that to happen – the barriers lie elsewhere.

                      For those that find the goal of 'enough for all' unpalatable/unrealistic, there's always the issues of defining and distributing 'enough' to fall back on.

                • Muttonbird

                  Not envy, just push-back against the class distinction amateur landlordism encourages. 

                  Encouraging everyone to own two or more houses is incomparable with encouraging everyone owning a house. They are contrary positions and it is impossible to achieve both without there being a lot of empty houses.

                  Fowler and his followers suggest that winners and losers just are and always will be and that is a very right wing view of the world – just ask Hosking.

                  Socially conscious lefties, as far as I know, hope for a situation where everyone has enough rather than an increasingly divided world of first and second class citizens. Haven’t we supposed to have left all that behind?

                  It just not believable to talk about socially conscious people (in your words, middle class liberals) wanting working class people to remain poor. The idea of one person owning 70 houses, or nine, or two even, if followed to its conclusion ensures a lot of people will definitely remain poor. A lot of them working class families.

                  • RedLogix

                    Encouraging everyone to own two or more houses is incomparable with encouraging everyone owning a house. 

                     GF with 70 units is an extremely outlier, the vast majority of landlords are ordinary middle class people who work for a living and over time have one or two units they rent.  These days often through professional property managers.

                    Not everyone will ever want to do this; being a landlord is absolutely more risk and work than most people want to take on. Most people don't want to make the necessary 20 -30 year sacrifice to make it work.

                    Moreover there are only about 250,00 landlords in NZ, and the point many people miss is that the individuals involved actually move in and out of the industry all the time. We are not a fixed group.

                    wanting working class people to remain poor.

                    Yet this is precisely where GF started and now everyone slams him for becoming wealthy.

                    • Muttonbird

                      I don’t slam him for becoming wealthy, professional landlords are required as you say. But Fowler getting on the soapbox, having a column as is so important for self important realty people these days, and encouraging amateur landlordism isn’t really helpful for a fair society, in my opinion.

                      His advice is for everyone to buy, fine if that were possible, but also for young people to buy a rental first then another home to live in later but importantly, "don't sell the rental".

                      This is amateur landlordism and the point I'm trying to make is that not everyone shares in the benefits of the logical outcome. Those being secure communities and confident kids.

                      This doesn't sit well with true lefties who consider the wider picture.

                    • RedLogix

                      I can see the apparent objection you have; in this I think GF is projecting his own experience without properly qualifying it.

                      Let's put it this way, if I outlined an investment opportunity that demanded 20 – 30 years of work and sacrifice, with no certainty of success … just how many people do you think would leap at it?

                      I'd accept that GF might have been more accurate if he'd explicitly made this point; that being a landlord just isn't for everyone. 

                      Because I can assure you that after 20 years at this it's pushed my risk tolerance to the edge more than a few times.

                    • Muttonbird

                      There's a few of these opinion columns cropping up on the enlarged property platforms offered by the main news organisations.

                      Fowler for Homed on Stuff and Ashley Church for One Roof in the Herald.

                      Church is increasingly political, particularly over the last few months.

                      This is against the new background of real estate agents promoting themselves as rock stars. They have glossy billboards all over town often with short and sage life advice one-liners for the public.

                      Fowler doesn't even seem that bright. I don't mean that as an insult – just that the article posted by Chris is pretty basic and offered nothing useful to renters or investors really.

                    • Incognito []

                      In the FIRE economy, realtors are the priests of the House of Mammon and their prophecies are taken for gospel.

                    • Chris

                      So it doesn't matter what the endeavour is, it's okay if it involves sacrifice and hard work?  Loan sharks?  Clothing trucks?  All okay if they work hard and make sacrifices?  The consequences of that endeavour don't matter?

                    • RedLogix

                      @MB

                      Fowler doesn't even seem that bright. 

                      Actually no. He's an ordinary bloke, but since when was it necessary to have an IQ north of 130 to express a legitimate opinion?

                      The difference is this, GF read the same books that many other people were at the time, but he acted while others procrastinated.

                    • Muttonbird

                      But is his (and others’) advice doing any good for greater society, Red?

                      For the many, not the few, and all that.

                  • RedLogix

                    advice doing any good for greater society,

                    I can understand why you ask this question, and I really don't think it has any easy or glib answers.

                    The obvious answer is just repeating what I think we both agree on, that landlords do provide a legitimate and necessary service. Almost everyone at some stage in their life will need a rental home for a period.

                    At another level landlords are doing something akin to what banks do, we make our capital available to others to use for their immediate benefit, the tenant gets a home now, the landlord gets a long term investment. This is a win for both parties.

                    But I suspect neither answer is going to satisfy you. TBH I'm a bit distracted at the moment and don't feel I can do this justice. The whole notion of 'the greater good' feels like a conceptual can of worms.

                    • Muttonbird

                      At another level landlords are doing something akin to what banks do, we make our capital available to others to use for their immediate benefit, the tenant gets a home now, the landlord gets a long term investment. This is a win for both parties.

                      Fowler disagrees. He believes this is only a win for the landlord and he advises the public as such.

                      I'd say 'the greater good' is a cornerstone of socially conscious thought. It's distressing to read it labeled as a conceptual can of worms. 

                    • RedLogix

                       He believes this is only a win for the landlord and he advises the public as such.

                      Again you clearly misconstrue what he is saying. Given that virtually everyone wants or needs to rent a home at some point in their lives, this is clearly an immediate win for the tenant compared to sleeping under a bridge.

                      But in the long run you need to be thinking about how to move on, we all agree that renting is not an ideal long term solution. But too many people won't take responsibility for this and procrastinate … they don't act.

                      It's distressing to read it labeled as a conceptual can of worms. 

                      Oh it's one of those nice ideas that looks superficially simple and attractive enough on the outside, but the devil is in the details. Like marxism.

                    • Muttonbird

                      I haven't misconstrued what he was saying at all. It would be hard to since it was so staggeringly basic of thought.

                      ‘You should own a home because pets’.

                      Read like wannabe Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life…

                      ..and where is he now?

                    • RedLogix

                      and where is he now?

                      Taking sly pleasure in a family's medical misfortune really is ugly.

                    • Chris

                      You seem to be saying that everyone needs to rent at some stage and that it's a temporary thing until the person’s ready to buy a house and for those who stay renting it's their fault because they fail to act.

                      The difficulty with that is an unacceptably high number of people are never ready because they've been completely locked out of the market.  And a significant part of the problem are people like Graeme Fowler. 

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Had no idea who Peterson is, but according to his Wikipedia page he was/is something of a climate change skeptic – sad about his medical conditions, but best given a wide berth, IMHO.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordan_Peterson#Climate_change

                      "But in the long run you need to be thinking about how to move on, we all agree that renting is not an ideal long term solution. But too many people won't take responsibility for this and procrastinate … they don't act."  – RL

                      Thing is, renting is an ideal very long term 'solution' for many, just not so many in New Zealand.  Might that have something to do with a greater percentage of NZ landlords playing 'fast and loose', or is it mainly because NZ renters make comparatively 'poor' tenants?

                      In fact, all renters by choice unanimously agreed that tenants rights in New Zealand needed drastic improvement, especially when compared to countries like Germany or Sweden where long-term renting remains a common practice. 

                      “I’m appalled by the lack of rights tenants have in New Zealand and how poorly you’re treated by agencies. It truly is the only negative thing about this country,” says Laura, a Wellington-based renter originally from Ireland. “We’ve never missed a week’s rent in over three years, always have perfect inspections, and we’re still treated like scum by the agency we rent from.” 

                      “I do think that New Zealand would greatly benefit from some of the rental protections put in place elsewhere in the world, such as rent control and decade-long leases, to cultivate a sense of security for those people who prefer not to buy. But let’s face it, I’ll have to move back to Europe if I want this type of thing in the near future.”

                      While some improvements to renter’s rights have been made in the past year, such as banning rental bidding and limiting rent increases to once a year, rental insecurity remains a constant source of stress for many tenants. Research from Australia suggests subpar tenancy law reflects broader cultural values that associate the meaning and making of home with homeownership. As a result, many tenants struggle to feel at home in their rental property which subsequently impacts psychological health and overall well-being.

                      “Most rental properties are barely liveable… and that messes with my mental health,” says Sam. “I’ve spent some time in the US where, for all their problems, long term rentals [in cities like] LA and San Francisco are warm and dry, while rentals in New Zealand are mostly damp and sad. Short term leases are a real downside – I’d sign a five-year lease in [a heartbeat].”
                      https://www.interest.co.nz/property/103805/homeownership-has-long-been-touted-great-kiwi-dream-not-everyone%E2%80%99s-looking-permanent

                    • RedLogix

                      And if either of you bothered to read the thread properly you would see at least two places where I clearly acknowledge exactly these problems … that we have a housing sector beset by high demand, low supply and high prices. This impacts everyone, from social housing tenants, everyone in the rental sector and home owners.

                      There has been a toxic brew of reasons why this dysfunction has come about … but fixating on landlords as the sole cause of these problems reveals more about underlying resentment and bitterness than anything that will actually help.

                      And yes much of our older housing stock falls well short of modern expectations. But they were all new homes decades ago and generations of families did happily live in them without it necessarily affecting their mental health. That they were built 50 or more years ago poorly oriented to the sun and prone to dampness is not actually the fault of their current owner.

                      Getting them to perform to modern expectations is like pretending you can make a Hillman Avenger run just like a modern 2020 model car. Sure you can mitigate the worst of it, but a full noise reno in many cases makes little economic sense. Spending $50k to bring an 80 yr old house up to spec when you're barely netting $5kpa profit out it simply isn't feasible.

                      It would make much more sense to demolish and build new, but building costs in this country are off the scale. Trust me I've run the numbers on this many times, but they never quite add up.

                      There are some great builders out there, but in general I’m eternally disappointed by the NZ building industry; they’ve long under-performed. Again just one of many factors in a toxic brew.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "…but fixating on landlords as the sole cause of these problems reveals more about underlying resentment and bitterness than anything that will actually help." – RL

                      I asked your opinion about the cause(s) of "these problems", and suggested two possibilities – that you chose to characterise that question as "fixating on landlords as the sole cause of these problems" is a classic misrepresentation, and reveals an unnecessarily defensive position, IMHO.  I certainly have no reason to be resentful or bitter towards landlords – I've been a tenant in four properties (in NZ, England (x2), and NZ), the last thirty years ago, and the landlords were straight-up, as was I.  I'll never be a renter again (touch wood), and I have no desire or need to be a landlord (thank God).

                      I do feel that bad landlords should not be landlords, and that bad tenants should not be tenants.  But I also believe that bad landlords typically have more 'options' than bad tenants – just the way it is.

                    • RedLogix

                      @DMK

                      Apologies, my response was to both of you and I didn't accurately answer your question 

                       Might that have something to do with a greater percentage of NZ landlords playing 'fast and loose', or is it mainly because NZ renters make comparatively 'poor' tenants?

                      There is certainly be an element of both. I can't speak to how many bad landlords there are but I can tell you that of the 50 odd tenants we've had in 20 years, 5 of them have caused problems. (Although I have to say that since we moved to 100% professional management that number has dropped to zero, tenants don't tend to play games with managers who will evict them without compunction.) But just for the sake of argument I'm willing to accept that bad landlords and bad tenants exist in similar numbers and total impact.

                      It is however definitely true is that the vast majority of both landlords and tenants are perfectly good people and discharge their side of the contract reliably. In all the rancour it's easy to overlook this. When we were still in NZ we often got to know our tenants, and generally enjoyed interacting with them. Sadly a small minority saw this as a weakness and wound up exploiting it, and we made our share of naive mistakes as well.

                      But these are problems that would exist regardless of any other consideration, so my specific answer to your question is 'neither'. Yes bad landlords and bad tenants do exist, but this isn't especially germane to the much wider problems our whole housing sector is chronically groaning under.

                    • Chris

                      RL – So you acknowledge the problem but reject the suggestion that the likes of Graeme Fowler (70 houses, major income generating operation) are a significant cause of that problem?

                      Or is that you acknowledge the problem and accept that the likes of Graeme Fowler (70 houses, major income generating operation) are a significant cause of the problem?

                      Surely good/bad tenants doesn't matter.  It's an occupational hazard any landlord must accept.  The consequences might be worse for those with one or two extra houses, but bad tenants come with the territory.

  10. A 11

    Latest from Peak.  Starts with pointing out it is too late for Europe and the US where the “don’t test, don’t tell” policy is about to backfire in a phenomenal manner.

    Goes through what the gold standard of handling the pandemic should be (most western countries are screwed…thanks CDC and WHO!)

    Makes suggestions around what govt's could do to improve the situation for people including

    – removing restrictions of dispensing medication so people can get a few months at a time

    – ensuring quality information and understanding panicking people is not the same as preparing them.  We need to be prepared and the best way to do that is gradual, additional purchases over multiple shopping trips. 

    – testing asap, don't make it hard

    – mortgage relief so the choice isn't go to work and spread the illness or lose the house

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Too right A I have heard about these people self-isolating.  That solves the government's problem, but what about their living costs, their possible need to have food delivered to the house if they are on their own, or the family is in lock down with them?   

      Who ties the threads together in the back of the rousing announcements so that there is a robust safety net – ensuring what people need to survive is available.   Government needs to be there to assist those who need care out of the institutions.    Is there a help-line and a set of officials for sourcing and delivering different needs and a weekly budget that meets the costs?

    • weka 11.2

      Some good points there. I would add raising benefits.

      I don't think it's too late for the US and Europe, it's a matter of degrees and how people cope. Unless we are going to close our borders, what happens there affects us here.

  11. joe90 12

    Move over 'Murica, there's a new kid in town.

     

    Charles Kindleberger, one of the intellectual architects of the Marshall Plan, argued that the disastrous decade of the 1930s was a result of the United States' failure to provide global public goods after it had replaced Britain as the leading power. Today, as China’s power grows, will it make the same mistake?

    As US President-elect Donald Trump prepares his administration’s policy toward China, he should be wary of two major traps that history has set for him. The “Thucydides Trap,” cited by Chinese President Xi Jinping, refers to the warning by the ancient Greek historian that cataclysmic war can erupt if an established power (like the United States) becomes too fearful of a rising power (like China). But Trump also has to worry about the “Kindleberger Trap”: a China that seems too weak rather than too strong.

    Charles Kindleberger, an intellectual architect of the Marshall Plan who later taught at MIT, argued that the disastrous decade of the 1930s was caused when the US replaced Britain as the largest global power but failed to take on Britain’s role in providing global public goods. The result was the collapse of the global system into depression, genocide, and world war. Today, as China’s power grows, will it help provide global public goods?

    https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/kindleberger-trap

  12. Muttonbird 13

    Labour ad ideas:

    National isn't planning GST increase if elected, but won't entirely rule it out.

    11 March 2020

    Will Simon raise GST to 17.5%?

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/03/national-isn-t-planning-gst-increase-if-elected-but-won-t-entirely-rule-it-out-simon-bridges.html

    • Herodotus 13.1

      I note : Min wage proposed increase from $17.70 to $18.90 = 6.8% so how does this equate to a 20% cost increase 1:52 into video.

    • Chris 13.2

      Coming from Bridges that's as good as a promise they will.

  13. joe90 14

    Wonder if Boris is going to take this on the chin.

    Health minister and Conservative MP Nadine Dorries says she has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

    Ms Dorries, the first MP to test positive, said she had taken all the advised precautions after finding out, and had been self-isolating at home.

    [..]

    It is not known how many meetings Ms Dorries had attended at Westminster or in her constituency in recent days.

    The Department of Health said she first showed symptoms on Thursday – the same day she attended a Downing Street event hosted by the prime minister – and had been self-isolating since Friday.

    No 10 did not comment on whether Boris Johnson had undergone testing, or whether he will now be tested.

    All health ministers, including Health Secretary Matt Hancock, are to undergo testing for the virus, along with other officials who have come into contact with Ms Dorries.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51827356

  14. Andre 15

    Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi have been called for Biden.

    Michigan exit polls have Biden 52%  Sanders 43%

    Missouri exit polls Biden 55%  Sanders 39%

    Mississippi exit polls have Biden 76% Sanders 20%

    Awfully hard to see a path to the nomination for Sanders now, barring Biden suffering a major medical event. Or even what value might be achieved by Sanders staying in the campaign much longer.

    • millsy 15.1

      Sanders is sinking without trace. 

      Time for his supporters to get behind Biden and throw out Trump, Pence, DeVos, Carson and all those other slime bags who want a theocratic free market state.

      • KJT 15.1.1

        And. So does Biden.

        So. How is supporting Biden going to end up any different from Clinton?

        • millsy 15.1.1.1

          It's not like there is much of a choice. Believe me, I am aware of Uncle Joe's record. Jacobinmag puts up an article every other day, but we have to work with what we have to work with.

          We may even get surprise. LBJ was pretty conservative, but his record, apart from that little war in SE Asia, is the most left wing one since FDR.

  15. Jimmy 16

    I do not know much about the US politics, but who is more likely to be able to beat Trump in the next election? Biden or Sanders? Surely the answer to that question is who the Democrats want to win this thing.

  16. Exkiwiforces 17

    Hi everyone, sorry for not posting here on a more regular basis as I’ve been bumping my fat fingers over on Twitter and I’ve been back down the tunnel as well.

    Anyway I thought I might share this with everyone, as a lefty I’m a bit weird as I’m pro defence but also pro green with social issues as well. 

     I’ve been following this new SOPV capability announcement by NZG since the 2019 WP on the Defence since my two cousins (one as a cook in the RNZN & the other as a part of research team doing his PhD on something to do Ocean thingy’s) caught up in a near capsizing of one the RNZN OPV’s a while back on a run down Sth. The current OPV’s a barely fit for duty down Sth or operate in the Southern Ocean all yr round, the current OPV’s are 100t over weight, too short in length and in the beam (width), the lack of a combat mission system to talk/ data link to the new P8’s, Seasprite Helo’s note these are not normally carried down Sth to the weight issues of the OPV’s and UAV’s when they eventually enter service, and the unsafe means of launching & recovering boarding parties with their RIB.

     This PPP show https://pacificexpo.com.au/conferences/PDFs/New-Zealand-Southern-Ocean-Patrol-Vessel-Pacific-2019-Presentation.pdfthe… capabilities that the RNZN & NZG are after this ship isn’t going to come cheap, but when one considers the operation environment and the effects of CC in the Southern Ocean with no or little hope of help if something goes wrong is going to be money well spent. Especially when the Antarctic Treaty is up for renewal in the early 2040’s and the ever increasing threat from over fishing from poachers by nation states or via 3rd parties operating in what is now called the “Grey Zone” also known as “Hybrid Warfare” which the current International Base Rule System is push to it limits of normality at we are so use too in its current form.

    • greywarshark 17.1

      That's a laser light on that particular policy matter that we wouldn't hear much about Ex Kiwi keep it up.    Helps to be informed.

    • Macro 17.2

      The sad fact is ExKF that when it comes to major purchases such as replacement ships aircraft, etc. cost is the determining factor – inter-operability is second, and actual ability to do the job it is supposed to do is third. I remember when I first joined the RNZN in 1974 – it was the time of commissioning the  4 Brooks Marine PVs which were to replace the long serving ex WW2 inshore ML's. What a disaster they were. Designed for the Atlantic and expected to operate in the Pacific with a much greater wave length. We fought fro years to get the politicians to understand they need to give those manning the vessels extra hard living allowances because they were so sick making and everyone was injury prone from being flung about in rough weather. I remember the day while I was then on the Naval Staff in Def HQ in Stout St. The 4 Patrol Craft happened to be in port at Wellington for some celebration or other and the Admiral decided it would be a good idea to invite the cabinet on board for a trip around the harbour 😉 Oh and by the way it might be an idea to have a little excursion out beyond the heads. Fortunately there was bit of a swell in the Strait. We had our submission for extra allowances for PC crew prepared and it was agreed by Cabinet pretty much the next day.

    • KJT 17.3

      I agree.

      Note the purchase of the Charles chuckum after my mates at sea on her sister ship, and one of our ex seagoing managers, all said, "don't buy it".

  17. Rosemary McDonald 18

    The 72 year old dad of a foaf arrived  in NZ about a fortnight ago on his first visit. Spiked a temp and developed a cough last night.

    Foaf phoned Healthline rather than risk potential spread of Something Nasty by taking dad to a GP clinic.

    Healthline totally dismissive and discounted even the remotest chance of papa having picked up Covid 19 prior to leaving India.  

    Whew.  What a relief.

    Foaf has papa at local after hours clinic as I write.

    System working just fine.

    • weka 18.1

      what's a foaf?

    • Macro 18.2

      As your foaf's dad arrived from India 14 days ago, the chances of him having COVID -19 is very slight. India reported it's first case of the virus on 30 Jan. – after he had travelled from India – and that was a case of the virus being imported by an arrival from China so it is unlikely that foaf's dad had picked it up from them.

      https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/features/coronavirus-affected-countries-india-measures-impact-pharma-economy/

      India reported the first confirmed case of the coronavirus infection on 30 January 2020 in the state of Kerala. The affected had a travel history from Wuhan, China.

      There are now a number of further cases being reported and more detail is on the link above. Obviously it depends on the area from which your foaf's dad arrived as to whether there is a likelihood of infection or not – but again all of these seem to have arisen after he has left the country.

      • Stunned Mullet 18.2.1

        Doubt that the reporting and testing in India is particularly accurate.

        • greywarshark 18.2.1.1

          Don't miss link at 11 above.   He seems onto it and shows sources and diagrams.

  18. Rosemary McDonald 19

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/120175034/thamescoromandel-council-fails-to-bat-off-climate-change-court-case

    This is very,very goodnews indeed.

    Nasty wee silencing tactic from everyone's favourite council stymied by onto it judge.

    • Macro 19.1

      Excellent!

      BTW the two young women on the start of the video sang a beautiful wiaata for Jeanette at the gathering on Sunday. Two amazing young people. The spirit of Jeanette lives on.

  19. Alice Tectonite 20

    SFO confirms investigations into Auckland & Christchurch mayoral election donations. (link)

     

Leave a Comment

Use WYSIWYG comments on next comment (inactive new feature)

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 hour ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    3 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 hours ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 hours ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    9 hours ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    9 hours ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 day ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    3 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    3 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    3 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    3 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    4 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    5 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    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
    5 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago