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Open mike 21/05/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 21st, 2011 - 28 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…

28 comments on “Open mike 21/05/2011”

  1. ZeeBop 1

    The white line down the side of the road, why is it there? To cramp your style? Or to indicate where the best tarmac, optimum efficient path for your car?

    For decades growth was assured from cheaper oil and energy efficiency savings. And Politician scrambled to look like their policies where ‘the tried and true’ policies that created the growth. It wasn’t true though. Politicians uniformly had a choice, behave responsible and lose at the ballot box, or make ‘poor choices’ drive over the white lines and recklessly tinker with anything in sght just to look like they were being active. Because GDP measures activity not sound economic decision making, creating a heap of recyclable rubbish is just as active as recycling the stuff.

    So out of the mix came the ACT and National party with yet more stupid policies.

    What fascinates me is that the general population followed by example, run up debt like there was no tomorrow, even though they knew they had to pay it back sometime, growth was assured by the government wasn’t it after all. It has got to such a point that four men got into a car on a dark night, ignored the rule that they should not shoot at night, and still after their conviction claim their behavior was not reckless.

    Driving over the white line along the side of the road is reckless driving.

    We have created a cult of followers who believe success is breaking the rules, and wonder why our economy does not work efficiently. If almost everyone follows the rules, then it create certainty and allows participates to predict the future, but if as this govt loves to do, tinker. Whether with justice, or kiwisaver, or DPB, education, or tax (third round), under the proviso that id everyone from the right to the left is crying fowl, then its doing a great job.
    No! Its more costs, less certainty, more unforeseen risks, and poor governance that ignores the structural systemic problem with the NZ economy, that roughly 100% debt GDP of which only 30% might show up on the government books. What credible government does that? Deals to the 3/10ths of the problem? And governments are much more resilient when it comes to debt, especially when they are a nation of lots of water, great soils, temperate climate, as much oil and we use coming out of the ground, coal, hydro, gold, etc. We are not going to have a problem with government borrowing, we are having a problem with the private sector owned by overseas landlords taking profit and putting nothing back into NZ. Guarenteed to be no trickle down.

    Now I can understand four men getting into a car late at night with a loaded gun, stupid happens, but what I don’t get is why our whole elite media and government just won’t discuss the private debt problem holding NZ back, pushing 20% of children into poverty, etc.
    Those four men will never hunt again, but next year yet more children and others will be harmed by the huge unrecognised (in open media) undisclosed private dead weight debt problem.

  2. logie97 2

    Isn’t politics a strange animal or, more particularly perhaps, the press journalists’ approach to it.
    Three weeks ago, Rodney Hide would have been the third cab off the rack to be asked for his opinion on most things, particularly the budget. So they wanted to know what the mind and expertise of Rodney Hide had to say.

    Rodney who? What has changed that this man’s in depth hold on the world no longer amounts to anything.

    Bloody hell, it’s actually been five weeks already. Poor sod.

  3. lprent 3

    The like/dislike system had a nasty exploitation hole that was pointed out to me via email (thanks). So it is now off.

    I’d thought the code was sloppy when I read it. I will have to do my usual and have a closer look at it on the test system.

    • Bill 3.1

      Thought the like/dislike system was just plain nasty…and pointless… regardless of any ‘exploitation hole’.

      If I find a comment particularly pertinent or whatever, then I comment to that effect.

      And if I find a comment particularly crap, I can comment on why.

      Tick boxes are meaningless beyond creating possibly false ‘first impressions’ that then shade a readers’ take on what’s written.

      • Armchair Critic 3.1.1

        Agree. I think using the like/dislike system to hide comments is inconsistent with the approach to moderation used at The Standard.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.2

        Very often, I agree or disagree with a comment, but don’t want to reply to it because I don’t have much to say other than that.

        Definitely hiding posts shouldn’t happen. And I think that only positive up-votes should be allowed – if you disagree with someone, don’t vote them up, or vote up someone elses comment that rebuts them (or write your own, of course).

        • Deadly_NZ 3.1.2.1

          Yep Lanth I agree keep the like /dislike but do not use it as a basis for hiding messages, goes against the free speech thing ie: he has the right to write crap, but I have the right to read or not, but why should I on either the basis of what I have read or because of a personal bias, ie author X has green hair , I hate green hair, therefore I hate anything he says, and click the dislike button. Enough people like that who have the same personal bias, all click dislike, then all of a sudden you have a form of censorship, and if the other users of the site, for what ever reasons, don’t read the blocked messages, hey presto censorship by a few. Yes I know that the set up would allow a formula to set what happens and when. but just a thought.

  4. logie97 4

    Did the Minister of Tourism (Joky Hen) slip the travel editor of the BBC a backhander while he was over there recently…?

    Headlined again this week …
    http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20110516-relaxing-in-the-adrenaline-capital-of-the-world

  5. Armchair Critic 5

    My blood boiled, reading this.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10727024
    Two subjects in the article, the cost of the visit by William Wales, and the budget allocations for ministerial travel and salaries.
    Visit by William Wales
    Declaration – I’m an ambivalent royalist.
    But WTF was the government thinking, getting one of them down here during the middle of the recovery from a big earthquake. Surely the $868k could have been spent on something more important that a photo op for the PM.
    Budgeting
    This really is a lose-lose situation for the government. The dumb-arses have left the budgets the same.
    Two options:
    1. Increase the salary/travel budget.
    They’ve blown their salary/travel budgets previously, so they should acknowledge the fact that they are free and easy with our money and increase the salary/travel budgets.
    They reckon wages will increase 4%, so they should increase theirs by 4%. Otherwise the private sector will have to compensate by providing an increase of more than 4%, to make up for the fact that the public sector, and the government, aren’t doing their bit to meet the predictions in Bill’s 2011 budget.
    2. Decrease the salary/travel budget.
    Bill’s 2011 budget requires, what, a billion dollars in savings. Everyone in the public service needs to do their bit, including government ministers. The salary/travel budget needs to be cut, otherwise other areas need to cut even further
    Granny gives them a little cheer, though:
    …the Government is practising what it preaches…
    Let’s be clear, it’s not practicing what it preaches (i.e. belt tightening). Nor is it admitting what it actually does (i.e. loosening the purse strings). National have decided to not make a decision, they’ve failed to stand by either their words or their actions. Cowards and thieves, the lot of them.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    Wellywood sign to go ahead after all, apparently:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5035147/Wellywood-sign-to-go-ahead

    Veteran Wellington film director Geoff Murphy could barely stop laughing when told yesterday that the idea would proceed.

    “We had a film industry well before this Wellywood bullshit was going on. I think it’s f …ing stupid. It is copying a foreign, bullshit glamour idea and it’s the pits of what people can aspire to.”

    A branding expert called the sign crass, said it could hurt Wellington’s image, and marked it as a city of try-hard followers.

    Apparently they have legal advice that the new sign won’t infringe on the existing Hollywood sign and they can go ahead with it. We’ll see.

  7. prism 7

    A branding expert called the sign crass, said it could hurt Wellington’s image, and marked it as a city of try-hard followers,
    NZ as a whole is a country of try-hard followers, what’s new about that if revealed by the Wellywood sign? I’m constantly surprised to find that some new NZ policy addition is a copy (often perverted and cheaper) of one used by another country. In industry it tends to be the same.

    If all the forward-looking, innovative and practical policies from overseas were considered for NZ purposes and useful different approaches adapted for prompt use here, copying would have good and positive outcomes . But as I say it is often an expedient cheap and nasty copy.

    The sign is thought of as cheap by some. But we are not putting up a serious monument here, not a war memorial or something grand and of deep significance. We in this country seem to be unable to get things done but wait and talk about some possible, better and perfectly planned project, as judged by ourselves but with the world’s opinion as the base of our thinking. “And what do you think of New Zealand?” is our regular refrain to visitors for that reason.

    Lighten up people. The sign is a benign copy which should have an immensely tall poppy beside it. It can be thought of as ironic; not a put-down but an assertion of our smarts. Not the final endnote, but with the wording able to be replaced when there is some other achievement we want to skite about. Let’s do it, celebrate ourselves and stop this atrophy caused by the ‘taste’ police and their negative mumblings.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Actually I expect that if this sign is ever built, it’s going to be a huge target for vandalism.

      The airport should have got a clue the first time – the public don’t want such a cheesy, derivative sign.

      • prism 7.1.1

        I think you are one of the atrophy bringers I was writing about Lanthanide. Calling the sign ‘cheeesy’ sounds as if its from the taste police handbook.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          It may be from the taste police handbook but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. The sign really would be cheesy.

      • twonice 7.1.2

        Some kids I went to high school with are well into the street art scene in Wellington. So I’m going to pick them up late one evening and load up my station wagon with a hundred cans of export paint from super cheap, some ropes and ladders, make it look real nice before they tear it down altogether.

        • Sookie 7.1.2.1

          Sweet, you should start a website asking for donations for paint and scaffolding as I’d totally sling you some money for something that awesome 🙂 That Wellywood sign is more embarrassing than that tacky plastic waka.

        • Lanthanide 7.1.2.2

          Actually a tasteful street-art mural could rather improve it. The difficulty would be in making it visible from a distance.

    • twonice 7.2

      You don’t live in wellington, do you?

  8. Sookie 8

    There’s an article on the NZ Herald site about some number crunching done by the good old Greens regarding the Kiwis(l)aver changes. Apparently the tax on employer contributions will cancel out the governments piddly contributions, so the cunning bastards are no longer paying anything into the scheme at all. Well played, Tory scum. I suggest everyone who has Kiwisaver takes a mass 5 year holiday. What a rip.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      I haven’t read the article in the herald, but the tax doesn’t “cancel out” the government contributions.

      Basically it goes like this:
      1. You can have the employer contributions taxed, and get NO government contribution
      2. You can have the employer contributions taxed, and get $520 government contribution

      Clearly #2 is always going to be preferable to #1. Of course we’d prefer that they didn’t tax the employer contributions at all, but given that they are going to, it doesn’t somehow make the government contribution worthless – it is still worth $520.

      Rather than talking about the government contribution, what is directly relevant is that when employer contributions are taxed starting April 2012, when the default rate goes up to 3% in April 2013, if you are on the 30% or 33% marginal tax rates, then you effectively receive the same employer contribution that you did in March 2012 before the tax started applying.

      So if you are earning $100,000 a year, the numbers work like this:
      1. Today: $2,000 employee, $2,000 employer
      2. April 2012: $2,000 employee, $1,340 employer
      3. April 2013: $3,000 employee, $2,010 employer

      So in April 2013, we’re getting the same effective employer contribution that we get today, even though the rate has gone from 2% to 3%!

      • Sookie 8.1.1

        Here’s the link to the article but it seems you have a good handle on the figures. Unless someone else wants to argue the toss? http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10727060

        • Lanthanide 8.1.1.1

          The Green’s numbers are taking into account the new 3% level, and saying that for incomes over $58,000, the 30% or 33% marginal tax rate will gobble up more than $521.43/year.

          They are correct, but as I outlined above, it’s a bit of a nonsense to think about it in these terms. The government has not increased their contribution from $0 to $521, but in fact have reduced their contribution from $1042 to $521. So the government contribution isn’t “offsetting” anything with their contribution.

          We can say that the increase in the minimum rate from 2% to 3% is offset by the new tax imposition, however, which is what I have done above.

          This statement from Russel Norman is fair, though:

          He said the KiwiSaver changes this week amounted to a triple clawback.

          “On one hand the Government gives less, then a lot of people won’t realise the employer contribution will come out of their salary, and thirdly they’re going to end up paying tax on it anyway – more tax than the Government’s giving them with the subsidy.”

      • PeteG 8.1.2

        ESCT tax is already on any employer contributions over 2%, so the change is to include the first 2% as taxed as well. For someone on $100k that will mean $2k will then be taxed at a third which is $667 which is more than the maximum government contribution of $520.

        For someone earning $50k the tax will be $333, so you get a bit more government contribution than that still, but not much.

        The increased employer contribution will effectively be in lieu of salary/wages so it does affect your pocket.

        It probably makes the decision to take a KiwiSaver holiday much more likely to be made, especially if earning $50k or more.

        Those in KiwiSaver might think they are hard done by, but it decreases the advantage they get over low earners who can’t afford to be in KiwiSaver and were severely disadvantaged.

  9. prism 9

    The Oz slaying has provoked comment from workers with distressed families and friends.
    This is a link going into the problem of why fathers kill –
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/5018307/Why-fathers-kill
    How do people respond? Comment from Friend –
    The friend said the three knew each other for “years”, the two men having met on a Gold Coast construction site.
    “When Paul and Tania split up, he lost the plot. He alienated his friends and that might have contributed to his mental state.”
    It was possible he had just been in the “wrong place at the wrong time”.

    So friends aren’t concerned about morals and the casual taking of the life of others, it is just bad luck, bad location. S..t happens.

    Comment from a worker with distressed families –
    “Paul Rogers, the ex-partner of Tania Simpson, was jealous and obsessed and could not accept the relationship was over.”
    She said reports the separation and Ms Simpson’s new relationship caused the murders have angered those working in family violence services.
    “These murders were not ’caused’ by the victims’ actions,” she said. “This was not about distress, confusion or psychological problems. This was about ownership, power and entitlement. The murders happened because Paul Rogers made a choice that if he couldn’t be with them, nobody could, a distressingly common scenario in New Zealand and Australia.”

    She is making the point that this behaviour is not an example of a man who loves his family but one who only thinks of himself and feels angry when he cannot get compliance from someone he expected to be able to control.

  10. Peter 10

    This from treasury as reported in the Herald in relation to asset sales

    “It (Treasury) estimates the avoided interest at $400 million a year and the dividends and retained profits forgone at $300 million a year.”

    So Treasury are implying sell the assets because the interest cost is higher than the profit from SOE ownership.

    By this logic farmers would sell their farms because we are told they make virtually no profit and interest costs are much higher. Landlords would sell their houses because interest costs often exceed profit. Most likely a lot of profitable businesses would sell up because their interest bill might be higher than profit.

    A bit sneaky of them coming out in support of NACT with statements like this. Profit is profit. Interest expenses are paid from revenue so congratulations to the SOEs for generating a surplus profit on behalf of taxpayers. The size of the interest bill compared to the amount of profit is immaterial.

  11. Peter 11

    Treasury 2011 Budget – “Its Not What You Say Its The Way That You Say It!”

    In their information for taxpayers Treasury make a virtue of forecasting nominal GDP to increase at a much greater rate than has been the case since NACT came to power. The post-Budget positive trending graph is awe inspiring. http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2011/taxpayers

    For those unaware nominal GDP includes price changes as well as changes to production. So it is conceivable future increases in nominal GDP will reflect increasing inflation and stagnant production.

    It would be more meaningful to predict changes to real GDP which takes out price fluctuations. Well surprise surprise NACT most recent attempts at running the country have resulted in periods of negative real GDP, yes we are producing less. A more honest graph would be tracking down not up.

    By way of comparison Real GDP averaged something like 2.7% positive growth under Labour from 2004 – 2008

    I do not appreciate paying my taxes to support spin doctors.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    http://www.boingboing.net/2011/05/18/us-secret-service-pu.html

    Earlier today, posted on the @SecretService account: “Had to monitor Fox for a story. Can’t. Deal. With. The. Blathering.”

    The tweet was rapidly deleted but it does seem that some people in the US Secret Service are still human 😀

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

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 week 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 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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
    1 week 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 week 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 week ago