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Police nurture a unwise form of direct democracy

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, January 7th, 2009 - 27 comments
Categories: activism, interweb, police, scoundrels - Tags: ,

 The Economist has an fascinating article “Rioters of the world unite“. It is partially about the demonstrations, protests, and outright riots in Athens and other parts of Greece at the end of last year. It is also partially concerned with a rising trend in new ways to not organize, and still be politically effective.  The underlying issue is that the fund of goodwill between the police and certain politically active parts of society is drying up. In New Zealand there is a growing lack of respect for peaceful political activism amongst some elements of the police. To me that looks like heading towards France 2005, Budapest 2006, and now Greece 2008 with net assisted uncontrolled outbreaks of anger. We’ve had them before, but these days they can spread fast, especially when assisted by annoyed activists tired of being persecuted and spied on.

For those who didn’t bother with the news at the time, here is a description from an earlier Economist article about what triggered the unrest and how far it went.

This week’s violence was on an unprecedented scale. It erupted after Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a 15-year-old schoolboy, was shot dead by a policeman in Exarchia, a scruffy central district of Athens known as the anarchists’ home base, on the night of December 6th. Shouting insults at police in their patrol cars is a weekend sport for some Athenian youths. The police are meant to stay cool: the last time a policeman killed a teenager was in 1985.

This time protests over the shooting quickly spilled into the main streets of Athens, and thence across the country. Roving groups of anarchists torched cars, broke shop windows decorated for Christmas and tossed in petrol bombs. Beyond the capital, demonstrators attacked police stations and public offices in a dozen cities.

What triggered the events is not that interesting – anything could have. What was startling is the speed that people could get out on the streets to show their displeasure and being in the same places – that is new. It wasn’t just the people who were affected, knew the kid, or even were involved in similar groups. It was a lot of people and down to the individual level who decided to get involved.

In the world of the net, it is incredibly hard to confine information through the techniques of the past with the MSM. There are simply too many channels and outlets. You can’t censor or put injunctions on information that isn’t even in the same country. When activists who know how to put information on the net get involved, it spreads even faster, as these days they have widespread networks of loose contacts.

In Greece some of the political shenanigans are corrupt to say the least, and the police are viewed by sections of society as a sort of occupation force. There simply wasn’t enough goodwill towards the police or the authorities or the ‘system’. So people decided largely individually and without much organization to find out what was happening and where. Then they went to  participate.  The effect as the Economist commented is:-

By definition, anarchy is harder to propagate than rigid Leninism. Whatever is spreading from Athens, it is not a clear programme for a better world. The malcontents of Greece include ideological class warriors, nostalgists for the protests against the junta of 1967-74 and people (including drug dealers and bank robbers) with a grudge against the police. Relations between police and the counter-culture have worsened recently; the police are accused (rightly) of bullying migrants, the bohemians of dallying with terrorism. A messy scene, with no obvious message.

But the psychological impulse behind the Greek protests—a sense of rage against all authority, which came to a head after a 15-year-old boy was killed by a police bullet—can now be transmitted almost instantaneously, in ways that would make the Bolsheviks very jealous. These days, images (moving as well as still) spread faster than words; and images, of course, transcend language barriers.

The “bohemians” in this case are likely to be activists. Activists don’t join groups as much now, because it is safer to work on the net. You’re far less likely to have the paranoid police deciding that you are potentially a terrorist and then acting if you were one now. Activists now know where to go on the net and have even wider networks than if they were involved in groups. They don’t have (or want) leaders that can be targeted for special attention and they don’t want to have nebulous bogus conspiracy charges against them.

But that is overseas, what are the implications for here? That gets quite interesting.

Rioters of the world unite” points out that this isn’t a brand new trend – the techniques and trends are spreading via the net. Similar but less concentrated non-organization behavior happened in France in 2005, and in Budapest in 2006. The problem for the police and the authorities is that it can happen anywhere. All it requires is enough disaffected people in society that do not respect the “authoritah of Cartmans”. Most people under the of 30 have the skills to communicate on the net. All activists have access to it these days.police_officer_cartman

In NZ, imagine if the police were still as much of a pain as they were after the ’81 tour and Muldoon. Then they managed to trigger the 1984 Queen Street Riot with a serious testosterone burst of stupidity. That is the NZ analogy to Athens but other things could cause similar disruption.

If I’d heard about the rumpus in 1984 soon enough, I’d have gone down for a look, and probably got involved. In 1984, I was 24 and had little very respect for the police. They’d assaulted me in 1981 without sufficient reason. They made a habit of harassing my friends, especially if they were brown.

I’m not that happy with them now and that is a lot more of an issue than it was 25 years ago – then I was politically niave, now I’m definitely an activist. Their actions against activists over the last few years have been appalling. Rather than having a fund of respect amongst activists that the police could draw on, groups within the police like the SIG, TAU, and TPU have been frittering it away. It isn’t just the left, there is almost as much disquiet across the whole political spectrum for many reasons. Just read the blogs.

A decision to participate would be done individually by activists. There isn’t any point in talking it over with others and figuring out longer term factors. If we did that then we would become easy targets for police action. Periodically they’d descend with search warrants based on bogus nebulous conspiracy charges as part of their general intimidation policies. It is far safer to act alone and use the net to support each other anonymously. They spy on established groups like political parties and unions as well, so how long before they start using search warrants and conspiracy charges against them?

To be visibly involved is to become part of the wet dream of some lazy police with conspiracy delusions. In NZ, it is becoming simpler to be an anonymous activist cross-linked via the net. That is not a good model for nurturing democratic change in NZ – it is a suppression technique. In the end suppression just leads to explosions.

Yep, I can see why the riots in Greece happened. It only takes a few fuckwits in the police to squander the respect for their authoritah! Hell it may even be policy to increase police budgets – who can tell? The police are a opaque organization who often appear as if they are unsure themselves about what they are doing. But that is another post.

And now for your viewing pleasure… Cartman… The police don’t like us using their crest so Cartman will have to do.

27 comments on “Police nurture a unwise form of direct democracy”

  1. Carol 1

    “nuture”? – easy slip to make ie in your headline.

    [lprent: Yep, it doesn’t spell check that. Fixed (I think)]

  2. Typical supercilious putdown of youth by the voice of finance capital.
    Aimless youth spontaneously rioting with no program for a better society.
    Tut tut. Have another gin and tonic dear. .. Oops is that a molotov cocktail dear?

    Coming from the mouthpiece of the ruling class that has demonstrated its total bankruptcy in creating a better society, from Athens to Gaza, why should we pay it any heed?

    Well because its a typical trivialising of the real issues which these radical youth are fighting; the system, the rich and the authority of the state which the rich use to pacify social unrest.

    The Economist tries to reduce their actions to individual anarchy, the psychology of hothead youth, but made more effective by modern communications. And what’s more insult youthful intelligence to suggest its only bad policing that gets them angry.

    Well, not so. It’s the old bogey of anarchy rising up that they fear. The youth trashed their malls, supermarkets, and luxury hotels. The flash cars are a favorite target. Its only a step from their to their prized mansions and clubs. That’s already a better social program than that offered by the class the Economist speaks for -the dole, jail, being shot or bombed.

    Then there’s the attack on authority. The youth trashed police stations, the symbol of the authority used by the rich to suppress dissent. That’s a sound program for social advance. Though its hardly a program to replace the police with another form of authority to express the will of the people, its a step in the right direction. That’s why the youth occupied the schools and universities so they could organise, educate and plan the next moves. Planning? horrors darling.

    Then there’s the call for Caramanlis to resign. Well that’s quite a social program. Fancy youth realising that the government is corrupt and oppressive imposing social austerity to bail out the banks and big corporates onto the backs of the youth unemployed. Fancy hotheaded youth being able to recognise the role of the bosses’ government for what it is. Some of them were even ahead of the opposition attempt to sideline them into new elections for a supposedly left Labour Party type government. So they occupied the Trade Union headquarters and demanded a general strike.

    Now that would really impress the Economist. A text message general strike. Wow! They can already imagine their system, its profits, its oppression, its wars, disappearing like the trillions that have already gone ‘poof’.

    What was it that someone said about the future belongs to our children?

  3. Bill 3

    So the economist follows the same old line that the unrest in Greece is a ‘riot’ with no accompanying demands or statements of desire…no underlying analysis/understanding on the part of the participants. That’s a crock. However.

    On acting individually (which is what you seem to propose) rather than acting as an individual is an interesting topic…one I’ve commented on previously in other standard posts. Organisation is a necessity….organisations that allow the individual to act and retain their autonomy work and work rather well.

    Many people, many voices. High degree of organisation but no centralisation. No ‘party lines’. An ever increasing constituency that happily accommodates all levels of resistance/protest….from the letter writer to the editor to the revolutionary. It’s been done here (post 11/09 invasion of Afghanistan) and will doubtless happen again.

    The problem is the old habit of people seeking to invest leadership in others. I was pleasantly surprised that this habit afflicted the middle class liberals far less than it did the tired old Trots and Leninists. However, while the liberals were comfortable to work and organise with no centralised command and control structure, they couldn’t identify the danger signs when elements of the left attempted to impose such a centralise structure.

    While those elements were successful in stamping their mark/ their authority, the result was the constituency that had been building and spreading dissipated when confronted by the reality of a party line….a many people, one voice scenario.

    It’s possible to organise in ways that confound the police. It was done. Next time around I’d like to think the people who were hoodwinked by the authoritarians will be a bit wiser and able to preserve the integrity of their organisational structures.

    We’ll see.

  4. Quoth the Raven 4

    Many of the rioter in Athens know exactly what they want. They are anarchists. You don’t fly a red and black flag without knowing what it’s all about – an end to capitalsim and all illegitimate authority, ie complete emancipation of humanity.

  5. Greedy Pig 5

    “What triggered the events is not that interesting – anything could have. What was startling is the speed that *people* could get out on the streets to show their displeasure and being in the same places – that is new..[blah blah… anti authoritarianism… again]

    Some people… the loose headed.

    [lprent: Talking about yourself in the third person? Bad habit that, makes people think that you’re an egotist]

  6. Greedy Pig 6

    Maybe every municipality should have an approved rioting place. After the rioting the rioters could rebuild it*.

    *if works not against the culture of the rioter.

  7. Ag 7

    I don’t know why the Economist should act all surprised. I guess more people are realizing that the Emperor has no clothes.

  8. Rex Widerstrom 8

    Using the net in a way invisible to the police assumes a reasonable degree of knowledge about encryption, using proxies and the like. I’m sure this information is disseminated amongst activists but whether it’s done quickly enough and whether it’s secure enough to exclude police infiltration, I wonder?

    The police regularly claim to have infiltrated “highly sophisticated online pedophile networks using high-tech methods to hide their activities”, implying they have the technology to penetrate even highly secure networks. Assuming that’s true (and I don’t, necessarily, given that data is very easy to plant on someone’s computer – just ask any 12 year old L337 |-|4><0r3r) then I doubt activists have the level of personal security you seem to imply – but you’d be a far better judge than I of such things, I guess.

    Having been the subject of more than 20 years of unwanted police attention I carefully considered the issue of anonymity net-wise, considering I figured that much of what I would write would be critical of the police and the whole “justice” system.

    In the end I concluded it’s better to be out in the open. At least that way if I’m dragged off in the night on yet another trumped-up charge (that’d make seven) someone might make the connection between my perfectly legal opinions and activities and their unpalatableness to certain power structures, and the continuing list of ever-more-bizarre “crimes” with which I’m charged.

    The problem with remaining underground is that, when you’re dragged off for interfering with livestock, it’s a bit late to creditably claim it’s really because you’re a pain in the establishment’s arse. Even though it’s true, the police can say “Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?” and the unknowing public will nod and move on, nothing to see here…

  9. lprent 9

    Rex: It’d be easy for the police to penetrate any particular persons systems, especially if armed with a search warrant. It is a lot harder when you multiply that by a larger number of people. Say at a low level, just  a hundred for NZ.

    However they’d be faced with the same type of issue that I have keeping some people off this site. Multiple ISP access accounts, internet cafes, dynamic IP’s and no requirement for logins (or multiple logins). Not to mention siblings, parents, freinds, and work accounts.

    You have no idea who people are some of the time – for instance d4j has used at least 6 dynamically allocated IP ranges. The only reason you know it is him is because of his style.

    Who needs encryption? The problem for any security systems in the days of the net and the amount of traffic running around is pretty damn high.

  10. Greedy Pig 10

    Can we have an opt out of rioting arrangement if we don’t want our property damaged?

  11. Rex Widerstrom 11

    lprent:

    I’d have thought so. But they seem to have no trouble rounding up these international child porn rings. I imagine they troll chat rooms till they find someone who’s not following the group’s security protocols (in terms of being indiscreet, I mean… we both know the weakest link in any network’s security is, to quote the old saw, the nut behind the keyboard).

    Once they’ve got an in I guess they start distributing material which can be traced (are trojans) and send the patsy something which logs all his connections.

    The alternative is that they’re telling fibs, which could quite easily also be the case.

    They seem to like solving cyber crime… presumably because it’s “sexy” at present and they can do it at their desk while eating donuts and surfing porn.

    captcha: ex-Editor 😯 Is it trying to tell me they’re on to me already?!

  12. jbc 12

    lprent: a very interesting point you make. I find it easy to agree with the sentiment and motivation for these organised protests but [as much as I’d feel anger towards authority] I can’t help feel that the methods used in these protests (torching cars, destroying things) is not the best way to act. Collateral damage does not win sympathy. On top of that the police are probably energised by riots rather than put off by them. Putting out fire with gasoline?

    A co-worker of mine once remarked (more than a decade ago) that the Internet was the “world’s largest stupidity amplifier”. That remark comes to mind with this Economist article.

    Now, what your niece [correct if wrong] Rochelle did over the police spying was far, far more intelligent. That’s the type of action that earns respect. A series of intelligent, carefully designed acts that hit your target can be much more effective than torching random cars and letting anger run wild.

    Consider an unwarranted parking fine. You get angry. Do you:

    A. Follow the warden home and torch their house and car.

    B. Follow the warden, note their licence plate, copy it, ensure they get sent many tickets for parking and other traffic offenses. 😉

    ?

  13. Ag 13

    Can we have an opt out of rioting arrangement if we don’t want our property damaged?

    No. One of the great pleasures of rioting is annoying people like you.

  14. lprent 14

    jbc: That is why Rochelle did that way. However the police in that case had given her a gift.

    Almost all activists including the moderates (like me) are now using this to have a bloody good go at the police. It is a good way to work some of the frustration out of the system. It is also a good opportunity to get the police to review their actions and policies over recent years.

    For example (using Rochelle as the example). You have to remember that this is after the police have pulled Rochelle up on close to 10 charges, that they either dropped when it came to trial, lost or lost on appeal on all but two of those charges.

    One was deliberate and she pleaded guilty in youth court. She chained herself to the front of a store. Her mother and I helped ramp up the sentence because it was only fire exit.

    They’d have lost the other one as well. Rochelle was working in Tauranga and the court was in Auckland. The police managed to move the court dates about 2 or 3 times without informing her (she was representing herself). So she organized to be in Auckland with witnesses to be informed that date had changed. Eventually she lost because she was out of holiday time and couldn’t organize witnesses or an appeal.

    This is not uncommon, any activist will tell you that this is the norm – to protest mens that you get charged on all sorts of crap that usually doesn’t stand up in court.

    Abusing the legal system and their position in it like that doesn’t exactly endear the police to any activist, moderate or otherwise. But in all of those cases what the police did was ‘legal’ and there is bugger all that could be done about it.

    It was also bloody stupid in terms of wanting any activist to trust them or to cut them any slack. That is what they are reaping now and for the next year or so.

  15. Many of the rioter in Athens know exactly what they want. They are anarchists. You don’t fly a red and black flag without knowing what it’s all about – an end to capitalsim and all illegitimate authority, ie complete emancipation of humanity.

    But who will run Facebook for you then?

  16. Whoops. I was about to complain about my comment being deleted. But now it’s back! How odd …

    [lprent: Just the usual caching problems would be my bet.]

  17. jbc 17

    But who will run Facebook for you then?

    Precisely.

    Note to Internet organised rioters: when you send that burning bus careening towards a sinister-looking building – make sure it does not contain the datacenter that hosts (or routes) your favourite blog. When tipping cars in the suburbs be careful not to disturb the roadside cabinet that patches the DSL to your home or the homes of your online friends.

  18. Quoth the Raven 18

    Russel – I don’t use facebook. It’s a stupid thing for teenagers and adults with nothing better to do. Maybe you use facebook. I would have thought something better from you, like a cogent argument about why people can’t organise themselves without hierachies, rather than a facetious little comment. Have you tried gettting a job in the MSM?

  19. jbc 19

    QTR: From the Economist article

    A similar tribute group on Facebook has attracted more than 130,000 members, generating thousands of messages and offering links to more than 1,900 related items: images of the protests, cartoons and leaflets.

    You linked to YouTube in your own post.

    Seemed clear to me that Russell was referring to how these “anti-capitalist anarchists” rely on services (Youtube, facebook, second life, the Internet, etc) provided by the capitalist organisations they wish to see the end of.

    Seems hypocritical to me – but then I don’t actually believe that rioters are smart enough to understand that.

  20. jbc – there’s an old saying – “capitalism will sell you the rope you use to hang it.”

  21. Rex Widerstrom 21

    If activists are using Facebook then they might as well hand themselves in to the police and save them the trouble of coming round to arrest them.

    In fact, come to think of it, they don’t even have to bother doing that any more, since courts are now allowing service via facebook.

    That’s what I mean about the supposed anonymity of activists on the net. Yes, there’s all those factors lprent mentions which make it hard for police. But they’re determined to use the online world to capture real world “criminals” and the courts and the lawmakers seem ready to oblige by making it easier for them to do so.

  22. jbc 22

    Robinson – yep I’m aware of a similar saying, but I don’t think it really applies here.

    I just find it a stretch to believe that that the riot fans who inhabit Second Life (for example) really understand the implications of the “end of capitalism” and have it as their end goal.

    As QTR stated about Facebook: “It’s a stupid thing for teenagers and adults with nothing better to do.”

  23. Quoth the Raven 23

    jbc – How is that hypocritical? You don’t have to live in a hovel like a monk to be a socialist. You can be rich and be a socialist in my mind without being a hypocrite. There is nothing wrong with using the tools at hand to better organise. It would be hypocritical if they were the bosses of some business exploiting people. Anarchists try to build the shells of a future society within the old one, through organising themselves, through democratic reforms (even if they don’t wish there to be governments) through unions etc, For example the woblies are thought of as an anarcho-syndacalist union. One could use the same stupid argument against free market supporters, are they hypocrites for using public healthcare and education? Just as with socialists it may seem slightly contradictory, but they cannot avoid these contradictions anymore than a socialist in current society, but they can work using governments for reforms and organise themselves, as socialists do, to make society better in the way they see it. Providing information for free on the internet does seem like a good way for an anarchist to get his message across, but that doesn’t mean these social netoworking sites aren’t silly. In this video Chomsky talks about that sort of thing (near the end somewhere).
    He was 15 I’m sure he did use facebook. Second life now that would be an idiotic waste of time no matter what your beliefs.

  24. Pascal's bookie 24

    Second life now that would be an idiotic waste of time no matter what your beliefs.

    google this

    libertarians “second life”

    QED. 🙂

  25. Quoth the Raven 25

    LPrent – There is a good article here: Greece rises in rebellion. I especially recommend you read the second half as to the views of people involved.

  26. Anita 26

    To go off on a slight tangent, one of the effects of excessive Police action against activists is that they no longer feel that they can go to the Police (or other similar authorities) for help. When an activist is attacked or burgled, they won’t go to the Police, domestic violence and rape are even less likely that usual to be reported.

    So by behaving unfairly the Police not only drive that group towards more extreme action, but they also remove the protection our society provides to everyone.

    The Police’s history of unbalanced enforcement stripped Māori and PI of their faith in the protection of the State. They’ve tried to rebuild that faith (with some massive srcew-ups along the way), will they try with activist communities?

  27. killinginthenameof 27

    Haven’t got time to go over the whole thread but there’s something I’m starting to notice. Conservatives (or classical liberals to keep DPF happy) carry on about anarchists and how they are just angry at nothing in particular. There’s an interesting, almost mirror like response to this from the conservatives (Brett dale is almost a text book example of this). They are just angry at any one questioning their white male authority and implied superiority. You see it in Brett’s case over his anger against taggers, but it’s not really about the paint on the wall. It’s that someone who may be, not white, not male, not heterosexual, not old, not Christian, not conservative, not rich, daring to question his, and everyone else like him’s superiority. And I guess a bit of paint on a fence shows how flimsy it really is.

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    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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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, ...
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

  • 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
    15 hours 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
    19 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    7 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
    7 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
    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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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  • 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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    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 ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago