Open mike 24/01/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 24th, 2021 - 80 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

80 comments on “Open mike 24/01/2021 ”

  1. weka 1

    Convo on twitter about whether the UK could have closed its borders early on in an attempt to contain covid transmission. Leaving aside whether elimination was ever an option for them, and whether it was culturally or politically possible to close the borders, looking simply at the logistics of a border close, are there good reasons why it wasn't possible? Or was it?

    Explanations please, not just assertions that it could or couldn't be done.

    • RedBaronCV 1.4

      As a complete aside – not been following news – have we started to vaccinate our border and other at risk staff yet? And if not how soon will it be done?

      • Andre 1.4.1

        No we haven't started yet. Ministry of Health sez second quarter 2021 to start. Medsafe hasn't yet approved any covid vaccines for use in NZ.

        • RedBaronCV

          April that seems to be a long way away for the staff at the interface and cabin crew going overseas. For the rest of us it's not so urgent as they shield us. I would have thought in the next 2-3 weeks would be a better idea. Does medsafe have expertise not held overseas?
          That document doesn’t exactly sound urgent in terms of protecting the virus from getting in. More interested in setting up a national spy system register that of course can only be accessed electronically and with no doubt significant capture of personal information. with a view to sharing it perhaps?

          • Andre

            Meh. It seems reasonable to me for us to wait.

            Overseas, people are dying and getting long term disabilities at huge rates. While we here in New Zealand are mostly containing it at the border with very few hiccups, using simple techniques and trained staff. The cost of containment really isn't that high, compared to the cost of dealing with disease that other countries are dealing with.

            I doubt Medsafe think they have greater expertise than overseas. It's just that overseas they have medical emergencies going on, so they have approved the vaccines for emergency use with less information than would be required for full approval. That full approval will be coming in due course. We don't have the medical emergency, so we have the luxury of waiting for more complete information for full approval.

            There's also questions around whether and how much the vaccine efficacy is reduced against the newer mutations. It may be that Pfizer/BioNTech (and Moderna) will adjust their mRNA recipe to improve efficacy against the newer strains. If that happens, there will be questions around how much new testing will be required for the adjusted recipe.

            So all up, looks to me like the Ministry of Health has found a good balance between urgency, getting enough info for full approval, and not trying to muscle into the queue when there really are many others with much greater needs than ours.

            • In Vino

              +1 Andre. I am rather irritated by critics who scream that we should be greedily queue-jumping like Singapore.

              Time will tell if this is yet another case where Righties are screaming that we should do what Sweden/Australia/whoever are doing, only to go all quiet when things turn to custard there, and we turn out to have chosen the better policy.

              It seems to me that much of the demands for instant vaccine supply is politically motivated. And a couple of 'academics' are getting quoted a lot in this respect. In our supposedly impartial but privately-run news media…

            • RedLogix

              Agree with all of that Andre.

              It may be that Pfizer/BioNTech (and Moderna) will adjust their mRNA recipe to improve efficacy against the newer strains.

              The latest news I'm hearing is that the rollout in the UK and EU of these mRNA vaccines has hit big problems with production. I don't know how seriously this will impact the timelines, but it does suggest that approval and access to more conventional alternatives like the Oxford AstraXenica (which can be easily made in dozens of existing plants globally) should be a priority.

              In this AU/NZ can and should wait for the inevitable teething problems overseas to be sorted.

          • Tricledrown

            Red Barron the reason why countries are vaccinating now and not later is because c19 is rampant in these countries and it makes sense to build up herd immunity because so many are dying compared to the risk an not fully tested vaccine program.

            NZ has the luxury of wait and see what vaccine is best.

            No advantage to be gained by rushing an untried vaccine.

            Especially as there is no evidence of the length the vaccine will protect us.

            • RedBaronCV

              i can see the sense in waiting for the general rollout.

              More specifically though – if these new strains are as contagious – dangerous as they are being made out to be – then surely it makes sense to protect the at risk people manning our border response, who are a fairly small group and even if it only lasts a few weeks surely that is better than leaving them without any protection at all. and given it's only a few thousand doses why not do it as fast as possible. It doesn't have to be tied to the general rollout surely? Bit like giving the border response better masks N95 than the standard bits of paper. The cost is tiny and the potential benefits are huge.
              There was a link floating around the other day on a research piece that showed how the virus had transmitted in flight on an Airnz service. Sober reading.

              • weka

                the vaccines are new, and they're still gathering data on how well they work, what kind of immunity they grant, whether the vaccinated person can still transmit the virus, and what kind of side effects and at what rate they are happening. Given CV is a novel virus causing a new disease that we don't fully understand yet, it makes sense to wait until there is more research on all those things. As explained above, NZ's situation isn't urgent and it's better to let the wrinkles get ironed out before using the vaccines here.

            • weka

              is herd immunity a current goal? I'm sure it's the long term goal, but I suspect atm it's to just get as many people protected as possible. Once we have longer term data on the vaccines I think it will be easier to see if herd immunity is possible or if we are going for something like the limitation of influenza.

              • lprent

                is herd immunity a current goal?

                … or if we are going for something like the limitation of influenza.

                I doubt that complete or near complete herd immunity is possible. This looks like being another endemic population disease.

                I suspect that we’re going to be looking at reducing the R0 to the point that outbreaks are small, contained, and infrequent. That requires vaccination in adults and possibly eventually down to kids. That depends on the effectiveness of the vaccines over time. But definitely always targeting vaccines for those at the highest mortality and damage risks from the covid-19 family.

                But vaccinated people will always have a small probability of getting it. So will the people who have already had it. The important thing is that there is sufficient population immunities to stop it going epidemic.

                • weka

                  how do you see that being achieved in NZ? Does that mean at some point after mass vaccination we open the borders and let CV in and contain any outbreaks? Or are you thinking border would open after other countries have achieved sufficient population immunities.

  2. Stephen D 2

    The best explanation of the rise of Trumpism I’ve read.

    Not that I actually understand them.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Interestingly that article starts with a description of appallingly bad safety standards at a major petrochem site in the 1960's. Yet remarkably everything has changed in the 50 years since; the events he describes are pretty much unthinkable in a developed country today.

      In particular:

      One day, Sherman was standing in a room, leaning over a large pipe to check a filter, when an operator in a distant control room mistakenly turned a knob, sending hot, almond-smelling, liquid chlorinated hydrocarbons coursing through the pipe, drenching him

      I worked for decades in that control room, always aware that I could kill or main with a bad or unlucky decision. Yet the technology advanced dramatically, giving us tools and platforms that properly implemented, making incidents like the above orders of magnitude less likely. Organisations soon realised that investing in safety tech actually saved them cash, and in the past decade virtually every major new install, and many smaller ones, now has a substantial safety tech component.

      Men like the person in that article used to do all the dirty, dangerous work. He describes it well; but it's worth noting that industry has changed, and continues to change since those days.

      Not that this takes much away from the primary narrative of the article; there is a strong sense of betrayal driving Trumpist populism in the USA. It's real and has legitimate causes and real consequences – homelessness and opiates stalk the lower rungs of the American dream.

      Yet the bottom 20% of the US, if they were treated as a nation by itself, is still one of the wealthiest in the world in terms of consumption per capita, falling just between the Netherlands and Canada. (And considerably higher than NZ). This is the paradox of inequality – it's not primarily about GINI coefficients and numbers – but I believe has it's roots in our psychological welfare. How connected we are, how healthy communities are and whether we feel the society we live in will look out for our interests. And in this the US political consensus from Clinton onward has squandered an enormous reservoir of trust on largely corrupt ends.

      While I'm on record here as defending the USA from it's more rabid detractors, the above is true at the same time. It’s not hard to understand them – they’re our brothers and sisters.

      • Nic the NZer 2.1.1

        I didn't find any refutations but, considering where that story is repeated, it seems likely to be a fraud.

        In pure gdp per capita terms the bottom 5% have about twice the income of the US bottom 5% with the US incomes only going higher about the 50th percentile. The study claims there is heaps of unrecorded material help in the US which compensates for this, but I don't think the conclusion is credible.

        • RedLogix

          Bottom 5% and bottom 20% are different cohorts. Moreover you're using income not consumption, again different measures. Statistics do not interpret themselves, there are often multiple, competing explanations for the same result, and we are left to choose among them.

          considering where that story is repeated

          Shooting the messenger ain't an argument. Not everything the other guy's say is by definition 'fraud'. You might not like their conclusions, but you're much better off trying to create constructive dialog and find common ground regardless.

          • Nic the NZer

            Yes, thats why I only said its likely to be fraud.

            But who knows, maybe the Democrats are about to adopt a new narrative of even our poorest are doing better than the average European?

            • RedLogix

              The only reason why I quoted it is that it provides a counterpoint to the usual inequality narrative that defines the problem solely in terms of 'poverty'. Because the USA is such a fundamentally prosperous nation, even with the extremes of wealth between the top 0.1% and the bottom 50% – virtually all Americans are still better off than the vast majority of humanity.

              This does not mean that inequality is not a problem, quite the contrary I've consistently held here for years that it's one of the most outstanding moral challenges humanity faces.

              Because when we start using numbers and statistics to anchor the argument alone – we soon come adrift if we cannot also find some common ground and understanding to reach a consensus on what they mean.

              • McFlock

                I struggle to see how one homeless person dying because of a lack of medical care is any better off than another homeless person dying because of a lack of medical care. So I suspect the lower-threshold incomes of your great nation intersect with everyone else's somewhere between 0% and your picked 50%.

                • RedLogix

                  Yup – the low threshold is an arbitrary choice. 20% was derived from the article I referenced. Then Nick wanted to go with 5%. The lowest 50% is another commonly used threshold point.

                  In essence yes you're correct, there will be some low number – 5% seems as good a guess as any – where the US population is definitely neck-deep in homelessness, opiates, minimal health care, poor education, precarious work etc. But still they're by and large still a long way from any global definition of absolute poverty.

                  But this doesn't negate the point I was making, inequality is important not just because of any arbitrary measures of income we might measure it with, but because it undermines trust in the social fabric.

                  Now here's an interesting point. In very poor countries there isn't much potential for inequality to be a problem, because with few exceptions the gap between the top 1% and the bottom 20% is not all that large in absolute terms. But when talking about the most prosperous nation on earth by a large margin, then suddenly the gap becomes very large indeed. And that matters a great deal.

                  • Tricledrown

                    Red logistics that's why Biden wants undocumented migrants and the poor to be immunised.

                    Also Biden wants everyone counted on the census to make sure that herd immunity can be achieved.

                    • Incognito

                      You’re talking a herd of shit. Provide some links.

                      But why do I bother replying to you, the one commenter here who never reads replies to their comments let alone responds to them?

                  • McFlock

                    In essence yes you're correct, there will be some low number – 5% seems as good a guess as any – where the US population is definitely neck-deep in homelessness, opiates, minimal health care, poor education, precarious work etc. But still they're by and large still a long way from any global definition of absolute poverty.

                    How much better off can they be if they're dying of the same things?

                    • RedLogix

                      This is the interesting thing about inequality, the mere fact of being stacked up at the very bottom of any society, regardless of absolute measures of income or consumption – tends to have a toxic effect across the board in outcomes.

                      That's what I'm trying to convey here, that while we measure inequality in terms of material parameters, the impact of it doesn't necessarily correlate with absolute wealth very well. So yes in this we're saying much the same thing.

                    • McFlock

                      It might help if you could find a coutry with high inequality where the conditions of the poorest people aren't repeated across the globe in absolute terms: malnourished, homeless, scarce (if any) healthcare, and preventable death.

                      Doesn't have to be an arbitray 40% or 50% of median. Just a place where the poorest people (documented or undocumented) live like kings compared to the poorest in another country.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    I was in no way suggesting an alternate threshold but just describing how large an income disparity there is observed by conventional measures for the fraud to be actually fact.

                    While in income terms and often materially the poorest of the first world will be better off than most in the second and third world (as is well known). Your example however claimed in the US they would be better off than the average of other first world countries.

                    • RedLogix

                      I’d ask you read the my comments in the whole and address that rather than selectively quibble and derail.

                      The point of using that reference is that data and statistics by themselves do not tell us what they mean. There are often competing meanings for the same information and I presented one that paints one different perspective. Reaching immediately for the 'fraud' card to make it go away is intellectually lazy.

                      But in the context of the whole comment it's perfectly clear I'm not in anyway diminishing inequality as a core moral issue – quite the contrary I personally believe the left has done a great disservice to the question by typically framing it in material terms only.

                      When in fact I believe it's a much more challenging and profound question than this.

      • millsy 2.1.2

        Quite frankly I have no symphathy for people like Sherman. A guy who thinks that some queer college student in New England who has a sex life is a huge threat to western civilasation but is willing to let corporations kill and maim their workers for profit, for a shit wage that is spent mostly on rent.

        Over it.

        These people have no place in the working class. Him and his shitty little Bible.

        • Tricledrown

          Looking back through history the billionaire class have always treated workers like this keep them poor and powerless.

          • RedLogix

            Well my comment points out the exact opposite, that this kind of poor safety practice is no longer normal at all. Much of it was just ignorance, and that men like Lee were acculturated to high risk – than malice.

            The good news is that, in most developed parts of the world, this has changed quite dramatically since the 1960's.

        • Nic the NZer

          Did Sherman have a particular stance on gay issues?

  3. RedLogix 3

    A tribute to Terry Pratchett, shot in NZ.

    • Macro 4.1

      And a good report here.

      This crowd almost compares to a Chump Inauguration!/ sarc

      A very large crowd on a St Petersburg street blocked at the end nearest the camera by a large contingent of riot police

    • millsy 4.3

      This the same Nalvany who called Muslims "cockroaches"? Or who has made well known his disdain for those in Ukraine, Georgia etc?

      Putin is bascially Don Colreone with missile codes, but the so-called liberal opposition figures are hardly angels themselves. The other liberal darling, Ksenia Saubchuk, is on record as wanting to sell Russian assets to Western multinationals and was absolutely fine with the extra judicial killing of George Floyd.

      Probably why the Russian put up with Putin so much, the others are probably even worse.

      • RedLogix 4.3.1

        In the context of Russian history over the past 200 years or more, Putin is by far and away the very best leader they've ever had.

        Russia is beset by challenges geopolitical, demographic, historic and cultural – but despite this progress has been visible in the past 20 years. Even at a personal level when I look (using google earth) at parts of the Russian city I lived and worked in for some months back in 2001, I'm astonished at the changes that have happened since.

        We forget that the 90's were an absolute disaster for Russia, and that Western betrayal played a large part in that debacle. When I was there the impacts of it were highly visible and quite visceral. That Putin has largely lifted Russia out of this explains a great deal of his enduring popularity.

        But his regime rests on a narrow circle of competent people, and they're both aging and short on fresh ideas. It's entirely understandable that younger generations of Russians are keen to look elsewhere for new ideas. The problem for them, is that there are very few alternative figures outside of the Kremlin system who have any real track record at governance.

  4. Adrian Thornton 5

    Clinton and Pelosi just won't give up on their fake news 'Russiagate' bat shit crazy conspiracy carry on….though I see there are still a few takers out there, one born every day I guess.

    Clinton: I would love to see if Trump 'was talking to Putin the day that the insurgents invaded our Capitol'

  5. joe90 6

    So much economic anxiety..

    A man who helped drag a police officer down the U.S. Capitol steps tried to flee to Switzerland after the day of the siege and then, in what authorities called a different type of flight effort, attempted suicide, prosecutors told a judge on Friday.

    Describing the case as “very disturbing,” a federal magistrate denied bail to Jeffrey Patrick Sabol, a 51-year-old divorced geophysicist with three children. Patrick has not been charged with assault but rather under a civil disorder statute barring any effort to “obstruct, impede, or interfere” law enforcement.


    Sabol’s federal defender Jason Ser argued that his client’s wealth, extensive family connections, and prominent, well-paid and celebrated geophysicist were sufficient to grant the bail request. The defense offered a $200,000 bail package, secured by several sureties, to ensure the defendant’s continued presence in the country and at future court appearances.

    The judge, however, said those facts weighed against any form of leniency in Sabol’s case.

    Remarking on the defendant’s highly-pedigreed, upper-crust background—and specifically citing his employment as a renowned geophysicist, his extensive family ties and his elite financial means—Krause said “this cuts against him” because “despite all that he did go and engage in that conduct on January 6.

    • McFlock 6.1

      One thing about a lot of these people who have been arrested, they seem to have a high proportion of highly-qualified professions if not wealth. Geophysicist, ffs? Lawyers, dentists, etc.

      Atlas Whined…

    • Forget now 6.2

      Thanks for the link Joe90, though I can't be too happy about even a traitor's suicide attempt. Nor is he likely to be the only one facing prosecution for the coup attempt who chooses that method of saving face. Wasn't there a second cop who killed themself after the events of January 6th? Yes:

      Howard Liebengood — the son and namesake of a former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, lobbyist and [Republican] Hill staffer… [then] President Trump ordered flags lowered to half-staff in honor of both Sicknick and Liebengood.

      So Trump made no sign of mourning the death of an officer (allegedly) beaten to death with a fire extinguisher by his own minions, until one linked to the GOP died by his own hand and both were suddenly worth his recognition.

      Anyway, I clicked on this link from your link which is a little off topic, but likewise shows that delusionists may not be able to elude justice for ever:

      “Since the day of the shooting, InfoWars has aggressively promoted a dreadful and despicable false narrative about Sandy Hook, mocking the families as liars and accusing them of a sinister conspiracy. Plaintiff’s family has been specifically targeted in this campaign of harassment,” the Lewis original petition alleged. “These baseless and vile accusations, which have been pushed by InfoWars and Mr. Jones a continuous basis since the shooting, advance the idea that the Sandy Hook massacre did not happen, or that it was staged by the government and concealed using actors, and that the families of the victims are participants in a horrifying cover-up. InfoWars knew its assertions were false or made these statements with reckless and outrageous disregard for their truth.”…

      Each of the Texas lawsuits seek damages in excess of $1 million.

      Jones repeatedly sought to have the filings dismissed during various stages of the legal process. Each time, the district courts and the appellate courts declined to toss the claims.

      Now, each of those four lawsuits can proceed on the merits.

  6. Ed 7

    Potential community case in Northland.

    Ashley Bloomfield to make an announcement at 4 pm

  7. Forget now 8

    The woman travelled around Northland after leaving isolation, and a thorough interview has suggested she has four close contacts. They are isolated and are talking to health officials and have been tested…

    She travelled to New Zealand from London, arriving in Auckland on 30 December.

    She returned two negative tests while in isolation, and had no symptoms while in isolation.

    After leaving isolation she returned to her home in Northland, where she lives with one other person. That person has reported no symptoms.

    Dr Bloomfield said she felt very mild symptoms on 15 January, but did not associate them with Covid. As her symptoms worsened, she got tested at a community testing facility.

    Really have to wonder what “travelled around Northland” means exactly. I imagine quite a few people from all around Aotearoa have been travelling around Northland in that time period.

    Those who don’t use the apps (I don’t do the bluetooth part myself, but maybe should start switching that on), should start taking pen and paper with them again.

    • Forget now 8.1

      Bloomfield said the woman lives south of Whangārei and she is still there. She travelled around southern parts of Northland, as far south as Helensville.

      That's around the 21minute mark in the RNZ link above. Also acknowledgement to Ed@7 for first mentioning this community COVID case on OM, I should've have made my comment as a reply to theirs but was distracted.

      • Ed 8.1.1

        The only good news is that she used her COVID App properly.

        The government needs to listen to Michael Baker.
        Listening to the news and he is saying the following.
        Hotels are not the places to manage isolation.
        We must stop entry of people from highly infectious countries.

        • Forget now

          Baker is not the only one to be calling for more extreme precautions. Though given the strains first detected in; Italy, the UK, South Africa, and Brazil have spread into other countries already, stopping entry from those particular countries is a bit of locking the barn door after the horse has bolted.

          Though this was on RNZ website mere hours before today's community COVID alert was announced. And I have to assume that the Professor knows more than I do:

          Otago University public health professor Nick Wilson said this is now the most dangerous period the country has faced since the August outbreak.

          "Because of the change in the virus, it is really time to take that increased risk more seriously," Professor Wilson said.

          "We really do need a serious look at reducing the number of infected people arriving, and improving the quality of the whole border control arrangements.

          "There's a genuine case for actually stopping all arrivals [from the UK] {Sic} until we improve the border facilities."…

          Dr Wilson said better masks need to be worn by both staff and returnees in the facilities and smoking areas – which were found to have played a part in the Russian seamen quarantine outbreak – should be eliminated. Ventilation in hotels needed to be improved, and a review should also look at the safety of shared exercise areas.

          He said there are also limits to hotel-based quarantine and a case could be made to move it to more rural facilities.

          • solkta

            How do you wear a mask while smoking?

            • Forget now

              Wilson is proposing eliminating smoking areas entirely, and presumably barring entry to those who are unable to cope with this requirement. Though the sentence is a bit ambiguous, there should have been at least a comma there.

              Also, I have had another glance at that tab, and when I say "mere hours" – that's actually more like 26 hours.

        • RedBaronCV

          Further up thread i wondered why we were waiting so long to vaccinate the few thousand manning the border but I seem to be the only one that feels it might be a good idea?

          • Forget now

            RBCV, there is no vaccine in the country with which to vaccinate border staff. Hipkins; in today’s announcement, said maybe March for that – depending on supply logistics.

            From the link that Andre@1.4.1 posted in reply to your upthread query:

            Our first priority will be to vaccinate border workers and essential staff who are at the greatest risk of getting COVID-19. We expect vaccines to be delivered to our front line workers in the second quarter of 2021.

            Our aim is to then commence vaccination of the general public in the second half of the year. This will be dependent on Medsafe approving the vaccines as being safe and effective for use in New Zealand.

            • RedBaronCV

              And we can't fly a small quantity of doses in?? One of them at least doesn't need the very low temperatures. I think I'd appreciate a much greater sense of urgency around a couple of thousand doses. Nail for horseshoe type scenario –

            • lprent

              It was always planned for March / April at the earliest as far as I am aware. End of the first quarter.That was the earliest that I thought that we could start vaccinating assuming a near end of 2020 release of vaccines. I was saying that back in October. So was the government.

              We had no urgent need to do a emergency validation and certification of the vaccines because we didn’t have a pandemic raging in NZ. Therefore it was best to let other countries to work out the vaccine bugs in terms of delivery, contra immunisation factors (what to watch for to prevent side-effects), large scale efficacy, and everything else involved in rolling out a vaccine program.

              FFS: My long term expectation was I’d be surprised if we hit acceptable reasonable vaccination levels this year (ie < ~60%). I don’t expect opening the borders except to a handful of locations until the third quarter.

              And that was some of these more virulent strains turned up. So far they mostly look like just needing to increase the required level of vaccination in the population so that they can’t outbreak easily.

              Its all a stats & probability question. Listening to children wanting the satisfaction NOW.. Who does that?

              Thats right – National.. The party for children.

              • RedBaronCV

                Look I really get the scenario over the mass rollout – we don't have the pandemic so we can take a measured approach and I'm not suggesting otherwise. I've said this repeatedly.

                Then this is this other very small group of people – a few thousand.

                If we look at stats and probability the people manning the border, quarantine etc are the first ring of defence for the rest of us. Their chances of contracting it, along with the people actually doing the quarantine days must be higher than for the rest of the population.

                My question remains why are we not showing a great deal more urgency about vaccinating this very limited group separately from the main rollout? We could import a few thousand doses surely ( and also vaccinate people as they enter quarantine) because the cost of doing this is surely very minor compared to locking down Auckland , running mass testing etc etc. And even in terms of scarce vaccine it means we can kick the can down the road further for the mass usage leaving it for others.

                To me it's nuts not to be doing this small group for the good of us all. Even if the vaccine is not perfect.

        • Herodotus

          The woman has been very diligent with her movements, but no matter how diligent you are there can be times that there are gaps. I am taken back with the list of places she has visited that there are no gas stations that I can see listed.

          • McFlock

            Well, two options come to mind: one is that she's not a driver, and the other is that she does drive but uses those robo-pumps that have popped up in the last couple of years. Not much chance for close contact with those.

            • RedBaronCV

              Apart from touching the pump handles – hard surfaces like rubbish tins and lift buttons have been implicated in transmission. I always glove up and sanitise at the pump.

              • McFlock

                True, to a degree. But somewhat oily hard surfaces for an already low form of transmission…

  8. RedLogix 9

    What if Justin Bieber ran for President?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • PM announces changes to portfolios
    Paul Goldsmith will take on responsibility for the Media and Communications portfolio, while Louise Upston will pick up the Disability Issues portfolio, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today. “Our Government is relentlessly focused on getting New Zealand back on track. As issues change in prominence, I plan to adjust Ministerial ...
    22 hours ago
  • New catch limits for unique fishery areas
    Recreational catch limits will be reduced in areas of Fiordland and the Chatham Islands to help keep those fisheries healthy and sustainable, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones says. The lower recreational daily catch limits for a range of finfish and shellfish species caught in the Fiordland Marine Area and ...
    1 day ago
  • Minister welcomes hydrogen milestone
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone in New Zealand’s hydrogen future, with the opening of the country’s first network of hydrogen refuelling stations in Wiri. “I want to congratulate the team at Hiringa Energy and its partners K one W one (K1W1), Mitsui & Co New Zealand ...
    2 days ago
  • Urgent changes to system through first RMA Amendment Bill
    The coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to improve resource management laws and give greater certainty to consent applicants, with a Bill to amend the Resource Management Act (RMA) expected to be introduced to Parliament next month. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop has today outlined the first RMA Amendment ...
    2 days ago
  • Overseas decommissioning models considered
    Overseas models for regulating the oil and gas sector, including their decommissioning regimes, are being carefully scrutinised as a potential template for New Zealand’s own sector, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. The Coalition Government is focused on rebuilding investor confidence in New Zealand’s energy sector as it looks to strengthen ...
    2 days ago
  • Release of North Island Severe Weather Event Inquiry
    Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell has today released the Report of the Government Inquiry into the response to the North Island Severe Weather Events. “The report shows that New Zealand’s emergency management system is not fit-for-purpose and there are some significant gaps we need to address,” Mr Mitchell ...
    2 days ago
  • Justice Minister to attend Human Rights Council
    Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith is today travelling to Europe where he’ll update the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Government’s work to restore law and order.  “Attending the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva provides us with an opportunity to present New Zealand’s human rights progress, priorities, and challenges, while ...
    3 days ago
  • Patterson reopens world’s largest wool scouring facility
    Associate Agriculture Minister, Mark Patterson, formally reopened the world’s largest wool processing facility today in Awatoto, Napier, following a $50 million rebuild and refurbishment project. “The reopening of this facility will significantly lift the economic opportunities available to New Zealand’s wool sector, which already accounts for 20 per cent of ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Southland Otago Regional Engineering Collective Summit, 18 April 2024
    Hon Andrew Bayly, Minister for Small Business and Manufacturing  At the Southland Otago Regional Engineering Collective (SOREC) Summit, 18 April, Dunedin    Ngā mihi nui, Ko Andrew Bayly aho, Ko Whanganui aho    Good Afternoon and thank you for inviting me to open your summit today.    I am delighted ...
    3 days ago
  • Government to introduce revised Three Strikes law
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to bring back the Three Strikes legislation, Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee announced today. “Our Government is committed to restoring law and order and enforcing appropriate consequences on criminals. We are making it clear that repeat serious violent or sexual offending is not ...
    3 days ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced four new diplomatic appointments for New Zealand’s overseas missions.   “Our diplomats have a vital role in maintaining and protecting New Zealand’s interests around the world,” Mr Peters says.    “I am pleased to announce the appointment of these senior diplomats from the ...
    3 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Ethiopia and Somalia
    New Zealand is contributing NZ$7 million to support communities affected by severe food insecurity and other urgent humanitarian needs in Ethiopia and Somalia, Foreign Minister Rt Hon Winston Peters announced today.   “Over 21 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance across Ethiopia, with a further 6.9 million people ...
    3 days ago
  • Arts Minister congratulates Mataaho Collective
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Paul Goldsmith is congratulating Mataaho Collective for winning the Golden Lion for best participant in the main exhibition at the Venice Biennale. "Congratulations to the Mataaho Collective for winning one of the world's most prestigious art prizes at the Venice Biennale.  “It is good ...
    4 days ago
  • Supporting better financial outcomes for Kiwis
    The Government is reforming financial services to improve access to home loans and other lending, and strengthen customer protections, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly and Housing Minister Chris Bishop announced today. “Our coalition Government is committed to rebuilding the economy and making life simpler by cutting red tape. We are ...
    4 days ago
  • Trade relationship with China remains strong
    “China remains a strong commercial opportunity for Kiwi exporters as Chinese businesses and consumers continue to value our high-quality safe produce,” Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says.   Mr McClay has returned to New Zealand following visits to Beijing, Harbin and Shanghai where he met ministers, governors and mayors and engaged in trade and agricultural events with the New ...
    4 days ago
  • PM’s South East Asia mission does the business
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has completed a successful trip to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, deepening relationships and capitalising on opportunities. Mr Luxon was accompanied by a business delegation and says the choice of countries represents the priority the New Zealand Government places on South East Asia, and our relationships in ...
    5 days ago
  • $41m to support clean energy in South East Asia
    New Zealand is demonstrating its commitment to reducing global greenhouse emissions, and supporting clean energy transition in South East Asia, through a contribution of NZ$41 million (US$25 million) in climate finance to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-led Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM). Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts announced ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister releases Fast-track stakeholder list
    The Government is today releasing a list of organisations who received letters about the Fast-track applications process, says RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop. “Recently Ministers and agencies have received a series of OIA requests for a list of organisations to whom I wrote with information on applying to have a ...
    6 days ago
  • Judicial appointments announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister David Jonathan Boldt as a Judge of the High Court, and the Honourable Justice Matthew Palmer as a Judge of the Court of Appeal. Justice Boldt graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington in 1990, and also holds ...
    6 days ago
  • Education Minister heads to major teaching summit in Singapore
    Education Minister Erica Stanford will lead the New Zealand delegation at the 2024 International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) held in Singapore. The delegation includes representatives from the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) Te Wehengarua and the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Riu Roa.  The summit is co-hosted ...
    6 days ago
  • Value of stopbank project proven during cyclone
    A stopbank upgrade project in Tairawhiti partly funded by the Government has increased flood resilience for around 7000ha of residential and horticultural land so far, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones today attended a dawn service in Gisborne to mark the end of the first stage of the ...
    6 days ago
  • Anzac commemorations, Türkiye relationship focus of visit
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will represent the Government at Anzac Day commemorations on the Gallipoli Peninsula next week and engage with senior representatives of the Turkish government in Istanbul.    “The Gallipoli campaign is a defining event in our history. It will be a privilege to share the occasion ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    6 days ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    7 days ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    7 days ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    7 days ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    7 days ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    7 days ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    1 week ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    1 week ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    1 week ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    1 week ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    1 week ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    1 week ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    1 week ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    1 week ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    1 week ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-04-24T22:46:18+00:00