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Peter Thiel’s citizenship and consequent questions of corruption

Written By: - Date published: 6:28 pm, January 28th, 2017 - 52 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, bill english, im/migration, peter dunne, Politics - Tags: , , , , ,

Matt Nippett (and other journos) have been looking at the question of how Peter Thiel gained citizenship of this country.

Nippett has done several articles in the NZ Herald that summarise the situation reasonably adequately – probably because they appear to all be from their business pages.

MP: How did Thiel get NZ citizenship?
Peter Thiel a NZ citizen since 2011
PM backs Peter Thiel’s citizenship
NZ a ‘secret of good life’ for US tycoon

In the latter article from today, he summarises

Thiel revealed that his first visit to the country was in 1993, for an adventure tourism jaunt in Queenstown, and he was looking to buy property both there and in Parnell.

But despite this public declaration of love, and a pipeline splurge of local investment (he appears to have invested more than $40 million in Xero and other local ventures in the 12 months before and after being awarded citizenship), he didn’t make mention of his freshly-minted diplomatic status as a Kiwi.

News of this citizenship has caused waves in Wellington and abroad. Questions have been asked as to why he was granted “exceptional circumstances” dispensation,….

And that is the key point that the rather daft industry apologists like Eric Crampton writing in Spinoff choose to ignore in his article with a typically long-winded title yesterday.

Peter Thiel is one of the world’s foremost tech sector venture capital players, with deep links across the field. And he is interested in citizenship. The residence requirements for normal paths to citizenship simply will not work for an international investor who spends much of his time abroad. And maintaining residence while spending substantial amounts of time in Silicon Valley – the basis for his exceptional potential value in helping New Zealand tech firms build links to there – is not easy. Ministerial discretion looks like the only option. Citizenship would encourage him to deepen his links with New Zealand’s tech community, and in so doing help to bring them to the world.

Who could say no? It was a great bet consistent with the public interest provisions for grants of citizenship. The government makes a lot of bets on the tech sector, including some often pretty unwise subsidies for research and development.

I have no real issues with giving him citizenship. I work in the tech sector, have been aware of what he has been doing for years, and have no real issues with having relatively harmless skilled nutbars investing in and developing tech industries here. After all I have worked for them, beside them, and have dealt with them through decades of exporting tech to a world wider than the tiny market in NZ. Geek nutbars come from all countries, including NZ 🙂

However what I do have a problem with is the point which Eric Crampton, Bill English, Peter Dunne, and others appear to be avoiding as if it was a rotten carcass that it currently smells like. How the apparent 1 use of the discretionary powers of the Minister in the Immigration Act 1977 section 9 (1) (c) came to be used for Pete Thiel’s citizenship, and why this action wasn’t transparent to the public.

At the very least, Nathan Guy – the minister who at the time granted it, should have made a public declaration of the use

Now lets consider what the undisclosed “exceptional circumstances” of “other nature relating to the applicant” could be.

  • Could they be a big donation to the National party to help it fight the 2011 election? After the various ways that National has concealed their donations using anonymous trusts over the last two decades
  • Could they be some kind of personal support for the rather gormless Nathan Guy?
  • Could they be some immigration official getting a kickback to place a document in front of the gormless Nathan Guy to sign?
  • Could they be a hidden kickback to support the government’s rather inept export tech policies, like shoving seed private investor money into a government supported venture capital fund?

As it stands right now, and at least until until February 15th 2  or an earlier release to similar questions being asked by journalists under the official information act, we simply won’t know.

And how many more immigrants have been passed into NZ using this same discretionary power and why? This isn’t a question for Winston Peters. This is a question of the transparency and clarity to the public about how the exceptional circumstances of our immigration process are being used and why.

Quite simply, if the ministers of any government right or green or left or conservative choose to hide or not reveal the use of exceptional powers granted under acts of parliament, and it can be so easily be construed as being a way of hiding corrupt practices, then we the public need to strip those powers from our ministers. Right now we need to have a public review of the decisions made under this section of the immigration act to see how widespread this potentially corrupt practice is.

The misuses of ministerial powers are particularly the case in immigration where part of the criteria now appears to be how much money you have and can pay to get a NZ passport. This isn’t a new problem, I can remember similar issues arising all the way back to when Aussie Malcolm was minister. However the level of secrecy on this is disturbing – even if it does turn out to be innocent.

 


 

  1. As Nippett clearly points out, there is no other apparent avenue for granting Thiel citizenship. He doesn’t meet any of the criteria.
  2. From the same article.

    This morning Lees-Galloway said he lodged written questions in Parliament with Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne seeking to know when Thiel was granted citizenship, under what grounds and whether the venture capitalist billionaire was a resident for tax purposes.

    The Herald understands, due to the Parliamentary break, the questions will be required to be answered by February 15.

52 comments on “Peter Thiel’s citizenship and consequent questions of corruption”

  1. Sacha 1

    I can see how Thiel’s influence in US tech and VC circles would be attractive to a government but I agree the lack of transparency about these decisions is a real problem. What are the reasons for the other 2-300 exceptions per year?

    It doesn’t help when righties immediately leapt into the fray conflating residency with citizenship – which Fran O’Sullivan continues with her Herald article today: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11790138

    • Fran O'Sullivan 1.1

      No conflation Sacha. Investor Plus which does pave the way for permanent residency is also seen as a first step to fast track citizenship – it’s advertised as such in the offshore world. And it would not be advertised as such if it has not been occurring.
      Fran

      • Sacha 1.1.1

        Thank you Fran. Was about to add some of your comments from Twitter.

        Let’s see what those exceptions are made up of, is all I want. Had no idea this backdoor existed in our migration system. If it’s a matter of Ministerial discretion then let’s see the reasons published.

      • Sacha 1.1.2

        What is your sense of why people like Thiel and the others mentioned in Matt Nippert’s latest story want NZ citizenship rather than residency?

        • mickysavage 1.1.2.1

          OIO benefits innit?

          • Sacha 1.1.2.1.1

            And ability to stand for public office.
            Otherwise, I guess it’s just irrevocable permanence?

            I’m guessing Fran may have some other explanations from her professional interaction with the issue.

            • dukeofurl 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Or donate handsomely to political party. Was he lining up as ACTs saviour, his interests arent so much the clean green etc as no taxes, no regs

        • Incognito 1.1.2.2

          Arise Sir Peter??

      • lprent 1.1.3

        Fran, just read your article. I think I made my objection to what happened in this case pretty clear.

        I don’t have a real issue with bringing people into residency or citizenship when it is justified. I do have very strong objections to doing it quietly. It opens a portal to various types of creeping corruption wide open and over successive governments (as you pointed out).

        The best approach to dealing with that is to simply either make the process transparent after it is granted so any journalist, member of the public or opposition member can look at who is being granted fast-track access and the presented reasons for it to happen OR not give the minister any latitude to creep the processes without public scrutiny. Then the minister responsible has to take the political fallout at the time it is done. That kind of negative feedback process tends to strongly improve decision making.

        Sure this will deter some of the potential applicants. But you have to ask yourself why in the hell that matters? If they want to be part of this country then they should stand up and be counted.

        As for the businesses who currently make a buck facilitating this business and possible reductions in their business – well they cane get fucked. The NZ Government isn’t entrusted by the citizens of this country to make businesses for people. It is there to run the country for the benefit of our citizens as a whole… Individual people and businesses shouldn’t be a consideration compared to long term policy.

        • Fran O'Sullivan 1.1.3.1

          The answer maybe to simply gazette all citizenships – they used to be via “naturalisation”. And if fast-tracked say so.
          Haven’t supported those hawking citizenships – just pointing out it is a fact.

  2. Penny Bright 2

    As I predicted – ‘Corruption’ IS becoming a significant election issue ….

    Penny Bright

    2017 Independent candidate
    Mt Albert by-election.

  3. Fran O'Sullivan 3

    The whole thing is very interesting.

    When I was researching my piece I came across this reference – which is the loophole I referred to.

    https://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Citizenship-Become-a-New-Zealand-citizen-Part-5?OpenDocument

    If you don’t meet the criteria
    If you don’t meet the criteria, you might be able to apply for special consideration if:
    you can’t learn English
    you haven’t been in New Zealand for enough days in the last 5 years — but you’ve been here for 450 days in the last 20 months
    you can’t clearly show that you intend to keep living here
    you don’t meet the good character requirements, but you have evidence that you think proves you should be granted citizenship anyway
    you have exceptional circumstances relating to a recent conviction or time in prison, or
    you can prove that making you a citizen would benefit New Zealand.

    That latter clause gives a lot of discretion for DIA and the Minister.

  4. Fran O'Sullivan 4

    When I was researching my piece I came across this reference – which is the loophole I referred to.

    https://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Citizenship-Become-a-New-Zealand-citizen-Part-5?OpenDocument

    If you don’t meet the criteria
    If you don’t meet the criteria, you might be able to apply for special consideration if:
    you can’t learn English
    you haven’t been in New Zealand for enough days in the last 5 years — but you’ve been here for 450 days in the last 20 months
    you can’t clearly show that you intend to keep living here
    you don’t meet the good character requirements, but you have evidence that you think proves you should be granted citizenship anyway
    you have exceptional circumstances relating to a recent conviction or time in prison, or
    you can prove that making you a citizen would benefit New Zealand.

    That latter clause gives a lot of discretion for DIA and the Minister.

    • Sacha 4.1

      “That latter clause gives a lot of discretion for DIA and the Minister.”

      Sure does, and it’s why I support gazetting as you suggest or otherwise publicising the reasons that discretion is exercised.

    • Jan Rivers 4.2

      Would anyone regard this loophole as problematic? As citizens we could expect to be able to find out how the rules operate in relation to any aspect of legislation. To do this the Citizenship Act part 9 should have been amended to include additional parts 9 e) and f) which would address the route to citizenship granted through business migration and these other loophole cases outlined on the DIA website respectively.

      Those business and loophole cases should properly be cast as secondaryt legislation / regulations to which a person would be directed to from the main act. Otherwise the legislation and DIA’s citizenship website make it impossible to ascertain what the actual rules are.

      Agree 100% on transparency on why special cases are approved.

  5. jcuknz 5

    Whatever and why-ever the reasons for granting, the country has come up ‘trumps’ with a man who is a supporter and I guess friend of the new American president.

    I do not see why there is any need for making a song and dance about the granting when it happened. Lots of officials knew about it and nobody leaked ? Journalists too I expect but none wrote about ? or News Editors didn’t see it as worthy news.

    But now folk suffering from EDS are yelling blue murder …. LOL

    edit … Sorry Penny but try another record.

    • Anne 5.1

      It should also be noted the character references of the “new American president” are distinctly unsavourable to say the least, and he has surrounded himself with equally questionable individuals so the true character of this Mr Peter Thiel needs to be urgently brought into question:

      Networks of influence: Key, Peter Thiel & the GCSB

      Now why did the former minister of Internal Affairs, Nathan Guy see fit to fast track this man’s citizenship in relative secrecy? Clue: John Key/Peter Thiel and an outfit called “Palantir” whose co-founder was Peter Thiel… and who appear to have been intimately associated with the NSA and other cyber intelligence-gathering agencies.

      Bearing in mind, we now know some of these agencies’ activities were well beyond the law (both national and international) and our recently (and suddenly) departed prime-minister must have known it, I think we might be close to getting some answers.

      Oh dear, what a tangled web etc.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        Oops… I see I made up a new word there… unsavourable. Quite like it and perfect for Trump. 🙂

  6. keepcalmcarryon 6

    Well I do have a problem with this.
    Since when should we instil special citizenship rights just due to wealth? Assuming of course that Mr Thiel isnt shotputting for NZ at the next olympics or personally training Iraqi soldiers for us?
    Maybe money talks for residency- which Im uncomfortable with in its current sleazy National party form by the way- but money buying citizenship rights is a big step beyond.
    Are some people in this life now really deemed to be more deserving than others of basic rights due to their net worth?
    Think about that.

    • Sacha 6.1

      Thiel offers influence rather than just wealth. However, the lack of transparency in this discretionary process means that us citizens have no way to know why he has been made one of us. Not good enough.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.2

      “Since when should we instil special citizenship rights just due to wealth? ”

      NZ does it continually (both sides of the house, I believe), and it is a terrible idea.

      The wealthy as a group lack compassion, are prone to act unethically, do not act to help others and damage economies.

      The exact opposite of who we should be choosing to join us. Give me a Syrian refugee any day.

      • YNWA 6.2.1

        I agree, Thiel’s research into injecting young blood into the old to increase their lifespan is genuinely creepy

    • lprent 6.3

      Peter Thiel might have a lot of things that he is a nutbar on. But as a tech head geek with an MBA who has spent the past 25 years helping to develop a local export industry based on exporting, I’d say that he is damn useful.

      I am pretty sure that if the matter had come up in public then he’d have gotten a pass, probably with reasonable amounts of acclaim based on what he wanted to do here.

      It has been pretty clear that he has been actively getting involved in developing our local tech industries with skills rather than just money. These are pretty valuable for the organizations that he has been involved with and invested in. If nothing else from what I have heard, he has been pretty effective at cutting out the junk ideas that plague startups and forcing the jumps in capacity to get into the export markets at scale.

      This is valuable for the country as a whole because it helps to generate skilled jobs across a whole export industry with very good margins. Those in turn help support jobs across even more industries and services sectors. This is important in NZ because while we are a relatively wealthy country, it is a agricultural and resources based wealth that doesn’t support many real jobs.

      The problem isn’t that Peter Thiel got citizenship. He would have anyway because the tech industry would have pushed it through regardless of what anyone else thought – in the same way that James Cameron got pushed through by the local film industry.

      The problem is that there if a loophole in the legislation that just begs for secret corrupt practices, and he isn’t the only person who has gone through it. From what I have heard, not that many of the others have done more than make token investments or investments that do fuckall for the country. Effectively they brought their non-resident residency and/or citizenship for money and none of us knew that it was happening.

      That is a recipe for corruption, if not now, than a few decades down the track. That is unacceptable and anything done using that system needs to be public and transparent.

      • Adrian 6.3.1

        ‘ doesn’t support many real jobs’ , is pretty bloody insulting Lprent to all of us who create and do these ‘ not real ‘ jobs.
        If you are inferring that the only real job is sitting on your backside staring at a computer then you really do need to get out more and maybe prune a few hectares of grapevines or harvest some trees to establish a world class wine company or build some houses with that milled and machined wood from those trees.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1.1

          You do understand that it will be the person sitting behind the computer screen that will make those job obsolete don’t you?

          And, yes, I have done those jobs.

          So, I really do suggest you get off your high horse as it’s really, really wobbly..

  7. Whispering Kate 7

    Whatever information the journalists get from the OIA will not answer their questions, sensitive stuff will be redacted as it always is. The Immigration Act will have to be changed through a law change via the Parliament to remove the corruption taking place. I agree with Penny the Government whoever it is needs to clean its act up and rewrite laws that stand for everybody. This is no different to handing over bribes for services/favours you require – it stinks.

    • Craig H 7.1

      Immigration Act or Citizenship Act, or both? There are a lot of humanitarian reasons to grant residence and/or citizenship in cases when normal criteria are not met – do we want to take that discretion away?

      • Whispering Kate 7.1.1

        Craig, no matter how many donations these people make and/or propping up businesses, it is minuscule in comparision to their over all wealth, citizenship should not ever, under any circumstances be bought – its bribery. That part of the discretionary clause should be removed. We are becoming a third world country where laws do not mean a thing and dictatorship reigns.

  8. Craig H 8

    Hey Lprent, can you please update your original post to correct Immigration Act 1977 to Citizenship Act 1977? It seems a minor point, but residence is easier to cancel and more prone to future government meddling than citizenship (as shown by the Australian government), so while there are similarities, it’s still good to be accurate.

    From memory, the main beneficiaries of the special citizenship clause are sportspeople looking to represent NZ before the usual 5 years after the grant of residence, or because they have spent a lot of time outside NZ active in their fields so don’t meet the ‘time in NZ’ requirements.

  9. Ross 9

    So if Labour were to form the next government and subsequently decided to give Kim Dotcom citizenship, we wouldn’t hear a peep out of National because that would be rather sad and hypocritical?

    • Wayne 9.1

      Don’t be ridiculous. No-one in the middle of extradition proceedings will get citizenship, irrespective of who the govt is.
      Let’s say he is not extradited. He also has the problem of existing convictions. Convictions don’t necessarily stop a person getting PR but they can stop citizenship. There are many cases where that has occurred.

      • Ross 9.1.1

        Wayne,

        You clearly have a short and rather selective memory. Remember Bill Liu? He was given citizenship (by Labour) despite not being squeaky clean. It can and does happen. And I recall that National grabbed that story like a dog with a bone. I don’t know why this is so different. Both cases involve following due process. Indeed, both have an unpleasant odour. Justice shouldn’t only be done, it should be seen to be done. I’m sure you’ve heard that a few times.

        • Ross 9.1.1.1

          Furthermore, Kim Dotcom has lived in NZ for 5 years so could legitimately apply for citizenship and apparently intends to do so.

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11790650

          • Wayne 9.1.1.1.1

            Ross,
            How is any govt going to explain giving KDC citizenship in the middle of the most high profile extradition proceedings NZ has ever seen.
            It is not going to happen.
            If he is not extradited he could get get citizenship, but that won’t be before 2020, since the extradition proceedings have a good 3 years to run before they reach finality, one way or the other.

  10. Keith 10

    Slightly removed from this matter but nevertheless critical to overall transparency is to put the cleaners through donations to political parties.

    Any donation must be public, published no matter how slight, in other words no loop holes and it must show the individual or individuals who are the donors.

    There is too much opportunity or risk to end up like the US and have rich men controlling society. I would argue that we may well be on the road to that already with the shadowy secretive structure of National Party donations and what those donations may be buying!

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      +111

      There is too much opportunity or risk to end up like the US and have rich men controlling society.

      I’d say that we’re probably already there. It may not be quite as obvious us the US is but it’s plainly obvious that the government has only ruled for the rich for quite some time.

  11. HDCAFriendlyTroll 11

    Laws that allow discretion are always trouble because it means humans making subjective decisions and humans are dumb, especially when it comes to making subjective decisions.

    And when the discretion involves politicians, well, that just makes things a thousand times worse.

    First thing I would do it change so that it’s a judge that makes the decision.

    I would get rid of the phrase “public interest”. It’s vague and nobody really knows what it means anyway.

    I’d spell much more and as much as possible the “conditions for entry” e.g. The person is wiling to invest over a million dollars in the country (hey, if we’re going to allow people to buy their way in we may as well make transparent, right?), they’re a CEO of a company and that company is willing to invest and create jobs etc. This would keep any discretion to a minimum.

    • Whispering Kate 11.1

      If they want to invest a million dollars so be it, we will welcome it, but they have to wait in the queue like all other applicants, if they do not wish to do so, then we don’t want their type in this country, thinking they can buy everything their wishes desire including our precious citizenship. God this country is getting a very bad stink around it and its bloody depressing.

  12. mpledger 12

    When the Dems lost the presidency, the only redeeming feature was that it would be Dems who would desert the sinking ship, with some of them washing up here, rather than Republicans. To have Dem lose and RWNJs end up here as well is depressing.

  13. Craig H 13

    An interesting OIA regarding residence granted under the investor categories – a breakdown by nationality over the past 10 years.

    https://fyi.org.nz/request/4992-nz-immigration-investor-residencies-granted#incoming-16408

  14. veutoviper 14

    lprent, I understand your stance re Peter Thiel’s usefulness in helping to develop a local tech export industry in NZ based on exporting; and in doing so actively with skills rather than just money, in terms of your wide experience in this area.

    A lot of the focus on Thiel’s tech experience over the years has been on his involvement with PayPal, Facebook, Zero etc – eg reasonably safe, non-controversial organisations, and other such start-ups.

    However, I find this somewhat at odds (an understatement!) with the other side of Thiel’s tech involvement both here and overseas – namely his co-ownership of Palantir with its development of data-mining technologies and apparent involvement here in NZ with the GCSB and SIS, and Five Eyes, and in the US in particular with its millions of dollars worth of contracts with US federal agencies in respect of these data-mining technologies.

    As mentioned in the earlier post on Thiel a few days ago, Karol did an excellent backgrounder post in 2013 on Thiel’s involvement with Palantir here in NZ.

    Networks of influence: Key, Peter Thiel & the GCSB

    As mentioned in Karol’s post, major concerns were raised with John Key in Question Time in Parliament on 13 June 2013 by Russel Norman re Palantir and Peter Thiel (including Key’s relationship with Thiel). As the link in Karol’s post no longer works, here is a new link
    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/document/50HansS_20130612_00000269/norman-russel-questions-for-oral-answer-questions-to

    Before he employs diversion tactics by calling Norman “Noddy”, Key’s comments about his connections with Thiel are interesting vis a vis Thiel’s citizenship – in particular, “ I would describe my relationship as cordial. I have met Mr Thiel on a few occasions—I would have to go to check exactly, as I said, if the member wants to ask me. I have never had a discussion with Mr Thiel about Palantir or about intelligence matters. He is someone who happens to live a certain period of time in New Zealand. “

    Since that time, Palantir has not disappeared from NZ. It still has offices etc on The Terrace in Wellington. There are plenty of interesting articles on their activities in NZ if you google “palantir nz”. a number of these also refer to John Key and his knowledge etc of Thiel.

    Of possible greater relevance currently is the plethora of media articles worldwide in the last month or so since Thiel’s relationship with Trump became known. These provide background on Palantir, Thiel, Palantir’s millions of dollars of contracts with US intelligence, military, and border control agencies – and the types of data-mining technology developed by Palantir which could see Palantir gain huge profits from their use in implementing Trump’s policies on immigration, deportation of illegal immigrants etc.

    Here a just a few of the links available by googling “Peter Thiel Palantir”

    http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/21/14012534/palantir-peter-thiel-trump-immigrant-extreme-vetting

    http://fortune.com/2016/12/22/trump-thiel-palantir/

    https://theintercept.com/2016/12/12/transition-adviser-peter-thiel-would-directly-profit-from-mass-deportations/

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/06/peter-thiel-must-tread-carefully-between-trump-and-his-super-secret-start-up-experts-say.html

    http://vator.tv/news/2016-11-25-peter-thiels-palantir-raises-another-20-million

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/12/what-is-peter-thiels-endgame-for-palantir

    Presumably the actions in just the last 24 hours by US border agencies to refuse entry or return to the US of refugees and other people from the various countries which Trump has decreed to be prohibited may well be as a result of Palantir data mining technologies.

    So while Thiel may be a good guy who helps start-ups etc here in NZ and elsewhere, the cynical side of me wonders just how much this picture of Thiel is a red herring designed to deflect from the other side of his tech interests and developments via Palantir.

    It goes without saying that I find it appalling that NZ citizenship was granted to someone involved in such technologies – and the lack of transparency in granting that citizenship.

    • Anne 14.1

      Thankyou veutoviper for the detail and references. See my 5.1 where I mention Palantir. Just the tip of the iceberg I would say, and there may be more revelations to come on this one. That is, if out Fourth Estate is up to it.

      Where’s Key? Still hiding in his Hawaii mansion?

      I don’t have time to study your comment and references until this evening but good work…

      • veutoviper 14.1.1

        Thanks Anne. Had missed your 5.1. I understand that David Fisher is now on the Herald team helping Matt Nippert so here’s hoping re our Fourth Estate.

        • Anne 14.1.1.1

          So while Thiel may be a good guy who helps start-ups etc here in NZ and elsewhere, the cynical side of me wonders just how much this picture of Thiel is a red herring designed to deflect from the other side of his tech interests and developments via Palantir.

          It goes without saying that I find it appalling that NZ citizenship was granted to someone involved in such technologies – and the lack of transparency in granting that citizenship.

          The picture your references paint veutoviper are indeed ominous. His close links to virtually all the US intelligence agencies plus numerous other very powerful US government bodies and giant private corporate entities suggest to me he could be an extremely dangerous person.

          I am a cyber-communication illiterate, but the fact he has NZ citizenship tells me he could also have the potential to gather intimate details on thousands of NZers who, for one reason or another, are deemed further down the track to be a threat to the US regime. Those of us who have been openly hostile to Trump and his sycophants on public forums such as this one would no doubt be on ‘the list’.

  15. Rae 15

    He came here to hide from the pitchfork (or more likely gun) toting masses. He is one of these crazy paranoid preppers, who knows he might even have dug himself a concrete bunker somewhere here. I do not for a single minute believe he came here for the sake of NZ, that is just something he has to do with a bit of his chump change in order to stay. He has come here to protect his privileged position and anyone saying otherwise is, in my view, fooling themselves.
    The guy has extreme libertarian views, to the point where he has posited that women having the vote stand in the way of a libertarian agenda. (I expect he does not see the irony of the idea of libertarianism for some). Someone like him that has zero altruism in their system, he is here for number one.
    Tell me this, would any other person, sans billions of dollars, displaying the same nutty tendencies get a free run. Didn’t think so.

    • stever 15.1

      Yes, Thiel believes that capitalism is held back (a bad thing in his book) by democracy, and democracy should therefore be replaced by the sort of authoritarianism that Trump so well-demonstrates.

      “his long-held ambition of saving capitalism from democracy”

      https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/21/peter-thiel-republican-convention-speech

      He brings money to poor old NZ, yes…but is that really a price worth paying (let alone the principles at stake), and instead does it not in fact make him a person who is not fit and proper to be a NZer?

      • TootingPopularFront 15.1.1

        He could be a member of parliament and PM if he has NZ citizenship – if this is National’s new plan, to have a Trump enabler to replace the Merrill Lynch whizz kid, NZ is in a great deal of trouble.

  16. Sacha 16

    Nathan Guy tells RNZ Checkpoint that officials will be releasing the reasons for approving Thiel’s citizenship application later this week.

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  • A pandemic Peter Principle.
    In 1968 Canadian sociologist Laurence Peter coined the phrase “Peter Principle” as a contribution to the sociology of organisations. It explains that in complex organizations people rise to the level of their own incompetence. That is, they get promoted so long as they meet or exceed the specified criteria for ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    17 hours ago
  • Hard News: Music is coming home
    The practice and business of music has been one of the sectors most gravely impacted by the virus sweeping the world. The emphatic nature of our government's response, necessary as it was, has slammed the industry and the people who work in it.There are New Zealand artists – Nadia Reid, ...
    18 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 14
    . . April 8: Day 14 of living in lock-down… The good news first: the downward trajectory of new cases appears to be a real thing. In the last four days, since Sunday, new infections have been dropping: Sunday: 89 new cases Monday: 67 Tuesday: 54 Today (Wednesday): 50 The ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    20 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 5: Don’t censor yourself
    The anti-fluoride movement wants to restrict your reading to “just four studies.” They actively ignore or attempt to discredit other relevant studies. Image credit: Censorship in media. For earlier articles in this series see: ...
    24 hours ago
  • “Lord, give us Democratic Socialism – but not yet!”
    Not Now, Not Ever, Never! The problem with Labour's leading activists is that there is never a good time for democratic socialism. Never. They are like Saint Augustine who prayed to the Almighty: “Lord, give me chastity and self-control – but not yet.” In the case of Labour "junior officers", however, ...
    1 day ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #14, 2020
    1 day ago
  • The Few are on the run, again, it still won’t stop reality catching up…
    We are seeing what has been termed “a greater challenge than the crash of 2008” by a growing number of economists and more rational, sane commentators, because whilst that was a shocking exposure of the levels to which hubris had sunk, right down to the blank cheque given those who ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Locked down in Jersey City
    I am a Kiwi living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jersey City is the second-largest city in the state and is located directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan. Locals call it New York’s sixth borough. More than 350,000 New Jersey citizens, including myself, commute to New York daily ...
    2 days ago
  • Expanding houses
    It’s  a beautiful autumn afternoon, we need to get out of the house, and so our bubble sets off on a bike ride around our local neighbourhood, Cambridge Park. The bikes come out of the garage, and, being really certain we have a front door key, close the garage door ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    2 days ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The irreversible emissions of a permafrost ‘tipping point’
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr Christina Schädel Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere’s higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon.  As global temperatures rise, this “permafrost” land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere. Abrupt permafrost ...
    2 days ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    3 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    3 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    3 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    4 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    4 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    6 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    1 week ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago