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Paving paradise

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, January 27th, 2009 - 46 comments
Categories: economy, Environment, national/act government - Tags:

86363131_hkzbzg0y_dsc_0026r1We have received information that National’s plan to change the definition of ‘environment’ under the RMA in their 100-day legislation roll out will consist of removing the legal protection of a range of important parts of NZ’s environment, such as eco-systems, amenity values (e.g. the look and appearance of a landscape or townscape) and the human factors that affect the environment (e.g. constructing a building within a sensitive landscape, or a factory making too much noise near houses).

The RMA currently defines the environment as:
(a)Ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities; and
(b)All natural and physical resources; and
(c)Amenity values; and
(d)The social, economic, aesthetic, and cultural conditions which affect the matters stated in paragraphs (a) to (c) of this definition or which are affected by those matters

National is set to reduce the definition of environment to only “natural and physical resources”.

Think about what that means. It means that when deciding whether to give resource consent to a project, authorities will no longer be allowed to consider whether ecosystems will be destroyed or damaged. That could be a death sentence for endangered species. Nor will authorities to allowed to consider the value of the existing environment in anything other than monetary terms. The beauty of our land, the right of Kiwis to enjoy our country in its natural state will not be protected – only dollars and cents will be at issue.

If a developer wants to pave over a rare wetland, destroying the ecosystem, there will be nothing in the RMA under National to stop them. If a developer wants to build housing by your favourite beach or mine in your favourite landscape, there will be no requirement in law for them to ensure they minimise the damage to the natural beauty of the place and your right to enjoy it. Townscapes will be threatened too – developers will not need to consider making their new buildings or industrial activities fit with the surrounding neighbourhood.

This change will also make a large part of RMA case law useless and most Council policies would become redundant, which will severally slow down the RMA process – something that National are saying they want to speed up!

National is already attempting to soften us up for the introduction of this legislation by claiming reforming the RMA will bring down house prices by allowing more new housing to be built. That’s rubbish. It was speculation, not under-supply, that caused house prices to rise so fast. The RMA does not impose significant monetary or time costs on housing. These changes will not speed up house construction, they will just be a license for the few unscrupulous developers to make a quick buck with the rest of us bearing the cost.

46 comments on “Paving paradise”

  1. T-Rex 1

    The changes actually seem to me destructive and inefficient, but also pointless.

    Like you say, they will screw up existing case law and cause a whole heap of confusion, but I doubt that in the long run it will actually be any more or less difficult to block a project on any of the existing criteria.

    I mean if your project doesn’t effect natural or physical resources then, more or less by definition, it doesn’t exist. I don’t know how you could affect an ecosystem without affecting a natural or physical resource.

    I expect this to be the first steps in what will become a bitter debate over what constitutes a “resource”. I’d love to hear how National expect a debate of that nature to accelerate resource consent proceedings…

  2. T. agree with wht you’re saying.

    I’m not fimilar with case law in this area, my source is though, but I suspect ‘resource’ is defined in monetary terms at present – ie a resource is something you can use to generate an income. Of course, if there is no specific protection for amenity value etc, than the courts would probably look to extend the definition of resource, arguing that Parliament could not possibly want to create a free for all with no protection for amenity value.

  3. Sam P 3

    National’s thinking about changing the definition is obviously intended to reduce the consideration of human factors related to the environment, i.e. the social value of an undeveloped beach. The following from p.28 of their policy (www.national.org/environment) sums it up well

    “The failure begins at the top: there are no agreed national
    environmental objectives, and only a handful of clear standards.
    This lack of leadership and clarity of objectives flows down
    through the whole system*, creating a decision-making swamp.
    The Act itself adds to the confusion. It says there is a duty to
    avoid, remedy and mitigate adverse effects on the environment,
    and then defines the environment so broadly that
    irrelevant and inappropriate matters can be brought into the
    decision-making. It contains a vague and unhelpful reference to
    ‘Treaty principles’.

    The Treaty reference should be removed, and the definition
    of ‘environment’ should be revised so that it covers natural and
    physical resources and amenity only. This would mean there
    would no longer be a statutory requirement in the RMA to
    avoid, remedy and mitigate adverse effects on socio-economic
    conditions. This would curb unwanted planning activities and,
    in conjunction with increased use of standards, would reduce
    the scope for businesses to use the Act to litigate against other
    businesses for competitive reasons**.”

    *The RMA was introduced under National in 1991. The RMA is set up to have national policy and standards that are then followed through at the regional/local levels. However, in their 9 years of government the National Party did not create any national policy or standards (the DoC made one related to the coastal environment), leaving this work to be done by Labour/Greens.

    **objections on the basis of trade competition can’t be considered under the RMA as it stands, National’s intent here is to prevent Council’s stopping ‘big box’ retail development on the basis of economic effects on existing retail areas, such as local shops and the CBD, and the like

  4. Tigger 4

    Oh my god, I can so see my future – chained to a tree singing Kumbaya as the bulldozers move in…

    See, this sort of nonsense is what happens when you give DonKey and his merry band of climate change deniers the keys to the Beehive…

  5. And much of the work of the RM is dealing with neighbourhood-type issues. Amenity values like large buildings shading your property, affecting your privacy, etc.

    Are the Nats seriously saying that these “adverse effects” should be ignored? Because that’s what their amendment will do.

  6. BLiP 6

    Its brillaint! If you don’t like something or you want to get around somethig, just change its meaning.

    I’m expecting a host of similar iniatives from Goober John Key and the National Party – soon there will be no debt, crime, or poverty because they have simply eliminated the definitions from the legislation.

    And this from the Minister of Tourism who permits the spending of millions of tax payer dollars around the world promoting “clean green New Zealand”.

    Un-fucking-believable!!

  7. Tigger 7

    Dean – I suspect that’s exactly what they are saying – or at least they will argue that those things are being given too much weight currently and therefore the only answer is to wipe these things from the Act and, perhaps, let the courts work out the detail (justice for the rich whose property is being shaded I guess).

    BLiP – Key is also the head of the BlueGreens panel which makes big noises on their site about our natural resources.

  8. Billy 8

    “If you don’t like something or you want to get around somethig [sic], just change its meaning.”

    That’s kinda how the law works, BLiP.

  9. T-Rex 9

    Steve – I take it that interpretation is at the discretion of the courts? The undertones of that passage quoted by Sam make me wonder to what degree National (esp Key) will take it upon themselves to “advise” the courts.

  10. Tigger – yes but is that really the diagnosed problem?

    Perhaps they want to explain to Constance Baker?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4805566a23918.html

    Her situation was capable of being addressed by the RMA but, if the amendments are made, we’ll have thousands of Constance Bakers.

  11. BLiP 11

    Billy said

    ” . . . That’s kinda how the law works, BLiP . . .:”

    In that case, since he can make the entire environment disappear, how long before Goober John Key makes debt, crime and poverty evaporate into a little puff of National Party logic?

  12. cocamc 12

    Sounds similar to Labour changing the investment laws to stop Canadians buying into Auckland Airport. as someone above said “Its brillaint! If you don’t like something or you want to get around somethig, just change its meaning”

    Both parties as bad as each other

  13. Tigger 13

    Dean – they’ll probably just tell Constance that she should have worked harder and bought a more expensive apartment that couldn’t be built out!

    That said, if that’s life under the RMA can it actually get worse? I’ve never understood central city building processes, no one seems to have thought out how all these high rises will work in with each other. A visitor from the US recently said he thought Auckland looked like a slum. Sadly, I agree.

  14. Billy 14

    Both parties as bad as each other

    It’s not a question of good or bad. English is a rich and vibrant language. Words are capable of carrying shades of meaning that are intolerable if a law is to be understood well enough to be obeyed. So words require definition. This does not change their ordinary meaning, it just means that they have a specific or more limited meaning in the particular legislation.

  15. cocamc 15

    Billy – i was just being flippant.

  16. Words are capable of carrying shades of meaning that are intolerable if a law is to be understood well enough to be obeyed.

    Uggg!!!! Your socialist moral relativism filth disgusts me. Peoples minds have been poisoned with these lies for so long they have forgotten the true meaning of words like freedom and democracy. There is black and there is white and lawyers, teachers and other linguistic perverts should be shown exactly what that means before its two late for the next generation!!!!

  17. Sam P 17

    “I’ve never understood central city building processes, no one seems to have thought out how all these high rises will work in with each other.”

    Wellington is well thought-out for NZ, with a very complex urban design policy regarding building height and mass. Each city block has its own height standards, and integration with surrounding buildings is paramount.

    The old saying (that applies to Ms Constance in this instance) is that you don’t own your view. It is logical that if a building on the piece of land you live on can be X stories high, that a building can hypothetically be built on your neighbour’s land that is also X stories high, removing some of your view. These rights are restricted in residential areas to allow sunlight, etc.

    Anyone buying an apartment (or any house) should go through due diligence with a solicitor to find out how their property could be affected by future development, or if they can’t afford that go and see the Council for free. This isn’t the fault of the RMA, it’s just not all people choose to listen to/pursue sound advice.

  18. The RMA *could* use some tidying up, but I really hope they’re not foolish enough to go that far. I’m sure there are people in the National caucus who would very much like to strip out any consideration of ecosystems but the backlash would be huge. I’m cautiously optimistic that they’ll temper their urges.

  19. vto 19

    SP, the RMA does need some tweaking but if what you say is correct then it is bad. I hope you are merely doing your usual exaggeration of the situation. Will have to do some homework …

  20. Sam P

    But I think the point is that National are proposing to legislate to *remove* the very restrictions you champion?

  21. higherstandard 21

    “Uggg!!!! Your socialist moral relativism filth disgusts me. Peoples minds have been poisoned with these lies for so long they have forgotten the true meaning of words like freedom and democracy. There is black and there is white and lawyers, teachers and other linguistic perverts should be shown exactly what that means before its two late for the next generation!!!!”

    MMMM and add to that

    “The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself. There is no other principle distinctly, certainly, and consistently maintained through all its narrow turnings.”

    “These sequestered nooks are the public offices of the legal profession, where writs are issued, judgments signed, declarations filed, and numerous other ingenious machines put in motion for the torture and torment of His Majesty’s liege subjects, and the comfort and emolument of the practitioners of the law.”

    They don’t write em like that any more.

  22. IrishBill 22

    That would be bleak house?

  23. BeShakey 23

    Is anyone else having problems with comments? When I look at the main page posts show they have 0 comments (so I just read from there), despite the fact there clearly are comments when the post is clicked on.

    [lprent: Massive caching is back on after someone tried a denial of service attack a few days ago. It lags a bit sometimes on my side. Often the client side is caching heavily as well. Try refresh or the refresh key]

  24. Sam P 24

    Dean,

    I agree, and don’t think such restrictions should be removed. Was just making a detailed point about Tiggers comment.

    BeShakey: I have the same problem, and frequently use the F5 key when looking at the main page

  25. higherstandard 25

    IB

    and Pickwick Papers I think.

  26. IrishBill 26

    “pickwick papers”

    Ah, of course. It’s been a few years since I read any Dickens. I’d almost forgotten all about him. Perhaps I’ll pick some up on the way home tonight.

  27. higherstandard 27

    I suspect one could find similar musings from others going back over the millennia…. somethings don’t change all that much as time goes by.

    In truth lawyers are just the same as everyone a mix of good and bad depending on your perspective.

    Dickens after a long break is like getting reacquainted with an old friend.

  28. Tigger 28

    Actually, this change is just what we need. So when I win Lotto and buy up the houses around John Key’s home and install an all-night greyhound racing track, a nightclub, brothel, 24-hour A&E clinic and a bunch of $2 shops then I’ll only have to worry about the natural and physical resources and nothing else.

    Sadly I am bloody minded enough that if I win Lotto I will do just that.

  29. Janet 29

    I suppose it will all be rammed through parliament under urgency with no select committee scrutiny.

  30. Pete 30

    This reminds me somewhat of the Bush administration’s move to change definitions that allowed torture in Guantanamo and other (non-U.S. locations). Amazing what a little power does…

  31. mike 31

    “The RMA does not impose significant monetary or time costs on housing. These changes will not speed up house construction,”

    Bullshit! – you obviously haven’t tried to build a house lately SP.
    Compared to 12 years ago it’s a bloody nightmare.

    “(d)The social, economic, aesthetic, and cultural conditions which affect the matters stated in paragraphs (a) to (c) of this definition or which are affected by those matters”

    More bullshit! In other words “everything” thats ever been or will be. That’s why this farce of an act is for the chop.

  32. Felix 32

    mike,

    Anyone who knows what they’re doing with regard to building houses finds very little trouble with the consent process. You dot the “i”s and cross the “t”s, it’s usually very simple for a reasonably functional person.

    In my experience in the building industry it tends to be morons who can’t follow any simple process who run into trouble with consents – these are the same morons who don’t understand why they get parking tickets and blame the council for their fines.

    If you are one of these morons then I understand how difficult you must have found the process but really, you’re going to have that problem with almost everything you try to do on this earth.

    It’s probably best for everyone if you don’t build any houses. You’re just not smart enough.

  33. mike 33

    Felix – you must be one smart cookie working in the building industry – did you get School C woodwork? well done you.
    The RMA is a gravy train for pinko control freaks in the public service so I can see why you guys embrace it.
    It’s nanny state crap like this that lost you lot the election

  34. Felix 34

    mike,

    When I worked in the industry I was certainly smart enough to do with ease that which you apparently found so challenging.

    So compared to you, yeah I’m a smart cookie. Not that that means much.

    Don’t forget to put some money in the parking meter, mike. Wouldn’t want you getting angry at the council, would we?

  35. RedLogix 35

    Mike,

    Bullshit! – you obviously haven’t tried to build a house lately SP.
    Compared to 12 years ago it’s a bloody nightmare.

    Yes it is a nightmare. My absence from The Standard the last three weeks is due to the long awaited, 15 month overdue arrival of our latest investment unit on site. The total bill from the surveyor, the council, and interest to the bank because of the delay will be in the range of $23,000. That has added about 18% to the cost of the building. (Not including land and services which were paid for as part of previous stage.)

    So if anyone is qualified to have a moan about the RMA it should be me. Yet I fully support the general principles and purposes of the RMA and I do not believe it should be substantially changed.

    All the problems we struck were either due to our own making, or more importantly, the inability of Wellington City Council to deal with changes in a timely fashion. The critical delays were:

    1. Changes of staff. We went through three planners, and each one had their own views on what we were trying to achieve, and differing levels of responsiveness. Each one more or less forced us back to square one, but were unable to reach a conclusion in a timely fashion. The last was brand new to the job, and being so junior was very reluctant to make any decisions… everything got sent back for ‘peer review’, ie he had to get his boss to sign off on it.

    2. Changes of planning rules. Because everything took so long we got caught up in a major change of subdivision rules, so almost everything had to be reworked, and because we already had so much building and asset already committed to, it was a very difficult and close thing to accomodate such radical changes.

    3. Every variation, large or small, took a full month or more for a result. Even after we had a verbal confirmation of final consent in early Nov 2008, it was still the last working day in December before we got it in writing. Another month, another mortgage payment. Clearly WCC’s Building and Consents division is not coping with it’s workload, yet consent levels are way down. I would hate to imagine how long it would have taken if they were actually busy.

    None of our problems were directly caused by the RMA or Building Codes in themselves. Although these rules do generate a lot of paperwork, dealing with them is not an issue if you are prepared to put in the work to generate professional responses. Where we came unstuck was the inability of our Council to process the application in a consistent, effective and timely manner. This is where the problems are arising, and where solutions are required.

    Instead National propose a mindless gutting of the RMA which will be a repeat of the same mindless gutting of the Building Codes that National perpetrated in the early 1990’s. That turned out to be a grossly incompetent policy blunder that directly led to the ‘Leaky Building Syndrome’ … a cockup that has caused many innocent New Zealanders’ immense cost and heartache. This will turn out no different.

  36. Kate 36

    I think what is really interesting about the proposed changes to the definition is that most developers/ property lobbys do not want it changed – this is because they can argue about amenity value from an economic/ cultural and social perspective.
    This change will not make it easier to get your deck built thats for sure and there are serious ramifications for councils as Steve and others have outlined.
    I am not sure why they are making this change considering there has been no support from the development sector or from the environmentalists.
    Council processes and staff quality are whats really important in cutting down time for smaller projects not the RMA and as for big developments the RMA doesnt really need to be changed better national standards will do more to solve the problems most associated with the RMA.

  37. Lew 37

    RL: So … if the RMA were less convoluted and engendered less i-dotting, t-crossing and arse-covering on the part of underqualified WCC minions, would your building consent have been significantly quicker/cheaper?

    Why/not?

    Because while it might not be the right way to go about it, my instinct is that the planned changes will have the effect of making development quicker and cheaper. It seems to me that the strongest grounds for opposition arent `it won’t make things better’, but `it will have unintended costs’, as Dean and SP and others are arguing.

    L

  38. mike 38

    Sorry all you who are wailing and moaning —

    Its called the pendulum effect.
    You see when you have extreme detailed regulation that the RMA has – like anyone can object and almost any basis can be used to object, and almost any interpretation, etc, then there will always be a backlash – the pendulum swings one way and then it inevitably swings back the other way. It depends on how tight the ‘spring’ is as to how many times it swings.

    What the current government are doing is exercising the natural swing of politics.

    If the regulations werent so bloody insane (in some areas) then this wouldnt be happening. Just like the EFA, its insane and there is obviously going to be a backlash (which even Goff agrees with !!) How you “Redlogic”can be happy to spend twenty odd thousand to allow the effects of the RMA to proceed indicates only that you either have far tioo muc money or are a bit feeble brained. Will you have a better house for this money ? – and the answer is a big fat NO.

    There are a lot of regulations that need gutting. The building regulations need throwing out (how come we could build houses 100 years ago that didnt leak – and many are still standing today. With the building regulations what we got was leaky buildings – thats not progress)

    And yes, there will be a swing in due course against the changes national are going to make

  39. RedLogix 39

    So if the RMA were less convoluted and engendered less i-dotting, t-crossing and arse-covering on the part of underqualified WCC minions, would your building consent have been significantly quicker/cheaper?

    Alternately you might have suggested that it would have been quicker if said WCC minions were better paid, better qualified and sufficiently experienced to be able to operate the RMA and various Consent processes more effectively. That is where the problem lies, deal with it there.

    BTW the problems we really encountered were not so much with the RMA. If you understand what it’s requirements are, and approach them conservatively, then it is not all that difficult to gain compliance. The real problems arose with the Council’s own subdivision and multi-dwelling rules… these are much more complex and onerous. Dismantling the RMA will have no effect on them.

    There are a lot of regulations that need gutting. The building regulations need throwing out (how come we could build houses 100 years ago that didnt leak – and many are still standing today.

    A totally different issue to the RMA. Actually few people would want to live in a house built to 100 year old standards; they may not have leaked much, but they were small, cold, drafty and damp… with crap layouts and lousy services. In response an excellent NZ Building Code was gradually developed over decades (up until the 1990’s), that was a prescriptive document mandating a limited range of proven methods (esp around watertightness) that most builders and inspectors were very familiar with. The downside was that it was quite difficult for inspectors to approve alternate or novel approaches. Generally you had to get an engineer to sign off on anything unusual.

    The big cock up was National caving into vested interest pressure in 1990. Instead of expanding on and improving the flexibility of the existing Building Code, completely tossed the old document out and went for a ‘descriptive’, ‘self certifying’ approach. The suppliers rapidly flooded the market with a whole range of new materials and techniques with minimal training and unproven or downright dodgy durability. Problem was that the Councils had no experience with managing the huge risk this created, nor did the host of private ‘certifying’ companies that were signing off on all this new work. The industry was under huge cost and competive pressures and with no effective external oversight, issues around breathability, watertightness and quality slipped badly. It has and still is costing this country billions.

    In 1990 National did not so much as swing the policy pendulum, as kick off it’s pivot.

    No I did not enjoy shelling out $20k plus (for no measureable added value) this last year or so, but neither am I going to whinge about it either. Everyone else has been up against the same hurdle as well. But the way forward is not another ideological leap off the rails, but to identify the most frequently RMA and Building Consent issues and improve the system so that it is able to deal with them more effectively.

    I would bet that around 80% of the delays encountered with the existing process are caused by a relative handful of common issues, that could be dealt to with some fairly non-controversial reforms.

  40. Paul Robeson 40

    We gotta fight ’em on the beaches boys!

    sorry haven’t read the thread, but is there a strategy to combat this? Try to make it very unpopular.

    Having been overseas the first thing every foreigner says to me is how beautiful our country is. It is only that way because we’ve fought for it.

    The moment we build a tonne of massive tacky apartments and destroy a location, or anything else we can’t get it back.

  41. Paul Robeson 41

    Good to see someone remembers back as far as the leaky buildings nightmare which still hasn’t been cleared up from the last time these cowboys had a go at deregulation.

  42. lprent 42

    I remember it. I’m still living with it. We’ve repaired the building, but the court case hopefully starts in two months. In a year or so the nightmare may be over.

    This is now a bit over 10 years after my apartment block was built and about 4 years after the problems were detected. I feel it every month when the mortgage and loan payments come out – they are close to double what I was paying.

    All because some national party hack in the early 1990’s thought that deregulating the regulation of the building industry would improve the market efficiency. In Auckland this was taken by the local council as a reason to simply abrogate the council responsibility for buildings.

    It was and still is a mess. The current level of regulation is about right, but we’re still cleaning up from the last time we had these dickheads in charge of building regulation (and making noises about ‘efficiency’).

    But hey, that is the nature of a conservative – if something didn’t work last time, then lets repeat it and hope that it works this time.

  43. BLiP 43

    Some egg said:

    ” . . . What the current government are (sic) doing is exercising the natural swing of politics . . . ”

    There is nothing “natural” about Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Green/Blues Goober John Key and his big business buddies eliminating legislative protection for the environment – it is the antithesis of “nature”.

    I could understsand your premise if Goober & Co were to shut certain groups of citizens out of the process, or reduce the timeframe for consultation, or stack the deciding authority with National Party softcocks. But no. They will do that as well as sacrifice what’s left of our ecosystems to assist Goober John Key’s mates profit from destruction.

    The “spring” you refer to was no way wound that tight. Its more like, rather than a pendulum, a flood gate of greed is about to swing open.

  44. Clarke 44

    The immediate impact of an RMA change that removes “amenity value” as a criteria for resource consent applications will be that the flyover at the Basin Reserve will be railroaded through by the NZ Transport Agency. After all, being able to actually hear a cricket match won’t have any monetary value, so won’t have to be considered.

    Maybe this is the “brighter future” that John Key promised us.

  45. watchdog 46

    When National enacted the Resource Management Bill there was a caucus scrap between the then Minister of the Environment, Simon Upton, and development lobby within the caucus led by members like Warren Cooper. Upton was so concerned about keeping the purpose of the Act in section 5 intact that he did not take enough care over the definition of the environment (s.2). To this day he believes it is too wide. While Cooper and others lost the fight for section 5 they did achieve ammendments that affected the operation of the Act.

    The information provided above is reliable but time will tell what changes are made and how those changes affect the interpretation of the Act and the case law. Some of the interpretations are a bit fanciful but I know how you feel.

    It seems the intent is to remove certain aspects that frustrate those undertaking development. These frustrations are real.

    The RMA works in a continuum. Those that want to develop and those that want to protect what we have. We should not be surprised that the arena of resource management is characterised by the conflict of strong views, values and emotions. I don’t believe it is realistic to fix this situation so everyone is happy.

    The purpose of the Act is the “sustainable management of natural and physical resources” It will be a huge failing if any changes weaken the Act in this regard.

    But….water quality worsens from increased land use intensification, buildings and apartments are being built that have scant regard for the inhabitants health and wellbeing, cities sprawl out over countrysides. new towns spring up requiring higher energy and transport costs. The list goes on. Developers are not the only people unhappy about how the Act works in practice

    The problem is that government has failed to provide leadership by the provision of National Policy statements and Environmental Standards. This has caused endless protracted debates in the courts over the formation of Regional and District Plans.

    Our environment is under threat from this government and there is nothing like a recession to excuse those in charge removing rules to encourage development.

    We must be vigilant and ensure this does not happen

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    . . 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 day 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 day 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 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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, ...
    2 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    3 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    3 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    4 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    5 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    5 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    6 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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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    6 days 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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    6 days 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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    6 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days 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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    7 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to 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 welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago