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Open mike 25/01/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 25th, 2016 - 86 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 …

86 comments on “Open mike 25/01/2016”

  1. Paul 1

    Guyon Espiner asks Key questions about housing affordability in Auckland.
    Key has no answer.


    • BM 1.1

      What was there to answer?
      As Key said, Auckland is a very sought after place to live both locally and internationally.

      Also prices have been rising for a long time and will take a while to level out or drop, last thing any government would want to do is rapidly crash a market.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        I guess something like “Isn’t the cost of housing in Auckland a problem for median earners?” and “What are you going to do about it?”

        Median income $ 77, 000
        Median house price $ 748 000

        It appears Key ( a multi-millionaire) does not.

        • Sacha

          “As Key said, Auckland is a very sought after place to live”

          It is a sought after place to invest untaxed money. Not the same thing, sadly. Until a government tackles the financialisation of our housing, Auckland is screwed.

          • Paul

            House prices are so high because there are no rules here.
            New Zealanders can land bank, buying up many more houses than they need.
            And people from overseas can speculate on houses prices here.

            Both these groups of people – wealthy New Zealanders and foreigners – are forcing ordinary New Zealanders out of their own land.

            But Key and his acolytes believe in the market.

          • BM

            You always did, but it has been tightened up.
            Too many kiwis doing a shifty and not declaring income from property speculation.


          • Sirenia

            I don’t understand where that high median income figure comes from. I thought the NZ median personal income was closer to $28,000. – which means half earn less than that. A very long way from the median house price in Auckland (or anywhere).

      • Muttonbird 1.1.2

        “The truth is, (the current government) are paralysed with fear that the bubble will burst on their watch, so don’t want to tackle the causes of the crisis.”

        – Demographia

        As Matthew Hooton described the other day here at The Standard, this government is truly the do nothing government.

        • BM

          You don’t want the bubble to burst, you want it to slowly deflate, so people have a bit of time to adjust.

          Bubbles bursting is what happened to NZ between 1984 and 1990, thought Labour would have learn’t their lesson and understood that.

          Obviously not and yet another reason why they’re not fit to govern and National is the only option out there to skillfully run the economy.

          • Muttonbird

            By doing nothing?

            Fact is they are getting right towelling in the media today and about time too.

            And do please when you are ready point out where Labour advocates for a bursting of the bubble.

          • dv

            National is the only option out there to skillfully run the economy.

            Current Debt
            NZ$ 120,310,738,466

          • Draco T Bastard

            You don’t want the bubble to burst, you want it to slowly deflate, so people have a bit of time to adjust.

            Actually, I’d make it so that there was a way for the owners to keep living in the same house without debt and then crash the market.

            Bubbles bursting is what happened to NZ between 1984 and 1990, thought Labour would have learn’t their lesson and understood that.

            The problem is that we keep getting bubbles, that when we do our governments actually work to protect those that caused the bubbles rather than ensuring that the risk falls where it’s due and they don’t put in place legislation to stop those bubbles. Just banning foreign ownership would kill many of the bubbles that we now have.

          • Matthew Hooton

            I doubt Aucklanders want their house prices to “deflate slowly”.

            • Once was Tim

              Just as an aside Matty – how do you feel about your ‘PERFORMANCE’ on NinetoNoon today?
              Was it (on a scale from 1 to 5): Abysmal thru’ adequate to exceptional.
              Admittedly we can take in your handicap (i.e. where the regular gal with the balanced portfolio and the world’s best understanding of ‘work-life-balance) where allowances are made for you (in case you throw another hissy fit).
              I suspect your judgement (that includes your desire to appear rational and modest) would be in the ‘adequate’ region. 3.5 out of 5 maybe?

            • Muttonbird

              And that’s the thing. We have become a nation of ladder-kickers.

            • vto

              “I doubt Aucklanders want their house prices to “deflate slowly”.”

              Matthew, if all assets drop in proportion then non problema eh silly.

              Problem of course, as highlighted everywhere, is the debt. Not the house price.

              Now, if the debt slid in proportion to the house price (for which a very strong argument can be made), then also non problema.

              Banks and debt have had to be heavily controlled and regulated for centuries. More is required at this next junction I think. Maybe the change to come post-meltdown will be to limit debt recovery in the event of asset value change (both up and down to be fair)….

      • greywarshark 1.1.3

        You’re stating the bleeding obvious.
        Questions that arise:
        Why is Auckland so sought? What then can reduce those factors? They are disrupting and skewing our housing market, so what can be done to cool this to a satisfactory level, away from gold rush level?

        Your point about the length of time of occurrence is an excellent reason to continue any measures that will bring about a gradual decrease in the rise of prices, perhaps to that of our measured inflation, low, very low.

        These would be questions arising from the answer that would be applied by an interviewer after definite information and be forthcoming from a responsible politician.

        • BM

          Have you been to Auckland.?

          It’s a very nice city and one of the most multi cultural in the world, people like the place.
          Solve the transport issues and I’d say it would be in the top 5.

          Seriously, How many major cites have a farm in the middle of it, where you can walk around among sheep.



          • weka

            “Seriously, How many major cites have a farm in the middle of it, where you can walk around among sheep.”

            Roflnui. Sometimes I think you are a parody account BM.

            • Matthew Hooton

              He’s talking about Cornwall Park – one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is still a working farm, five minutes drive from Queen Street (outside rush hour).

              • weka

                yes, I assumed he was talking about something real, but his phrasing was just too delightfu a summary of propaganda from the neoliberal world view. A lovely city that people can’t afford to live in but hey they can visit the centre and walk around with the sheep. Baaaaa.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  “too delightful a summary of propaganda from the neoliberal world view”

                  Does that even mean anything?

                  Also, it seems that about 1.4 million people are able to afford to live here. And walk around with sheep. Do you not understand that prices go up because people want to live here? If people “can’t afford to live in” Auckland then prices will go down.

                  • weka

                    Well it was more of a statement about BM’s politics as much as anything, but since you’ve asked, yes it does mean something. It means that the view you just presented that the market will somehow provide a solution is a nonsense and we may as well just all head down to the sheep farm and make like the sheep.

                    The South Island is full of ex-Aucklanders who came here for the cheaper housing. To be fair those are generally the middle classes who could live in Auckland but also could afford to get out. The people really feeling it are the people who live in Auckland but whose quality of life is diminished because of wage rates and housing prices. So when I say ‘can’t afford to live in Auckland’ you can take it as a overarching meme for the fact that how we arrange society grossly advantages some and disadvantages others and the market will never make that right (not that I expect you or BM to care about that).

                    “If people “can’t afford to live in” Auckland then prices will go down.”

                    No homeless people there then? Nobody leaving? No poverty? No overcrowded housing? No transient population?

                    What you really meant is if the middle classes can’t afford it then the housing market will slow. But let’s not pretend that prices will actually drop in any kind of meaningful way that is good for people and their communities.

    • Chooky 1.2

      he sounded like a slimy bullshitter…the comments which followed said as much…

      • Paul 1.2.1

        Yes, notice how how Key tried to dodge throughout the interview.
        He presented statistical outliers.
        He questioned the survey, “This is one survey, there’s a whole bunch of other surveys” then when challenged could not present alternative surveys.
        Then changed tack and bragged about growing consents and said what a great place Auckland was a place to live in.
        When challenged with the rhetorical question, “So you think it’s a good news story?”
        he then blamed Labour for the problem.

        • Tc

          When he blames labour its a sign of desperation which a decent journo would see and go for the jugular.

          3rd term and still blaming clark/cullen which he does because nat shills like Gluon let it pass as the accepted meme/spin being peddled.

          Did he get asked about flogging state houses, a broken election promise, by gluon ? This removal of supply will only make it worse and they know it.

  2. Jenny Kirk 2

    PM John Key and his National government say most Kiwis support the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and those who don’t are ignorant or manipulated.
    Show him he’s wrong.

    Help us to fill the Auckland Town Hall tomorrow, Tuesday 26th at 7pm in the first TPPA: Don’t Sign public meetings.

    Hear dynamic, funny, and scary US former trade attorney and TPPA expert Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen Global Trade Watch, on how the US politics may sink the TPPA.

    Jane Kelsey will explain the highlights of the expert papers saying what the TPPA would really mean for Kiwis.

    A political panel will tell us why they oppose the signing of the TPPA:
    Grant Robertson, Labour; Metiria Turie, Greens; Marama Fox, Maori Party; and Fletcher Tabuteau, NZ First.

    For details of Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin meetings see http://itsourfuture.org.nz/tppa-dont-sign-tour/

    The speaking tour is being sponsored by Its Our Future, Action Station, NZ Council of Trade Unions and First Union
    but donations are needed to cover costs.
    You can contribute to these events and the ongoing campaign at https://givealittle.co.nz/org/itsourfuture

  3. Penny Bright 3

    I predict that the Auckland Town Hall will be PACKED!

    Want a seat?

    Get there early ….. 🙂

    Want to hear the other side of the story to PM John Key’s ‘spin’ on the TPPA?


    WHERE: Auckland Town Hall.
    WHEN: Tuesday 26 January 2016
    TIME: 7pm

    SPEAKERS: Lori Wallach (Public Citizen USA)
    Professor Jane Kelsey


    Labour Party: Grant Robertson
    Green Party: Metiria Turei
    NZ First: Fletcher Tabateau
    Maori Party: Marama Fox


    Ever heard Lori Wallach talk about the stark realities of US politics on the TPPA?

    If you have, you won’t want to miss her again!

    If you haven’t, this is a once in a lifetime chance to hear her on how the US and its corporate lobby stitched us up, and sold out ordinary Americans as well. (for Lori’s bio – see here)

    Can the US Congress stop the deal?

    Will the US Congress stop the deal?

    What happens if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency?

    Or Donald Trump (assuming that is worse … which it has to be)

    Are US politicians serious that they will rewrite the deal after it is signed by setting rules for ‘implementation’? What would that mean for Kiwis?

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  4. Tautoko Mangō Mata 4

    Vandana Shiva:

    In fact, in the free trade and trade liberalisation regime, which is supposed to end protectionism, IPRs are the main instrument of this new form of protectionism.


    Wayne Mapp calls the TPP a “modern FTA”
    Lowering a few tariffs, while at the same time increasing Intellectual Property Rights IPRs means that it is a total misrepresentation/lie to imply that the TPP is a Free Trade Agreement.

    False advertising or deceptive advertising is the use of false or misleading statements in advertising, and misrepresentation of the product at hand, which may negatively affect many stakeholders, especially consumers.

    • weka 4.1

      I liked the Kelsey video where she states bluntly that this isn’t a trade deal, that the trade part of the TPP is small and that most if it is about giving rights to corporations.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      What the TPPA and other agreements do is increase protections for corporations while decreasing protections for those that sell their labour. The end result is more political power in the hands of the corporations and less in the hands of the people.

      The TPPA takes us further down the road to serfdom. A serfdom that has always been the goal of capitalism.

    • Tautuhi 4.3

      If Wayne Mapp was in the Real Estate Industry and advertising like this he would be down in Wellington before the REAA.

  5. Glenn 50 5

    Winston Peters…
    “If the Opposition was in any way what it should be, [Key] wouldn’t have a hope in Hades.”

    “That’s the real test. Whether the Opposition parties mark up, shape up, keep themselves focused, keep their eyes on what the prize should be rather than their own political and egregious self interest and advantage. If they do that, then the Government wouldn’t have a show in its present construction.”


    • Paul 5.1

      Not so easy when the msm calls this of bs political coverage.

      ‘ MPs with bald spots reached for the hats. Andrew Little had a snappy hat but foolishly wore a black suit. NZ First leader Winston Peters took refuge in a tree, from where he quoted Noel Coward: “only fools and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”.’


      • Jilly Bee 5.1.1

        Bill English also wore a dark, if not black suit, but hey, that’s OK as he is not Labour.

      • Acting up 5.1.2

        “…Winston Peters took refuge in a tree …” In a tree? Love it! Just had a great image of Winnie in a tree, beady eyes peering out at those below like an elderly possum. Surely the writer meant under a tree?

    • weka 5.2

      As is often the case with Peters is he both speaking truth and being a complete hypocrite.

      Whether the Opposition parties mark up, shape up, keep themselves focused, keep their eyes on what the prize should be rather than their own political and egregious self interest and advantage


  6. Andre 6

    Paturoa kauri update:

    I didn’t see any evidence of browning in the foliage (but I wouldn’t really expect to until another month or two). Since looking at it in the morning means looking into the sun, I couldn’t really assess any subtler hints about foliage colouring or glossiness.

    The bandage around the ring-barking has soaked through with sap, but it doesn’t appear to be bleeding trails of sap down the trunk. So I’m cautiously hopeful the sap has gone back to flowing up and down the trunk the way it should.

    So on the basis of precisely zero experience or expertise in helping trees recover from ringbarking, my gut feel has gone from “it’s a goner” to “maybe it’s got a teeny-tiny chance”

    • Sabine 6.1

      i follow it on FB and yes, it seems that there is a small bit of hope for the Kauri and the Rimu. Here is to hoping.

    • weka 6.2

      Thanks Andre. Do you know what the owners are up to? I assume it was them that paid the company to do the ringbarking. Why are they not finishing off the job?

    • After it was ringbarked, was there any cambium (tree stem cells) left in the wound?

      • Sabine 6.3.1

        i honestly would not know.

        I know that Johno administered ‘first aid’ and that maori healers came and did their thing. I am not an arborist, but as of today, people are cautiously optimistic that both trees make it.

        • Naturesong


          Keeping my fingers crossed. I’ve not seen a tree recover from such a wound before. But then I’m not an arborist so my knowledge of trees is limited to the general knowledge I need for timber milling, drying, cabinet making etc.

          • Andre

            Ummm, monkey apples can survive a ringbarking at least 150mm wide all the way around. Several on my place did, anyways.

            The photos from Sabine’s tvnz link appear to show continuous bark left across the wound in a few places, so there may be cambium left behind.

            I don’t think the rimu got ring-barked, if it did it’s not visible from the road, and I haven’t been keen to go walking down to take a closer look since kauri dieback is prevalent there.

              • Andre

                Sorry, I put out some incorrect information earlier.

                Went and took a wander down the section and yes, the rimu also got a cut all the way around the trunk. Along with every other tree that was marked with an X that hadn’t been previously felled. Those cuts were hidden by the slash left on the section, so not visible from the road. The malicious orcs had done more damage than I had previously been aware of.

                But I didn’t see that any of the others had great chunks of bark taken off the trunk (unlike the kauri), and the foliage on those trees looks normal, and no trails of sap running down the trunks, so maybe they all have a chance.

                Also got the neighbours worried again to see another stranger taking an interest in the section.

  7. Wisdumb 7

    Malaysia’s parliament votes this week to accept or reject the TPP, first the Lower House then the Senate. The scheduling of the voting shortly before signing makes it look as though this will determine whether the government signs or not (Auckland 4 February) but I am not sure.

    Anyone know definitely?

    Malaysia and Australia obtained additional exceptions to those our NZ negotiators achieved. These two countries form an interesting comparison for NZ. But zilch do we hear from our MSM.

    • Muttonbird 7.1

      Interesting that Malaysia would go to the trouble of actually performing the democratic process regarding this issue.

      Something for our government to learn?

  8. Puckish Rogue 8

    Some interesting threads over the weekend ref: fisi and fourth term for Key

    The thing that seemed to come through that I noticed the most was the refrain that “the left need to work together”.

    I’m not disagreeing with this at all (at least in regards to a left victory) but what it really needed changing to was “Labour need to work with the rest of the left in NZ” as it seems (admittedly to me) that the left want to work with Labour but Labour isn’t as keen.

    Its still a worry though that there are posters who still underestimate John Keys intelligence and this attitude that “hes just a money man”, “the USA tells him what to do” etc etc means some on the left don’t prepare as well as they could (subconsciously not taking him seriously perhaps?)

    Also it seems the Labour party (yeah yeah MMP but they’re still the largest party on the left) are out of touch with modern day politicking which considering Lange and Clark went that long ago is a real shame

    So yes there will be a fourth term for John Key and while that means the left will win in 2020 it depends on whether the Left want two terms or three if they (the Left) are willing/able to change to modern day NZ

    • Stuart Munro 8.1

      Key is an irrelevancy. His government is useless and does nothing.

      Only concerted media campaigns and opposition inaction keep him in power.

      Most kiwis don’t find him as erotic as fisiani appears to – and those that do will just get cast aside like a used Hosking when Key is done with them.

      The parallels with the Milliband Labour party are significant – self-serving self-styled elite wonder why they can’t win.

  9. greywarshark 9

    Pat, discussing the left-right divide in politics says, in Fisiani Gets it Right on 23/1 says:
    .it certainly appears to me that the younger generations by and large have no points of reference for that positioning and consequently it carries no relevance for them…but naturally those (few) that are politically active and involved at party level tend to have a very firm view in terms of Left/Right so reinforce the dichotomy within.

    But this decay away from Labour-left policies started longer ago than you imply Pat. So a good number of older Labour in NZ are similar to the Blairites in Britain and very possibly any oldies with fire in their bellies for ‘the people’ and a fairer, better functioning NZ, are either isolated or dead.

    Would anyone who knows like to identify those older Labour members still in a position of power and/or Parliament who not only talk the talk but walk the walk?

    • Pat 9.1

      “But this decay away from Labour-left policies started longer ago than you imply Pat. So a good number of older Labour in NZ are similar to the Blairites in Britain and very possibly any oldies with fire in their bellies for ‘the people’ and a fairer, better functioning NZ, are either isolated or dead.’

      don’t necessarily disagree with that greywarshark, but I was responding to a comment from CV that implied (to me at least) that there was no future in presenting policy in terms of left/right….just as there are few remaining veterans of WW2 who’s experiences tempered our society for so long after that event there are few who recall the great conflict of ideas of last century…..increasingly to those in positions of influence it is ancient history, not something their parents, grandparents experienced and perhaps formed….what do we care of the politics of ancient Rome, the Chinese dynasties,the French revolution and the like when forming our opinions today? I suggest the Left/Right struggle of last century has as much relevance to the young(er) of today and is as misunderstood….rightly or wrongly.

      The lessons will have to be relearned…their own way.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Hmmm interesting. Someone emphasised the other day that the era of Rome and its politics is not far away from what is occurring today. I think his point was that it is all cyclical, and you refer to the conflict of ideas and systems in the history of other countries. There is a problem with older people with long memories, if they haven’t learned anything from their experience after rumination and reflection, with discussion of the events.

        Do older people once involved in war, have a considered opinion about it, or do they just go through the ceremonies each year? Here at the Anzac Day church-run short civic gathering, the same words are repeated each year, reverential, memorial, but not disturbing the air and ears with anti-war poems or comment. That seems too real, questioning the waste of life.

        There was no room for the presentation by young peaceniks of white poppies representing peace, perhaps a tacit honouring of the student protesters in Germany using white roses as their badge I think, and who were caught and dispatched early on. The RSA was angry to have them offered, only partly I think because the red poppies raise money for assistance to the returned servicepeople.

        Also discussed recently was the word ‘cynical’. The conclusion was that it can get to be a kneejerk reaction that implicitly claims a superior understanding, but is actually closed, negative, simplistic, and lazy. So I think that position applies to the idea that left/right is completely passe’. It is indeed a useful term for broadly discussing themes of political power and of wealth versus wider concern for the populace and the differing attitudes to a resource-controlling status quo. As you say –

        The lessons will have to be relearned…their own way.


  10. greywarshark 10

    Here’s a citizen who will be missed by people interested in good enterprise in our country. Barry Brickell was a man with many good visions that advanced NZ and the will to be the one to advance them.

    Potter, artist, conservationist and railway enthusiast Barry Brickell moved to the Coromandel to teach high school in the 1960s.

    But less than a year later he abandoned teaching to set up a pottery studio and kiln on a property in Driving Creek, north of the town of Coromandel.
    Fifty years later he had become one of New Zealand’s most celebrated ceramic artists and had restored hectares of native bush and created a wildlife sanctuary.

    Most famously he spent 33 years building the Driving Creek Railway – a popular tourist attraction that has now carried close to 1.25 million passengers.


    A long interview on Spectrum from last year.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Gold rush mentality in this country. Using up this country’s resources of beauty and natural goodness. An Eden into a Den of thieves.
    Dairy – Overproduction, unhealthy financial dependence, pollution, utilising resources from overseas unfairly. (Milk – More milk perhaps. Sheep milk is being looked at as a possible growth market.)

    Tourism – Up from 3 million visitors to 5 million a year is the prediction.
    Consequence – overuse of the attractions, trashing of the country, and pricing out the inhabitants. It costs $50 to say at a hut on one of the tracks I think it was Routeburn.
    How can people ever afford to get to know and enjoy their own country. They can’t afford to live in a poor dwelling – just like good old Brit was like when we left it in the 1800s.

    Freedom tourists –
    DoC figures show the number of tourists on all nine Great Walks has increased by 10 percent a year for the past three years.
    The Routeburn and Milford tracks and huts, which cost $54 a night per adult, are fully booked for this season ending on 27 April.

  12. Morrissey 12

    Right wing think tanks, Matthew Hooton, and Stephen Franks to come:
    Why is there such dismal political commentary on RNZ National?

    Nine to Noon, Monday 25 January 2016

    At 9:30, Kathryn Ryan interviewed—or, more accurately, provided an uncontested free pulpit to—one Andrew Bishop, who rejoices in the splendid title of “senior analyst” for the right wing “think tank” the Eurasia Group. Bishop talked for fifteen minutes, during which he managed to get away with making the extraordinary assertion that the United States was not really involved in either Syria or Ukraine. As is too often the case, Kathryn Ryan didn’t seem to have a clue; about the only thing she said in the whole fifteen minutes was to observe, in a tone of high seriousness, that the United States was suffering “intervention fatigue.”

    After the 11 o’clock news, it was time for the forum now entitled “Political Commentators Matthew Hooton and Stephen Mills”. It should actually be called “Matthew Hooton Straight and Uninterrupted”; after a promising first appearance just before Christmas, Mills has not taken long to slip into playing Colmes to Hooton’s Hannity, a soul-destroying rôle which until recently was filled by the hapless Mike “I Agree With Matthew” Williams. Hooton can, if nothing else, sense weakness in an adversary, and he’s already dominating Mills. Today, the only hint of passion from Mills came when he guffawed derisively after Hooton said, “There’s no homelessness of any note in Auckland.”

    He had nothing else to offer, however. Even the supine Kathryn Ryan did better: she told Hooton he should have listened to her first guest this morning….

    And the bad news just keeps getting worse: Jim Mora’s guests on The Panel this afternoon are Stephen Franks and Josie Pagani.

    • Gabby 12.1

      What the hell is going on with Kathryn Ryan’s speaking? She sounds weird.

      • Morrissey 12.1.1

        Yes, Gabby, that’s something I have long considered commenting on, but have refrained from for fear of seeming petty and mean. I’m glad to see that you have also noticed her occasional affectation of an absurdly correct and slow manner of speaking, especially when speaking to someone she is trying to, for whatever reason, to impress.

        Another of her verbal tics, which really annoys me, is the way she adds the tag “Yeah?” to the end of a question. Jim Mora also does this.

  13. joe90 14

    Interesting article on feathered friends gone wild.


  14. joe90 15

    A couple of days ago I posted an article about the harassment of Jane Mayer, an author critical of the Koch brothers.

    Excerpts from Jane Mayer’s book.

    sean @SeanMcElwee

    The Kochs are buying up high schools and teaching students that minimum wages hurt the poor and the New Deal failed. pic.twitter.com/87PIEE3baC

    sean @SeanMcElwee

    Holy. Shit. Holy shit. Holy shit. There are literally no words for how fucked up this is. http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Money-History-Billionaires-Radical/dp/0307970655 … pic.twitter.com/KorQhru8pY

  15. Once was TiM 16

    A public service announcement.
    We’re not allowed to ask if Magisterium is [deleted] in drag – or even if [deleted]
    Warning warning warning [deleted].
    No fuck it ….. BAN!

    [lprent: No you aren’t. Banned 1 week as a gentle reminder, and I’d strongly suggest that you don’t ever try to game the privacy policy again. ]

  16. Gangnam Style 17

    Evil evil bastards, http://www.rawstory.com/2016/01/revealed-environmental-officials-warned-snyder-administration-not-to-use-water-that-poisoned-flint/ & a someone I know over there emailed this to me “There is mounting evidence that the entire goal was to undermine the financial stability of the Detriot Water and Sewerage Dept so as to justify its breakup and privatization thereby brokering control of one of the largest aquifers in the Midwest. Water is the new oil and we are only seeing the beginnings of the resource grab.”

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    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 day ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial 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... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    1 day ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    2 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    3 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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? ...
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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, ...
    1 week ago

  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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. ...
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    6 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 ...
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    6 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 ...
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    7 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 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks 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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks ago