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Open mike 11/06/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 11th, 2011 - 50 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 link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

50 comments on “Open mike 11/06/2011”

  1. PeteG 1

    Many people talk the talk. And talk. And talk.
    Someone takes a step.

    1. Party List Candidates – Independent
    2. Dunedin South Candidate sought
    3. Dunedin North Candidate announced

    Many people say they are sick of current political options and actions and want something different. This is seriously different. To change things we need to try.

    This isn’t about individuals. It is about a new way of looking at our politics.
    Flexible. Diverse. Valuing vision and competence more than feet in concrete ideology.

    Parties may not like it because they want to retain control. This moves power to people from parties.

    Food for thought. Think beyond the traditional square.

    • lprent 1.1

      Good to see that you are not just a critic.

      But if I can relapse into critic mode for the moment. Have a look at your CSS on Your NZ’s Dunedin North page. In safari on a iPad at least, your name and the electorate name in the header are overlapping into borders around Your NZ.

      The resulting overlapping colors make it hard (and even more atheistically painful) to read. Lime on top of blue and red and green is unreadable. On top of yellow it looks disgusting.

      Whoever is doing the CSS should stop trying to coerce the page into an abnormal state, reduce the width of the text and let it resume the overflow wrapping it would do in the natural state.

  2. Morrissey 2

    What the HELL is “reportage”?

    Just heard Kim Hill ask Geraldine Brooks: “Was there an event that turned you off foreign reportage?” (National Radio, 8.58 a.m.)

    Why couldn’t she just have said “reporting”? I’ve noticed Jim Mora also frequently uses this heinous piece of pretentioso, along with the even more pretentious, and irritating, “anecdotage”.

  3. Morrissey 3

    July, 2009

    Imagine if there’d been vacuous TV talkshows in the Third Reich…

    It’s 1942. Brave little Germany is under the terrorist threat posed by the continued existence of the Warsaw ghetto, which all thoughtful analysts and comedians agree is a terrorist scourge that has to be eliminated. Mein host David Leitermann’s guest tonight is a Nazi comedian who’s fooled the desperate Jewish resistance in Poland into granting him an interview, then used this to further the Nazi state’s campaign of vilification against the Jewish resistance.

    Imagine the chilling atmosphere of such an occasion. Imagine the obscene indifference to reality of the host and the braying idiocy of the audience. Imagine laughter being elicited in the service of totalitarianism.

    Something, in other words, like the following interview, which actually took place on CBS television the other day….

    DAVID LETTERMAN: You interviewed a terrorist?
    SASHA BARON COHEN: Yeah, I interviewed a terrorist.
    LETTERMAN: How’d you do that? It can’t be EASY to find a terrorist!
    BARON COHEN: Well it’s not easy to get in touch with a terrorist. Your government has been trying to find one for the past nine years!
    LETTERMAN: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    LETTERMAN: You’re right!
    BARON COHEN: To get in touch with a terrorist, I used a CIA contact.
    LEITERMANN: [spluttering with laughter] Bruno has a CIA contact!?!?!?
    AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    BARON COHEN: Yes. These were really nasty terrorists, from the Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, the world’s leading suicide bombers.
    AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    LEITERMANN: Ha ha ha ha ha! Okay, now, what’s this clip we’re going to see from the movie?
    BARON COHEN: Here’s where I talk to the terrorist, and insult him, and he hasn’t got a CLUE what I was saying!
    AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    LEITERMANN: Ha ha ha ha ha! This should be good!…

    [Cue clip from show]
    BRUNO: Here’s a tip: you guys should lose the beards. Your King Osama looks like a dirty Santa Claus.
    PALESTINIAN CHRISTIAN PEACE ACTIVIST: [to interpreter] What’s he saying?

    [Back to the Ed Sullivan Theater]
    LEITERMANN: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! So funny, and so brave! Bruno opens on this Thursday. Sacha Baron Cohen!
    AUDIENCE: Heil! Heil! Heil!…..

    ALAN KALTER: [sotto voce]: Am I the only one who’s noticed the guy’s not funny?
    PAUL SHAFFER [sotto voce]: Can somebody get a can of deodorant?

    • Vicky32 3.1

      Thank you for that, Morrissey. Baron Cohen is disgusting.

      • Morrissey 3.1.1

        Actually, Vicky, I think the really appalling one in this scene is David Letterman. After all, Sasha Baron Cohen is a hardline zealot, and this kind of thing is exactly what you’d expect him to do. He can get away with it, and he does—spectacularly. I am appalled by his cynicism and his blatant dishonesty, but not at all surprised by it.

        The problem here is Letterman, who goes along willingly with this travesty. Or (more likely) he knows not to upset the status quo on this issue, i.e., absolute, totalitarian silence about the illegal 44-year-long occupation of the West Bank. We can be quite sure he will have been informed of Baron Cohen’s fanatical views before this interview, yet he does nothing to counter him or question him in any way. Laughingly playing along with Baron Cohen means he has passed up an opportunity to actually confront a slick and merciless propagandist.

        What craven behaviour Letterman shows here, and what moral cowardice.

        But that’s network TV for you.

  4. RedLogix 4

    I’m strapped for time, but this John Armstrong article begs for some deconstruction.

    The basic argument that Key is making for asset sales goes like this:

    1. These State entities are returning very low dividends for the amount of public equity invested in them. Therefore we should sell them and extract this underperforming capital.

    2. Which begs the question then, why would any private sector investor want a bar of them?

    3. Either they expect to buy them cheap in another ideologically driven fire sale (which I cannot see them getting away with in this better informed internet era).

    4. Or their new owners can see the potential to improve their returns because most of these assets operate as public service quasi-monopolies and prices can be readily jacked up to justify the price paid for their shareholding.

    Either way the NZ taxpayer is being lined up for another screwing over.

  5. jcuknz 5

    The Drug Wars.
    http://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/Report
    Basically the report says that anti-drug efforts are hopelessly ineffective … power is where there is money and there are riches in drugs.

    But the mass of people have been conditioned to believe that drugs are bad … myself included … so we will never vote for a politician who de-criminalises those who simply use the product without harm to others and treat it as a medical problem.

  6. jcuknz 6

    If you enjoyed the story about the two elephants going about town last night or maybe night before on TV3 I invite you to visit
    http://jcuknzs.blogspot.com/2011/06/road-rage-african-style.html
    Unfortunately the photos are in reverse order so view from bottom. The VW driver got inpatient 🙂

  7. johnm 7

    AYN RAND Beloved inspiration of RWNJs. Also admired by ACT Party types and acknowledged as an inspiration by Perigo in his blog http://www.solopassion.com. Rand continues to have a major influence on America’s RWNJ Party : The parasitic Republicans who believe in their own fascist excellence:they not only will not share with their “Fellow Americans” {Sick} They actively seek to do away with medicaid and any social welfare. This vile poisonous cult has had a lot of influence on our own RWNJ people. Mark Ames of exiledonline has done a great expose of this weird freakess, refer following:

    “Ayn Rand, Hugely Popular Author and Inspiration to Right-Wing Leaders, Was a Big Admirer of Serial Killer
    Her works are treated as gospel by right-wing powerhouses like Alan Greenspan and Clarence Thomas, but Ayn Rand found early inspiration in 1920’s murderer William Hickman. ”

    “The loudest of all the Republicans, right-wing attack-dog pundits and the Teabagger mobs fighting to kill health care reform and eviscerate “entitlement programs” increasingly hold up Ayn Rand as their guru. Sales of her books have soared in the past couple of years; one poll ranked Atlas Shrugged as the second most influential book of the 20th century, after the Bible.”
    She is admired here in NZ by RWNJs who feel vastly superior to the herd: That’s you and me!
    If you look at Perigo’s blog you’ll see Deborah Coddington of the Act Party is commenting plus and article by a Republican on how to get all of the U$’s wealth for themselves by swindling ordinary non-excellent has been Americans out of any entitlements.

    http://www.alternet.org/books/145819/ayn_rand,_hugely_popular_author_and_inspiration_to_right-wing_leaders,_was_a_big_admirer_of_serial_killers?page=entire

  8. logie97 8

    We should be monitoring very carefully where the MSM is being directed in its discussion and reporting of issues.

    1) The issue of “encouraged” contraception in our communities.
    2) Incentives for “useful” tertiary qualifications.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/5130562/Incentives-idea-for-useful-degrees

    We need to be mindful who is defining what is useful in this world. If we are not careful we will be ruled by a callous technocracy and those who measure life in monetary terms.
    Of course only the children of the new “successful” will be able to learn the Classics and the Arts.

    The irony is that the burgeoning congregations of fundamentalist groups, who preach “the soul” tend to be supporters of this new right.

  9. ZeeBop 9

    Key was ‘selling’ himself this morning on Nation. Not one word about peak oil.
    No analysis of World debt woes. Not one mention of Climate Change. No shame
    about mentioning kiwisaver and how Key has cut it. Same media pundit not talking
    about the tax cut to the rich list paid for by cuts in GST. Nothing about excessive
    borrowing of National at a time when manufacturers are hurting. Or why we need a
    CGT. No, we got a drive round his old haunts, how his mum was beating by world
    events into building a life for herself and her son, and was a Labour supporter.
    Not one moment did he make the connection with our present reality or the reality
    of his own mum. That the right destroyed Europe in war of dominance, and his
    mum people paid for that in the holocaust, that he however grew up in good times
    and can’t see, or won’t see the future, that we are at another of histories turning
    points. Then he has the conceit to say he is the centre gorund! On what basis?
    The poverty trap is an employment program for middle class bureaucrats, and
    Key is lock step into keeping it that way, because he will not take GST off food,
    books, baby items, he will not discuss a CGT and remove the incentive to borrow
    rather than build national capacity. He is a caretaker, a rightwing caretaker, and
    given our present economic future a undertaker still burying the stiff of neo-liberalism.
    We do need radical policies (from the center – cross party), not radical tinkering
    from the extreme right wing who havehad it too easy, think the world runs best
    when we don’t spare the rod on businesses. The good times are over, the lazy
    elites now have to be weeded and selected much more rigorously, and more of
    the same, or more radical shift to the right, forced his mum’s migrant generation from
    a self-destructive Europe, to grow up and get real, and so vote Labour.

    • prism 9.1

      Please ZeeBop put paragraphs where you detect a change in your stream of cogitation. I’ve mentioned this before to no effect. I’m not someone who is a RW troll that you might just dismiss. Your block of type is as hard to chew as last week’s quality, solid rye bread. This morning I have trimmed one into slices after hours wrapped in a damp teatowel. That enabled me to cut it and now I can comsume it. If you think you make quality comment FGS make it consumable.

      • Zorr 9.1.1

        ^ +1

        I agree with prism. It seems you often have something to add but I never read more than the first sentence because your giant wall of text crits me to death.

      • lprent 9.1.2

        I’d have to concur as well. 

        It tends to feel like reading a wall of obstrufucated C++. I feel like leaning towards a tool that prettifies code and makes it readable.

        • Jim Nald 9.1.2.1

          ZeeBob’s usually like a mini treatise
          mine like a zen koan
          🙂

        • ZeeBop 9.1.2.2

          I cannot help you diagnose your illiteracy problem, that seems rampant among a number of readers with out better clarification of the problem. I of course am concerned, and welcome the openness to discuss your problems with my text. Since communication is a two way street and I’m all ears, how would you propose I explain my ‘mini-thesis’ better. Simply its hard in the newsspeak language of today to express myself, we are missing a whole load of words that have been framed into a different context. For example, WINZ use the word respect in terms I do not understand.

          On WINZ….

          Social Phobia is a recognized diagnosis.

          http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/human-rights/what-are-human-rights/the-human-rights-act/protection-from-discrimination/
          Indirect discrimination occurs when a rule or policy that appears to apply to everyone equally actually works to the disadvantage of some groups.

          Reinterpreting this statement. A rule or policy that appears to apply to everyone equally will inevitably disadvantage some groups.

          The one size fits all approach of WINZ will indirectly discriminate against the very people WINZ seeks to support the most marginalized who unlike those who dig themselves out of their problems.

          I been trawling the interent to find a NZ organisation that protects Human Rights and speachs to the socially phobic. Janet Frame, an exceptional kiwi, suffered and you’d have thought there was better protection. No wonder people drink to excess, a self-lobotomy if there ever was one when dealing with the lack of conscience in WINZ.

    • johnm 9.2

      Hi ZeeBop
      Your Block style comment was ok by me. What you said in it was good stuff!

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      I think I’ve figured it out. You’re pressing “Enter” at the end of each line rather than letting the edit box wrap the text for you. This does two things:
      1.) cuts the text so that its body is narrower than it needs to be which makes it harder to read and
      2.) makes it difficult to see where you need to put in the paragraph breaks which you do by pressing “Enter”

      Stop pressing “Enter” at the end of every line as the computer will do that for you and you will find it a lot easier to format what you write.

  10. johnm 10

    Hi ZeeBop

    Key is “an undertaker still burying the stiff of neo-liberalism” Neo-Liberalism may be dead(Obviously a total failure except for the rich who have done famously from it) but it’s still afflicting the living like a ZOMBIE curse. And Key is leading the curse of the Zombies here with asset sales and tax breaks for the already well-off (Zombie like !) but that money is not going into making NZ a better place for all.

    Look at Ireland: The people are being impoverished there by being forced to pay for the neo-liberal speculation feeding frenzy that fell on its face (No more Zombies to feed on). Irish Private Banks who mediated this madness and should have gone bankrupt with the fiat banksters in Germany and elsewhere taking a hair cut (If Zombies can get hair cuts!) Were bailed out by the treachorous Irish Government who had every legal right not to do so! The euro has been completely trashed by Zombie Neo-Liberal greed. It is not a union for the people of Europe but one for the Zombie Wealth investment Speculative class!

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      /agreed

      Which is one of the reasons why I keep saying that the best those countries worst hit by the GFC (Portugal, Ireland, Greece etc) could do would be a complete default of their debts. The bankers won’t like it but it would allow those countries to help their people rather than forcing austerity on them.

  11. prism 11

    This morning Kim Hill spoke to Professor Novak who has written a book on his findings about the basis for altruism in humans. He has something to say about why stable co-operating communities might break down. He has good points. It is worth listening to if you have wondered why we can’t get our lives on a better road after centuries of writing and studying and practising different styles of human behaviour. And our personal philosophies and style of society are more important and central to our living standards than discussing who is going to win the next election with the hope that this lot won’t act to break our lives, incomes, housing, future.

    Can anyone explain what tax changes made earlier this year have made problems for Christchurch’s events managing entity? It doesn’t sound sensible to make events more problematic when they are already risky financially and require much careful planning for months and years before.

    An interesting comment from a much travelled NZ musician on Playing favourites this morning. Now he is back in NZ and sees us afresh, he thinks we have a great spirit, something special to offer the world.

    • ZeeBop 11.1

      Novak made the mistake of making his faith important to the debate, then trying to assert his work had no bias in it since it was based in some absolute rigid version of scientific method. If only he’d said that in the first place he would not look like a liar like he did.

      There is none (a accepted absolute scientific method). An accomplished scientist knows this, or should, and would speak to the brand of scientific method. Obviously any purely mathematical theory will have the same problems, as any other, when applying itself to society. Indeed, first the mathematician is advised to consult with a physicist, then an engineer, then a social scientist before trying to make faith respectable since math does not do ethics.

      Prof. Novak does neither, he asks us to accept ignorance of all other science implementation.
      If you don’t understand what I mean then take the Nuclear meltdown in Japan, would you agree that because a nuclear scientist said the theory best described the processes, that we should accept that nuclear power was safe, correct, a good option. No. You would need first to consult a engineer, a social scientist….

      Simply put if you create a theory like his, then people like Karl Rove will use it to circumvent the prisoner dilemma, immediately and with haste. So altruism may indeed have foundations in self-gene theory, as a means of selfish people to trip up absolute adherents to dogma. What is the Bible anyway, but a huge wedge to keep people conforming to a blind faith.

      Genes are selfish, and select people to be generous, hopeful and what was the third thing he talked about… …in the very way that putting off a fight you are unlikely to win today can help you at some future time. For example, if you teach your kids virtues like self-sacrifice, and they become role models, then as more people join into consent for the meme then its more likely that someone out there will save you or your kid when they get into life threatening trouble, or you need to con them out of their lifesavings to funds some school in Africa (rather than solve Africas problems by asking Africans). But do remember that teaching your kids to be bastards gets them no where fast in life, House maybe an exception, i.e. be very very talented first before letting your dad teach you that nasty is a good life strategy.

      • prism 11.1.1

        ZeeBop – Could you say that Novak is being honest declaring his Christianity? And that does not make him a fundy which I think of as bad Christians because they use the Bible for the end of propaganda for their own self-serving, people-controlling dictatorship.

        Everyone has a a background that influences the way that they think and the line they take when considering any problem. I have to listen to Prof Novak some more and look at your comments before I can attempt an intelligent one. The nature and nurture thing I gues has an important part in his discussion.

        Your paragraphs are good – good for minds like mine which needs to surface, take a breather and then dive into the ideas again.

        • ZeeBop 11.1.1.1

          No. Because Novak suggest we hold two contradictory views, that science does more than describe reality – that its more than just our building of a set of ideas to navigate through living. Then he contradicts himself by suggesting, nudge nudge, that Christianity values emerge from the mathematical theory which obviously is still theory. Christianity was an irrelevant aside, and at the same time reinvigorated by this theoretical game play. Also the Christianity he contends is reinforced does not actually come from the Bible, rather the Bible may have been the results (a lab book) of social experiment gone horrible wrong.

          “””The nature and nurture thing I guess has an important part in his discussion. “””

          No. He was talking about a mathematical result, probably true, but got lost in trying to apply that result to culture without the usual checks and balances, common sense. Remember Hitler, you know the guy that made evolution God, and God evolution. That Ayrans were the perfect choosen people, well that mistake Novak seems to make a mistake, just because an experiment works in the perfectness of the laboratory, and what more perfect experimental areas than mathematics, and then thinks the result applies to something as complex as morals and ethics.

          Legislated pi as 3.14 already.

  12. toad 12

    Anyone for increased prescription charges?  Given the connections and form of Pharmacy Guild Chief Executive Annabel Young, I’d say it’s on the cards.

  13. felix 13

    Notice how the same right-wingers who always say the state shouldn’t own businesses or productive assets are more than happy to have those same productive assets owned by the Chinese government?

    Why is it bad for the NZ govt to own a farm or power station but ok for the Chinese govt to own it?

    • felix 13.1

      Oops sorry that was meant to go in open mic

      [lprent: Magik ]

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      Kowtowing to power. It’s what Authoritarians do and they’ve always viewed the NZ government as having no power. Interestingly, the latter seems to make them work to ensure that the NZ government remains that way.

    • Armchair Critic 13.3

      I want to see this very question put to Mr Key, or Mr English.

  14. ianmac 14

    And also Kim Hill with Staff photographer for The New Yorker magazine, Platon, who has photographed all the power Leaders of the World. (Though he quickly moved on from a mention of photographing John Key.)
    In meeting and photographing the powerless he met a very battered street lady in Moscow who was 34 but looked 68. He asked her what would be her wish. She said “That she wished that Paton have happiness, and that friendship is constant where love comes and goes.” (paraphrased.)

    • Vicky32 14.1

      He asked her what would be her wish. She said “That she wished that Paton have happiness, and that friendship is constant where love comes and goes.” (paraphrased.)

      I wish I could be as kind as she was…

  15. jackal 15

    The week that was 4 – 11 June

    Yesterday, Australian climate scientists revealed details of offensive emails they are routinely receiving. This has raised concerns that the vitriolic campaign could deter the next generation of scientists and researchers. The revelations were made amidst an increasing campaign of disinformation and a number of murders of activists at the behest of the oil and gas industry…

    • ZeeBop 15.1

      Everyone is a genius. National, right-wing talk that all people need to do is believe their reiteration of MSM seeded right wing orthodoxy is a sign they are geniuses and not sit down and take crap from some boffin who spends too much time in the ivory towers out of touch.

      Investment tip, anyone who supports a company that has some Executive on it who does not believe in Climate Change, who does not talk about Peak Oil, or the Debt crisis, is a bad company to be investing in. If they want investment they have to answer how this crisis-es harm their current business.

  16. logie97 16

    Key’s headliner today. “Too many Kiwis receiving government support.”
    Okay John, you have officially fed the flame war.
    Now cut to the chase.
    Give us the exact numbers and not the rhetoric.
    . how many do you know as a fact are NOT entitled?
    . which areas of New Zealand?
    . what direct measures/actions are your government going to implement to assist in changing or remedying the situation?
    . will you guarantee to intervene to ensure that a proper informed and managed debate will ensue or will you depend on the blogs and talk back radio to do your bidding for you?

  17. MrSmith 17

    Just took this from “New Zealand Fabian society” here thought some of you might be interested .
     
    “The Centre for Public Services in theU.K. found that staff in private prisons were paid 25 percent less on average than their state counterparts and had inferior non-pay entitlements[xiii].Castalia says they “assume a PPP contractor [in New Zealand schools] will improve the efficiency of caretaking and cleaning by 20 percent including through contracting out and stronger labour bargaining”[xiv].This in effect becomes a way of forcing down pay for public service staff. It is not an efficiency from an economic viewpoint, as the PPP contractor’s gain is the New Zealand worker’s loss. It may or may not be passed on to the government in lower charges, and it is likely that a significant proportion of the contractor’s profits will go overseas, increasing the cost to the economy.”

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Foreign shareholders gain as our wages fall, and the more that our pay falls the bigger our “competitive advantage”.

      I’m sure Bill English said that was a good thing, we should trust him.

  18. jackal 18

    FFS! You put the words “child porn” in a blog post and it gets more hits that ever. Sickos!

  19. prism 19

    Some detail from National’s latest newsletter.
    Path to surplus and job growth
    The National-led Government is doing everything it can to give businesses the confidence to invest, grow, and create new jobs. This includes mapping a faster path back to Budget surplus, investing heavily in infrastructure, and getting better results from the public sector.
    The latest forecasts from the Reserve Bank suggest the pace of growth is picking up. The central bank is predicting 4.6 per cent growth in the year to March 2013 somewhat higher than Treasury’s 4 per cent forecast in the Budget.
    The bank also has a strong outlook for job growth, forecasting an additional 180,000 people employed by March 2014.
    Seems like jam tomorrow, rather than looking at forecasts for the rest of 2011 and 2012. And what’s this 4.6% growth. We haven’t been getting that in good years have we? Is this calculated on forced investment in Christchurch?

    Fewer people reliant on welfare
    Our Future Focus changes, which were part of National’s 2008 election policy, are delivering positive results. Our requirement that someone on an Unemployment Benefit must reapply after one year has seen more than 5000 people cancel their benefit.
    We’ve also seen more than 1000 people leave the Domestic Purposes Benefit to go into work within a month of getting intensive support from Work and Income.
    What does that mean – ‘intensive support’. And having to reapply for UB must be a real barrier in itself without the implicit likelihood of not being granted it.

  20. Dan1 20

    I have puzzled for some time now as to why Bainimarama is the bad guy in Fiji. Granted he took over from an elected majority, but he was up against Speight and his cronies and in favour of including Chaudry and the substantial Indian minority. Can someone explain please.

    • McFlock 20.1

      from what I recall, there have been allegations of beatings and harrassment, his relationship with the press is controlling to say the least, and so on.
       
      Maybe he’s better than Speight, maybe not, but he sure as shit isn’t close to a democratic politician. B is marginally better than A, but C is the only acceptable position.

  21. Who is really running the show internationally?

    The Bilderberg – ‘conspiracy theory’ – or FACT?

    Seen this?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2011/jun/10/bilderberg-2011-charlie-skelton

    Bilderberg 2011: George Osborne attending as chancellor

    Charlie Skelton spots some interesting names on the delegate list

    So this is some proper journalism what I just done.

    Early this morning a Swiss website published a genuine-sounding list of delegates to this year’s conference. A couple of names leapt out, both of them Bilderberg alumni: Lord Mandelson (2009) and George Osborne (2006-2009).

    On the 2011 delegate list, Osborne appears thus: Osborne, George, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

    I’ve just spent the entire day trying and failing and failing and trying again to get an official confirmation that Osborne is attending the St Moritz conference, and if so, in exactly what capacity he’s here.

    At long last the Treasury Press Office gave me a straight answer, but it wasn’t the answer I was expecting: “George Osborne is attending the Bilderberg conference in his official capacity as Chancellor of the Exchequer” – and he’s coming along “with a number of other international finance ministers.”

    Any Treasury staff?

    “Probably not more than one.”

    So – ok – you mean we’re paying for Osborne to be here?

    You mean he’s on Treasury business?

    You mean this is an official summit?

    You mean he’s talking economic policy with the Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, the CEO of Airbus, and Russian oligarch Alexey Mordashov, the billionaire CEO of Severstal?

    And Henry Kissinger?

    In secret?

    Behind a police cordon?

    …………………… ”

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

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    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
    12 hours 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
    12 hours 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
    12 hours 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
    13 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    17 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    4 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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    7 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago

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