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Progress from the Labour led government

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 am, November 30th, 2017 - 44 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, climate change, election 2017, farming, global warming, jacinda ardern, labour, phil twyford, Politics, poverty, sustainability - Tags:

The best way to restore faith in the idea of a good state doing good for the country is to deliver on your promises.

With the six-month fiscal update coming on Friday (remember that $4.1b surplus?), we need a summary.

1. Make the first year of tertiary education or training fees free from January 1, 2018.

Imminent. The minister’s been saying students should plan study under the assumption their first year of fees will be free in 2018.

2. Increase student allowances and living cost loans by $50 a week from January 1, 2018.

Done.

3. Pass the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, requiring all rentals to be warm and dry.

Imminent. To be passed this week.

4. Ban overseas speculators from buying existing houses.

Coming. Bill to be put into the House before Christmas, likely to be passed in February.

Also big reduction on items landlords can claim in tax rebates coming up.

Also, sales of all land greater than five hectares excluding forestry now must be reviewed by OIO.

5. Issue an instruction to Housing New Zealand to stop the state house sell-off.

Work in progress. Sounds simple, but Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s office says the details are “being worked through”. On-track to be announced within the 100-day timeframe, but I think he has some structural issues there.

6. Begin work to establish the Affordable Housing Authority and begin the KiwiBuild programme.

Work in progress. Mr Twyford is working on the policy, with the first steps “to be announced within first 100 days.”

7. Legislate to pass the Families Package, including Winter Fuel Payment, Best Start and increases to paid parental leave (PPL).

In progress. PPL legislation is expected to pass next week. Takes effect 1 July.

Families Package legislation to be introduced before Christmas, for passage by February.

8. Set up a ministerial Inquiry in order to fix our mental health crisis.

No progress.

9. Introduce legislation to make medicinal cannabis available for people with terminal illnesses or in chronic pain.

No announcements made on this either.

10. Resume contributions to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to help safeguard the provision of universal superannuation at age 65.

Imminent this Friday in the half-year fiscal update.

11. Introduce legislation to set a child poverty reduction target and to change the Public Finance Act so the Budget reports progress on reducing child poverty.

To be announced. This one is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s responsibility – she is Minister for Child Poverty Reduction.

Expect more direction in Friday’s fiscal update.

12. Increase the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour, to take effect from April 1, 2018, and introduce legislation to improve fairness in the workplace.

Underway. To be introduced into the House in February 2018, and will take effect from April 2018.

13. Establish the tax working group.

Started. The tax working group has a chair – Sir Michael Cullen – and has been given its objectives. Rest of the group hasn’t been appointed – first meeting in January 2018.

14. Establish the Pike River Recovery Agency and assign a responsible Minister.

Started. Cabinet has given sign off for Andrew Little the Minister to establish the agency.

Set up probably end of January.

15. Set up an inquiry into the abuse of children in state care.

Nothing clear on it yet.

16. Set the zero carbon emissions goal and begin setting up the independent Climate Commission.

Nothing clear on it yet.

This is the Green platform in the 100-day list.

Water Summit was scrapped in the coalition agreement.

Always more things to do – and points 5, 6, 8, 9, 15, and 16 should be watched – but they are doing what they promised.

44 comments on “Progress from the Labour led government”

  1. Antoine 1

    Some good progress

    A.

  2. greywarshark 2

    I’d like the tax working group to have some who focus on making changes that assist the low paid, taking away secondary tax, taking away the barriers to earning when on a benefit, so that people are encouraged to do as much as they can. Then they have an annual meeting to plan for the next year and how much or little benefit they still need as a safety net. That is the way to assist people able to advance themselves.

    And thee are my musings. GST to be reduced to 12.5% with 2.5% set aside for returning to region of origin to help provide infrastructure, communications etc that increasing business requires. That would be a virtuous circle, effort gets rewarded and supported, and then employment will grow so low income people will get some advantage from what would still be a high tax on their spending. I think that is on the way this term actually.

    GST eventually should come down to 7.5% and progressive tax be introduced, also a number of flat taxes, everybody pay 5% income tax, then those over $40,000 must pay at least 10%, and those over $80,000 20% at least and to $150,00 25%, over that 33%. Also I would like a presumed rate to be paid for a family which would be a flat rate that could not be reduced by charitable payments with tax deductions etc. It would ensure that everyone paid something near appropriate for their circumstances.

    And on land and foreign investment. On Radionz first Labour talked about what it was doing, then Steven Joyce was asked along for his opinion. WTF.

    • alwyn 2.1

      That might be what you would like but it certainly isn’t what Grant Robertson is demanding.
      He has specifically excluded most of them from the Cullen group’s review.
      I’m afraid this is one area where the incumbent Minister of Finance is simply out of his depth. Why do politicians who know nothing about the subject, insist that they must be the Minister of Finance? Is it just for the prestige of the job, even though they merely demonstrate that they are making fools of themselves in the role?
      There must be jobs Grant can do well. Minister of Finance isn’t one of them.

      I listened to David Parker on Morning Report today, talking about the OIO. He s one of the few Ministers who actually sounds as if he is on top of the job.
      Why isn’t he the Minister of Finance? We wouldn’t have to cringe at his remarks in the way we do with Robertson. We might actually get some sensible policy if he took over.

      • solkta 2.1.1

        Roberston is not the Labour leader and even the leader does not dictate policy on their own. The things that have been excluded look to me like the assurances they gave during the campaign rather than stuff Robertson personally doesn’t want.

      • Ad 2.1.2

        Biggest change I see is for landlords, whether it tilts NZ towards investing in businesses not multiple houses.

        If it doesn’t do that there’s little point to this government.

      • tracey 2.1.3

        At least we didnt get Joyce … his economic literacy or propensity for lying revealled again. Dodged a bullet with that guy.

  3. greywarshark 3

    And a sad tale of underfunding of universities here, too much spent on high cost IT with the complexity overblown when it could be done in-house or locally for half the cost, and wasteful advertising and promotion competition between universities.
    It would be sensible to market NZ as a whole, but who ever heard rational, sensible ideas coming from free marketeers.

    Massey is calling for redundancies in an effort to reduce costs. They have already cut out their humanities to do that. People can be seen weeping in corridors. We are sinking in world league tables which are important to get students who are major funding for the institutions because it is not coming from the crass business world.

    education
    38 minutes ago
    Loss of top scientists ‘will damage uni research’
    From Nine To Noon, about 9 a.m.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018623630/loss-of-top-scientists-will-damage-uni-research

    Listen duration 25′ :17″
    One of Massey University’s top scientists says the decision to push through a round of redundancies to cut costs has been damaging and demoralising, and warns that many more could walk. Massey University sent the offer to all 1,000 staff in its Colleges of Sciences and Health at the end of last month, aiming to cut costs by $11.1 million in 2018 and by $15.7 million in 2019.

    Albany-based Distinguished Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger tells Kathryn Ryan it will put New Zealand-based research on the backfoot because there won’t be money to send academic staff to international conferences, or to bring in PhD students. Massey University Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas responds to concerns.

    Lincoln last year was struggling with resignations with four deputy vice-chancellors resigning and the deputy vice-chancellor Maori and communities. Comment was that couldn’t get anything done. Too much being spent on consultants for which Lincoln had paid $3.4 million in fees. But Ernst & Young took tested their health and was to provide an options report (at what cost?)

    Which is one of the get-outs that neolibs give themselves when their ideas don’t work. Decimate staff numbers to be lean, but before the entity expires bring in high-priced consultants on a ‘temporary’ basis to give a semblance of normality and repair.

    Apr2014http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/9958677/Hard-times-ahead-of-bright-future-for-Lincoln-University
    Dec2015http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/291637/govt-keeps-close-eye-on-lincoln-uni%27s-books
    Aug2016http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/83531551/lincoln-university-considering-private-investment-asset-sales-to-save-money
    Oct2016http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11732037
    Sept2016http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/84521355/lincoln-university-reboots-yet-again
    Aug2017 (a Rwanda connection WYBI?)http://www.lincoln.ac.nz/News-and-Events/New-Council-member-part-of-Rwandas-recovery/

    The NZ brand is being flogged till it is threadbare with little repairs and no fresh support and investment for the future of well-rounded tertiary education.

    I fear NZ is on a hiding to nowhere. If we can’t do what is needed to save NZ in the next term, there will hardly be anything left except for what Maori have been able to siphon off to recompense them and they had better stand guard over that and their resources.

    The glazed eyes of ambitious money men and women aiming for the now defunct strata of the middle class are prepared to walk on the shoulders of others as they try to climb the barriers to the upper crust and their material flaunting. FTROY. Though they would be too nice and too devious to be so straightforward.

    • timeforacupoftea 3.1

      The world is awash of Scientist.
      Scientists and Statisticians are not that special anymore, they mainly collate the past informations, computers can take up many of those jobs these days.

  4. Quite a good effort so far. Probably go up a notch once all the staffers they’ve employed start work.

  5. james 5

    “1. Make the first year of tertiary education or training fees free from January 1, 2018.

    Imminent. The minister’s been saying students should plan study under the assumption their first year of fees will be free in 2018.”

    Thats all very well and good – but we are (from tomorrow) in December and we still do not know the rules on what can be applied for etc.

    I could work on the assumption that the first year is free – But that’s a huge assumption I am being told to make when planning a huge part of the coming year with no info.

    As an aside – Im thinking of taking labour up on this and doing some law papers – simply just for the fun of it.

    • solkta 5.1

      Lol. Law papers for fun.

    • Thats all very well and good – but we are (from tomorrow) in December and we still do not know the rules on what can be applied for etc.

      I’m assuming they haven’t changed the rules on that yet. So, what you could apply for last year still applies. Those ineligible for Student Allowance are still ineligible.

      As an aside – Im thinking of taking labour up on this and doing some law papers – simply just for the fun of it.

      Great, enjoy yourself.

      The more educated the populace the better even if they don’t directly use that education in their job.

  6. Brigid 6

    ” Im thinking of taking labour up on this and doing some law papers”

    That’s a good idea. Getting yourself educated is good for all of us.

    I think you’ll be required to undertake full time study though. Could you handle that?

    • james 6.1

      “I think you’ll be required to undertake full time study though.”

      This kind of proves my point. I dont know if that is correct or not – as you say “I think” Im guessing you do not either.

      And thats the problem – we are running out of time to plan and Labour still havnt released the detail to help people.

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        The detail’s pretty easy. Register now, withdraw if they don’t have their shit together when it comes time to enrol.

        • james 6.1.1.1

          Do you know if it has to be full time? Can it be part time?

          details “easy” – but important.

          • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1

            Hey, like I say, you don’t need to know now. Register, and if it doesn’t fund the course you want to do in your spare time, don’t enrol next year.

            Better yet, pop down to your local university law faculty, and ask a course advisor what papers you can do for fun. Those details are much more important, because course resources are generally planned according to registration numbers.

            • james 6.1.1.1.1.1

              “Hey, like I say, you don’t need to know now. Register, and if it doesn’t fund the course you want to do in your spare time, don’t enrol next year.”

              Some people want to know before they make commitments if the money is coming in or not.

              Its not unreasonable.

              • McFlock

                Registration isn’t a “commitment”. Nobody would move town or quit their job to study part time just because it’s a thousand bucks cheaper.

              • tracey

                Had you thought of finding out by more direct means than a blog? Ask Joyce he knows everything… if you are looking for a hole he is your man.

              • Barfly

                James you are trolling you know it -we know it – /yawn

                • james

                  And you are making a poor attempt at diversion as you know that the detail should be released by now.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    What’s making you so cocky these days, James? Your lot lost the election and are now wallowing in a sticky mixture of self-pity and denial, powerless in the face of a vigorous Labour-led Government, yet you still visit, puffed up and righteous, quibbling over tiny scraps of detail that are dwarfed by the filthy behaviours you cheered-on when National practiced them; your single-minded obsession with criticizing James Shaw contrasts starkly with your uncritical acceptance of the disgraceful, blatantly deceitful claims and actions of Key and English makes you look like, well, a silly-billy, yet somehow, you seem blissfully unaware of your foolishness, despite the best efforts of thoughtful commenters here to alert you to your silliness. My comment, like the many you’ve made here in recent days, is of little value in the scheme of things, but I was just wondering…

                    • james

                      “in the face of a vigorous Labour-led Government”

                      OK – that is the comment of the day – I actually laughed out loud at that.

                      You sir, are a comic genus.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Thanks. My other comments (above) were just as accurate, I feel.

  7. 13. Establish the tax working group.

    Started. The tax working group has a chair – Sir Michael Cullen – and has been given its objectives.

    Got a link to the objectives?

  8. cleangreen 8

    Point number 1

    I would like to advance to you ADVANTAGE; and thanks for raising this we are most appreciative;

    On the last pledge number 16 you said nothing clear on it yet?

    16/ “Set the zero emissions goal – and begin the setting up of the indepentant climate change commission”;

    While that may seem correct the Minister of regional Develoment Hon’ Shane Jones, and Hon’ Phil Twyford have both sent out recently in two local regional papers HB Today and Gisborne Herald two press releases saying about the return of our Napier gisborns rail and other regional rail services and both MP’s have made it clear the return of the rail services will reduce carbon emissions and help reduce the climate change carbon emissions of CO2.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/99257012/rail-has-saved-new-zealand-15b-a-year-study-shows

    Also it was the excellent work by Phil Twyford on bringing the report to be seen in the light of day about this rail report hidden by national that actually showed the benefits of using rail that reduces the climate change emissions of CO2, so we advance that some work has already begun on planning rail use for freight and passenger is one of their ‘clear’ explanations of their intensions and methods to reduce the emissions of climate change CO2 air pollution.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11948096

    QUOTE:
    “Twyford says rail has been on life support for too long; –

    “The Labour-led government will restore balance to transport funding, boosting investment in rail infrastructure both for passengers and freight.

    “This will include significant investment in regional rail via the Regional Development Fund, as set out in the Labour-New Zealand First coalition agreement.”

    The establishment of a light rail network in Auckland will significantly increase the $1.3b a year of benefits that road users, including freight companies, experience from reduced congestion, Mr Twyford said.

    KiwiRail chairman Trevor Janes said
    The benefits far exceed what the taxpayer is spending on rail, KiwiRail chairman Trevor Janes says.

    “These benefits do not show up on the balance sheet, but they are very real, and they make a huge contribution to New Zealand,” he said.

    “The areas where rail is delivering for New Zealand include cutting congestion, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving safety on our roads and lowering spending on road maintenance and upgrades,” Janes said.

    The largest contribution rail was making was the reduction of road use, he said.

    “Rail is taking cars off the road and it’s taking trucks off the road. That is saving the country $1.3 billion a year because it cuts congestion for all road users, including other freight movers,” Janes said.

    “Using rail cuts New Zealand’s carbon emissions by 488,000 tonnes a year. That is the equivalent of taking 87,000 cars off the road, saving millions of dollars,” he said.

    “Rail freight has 66 per cent fewer carbon emissions than heavy road freight which is useful for New Zealand reaching its ambitious climate change targets.”

    https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/travelling_rail_better.pdf

    ADVANTAGE;
    May we say that; – “the Labour coalition Government has begun some measures to reduce climate change emissions of CO2 using regional rail for ‘freight and passener services’ thus reducing carbon emissions of CO2?”

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/11/trains-save-nz-1-5-billion-a-year-report.html

    • Ad 8.1

      Pledge 16 . Is specifically on the Greens’ legislation.
      There’s no sign of it.
      So, no, we can’t.

      Presumably MfE are drafting it, but not even a smoke signal from the Minister yet.

      • cleangreen 8.1.1

        Thanks Ad,

        I am confident the green party will respond clearly on rail as they ‘historcally have espouded the advantages of using rail to lower the CO2 climate emissions, as I was a party member 16yrs ago and was known to their policies from then.

        We need to raise the issue so this was good poits to make now in the hoope all who read it will learn the truth.

        Once again thanks for the focus on the Labour Coalition pledges to complete in the first 100 days.

  9. Chris 9

    Glaring omission is getting rid of some of the benefit sanctions, like the s 70A reductions, unless that’s part of the Families Package. But going further into that, the government’s given no indication of what its position is on the Bill that promises to rewrite the Social Security Act. That Bill needs to be axed and work on fixing things started again from scratch, with a new group of people working in the area getting involved in how that should be done, advocacy and community groups like Auckland Action Against Poverty, CPAG, lawyer Catriona MacLennan etc. It’s important that it’s a completely fresh approach, away from the same old officials and MSD lawyers who’ve worked tirelessly over the past nine years to help the previous mob inflict as much damage as they can. They’re way too tainted, too far gone to be of any use for what’s needed now.

    • Michael 9.1

      Labour agreed with the Greens to “overhaul” the welfare system. What that means is anyone’s guess but, for me, the term is not synonymous with “tinker”. Since then, I see little evidence of any commitment to real reform of any of the social portfolios (eg welfare, ACC, disability). Meanwhile the bureaucrats are scuttling around Parliament, whispering their perfidious posion into receptive ears. The new government has got off to a reasonably good start, much better than I expected, but it is not evident that it is a government of change, as opposed to one of the neoliberal status quo. In some respects, I hope the alleged “secret agreement” between Labour and NZ First really does exist, instead of simply being another fevered National Party paranoid conspiracy.

  10. McFlock 10

    Pretty good for people who only just moved offices.

  11. Ad 11

    Paid parental leave extension bill now passed:

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news

    I’m suspecting more progress tomorrow as Robertson does his big set-piece speech.

  12. tracey 12

    You can just call it the Government we all know who it is.

  13. mosa 13

    Real action and real change.

    They have done more in the first month than the last regime did one year except to legislate to make the wealthy even more wealthy.

    They have three years to achieve results and i hope make the fundamental changes needed.

    They will face massive obstacles and challenges in our right wing controlled country.

    I hope when they get over the shock of discovering the corruption and deceit of the Key-English administrations that they act to stop future National governments getting away with the misdemeanours and corruption the last government was responsible for.

  14. Tanz 14

    Secretive, non-transparent, bumbling in the House, dodging answering questions, fudging answers, spending up large, petrol now expensive, food costs rising, rents rising, more taxes coming, think green taxes, and overseas investors locked out so far…I fear for the future of New Zealand, oh, the dollar collapsing, a PM who now won’t front up to media…and its only been a few weeks. Upsetting Australia and Forbes magazine saying NZ has lost its way already.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      The dollar fell about ten percent in 1999. I recall what it was like. The sky fell on my head and there was a plague of boils and locusts and dogs and cats living together. Just awful.

      Unemployment fell to the lowest level since the 1970s, government debt fell to $10bn, business was good.

      Anyway, it’s great to see you’re still whining like a sore loser. Get used to opposition. Nine long years at least.

    • Macro 14.2

      Did I ever hear the donkey on “morning report”? Or any of his cabinet.
      No! Far to busy playing the fool on squawk back radio.

  15. Tanz 15

    Eighteen months at best, if that, Ardern is showing the strain already as the puppet master reveals all.

    • Macro 15.1

      Lol if you think No Friends National are ever going to get their fat arses back on the Treasury benches again you will be waiting a long time. Who TF want to be friends with that toxic lot. The longer they are in opposition the more despicable they become.

  16. McFlock 16

    lol

    that’s the next step in the tory grieving process: moved on from denial, now quibble over how long it will last. Soon you’ll reach the acceptance phase.

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    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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    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

  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    1 day ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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