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Que CERRA, CERRA?

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 pm, September 29th, 2010 - 62 comments
Categories: broadcasting, democratic participation, local government, Media, news, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , , , ,

I put on the radio this morning to hear emails expressing concern about the CERRA being read out. Since I haven’t heard any such concerns being echoed back to me by any media, I briefly thought that maybe some abuse had flowed from ‘the Act’ in the past 24 hours or so.

But no.

Apparently, whereas Labour and Green party members slamming their respective politicians over support for the CERRA  goes unreported; and whereas the widespread expressions of anger, condemnation, disgust and thoughtful analyses all over the NZ blogosphere is as a deafening silence to media outlets, that’s not the case when a few of ‘the right’ people speak up.

According to even our most liberal media then, when thousands of citizens find themselves in what might be described as spontaneous concurrence, as happened over the CERRA, it’s just not important enough to warrant much of a mention.

But somewhat revealingly and quite simply, when  27 academics ,who media types  perceive as being ‘authoritative’ and therefore ‘acceptable’, seek to deliver the exact same  message that everyone else had been seeking to deliver these past weeks, the message quite suddenly and mysteriously gains admittance  to the mainstream media’s echo chamber, where it can potentially (hopefully) gain some efficacious momentum.

Which is a problem. Because any tendency of media to pre- judge the relative importance of a matter based on whether suitably authoritative members of society have deemed it worthy of mention is a very bad thing. It’s bad because it reinforces the idea of citizens as an inconsequential spectators. And inconsequential spectators can have nothing invested in defending any level of democracy.

It’s a habit of media that belies an idea that’s already developed far too far in my opinion. The failure to report our concerns over such a crucial matter as the CERRA surely indicates just how acceptable our elites and media find it to dismiss us and our concerns. We and our concerns are not news because worthwhile concerns do not emanate from us. If we think otherwise, then we need to be taught to understand that we are consumers first and foremost. And that second and last we can be sounding boards for the worthy concerns that emanate from our elites.

Of course, there are others who might claim that being a slow learner is no bad thing. But they are by their own admission, no experts on such matters and so should be ignored.

62 comments on “Que CERRA, CERRA?”

  1. thoughtful analysis, bunji. The same mentality behind CERRA and behind Brownlee and Carter’s refusal to justify it can be seen in the unwillingness of the media to cover popular discontent with the law.

  2. Rex Widerstrom 2

    As a former reporter and editor I have to say in defence of the MSM that it’s difficult to decide when the feelings of Joe Average cross over from opinion (and thus he has the “Letters to the Editor” column and talkback radio through which to express them directly) to news (in which case I should write a story expressing them).

    Every day you’re inundated with crackpots claiming to speak for the “silent majority”. That every single missive you receive on a given day offers the same opinion isn’t even a guide – it just means that possibly everyone vexed about a certain issue has decided to put pen to paper, while hundreds of thousands of their fellows don’t care or perhaps even agree with the status quo (and no one ever writes or calls up to say “Yeah, I’m pretty satisified, thanks”).

    Not that this applies to the one example you’ve cited, Bill. The fact that clearly left-leaning bloggers and commenters were universally lambasting their parties was worthy of note (but even then, how to quantify the extent of the disquiet given the disinclination of supporters of a decision to say so?).

    As for other issues, I’d be interested to know what trigger points you think should tip the MSM into treating public opinion (other than that defined by polling) as news? And how the unquantifiable should be reported?

    [I don’t mean that in a snarky way. As someone who’s a cheerleader for greater direct democracy, having the MSM value Joe Average’s opinion is important to me. But I genuinely have trouble with how it could be reported without taking a “Chicken Little” approach every time you got a dozen letters saying the same thing].

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      One would hope that a journo would be able to perceive a potential story and see if there was something to it? Maybe an enterprising, democratically minded journo could decide for themselves if it was worth following up and could ring up their local constitutional lawyer and ask: is there anything substantial to this noise?

      Instead of waiting for yet another press release to be handed to them before moving on it.

      • Lew 2.1.1

        It’s not like they were unaware, either. There were plenty of senior journos participating in the live twitter outrage during the debate and passage of the bill.

        L

        • tea 2.1.1.1

          Which means the media is badly comprimised and wouldn’t stand up for us if the jack boots came…cowards the lot media, the Greens, Labour…

      • Rex Widerstrom 2.1.2

        Maybe an enterprising, democratically minded journo could decide for themselves if it was worth following up and could ring up their local constitutional lawyer and ask: is there anything substantial to this noise?

        So the appearance of potentially widespread disquiet triggers the media to proactively consult the experts for validation of the opinion? Better, I agree. And I’ve often done that myself.

        But still a strategy which “reinforces the idea of citizens as an inconsequential spectators”. Hence my rhetorical questions…

        • Bill 2.1.2.1

          “But still a strategy which “reinforces the idea of citizens as an inconsequential spectators”. Hence my rhetorical questions…”

          But they could report it as news worthy ‘non-news’ should their chosen experts be of the opinion that there is nothing to see or whatever. Which either opens up debate and possibly leads to elite opinion being challenged or leads to a better understanding of matters by many people.

          Which is not treating us as inconsequential.

    • Bill 2.2

      When the sentiments of the media are indistinguishable from the sentiments of our elites, we are in a spot of bother. And I think we’re in a spot of bother.

      I mean, how there be a journalist anywhere in NZ not alert to the newsworthiness of our democracy going bye-byes in Canterbury? And since journalists pick up stories from the blogosphere and the more or less uniform reaction to the CERRA was all over the damned place…and all linking back to the analyses Lew mentions below which only needed to be read with a critical eye to ascertain their worthiness….

      Rex. When I wrote the post much earlier today, I didn’t foresee that the matter was about to be dropped again by the msm as though it was a hot potato. It’s like the fat man grumbled his displeasure and the media all shuffled out of the throne room backwards with heads bowed muttering apologies to his majesty for their stupid transgression. Or some such.

      The story has gone again as sure as it never existed.

      So now it seems that the msm don’t even only report on our common concerns when ‘respectable authority figures’ judge those concerns as worthy, but only report on matters which receive the nod from ministers. I’m quite lost for words frankly.

    • Rich 2.3

      If it’s some old lady who’s had her pot plants stolen and hence thinks plant thieves should be burnt at the stake, she’s straight on the TV/radio.

    • Puddleglum 2.4

      Maybe the whole idea that media is only a venue for stories – with all that word connotes in terms of passive consumption, receptivity and ‘sales’, ‘ratings’, etc. – needs to be challenged by one which sees media as venues for discussion and debate. Then, reporters would be reporting each ‘move’ in the discussion and debate, not always trying to find a story.

      Of course, there’s a place for ‘stories’ in the news as well – stories can provide the provocation for discussion.

      Also, we could probably link the media’s approach to only reporting the views of the right (i.e., prominent, famous, powerful, rich, etc.) people to the increasing emphasis on expertise, going back to the early Enlightenment. The idea that the few have access to or have been trained in special (occult) knowledge has precursors prior to rationalism and science, of course – indeed, many early scientists were also magicians and pursued science for the control over natural phenomena that it promised and, consequently, the social power it bestowed.

      ‘Authoritative expert knowledge’ is perhaps just the latest in a long line of authoritarian ridouts (e.g., divine right). And the natural follow-on to the worship of authoritative knowledge is the illogical assumption that on any matter there must be someone (‘the expert’) who knows better than others. As Bill points out, that’s not just lazy thinking, it’s dangerous thinking. It has the appearance of eliminating the need for politics – which is to say, the need for all of us to discuss and decide on something.

  3. Lew 3

    Particularly galling when all — every last bit — of the ‘amateur’ antipathy to CERRA was derived directly from analyses published by two of the signatories to the letter themselves (Dean Knight and Andrew Geddis) and one notable non-signatory (Graeme Edgeler), before the bill had actually passed.

    None of the objections were random moonbattery — in fact, the only reason anyone particularly cared about it was due to the alarm bells rung by those three. All the arguments were thoroughly thrashed over by the time the next morning’s Herald and Dom Post went to press; the open letter could practically have been written at the same time because nothing much substantive has changed since.

    So sorry, Rex, you’re dead wrong on this one.

    L

    • Rex Widerstrom 3.1

      But Lew, I’ve said the example cited by Bill is one of the rare exceptions. I’m talking about the broader issue… when ought the media to devote news space to the opinions of average (non “expert”) people (other than the result of polls)?

      What critical mass of opinion should trigger a report? In this case, there clearly was that mass, and regardless of the numbers involved there was newsworthiness in the fact that left wing blogs were full of criticism from Labour and Greens supporters.

      But that was a rare situation… I’m looking for a set of… guidelines (that’s not quite the word)… that ought to apply in a more general sense, so that the opinions of ordinary people are reported more often (and not just in lame space-fillers like “vox pops” pieces every junior gets sent out to do at some point in their career).

      • Bill 3.1.1

        ffs Rex. What criteria do reporters or editors use when deciding on what elitist or non-descript pap should be reported as news? None. They go with a feeling and a sense of the flow of things or some such.

        Which meant that today, instead of possibly exploring some of the implications of CERRA with various concerned, articulate and knowledgeable people on the post 6 O’Clock News slots and maybe holding some representatives to account, we got two adults playing fucking toy cars on Campbell Live. I kid you not. Two adults on the floor pushing fucking toy cars around junctions to show how a road law change that won’t take effect until sometime in 2012 will work.

        • Rex Widerstrom 3.1.1.1

          Yes Bill… aka “news judgment”.

          To which I riposte that the lack of coverage of this issue (till the experts wrote their letter) and the kind of pap to which you refer proves beyond doubt that the media no longer has any such judgment.

          So little point in suggesting we rely upon it, no?

  4. Anne 4

    To add to Lew’s spot on contribution:

    In my dolly-bird days (long time ago 🙁 ) I worked at the sharp end of AKTV2. Remember AKTV2, WNTV1 and CHTV3? All under the NZBC umbrella. The standard term in the studios and back-rooms for members of the public was “the peasants”. I doubt anything has changed, indeed it’s probably endemic throughout the MSM.

    Geez… anti-spam: OLDER

    • toad 4.1

      Don Brash used to refer to members of the public as “the punters out in punterland”.

    • jcuknz 4.2

      Further to Anne’s …. I remember one of the more objectionable journos I had the misfortune to work for chuckling with mirth as he wrote a put down letter to some poor ‘peasant’ who had the cheek to write in complaining about something DNTV-2 newsroom had done. You forgot us in the far south Anne 🙂

  5. Harpoon 5

    Can you blame them? They’re journalists. They get ‘news values’ drummed into them from the start.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_values

  6. Danyl Mclauchlan 6

    Short answer: ‘bloggers are unhappy’ is not a news story. ‘Anonymous bloggers who hate the government and the media are unhappy’ is definitely not a news story. ‘Twenty seven distinguished legal academics are unhappy with a new law’ – now you’ve got something.

    • Lew 6.1

      What about ‘two legal academics are unhappy and using words like ‘dictatorship’, ‘constitutional outrage’ and ‘screaming collywobbles’ within a couple of hours of the first draft of the bill being made public’?

      That sounds like a news story to me.

      L

    • Marty G 6.2

      revolt in parties’ grassroots over CERRA – is news too.

      don’t be an arse, danyl.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        What Danyl is trying to say is that only important people count. Which, as I read it, was exactly Bill’s observation of the way the MSM views the world.

        • Lew 6.2.1.1

          The point is that Geddis and Knight (and Edgeler, Geiringer, Price, all of whom were involved in the initial discussions on the topic) are important people by the standard to which Bill and Danyl are appealing. So that particular theory doesn’t explain the cone of silence adequately.

          My own personal favourite explanation is a sort of sluggish democratic complacency: we have a good robust democracy so, by definition, nothing can happen which endangers it, right? And if anything looked like it was endangering it, the Greens and Labour would surely scream Tory-blue murder, right? I think the notion that NZ could be declared the People’s Republic of Brownleestan, and moreover that it could be done without encountering even the most flaccid defence from the Opposition simply defies belief. It couldn’t happen here, surely? Could it?

          The measure of Labour and Green’s failure to oppose this has yet to be fully taken. Partly it’s the obvious; but partly it’s opportunity cost. National parlayed the EFA into a dictatorship metaphor which poisoned the electorate against Helen Clark; this was an actual no-fooling dictatorship being established in law — if not in practice — and what did we hear? “We have concerns, but we’ll support it anyway.” They didn’t just miss the fucking bus, they were waiting on the wrong platform.

          L

          • Bill 6.2.1.1.1

            The fact that Geddis and Knight did some of the original analysis is a good point, but even they had to put their names to a list of academics and send an open letter to get any traction. So an additional 20 odd names from a particular profession that carries or demands some degree of respect gets the msm to sit up and pay attention.

            And even then, only very, very briefly. I can’t believe the story has gone again.

            Meanwhile an obvious level of agitation by large numbers of people who were aiming their displeasure and anger at the very people they accepted as leaders in the case of party members elicited nothing at all.

            It’s almost as if people sitting up and taking notice and expressing their displeasure (surely an act of democracy) is perceived as a threat to the democratic control exercised by elites on our behalf. And as such must not be given oxygen. Meanwhile,elite control in any form is A-OK because that can never be a threat to elite control…ie, democracy.

            • Lew 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Not sure it’s so dead. Jonathan Temm of the Law Society was on Morning Report this morning talking about it.

              To his considerable discredit, Trevor Mallard is banging the drum to complain about the breadth of the Rugby World Cup 2011 Empowering Bill. You couldn’t write this shit as fiction, it’d be mocked as unbelievable.

              L

              • Bill

                Missed Jonathan Temm. Is he a regular contributor on the programme? I presume I missed a spot on Morning Report yesterday too (catching only the emails).

                But, I’m not holding my breath for it popping up on news bulletins.

                I suspect it has been consigned to the opinion columns on it’s way to disappearing completely. The opinion columns being the safe space where ‘fringe’ perspectives and detached intellectual musings live.

                The whole thing is getting beyond me.

                Not sure about walking down the street today in case my mothers old threat about faces becoming stuck holds some truth and strangers begin to point at my permanently gaping gab.

          • tea 6.2.1.1.2

            Well that and it shows Labour and the Greens to be bad at their job. Which is good law making. This is a terrible law.

            And as Lew points out diplomatically- Where the Fuck is the democracy under attack? This is unbelievable. Ecan, the supercity ‘transition’ authority and now this- a million times worse.

            How the Fuck can Brownlee show that kind of contempt and get away with it? We need Winston or someone with some balls or spine to tear the bastard a new one. I’m not seeing it from the ‘opposition’.

            This is not only contempt of New Zealand, but of our democracy and our academic institutions. Can’t wait for the bullshit from Roger kerr or Shirtcliffe or whoever to be dismissed with the same attitude.

  7. ianmac 7

    Shouldn’t this story have importance on its own merit regardless of the blogosphere concern? Does this mean that no one even bothers about the elephant in the room and instead concentrates on really important stuff like “compere awards beauty pageant crown to wrong girl!”

    • tea 7.1

      This. Journalists shouldn’t need to follow the blogosphere on this one. They should be front and centre. They should be calling the constitutional lawyers and asking them questions not waiting for lawyers from NZ Britain and New York to send them a note telling them to do their jobs.

      I remember the pitiful radio anouncement on the news about this after it was passed. Something along the lines of ‘An act has been passed to help Canterbury rebuild faster after the earthquake under urgency last night’. Yikes.

  8. What about ‘two legal academics are unhappy and using words like ‘dictatorship’, ‘constitutional outrage’ and ‘screaming collywobbles’ within a couple of hours of the first draft of the bill being made public’?

    That sounds like a news story to me.

    Me too. And now that they’ve written an open letter co-signed by their colleagues it is a news story.

    revolt in parties’ grassroots over CERRA – is news too.

    People bitching in the comments sections of blogs is not a news story Marty. You really don’t get how irrelevant we are, do you?

    • IrishBill 8.1

      The base of the two main opposition parties attacking these parties on their own blogs and across a whole lot of social media is actually a reasonably worthy political story. It’s a very hard one to get comment on though. Which is why it probably why it didn’t make it to the MSM past a wee bit in the Herald’s political round-up.

      You’ve not got very good news judgement, Danyl, and you seem to fail to understand the basic logistics involved in putting a story together.

      • Rex Widerstrom 8.1.1

        I think IB’s right in this case… the fact it was so widespread and the fact that it broke out only normally highly partisan blogs like Red Alert (whose comments are usually so heavily moderated that one has to ask, considering what made it through, how bad was what was censored?!).

        As a journo I’d have picked up on it. Maybe gone to some party activists I had in my contact book. Maybe even used social media to trawl for interview subjects. Certainly rung the powers-that-be and asked for a reaction.

        Unfortunately, it’s usually not that clear cut. Commenters at Crusader Rabbit banging on that NACT aren’t sufficiently conservative aren’t newsworthy, for instance, so Danyl’s right in the majority of cases, just not this one.

        But even with such a weight of “evidence”, Bill is right – the MSM waited till experts decreed the ordinary person’s opinions were valid before covering it. That’s something I’d like to see change, but with news judgment seemingly a dying art, I’m not sure how one would go about it.

        And even amongst journos who do have that judgment (and I like to think I do), it’s often hard to judge the “tipping point” where ordinary disgruntlement amongst a sector of the population becomes something more, and thus newsworthy.

        (Which is what I’m trying to get to above, but seemingly not explaining myself very well).

    • Marty G 8.2

      I know exactly how irrelevant you are, mate.

      but the activist base is a different matter.

      your goffice and green hq contacts ought to be able to let you know how much the activists’ revolt over CERRA affected them.

      Or you could just watch how they reacted. Very interesting to see which MPs had the brains to keep their heads down.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      As ianmac said, this sort of thing shouldn’t need the journalists waiting for academics to write an open letter. It should have been front and centre news from the moment it was tabled in parliament.

      But, as I said, the MSM is owned by the dictators.

  9. Journalists shouldn’t need to follow the blogosphere on this one. They should be front and centre. They should be calling the constitutional lawyers and asking them questions not waiting for lawyers from NZ Britain and New York to send them a note telling them to do their jobs.

    I know that some journalists were front and centre on this: they talked to the lawyers etc. But the lack of any opposition meant that the story was impossible to sell to their editors, who have never heard of people like Geddis and Knight and weren’t particularly inclined to publish stories critical of the earthquake recovery based on the say-so of some legal academic blog they’ve never heard of.

    We really do rely on the adversarial nature of our political system to prevent things like this from happening and the system failed. That’s on the opposition parties not the media.

    • Rex Widerstrom 9.1

      We really do rely on the adversarial nature of our political system to prevent things like this from happening and the system failed. That’s on the opposition parties not the media.

      Good point Danyl. Maybe rather than angsting over how we fine-tune journalists’ antennae, I should be angsting over the lack of an opposition.

      The de facto modus operandi of media nowadays is “s/he said / s/he said”. Provided there are two opposing points of view, both sides will get an airing (leaving aside for the moment allegations of liberal or conservative bias in the MSM).

      Democracy just needed a spokesperson. And it didn’t get one. And so, deprived of their one and only story template, the media were silent.

      • IrishBill 9.1.1

        Yep. Can’t have conflict without official on-the-record conflicting views. That said the media has never been shy about creating authorities out of dissenting “nobodies” if they want the story bad enough (think Family First, Cameron Slater or any number of non-authoritative “talent” that gets used to create balance).

        But it is unlikely that they would do so for a story that ran against the patriotic united front narrative that followed the earthquake.

        I think the story around the letter may have had more to do with timing as it came after the discontent was voiced by Avonside residents. I also think that as we see more discontent from within Christchurch we’ll see more balanced coverage of the political issues surrounding the quake as well.

        • Marty G 9.1.1.1

          of course, there’s nothing to prevent senior journos from giving their opinions on CERRA in their opinion pieces.

          They might have if not for the Garrett fiasco (somehow) overshadowing the imposition of dictatorial powers.

          Maybe this letter will respark the issue for them.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      We really do rely on the adversarial nature of our political system to prevent things like this from happening and the system failed. That’s on the opposition parties not the media.

      No, that’s still on the MSM. The 4th estate is supposed to be watching our democracy and in this they fail.

      • The 4th estate is supposed to be watching our democracy and in this they fail.

        With the exception of RNZ the media are commercial businesses, not a public good. Their job is to make money for their shareholders.

        there’s nothing to prevent senior journos from giving their opinions on CERRA in their opinion pieces.

        I believe Vernon Small has been on holiday in Europe. Most of the other columnists just regurgitate briefings they’ve received from various press secretaries.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.1

          With the exception of RNZ the media are commercial businesses, not a public good. Their job is to make money for their shareholders.

          Which just means that our state owned broadcasters need to drop the profit model and start reporting. It’s obviously not good enough to rely upon the privately owned MSM. Although, I would have thought that reporting such things as this would have boosted profits because more people would actually pay attention to them.

    • Also, David Garrett blew up. I’d had a call asking me to be on Campbell Live about the CERRA, the day after it was passed. But Garrett made a statement in the House, and it got the headlines and the interviews.

      • Bill 9.3.1

        ianmac. As far as I know Katherine has done two ‘spots’ on CERRA. But how would that compare with Nine to Noon on Garret and Act?

        Plus Garret and Act was the top or near to the top of every news bulletin. Plus Garret and Act were the focus of ‘every’ current affairs programme and the focus of off the cuff remarks by presenters here, there and everywhere.

        That Garret displaced a potential interview on Campbell Live….and that, that potential interview seems to have been the height of any exposure is something I find very unsettling. And as others have pointed out, the CERRA is by no means the only shelving of our democracy that has or is taking place.

        And that Brownlie can so off-handedly and easily switch off any spotlight that might be brought to bear, and that the politicians of all shades are continuing on as though nothing is wrong…truly, utterly, terrible.

        But then, the concern of political elites is the propriety of one of their own. And that is that. The dutiful media then steps up to the mark and treats our misguided concern over the state of our democracy like an errant child and gives it ‘time out’ in the ‘opinion pieces/columns’ before subjecting it to complete silence until it becomes refocused on proper concerns.

        • ianmac 9.3.1.1

          I agree totally Bill. This morning I was staggered at the amount of time that Morning Report gave today, to the right car turning plan, for 2012! and not even asking the question about .08 to .05! And CERRA getting a go over? Not bluddy likely!

  10. I know exactly how irrelevant you are, mate.

    but the activist base is a different matter.

    Given the choice between being an irrelevant idiot and a useful idiot I take the former.

  11. Jeremy Harris 11

    I believe it is a problem for the media… As more and more of our population moves online, the public will realise the truth (as defined by them) is not what is printed on page one of the NZ Herald, the Dom Post, etc…

    Then the paper are screwed, because bloggers are passionate, suprisingly resourceful and do it for free..!

  12. jcuknz 12

    To correct one of the ‘peasants’ here it should be pointed out that the ‘guy’ on the right watching the guy on the left pushing toy cars around is wearing a red dress so I assume unless ‘he’ was in drag ‘he’ is actually a female reporter[ess] … so much for powers of observation ;- )

    Currently I am driving without the RHR and frankly some direction of priorities is highly desirable and NZ obviously leads the world ….I’m sure many more than 7% will be killed or maimed by the foolish change away from the current rule. Tourists cause accidents basically because they are on holiday and not paying much attention to the full time job which is driving a ‘killing machine’ on narrow NZ roads. I remember one American who cancelled his rental car and flew the final leg of his holiday simply because of the winding NZ roads. My wife drove it from Q’town to Dn to save the pick-up charge while I drove our old dunger 🙂
    Of course to somebody who has survived for decades the NZ conditions driving on Inter-state dual lane [each way] highways is apiece of cake, even ‘each way’ two lane roads are easy. The only scary bits are the big trucks doing 75-80MPH, either overtaking me or vice versa.
    There is one rule I would like to see adopted and that is turning right agianst red when the road is clear [would be turn left in NZ].

  13. randal 13

    dont worry boy.
    we know everything and what we dont know is not worth knowing.

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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    3 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    3 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    4 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    7 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 days ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    7 days ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • A good first step
    Today the government announced a financial package to deal with the effects of the pandemic. So far, it looks good: an initial $500 million for health to deal with immediate priorities, wage subsidies for affected businesses, $585 a week from WINZ for people self-isolating who can't work from home, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    17 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    5 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    1 week ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    2 weeks 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
    16 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
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    3 days ago
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    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
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    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
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    6 days ago
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
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  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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    7 days ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    1 week ago
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  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
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    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
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    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
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    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
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    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
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    1 week ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
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    1 week ago