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Open mike 24/01/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 24th, 2016 - 78 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen 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 …

78 comments on “Open mike 24/01/2016”

  1. swordfish 1

    Some discussion yesterday (on both the Redlogix and NATWATCH threads) around the allegedly unprecedented popularity of both John Key (as Preferred PM) and the current third-term National-led Government (particularly in relation to Clark’s popularity and that of her Labour-led Government at the same point in its third-term).

    This mirrors a series of dubious MSM memes regularly regurgitated over the last few months – memes that I’m in the process of closely scrutinising in a post that I’ll publish on Sub-Zero Politics at some point in the next few days.

  2. Tautoko Mangō Mata 2

    TPP and sharing of seeds

    UPOV 91
    One of the other treaties that TPP countries are required to join is the International
    Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants 1991 (UPOV91).
    UPOV91emphasises seed company rights over farmers’ rights compared to UPOV78. For example:

    UPOV 91 requires IP protection to be provided to all species (compared to UPOV78’s 24 species)
    UPOV91 requires IP protection for 20 or 25 years (compared to UPOV78’s 15 or 18
    UPOV91 stops farmers from exchanging their seed (something which is allowed under
    UPOV78) which is inconsistent with the practices of farmers in many developing
    nations, where seeds are exchanged for purposes of crop and variety rotation


    • savenz 2.1

      +1 TMM

    • Chooky 2.2

      +100 TMM…”emphasises seed company rights over farmers’ rights”….this is very scary….would seem to make New Zealand farmers susceptible to multinationals and genetic modification of seeds

      ( what about the GM swede scandal in Southland? …cows going belly up?…what would happen to a human if they ate these swedes?)

      farmers organisations….the Labour Party and Opposition parties should be jumping up and down about this…In Europe I am told they are increasingly against genetically modified seeds and produce

      …TPP has the potential to cut new Zealand farmers and horticulturalists and orchardists off from many markets in Europe …including Russia which is increasingly going organic




    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Yep, what we can do is being ever more confined at the behest of the corporations. Capitalism is slowly taking our freedoms and turning us more and more into serfs and slaves.

      • Tautuhi 2.3.1

        Monsanto were on the verge of bankruptcy when they discovered the glysophate herbicide, Round Up the commercial name, now I am lead to believe they control 80% of the worlds seed supply and are one of the worlds largest Agrochemical companies, scary stuff the amount of control these multinationals have over the worlds food supply?

    • CR 2.4

      Thank you for posting on this issue – intellectual property in relation to farming and food production is of huge concern to all New Zealanders.

      One of my big concerns about the TPPA is that it diminishes New Zealand’s protections against large scale industrial food production and processes that will be damaging to our environment, our farmers and workers, our international reputation for food safety and quality, and our own health, by consuming inferior food.

      I have watched a lot of documentaries and done a lot of reading about this in the last few months.

      This documentary is a good start for anyone interested…and we all should be interested.

      Food Inc (2008). It runs for 130+ minutes, if you haven’t got time, skip to the third minute of the film for a glimpse of the horror of a beef CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation). These animals live in pens on dirt, eat corn and anti-biotics, are filled with e.coli, stand ankle-deep in their own faeces all their 5-month long lives and when slaughtered their carcasses washed in bleach to kill all the e.coli bacteria that proliferates in their gut due to the corn-diet.


    • What’s the complaint, exactly? If it’s that IP protection is being extended in an unreasonable way by the TPPA, as has happened with copyright, then yes, that’s bad. But if it’s that companies that develop new plant varieties shouldn’t have a right to protection of their IP for a period so they can recover costs, the complaint lacks merit. It’s not clear which of the two is involved here.

  3. savenz 3

    “Independent economists: TPP will kill 450,000 US jobs; 75,000 Japanese jobs, 58,000 Canadian jobs”


    Jobs, jobs, jobs, not under TPP….

    • Chooky 3.1

      +100 savenz…we should not be signing the TPP….who is this agreement for?…certainly not for New Zealanders

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      The TPP, just like all other FTAs isn’t about jobs or the benefit of the nations signing but about making the rich richer. Looks like it’s going to do that well. Everyone else though will be fucked – just as planned.

      • Tautuhi 3.2.1

        All the Free Trade Agreement with China has done is increase Chinese immigration and boosted Chinese house investment in Auckland?

        • Draco T Bastard

          No but it’s main effects in NZ has, for the majority of people, been detrimental. It’s not of much good if it leaves the people who live here struggling to get a house while rich offshore owners are reaping massive capital gains.

  4. savenz 4

    Under TPP “NZ is projected to lose 6,000 jobs over a 10 year period.
    “The Trans-Pacific Partnership meant to create the world’s largest free trade area will cost Canada 58,000 jobs and increase income inequality, says a new U.S. study.” The U.S. is estimated to lose 448,000 jobs over the same 10 year period.
    “Perhaps more surprisingly, the study found that the two largest economies in the TPP — the U.S. and Japan — would actually shrink as a result of the trade deal, and that the deal would result in fewer jobs overall in all the participating countries.”
    “In all, the study estimates that the 12 countries involved in the proposed free trade deal would lose a net total of 771,000 jobs in the 10 years after the deal comes into force.”
    1) FULL ARTICLE: http://huff.to/1TdyueC
    2) Global Development & Environment Institute at Tufts University: http://bit.ly/23jVi0C

    • Gangnam Style 4.1

      In todays Stuff (of all places) “The TPPA will also protect the US and other heavy users of agricultural subsidies. This will hinder WTO efforts to reduce them.” Rod Oram http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/76114721/Rod-Oram-Dark-clouds-on-the-horizon

    • Wayne 4.2

      This study will of course be nonsense. The Tufts academics are claiming there is a net loss of jobs across all TPP nations, notwithstanding all TPP nations benefit (according to the World Bank).

      No doubt the Tufts study has been done as part of the campaign to persuade Congress not to ratify. But I suspect the Tufts academics will have limited influence on Republican members of Congress. It would the equivalent of Jane Kelsey being a major influence on Tim Groser.

      As I have noted before, the whole TPP issue is now really being fought in the US on the issue of Congressional ratification. This will be a huge fight. President Obama will pitch into it. It was part of his State of the Nation address.

      However, fundamentally the Republicans are in control of the outcome. If they want it, TPP will go through, no doubt with limited Democrat support.In contrast if Canada does not ratify, that will not be a deal breaker, although it might influence some members of Congress.

      • Pat 4.2.1

        “This study will of course be nonsense.”
        ..which indicates a prejudgement…surprise surprise

        and of course the MFAT analysis has been a robust credible example that hasn’t used unsubstantiated assumptions nor ignored inconvenient cost implications….Tui moment

        • Tautuhi

          MFAT wouldn’t have a clue as they are not the ones doing the growing or the exporting, it would be a hypothesis on an Excel Spreadsheet.

          • Pat

            not quite…but not much better

            “The estimates are based on modelling undertaken prior to conclusion of the negotiations, using a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model.4 A commentary on the modelling5 concluded that, while CGE models are commonly used to model trade policy changes, their validity depends on crude assumptions about how real-world markets function and their results are very sensitive to errors in these assumptions.
            The commentary found that the standard of documentation of the modelling is dreadfully inadequate – just 20 pages of text in the published report. The authors should have chosen, or been asked to present, a much weightier and more detailed account of every facet of the data, assumptions, modelling and results.”


      • Stuart Munro 4.2.2

        Of course Groser would never listen to Kelsey, “Ignorance is strength” is the Gnatzi credo.

        • Tautuhi

          I doubt whether Groser or Key have ever worked in the real world and I sincerely doubt whether either of them would know how to grow a cabbage?

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.3

        The World Bank says that the TPPA will be good for nations?

        What a fucking laugh. Is there a single country that the World Bank has been involved with which hasn’t been brought to its economic knees and lost its sovereignty to corporate interests?

      • Incognito 4.2.4

        ” This study will of course be nonsense.”

        Thanks, that’ll save me having to read it just as you seem to have done.

        ”No doubt the Tufts study has been done as part of the campaign to persuade Congress not to ratify.”

        Your supreme confidence has a calming effect on me and saves me having to take my medication.

        ”It would the equivalent of Jane Kelsey being a major influence on Tim Groser.”

        What is poor old Jane going to do when Groser is off to Washington? Maybe she could do a sabbatical over there?

        ”As I have noted before, the whole TPP issue is now really being fought in the US on the issue of Congressional ratification.”

        Indeed, it is a fait accompli and we here in little old NZ shouldn’t lose any sleep over it and just get on with our daily ordinary lives and leave the fight to the Republicans and Democrats in the US. What were we thinking that there are 12 signatories to the TPPA? They are mostly there to fill one A4 of the Agreement with little doodles signatures to make it look pretty and impressive.

        I recognise good arguments when I see them, Wayne 😉

        • Colonial Viper

          The establishment elite is gradually losing legitimacy with the citizens that they are supposedly leading.

          In the US, this is represented by the mass popularity of alternative candidates like Trump and Sanders.

          Wayne is well aware that his reach – and the reach of his six figure income ruling class friends – extends fuck all distance into the actual community.

          • Incognito

            Yes, agreed; he’s not even trying to make a real effort or even pretending anymore.

      • Ad 4.2.5

        At least it’s open to democratic scrutiny in the United States.

        If the benefits are so amazing, Key should put his pen down and have a proper public debate.

        We’re seriously all reliant on the US Republicans to let the public voice be heard?

      • Sacha 4.2.6

        There is nothing inconsistent in jobs being lost while owners of capital increase profits. Very common trend.

      • savenz 4.2.7

        @ Wayne – one of the studies is the world bank – good enough for you?

        They also have found negliable economic benefit and that is against the extreme negative risks.

        What government sells itself out for corporations to sue them in separate courts, – but they can’t sue corporations?

        Makes zero sense for any government doing due diligence to sign it.

      • Wisdumb 4.2.8

        We are forever in your debt, Wayne, for pointing out the kernel of this TPP issue in your comment. Truly, you are an towering beacon of constitutional incandencence; and a steel-trap mind combined with political perspicacity and wrapped up in lapidary prose. Is it true that your students sometimes could not talk for three days from the wonder of your law lectures? O Master! O Grand Regal Legal Beagle!

        Because what you raise is the fact that the Americans, even with the crazy plutocratic political system that they have, ARE ALLOWED A REAL VOTE ON THE TPP. A VOTE!! In fact, their process has given them one already and they will have another if Obama looks like winning, as you incisively perceive.

        Whereas in New Zealand the proto-fascist National gang of hoods (OK, proto-totalitarian for the squeamish) does not trust us with the right to vote on this crucial issue, that pries so aggressively into our Kiwi polity. Key and Groser etc., do not understand democracy. Or sovereignty. Or nationhood. Or citizenship. They don’t give a flying feck for NZ full stop. How else to explain their acquiescence in the terms of the Agreement and their unbelievable insulting arrogance and acquiescence in having the TPPA signed two days before Waitangi Day. It wouldn’t surprise me that they suggested it themselves.

        You have a nice day Wayne, I’m off to practice my whakapohane.

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.9


        Well done mate.

        You managed a whole comment plugging the TPPA without once using the words “free” or “trade”.

        A step up my son, a step up.

  5. Penny Bright 5


    ON THE FACE OF IT John Key has made a serious tactical blunder.

    By insisting on hosting the signing of the Trans-pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in New Zealand, just two days before Waitangi Day, at the country’s most notorious beneficiary of crony capitalism, he would appear to have given his opponents an unparalleled opportunity to rally their forces and reinvigorate their campaign.

    Frankly, I’m suspicious.

    Because John Key is not prone to making tactical blunders.

    Which raises the worrying possibility that the readily predictable consequences of his decision – mass protest action outside Sky City, with a high probability of violence and property damage – may be exactly what he wants to happen.

    The Chinese philosopher-general, Sun Tzu, wrote: “If your enemy is of choleric temper – irritate him.”

    Few would argue that, at present, the opponents of the TPPA are in a very bad mood indeed. Even fewer would suggest that they have not been extremely irritated by the National Government’s decision to host the official signing of the TPPA at Sky City in Auckland on 4 February.

    Is John Key setting them up?

    That might be the case if it was within John Key’s power to refuse to host (or, at least, delay) the signing ceremony. To decline this honour (as the NZ Herald describes it) would, however, involve a tremendous loss of face by Key’s government.

    It was, after all, New Zealand that set the whole process in motion more than a decade ago. It would be an unthinkable humiliation for its government to ask another signatory to host the signing ceremony.

    But if Key has no option but to host the signing of the TPPA, he most certainly does have a choice as to where it takes place.

    Which raises the question: Why Sky City?

    The ceremony could just as easily have been staged at the exclusive Millbrook Resort outside Queenstown.

    This was where President Clinton stayed in 1999, and where the Intelligence Directors of the “Five Eyes” nations gathered just a few years ago.

    Far away from New Zealand’s major cities, and easily defensible by a relatively small number of police and security personnel, the Millbrook Resort would not only have offered splendid “visuals” but also the smallest chance of disruption.

    Which brings us back to Sun Tzu.

    What does the Prime Minister know, that the people he is goading into besieging the Sky City complex do not know?

    In my view, the choice of Sky City as the venue for the proposed signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a deliberately provocative venue.

    Back in December 2012, a peaceful anti-TPPA protest (outside Sky City) was hijacked, in my view, by provocateurs who arbitrarily changed the demand from ‘don’t sign the TPPA’ to ‘close down the TPPA’.

    For the public record – I am absolutely opposed to any form of violent protest / ‘riot’ outside Sky City on 4 February 2016.

    Although I totally understand how frustrated and angry many people feel about the TPPA – any form of violent protest / ‘riot’ will just be used as an excuse to clamp down on the democratic rights and civil liberties of ALL New Zealanders.

    I for one am advocating a HUGE peaceful protest of New Zealanders against the signing of the TPPA on 4 February 2016, from 12 noon to 1pm, that starts at Aotea Square and ends at Britomart, and does NOT go to Sky City.

    That those who are in paid employment in Auckland can therefore peacefully protest during their lunchtime, and the world can see WHY New Zealanders are opposed to this effective pro-corporate attack on our national sovereignty, where our banners and placards can ‘do the talking’ – because the WORLD will be watching …

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Anne 5.1

      In my view, the choice of Sky City as the venue for the proposed signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a deliberately provocative venue.

      You make some good points Penny Bright. Imo, that is exactly what Key and his mates are hoping for – a violent confrontation. They have nothing to worry about of course because they will be heavily protected. The trick will be to launch a large and effective protest without resorting to any physical violence.

      • sabine 5.1.2

        dress in the sunday finest,
        be silent on your march – after all it is a funeral
        bring the national flag – not the teatowel
        and just stand there, do nothing, say nothing, be witness to the burial of the country. Maybe turn your backs when the Leader and his posse arrives.

        We could take inspiration from the http://www.afscme.org/union/history/mlk

        • Chooky

          +100 sabine…”bring the national flag – not the teatowel”…(agreed not jonkeys teatowel corporate take over flag)…

          btw our NZ flag representing the founding legal Treaty of Waitangi agreement between Maori and Pakeha can be got from the Two Dollar shop for $5….(a nice big NZ flag)

          ….this told to me on the last anti -TPP demonstration by Maori carrying and waving the New Zealand flag…many Maori were carrying the NZ flag

          • Tautuhi

            In the 1930’s Maori considered entering a Partnership with The USA and the French however through their investigations they felt the British were the best alternative, hence the Union Jack is symbolic on the NZ Flag.

            Key is putting the cart before the horse, he has not consulted with Maori, and wants to sign an agreement with the USA with out consulting the NZ Public and at the same time he wants to change the country’s flag which resembles my old
            Auntys tea towel.

            This represents how the guys mind works?

            • Magisterium

              In the 1930’s Maori considered entering a Partnership with The USA and the French however through their investigations they felt the British were the best alternative, hence the Union Jack is symbolic on the NZ Flag.


        • mary_a

          Hear hear Sabine (5.1.2).

          I’d like to see a mass silent vigil outside the signing venue, with protesters standing hands joined with heads bowed. There will be no excuse whatsoever for police to interfere with us then, as it will be a peaceful protest.

          However, should police attempt to harass us, then we should sit down, offering no resistance, only if it’s necessary to protect ourselves from harm. Let the police expose their boss FJK to the rest of the world as the filthy, treasonous despot we already know he is!

      • Penny Bright 5.1.3

        The simplest way for those who are opposed to potential violence / ‘riots’ outside Sky City, is to AVOID Sky City on 4 February 2016?

        I for one, as a very experienced ‘veteran’ protestor, have no intention of being drawn into, (in my opinion) an obvious TRAP.

        In terms of my proven commitment to effective, non-violent protest, I’ll rely on my track record that goes back over 40 years.

        Let’s FILL Queen Street on 4 February 2016 – with a MASSIVE lunchtime PEACEFUL protest against the signing of the TPPA!

        Penny Bright
        2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

      • Sacha 5.1.4

        “You make some good points”

        Credit where due – the top two thirds is by Chris Trotter.

    • Paul 5.2

      Police Infiltrate Peaceful Protest Dressed as Black Bloc Anarchists

      Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=570_1321357264#sbAMK4Pe2ZdyByxd.99

  6. savenz 6

    How Obama has sold TPP was to create US jobs – the opposite it true. Good video showing how the agreement is stacked in favour of corporations. Corporations can sue governments but the governments can not sue corporations.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      The Democratic Party has been selling out workers for decades now. Bill Clinton destroyed millions of US blue collar jobs with NAFTA, now Obama continues the very same work on behalf of the transnational corporate class.

  7. Jenny Kirk 7

    Rod Oram spells out the dangers of the TPPA to NZ on Stuff this morning :

    Rod Oram: Dark clouds on the horizon

    The benefits for New Zealand’s from the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal will be meagre.

    The weaknesses and dangers of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement are analysed in a set of research papers now available at bit.ly/TPPApapers .

    This columnist contributed sections on TPPA’s likely influence on value chains and 21^st century trade agreements. The conclusions for New Zealand are ominous.

    TPPA will likely reinforce our position as a commodity producer and hinder our progress up the value chain where greater economic prosperity lies.

    For example, large-scale overseas companies with close connections to their consumers will find it easier to tap into our resources than our small companies will find it to develop relationships with overseas consumers.

    Similarly, restrictions on labelling through the TPPA’s sanitary and phytosanitary measures may restrict opportunities for our food exporters to build a high quality, differentiated market position.

    The TPPA will also protect the US and other heavy users of agricultural subsidies. This will hinder WTO efforts to reduce them.

    Overall, TPPA reads very much like a charter for incumbent businesses, dominated by US ones, which are attempting to hold back the tides of economic change the world needs.

    Click on this link to read the rest of Rod’s column :


  8. Descendant Of Sssmith 8


    I already annoyed at councils selling housing but it’s all part of the right wing plan.

    Of course here in NZ we’re giving private landlords subsidies while refusing to give councils who are a large social housing provider the same support.

  9. Ad 10

    Barry Brickell RIP.

    Deep Green, made a difference, from beginning to the end.

  10. weka 11

    More on strategy and tactics for the upcoming TPPA protests,

    Is Divide And Conquer The New TPPA Strategy?

    Why did the government offer to host the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement? (TPPA)

    Why at an Auckland Casino and not parliament?

    Why on February 4th before parliament sits for the new year?

    Why do it just 2 days before Waitangi Day which has often been a focus of protest over Treaty related issues ( and knowing that the TPPA raises significant concerns over Treaty obligations and Sovereignty)?

    Have these decisions been the result of sheer stupidity with no thought to pressure and unnecessary costs it puts on our police over security issues ?

    Or the result of political cunning?

    While stupidity can’t be ruled out, those of us who remember the 1981 Springbok Tour protests against sporting contacts with apartheid South Africa, haven’t forgotten how the then Prime Minister -National’s Robert Muldoon- was able to turn peaceful demonstrations into a law and order issue through the use of baton wielding riot squads.

    Why? Because he had his eye on the election later that year and he wanted to present himself as a strong leader.

    It put the police into the invidious position of behaving like Muldoon’s private army
    and it damaged their relationship with the New Zealand public (that is so dependent on trust) for a very long time.

    Does the Key government want to spin legitimate concerns over the TPPA into a law and order issue?

    Or has National simply blundered in their timing and created a security nightmare for our police?

    I don’t know.

    What I know is the police are practicing their riot drills and that if protestors confront the police on February 4th with anything but peaceful demonstration, the TV pictures of violent clashes will allow Key to paint the protestors a an unruly mob of radicals who want to stop ‘what’s best for New Zealand’.

    So let’s not give him that opportunity.

    Let’s not get arrested.

    Let’s remember what a previous National Prime Minister did

    By all means let’s protest on the day, but let’s be clever about it.

    Kia Kaha

    • Chooky 11.1

      Really the New Zealand Labour Party led by Andrew Little should be coming out in force on this march/demonstration and on Waitangi Day to protect New Zealanders and New Zealand

      …and to help prevent any possible violence from Jonkey’s lackeys

      Labour Party where are you?

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    Shear Panic?

    Sources in the financial markets throughout Europe have confirmed to SuperStation95 that “These bank runs will spread” to other countries, with one analyst saying “This is the beginning of the end for all of Europe.”

    In fact, it is likely to spread to Germany next. Just this week, Germany’s largest bank, Deutsch Bank, revealed they will post a loss of 6.7 BILLION Euros for last year; the worst loss in that bank’s entire history! Investors were stunned by this news and there is now open and public worry that Deutsch Bank may not be solvent.

    If true, this is going to hurt.

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    Eating the Seed Corn

    Yet those concerns, those instincts, have considerable substance. Kiwis are naturally concerned when they see a large proportion of our national economy and productive capacity passing into foreign hands – a larger proportion, as it happens, than for almost any other developed country. They don’t need degrees in economics to understand that if the ownership of income-bearing assets changes, so too does the right to the income. Assets that used to benefit New Zealand owners now produce income for foreign owners – and the repatriation of that income overseas imposes a further burden on our already overstretched balance of payments.

    The old analogy of selling off the family silver and then living off the proceeds is not easily dismissed. And it is not only the income stream that we lose; we also give up the rights of ownership and control over more and more of our economy, so that decisions of great importance to us are made in foreign boardrooms far away by people who know little and care less about our interests.

    This really is common sense and yet the people who most loudly proclaim that common sense should be followed will be telling us that the selling of NZ is good for us.

  13. One Anonymous Bloke 14

    The risks associated with money laundering don’t go away just because the National Party gets a cut.

  14. lprent 15

    Testing mobile autofill

    • I did start reading it, but the “What, this shit again?” reaction was so strong I didn’t get past the first couple of paragraphs.

      • Incognito 16.1.1

        The title gave it away, didn’t it – the usual click bait. Hide has long ceased writing original pieces and has become so predictable it is boring. He’s not the only ex-ACT person that has run out of ideas and meaningful things to say. What a waste of space.

        • Jilly Bee

          Hear, hear Incognito, Psycho Milt and Paul – I have just had another look at the article and no one has even bothered to comment. Says it all really.

          • Incognito

            The NZH has a bad habit of not loading comments over the weekend; they’ll appear sometime Monday morning or in the afternoon. It is a real killer for online debate, which just shows that the NZH has no real interest in giving its readers an opportunity to engage in important debates or simply provide an opinion on relevant issues. The Editorial on Euthanasia is not even open for comments, which is ironic given the title ”Time’s running out for debate”.

    • b waghorn 17.1

      He’d probably go up in the polls.
      I just keep getting the feeling he’s doing it for a grand piss take, a commentary on the share stupidity of of at least 30% of humans.

      • Pat 17.1.1

        it would be a bloody expensive piss-take….hes funding himself

        • Andre

          I read somewhere that he’s actually managed to avoid spending much of his own cash, and that in fact most of the campaign expenses have been met by donations. Don’t remember if it said where the cash came from, tho.

  15. sabine 18

    John Pilgers documentaries available for free


  16. Pat 19

    “George Soros, the financier who forced Britain out of the European exchange rate mechanism by betting against the pound, used his appearance at Davos to warn that a hard landing for China was now “unavoidable”. Soros stressed that he was not offering a prediction. “I’m not expecting it,” he said. “I’m observing it.”


  17. joe90 20

    Woody Guthrie wrote a song about Fred Trump.

    For Guthrie, Fred Trump came to personify all the viciousness of the racist codes that continued to put decent housing – both public and private – out of reach for so many of his fellow citizens:

    I suppose
    Old Man Trump knows
    Just how much
    Racial Hate
    he stirred up
    In the bloodpot of human hearts
    When he drawed
    That color line
    Here at his
    Eighteen hundred family project ….

    And as if to leave no doubt over Trump’s personal culpability in perpetuating black Americans’ status as internal refugees – strangers in their own strange land – Guthrie reworked his signature Dust Bowl ballad “I Ain’t Got No Home” into a blistering broadside against his landlord:

    Beach Haven ain’t my home!
    I just cain’t pay this rent!
    My money’s down the drain!
    And my soul is badly bent!
    Beach Haven looks like heaven
    Where no black ones come to roam!
    No, no, no! Old Man Trump!
    Old Beach Haven ain’t my home!


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    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    2 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    2 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    3 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago

  • 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago