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QC describes Pike River mine as a ‘homicide scene’

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, November 22nd, 2016 - 51 comments
Categories: disaster, families, health and safety - Tags: , , ,

On Checkpoint Nigel Hampton QC (representing some of the families) described the Pike River mine as a ‘crime scene’ and a ‘homicide scene’, and he questioned the motives of those rushing to seal the mine.

John Key promised the families that the bodies would be retrieved from the mine:

This is a promise that he now denies.

Former New Zealand chief mines inspector Tony Forster says that the mine is safe to enter. Harold Gibbens, former mines rescue team member interviewed on Checkpoint, says that the drift is safe to enter, there are rescue members willing to go, and he challenges the government to release the advice that they claim to have to the contrary.

51 comments on “QC describes Pike River mine as a ‘homicide scene’”

  1. Ad 1

    I’m just guessing Nigel Hampton QC is not a Director of the company who will under the new health and safety legislation be held criminally liable if another person is sent into the mine and is hurt or killed.

    • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1

      You say that in the face of an article saying that it’s safe to have a look around. Read it again

      • Ad 1.1.1

        Tell you what, operate a live tunnel mine under the new H&S regs and tell me your skin doesn’t tighten. I know exactly what that’s like, and there is no damn way I would allow anyone into that mine now. Ever.

        It was in no small part because of Pike River that the entire H&S legislation changed that altered this direct line of personal liability.

        • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1.1.1

          I understand your concern, those go in your log book when assessing underground work sites for hazards before preparing the work area. Sprinkle some shot Crete in your coffe while you’re at it

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.2

        You say that in the face of an article saying that it’s safe to have a look around.

        One pictures Clump_AKA_Sam attempting to persuade the court he shouldn’t be held criminally liable for the injury/death of a rescue worker because he read an article that said it was safe to go in and look around…

        • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1.2.1

          Courts don’t take out legal action against a shift boss if a life is lost under his super vision, the family does. If you or pollies want to interfere, upto u

          • McFlock 1.1.2.1.1

            no, it is valid – directors are now criminally liable (and good job too).

            But to have that level of fear paralysis means that no trucking company would allow its drivers on the road, and no port company would allow its wharfs to be used for the loading or docking of ships.

            What solid energy should be doing is either publicly releasing the reports which say it’s impossible to safely re-enter, or an estimate of the costs of a reasonably safe re-entry with risk assessments from all involved, including worksafe.

            • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Liability dosnt effect the risk profile. I’m going back to sleep now. Wake me when you’ve all jacked off to the point you’ve got your point across

              • McFlock

                It doesn’t affect the profile, but it does affect the risk aversion of company directors.

                Would you prefer your bottle first, or a nappy change when you wake up?

              • SpaceMonkey

                Not the risk profile, but absolutely the risk itself.

                That considered, I am certain there would be any number of experienced miners and support personnel from around the world who would be prepared to take that risk to undertake a mine re-entry operation to retrieve a fellow miner’s body – especially when that re-entry has been considered safe by an international expert.

                Why can all concerned not just sign something appropriately legal to absolve the company of any liability?

      • aerobubble 1.1.3

        Imagine, a new seventeen year old, glued to the phone activity, enters a gassy mine with a depleted mines inspection ministry and a cult of economic hands off, coupled to a imperative to return foreign investors money after rounds of headaches.

        Key will never let anyone in that mine, he will use the issue to make it harder to justify entry, and lockup the mine for eternity, because any outcome otherwise is a bad one for all involved.

    • Tim 1.2

      On that logic we shouldn’t send rescue teams into earthquake disaster zones too

      • Muttonbird 1.2.1

        Good observation. Ad believes a couple of ships and an appearance by Waitakere Man is a good response to a 7.8 so no wonder he’s too scared to go into the mine.

  2. Venezia 2

    I watched the Doco ” Pike River ” on Prime last night. The whole episode is just disgusting. And this latest claim from the Government and Solid Energy is more of the same. I stand with the Pike River Families.

    • Wensleydale 2.1

      Read Rebecca MacFie’s book if you haven’t already. Once I’d finished it, I just sat there, stunned. The litany of incompetence, negligence and callousness beggars belief. I’ve given it to my sister for some of her friends in the Australian mining industry to read. From what she tells me, they’re generally livid after reading it.

  3. Whispering Kate 3

    I was named a conspiracy theorist by someone on this blog site for calling the Pike River Mine a crime scene – it seems I am in illustrious company. A QC no less.

  4. Rae 4

    Of course it is a homicide site, it always has been and must never be permanently sealed off because of that. Seal it off and I think we can all assume it is a dirty great cover up.

    • SpaceMonkey 4.1

      Agreed… especially when it’s in the face of expert opinion, and without offering any evidence to support a ‘no re-entry’ stand. I expect an experienced mine inspector would be able to tell exactly what happened once inside the mine…

  5. save nz 5

    They need to do the decent thing, stop stalling and go in their and find out what happened to those men!!

    Where were they on safety when they let those men die in the first place?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Where were they on safety when they let those men die in the first place?

      The same place that they’ve always been – complaining about the costs of improving working conditions.

  6. greywarshark 6

    The government say it is dangerous to enter the mine, particularly for them.
    They just want to cover it all up and forget about it as a failed project, where they wouldn’t have chosen to work. Really it is a situation of caveat emptor to them. The miners knew the risks they think, the money they were paid meant they accepted them, and when the mine caved in on them, it was just the end of the vicious circle.

    And then they produced or encouraged such tight safety rules that small business can hardly cope in NZ, with the demands that are so stringent. It makes it very hard to be profitable in such an oppressive business climate as we have here for micro businesses, which I understand means the vast majority of business activity that provides employment and feeds into the general business money flow. Very large businesses are at another level that hopefully results in trickle down to smaller feeder fish clustering around the much larger one up the food chain.

    But changing the laws was always on the cards and the delays we noticed on attending to the Pike River unfinished business, were caused no doubt by the need to stall long enough so that protective legal barriers could be erected to reduce any financial cost or injurious legal case against business with which government was connected, or against the body of government itself.

  7. Grantoc 7

    Solid Energy has released a statement that includes the information that the atmosphere inside drift along with the rest of the mine, is comprised of 98% methane gas. If this is the case, then it has to be extremely risky to enter the mine, if not suicidal.

    This scenario is supported indirectly by last night’s documentary on Pike River where the mine was constantly being described as ‘gassy’ meaning that methane will naturally build up within it.

    Is there any evidence out there that challenges the above scenario? If so I haven’t read it or seen it. For instance on what basis does Tony Forster, former chief mines inspector say that the mine is safe to enter?

    • McFlock 7.1

      Nah. The gas is only an explosive limit of 4.4–17%. No explosive risk at 98%, vent it out to below 4% and you’re fine (external fan so no risk of spark from the motor as concentration passes below the explosive range.). It’s also apparently nontoxic (according to wikipedia).

      Basically, if they could dig the mine safely they can dig back into it. If the explosions were unavaoidable they should never have had a permit in the first place. If the explosions were avoidable, we should go back in (this time safely) and find out what happened and whether the cause was a systemic danger throughout all NZ’s mines.

    • Clump_AKA Sam 7.2

      A few thoughts
      Open circuit 21% o2 of which +/-80% is wasted(Volume).Limited to 60 minutes
      Closed circuit 100% o2 100% reusable.4hr rating

      Two scenario’s

      1.Entry team A enters an unknown environment with open circuit,heart rate has increased,breahing rate has increased,Co2 increased.Increase CO2 due to breathing 21% o2, his ability to perform is negatively effected due to co2 build up and higher work rate.

      2. Entry team B enter an unkown enviroment wih closed circuit,heart rate has increased,breathing rate has increased,co2 increase. He is breathing 100
      % the co2 build up would not be as great as the unit has scrubber/Sodalime to extract the co2.His ability to perform would mirror his training.

      Why breath close circuit?

      1. Easier Breathing- High volume less resistance
      2. Faster deployment -Scrubber and cooling system.
      3.Greater safety and comfort -Light weight

      my view is that open circuit should not be allowed. it old technology

      I think scott facemask is comming out with comms

      my 2cents….. thanks for the reply

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3

      With CH4 levels at 98% there is no chance of explosions. You’d enter with breathing apparatus.

      Or, as McFlock says, vent it to below 4%.

      Or, flood the mine then pump out the water and enter one area at a time.

      It’s eminently do-able, unless you;re a can’t-do National Party with a crime scene to consider.

    • mauī 7.4

      Families spokesperson says recent gas testing show its safe to enter, doesn’t say what the gas level is though:
      http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/86201726/pike-river-father-bernie-monk-says-mine-is-safe-for-reentry

      • WILD KATIPO 7.4.1

        Approx 95% which means the environment is inert , the probability of Methane explosions are at their most dangerous levels when at 9% – 9.5% and have an ignition source and of course, oxygen.

        Some background helpful information. There is plenty on the subject online.

        Also bear in mind that many contraband items in mines have the capacity to ignite an explosion , – this is why such items as battery powered wrist watches are prohibited. That’s how sensitive it can be if a mine reaches critical conditions.

        ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

        There are two main types of coal mine explosions: methane explosions and coal dust explosions.

        Methane explosions occur in mines when a buildup of methane gas, a byproduct of coal, comes into contact with a heat source, and there is not enough air to dilute the gas to levels below its explosion point, said Yi Luo, an associate professor of mining engineering at West Virginia University.

        “In most U.S. coal mines, each ton of coal contains between 100 to 600 cubic feet (2.83 to 17 cubic meters) of methane,” Luo told Life’s Little Mysteries. “When air contains 5 percent to 15 percent of methane, it can explode.”

        Deadly mix

        Methane, the main component of natural gas, is combustible, and mixtures of about 5 percent to 15 percent in air are explosive. When air contains approximately 9.5 percent of methane (the most dangerous concentration), it reaches the perfect oxidation point, which means that the right amount of fuel is mixing with the right amount of oxygen, said Luo. This produces water, carbon dioxide and a lot of amount of heat.

        “It does not [require] much heat to ignite the combustion process and therefore methane explosion can accelerate very fast,” Luo said.

        The heat generated by this process raises the temperature of the air within the mine, which causes it to expand in volume. Since hot air cannot expand easily underground, pressure builds in the mine. If this pressure is high enough, it can cause the air ahead of the combustion zone to compress and cause a shock wave, Luo explained.

        Ventilation is the most common method to avoid such methane explosions in coal mines. Large fans are used to blow air out or draw air into mines, but Luo stated that mine ventilation is still a complicated science.

        “In coal mines, we are required to control the concentration [of methane to] less than 1 percent,” he said. “But there are hard places to ventilate where concentration could get into the explosive range.”

        Mine explosions can also be triggered when fine particles of coal dust come into contact with a source of heat.

        While methane is easier to ignite, the explosion pressure and heat value of methane is not as high as coal dust. In most cases, dust explosions are first caused by methane explosions, said Luo.

        “Dust explosion needs a very high concentration of dust suspended in the air, which is very hard to find in a mine environment,” Luo explained.

        But, the shock wave caused by methane explosions can blow up coal dust within the mine, and the heat generated by the methane reaction can ignite the dust, which greatly intensifies the energy of the explosion.

        Worst case

        So, in a worst case scenario, a methane explosion has the potential to ignite a more catastrophic coal dust explosion.

        Coal mines in the United States have taken safety measures to avoid dust explosions, including spreading limestone powder over the coal dust. Limestone powder makes it more difficult for shock waves from methane explosions to blow up particles of coal dust, said Luo.

        “Limestone also absorbs a great amount of heat generated from the [methane] explosion,” Luo said. “It will either stop the chain reaction or reduce the intensity of the explosion.”

        The Massey Energy Co. explosion this week is the worst mining disaster in the United States in more than two decades, and this latest catastrophe adds to a long history of coal mine tragedies in an industry that is notoriously risky and dangerous.

        Since 1839, there have been 501 known U.S. coal mine explosions that killed at least five people each, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In addition, at least 52 coal mine fires have killed at least five people each. The worst of these disasters was an explosion that killed 362 people in a coal mine in Monongah, W.Va in 1907.

        An explosion similar to this week’s occurred at Sago Mine in Buckhannon, W.Va in 2006 that killed 12 miners.

  8. tc 8

    Pike river is an albatross around shonkys neck and he knows it.

    Isnt it great to have a compliant onside media not holding you to account and a police force that invades privacy to achieve political results.

    No wonder he smirks so much, easy gig this PM lark just bugger off when it all gets too much and make someone else smudge their image.

  9. MAUI

    Just a few more clips,… one demonstrating that it is a ‘ crime’ scene that needs proper forensics applied, the other the first time – and testimony – of placing a temporary seal in the mine.

    Here is the first , in an interview and audio with events leading directly up to the blast.

    here is the sealing operation

  10. The Russel Smith interview

  11. The audio above would suggest that with all the breakdowns in safety standards and equipment – and with the methane detectors automatically tripping at the head that the initial cause was methane pouring out of a seam where the men were drilling on the west side of the mine.

    It has been suggested that the methane extraction fan system transported that large volume of methane down to the pit bottom south area where the ventilation pumps, electrical motors , lighting etc were housed , – exacerbating an already volatile situation . And thus the ignition source. Which stands to reason when Daniel Rockhouse states he witnessed a ‘ flash of white light ‘ from that area.

    The ignition source could have been one of many – from an electrical motor arcing , to sparks generated by metal machinery in the mining process. All of this is covered in the Royal Commission.

    Some theory’s were that the source of methane was the ‘ goaf ‘ … an area previously mined that naturally became an area of high methane concentrations. Following a rock fall, it was said this could have dispersed methane into the road header areas and throughout the mine. , – but it does seem likely it had something to do with operations on the day when the above audio is seen.

    The following explosions as we have seen were probably the result of hot coal seam /coal dust explosions – particularly the last ( 4th ) one.

  12. Red Hand 12

    Key did not promise the families that the bodies would be retrieved from the mine. He said he was “committed to getting them out” and that “he wanted to get them out”. I doubt he had the advice he needed to make a firm promise.
    My take on his agreeing to the meeting and saying what he said was to give some comfort to the families so they would stop agitating and also to look good in the election campaign.
    I see this as sad evidence that he did not find the courage to say to the grieving people that the bodies would likely remain where they were and to grieve with them and to say that it was not in his power to recover the men’s bodies, however committed he may have felt and however much he may have wanted to.

    • It is the Drift the family’s and their representatives wish to remain open . Not the mine. And as demonstrated in the above audio when the first temporary seal was installed, conditions were perfectly safe. And in fact in that manner and by using more advanced methods , the Drift can be reentered. This is what has been said by many mining experts. And at a relatively small cost .

      Which counters the narrative spoken by Key.

      The problem for Key and his entourage with vested interests is the likelihood of not only discovering bodies in / near the Drift but also the likelihood that the cause of the blast ( further indications of poor safety standards in all probability ) is discovered , – and worse still for Key – that entry into the mine proper can then be achieved.

      It is at THAT point …. that the problems really start for Key and those concerned.

      And in an upcoming election year?

      Would not bode well for Key and the National party one jot.

      I think you will find, – and as stated so many times by the miners family’s , – that this is the REAL MOTIVE behind Key and Worksafe’s bloody-minded rush to get that mine sealed off permanently.

      • Rae 12.1.1

        Well they are doing nothing to convince you otherwise. Speaking totally to their converted, hoping there is enough of them. I just hope NZ is better than, I despair that we may not be.

  13. Jeremy Carroll 13

    Sounds like there’s rush on to seal the tomb. Despite this not being a requirement from “Worksafe NZ” … lawyer Nigel Hampton QC advised yesterday that Solid Energy had until February to complete the second, outer seal.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11752896

    • Yes, … there is a rush on , spearheaded by Solid Energy in collusion with Worksafe NZ.

      ” When he ( Whitall ) was finally charged with 29 counts of manslaughter, – WORKSAFE – did a secret deal with his insurance company the night before Court, allowing him to buy his way out of these severe criminal charges for $100k per head. He was immediately allowed to leave the country a free man. ”

      ‘ Worksafe ‘….

      A play on the words to ‘ Work Safe ‘ …

      Remember that name …. Worksafe.

      Remember that name when after February 2017 this current Govt tries to talk about ‘ tax cuts’ as an election sweetener….remember that name every time the issue of cost comes up about a recovery plan for Pike River.. Remember that name when things are lied about in future with Kaikoura and all the justifications of incompetence start , remember that name every time another death occurs onsite at the workplace, … and when that final seal goes into Pike River, – the best thing that one can do is to remember – just who and what depts were responsible for one of the most grotesque abdications of moral and ethical duty of care to the working people of New Zealand in decades.

      And the government who directed them.

  14. wellfedweta 14

    “John Key promised the families that the bodies would be retrieved from the mine.”

    No, he didn’t. His exact words were that he was ‘committed to getting the boys out’. That is quite different.

    The other factor here is the material just released on Andrew Little’s duplicity on this. When Little headed the EPMU, the union did nothing about safety concerns at Pike River. Indeed Little defended the company after the first explosion, as did Damien O’Connor. Even after one group of workers walked off the site in protest at safety issues, the EPMU did nothing. No strike, no protests. Nothing. And now we have the sick sight of Little wringing his hands at the decision to not recover the bodies.

    I, too, stand by the men of Pike River. I want every last practical effort made to recover the men. But the hypocrisy of Little in this is a festering sore that will surely bite him as more material comes to light.

    • In actual fact , one of the workers did contact the Union about conditions, and was advised by the Union to walk off the job until safety issues had been addressed , – which they did ( they were then met by management and basically dressed down for it ) .

      Furthermore, – Pike River management barred union access to the site if a delegate attempted to come on site – which was their perfect legal right to do so due to legislation passed by this National government.

      Remember?

      So now under the current political climate of neo liberalism we see the lethal end result of Nationals successful attempts at passing legislation prior to Pike River designed to detooth the Trade Unions. And because of that fact , Unions have to balance peoples jobs with industrial disruption. If anything – this is the price we pay for allowing this sort of political climate in the first place.

      The very fact that there was an attempt at tightening Health and Safety laws after the fact of Pike River is in itself nothing more than an admonition that the deliberate disempowering of Unions and empowering of management to threaten employees with job loss for non compliance using legal tools passed by this government had resulted in the deaths of 29 workers.

      • wellfedweta 14.1.1

        None of that stacks up.

        Brent Forrester, the worker who blew the whistle on the walk out, claimed they received NO support form the EPMU. In fact Little’s response was that PRC “had a good health and safety committee that’s been very active.”

        There’s more on this whole sordid business at https://nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.co.nz/2014/12/how-andrew-little-failed-pike-river.html, including plenty more on Little’s, and the EPMU’s culpability.

        “Unions have to balance peoples jobs with industrial disruption.”
        They always have had to. Nothing has changed that. But there were many warnings, and the EPMU did NOTHING.

        • WILD KATIPO 14.1.1.1

          “Unions have to balance peoples jobs with industrial disruption.”

          Exactly.

          And I dont retract that . Under the neo liberal model and their talk of ‘partnership’ Pike River is the end product . It is a fact that this neo liberal government – not Andrew Little , for as youve shown was president of the EPMU at the time – was the incumbent government that passed laws that meant an employer could prohibit a Union delegate from even entering a private concerns property.

          And that meant that if management chose to not even meet with Union representatives concerning workers issues they could. Effectively killing co ordinated collective action from the very start.

          Pike River was the inevitable end product of this.

          And if Little was complicit in supporting management initially , bear in mind that up until that point the Union was only party to information that management had selected and was prepared to offer , – as one can easily see management contacting Union head offices after the first walk out occurred . Can you really expect management to send themselves up in a bad light?

          Of course not.

          And it took a Royal Commission of Inquiry to fully bring out all the facts. A legal initiative that had the clout to compel concerned partys to disclose in full just what conditions were really like.

          Up until then , it was more a case of ‘ He said – She said’.

          It may – just may – have been the case that the Unions were misled by management that all is well… as Whittall stated in an interview ” I can sincerely put my hand on my heart and say that safety was our first concern at Pike River ”… or words to that effect.

          But none of this detracts at all from the culture of worker abuse that has grown up out of the all – too – convenient ‘ partnership ‘ model of vested interest and lobby groups that have manipulated ( and provided healthy donations to ) successive neo liberal governments over the last 3 decades. And that is my point. Im neither a National or a Labour party voter. I dont give a damn about either – I care about the direction this countrys gone in over the last 3 decades of this neo liberal garbage. And that is all.

          So to end,… from the same website…

          { ‘ A fighting union movement

          Health and safety is a union issue, and it’s going to take us re-building a fighting union movement for work in New Zealand to become safer. It’s no accident that this is now ranked one of the most dangerous countries for workers in the developed world – as the union movement has grown weaker, following the Employment Contracts Act, so too has bosses’ ability to cut corners grown.
          Imagine if workers had the confidence to stop work every time there was an infringement or known risk? What if there were stoppages by all the workers on a site each time one person was injured or hurt? This used to be common practice in some industries, and it hurt the bosses where they notice, in lost ‘productivity’ and profits. That does far more for safety than any number of hours talking about partnership.
          The Engineering, Printing, and Manufacturing Union is calling for the “the re-introduction of worker-elected check inspectors” in mining. This is essential; health and safety needs to be in the hands of those with an interest in promoting it – working people whose health and safety is put at risk – and not controlled by our bosses and managers, who have an interest in maximising the amount of work they can get out of us. ‘ }

          BTW … good website… a lot of good material there so thanks.

          • wellfedweta 14.1.1.1.1

            Little was not just “complicit in supporting management initially”. He was complicit in drowning out the concerns of workers on site, and of covering up (or at best ignoring) safety concerns expressed from various quarters.

            You also seem to be on something of a hobby horse about the connection between neo-liberalism and health and health and safety. That is a dead horse, I’m afraid. Here is a list of historic mine disasters in NZ. Tell me which ones are the result of neo-liberalism.

            Kaitangata, February 1879: Candles cause explosion in an area known for methane (firedamp) killed 34 men and boys.

            Brunner, March 1896: Incorrect blasting set off a gas explosion – probably methane – killing 65 men.

            Huntly, Ralph’s mine, September 1914: A miner’s naked light ignited firedamp, killing 43 men.

            Dobson mine, December 1926: An explosion killed nine men.

            Huntly, Glen Afton mine, September 1939: Carbon monoxide asphyxiated 11 men.

            Strongman mine, 11km northeast of Greymouth, January 1967: explosion killed 19 miners.

  15. dv 15

    Some one has honour

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11753588

    Allied Concrete will not participate in sealing of Pike River mine

    Allied Concrete, the company contracted to supply concrete to permanently plug the Pike River mine has pulled out.

    Allied is owned by HWR, and chief executive Brent Esler said today they had been asked to quote for the supply of concrete by a contractor engaged by Solid Energy.

    HWR had “the deepest sympathy for the families of the 29 miners whose lives were lost in the disaster in 2010”.

    “We are respectful of their feelings around the sealing of the mine. We also understand the situation faced by Solid Energy who are now trying to prevent further risk of injury or fatalities.”

    The company was mindful that Solid Energy was not the mine operator at the time of the 2010 disaster but took over in 2012.

    “At this time Allied Concrete have not committed to supply concrete material for the final stages of the project,” Allied said. “We will assess any decision to supply product as it arises.”

    The company said it hoped an understanding could be reached between the parties and that some finality was achieved for everyone, “after this tragic event”.

    Pike River families are welcoming the company’s decision decision not to supply the concrete required to seal the mine.

    Allied has contacted Sonya Rockhouse, whose son Ben was killed in the mine, to assure her they will halt supply until the dispute over re-entering the mine is resolved.

    “We are incredibly relieved by this decision,” Sonya said.

  16. JustMe 16

    There is one thing I have noticed about John Key and that is he is totally incapable of keeping any promises made to ordinary New Zealanders. The families of the Pike River 29 are just ordinary NZers. Like the 29 miners entombed in the mine the families are also victims.

    The government’s constant delaying tactics regarding the Pike River Mine is starting to get really suspect. What are they hiding besides a huge level of incompetence?

    A truly proper government and PM would keep a promise made. But once Prince William had headed off back to the UK and the election results of 2011 were confirmed John Key quickly forgot his ‘promise’ to the citizens of Greymouth(which I believe is a strong Labour seat). Maybe Key made that ‘promise’ in the hope of taking Greymouth away from Labour. And because the citizens saw through him he became petty and resentful. If so then how typically juvenille of him.

    I am firmly of the opinion that if one of the Pike River 29 was say the son of a National MP then Key would be literally moving heaven and earth to ‘get the boys out’.

    The usefulness of the families of the Pike River 29 ended within 24 hours of the 2011 election results. The ‘boys’ were political tools to be manipulated by an opportunistic and self-serving PM.

    In this day and age with technology having even advanced quite considerbly since 2010 I suggest that if Key and his mates are reluctant to let in experienced miners to go into the mine then send in a drone to check it out.

    I am sure John Key had hoped the families of the Pike River 29 would shut up and put up with his decision and broken promise. Key depends upon apathetic NZers and he probably didn’t expect so many NZers to find his inaction to be more likely an act of cowardice.

    If we had a Labour government I am sure the boys would be out of that tomb by now and given a decent burial.

    RIP Pike River 29 but please ensure Key never forgets you. May he be haunted by your faces for the rest of his days.

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    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    12 hours ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 day ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    3 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    3 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    3 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    3 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    3 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    4 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    5 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    5 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    6 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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    6 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, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    7 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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  • COVID-19 updates
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  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    2 weeks 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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  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago