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Private Prison Profile

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, June 29th, 2010 - 72 comments
Categories: australian politics, prisons, privatisation - Tags:

In yesterday’s news we heard that no charges were being brought after an Aboriginal man died in a Western Australian prison van, where he had a 4 hour ride without ventilation in 50degree plus temperatures that gave him 3rd degree burns. He had been provided with 600ml of water as they took him for the long ride to court to face a drink driving charge.

Whilst we may write it off as another example of Australia’s terrible treatment of Aborigines, it is interesting to see who was running the van: G4S.

When National get their ideological wish to get a prison privately run here, this large Australian/UK prison company will be the most likely candidate. Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident in Australia. In 2005 G4S subsidiary GSL was fined $500,000 after staff refused detainees water and access to a toilet on a seven‐hour bus trip between the Maribyrnong and Baxter detention centres. The death of a man from an unattended asthma attack amongst other deaths and violations failed to stop them recently being awarded another contract in Melbourne. It did lead Australian MP Tony Burke to say:

This is the private company that has people coming in the doors with no mental health problems and going out as broken human beings. There is one answer and one answer alone, and that is there have been enough breaches of this contract for the government to take action to terminate the privatisation of our detention centres. It was a bad idea from the start. It should not have taken place. It should not be continued.

Information on other possible bidders here

Bunji

72 comments on “Private Prison Profile”

  1. Tigger 1

    Well at least the allow their prisoners to smoke…

  2. salsy 2

    A fabulous podcast here from BFM regarding smoking, privatisation and the general sorry state of the New Zealand prison system by Peter Williams QC.

    [audio src="http://www.95bfm.com/assets/sm/196145/3/PeterWilliamsSmokingPrisons.mp3" /]

  3. WOOF 3

    They must be barking mad to allow nasty little corporations to run our prisons when others like them treat their prisoners worse than dogs. It makes you wonder who the real criminals are.

    • Bill 3.1

      Got to remember that ‘they’ are corporatists and Randists. Yes, they’re barking mad…and they’re in control in case you missed it.

      It is we who must be barking mad to allow them to remain in control and rolling out their private good/public evil, ‘s’cuse me while I line my pockets and evacuate on you bastards down below’ agenda.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    Of course, the public system has had its own problems so far as transporting prisoners is concerned.

    • kaplan 4.1

      No matter how you cut it. If an organisation stands to profit from jailing people there is ZERO incentive for that organisation to see crime rates drop.

      In fact from a purely business point of view (and how else would they look at it?) there is surely a big incentive for the private prison operator to make sure their customers become regular customers.

      • tsmithfield 4.1.1

        This is faulty logic.

        IF the private system is not performing well it will most likely lose the contract. IF it is performing a lot better than the public system, THEN it will most likely get more of the crime business. Thus, the public system will lose out if it can’t perform as well. So there will definitely be profit motivation for the private operators to get recidivism down.

        • Bright Red 4.1.1.1

          when private providers don’t perform well, the govt has to bail them out and pick up the pieces.

    • BLiP 4.2

      What? It was a private contractor that was transporting Liam Ashley at the time of his murder. You twat.

      • tsmithfield 4.2.1

        Maybe so. But it was a decision made by the public system

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1

          All the evidence is that the private process would make worse decisions.

          • tsmithfield 4.2.1.1.1

            No. The public system made the first poor decision by determining the mode of transport. Can’t get past that one.

            • Bright Red 4.2.1.1.1.1

              yeah, the poor decision was turning the role over to a private provider who just wants to make profits and cuts corners to do it

              • Alexandra

                I agree, private prisons will be motivated by profit and cost cutting will lead to more disasters like Liam Ashley.

              • tsmithfield

                Sorry BR. You’re barking up the wrong tree. Some questions: What decision making process did the public provider go through in selecting a private contractor? What parameters did the public provider set for the private operator? Was the public provider adequately monitoring the performance of the private provider?

                Think about it. If you contracted me to paint your roof, and I subcontracted the job to another painter, who would you hold responsible if the job turned to custard?

                • felix

                  Unless you’re advocating for the entire justice system to be privately run your argument holds no water.

                  • Tigger

                    Felix, don’t give them ideas…although I sincerely doubt they haven’t been considering it…

          • The Baron 4.2.1.1.2

            another unsupported declaration from chairman Draco. do you not understand how to link your batshittery to real evidence?

        • felix 4.2.1.2

          Then let’s follow ts’s logic and privatise the Police and Judiciary.

          And Parliament, come to think of it.

          After all, they’re ultimately responsible for the decision.

          (p.s. ts likely doesn’t believe any of what he’s saying anyway he’s been quite clear about that)

          • tsmithfield 4.2.1.2.1

            Na. I’ve never said I don’t believe anything I say. I’ve said I don’t always believe what I say. However, whether I believe it or not is quite irrelevant to the debate.

            Let me ask you several questions, felix.

            If you were convinced of the merits of privatising a government organisation, would you agree with that course of action? Or would you oppose it anyway because it doesn’t suit your ideology?

            • felix 4.2.1.2.1.1

              That’s why I said “likely” Tony. Lern to reed moar.

              And you’re quite right, it’s not relevant to this particular debate whether you believe it or not.

              What’s relevant to me, however, is that you have a habit of reversing your positions from one debate to the next when it suits you and claiming that it doesn’t really matter as you don’t need to believe what you write in order to argue a position.

              So while it may not technically be relevant to this particular debate, it is certainly relevant to the amount of energy I’m prepared to put into discussing anything with you.

              So I haven’t read your questions and I can’t think of any reason to do so.

              • tsmithfield

                Na, you’re still misrepresenting me, felix. “Likely” implies a strong likelihood that I don’t believe what I am writing. That is not the case at all. Sometimes I don’t believe what I write. This might be because I might want to take a devils advocate position because I feel the debate is going one way and the other side of the case should get an airing. Sometimes I exaggerate my point of view to elicit a response. Not wise to try and second guess whether I, or anyone else actually believes what they are writing.

                Sounds like a pretty lame reason to back out of answering a couple of simple questions, felix. Is that because you don’t want to answer me, or because you don’t want to answer those particular questions? I think I know which one.

                • Bored

                  “Not wise to try and second guess whether I, or anyone else actually believes what they are writing.” So true when you are writing it, what chance we would believe you? Zero minus I suggest.

                  • tsmithfield

                    So you only ever write things you absolutely believe? I can understand why you’re “bored” then.

                    • Bored

                      Sadly I try to believe in what I write. But thats not why I am Bored, that comes from reading stupendously tedious opinions from dullards (who might or might not believe what they say, who am I to tell)?

                    • tsmithfield

                      Thats right. You can’t tell whether someone actually believes what they’re writing or not. So, for the point of debating, belief is meaningless. It is the strength or otherwise of the argument that matters. Felix can’t seem to get over the fact that people can actually argue from a position just because they can, not necessarily because they believe it.

                      Generally speaking though, I do tend to signal if I am arguing something I don’t believe, by saying I am taking the position of Devils Advocate or something similar.

                      Sometimes someone has to take the other side in a debate otherwise it is all just one way traffic. After all, its the difference in opinion that makes debate interesting. Thats why I spend a lot more time here than I do at Kiwiblog.

                    • felix

                      “Felix can’t seem to get over the fact that people can actually argue from a position just because they can, not necessarily because they believe it.”

                      Hey retard, I explained it very clearly above.

                      It’s not difficult to “get over” it’s that there’s no point once you’re there. You have no intention of discussing anything in good faith and you’ve stated that you enjoy the freedom of being able to change your position and argue the other side when it suits you.

                      The only time I’ve ever seen you claim devil’s advocate is after you’ve been caught in a lie or exposed as a fool.

                      You have your own reasons for being here. That doesn’t mean anyone else is obliged to play along with them so don’t patronise me and demand that I answer your meaningless rhetoric or discuss things in the way that you’d prefer.

                      The way you present yourself is your own responsibility so don’t come crying to me because no-one trusts you.

                      If people are tiring of your phoney style you can always use one of your other handles anyway.

                • Puddleglum

                  I’m happy to answer the questions. If I was convinced then ‘yes’ – by definition.

                  But I’m curious as to what you think counts as being a ‘merit’. I presume you have in mind some ‘measures’ like – in the case of prisons – recidivism rates, humane treatment, cost per prisoner, etc.? What about some other value such as the need to have direct collective responsibility for and ‘ownership’ of imprisonment of other people in society? I guess you don’t include that because you would see that as ‘ideological’ rather than …???

                  But it is no more or less ideological than the assumption that the only things that matter are those other measures (recidivism rates, etc.) and that the question of whether something is privately owned and operated for a profit or ‘publicly/cooperatively’ ‘owned’ and run to carry out a collective responsibility is neither here nor there (dismissing that criterion is itself ‘ideological’, if you like).

                  For me the latter (the question of whether to have important social functions collectively ‘owned’ and operated) matters – for a host of broader reasons about how the overall kind of society we operate affects the wellbeing of its members – and so should be counted as one of the ‘merits’ upon which I would judge whether or not I’m convinced about privately run prisons.

                  Obviously, private companies operating for a profit would find it impossible to gain that ‘merit’. Hence, I’m not likely to be convinced despite being no more ideological than, possibly, you are. (Unless valuing something/anything is, in your terms, ‘ideological’?)

                  Note that my extra ‘measure’ of merit is just that – in addition to all the ‘merits’ you may wish to include as measures of ‘success’ in running an organisation.

    • Rex Widerstrom 4.3

      And it’s the mishandled public investigation of G4S which has allowed them to escape prosecution for the horrendous death of Mr Ward:

      The State’s top prosecutor said there were “regrettable aspects” about the quality of the police investigation into the death of an Aboriginal man who died of heatstroke in the back of a prison van…

      Mr McGrath said police investigators had failed to separate the two security guards after the death and before they were interviewed by police. State Coroner Alastair Hope raised concerns in his findings of an inquest into Mr Ward’s death that the guards, Nina Stokoe and Graham Powell, were not kept separated before being interviewed.

      So it was yet more bumbling by WA’s Keystone Kops – a public entity – which brought about the appalling situation which triggered Bunji’s article.

      Which brings me back to the point I keep making whenever the issues of prvate prisons is raised: they don’t have to be bad. Acacia Prison (run by Serco, one of the possible operators of any NZ prison) is praised by the WA Inspector of Custodial Services and has prisoners queueing to be transferred to it, out of the crumbling and overcrowded state system.

      Unlike Barry Matthews, the operator of a private prison can be made accountable for any number of KPIs: prisoner education levels; recidivism rates; quality of the food… anything you like to name. It’s a matter of having the contract negotiated by someone who understands correctional management and gives a damn about prisoners and prison officers. And of excluding from consideration the likes of G4S, who have an appalling record not just of neglect but of cruelty.

      The danger in private prisons lies not in the operator who may be chosen to run them, but on the other side of the table: a Minister and a CEO who aren’t the slightest bit interested in the potential positives which could come out of such a move and indeed would, I suspect, actively oppose any such suggestions.

      • BLiP 4.3.1

        Private prisons are intrinsically “bad”. They are a manifestation of the state’s desire to profit from the suffering of others. Private prisons are an overt admission of defeat in that they represent the position: crime will always be with us so lets make it pay.

        • Rex Widerstrom 4.3.1.1

          That state doesn’t profit from the private prison BLiP (at least I’d hope they don’t demand a dividend) the private operator does. I personally don’t have a problem with that provided they’re meeting well enforced minimum standards of care, rehabilitation etc.

          For me it’s only about two objectives: recidivism reduction (to protect society) and prison conditions (to protect prisoners). While we’re still imprisoning people, if those two obejectives can be improved by a private operator I’ll leave my philosophical concerns at the door.

          I hope that crime will not always be with us. But it is now, and even if we have governments who were serious about reducing it (and the only politician I’ve seen understand it at all was Muldoon) then we need something in the meantime.

          Considering we’re never likely to have such a government then I’m reluctantly forced to agree that that pessimistic outlook is probably right… not for the reasons you’re implicitly ascribing to the policy makers, but because of the policy makers.

          So then I return to my primary objectives…

          • BLiP 4.3.1.1.1

            Correct insomuch as its not the State itself which profits, its the lobbyists and financial backers who profit directly, but the State is still sanctioning that misery = profit motive formula which stems from the concept that a country-is-just- a-big-business philosophy. They forget that business is subordinate to society as a whole.

            As to recidivism, you seem to be implying that private prison shareholders are the only players in the entire private-sector economy who are genuinely interested in reducing the number of customers? C’mon.

            • Rex Widerstrom 4.3.1.1.1.1

              There’s a whole heap of NGOs; some of them funded solely or primarily by government and thus, alas, too beholden to the powers that be to be much use and some highly effective. There’s lobby groups like the Howard League… but nothing I can think of that meets your description of ” players in the entire private-sector economy”.

              And because they’re on the sidelines (as, essentially, am I) their impact is minimal whereas a private prison operator can, if properly incentivised, make a huge difference (and often that involves paying some of those groups to come in and work with prisoners).

              No one with a profit motive, other than private prison operators whose performance measures include reduced recidivism, wants to see crime stopped. Some, like security companies, makers of steel doors and shutters (de riguer on almost every Australian home it seems) and their ilk I’m sure positively cheer every time there’s another crime.

              Who did you have in mind?

              • BLiP

                Retailers, banks, transport operators, education providers – any business who wants their customer base to grow and require a safer community for it to do so. But, yeah, some businesses are happy to see more and more crime which is the reason the profit motive should be removed from the running of prisons.

                I’m interested in the contractual requirements in regard to recidivism. Do you have any examples where a private prison has been sanctioned for failing in that regard? And what would those sanctions involve – a financial penalty perhaps?

                • Rex Widerstrom

                  Whew… a legitimate and intersting question but one that requires a detailed answer I don’t have the time to prepare (as ironically I’m working on a legal challenge to the smoking ban in prisons here).

                  For anyone interested in what I think is pretty much a model contract for operating a private prison, most of the contract between Serco and the WA government is available online.

                  The Schedules (the almost 1Mb pdf document) list the KPIs and the financial incentives (or penalties, depending on how you want to look at it). Amongst the performance measures are things like:

                  – number of serious assualts each year
                  – number of prisoner complaints (can you see anyone in Corrections giving a damn about that in a state run prison?)
                  – percentage of prisoners who get the rehabilitation / training they are assessed as needing

                  …and so on. For most targets, anything less than 100% results in no payment at all.

                  Sorry BLiP, best I can do right now.

                  • Bored

                    Rex, interesting exchange above but I cant bring this whole issue down to managerial mechanisms, efficiencies and outcomes. None of these is exclusive to the state or private sector. Like BLiP I find there is something deeply unsettling in wedding profit to state retribution, it throws my moral compass 180 degrees out without me being able to finger the reason. Perhaps some things that seem wrong are just plain wrong.

                    • Puddleglum

                      Let me see if I can put my finger on it.

                      The State’s monopoly on force is (or should be) a morally onerous power. T.S. Eliot’s famous quotation “The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason” applies here. The profit motive is, ultimately, the wrong reason (the ‘last’ temptation). The ‘right deed’ is meeting whatever KPIs might be used.

                      To instrumentalists, the thinking behind Eliot’s comment appears ‘nonsensical’ (‘what could be wrong – treasonous – with doing the right deed?’). What they miss is that the ‘right deed’ is not actually separable from the motive (the ‘right reason’) in the real world (as opposed to the fantasy world of Enlightenment Rationalists)

                      What Eliot is pointing out is that, ultimately, the actual reasons for doing something will reveal themselves in a way that betrays the original intent (and, ultimately, undermines the ‘right deed’). He’s concerned with the sustainability of our moral action over the long term.

                      In practical terms, meeting KPIs can be done in many ways – some of which may actually betray the original intent. Trying to produce a profit as well as meet KPIs sets up an unnecessary trade-off (and barrier) to doing the right thing. That need for a trade-off provides a little nudge away from a focus on what matters.

                      With something like imprisoning people there should be no way that society distances itself from the awesome moral responsibility entailed (e.g., ‘we’ve fired the contractor’, ‘rewritten the KPIs’, ‘it’s the company’s job to meet their KPIs and I (the Minister) shouldn’t step in to interfere’, etc.). If recidivism rates are too high, if prisoners are being ill-treated, then we have to change that directly, and accept responsibility – directly – for those changes.

                      [Eliot’s quote was the basis for the book (and film) ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’.]

                  • BLiP

                    No worries, mate. Always good to read your comments here. Thanks.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Considering the withdrawal effects I’d say that banning smoking in prisons would probably come under the term of “cruel and unusual” punishment of which there happens to be an international law, which we’ve signed and ratified, against.

    NACT, breaking the law – again.

    • swimmer 5.1

      Absolutely it’s hard enough for people on the outside to quit. For some it takes several attempts.

      • tsmithfield 5.1.1

        So, prisons should keep supplying heroin to heroin addicts for the same reason then?

        • swimmer 5.1.1.1

          Maybe methodone

        • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1.2

          Methadone programs are run in prisons, TS, so, yes, we do supply drugs to heroin addicts. Just as we do on the outside.

          • tsmithfield 5.1.1.2.1

            OK. So we supply a substitute for the real thing with respect to heroin. So, by that argument we should supply nicotine patches to prisoners rather than smokes. Agreed?

            • felix 5.1.1.2.1.1

              We don’t supply smokes to prisoners at all. So no, your logic doesn’t follow at all.

              • tsmithfield

                We don’t supply heroin either. But as VOR points out, methadone programs are run in prisons. So the analogy does follow. You need to think a bit more felix. If you want to be pedantic, you can replace “rather than smokes” with “to assist in the withdrawal from smokes”. There, happy now?

                • felix

                  No it doesn’t. Heroin is illegal. If you and your nat buddies decide to outlaw cigarettes then you might be getting closer to a valid comparison.

                  You’re still miles off though.

                  You’re really not very good at this. Go back to your first comment (5.1.1) and see if you can see where you left logic behind.

                  • tsmithfield

                    1. Draco Bastard: “I’d say that banning smoking in prisons would probably come under the term of “cruel and unusual’ punishment of which there happens to be an international law, which we’ve signed and ratified, against.”
                    2. On that basis, if prisons withhold an addictive substance (legal or illegal) they should provide a legal substitute to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
                    3. Nicotine patches are a legal substitute for cigarettes that will reduce withdrawal symptoms when cigarettes have been effectively made illegal for prisoners.
                    4. Therefore, withholding cigarettes cannot be seen as “cruel and unusual” punishment because there is a legal substitute for cigarettes that are to be banned.

                    • BLiP

                      2. On that basis, if prisons withhold an addictive substance (legal or illegal) they should provide a legal substitute to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

                      Yes! Very good, that is where you left logic behind. You are attempting to equate a legal substance with an illegal substance. Informally that’s called comparing apples with oranges, an entry-level logic fallacy.

    • Rex Widerstrom 5.2

      Actually Draco, ratifying an international treaty means nothing unless it’s provisions are individually and specifially codified in statute by the signatory. So say our learned judges.

      I know this, incidentally, because I’m representing a prisoner who is challenging the WA Corrections Department’s “Smoking Reduction Policy” before the State Administrative Tribunal and am spending this week researching the law on such things.

      We can’t even take the action on human rights grounds (unless we do so under Commonwealth law) because there is no state legislation protecting human rights*. The fact that Australia has signed international covenants on human rights generally and the rights of prisoners specifically means, therefore, nothing.

      Because WA does have an Equal Opportunity Act we’re forced to restrict our ambit to the fact that male and female prisoners are treated differently – no doubt because of the fear that the males would be more likely to riot, the restrictions under which they smoke are far more lax.

      Which doesn’t make NACT’s lack of respect for treaties signed in good faith any the less appalling, I might add.

      * At this stage Federal action isn’t being contemplated due to financial constraints. I’m working pro bono and the prisoner concerned has already received dire warnings from the judge about the burden of costs should she lose at state level.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        That depends upon the country although I think you may be right about NZ in that respect.

  6. marsman 6

    Private prisons and Three Strikes are just a few examples of the neoliberal scams being visited on NZ by the Nact glove-puppets.

    • Bored 6.1

      I vote that the glove puppets, accompanied by TS and Santi be “sent down” to do field research into this issue. Up close and personal with the others in the cell, for a suitable duration aswell.

    • logie97 6.2

      correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Lucky Strike a brand of smokes?

  7. The state system in the UK sometimes ‘retoxifies’ heroin addicts prior to release because too many risk overdosing and death when freed. And NZ inmates can and do receive methadone while incarcerated. So they will be granted their heroin substitute but not tobacco. That’s consistency for you.

  8. The Voice of Reason 8

    It’s just occured to me that Collins’ quoted reason about possible legal action on passive smoking is not about the current situation in prison, it’s about double bunking.

    Obviously, such a court case would have more chance of succeeding if the complainant was forced to spend their days locked in a metal box with a smoker, rather than the current situation where there is more physical seperation between prisoners and less direct or indirect exposure to smoke.

    Still, the great thing about this proposal is that guards will be able to supplement their earnings by selling fags to the prisoners, as they will still be able to bring their own ciggies in with them when they start a shift. Gee, I love the free market.

  9. SHG 9

    There is nothing in New Zealand – NOTHING – like the all-pervasive racism that exists in Australia, particularly the treatment of Aboriginal people. New Zealand is a touchy-feely non-racist utopia by comparison. In NZ it’s racism when someone uses the word “darkie”, but in Australia no-one blinks an eye when some drunken rednecks run an Aboriginal down and kill him for kicks. It’s not even regarded as a serious crime. And when an Aboriginal dies while in police custody? Shit, that’s just what Abos do isn’t it?

    If you leave a dog in a car with the windows closed you can be prosecuted, but if you cook an Aboriginal man to death that’s just like, whatever, no crime committed.

  10. Rharn 10

    There is something inherently wrong when a private company can make profits out of other peoples misfortunes.

    • Paul 10.1

      You mean like my mechanic charging me if my car engine blows up, or my surgeon charging me to fix my knee…

      • BLiP 10.1.1

        Did the government force you to buy a car . . . did the government make you break your knee? Your logic isn’t.

        • Paul 10.1.1.1

          Did the government force you to break the law? Whose logic is flawed?

          • BLiP 10.1.1.1.1

            By failing to provide equal opportunity and real path ways out of poverty then, yes, the government forces people to break the law. Once imprisoned, does the prisoner have a choice of which prison to go to or whether or not he’s going to bother with prison at all? Your logic fails on the presumption that prisoners have the same choices you do.

    • Rex Widerstrom 10.2

      Yikes, I’m going to start sounding like big bruv… 🙂

      Committing a criminal act of sufficient gravity to land you in jail isn’t a “misfortune” (though your life circunstances which caused your criminality may well be).

      Yes there are lots of people in jail who oughtn’t to be there, and ought to be repaying society in society, but their crimes weren’t “misfortunes” either.

      “Oops, that bloke ran into my fist… 27 times”. “Look, that money just fell out of her bank account into mine, I never touched it”. “I was walking past this car when the door sprang open and I tripped and fell in”. No, these are acts of criminality which impact directly or indirectly upon a raft of victims including the offender’s family.

      So the private prison operator stands to receive money for imprisoning someone only when that person commits an offence against someone else. But that’s when we as a society can make a choice. Do we pay the private operator (or demand our state corrections agency) make that person’s life as unpleasant as possible?

      Or do we say instead that we want to see them well treated and genuinely rehabilitated; equipped with the skills they need to enjoy a life without crimninality once released? And pay according to the operator’s ability to deliver those results?

      If we do it that way, the private prison operator isn’t “making profits from misery”, they’r making profits from turning someone’s life around, which benefits not only them but their family and the wider community.

      • logie97 10.2.1

        Now let’s see – Judith Collins is concerned about the health of what sector of society?
        Say again?
        If her reasons are genuine then this must be one of the richest examples and actions of “Nanny State” and it’s being imposed by what party in politics?

        Or it is another example of a “look we’re getting tough on the crims…”
        Yeah, sounds much more like it and in keeping.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.2

        Well, in theory, we should make the decision that provides the best outcome for the least price and that is, invariably, not through private companies out to make a profit. The profit itself is an added cost above and beyond what it cost to provide that service (otherwise known as a deadweight loss).

      • swimmer 10.2.3

        .

      • mcflock 10.2.4

        “If we do it that way, the private prison operator isn’t “making profits from misery’, they’r making profits from turning someone’s life around, which benefits not only them but their family and the wider community.”

        assuming 100% of contracts meant that 100% of prisoners found prison enjoyable and rewarding, then the corporation would still be profiting from denying somebody else their innate right to freedom. Yes, society out of self protection chooses to limit the prisoners’ rights, but there is still a major threshhold crossed when somebody else profits from it. Paying people to limit the rights of others is regrettable but unavoidable – we need police and prison officers, as well as soldiers etc. Paying corporations to do so (especially bearing in mind the track history of the marketplace) is both regrettable and avoidale.

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    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 ...
    21 hours ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 day ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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, ...
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    4 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    7 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks 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
    13 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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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    6 days 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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    6 days 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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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    6 days 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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    7 days 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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    7 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to 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 welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
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    2 weeks ago