web analytics

Petty politicking and the Xinyao tragedy

Written By: - Date published: 5:21 pm, December 10th, 2007 - 80 comments
Categories: national, workers' rights - Tags: ,

miners8.jpgReuters reports that the death toll from China’s Xinyao mine tragedy has now surpassed the 100 mark after 50 rescue workers were sent in without training and never resurfaced.

According to Chinese media the cause of the tragedy was the mine management’s failure to install a gas detection system and its storage of explosives in an underground storeroom. The rescue workers were sent in without any training and probably made matters worse:

“We never received any rescue training,” the newspaper quoted miner Mao Caoliang as saying. “We did not know what to do or what not to do when inside the mine. No one told us what to do when faced with an emergency. We carried oxygen masks with us but did not know how to use them. Many suffocated.”

This kind of tragedy is common in China, where the mining industry’s appalling health and safety record causes the deaths of more than 5000 miners a year.

These deaths are completely avoidable and show the real need for New Zealand to use its expertise in mine safety to help improve standards for Chinese workers and prevent the needless death and suffering we are seeing at Xinyao.

They also provide some perspective on National’s attempt just last month to score political points out of a Department of Labour funded initiative by the Council of Trade Unions designed to do exactly that.

Here was a decent, humanitarian gesture to the Chinese people that will help prevent similar tragedies and in time save hundreds if not thousands of lives, but National attacked it and threatened future funding because it suited their agenda to cast aspersions on the Government’s relationship with the unions and to stoke xenophobic outrage over New Zealand tax dollars going to the Chinese.

There are some things more important than petty politics, and in the light of Xinyao National’s cynical attack is all the more sickening.

80 comments on “Petty politicking and the Xinyao tragedy”

  1. the sprout 1

    i wonder if National don’t value these lives because they’re Chinese, communist, or poor?

  2. Brilliant comic insight this afternoon, Tane. And whoever said women don’t have a sense of humour?

    “Petty politicking and the Xinyao tragedy”, and then Tane proceeds to make petty politics of a Chinese mining disaster, somehow tenuously putting the blame at the feet of the National Party.

  3. Gruela 3


    Just because you can’t understand a post, it doesn’t necessarily follow that no-one else can, either.

  4. Tane 4

    Prick, as you are well aware, the point of my post was to show that ideas have consequences. If National wants to play petty politics over people’s lives then they should expect to be held to account for it.

    It’s also interesting to see you reveal your sexism so openly. You know that I’m not a woman, but you’ve referred to me as a woman several times today on the assumption that I should somehow find this offensive. You’re not impressing anyone.

  5. Tane,

    While you’re at it, you might as well blame National for the holocaust, the crucifixion of Christ, the killing fields, and the loss of the World Cup.

    Especially the latter one. Helen Clark was at Cardiff. Why wasn’t John Key?

  6. Daveo 6

    It’s interesting to see IP couldn’t actually defend Kate Wilkinson’s behaviour on this one and chose to attack the poster instead. National is a disgrace and this whole affair just shows how little they care about labour standards.

  7. Quite the opposite, Daveo. The post was so objectionable–inferring that National is somehow to blame for a mining disaster in China–that it didn’t warrant a serious response.

    It isn’t the department of labour’s job to educate Chinese mining interests on labour standards. It might be a viable aid project. It says a lot about the department of labour, and the CTU, that it has to fund junkets for the CTU to go off-shore to find work to do.

    How many Mandarin-speaking labour educators work for the CTU?

  8. Santi 8

    “You know that I’m not a woman…”

    Tane, I could swear you were a Maori lass. Bugger!

  9. Daveo 9

    Quite the opposite, Daveo. The post was so objectionable&inferring that National is somehow to blame for a mining disaster in China&that it didn’t warrant a serious response.

    I’ve noticed a lot of people on this blog calling you a liar IP and I’m starting to see why. Nowhere in this post was National blamed for the mining disaster. The point of the post (in case you actually can’t read) was that National’s decision to attack a mine safety program and put future funding at risk was deeply cynical and in the light of this tragedy rather sickening. That you chose to misrepresent the argument to defend your party says a lot about the way you operate and explains why people don’t bother engaging with you.

    I also understand the CTU did not go offshore to run this program. If you look at the link provided you’ll see it links to a press release entitled “Chinese miners in NZ to learn about mine safety”, so that kind of blows that argument out of the water.

  10. Whilst trying to avoid a flame war with the usual suspects, I would like to ask why we are spending money helping a country that has an economy that has done more to put kiwi manufacturers out of business than any other. The CTU should be spending the department of labours money trying to help chinese workers get a reasonable rate of pay.
    Oh and these manufacturers that close or relocate offshore normally discard their kiwi workers!
    International trade is war without guns……. tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in NZ manufacturing in the last 20 years, many of them to China. A country that has an appalling record in human rights but labour seem to be bending over backwards to kiss their arse.

  11. Obviously you don’t understand, Barnsley Bill. The price of free trade with China, which the Labour Party has pursued aggressively, is not just opening up our markets to Chinese manufactured goods, but also New Zealand taxpayers have to subsidise the very clean, green Chinese coal-mining industry.

  12. Robinsod 12

    Bill – we’re doing it because we give a toss about human life.

    IP – the sad truth is that we have very little to lose from an FTA because successive govts with you ideological views have left us open to China’s exports If we get an FTA then at least we increase our primary exports and have a shot at enforcing patent law for the manufactured goods we design. Or are you gonna start arguing protectionism?

  13. ak 13

    “Or are you gonna start arguing protectionism?”

    Of course they are Rob – you know those tories, long history of opposing free trade – and the Foreshore and Seabed bill, mates of Winston and champions of the underclass – hell, they’re even spending millions defending the little man’s democracy from the rich.

    Top men. Natural partners for the Greens, Maori and Winnie. Ambitious. Classy, consistent and caring – and like IP, so full of that mad-cap joie de vivre.
    Simply irresistable.
    Got my vote.

  14. Kimble 14

    Trying to score political points off this tragedy, Tane? How callous.

    But to then complain about National doing the same is flat out hypocritical.

    Even if what you said is true, National would be scoring political points off the spending of the DoL. Whereas you are directly trying to score political points of the death of over 100 people.

    Thats some low Standards you are keeping. Real fucking low.

  15. Daveo 15

    IP I see you’re spreading your lies over at Kiwiblog now too. Shameless.

  16. Actually, Kimble, by Tane’s own peculiar argument, one could just as easily lay the mining disaster at the CTU’s fault.

    The government spends almost a hundred grand on a junket for the CTU to stop exactly this kind of disaster. It hasn’t worked. People are still dying down Chinese mines. Will the CTU give the money back and take responsibility for this calamity?

  17. Daveo 17

    IP I think you might actually be illiterate. I informed you earlier that the CTU did not go to China, a Chinese delegation came to New Zealand. I even provided you with a link for Christ’s sake. But you keep peddling lies about a junket. Why do you feel the need to constantly lie?

    And of course a $100,000 programme is not going to solve all of China’s mine safety problems, it’s a start that will help prevent this sort of thing in the future.

  18. Daveo,

    It’s a nice little junket for the CTU to go on at the taxpayers’ expense, which makes zero difference to the Chinese mining industry. When is the CTU going to refund the money for this sham? When is the CTU going to take responsibility for these dead miners? Does the CTU not care about them because they’re poor, communist, or Chinese?

  19. Michael.
    “Bill – we’re doing it because we give a toss about human life.”

    You bastard, wine fair shot out of both nostrils and barely missed lady Barnsley when I read that comment.
    You may well have scooped the 2007 sanctimonious dribble award with that comment.
    Does your “toss” extend to dashing for the phone when the sponsor a starving ad baby comes on the tv. How about spending Xmas day working at the city mission helping to feed the victims of 7 years of Labour, or maybe writing to the Chinese govt demanding an end to post partum abortions for women having unlicensed babies.

  20. Daveo 20

    Except that it’s not a ‘junket’ because the miners came to NZ and the CTU programme was conducted here. It was never intended to stop all 2000 mining accidents that happen in China every year, it was a start.

    But then you already know all that, you’re just deliberately lying because you can’t defend National’s position. How pathetic.

  21. Robinsod 21

    IP – you’re lying again. Chicks don’t like liars. That’s why you sleep alone.

    Bill – You have no idea what I do and don’t do. As for the “victims of seven years of Labour” – I have done a lot of beneficiary advocacy in my time and I can tell you there were a lot more “victims” under National. Oh and Bill, if you don’t start addressing me by my proper handle I’m going to out IP. It’s Bill’s choice now IP – good thing you righties work cooperatively, eh?

  22. James Kearney 22

    Just reading through this thread and I gotta say your lies are pathetic prick. No one here blamed National for the mining deaths. National was criticised for playing politics when people’s lives are at stake- and it was a fair call. You have no argument and your attempt to blame the CTU is absurd. You’re hardly covering yourself with glory tonight mate.

  23. Michael Porton, i know it helps your paranoia to believe that all the non left wing bloggers are part of some big right wing conspiracy.. But we are not, threatening to “out” somebody i don’t know is pointless.
    Anyway getting back to what we were talking about. Personally I would rather see NZ fund herceptin for breast cancer victims than spending money on Chinese miners. But I guess charity begins at home is not a very fashionable ethic anymore.

  24. Robinsod 24

    Bill – I never said you knew prick, I just wanted to see if the right had the decency to look out for each other (several lefties have defended my anonymity when I didn’t know them from a bar of soap). It seems you don’t.

    IP – I’m not gonna “out” you as I don’t believe in it but I could email you Bill’s deets once`I get them. Are you interested?

    Oh and Bill – the Herceptin debate is an interesting one but I doubt you have the subtlety of thought to engage in it. Sorry mate it’s just I think you’re too dumb…

  25. Tane 25

    Guys, I wouldn’t bother engaging with Prick on this one. His continual lying on this thread and others has shown he’s here not here to debate but to disrupt.

    When he refuses to consider other people’s points of view then wilfully distorts what they’ve said, well, I really don’t see much point in debating with him.

  26. Robinsod 26

    Hey Tane – I didn’t go too far by giving Bill the chance to out Prick did I? It’s just mate, I wouldn’t want to be stranded on a desert island with these bastards – they’d eat you in your sleep before they’d even think about working together. Hmmm, I wonder if that’s why National can’t do MMP…?

  27. the sprout 27

    “IP I think you might actually be illiterate”

    well, his arguments sound suspciously like they’ve come from Talkback

  28. Robinsod 28

    Or understand why few dollars toward Chinese mine safety is a good thing? Y’know I think I finally understand what’s wrong with the right now. They’re selfish and short-sighted! Man, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure it out…

  29. Tane 29

    Sod, you know my views on these things. The outing game is stupid and counterproductive and is often used as a tool to try and bully people. I’d rather you backed off with the outing threats, and the same goes for the right.

  30. You really are the epitome of hypocrisy, Tane.

    You write a post about National scoring political points, and you link it to a mining disaster in China. Well, you can’t have it both ways. You’ve deliberately tried to whip up hysteria about this. The only inference the ordinary person would draw is that you’re saying Labour is concerned about workers’ safety, but National isn’t. The conclusion to that is that National is happy that mining disasters take place. The proof of your dog-whistle is Sprout’s comment: i wonder if National don’t value these lives because they’re Chinese, communist, or poor?

    That is a disgusting link to make, and you should be ashamed, Tane.

    Kate Wilkinson made the very valid point that it isn’t the Department of Labour’s job to conduct safety training for foreign companies. That may be a legitimate ODA programme.

    The Growth and Innovation Fund has nothing to do with Chinese coalminer safety. I realise that after the last eight years, you’re quite comfortable for public accounting to become so blurred that political whims can be met from the public purse at will, but that isn’t an appropriate use of the GIF.

  31. Billy 31

    Yes, Robinsod. Those lefties are always sticking up for each other. Although sometimes it’s sticking ice picks in their trotskies.

  32. Robinsod 32

    Billy – I’d love to yack with you dear but I have to sleep now. Maybe by tomorrow morning you can come up with a more relevant line. X

    IP – that offer of Bill’s deets still stands.

  33. r0b 33

    “The only inference the ordinary person would draw is that you’re saying Labour is concerned about workers’ safety, but National isn’t. The conclusion to that is that National is happy that mining disasters take place.”

    IP, I’m sure that Tane can stick up for his own views. But I’d like to stick up for logic here. Even if your premise was true, there is no way (except in your fevered imagination) that the conclusion that you state then follows.

  34. “Brilliant comic insight this afternoon, Tane. And whoever said women don’t have a sense of humour?”

    insolent prickle- you have still not addressed tane’s question relating to this comment. please explain, when you know he is male, why you are calling tane a woman? are you using woman as a derogatory label?

  35. r0b 35

    bean – IP is pretty up front about his attitude to women. Right there on the front page of his blog “I’m a thirty-something, obnoxious single guy with two passions in life: making money and shagging hot chicks.”

    For his own sake I hope he grows up soon.

  36. Pascal's bookie 36


    Sounds like a fine blog he’s got going there. He should spend more time on it.

    Then he wouldn’t be cluttering up this place with crap like:

    Kate Wilkinson made the very valid point that it isn’t the Department of Labour’s job to conduct safety training for foreign companies. That may be a legitimate ODA programme.

    when she made no such point. Kate’s point was we shouldn’t be spending 1 cent of NZ taxpayers money on Chinese miner’s safety. He’s not just a liar, but as you point out, he can’t even construct a valid argument with the lies he makes up. There’s a university out there somewhere that wants it’s law degree back.

  37. the sprout 37

    “Sounds like a fine blog [IP]’s got going there. He should spend more time on it.”

    i guess there’s always hope.

  38. Pascal's bookie 38

    Yeah, I’m done talking to him. At a pinch I’ll talk about him instead.

  39. Gruela 39

    It’s pretty obvious from reading this thread that there’s no point in trying to engage Insolent rationally. Either he’s an incredibly subtle comedian and he’s winding you up, or he’s a moron.

    I’m going for moron.

  40. He actually made a very good point with his comment about the department of labour. Is this within their purview? I would suggest not.
    ODA quite possibly, although this money should really be targeted towards countries that are poorer than us. Not one of the largest economies in the world that is experiencing stellar growth.

  41. Wayne 41

    Bill: Last time I checked the Chinese were still considerably poorer than your average NZer.

  42. As a nation……. I think not.
    Individually? Undoubtedly. Wayne I think you are grasping here. Can nobody else see how wrong it is our dept of labour is in doing this?

  43. Wayne,

    NZAID is the government agency delegated with the responsibility for managing New Zealand’s overseas development programmes. They have professional staff who assess applications for projects, manage those projects, audit them, and rate them according to our international interests.

    I don’t know where how this particular project would stack up against all the other worthy international development assistance programmes that New Zealand runs. Suffice to say that the Growth and Innovation Fund has no expertise in international development assistance, and this is nothing more than an ODA project.

    It’s a disgraceful use of public money. Kate Wilkinson had every right to question it, and Tane’s peculiar obsession with it, and bizarre wolf-whistling just rings hollow.

  44. r0b 44

    “Can nobody else see how wrong it is our dept of labour is in doing this?”

    How wrong it is? Why, apart from knee jerk “Labour bad”, is this automatically a “how wrong” situation?

    The visit seems to have been a joint invitation from the EPMU, the Department of Labour and Solid Energy. Funding came from the Government’s contestable Growth and Innovation Fund, through a bidding process, and was related to ‘international collaboration’. Why is that automatically “wrong”?

  45. Wayne 45

    I’m not interested in debating with you Bill, Ijust think your logic is shoddy. By your reasoninig Luxembourg should not give any aid to Angola because Angola has a larger economy overall, even though Angolans are significantly poorer than people from Luxembourg. Clearly you can see the stupidity of that argument.

  46. Kimble 46

    If this was an international aid project, why did funding come from Growth and Innovation Fund? Exactly which word, ‘Growth’ or ‘Innovation’, means aid?

    How can it be a humanitarian project when it was touted to be related to ‘international collaboration’? Collaboration implies working together in a joint effort, which in turn implies that NZ would be getting something of value.

    It wasn’t a humanitarian aid project.

    If you want to say that NZ should contribute more in foreign aid, then yes, I agree with you. But if you say that individual departments should make up for this shortfall by running their own foreign aid programs and circumventing NZAID, then I have to disagree. They have their budget to do their job, not try and do everyone else’s.

    “There are some things more important than petty politics, and in the light of Xinyao National’s cynical attack is all the more sickening.”

    By the time Tane wrote this line he had surrendered any reasonable claim on the moral high ground he desperately craves.

    I mean, just read it. Dissect it.

    He says there are some things more important than petty politics, and then follows that up with a toxic dose of petty politicking! Truly repulsive.

    He wouldnt even be blogging about the mining accident, or poor working standards in China, if National hadn’t addressed the issue in some abstract way.

    He only begins to care enough to blog about dead Chinese people when they can be used as a political mallet to smack his opponents.

    Tane, you are swiftly becoming a truly disgusting human being. Do the decent thing an apologise for this post.

  47. Robinsod 47

    Kimble – I’ve seen the filth you post on the bog. Now you’re pretending outrage to attack Tane? I mean really Kimble, is it because he’s Maori or because he’s a leftie?

    Bill – I see you’re trying to patch it up with IP, good lad.

  48. Wayne 48

    Kimble your faux outrage is completely transparent. Kate Wilkinson said something stupid to score points and recent events have shown up the callousness of her position. Getting hysterical and demanding apologies does you no credit.

  49. Camryn 49

    This whole thread is a storm of stupidity in a very small small teacup. Stop wasting precious pixels. I won’t be back to see if anyone disagrees.

  50. Daveo 50

    Wat Tyler at Kiwiblogblog has answered your question Bill.

    “Its not a matter of cash, its a matter of expertise – we’re supplying expertise in mine safety training – the cost of supplying that expertise is $84,000 (that’s 2 cents per capita). China does not have the expertise to train its miners in safety procedures, and many mine owners don’t care anyway, so they wouldn’t pay for the training even if they could buy it.

    “The New Zealand taxpayer shells out 2 cents each and lives that would otherwise be lost are not.”


    That sounds pretty reasonable from where I’m standing.

  51. PhilBest 51

    Shouldn’t we be providing the Chinese, and the Indians, and the Africans, with assistance to go carbon neutral, not to dig coal out of the ground and burn it? I thought that saving the world was the paramount issue here.

  52. Tane 52

    Phil, improving health and safety in Chinese mines will not increase coal production. As Andrew Little pointed out at the time, if anything better health and safety tends to go hand in hand with greater environmental responsibility.

  53. insider 53

    “There are some things more important than petty politics.”

    Really? So the next time there is a problem at Wellington DHB over how it is managed and how the money is being spent, and how many people have died as a result, then everyone should just keep quiet because that would be petty politics. Is that the new standard?

    Surely politicians have an obligation to ask about why and how taxpayers’ money is being spent?

    You say “These deaths are completely avoidable and show the real need for New Zealand to use its expertise in mine safety to help improve standards for Chinese workers and prevent the needless death and suffering we are seeing at Xinyao.”

    It does no such thing, just as car crashes in China don’t show a ‘real need’ for NZ to use its expertise in road safety. All it shows is that there are issues with safety in China. It is purely your political interpretation that NZ should have a role in resolving it.

    And as for improving health and safety not increasing coal production, I can’t believe you said that. How productive is that mine now? Why do industrial multinationals invest so much in safety? It’s not just about welfare it is also about productivity.

  54. Insider,

    This is where Tane inadvertently smacks herself in the head with her own argument.

    The Growth and Innovation Fund was established to promote growth and innovation. That has everything to do with productivity. It has nothing to do with overseas development assistance. The New Zealand gives $84,000 to the EPMU to train Chinese miners, and then Tane turns around and says: “Hang on. This isn’t about growth, innovation, or making Chinese coal mines more productive. It’s an international aid project, for purely humanitarian purposes, even though it didn’t come out of the aid project. Shame on Kate Wilkinson for making a political issue out of it. She’s partly to blame for the deaths of these miners, for playing petty politics.”

    I don’t see why you have a problem with Tane’s position, Insider.

  55. Robinsod 55

    Prick – you are lying again. Please stop doing this. And Tane is a man, I’m not sure you understand the difference between girls and boys yet but if you continue in this manner I will give you a lesson in it by making you my bitch. Ok?

  56. the sprout 56

    i think prick defines gender by hair length.

  57. PhilBest 57

    Tane, I think my suggestion was even better than yours for increasing the health and safety of Chinese, and all of us too.

    It would take a lefty like Andrew Little to talk about enhanced health and safety and environmental responsibility going together, and leave out the elephant in the room: increased wealth.

    By the way, nothing satirical that I’ve said above is intended to contradict my own belief that the Chinese capitalist revolution that is now underway around 200 years behind the “first” world, is anything but a good thing.

  58. Robinsod 58

    Phil – I’m interested you see it as capitalism. Most business is owned or partnered by the government in China. Surely this is the success of communism?

  59. Pascal's bookie 59

    There is much about modern China that is to be encouraged. Though revolutions tend to be bottom up affairs. (no jokes about evangelicals please)

  60. Kimble 60

    Robinsod, how did things go when they were 100% owned by the government and werent following the profit motive?

  61. Robinsod 61

    Kimble you fool – the difference between communism and capitalism has nothing to do with profit motive. It’s about the means of production being held by the people. Communists can make as much money as they like (and they do) – it’s just that it goes into the hands of the state rather than the hands of capitalists. Then the state can use that money to do things that benefit the people (this is where china falls down a bit).

    I would suggest that the political power China is developing is entirely the result of a command economy. They have for instance managed to harness the power of their industrial wealth to put the US in a sticky situation vis-a-vis 90 day T-bonds.

    That’s a political outcome Kimble and it’s the result of a communist state. Brazil on the other hand has the eighth largest economy in the world and wields no power on the world stage because the benefits of that economy are not in the hands of its government.

  62. the sprout 62

    nicely put robinsod.

    could it be then that citizens reap half of fuck-all when private corporations control their nations’ economies?

  63. Dean 63

    “Brazil on the other hand has the eighth largest economy in the world and wields no power on the world stage because the benefits of that economy are not in the hands of its government.”

    I’d be interested to hear your opinion on why it’s a governments job to be holding power on the world stage.

  64. hi ip, i see you ignored me questioning your comment about tane’s gender and continued to refer to him as female:

    “This is where Tane inadvertently smacks herself in the head with her own argument.”

    it is really sad that you would undermine your credibility so swiftly by resorting to the female gender as an insult. i am really at a loss that someone can still believe this is a logical way of insulting someone. sure you find subtle sexism at kiwiblog frequently and many of the bloggers commenting over there delight in low key misogyny. your comments however are just so pathetically unbelievable especially in light of the fact that you describe yourself as ‘witty’ and ‘charming’. these comments are lacking in wit and are far from charming.

    i am also disappointed that more of those people who comment here and at other blogs -right and left included- are not pulling ip up on this. i don’t care if he is just doing it to get attention so you all think we should ignore him- it is behaviour that i thought died at least ten years ago.

  65. Kimble 65

    Robinsod, how did things go when they were 100% owned by the government?

  66. Robinsod 66

    I’d be interested to hear your opinion on why it’s a governments job to be holding power on the world stage.

    Because governments are more accountable to their citizens than corporations.

    Robinsod, how did things go when they were 100% owned by the government?

    That’s a stupid question Kimble, throughout the cold war China was unable to engage in trade with most of the outside world. Having said this China managed to take itself from a agrarian society into an industrial (and now toward a post-industrial) society in less than a century. I think you’ll find that it has been China’s increasing engagement in the world that has seen it’s most recent economic surge. Who owns what has had nothing to do with it.

    You really have no idea do you?

  67. Dean 67

    “Because governments are more accountable to their citizens than corporations.”

    Im sorry, did you even think about your repsonse before you posted it? Why doesn a government being more or less accountable to corporations mean it has to be a world power?

  68. Dean 68

    ” I think you’ll find that it has been China’s increasing engagement in the world that has seen it’s most recent economic surge. Who owns what has had nothing to do with it.

    You really have no idea do you?”

    If you think who owns something has nothing to do with it, then your ideas about China are so wrong that it’s clear that it’s you who has no idea. Do you?

  69. Draco TB 69

    The number of right-wingers who can’t see a business deal when it’s right in front of them on this blog is astounding. Considering that the National party fails to see it as well is very concerning – especially considering that they’re supposed to be the party for business. Of course they still haven’t really gotten out of the protectionist mindset yet so I suppose we really shouldn’t be surprised.

    The $84k grant came out of the Growth and Innovation fund because it’s a business opportunity to sell our expert services to China for a bloody great profit. Sure, in a few years the Chinese would have picked up that expertise and may not buy ours anymore but by then we should have come up with something new.

    PS. Communism is the better economic system because it actually allows for a free market which is impossible under capitalism. The protectionist BS stated by the right-wingers on this blog prove it. I can also point out the massive amounts of protectionism of the US and the EU as as proof as well. Scratch a capitalist and you will find a protectionist.

  70. Pascal's bookie 70

    Yep, they actually read Adam Smith, rather than just quoting the 3 lines they know.

  71. Kimble 71

    “throughout the cold war China was unable to engage in trade with most of the outside world.”

    The USA was involved in the cold war too, they managed to engage in trade quite well.

  72. Kimble 72

    “Because governments are more accountable to their citizens than corporations.”


    Did you just say that the Chinese government is more accountable to the chinese citizens than the head of a corporation is to its shareholders or customers?

  73. Dean 73

    “PS. Communism is the better economic system because it actually allows for a free market which is impossible under capitalism.”


    That just made my night. Thanks Draco!

  74. Kimble 74

    Yeah, Dean, didnt you know? Free-market proponents are really all about protectionism. So obvious!

  75. Dean 75

    “Yeah, Dean, didnt you know? Free-market proponents are really all about protectionism. So obvious!”

    I can agree as often at least in pinciple with many people on this site as often as i agree to disagree with them. I don’t mind that, healthy debate is educational for everyone involved.

    But Draco asserting that communism allowed for a free market is about as educational as someone trying to tell me.. actually I won’t finish that sentence. Draco just has an “educational gap”.

  76. Draco TB 76

    “Free-market proponents are really all about protectionism. So obvious!”

    There’s no room for a free market in a capitalist economy as it would destroy profits. A free market brings the cost of anything down to cost price and there isn’t a lot of profit at cost.

    “Draco just has an “educational gap””

    Economics is my strongest subject so I can assure you that there is no gap.

  77. The Double Standard 77

    “Capitalism is Man Exploiting Man; Communism is just the opposite”

  78. Dean 78

    “Economics is my strongest subject so I can assure you that there is no gap.”

    In that case, I would suggest that you kindly refrain from the idea of giving up your day job.

  79. Robinsod 79

    Kimble – you’re a moron.

    Dean – the main proponent of the “free market” is the US, their markets are as protected as Chinas (note: NZ is more likely to get a meaningful FTA with China than the US. Ask why)

    TDS – You’re being dull. Answer my simple question and maybe you’ll be worth responding to:

    Why did you name yourself after my little witticism?


  80. PhilBest 80

    EH?????????? COMMUNISM is behind the success of the Chinese Economy today? Sounds Like Orwell’s Ministry of Truth has been busy.

    Draco TB
    Dec 11th, 2007 at 8:36 pm SAID:

    “There’s no room for a free market in a capitalist economy as it would destroy profits. A free market brings the cost of anything down to cost price and there isn’t a lot of profit at cost.”

    AND: “Economics is my strongest subject”

    Sounds like the source of YOUR learning was a course of indoctrination in outdated, proven-wrong Marxism. You need to read Schumpeter, “Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy” (for a start). NO nation in the world has EVER reached Marx’s theoretical state of “vanishing investment opportunity” and none ever WILL. Schumpeter explains why.

    No TRUE free marketer is EVER against free trade. Some “Capitalists” are in favour of protectionism so that they can make more profit, while organised labour is also in favour as their jobs are protected thereby. The cost of both is borne, of course, by their fellow countrymen in their role as consumers.

    Another “must-read” is Friedman, “Free to Choose”.

    You can’t claim to know economics if you haven’t read ALL the classics, not just Marx and his supporters.

    By the way, Schumpeter is a quite palateable read even for a hardcore leftist. A lot of you guys make the mistake of looking up Schumpeter’s bio, and refusing to read him. “Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy” actually outlines the program under which Socialism is going to WIN, and it’s not for the reasons that MARX thought it was going to. Schumpeter actually looks increasingly like being proved right, to me, and like Schumpeter, I might not LIKE it but I can still SEE it just like a Doctor can see if a patient isn’t going to live. (Schumpeter’s own analogy, by the way).

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 hours 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
    9 hours 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
    11 hours 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 ...
    11 hours 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
    12 hours 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? ...
    15 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    21 hours 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
    22 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    7 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks 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
    12 hours 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
    14 hours 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
    14 hours 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
    14 hours 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
    14 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago