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Period. End. Done.

Written By: - Date published: 12:12 pm, August 26th, 2018 - 42 comments
Categories: business, class, class war, cost of living, feminism, gender, health, International, leadership, Left, poverty, quality of life, Social issues, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

Given the similarities in population between here and Scotland, it would seem that for the want of about $10 million, the government could put a massive dent in the scourge of period poverty in New Zealand. Class meets gender – what more could we ask for?!  And what with a Prime Minister and a Party keen to promote themselves as somehow progressive…

As reported in The Guardian, according to a study by Women for Independence (WFI) nearly 1 in 5 women in Scotland have experienced period poverty and  –

the most common alternative to expensive sanitary products was toilet roll, with women also reporting they used rags, old clothes, T-shirts, socks and newspapers. Twenty-two per cent of respondents reported they were not able to change their products as often as they would like, with 11% of those describing a significant health impact as a result, such as a urinary tract infection or thrush. Women described their feelings of shame and isolation, worrying about smell, feeling uncomfortable, and missing out on days of education, work and social events because they felt unable to go out.

It would seem that’s all going to be in the past. As from last Friday, North Ayrshire Council was providing sanitary products for all, for free, at libraries, community centres and other public buildings. This follows on from already providing free products through all secondary schools since last August.

Back in February it was reported that,

First minister Nicola Sturgeon announced in her programme for government last September that free sanitary products would be provided in schools, colleges and universities from the autumn, while a pilot scheme offering free products to low-income households in Aberdeen will report back to Holyrood shortly.

Well, it would seem that report came back and action was taken.

Hey Girls, an East Lothian-based social enterprise company set up to tackle period poverty, will be a major provider in the initiative. The company, which launched in January this year, is supplying sanitary products directly to a number of local authorities including the City of Edinburgh council, Glasgow city council, South Lanarkshire council, West Lothian counci and Stirling council, as well as Glasgow Caledonian University.

and just to “seal the deal”

The Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon, who is bringing forward a member’s bill to create a statutory duty for free provision of period products, added: “This is another great step forward in the campaign against period poverty. Access to period products should be a right, regardless of your income, which is why I am moving ahead with plans for legislation to introduce a universal system of free access to period products for everyone in Scotland.

So, c’mon Jacinda!

42 comments on “Period. End. Done.”

  1. Incognito 1

    Let’s do this!

    How should this regulated? Through PHARMAC?

    • Bill 1.1

      Regulated? The products are for sale on supermarket shelves and dairies! The only change is in making them freely available in (say) vending machines in libraries and such like, as is being done in Scotland.

      The SNP has thrown £5 million at it (roughly NZ$10 million) and they operate within the constraints of strict austerity imposed from London. Now, given this government’s “fiscal responsibility” has been self imposed because of stupid adherence to a discredited economic idea….

      • Incognito 1.1.1

        O.k. Maybe I should have used “implemented”.

        I think it’s a very good idea but how it’s put into practice will be important. Who’s going to manage those vending machines? Where and how are the products sourced, and which products?

        To give supermarkets a cheque for $10 million or so without some ‘rules & expectations’ is asking for trouble and missing the target IMHO. It probably is a nice little profit maker for supermarkets currently …

        As always, the devil is in the detail.

        On a side note, libraries appear to be no longer quiet reading they once used to be: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/106291861/Police-respond-to-incidents-of-violence-abuse-and-inappropriate-behaviour-in-libraries

        • Bill 1.1.1.1

          Who manages vending machines in any given location at present? You imagine a problem with a library or a council office or a school or a community centre managing them?

          If sourcing is a problem, then why not follow the example of “Hey Girls” that was provided in the post and have government promote and support a social enterprise to provide and/or manufacture products?

          Actually, isn’t there something similar to Hey Girls already existing in NZ distributing sanitary cups?

          • Venezia 1.1.1.1.1

            Menstrual cups are expensive. There is at least one so called “social enterprise” giving one free for every one purchased. There has also been toxic shock syndrome diagnosed through using these cups.

            • Ch_Ch Chiquita 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “There has also been toxic shock syndrome diagnosed through using these cups.”
              Only if not washed and cleaned properly as instructed (boil it once a month and good wash between uses). It is also worth mentioning that using disposable products is just as dangerous if not replaced timely enough.

      • Siobhan 1.1.2

        Funny they should be distributing through libraries..dozens of libraries across Scotland have been closed in the past 12 months – and the figure has doubled in the space of a year, though closures have been happening enmasse since at least 2015. And they sure don’t have the staff numbers they used to have, so I’m not sure who will be keeping an eye on the machines.
        It would be interesting to know how well the poorest areas of Scotland are served with Libraries and Community Services.

        Living in a decile 1 area, I have to say even NZ communities are not well served with safe distribution choices.

        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/15/tories-libraries-social-mobility-conservative

  2. Herodotus 2

    Yet another example of a govt “fixing up” a problem with giveaways, instead of addressing the real problem (IMO) We have here accomodation supplements , WFF etc. For me it is inadequate incomes for families being the issue, how does such actions address that ?
    If govts continual to act in such a way, it allows industry to continual to pay below what is an adequate income, as the govt will just top up payments.

    • Chris 2.1

      The answer is making the thing free for everyone. So if it’s food in schools then food in every school not just low deciles. Income distribution means a UBI etc etc.

      • corodale 2.1.1

        Yeah, If bugs me to agree with feminist views, but super good idea.
        Goes well with UBI thinking.
        Like power subsidies for elderly, if this is a fair adjustment to UBI simplicity.
        Then, if we raise the price of food, and women eat less, (due to a lower birth rate 😉
        Nah, at the price we pay for food in NZ, it should be organic.

        • Chris 2.1.1.1

          Power subsidies for the elderly would be met with nationalising the power industry and charging people the cost of producing electricity.

  3. Herodotus 3

    Yet another example of a govt “fixing up” a problem with giveaways, instead of addressing the real problem (IMO) We have here accomodation supplements,power subsidies for the elderly, WFF etc. For me it is inadequate incomes for families being the issue, how does such actions address that ?
    If govts continual to act in such a way, it allows industry to continual to pay below what is an adequate income, as the govt will just top up payments.

    • mac1 3.1

      It’s a difficulty in that it’s not clear how a government can extricate itself from the top-up payment system. It does not have the power to force employers to employ workers or to regulate rates of pay outside of the minimum rate. Perhaps this is a time for Universal Basic Income? It is clear that universal payments means that some don’t rort the system nor is there a need for inspectors and supervisors of schemes to ensure compliance. Universal schemes also mean that those well enough off not to need it still get it and as a result don’t begrudge it being paid at all as they too are recipients. It’s like universal health care. The wealthy don’t begrudge taxation for this as they, being also susceptible to ill health, get to have excellent health care, like education and Superannuation.

      These are in a sense top up payments, whereby the state provides all of most of the cost. If the state provides top up payments, then this is one form of wealth redistribution from taxpayers, and income earners therefore, according to the size of their taxable income.

      Employers who pay lower wages and therefore make more profit end up paying more taxation, in an ideal tax-evasion free world, to go towards the top-up system.

      Herodotus, do you have a way to encourage reluctant employers to pay a decent living wage to all families needing an adequate income?

      • KJT 3.1.1

        Bring back trade Unions, and the absolute right to withdraw your labour.

        • mac1 3.1.1.1

          We already have trade unions, KJT. Are you advocating compulsory unionism? We also have currently unions striking exactly over wage issues.

          • KJT 3.1.1.1.1

            Compulsory unionism, yes, especially for the traditionally lower paid, who are totally disadvantaged in negotiation with employers, such as retail and hospitality workers. With legislation, to ensure they are democratically run by members.

            The most powerful Unions, like the Medical association, the Law Society and Chartered accountants, along with the old waterfront Unions, have always been those who could limit their membership. That should not be within their power. Anyone in that industry should be in the appropriate Union.
            Farm workers, retail workers and hospitality workers are in even more need of collective power. Labour has sort of acknowledged this with the proposed, “Fair pay agreements”, but they are too gutless to take on employer exploitation head on, by the method that worked in the past. Unions!

            The “freedom of association” red herring, was bought in by the right wing, who have never been concerned about any other human rights, apart from their own “freedom” to rip off their communities. I would like the “freedom” to have nothing to do with National. But short of leaving the country…………..

            The right to strike, is extremely limited in New Zealand. Which has been commented on by the UN, and other organisations.
            The “right to withdraw capital” is unlimited, as the Collapse of Dick Smiths, Hanover finance and many building companies, and the taking of dividends, and indebting companies, for share buybacks has shown.

            Mind you, the right wing has always been extremely selective about whose, and what “human rights” they support.

            • KJT 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Decent pay, for jobs that are mostly done by women, helps with many types of poverty.

              Unions have proven to be the only really effective driver of decent rates of pay.

              Government legislated minimums, just ensures an ever increasing number on the minimum, without worker power.

    • Bill 3.2

      Well, you could look at it through the lens of inadequate income. Or then again, you could look at it through the lens of it being “a right”.

      Would you argue that condoms shouldn’t be subsidised because that subsidy doesn’t address inadequate incomes?

      In terms of health, sanitary products are arguably more of a necessity than a condom. Not having a condom, beyond maybe not fucking or whatever, doesn’t routinely result in infection, doesn’t affect what you do, or how you feel about yourself, or how you might think others are perceiving you.

      • Herodotus 3.2.1

        I understand the point you have raised, and it’s validity. Re condoms is that not family planning that also encompasses other forms of education and conception ?
        20-40 years ago this and many other needs that have arisen, were not then an issue, housing costs and incomes were more in balance, and there was less stress placed on other areas of life.
        Do we want to progress down the road that there will be other valid needs as this that will need addressing, and should the govt intervene in those cases ?
        I prefer(if possible) to address the underlying issue and not the symptoms.

        • Bill 3.2.1.1

          I prefer(if possible) to address the underlying issue and not the symptoms.

          Then address capitalism in the head or nuts, given its patriarchal nature, with the steel toe of your size ten boot.

  4. Stunned Mullet 4

    🙄

  5. Brigid 5

    Have any of you had to pay for toilet paper in public toilets? For the soap you use to wash your hands? For the paper towels you use to dry then?
    No
    Then neither should females have to pay for sanitary products which are as necessary as toilet paper, soap, paper towels.
    Sanitary products should be available free in public toilets just as all the afore mentioned are.

    • halfcrown 5.1

      Well said Brigid, Agree 200%

    • Bewildered 5.2

      Of course you pay indirectly, nothing is free, what next tooth paste I have sympathy for subsidy here but where does it end The government simply taxing the fk out of everything and redistribution is not the answer either I can’t see how infantising half the country to be reliant on the state can be good in the long term

      • Sabine 5.2.1

        Aren’t the blokes lucky that they will never have to use a tampon or a pad every month for about thirty years or more.

        Yeah, lets pamper the women by providing them with free bandages to manage their monthly bleeding.

      • KJT 5.2.2

        Where were you when farmers are infantilised into dependence on the State, by drought/flood relief? To name but one of the many forms of State assistance.
        Shouldn’t they be required to get private insurance, for something which is an entirely predictable business risk, after all? Unlike periods, which are not a choice, for half of us.

        Women should have equal access to jobs, opportunities and education.
        The cost of period products prevents that for many.
        Fairness dictates they should be as freely available as toilet paper.

    • Sabine 5.3

      this.

      so much this

      we can have condom vending machines in bathrooms, we can have tampon dispensing machines in bathrooms. And pads.

      Effectively it is not only an income issue, it is also a discrimination issue as clearly only one gender needs these things.

    • KJT 5.4

      Yes. And in schools.

  6. Rosemary McDonald 6

    Feeling a rush of Nationalist pride at the moment…even more so since I hail from East Lothian.

    Great post Bill.

    And seriously, while the debate rages over cause of period poverty, the women still bleed.

  7. Goodshepherd 7

    I have known women and girls whose period products were doled out to them or withdrawn as a way of controlling, rewarding or punishing them.

    While I accept other ways to control women would be found, I believe the only way to guarantee access to all menstruating women and girls is to make them free and freely available in all public rest rooms and in schools.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 7.1

      I went to boarding school and their was one in our class who’s father refused to buy her any sanitary products. It appeared to be an ongoing attempt to humiliate his daughter for being female.

      • Roy cartland 7.1.1

        I remember this debate a couple or more decades ago. When the yobbos of the student common room demanded to know why they should be free, my girlfriend at the time simply said, looking perplexed: because men *need* women to have periods. Like it was the most obvious thing in the world. Which it clearly is.

  8. Roy cartland 8

    First things first obviously, make them free and available. Once that’s done, we can look at taxing the un-needy to contribute, and even setting up production in nz so we aren’t just lining the pockets of glaxo-pfizer-johnson.

  9. AsleepWhileWalking 9

    Countdown reduced the price of the store branded pads and tampons to do their best at addressing this problem. Its not free but its pretty good.

    Regular tampons, 20 pack is $3
    Select Protect, 16 pads + wings $3.50 (not the cheapest as Home brand super 18 for $2 but who feels comfortable with those nappy like ones? I’d rather toilet paper)

    • AsleepWhileWalking 9.1

      And…Countdown! That’s the third time this year I’ve commented about them (sensory reduced hour once a week for autistic, and plastic bag phase out)

    • AsleepWhileWalking 9.2

      Another issue is the growing number who can’t even afford $5 – $10 give or take once a month.

  10. Jum 10

    Roy cartland 7.1.1
    26 August 2018 at 4:47 pm
    ‘ men *need* women to have periods.’
    excellent girlfriend comment.

    and ‘comments about price’.

    I couldn’t help wondering if women did not have periods it would solve all the issues of this planet…

    Half the population of this country are being discriminated against by the other half, because governments (for so long majority male) have done nothing in the past to make these products free. Now we have more women in Parliament and it’s not a banned subject any more, why do women have to wait so long. Get on to it Labour/NZ First/Greens. Clock is ticking.

    Those who can afford it, pay for it, if they want; those who need help to access them should get them free from any chemist, public toilet, school, office block, etc., without any difficulty over poor-shaming.

    Perhaps when women get equal pay it will have to be increased by $10 to $30 bucks per month to really be equal.

    The elephant though is the criminally low wages and income and all attempts to raise to living wages/income is met with national/act/misogynistic outcries.

    That is the real crime and the reason these healthy period products are beyond some purses. Any bad health outcomes caused by bad substitutes are the fault of any business/government that refuses to end this poverty of health outcome – increased hospital costs, bad educational outcomes, bad employment outcomes…

  11. Koreropono 11

    Great post Bill! But the cost of sanitary products is just one part of the overall problem that women experience during menstruation. Pain management is often problematic for women who can’t afford to fork out money for over the counter pain relief. Some women and girls need to take unpaid time off work or school and then are forced to explain their reasons to ignorant teachers and bosses.

    There needs to be a huge societal shift in thinking around periods and the far reaching impact that these have.

    Am I wrong to assume that many of those blasting the idea that women should have ‘free’ period products are men?

    Men who will never know what it’s like to:

    Stay at home because one doesn’t have the appropriate products to manage blood flow.

    Use cheap and nasty products that chaffe in areas that shouldn’t be chaffed.

    Using toilet paper or other not fit for purpose item that may or may not stay in place.

    Made to feel shame because they are menstruating and forced to find their own means of managing the problem because of the shame.

    Living in a society where some men and women still maintain the myth that menstruation is something dirty and should be hidden and not spoken about lest it offends some patriarchal outdated mode of thinking .

    Suffering significant social and emotional isolation because one bleeds.

    Suffering serious health consequences and avoiding medical attention because people impose their backward views about menstruation onto often young and frightened girls.

    Women who often have to make the choice between feeding their children or purchasing suitable period products.

    Men don’t have to make these choices but women do.

    While I agree that the problem is predominately period poverty, it is also the stigma and shame imposed on girls and women that forces them to hide their periods or seek other means to manage them. That is why having vending machines and/or free products available would provide those more vulnerable women some freedom and choices outside of their home enviornments.

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    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 ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 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
    7 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
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    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
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    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.
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    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
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    20 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
    23 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
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 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
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago