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Peter Thiel’s Libertarian Dream – for New Zealand?

Written By: - Date published: 11:08 am, February 2nd, 2017 - 86 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

From a Business Insider article in the OIA papers:

“Thiel is an ambitious, long-term thinker, so what’s the big picture here? What could the contrarian investor see in a country of 4 million people whose economy is based on agriculture and tourism? Here’s a thought: maybe Peter Thiel wants to turn New Zealand into the next Silicon Valley. Or maybe even the libertarian utopia of his dreams.”

The name of Thiel’s firm Valar Ventures comes from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings universe. Thiel is a huge Tolkien fan and the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed in New Zealand. In Tolkien’s legendarium, the Valar are deities who created the world of Middle-Earth (portrayed by New Zealand in the movies) and then descended on it to help nurture its infancy and development.

Reached about this idea, Thiel said: “New Zealand is already utopia.  But Silicon Valley and New Zealand can learn a lot from each other, and we want to help make that happen.” So Thiel is clearly in it for the long run.

Thiel is very libertarian, and New Zealand already has some of the most free-market policies in the world. Thiel is also a donor to the Seasteading Institute, a foundation that wants to create libertarian self-sustaining colonies out at sea. A popular libertarian cause is the “Free State Project” to get tens of thousands of libertarians to emigrate to New Hampshire and take over the government democratically to reshape the state according to libertarian ideals.

In an essay for the Cato Institute in 2009 Thiel wrote that “he no longer believed the democracy and freedom are compatible,” an idea that also drove Roger Douglas.

So maybe Thiel is just not about tech startups. We live in a world where billionaires have turned their attention to politics, in many cases to protect their billions. We’ve had our multi-millionaire flyaway Prime Minister; we should not think that Thiel will stop there.

The Economist says Thiel is now more of a corporate Nietzschean:

He is now not so much a libertarian as a corporate Nietzschean, who believes in the power of gifted entrepreneurs to change the world through the sheer force of will and intellect.

New Zealand is vulnerable. Thiel is not averse to using his wealth against critics such as shutting down website Gawker. It was disappointing to hear Rod Drury suggest we should put aside our ideals of fairness in order to be more “rational” and accommodate the likes of Peter Thiel. Drury also thinks we should be inviting Bill Gates in – who has donated $440 million to set up charter schools in the US.

As Thiel, a chess grandmaster, says in the article quoted above “you always have to look at the end game.” Libertarian Utopia New Zealand (for billionaires) anyone?

 

86 comments on “Peter Thiel’s Libertarian Dream – for New Zealand?”

  1. AB 1

    Undoubtedly he will take a little time to assess the political landscape and then use his money and influence in the way he wants.
    We could make wealth a disqualification for immigration – precisely to prevent our democracy from being corrupted by the powerful.
    We could reform election campaign finance to allow donations only from individuals on the electoral roll, peg them at a maximum of 0.1% of the gross median wage and prohibit donations from non-persons such as companies, trusts, unions, etc.
    We could have a ‘values’ test for immigrants that included a commitment to democratic principles including the explicit statement that freedom is possible only through equality

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    I’m sure there are lots of ways in which “Libertarians” and other neo-Nazis can be made to feel unwelcome here.

    • Brutus Iscariot 2.1

      Oh my god, it’s another NAZI!! NAZI’s everywhere!!

      Wait, he’s a rich gay libertarian.

      I think you need to repair your record, it’s a little scratched…

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1

        Oh you can nitpick at the details. He works for Nazis, he says democracy is incompatible with (his) freedom (to do what exactly?). Appease them all you like: Turnbull just learned the contempt in which you’re held.

        • Richard McGrath 2.1.1.1

          Democracy IS incompatible with freedom – taken to its extreme it becomes majoritarian (mob) rule, where individual freedom is subject to the will of the majority, and inalienable rights vanish.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1.1

            Fool, “inalienable rights” only exist because of strength in numbers. Learn some history.

            Then study Somalia for a practical example of your “system” at work.

      • Richard McGrath 2.1.2

        OAB’s Naziphobic.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1

          Richard’s Naziphilic.

          • Richard McGrath 2.1.2.1.1

            Response to OAB’s comments on rights and that hoary old chestnut, Somalia:

            Utter rubbish – inalienable rights exist because of our status as rational beings with free will, nothing to do with “strength in numbers”.

            As for Somalia, the relatively peaceful northern states of Somaliland and Puntland have broken away from the south, which is dominated by Islamists imposing Shariah law but which with intervention via a foreign backed government is slowly improving. The “system” which better approaches a model of respect for individual rights and rule of law seems to be working well in the northern parts of Somalia. The southern part is infested with al-Quaeda and other Islamist terrorist organisations who have little respect for human life.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Rights (inalienable or otherwise) exist where the rule of law persists.

              The Magna Carta didn’t happen because Physics, it arose from power dynamics. Likewise the UDoHR.

              When your drivel asserts that you want to live in peace without harming anyone, I have two words: Carbon Dioxide.

          • Richard McGrath 2.1.2.1.2

            “Richard’s Naziphilic.”

            Sorry OAB, libertarians dislike collectivists of all stripes – race-based, class-based, whatever

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1.2.1

              😆

              Apart from your membership of the Dunning-Kruger collective, that is. To be blunt, confirmation bias and the self-attribution fallacy explain everything you assert. 100% of your beliefs.

              Get over it.

    • Brutus Iscariot 2.2

      This should help you educate yourself:

      http://interglacial.com/pub/text/Umberto_Eco_-_Eternal_Fascism.html

    • HDCAFriendlyTroll 2.3

      Wow, I never knew Kelly Clarkson, Drew Carey, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Penn Jillette and Bruce Willis are all neo-Nazis. You learn something new everyday.

      http://libertyupward.com/famous-people-you-probably-didnt-know-were-libertarian/

    • HDCAFriendlyTroll 2.4

      Well if you can punch a Nazi I’m sure you can hit a Libertarian.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.4.1

        I suggest you go and read my comment on that thread.

        • HDCAFriendlyTroll 2.4.1.1

          I saw it before. You don’t agree with hitting Nazis but a few other people do. So just in case anyone got the wrong idea you personally wouldn’t have “punching a Libertarian” in the list of ways to make someone feel unwelcome. Got it.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.4.1.1.1

            Not quite: I don’t agree with punching random blockleiters because it’s ineffective. As events in the USA unfold, we’ll find out whether the law and other democratic institutions are sufficiently powerful weapons. They’ve certainly failed against the depredations of common-or-garden Libertarian drivel, cf: Flint Michigan, Alan Greenspan.

            On the one hand it’s fascinating to see you “centre-right” followers tying yourself in knots in the pretence that your support for the POTUS is compatible with your self-regard. Or anything approaching humanity.

            On the other, there is real hurt being done to your victims. A five year old boy in handcuffs. No, punching is entirely inadequate.

            • Jerko 2.4.1.1.1.1

              Good observation OAB, we will find out whether the “law and other Democratic institutions are sufficiently powerful weapons” as things are pretty much moving in a direction that will prove this point – that they are not. The GOP lead Government of The USA are quickly changing the rules as we write. That, and the way they used and are still using their propaganda machine to convince their voter that what they are doing is in their best interest is frightening. Lets be clear the USA is no longer a Democracy.The recent election was a Coup by stealth and wealth.It is not a democracy when the majority of voters voted against the regime. The only hope is an increasing opposition of GOP supporters to their elected officials. But I’m not holding my breath. Thankfully I live in a State that has started to collect signatures for the inclusion of a ballot proposal for the Secession of the State. http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-california-secession-calexit-htmlstory.html

    • rocco siffred 2.5

      What about those Illinois Nazis? I hate Illinois Nazis.

  3. Goodshepherd 3

    Genuine question.

    What are the pros and cons of dual citizenship?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Genuine answer: if both countries are tax havens, you can avoid tax everywhere.

  4. joe90 4

    “you always have to look at the end game.”

    Burn the house down?.

    Blossoming on the Internet like a fetid rose, a mysterious new political movement has generated a serious and not un-terrifying critique of modern society. Its members are loud and growing in number, and they demand nothing less than the elimination of the democratic system. Mostly white, male and angry, they lie in wait for the imminent collapse of civilization.

    Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Dark Enlightenment. The Empire is striking back.

    http://www.vocativ.com/culture/uncategorized/dark-enlightenment-creepy-internet-movement-youd-better-take-seriously/

    http://www.thedarkenlightenment.com/the-dark-enlightenment-by-nick-land/

  5. Guerilla Surgeon 5

    “Libertarian: a conservative who wants to smoke pot and get laid.” Can’t remember who said it – possibly PJ O’Rourke all Bill Maher. Personally I think it’s just someone who hasn’t grown up yet.

  6. Guerilla Surgeon 6

    “Libertarian: a conservative who wants to smoke pot and get laid.” Can’t remember who said it – possibly PJ O’Rourke or Bill Maher. Personally I think it’s just someone who hasn’t grown up yet.

    • Richard McGrath 6.1

      Heard you the first time.

    • greywarshark 6.2

      Guerilla Surgeon
      As you have a lot of deep thoughts about our political processes would you have time to pass those on after taking part in a reading group thinking about a good old but relevant political book and being in a hopefully, great discussion about it? Good to read your thoughts, if you have time to do this. I’ll put my spiel below explaining it and could you reply to this comment, today Friday if you can, like soon. Thanks from
      greywarbler @ Bowalley.

      You always bring good political ideas and a breadth of vision to the problems facing us.
      We need new approaches to get through this maze we wander in. I had the idea that new ideas and thoughts could spring from studying books on the important subjects relating to our politics. Could you find the time to be in this – over a month first reading and noting about E F Schumaker and his Small is Beautiful and then having a great discussion on a Sunday post at end of month? It would be great if you could be in. Could you reply to this comment today if poss. Thanks.

      I am writing similarly to other regular commenters who I feel would be interested, but of course it is a matter of time available. Regards.

  7. UncookedSelachimorpha 7

    Who cares what one rich guy thinks? Unlikely his ideas are spectacularly better than anyone else’s. The only thing you know for sure about him is that he has amassed wealth for himself.

    Remember – the rich don’t care about what is good for others, or good for nations.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/13/super-rich-dont-care-about-us-taxes

    http://www.upworthy.com/science-explains-why-rich-people-dont-care-about-you

    • McFlock 7.1

      Koch Brothers.

      Being obscenely wealthy makes it easy to use one’s wealth to disrupt democracy.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1

        …and the behaviour isn’t confined to “family” businesses; cf: Exxon.

      • Richard McGrath 7.1.2

        Yep, that’s called free speech. You forgot mention George Soros there too.

        • McFlock 7.1.2.1

          It’s not free if you pay people to say it.

          • Richard McGrath 7.1.2.1.1

            Of course it is. Free refers to freedom of action. You are free to pay people to broadcast your ideas if you want to.

            • McFlock 7.1.2.1.1.1

              I’m also free to flap my wings and fly, all I lack are wings.

              And prisoners are always free to leave, they just lack bolt cutters.

              And the starving are always free to eat, they just lack food.

              • Richard McGrath

                Ridiculous comments – humans are creative enough to overcome barriers such as a lack of wings and shortages of food; we can now fly in jet-powered aeroplanes despite our bodies lacking wings, and there is an abundance of food thanks to technology including the genetic engineering of crops.

                • McFlock

                  And yet we still have people falling to their deaths, we still have people living in prisons, and we still have people dying of starvation.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.2.2

          George Soros did it too? (I doubt that, because you said it, but hey, let’s suspend disbelief for a moment). How your much-vaunted ethics melt away at the first straw.

          Your argument is piss-weak, and you don’t have a better one.

  8. RedLogix 8

    John Key’s replacement?

  9. greywarshark 9

    Interesting thought Redlogix. NZ becomes the emerald gem for the wealthy to put in their collection?

    Interesting that we fought in WW2 against fascism in Germany and Italy and now we have a different sort of fascism from the USA. Ralph Nader announced in 2013 that there is American fascism. American (and Australian business) wants to take over our world.
    https://www.democracynow.org/2013/6/4/american_fascism_ralph_nader_decries_how
    This is also called Corporatocracy.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatocracy
    Here’s how it works and why government is such a fascinating, heady place to work in.
    http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/24465-a-300-billion-example-of-how-corporations-control-our-government

    And Rod Drury is for it. Peter Thiel s like the young man he used to be, lean and hungry only more astute, not full-faced from too much dining and wining and self-satisfaction. Xero has done well out of Thiel’s input, its worked for me he thinks, that’s what’s important.

    Has anyone noticed the incipient jowls on Thiel. The little pouches beside his mouth. Perhaps that is where he keeps gold coins for super-special tips for good service. Or that’s where he keeps the implanted miniboards with slots to fit in the memory sticks that contain codes to his secret financial stash. Or recording devices so he can sue the shirt off anyone who impugns him, or enable voice recognition of anyone who attacks him. Perhaps Xero is working on a program for these right now.

    Just a few outrageous and improbable ideas to add to those already occurring across the globe.

    The usual dictionary meaning of fascism doesn’t measure up to today’s reality.
    google – an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
    This doesn’t say anything about business. Yet while men and women were fighting against the enemy in WW2, business was doing very well out of the war, and chemical and machinery companies got big contracts in Germany. In Italy top companies like Fiat were doing very well.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      The usual dictionary meaning of fascism doesn’t measure up to today’s reality.
      google – an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
      This doesn’t say anything about business.

      Yeah, pointing out that the whole fascist movement was driven by businessmen would probably start people questioning the morality of business in general.

      Fascism and Big Business (1938)

      A few supplementary explanations are necessary here. The fact is undeniable that the industrialists who subsidized and put fascism in power are not entirely satisfied with their own creation. In the first place the regime is terribly expensive. The maintenance of the excessive bureaucracy of the state, the party and the numerous semi-governmental bodies costs unheard-of sums and adds to the financial difficulties of the government. In their memorandum of June, 1937, to Hitler, the industrialists wrote:

      “It used to be estimated that there was one functionary for every twelve persons in productive occupations. Today, if the official party organizations and the semi-official and corporative services with their functionaries and employes are included, it is estimated that there is one person on the state payroll for every eight persons in productive occupations.”

      Abandoning any attempt to “estimate the amount of personal and material expenses required by the administrative machine,” the authors of the memorandum complained of the “incalculable losses arising from a lack of contact between the old and the new authorities, and the overlapping of functions between the old and new state services and the party.” [2] They wished the day would come when “in accordance with a definite principle, a final organization of the internal political apparatus of the state will be possible …”

      While the state must carry huge incidental expenses, the big capitalists themselves have to stand a certain number: “voluntary contributions” extorted by the party and its “welfare” undertakings; various subscriptions; “graft” and seats on the boards of directors of big companies for the “upper crust” of the fascist leaders, etc. But these incidental expenses, the importance of which must not be exaggerated, are less annoying to big business than the demagogic agitation indulged in by the fascist plebeians – agitation which, despite purges and repressions, periodically reappears, though within constantly narrower limits.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        DracoTBastard
        Oh thanks for that little pearl DTB. Damn it it doesn’t matter what wonderful idea there is for dealing with the masses the efficiency thing comes in.

        The Conchords singing about the robots getting rid of the humans I don’t think dealt with what happened after they used their poisonous gases and got rid of our asses. Victor Klemperer who survived the Nazis when the Communists got in and he got his university job back, found they had much the same administration as the previous regime, neither being satisfactory.

  10. Ad 10

    The .01% of the world got there through spectacular greed and utter life focus.
    Not a single one is a socialist. The occasional few will get there, then give much of it away. They are interesting largely because they are so rare.

    “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”

    There’s a phrase ‘necessary evil’, and this class of people may or may not be necessary to New Zealand, but I do think they are evil.

    • Richard McGrath 10.1

      Are they evil because they’re rich?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2

      The .01% of the world got there through spectacular greed and utter life focus

      They got there by chance, period.

      • Richard McGrath 10.2.1

        No hard work, innovation or dedication involved – yeah right

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2.1.1

          Of course there was, but the overwhelming majority do those things.

          If hard work is all it takes, nurses (who have enough to deal with putting up with assholes doctors, never mind patients) would all be millionaires. Ditto coal miners, fruitpickers, and slaves.

          Can you give me some examples of influential, world-shaking innovations that weren’t the result of collective endeavour?

          Everything you believe can be destroyed with feathers. Get over it.

  11. rhinocrates 11

    The Economist comments on Silicon Valley tech companies’ tensions with Trump. On one hand they oppose his immigration ban because they depend on immigrants, and are instinctive far more Liberally-aligned than most American companies, but it concludes lambasting their naïveté, servility to other dictatorial regimes and hypocritically cynical practice of capitalism (eg. tax avoidance).

    http://www.economist.com/news/business/21716020-tech-firms-are-last-departing-their-see-no-evil-stance-society-and-politics

  12. Craig H 12

    Peter Thiel is not a chess grandmaster (or any of the lower titles) according to FIDE and ICCF, although he is a strong player.

  13. One Two 13

    The ‘libertarian dream’ which Theil and ilk may partake in, could be very different from what the ‘common folk’ might describe, or imagine

    Following ‘libertarian’ to its extremity……anything goes!

    Anything!

    • Richard McGrath 13.1

      Anything… except violating the rights of others; by living in peaceful co-existence. The libertarian ideal.

    • HDCAFriendlyTroll 13.2

      “Libertarianism” taken to extreme is anarchy. Fact is we need laws and Libertarianism provides a kind of framework for those laws. So you can think of Libertarianism as pragmatic anarchy! 🙂

      • Richard McGrath 13.2.1

        Libertarianism means small government, NOT no government, as laws are needed to protect people’s right to live peacefully. That’s small government devoted to upholding law and order and providing national defence and justice systems. Everything else can be supplied by markets, charities and non profit organisations.

        • greywarshark 13.2.1.1

          We must be about up to saturation point of Richard McGrath over the past days. On the 2nd Feb I counted 11 mostly one liners between 7.49 and 8.16 pm. I don’t think he can afford to spend his few synapses so improvidently.

        • McFlock 13.2.1.2

          And any democracy that chooses libertarianaism leaves the people helped by those charities and NPOs dependant the famously soft hearts of libertarians.

          There’s one flaw in your proposition right there.

          • Richard McGrath 13.2.1.2.1

            Why would one person helping another lead to “dependence” of the latter on the former? You’re assuming people can’t be incentivised and encouraged into developing better life management and coping skills.

            • McFlock 13.2.1.2.1.1

              Glad to know the libertarian utopia has such a comprehensive safety net. It might be as helpful as Dickensian England.

              • Richard McGrath

                Safety nets don’t have to come from the state.

                • adam

                  Of course, but when you accept a state like you do Richard, why not go the extra step.

                  • HDCAFriendlyTroll

                    Because that would be Anarchy and as explained above, Libertarianism is not Anarchy.

                    • Rae

                      Tell that to Rodney Hide, a self professed anarchist. Libertarian is exactly what anarchy is, no government, that is it. It is just that the word “libertarian” has been hi-jacked by the right, and the word “anarchy” probably demonized by the same.
                      There is a form of libertarianism that could work, it is called left-libertarian. It would require no government because everyone would voluntarily live by this one thing “do unto others as you would have done to you”. It was from that I realized the person who is referred to as Jesus Christ was probably one of the original libertarian-lefties. It gives me no end of entertainment thinking how his strongest worshipers are right wing conservatives – diametrically opposed. (Note – I am an atheist, but accept that a someone existed back then with those views, otherwise, there’d be no Christianity).
                      The problem with libertarianism, is human nature I am afraid. As long as we keep trying to do each other in, or accumulating much for ourselves while depriving others, we can never, ever have a libertarian society.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …everyone would voluntarily live by this one thing “do unto others as you would have done to you”. It was from that I realized the person who is referred to as Jesus Christ…

                      No, they “wouldn’t”. This never happens anywhere government breaks down.

                      The Golden Rule predates Jesus™ by several centuries.

                      “”Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” — Confucius 500 BCE

                      PS: Confucious was no-one’s idea of a “Lefty”, let alone a Libertarian..

                    • Rae

                      OAB I don’t think you read what I wrote all the way through

                • McFlock

                  If all the private sector offers to people who need food and shelter is “incentivising” and “encouragement”, then yes, yes they do.

              • HDCAFriendlyTroll

                The anti-Libertarian argument in a nutshell:

                “What about the poor?”

                In other words, the security of the people. Having the State look after you is a form of security, right?

                Well, as they say, those who give up freedom for security deserve neither.

                More security, less freedom. Less freedom, more security.

                The Libertarian ideal is to have just enough security so that people can live in peace. The anti-Libertarian ideal is big government which ensures everyone is looked after but in exchange the people give up their freedom.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The anti-Libertarian ideal is paying attention to evidence and reality, as opposed to self-serving drivel.

                • McFlock

                  “The libertarian ideal” recognises that the state should protect one’s right to property, but not one’s right to life.

                  BTW, when Franklin wrote the comment about liberty that you tortured, it was pretty much about the time he owned slaves. Oh, and he was asking for a tax to help kill native americans when he wrote it. But rock on, anyway.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    ‘ “The libertarian ideal” recognises that the state should protect one’s right to property, but not one’s right to life.’

                    Not so – the state should protect the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

                    • McFlock

                      So police funded by the government save your life and liberty by catching/stopping the bad guys.

                      Who saves your life by giving you fod and shelter?

                      Who saves your life by treating your cancer?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Affirmative action then.

                      How is the government of Randistan going to facilitate the pursuit of happiness without it?

                      Not to mention that personally, I think contentment is a far more attractive goal than happiness, so at the moment it’s my vote against yours.

                • Carolyn_nth

                  The right wing libertarian ideal, puts property front and centre. It privileges property owners – so freedom for the well off, FOff for the non-property owners.

                  And the right wing libertarian ideal assumes a level playing field with everyone having access to owning property – except for slaves, and/or colonisation of indigenous lands, and/or monarchist inequality was actually the starting point historically.

            • Chris 13.2.1.2.1.2

              There’s no such assumption. You’re the one making the unfounded assumption here, which is that everyone can be “incentivised” (what ever that means – it’s a problematic term in itself) but which rests on a further assumption which is that everybody’s the same. And that is the falsehood that’s at heart of probably most right-wing thinking when it comes to capitalism and how certain groups get by. How Shipley used to frame things is a pretty good example, and Key’s backstory was used in the same way. The shit that comes out of Bennett’s mouth is probably the most blatant of recent examples. The basic point is that not everyone’s the same, and that’s where your mistake is.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2.1.3

          It “can” be. Oh really? In some future vision of yours, eh.

          Shilling for wealthy vested interests is obviously some sort of cunning strategy I can’t quite grasp.

        • Pat 13.2.1.4

          lmao…good luck with your government small enough to drown in a bath….if libertarians achieved their goal the size of “government” required to maintain their nirvana would grow at an exponential rate ….bloody difficult to maintain property rights when so few own property.

  14. Incognito 14

    Admittedly, I don’t know much about Thiel but I do feel some sympathy for him; he comes across as a ‘seeker’ and also as a deeply lonely human.

  15. ian 15

    If, as Thiel contends, democracy and freedom are no longer compatible, it is because finance capitalism ruined them.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      The kind of “freedom” Thiel wants has never been compatible with humanity, let alone democracy.

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  • 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 ...
    9 hours 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
    9 hours 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
    24 hours 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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    3 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    4 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    4 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    4 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    4 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    5 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    5 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    6 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    6 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago

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