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Open Mike 18/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 18th, 2017 - 76 comments
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76 comments on “Open Mike 18/03/2017”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11820240

    ””It is absolutely extraordinary that they are able to get away with paying zero tax in this country. I really like Apple products – they’re incredibly innovative – but it looks like their tax department is even more innovative than their product designers,” Shaw said.”

    apple ripping nz of

    Why don’t we just have a 10% tax on all money as it leaves the country ,?

    • Antoine 1.1

      Suspect this would infringe our international commitments

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        So does being a tax haven.

        Thanks to the National Party, we are in no position to say jack shit about people who avoid tax.

    • dv 1.2

      Tobin tax, about same size as CC charge.

    • Carolyn_nth 1.3

      Very good work by Mr Nippert again. John Campbell has also been on the Apple case for more than a year – trying to get some explanation from Apple about their activities in NZ.

      According to Nippert, Apple has at least several dozen employees in NZ. It’s NZ sales are handled by its Aussie office – so can claim not to have a business here, I think. Legal but morally dodgy.

      “Apple aims to be a force for good and we’re proud of the contributions we’ve made in New Zealand over the past decade. Because our products and services are created, designed and engineered in the US, that’s where the vast majority of our tax is paid,” the spokesperson said.

      But aren’t most of the products made by cheap labour in Asian countries?

      Spark chief executive Simon Moutter said Apple’s zero tax bill reinforced his concerns that New Zealand’s tax base was threatened by the burgeoning wave of technology companies.

      “Some of these companies are willing to use every trick in the book to minimise the tax they pay towards the cost of running our schools, hospitals and social infrastructure,” Moutter said.


      “Whether something can be done about it is another question. The United Kingdom and Australia are taking a lead on this and it will be interesting to see how it works out for them.”

      Both Australia and Britain have gone further than the New Zealand Government and impose a diverted profits tax on companies trying to unfairly skirt national tax obligations.

      John Payne, spokesman for the big business umbrella outfit the Corporate Taxpayers Group, cautioned against radical changes to the tax regime and warned the mechanism used by Apple was also used by local exporters.

      “It’s Tax 101 in terms of activity … and it’s quid pro quo for us when we’re operating similarly in another country,” Payne said.

      But NZ companies tend not to be on the same scale as the likes of Apple. So NZ ultimately is the loser. We’d be better off if all companies, NZ and others, paid a fair share of the tax in countries where they sell products and get some income.

      • RedBaronCV 1.3.1

        Although I suspect there is some self / corporate interest there – good on Simon Moutter for sounding more engaged in the country’s welfare than our RW Nact Politicians.
        Don’t forget any local competitor is stuck with uncompetative outcomes as they pay onshore tax.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      Apple’s ripping every country off. That’s why it keeps all of its profits in tax havens.

      And, yes, a Tobin Tax is a remarkably good idea if we’re going to keep offshore ownership.

      • gsays 1.4.1

        Hi draco, I seem to recall dear leader saying the havens provided $43m to those who administered them, so be relaxed.

    • infused 1.5

      The same reason you pay no tax when buying shit from overseas. Tax isn’t applied in the foreign country in most cases.

      • bwaghorn 1.5.1

        sorry you are wrong i don’t spend my time trying to avoid paying for all the good things like schools and medical help

  2. Andre 2

    Is the TOP tax policy actually a good idea? Or is it just a brainfart from a mouthy millionaire out-of-touch economist that can only see things in terms of dollars?

    http://www.top.org.nz/top1

    Most of the argument will no doubt focus on the harmful effects on the asset-rich income-poor, such as the elderly who live in areas where property values have skyrocketed. This policy suggests they build up debt to pay their imputed tax, which destroys their security and peace of mind. Or they sell up and move out, which trashes the idea of community. Basically these problems come about from viewing a home as just another capital asset, which economists only value for producing income. The alternative is a capital gains tax, as used in most of the rest of the world. This gets levied at the time of sale, at the time the property has changed from being a home to just another financial instrument.

    But this policy also favours businesses with low capital requirements such as Trademe, Infometrics etc over businesses that require substantial capital investment to produce tangible goods. For instance, this 3D printing firm http://www.rapidman.co.nz/ would have needed to invest a huge chunk up-front to start up their 3D printing business. Slamming them with a tax liability on that investment right from the beginning would be a big disincentive to starting up. But long term, it’s the actually tangible goods businesses that are better for the economy.

    http://www.vox.com/new-money/2017/3/16/14939624/tesla-billion-raise-uber

    Hitting farmers with a capital tax strikes me as a particularly crap idea. It gives them yet more incentive to try to wring yet more income from their very expensive investment. Do we really want to drive more intensification by changing the tax system to favour it?

    The TOP proposal also puts a continuous burden on cashflow. This adds another difficulty to companies going though a rough patch, and may put some under that would otherwise survive.

    Seems to me a capital gains tax, as used in most of the rest of the world, is a much fairer, less distortionary way of taxing capital. I favour including everything, even family homes (with rollover provisions for family homes). It more fairly captures the income enjoyed by the founders of businesses with low capital requirements that achieve a high sell price because of intangibles such as customer base, brand, intellectual property. TOP’s proposal is light on companies such as TradeMe, Infometrics, Charlie’s, 42 Below, while it would hit hard companies like F&P that need to invest in substantial equipment.

    Finally, since capital gains taxes are widely used elsewhere, there’s plenty of other examples to look to and pick what works and eliminate the loopholes from the beginning.

    • Graeme 2.1

      My reading of their tax policy is more as a capital investment policy. The tax is on equity, so is designed to encourage property owners to borrow against their property and to invest in income generating businesses.

      A noble aspiration, and a very correct observation of what is wrong with all our wealth tied up in non-productive real estate, and Morgan’s ideas may be a solution to that, but there’s some serious transition issues around how we get there.

      Also, on the face of it, a huge structural subsidy (even more of a licence to print money) in favour of the banks.

      • Andre 2.1.1

        Encouraging debt can’t be a good thing. I know of a bunch of businesses that went under 2009/2010. Most of them were running on borrowed money. I know a bunch of businesses that survived 2009/2010 with just a bit of belt-tightening. Most of them were debt-free or nearly. The correlation was pretty good.

        Let alone encouraging more mortgage debt to avoid paying tax to live in your own home…

        Seems to me a better way to encourage investment in more productive sectors is to clean up the financial shenanigans that make non-property investment so unattractive in NZ.

        • Graeme 2.1.1.1

          Yeah, I’m not a fan of it for those reasons too. The whole thing looks like a few rather noble ideas with rather poorly thought out execution. But that’s how Morgan operates.

          You’re on the button about this problem needing a carrot approach to make productive investment safer than hence more attractive than real estate. It’s the financial markets that need the stick, not the property owners.

        • Nic the NZer 2.1.1.2

          “Encouraging debt can’t be a good thing.”

          That’s a bit too generic a statement. A lot of new investment is debt funded so any form of encouraging investment is going to encourage debt. The problem occurs when your getting a lot of debt taken on which is chasing capital gains anticipated due to expanding underlying debt levels.

          In terms of Morgans policy proposals, I doubt that the indirect measures like tax changes will have much effect. Even a capital gains tax has worked where? If we were serious about stopping the housing bubble in NZ then you need to prevent competition in taking on more debt directly. The LVR ratio is a start but needs to apply property by property (to stop competition between borrowers) and the cap could be on all borrowing, and lower. Also its still tied into the valuations, so make it loan to rental income to serious stop the competition in who can take on the biggest loan at purchase time.

          Cleaning up the share market and dodgy practices there would do a lot to improve investment, but it will take a long while to kick in, many people have been scammed in the past and have a long memory.

          • Andre 2.1.1.2.1

            I too doubt capital gains taxes will do much to slow the housing bubble inflating.

            CGT is more an equity argument about those that benefit from a societal environment that allows capital investment to be protected and grow being required to contribute something back to maintaining that society. Instead of parasitically keeping it all in their pocket like they do now in NZ.

            • Nic the NZer 2.1.1.2.1.1

              I don’t really believe in that fairness arguments. If some people are profiting off of others falling into significant indebitedness, that is unfair and problematic for society even if the government is taking a cut or even a very significant cut. If Capital Gains Taxes actually work then they need to be set at levels where they collect very little revenue because the underlying behavior is being discouraged by them. On the other hand I don’t think I have seen any examples of them working to actually achieve that.

              My reasoning around Morgan’s tax policies is that essentially he believes the market is fundamentally pretty rational and so if profit is discouraged by taxation then this behavior will desist. I don’t think the market is anywhere near that rational, there are plenty of analysis saying that essentially many property investors are already losing money with their housing speculation and would get better returns with more productive investments anyway.

          • mikesh 2.1.1.2.2

            “A lot of new investment is debt funded so any form of encouraging investment is going to encourage debt. The problem occurs when your getting a lot of debt taken on which is chasing capital gains anticipated due to expanding underlying debt levels.”

            The problem occurs when the interest paid gobbles up profit to the extent that little or no income tax is paid. Banks, however, don’t invest in businesses; they lend to investors, whether proprietors or shareholders, who do the investing. The trouble is that monies borrowed represent a personal benefit to the borrower since he is provided thereby with funds to invest in, and own, a business or property, and of course interest is the cost of that personal benefit, and personal benefits, while normally not tax deductible (this why we have fringe benefit tax), seem to have been deemed deductible in the case of interest.

            Getting rid of deductibility of interest for tax purposes would probably mitigate many problems.

            • Nic the NZer 2.1.1.2.2.1

              Banks do lend to businesses, interest is only deductible for the payer of the interest, so if interest is being deducted before profits are taxed then the business is making the interest payments.

              We don’t want investment in productive businesses because they pay more tax to the government (which is pretty much irrelevant). We want that because it avoids the economy being a contest in speculation, which is prone to busts. Getting rid of interest deductibility is unlikely to solve that problem, though it is likely to make borrowing have a higher interest cost which will likely hamper investment in productive business as well as speculation. That kind of measure needs to be carefully targeted at speculative businesses.

              • mikesh

                “Banks do lend to businesses, interest is only deductible for the payer of the interest, so if interest is being deducted before profits are taxed then the business is making the interest payments.”

                Businesses don’t pay interest; the person to whom the monies were lent, ie the proprietor, pays the interest. It doesn’t matter whether the proprietor pays it from his “business” account or from his “personal” account, it is the proprietor who is paying.

                The issue is not the effect that non deductibility would have on this or that business. The issue is whether it is fair that someone who puts his own savings into (say) a rental property, and earns a decent profit, pays a respectable amount of tax, while someone who borrows heavily to invest pays very little tax because most of his profit is being eaten up by a personal expense.

            • Antoine 2.1.1.2.2.2

              > Getting rid of deductibility of interest for tax purposes would probably mitigate many problems.

              It would send rents through the roof

              A.

              • Sabine

                too late, they are already sky high.

                • Antoine

                  Oh they can still go higher

                  • Sabine

                    of course they can, but will the government be able to continue paying the Accommodation Supplement that would allow Landlords to charge higher rents?
                    and how long before we have riots in the streets and would that be a good outcome?

                    Hmm, but maybe that is the intended outcome, destroy a bit of real estate, lock up a few people, insurance pay out, rebuild, charge higher rents.

                    so how do you like your current society vs the one i just painted?
                    cause it seems that the ‘burn down the house in which you are living’ is a thing at the moment with certain people on the left and the right.

    • mikesh 2.2

      “Seems to me a capital gains tax, as used in most of the rest of the world, is a much fairer, less distortionary way of taxing capital. I favour including everything, even family homes (with rollover provisions for family homes).”

      A capital gain is still capital, but it represents only a small part of the capital that exists.
      It is therefore difficult to see how taxing capital gains is “fairer” or “less distortionary”
      when other capital is not being taxed.

      “Finally, since capital gains taxes are widely used elsewhere, there’s plenty of other examples to look to and pick what works and eliminate the loopholes from the beginning.”

      CGTs don’t seem to have “worked” elsewhere. Countries that have them seem to have just as many problems with property as we have here. I suspect the reason most countries persist with them is because they are a relatively easy to collect form of revenue. That they do not have much effect on interest rates probably makes them popular with the banks as well.

  3. mary_a 3

    John Key is going to work for this Japanese businessman/golfing enthusiast/philanthropist/priest Handa! Now where have I heard this name before?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11820452

    • Handa was made an honorary member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2016…

      Gee, I wonder who arranged that for him?

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        This is only connected in that it involves business people playing with their money in NZ to help them to get all of our money of us. Old news bac in 2012 but for lovers of interesting back stories might fill in gaps

        Why is urban land expensive in NZ? Because it is just a way to gain Monopoly
        money.

        https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/tuesday-heartland-moves-over-toxic-nelson-loan-ch-p-127482

        The property was acquired by Victoria Properties Consolidated in 2005 for $5.4 million with an optimistic forecast of potential value of $18 million to be gleaned from section sales after rezoning….

        About 150 mainly Otago investors have money in the Victoria group, which is managed by Britannia Management, whose directors include National Party director and Canterbury Westland chairman Roger Bridge and financial adviser Craig Myles.

        Probably where some of the payout from Hubbard’s South Canterbury Finance debacle went.

  4. trump is a rude man – what possible reason other than that is there for this?

    nah nothing stacks up – he is a petulant, pathetic man-child

    “”Do you want to have a handshake?” Merkel asked Trump, leaning closer to Trump after the US president failed to respond to the requests.

    Trump continued to stare straight ahead and didn’t answer, leaving Merkel high and dry.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/90579146/donald-trump-angela-merkel-hold-first-facetoface-meeting-at-white-house

  5. The Chairman 5

    Christchurch City Council committee keen to introduce city’s own dollar.

    The committee is focusing on the Bristol Pound as a potential model.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/90493334/christchurch-city-council-committee-keen-to-introduce-citys-own-dollar

  6. Cinny 6


    Parents win ‘fight’ to get daughter into Salisbury School

    Hekia has been attempting to bully Salisbury School into closure for many years now, by denying girls the best facility in the country for their needs, instead preferring they use a ‘wrap around’ service.

    Once again we discover another story of the struggle a family has gone through over a number of years to have their daughter attend Salisbury School.
    Finally she has been excepted, Salisbury will change and improve her life and that of her family tremendously.

    Salisbury School is NZs most valuable educational facility for girls with complex needs, a wrap around service is not enough for some girls, Salisbury saves lives.

    I wish this family all the very best, your girl is going to love Salisbury, so happy you finally got there.

    A change of government will help to keep one of the most valuable schools in the country open.

    Some wrap around services must be making a fortune, Salisbury school is not about making money, it’s about improving lives. Would be interesting to know who is making money from the wrap around services, someone is.

    • JanM 6.1

      Have you any idea what ‘wrap around services’ are or are they just double speak for actually doing nothing?
      I’m not surprised they’ve been trying to shut down what seems to me to be a great school – they’ve been making it harder and harder for children with additional needs to access suitable education.
      For that matter, they’ve been busy screwing the whole education system from top to bottom to suit their own ideological ends – they’ve got to go!!!

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Have you any idea what ‘wrap around services’ are or are they just double speak for actually doing nothing?

        I suspect that it’s doublespeak for the average, run of the mill school that suits most children but is detrimental to those that are outside the norm.

        • JanM 6.1.2.1

          Thanks for that – sounds like a few hours with a psychologist and on yer bike! Charming!

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.2.2

          A cynical piecemeal approach that has one advantage from the National Party’s perspective: it’s easier to defund.

        • Cinny 6.1.2.3

          Yesah Salisbury School is an incredible place which saves lives.

          Sometimes residential care is the best option rather than mainstream school. And the way this school prepares the girls for life is outstanding. Like when they reach a certain age they are moved to little villas to live with each other, on site with staff support, to give them life skills in a supportive controlled environment. Awesome.

          They get to experience a strong sense of community, not only in the school, but also in Richmond itself and sometimes that will be the first time some girls have ever felt a sense of community or inclusion.

          Hekia has been hell bent on closing Salisbury down, it’s more like a competition to her, the urge to win. People shouldn’t play games like that with the lives of others.

          It’s so hard for me to understand why push the wrap around services which haven’t worked for some families, rather than supporting a facility that has been up and running and making a huge difference for decades. So I begin to wonder things like… do her friends have a wrap around service business?

          Should some parents not be told about the school from the beginning as an option?

          Anyways, Salisbury is a very very good school, huge respect for all the staff whom have made it so amazing over the many years it has been operating, and looking forward to seeing the roll increase in the future, rather than more road blocks, and more suffering from the outgoing government.

          • Antoine 6.1.2.3.1

            > So I begin to wonder things like… do her friends have a wrap around service business?

            I don’t think you need to invoke corruption here – ideological blinders and a fairly hefty dose of incompetence is enough

            A.

            PS _Some_ people do well on wrap around, I understand

  7. ianmac 7

    Connections?
    Rangiora High School has Trust land. The Ministry wants to grab the control off the BOT so they can sell the land. So destroy Principal and BOT.
    Salisbury has valuable land. The Ministry wants to grab the control off the BOT so they can sell the land. So destroy Principal and BOT and strangle the entrance for the girls.
    Good on Parata! Yay!

    Edit:Meant for Cinny

  8. North 8

    How ridiculously childish is this POTUS ?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503076&gal_cid=1503076&gallery_id=173026

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  9. Penny Bright 9

    Beware of moving from Auckland Council (Corporate) Controlled Organisations (CCOs) to Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).

    This upcoming ‘review’ needs to, in my view, make a top priority of returning all public services provided by Auckland Council and CCOs back to ‘in house’ service provision under the genuine, not-for-profit public service model.

    Which was never broken before we had two doses of Neo-liberal ‘Rogernomic$’ reforms forced upon the public majority of Aucklanders.

    In my view, we also need a huge clean out of ex-private sector businesspeople from ‘public servant’ roles.

    How do people from the private sector ‘transmogrify’ into genuine public servants – serving the public and the public interest?

    In my view – they don’t.

    They’re from Planet ‘Private Profit’ and come from a completely different background and culture
    – make money for shareholders – look after yourself and your mates?

    Time for some BIG changes!

    OPEN THE BOOKS!

    CUT OUT THE CONSULTANTS ,
    CONTRACTORS and CCOs!

    BRING COUNCIL PUBLIC SERVICES BACK ‘IN HOUSE’ UNDER THE ‘NOT-FOR-PROFIT’ PUBLIC SERVICE MODEL!

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner’

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      This upcoming ‘review’ needs to, in my view, make a top priority of returning all public services provided by Auckland Council and CCOs back to ‘in house’ service provision under the genuine, not-for-profit public service model.

      That’s would be the desired end result but the review should do an unbiased cost/benefit review. If they do that then moving all back in house should be a no-brainer.

      The PPP model simply costs too much for limited returns that often makes things worse.

  10. JC 10

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/90495259/Forest-Bird-holding-Environment-Southland-to-ransom-ES-chair

    “If Forest & Bird gets its way, marine farming could never be considered…”

    While “Forest & Bird Otago/Southland regional manager Sue Maturin said it did not consider marine farming to be appropriate for internationally significant and special places such as Fiordland and the wild pristine waters of Stewart Island, or the marine mammal sanctuaries for Hector’s dolphins in Curio Bay and Te Wae Wae”.

    • weka 10.1

      They’re talking about two bays by the sounds of things. Sounds reasonable.

      “He was concerned the Wellington-based organisation was “not prepared to compromise” and said court action would cost a lot of money for Southland ratepayers.”

      I’m sure all the Southland F and B members and volunteers who work in the area will love that bit.

      • JC 10.1.1

        Weka Interested to know more about 2 Bays… interested in hearing more.. Link Please…

        Seems a default setting/response whenever these sorts of questions are raised…

        “court action would cost a lot of money for Southland ratepayers.” (or any her Ratepayers… Why is is it that only Ratepayers count when these are National issues! Just like Dairy Intensification!

        Northland/Westland/Canterbury/Horowhenua… wherever… Why is it that only Ratepayers, (As I am), only allowed to comment on/have impute into “district” issues”

        Surely Marine Farming in Fiordland or Stewart Island, (as part of NZ), or the planet! If it’s unsustainable/ and/or inappropriate,( In some circumstance) (Just like Cows in the McKenzie Country, or Canterbury…) Why is it that these issues can only be allowed/commented on by _”Rate Payers”..

        When there is so much apathy locally surely there’s a need for other parties to put their 10 cents worth in. For the Good of All!

        Or can the few in Jackson’s Bay, ( or the Westland Council) determine whats Best…

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/88099749/From-national-park-to-overseas-Plan-to-export-billions-of-litres-of-West-Coast-water

        • weka 10.1.1.1

          I only know about Curio and Te Waewae Bays issues from the article (although I have been to both places too). I trust F and B’s judgement. Hopefully Robert Guyton will comment. He would also know if there is a place for non-rate payers to have input.

          I also think getting it written into the Regional Policy Statement is critical, because so much time, energy, effort and resource is being wasted having to refight these battles over and over and over.

        • weka 10.1.2.1

          My concern is that too many people are saying we need to put a price on water. I think we should have a moratorium on all new exports until we sort this out.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2.1.1

            If we’re going to keep with a market system then we most definitely need to put a price on it.

            Me, I’d like to put science on it and determine just how much water we can use before it becomes unsustainable.

            I’m also pretty sure that we’re well into the unsustainable usage now and it’s just getting worse as the farms suck up more water and the water bottlers export it.

            • weka 10.1.2.1.1.1

              “If we’re going to keep with a market system then we most definitely need to put a price on it”

              Quite. Which is why I think focussing on the price rather than a moratorium is buying into neoliberal framing. Have the conversation first about water being life, then talk about the limits, then see what if any price is needed. But then I think bottling water for profit is up there in terms of evil alongside Monsanto or chopping down rainforest to make burgers.

              “Me, I’d like to put science on it and determine just how much water we can use before it becomes unsustainable.

              I’m also pretty sure that we’re well into the unsustainable usage now and it’s just getting worse as the farms suck up more water and the water bottlers export it.”

              I also believe we are well past anything remotely sustainable. I’m not sure we could even determine what sustainable is under the current system. Industrial export dairying would have to stop for a start, and no-one even wants to talk about that apart from those of us who have nothing to lose. And Rachel Steward 🙂

            • Antoine 10.1.2.1.1.2

              It is very little water that the bottlers are exporting. By all means worry about the farms but I really wouldn’t lose sleep over the bottling

              • weka

                Look at the bigger picture. Bottled water is a pollutant because of plastic’s accumulation in the environment (e.g. the Pacific gyre), and because plastic is an endocrine disruptor.

                Exporting water has a ridiculous carbon cost. It actively supports the despoilment of local aquifers and watersheds in the places it is being sold. There is a reason people need to ship water from here. It’s daft beyond all reasoning to be moving water from one side of the planet to another using fossil fuels, but even if that were sustainable, it doesn’t get around why people need the water in the first place. Making money off other people’s destruction of the environment is not only amoral, it’s going to back lash against us. You think people with bigger sticks won’t come and take water from us if we let the civilisation get to the point of mass water wars?

                “It is very little water that the bottlers are exporting.”

                That argument I am not convince about. It’s the overall take from a catchment that counts, and if an aquifer is depleting (e.g. farming), then taking out water for bottling is still a further depletion. We also don’t know what the demand will be going forward except that it’s most likely to increase and may increase exponentially. We should be setting limits now, not doing what we have done with dairy and seeing how far we can push the plunder. From what I understand replenishing an aquifer is not a quick or easy thing, and by the time we get to that point we will be well into direct climate change issues.

                We’re already at the point of fucking with the groundwater beyond our ken,

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=11705149

                • Antoine

                  Well, I sympathise with your desire for better water management

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    But, like all RWNJs, don’t like the idea that there are real physical limits that we need to live within.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I dont have a problem with that idea

                    That is not the way that you come across with your ‘sympathy’ nor your excusing of water bottlers.

                    • Antoine

                      Everyone agrees that the world has real physical limits. The interesting bit starts when you talk about what those limits are, how close we are to exceeding them, and what should be done about it.

                      My point is that water bottling (as opposed to dairy) takes you only a very little closer to reaching a hard limit.

                      I understand Weka’s rejoinder however.

                      A.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Everyone agrees that the world has real physical limits.

                    That’s not actually true. Many of the conservative bent don’t think that the world has limits. They’re easy to spot as they insist that we can just keep using more and more of the worlds limited resources with consequences.

                    Bottling water is fine because it uses so little. Owning and running a car is fine because it uses so little.

                    They don’t seem to understand the effect of multiplication and that it’s not just a single bottling plant and just one car being but many. That the demands upon those scarce resources isn’t just one thing but many and they all have their cost that reduces amount available.

                    You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

                    But very few people understand that. Even, IMO, most economists don’t get it despite it being at the root of their profession.

                    My point is that water bottling (as opposed to dairy) takes you only a very little closer to reaching a hard limit.

                    But what is the limit? Without knowing that how can you say that water bottling doesn’t take us over it?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Every little bit counts.

                Watercare aren’t asking for one person to save a lot, they’re asking everyone to save a little which will add up to a lot.

  11. feed your head – great vocal – ‘Grace Slick’s isolated vocals tracks for “White Rabbit.’

    why? – just a point – does ‘why’ need a question mark?

    anyway – we must look at things from different angles – we can do it with a song and with a few other things as well…

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    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
    5 hours 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
    8 hours 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 ...
    9 hours 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
    10 hours 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 ...
    11 hours 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 ...
    11 hours 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
    12 hours 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
    13 hours 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
    24 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    7 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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
    4 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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    4 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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    5 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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    5 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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    5 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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    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago