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Prisons for profit

Written By: - Date published: 5:50 pm, October 28th, 2008 - 47 comments
Categories: crime, national, privatisation - Tags: , ,

National’s announcement that it plans to privatise the prison system says a lot about the party’s underlying values. Say what you like about National’s temporary flip-flops, underneath they haven’t changed a bit.

Whether it’s ACC, privatising assets, drafting electoral law or reforming the Resource Management Act, the National Party stands for entrenching private power at the expense of the public in nearly every sphere of life.

Now, as in the 1990s, National believes that even the sharp end of state power, the prison system, should be wrenched from public control and handed over to private corporations driven by the profit motive.

As a very basic principle for anyone on the Left, the thought of putting money on bodies in a cell and paying stockholders for those bodies is an affront to human dignity. As with the police and the judiciary, coercive power should be the monopoly of democratically accountable public institutions, not private companies.

But even on a more practical level, private prisons simply don’t make sense. Does anyone seriously believe that powerful corporations with a direct profit motive in a high prison population and repeat customers will have an interest in rehabilitation?

The reality is private prisons, like any other outsourced provider, only make money by cutting corners where it really matters. The record of private prisons in the United States is overwhelmingly one of low wages, poor training and prisoner abuse.

In fact, the firm the last National government contracted to run private prisons in NZ was none other than the infamous Wackenhut, which has since changed its name to GEO Group, so damaged is its reputation. Especially for young people, Wackenhut has become a byword for inmate abuse after a series of high profile stories of rape and brutalisation.

The Corrections Corporation of America, another likely bidder for New Zealand’s prison services, has had similar problems resulting from low pay, lack of training and poor treatment of prisoners. PBS recently reported the following story about a CCA facility:

One night in 2004, a major prisoner riot blazed through Crowley. Some of the overwhelmed guards ran away and outside law enforcement had to put down the uprising. A state report later found that the facility was not fully staffed, and didn’t follow fundamental security measures. Inmates were angry over bad food and inappropriate use of force. Low pay contributed to a high staff attrition rate…and in an industry where years on the job can literally teach you how to save lives… newly-hired, inexperienced staff were left to deal with an explosive mix of inmates from three different states.

According to one expert, ‘the problems that were identified in the wake of that riot are typical of the private prison industry and happen over and over again.’

Don’t be fooled into thinking National’s plan to privatise our prison system is in any way “fresh thinking” for a “brighter future”. Like the rest of their programme, National’s corrections policy is the same old ideological formula: remove control from the public sphere so the private sector can profit. Whether it works or even violates fundamental principles of human dignity and democracy is beside the point.

47 comments on “Prisons for profit”

  1. Sarah 1

    “the National Party stands for entrenching private power at the expense of the public in nearly every sphere of life”

    Please try and spin another one.

  2. theodoresteel 2

    I thought the Nats believed in the efficiency and ability of the private sector, allowing goals to be reached in the most efficient way. Obviously if the contracts go out from the Government they can put terms and conditions on those – dont meet the requirements, lose money. That’s how the private sector ensures standards are met and done so in the most efficient way.

    And I thought that there was generally higher standards of care at private prisons, but maybe I’ve just been reading different prodpaganda – no I cant quote where from because I dont remember.

  3. Tane 3

    Sarah,

    Please try and spin another one.

    That’s the fundamental split between left and right Sarah, sorry if you missed it.

    Theodore,

    The right usually ignore the international experience and point to the short history of private management at Auckland Central Remand Prison, which Wackenhut’s New Zealand subsidiary used as its sales pitch to enter the New Zealand market. It’s worth noting any perceived benefits came from the type of prisoner held there, the fact the facility was brand new, and the need of the company to look good so it could win more business. I read somewhere they also had a lower staff:prisoner ratio than other prisons, no doubt a sign of things to come.

  4. Lampie 4

    this concept and boot camps, all now failed experiments according to research. Why even bother??

  5. Lampie 5

    I know the answer, it’s the magic wand trick as we are sheep and listen to what we only want to hear.

  6. randal 6

    has new zealand finally gone mad?

  7. Ianmac 7

    Hospitals: Pick the profitable parts of the Public System, contract out to Private Hospitals, leave the tricky stuff to the Public.
    Prisons: Pick out the low risk prisoners from the Public System,contract out to Private, and leave the tough stuff to the Public System.
    Now look at the effect. Public slower more expensive, Private cheaper, more efficient. Simple. Stats to prove it. OK?

  8. Bill 8

    So lets see. 10 days till the election and the Peter’s spin keeps on spinning. So, release your unpopular policies 10 to the dozen and sit back as they slip largely unnoticed under the radar thanks to that large Peters blip on the screen. And the ones that are noticed? Give the Peter’s spinning top a wee birl to take the focus away again or, as a last resort, release another bullshit policy with attendant obtuse sound bites before the first is properly latched on to.

    Duck, dive and bluster for 10 days. Only 10 days to not get pinned. Only 10 days to survive those oh so sharp hooks of NZ’s msm! On day 11, relax and get on with floating NZ Ltd down the swannie. Or so the plans and hopes might be.

  9. the sprout 9

    “Does anyone seriously believe that powerful corporations with a direct profit motive in a high prison population and repeat customers will have an interest in rehabilitation?”

    Exactly. Just another example of National supporters in denial about one of life’s more obvious market failures.

    What’s next I wonder, privatization of the Commerce Commission?

  10. National: Now 98% fact free!

  11. Tane 11

    Sprout, my sources tell me it’s private police and judiciary. Expect to see something like this in the Herald in the next few days:

    National leader John Key is proposing a shake-up in the justice system, with a focus on slashing red tape and bureaucracy.

    In a speech to the Sensible Sentencing Trust today Key slammed Labour’s failure in the police and the judiciary and promised choice and competition for all New Zealanders.

    “As a recent high profile cases of police misconduct have shown, Labour’s police force is failing”, Mr Key told his audience to rapturous applause.

    “When you add the series of bungled and unpopular rulings from the judiciary in recent times it’s clear that people are fed up with the system and are looking for change.

    “National’s plan will provide that change. We don’t believe the government has all the answers, and unlike Labour we’re not ideologically opposed to the private sector playing a role in the provision of justice.

    “With support from our coalition partner ACT we will be introducing choice in the justice market in our first 100 days in office”, Mr Key concluded.

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    “privatization of the Commerce Commission?”

    Not in the first term.

    I understand that Fiji gets a decent wedge for letting the UN deploy it’s military around the world, could be a starter for the SOE model. Make the Defence Forces self funding, bloody slackers, the deadweight costs are immense. It could be a growth area too. There’s no need to limit ourselves to the stupid Fijian UN based model. We may need to make a few technical adjustments. Drop the oaths and citizenship requirements which are relics of a bygone bleggidy blah, they’re are just holding us back.

  13. Now, that’s a beautiful piece of political writing – solid philosophical argument, backed by pragmatism, and conveyed with excellent rhetoric. ka pai, Tane

    You can witness the strength of such argument in the response from the Righties. Sarah, frankly, has nothing, no substantive response at all. While theodore’s argument relies on ignoring, but not refuting, facts in your piece.

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    The Fire service is a goer as well.

    There was a Roman chappie who had the right stuff. Just have FireCorp show up at the scene with their appliances and make an offer on the property. What could be fairer than that? Sure you’ve got a highly motivated seller, but they’ve still got the choice of saying we don’t want no water let my muthafucka burn.

    Everyone like choices.

  15. Bill 15

    What about the privatisation of Civil Emergency…?…then the Nats can give themselves and their mates all of our tax money as they save us from 3 years of policy induced nation wide catastrophe.

  16. milo 16

    Tane, you are setting up a straw man. The ‘right’ believes in individual rights, personal incentive, relatively free markets and a level enough playing field to allow people to flourish. You constantly and egregiously confuse this idea liberty with a different idea of oligarchy. Now maybe the Nats are oligarchs, and maybe they aren’t, but oligarchs are not the ‘right’.

    And the foundation of our modern health and prosperity is the victory of these individual rights, personal incentives, relatively free markets, and reasonably level playing fields. The evidence is history writ large in every country of the world over the last 300 years.

    Now some of those foundations require ‘left’ thinking. You can’t have a level playing field without a safety net and education and food for the poor, for example. But much of our modern prosperity, if not most, is based on individual liberty above everything else.

    If you don’t believe me, read some history. And please stop deliberately confusing those who believe in liberty and incentive with the oligarchs who seek to create wealth through monopolies. You know better.

  17. Why bother having prisons run privately, gutless judges will just him these pieces of human trash, home detention, like they did with Michael Bensley.

  18. randal 18

    milo …I’m sorry but you confuse a narrow section of contract law with freedom. i.e. anything that stands in the way of making a profit is un free.
    NOne of us are free. when free willy was put back in the sea he died.
    YOu are like those persons on the right who want unfettered legal access to make as much money as possible with no questions asked.
    that is not freedom.

  19. milo 19

    No randal, I believe in freedom to live in accordance with your values, to the extent that is consistent with the common good. I suspect you think the same, but we disagree with what those limits are.

    Let me highlight the difference. Tane is rightly concerned that the coercive power of the state is too awful to be delegated to private contractors. But if the coercive power of the state is so awful, why are bloggers on The Standard is such a rush to extend this awful power further and further.

    Can’t have it both ways – the coercive power of the state should be restricted, or it shouldn’t. I vote for restricting it. And I think National are the best chance of achieving that, given Labour and the Greens penchant for extending the coercive power of the state.

    Vote freedom. Not coercion.

  20. idiotic ak 20

    Totally off topic, but just heard the Slipper on the wireless saying “of course we all know that Helen Clark will do whatever it takes to be the government…..”

    Reminded me of this quote from the SST a wee way back that I had the good sense to snip out;

    “One insider says Key has a pet saying of “whatever it takes” – it is his indication to a caucus member that he just wants something to be done, find a way to do it. But it’s a phrase which has a double-edge.
    In many ways it has been his modus operandi since as a small boy he dreamed of being Prime Minister.”

    Projection stage: check.

    As you were.

  21. DS 21

    >>>Can’t have it both ways – the coercive power of the state should be restricted, or it shouldn’t. I vote for restricting it. <<<

    Mate, if you think Private Enterprise can’t be coercive, you’ve got another thing coming.

  22. milo 22

    DS: Coercive power of the State. And yes, I think one of the great failures of New Zealand governments is the failure to prevent oligolopies
    from exploiting the public … power companies come to mind, and public monopolies like local councils, and the department of internal affairs. They all exert the coercive power of their monopolies/oligopolies to constantly raise prices.

    And what has the Government done about it? Just said “thanks very much” for their slice of the revenue.

  23. ak 23

    (that’d be a “think” DS)

    heck while I’m here, here’s another doozy from that Nice caring man who wants to expand the dole:

    “Key in mid-2002 also revealed to the Sunday Star-Times a tough personal view on welfare. Asked about the topic as National struggled internally with its policy line, Key said there had been “enormous growth in the number of people on the DPB, and where people have been, for want of a better term, breeding for a business”.

    Lovely bloke.

  24. milo 24

    Threadjacking ak? Do you think the coercive power of the state should be reduced or increased?

  25. the sprout 25

    I guess one thing that won’t need further privatizing is the National Party Ltd.

  26. milo 26

    That’s right sprout. Owen Glenn has already bought them.

    Oh, hang on …..

  27. Rex Widerstrom 27

    Let me start by making clear I am no fan of prisons, public or private. Those that we have ought to be a last resort, yet populist “get tough on law’n’order” policies keep (over)stuffing them and expecting inadequate buildings and staff numbers to cope. Thus many of the conditions in prison are solely the fault of politicians, not the jailers.

    So if we step back, take off the ideological blinkers and take a look at the performance of jailers, what do we find? Some are good, some are crap; some are public, some are private.

    Serco (a private prison operator in the UK, does particularly well reintegrating soon-to-be-released and newly-released prisoners back into the community; an average one in maintaining decent conditions in its prisons, in a large part due to overcrowding forced on them by politicians and the judiciary (a problem shared by public prisons).

    They run a private prison in Western Australia – it’s well known to be clean, well-managed and to offer good opportunities for prisoners to learn and be reintegrated. As a result, prisoners apply to be sent there from state run prisons in far greater numbers than the private prison can handle.

    An additional factor is that, as a private entity, Serco can be sued. The Corrections Department, as an arm of the state, cannot. That difference becomes immediately apparent if you deal with either sort of prison – the state prison’s attitude is invariably a polite variation on “Meh, what are you gonna do about it?”.

    Then there’s Wackenhut… enough said.

    Personally, I’m open to anything that might provide prisoners with reasonable conditions while also helping genuinely rehabilitate them and reduce reoffending – and which are effective in containing and ensuring the continued detention of the small percentage of people beyond rehabilitation.

    Whether they’re wearing the uniform of the state of a private company doesn’t worry me (provided prisoners’ rights are well enshrined in statute and protected by an effective watchdog) – it’s results that count.

  28. I think you hit the nail on the head there Rex. Every one wants less crime, but what courts the “laura norder” vote is not good policy. Its beyond me why so many people consider themselves experts is such complex fields.

    If it was just a matter of doing what the sensible sentacing trust says, then how come Joseph Apiro’s prison in f Maricopa County, Arizona has resulted in at best no reduction in crime, at worst and increase. If its as simple as feeding them rancid food, giving them brutal beatings from the guards and keeping them in conditions so bad it harms their health then why isn’t crime plummeting there?

    Not many people would go diving into their engine when their car breaks down, they don’t go building their house themselves, why not, because the car wouldn’t work when they put it back together and the house would probably fall down. Why is prison any different? why the hell do so many people consider them selves such experts on the matter that they see fit to go out making massive campaigns like the sensible sentencing trust.

    It really pains me that objective statistics and scientific research these days are considered just another factor in making these kind of decisions.

    Back too the original point though, I dont see how a privately run prison can be any cheaper than a public one without cutting corners.

    (On a slight side note, does the Sensible Sentancing Trust’s name contain a logical fallacy? In claiming themselves to be “sensible” isnt that like starting off a statement by saying “every body knows that…..”, Is that a logical fallacy or just bad debating?)

  29. Pascal's bookie 29

    (On a slight side note, does the Sensible Sentencing Trust’s name contain a logical fallacy? In claiming themselves to be “sensible’ isnt that like starting off a statement by saying “every body knows that ..’, Is that a logical fallacy or just bad debating?)

    It’s like when someone tells you they oppose unnecessary violence…

  30. fiona 30

    National might also consider introducing the death penalty (surely a logical extension of this ‘lock im up and throw away the key’ mentality), and ‘harvesting’ organs from the executed like they do in China. But to show their ‘compassionate conservatism’, perhaps they wouldn’t charge the family for the bullet?

  31. Lampie 31

    Here National, privatize this *flips the bird*

  32. Chris G 32

    This is a no brainer: Efficiency as is often touted by tories as the reason to privatise, aside.

    If I’m running a private prison – I dont want rehabilitation to occur nor crime to stop because, I’m making money from people ending up in prison, and staying in prison (Being chain gangs for local infrastructure while I get paid for it)
    Theres a thing called incentive, they always bang on about it in Economics (Which the nats know heaps about dont they?) My incentive to make money stems from me ensuring more people are in prison, because a body equals $. Where is the incentive to reduce crime and create better citizens?

    Conclusion: – How is society any better off?
    – That is a repugnant system.

  33. randal 33

    “the panel” today…all agreed that privatising prisons and work for parole is nothing less than the politics of hate.
    i s this what new zealanders have become
    punitive angry people looking for revenge on anybody and everybody
    what does this say about us as a people?

  34. Lew 34

    randal: That’s because they’re all bleeding-heart liberal stooges of the communist state talking on its lap-dog government-owned media.

    Clearly.

    L

  35. Rex Widerstrom 35

    Chris G suggests:

    If I’m running a private prison – I dont want rehabilitation to occur nor crime to stop because, I’m making money from people ending up in prison, and staying in prison

    Possibly, if the politicians and bureaucrats who offered you the contracts are shortsighted idiots (and I accept there’s every chance they are).

    But to return to my exmaple of Serco above, the contracts under which they operate specify – at their own instigation – that they’re paid partly on the basis of how many of their previous guests do not return. That’s why they’re so successful at rehabilitation – far more so than state prisons in the same area.

    Of course they receive some money to keep the prisoner locked up for the duarion, or they simply couldn’t afford to do so. But they’re rewarded when they achieve exacrtly what prison is meant to do – stop recidivism.

    If you want to look for people who have a vested interest in keeping the revolving door into prison turning, look no further than politicians, the judiciary they appoint, and the police with whom they’re so cosy.

    Like I said, if “the market” can be manipulated in such a way as to stop people returning to jail, then three cheers for the market.

  36. RedLogix 36

    Rex,

    Possibly, if the politicians and bureaucrats who offered you the contracts are shortsighted idiots (and I accept there’s every chance they are).

    You are definitely the most credible commentator here on this issue, so maybe you can help me on this one. Did National include contract terms rewarding reduced reoffending when they signed up Wackenhut for the ARRP?

  37. Swampy 37

    Corrections is one of the most stuffed up useless government departments there is. Heads should have rolled at the very top a long long time ago. Labour doesn’t really care, the stuff ups have continued as they have in other departments because the minister isn’t any good and the department manages to keep a pretty low profile most of the time.

    Just to give the balance to your statement about what National stands for, the Labour Party stands for clobbering every private entity in the country – they hate the p word.

  38. Swampy 38

    “this concept and boot camps, all now failed experiments according to research. Why even bother??”

    NZ had a much lower youth crime rate when the youth justice system included Borstals and the like. It’s only since the 80s when Labour brought in their pathetic system that youth crime has rocketed.

  39. Rex Widerstrom 39

    RedLogix: I’m sorry, I don’t have a definitive answer to your question. To the best of my recollection, no. But I accept I could be wrong, and they may have tried to do so.

    What I’m far more certain of, however, is that if they had, Wackenhut would not have achieved the objective. They were a bad choice, and National should have known that. Their performance as operators of Australia’s detention centres at Curtin, Port Hedland, Perth, Woomera, Villawood and Maribyrnong was appalling. Detainees don’t undertake hunger strikes, riots, escapes and self-mutilation if they’re properly managed.

    I’d urge everyone – and specially the “prison is a holiday camp” brigade to watch this ABC our Corners documentary on the guards who worked at Woomera and the debilitating effect it’s had on their lives.

    Then think about the fact that detention centres were set up to be more humane than prisons, as no one inside was supposed to be being punished; and that these are the guards – imagine the effect on the detainees / prisoners.

    For those interested, Eye on Wackenhut lists the company’s many failures and alleged corruption, but mainly in the US.

    So as I said earlier, there’s digusting private prison operators and others whose prisons prisoners queue up to transfer to (i.e. Serco). It’s a matter of the politicians and bureaucrats choosing the company offering the best outcomes, which may not be the one offering the cheapest price.

  40. Swampy 40

    Ianmac

    “Hospitals: Pick the profitable parts of the Public System, contract out to Private Hospitals, leave the tricky stuff to the Public.
    Prisons: Pick out the low risk prisoners from the Public System,contract out to Private, and leave the tough stuff to the Public System.
    Now look at the effect. Public slower more expensive, Private cheaper, more efficient. Simple. Stats to prove it. OK?”

    Explain why people already go private in the hospital system, it is because they can get treated immediately vs waiting months or years in the public hospital waiting lists. Public hospital care has actually got worse since 1999 even after throwing billions at it which proves Labour doesn’t have a clue.

  41. Swampy 41

    Anyone who claims the police are competent should ask why so many cases involving the Labour Party have been dropped, and why the police continue to refuse to release information relating to the 2005 investigation into Don Brash’s stolen emails.

  42. Swampy 42

    “Why is prison any different? why the hell do so many people consider them selves such experts on the matter that they see fit to go out making massive campaigns like the sensible sentencing trust.”

    The sensible sentencing trust wants the same as any of us and that is less crime. The justice system is a place of last resort that is almost becoming entrenched due to the breakdown of individual responsibility in society. Now, why isn’t there any effort to address that? How about discipline in schools and the youth justice system.

  43. Swampy 43

    “The National Party stands for entrenching private power at the expense of the public in nearly every sphere of life.”

    In your world there is no private interest for the public. There should be no private businesses, private property or anything?

    ‘Cos the problem is, the “public” or “people” have in themselves substantial private interests, like the assets that they own (house, car etc). Many of them run their own private businesses. Private power exists in those entities. Democracy goes hand in hand with a society in which ordinary members of the public hold private interests.

    “Public” in the above statement really means “State” which stands for a monopoly run by the government, not necessarily for the “public” good. If the State has a wish to stamp out private ownership or business then it is definitely not for the public good. When Labour was formed nearly a hundred years ago their key policy was the nationalisation of all land. This policy was unpopular and they eventually dropped it. Maybe they want to bring it back?

  44. “Swampy
    The sensible sentencing trust wants the same as any of us and that is less crime. The justice system is a place of last resort that is almost becoming entrenched due to the breakdown of individual responsibility in society. Now, why isn’t there any effort to address that? How about discipline in schools and the youth justice system.”

    If they really want to do something to help, why do they go about it in such an ideologically tainted fashion?

    Secondly, your ideological taintings are showing now. If you knew anything about the youth justice system you would know it is internationally recognized as one of the best in the world, with much much lower re offending rates than the standard justice system.

  45. Swampy 45

    “As with the police and the judiciary, coercive power should be the monopoly of democratically accountable public institutions, not private companies.”

    Most State run institutions are not democratically accountable as the general public has no say at all in how they are run. Sure, politicians campaign on a few select policies but for the most part the activities of these government departments go on behind closed doors without any public scrutiny. No one seriously believes that such institutions will ever be used for anything other than furthering the political purposes of government ministers.

    We all know that monopolies are bad, they are inefficient and give poor service and that is why any kind of monopoly should be much more accountable and open but the reverse is true of government owned monopolies. No one seriously believes that either the police or corrections are accountable just because they are public sector institutions. You really have to wonder how the police got away with the Louise Nicholas and similar cases for so long when people go around claiming we are the least corrupt country in the Western world (LOL).

    Putting monopoly power into the hands of the state always leads to abuses – in NZ that has included IRD, the police, corrections etc, in part because for political reasons these departments are protected from normal accountability expectations. IRD is a case in point with huge powers that no other department or private entity has. The government fawns over them especially Labour as they are the goose that lays the golden eggs.

  46. “You really have to wonder how the police got away with the Louise Nicholas and similar cases for so long when people go around claiming we are the least corrupt country in the Western world (LOL).”

    Because other countries are more corrupt?

  47. Rex Widerstrom 47

    Killingthenameof:

    Good point re the effectiveness of the youth justice system. We’re ahead of the curve there. And in things like diversion. Which makes it all the more inexplicable why our prison system is absolutely falling apart at the seams. No votes in it for either side I guess… spend any money on prison programs and the SST and their ilk will be foaming at the mouth about “expensive computers” even though they’re vital for education (and thus rehabilitation and thus less reoffending).

    On the issue of these “corruption indices” though, I think you’re missing the point. It’s all about how corruption is measured. Sure it’s not possible to bribe most police officers in NZ, so in that sense we have very low corruption. Pity it’s not possible to measure far more subtle indicators of different sorts of corruption – like the fixation many officers get on one suspect to the exclusion of all others, forcing cases through the courts that result either in acquital (but only after emotional and financial stress to the accused and their family) or wrongful conviction. Not corrupt in the way it’s measured by these indices, but a corruption of what is supposedly the “justice” system nonetheless.

    [captcha: “horseback ballet”. It’d have to be on ice before I’d pay to see it :-D)

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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    2 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    3 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    3 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    3 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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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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  • 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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  • 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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