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Questions

Written By: - Date published: 12:16 pm, August 24th, 2014 - 38 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, elections - Tags: ,

Would it not be a hallmark of a dictatorship if a government twisted systems of governance to discredit political opposition while simultaneously bending the very same systems in a different direction to protect its own?

Would it not the hallmark of a dictatorship if TV, radio and newspapers uncritically, routinely and increasingly, turned to a single, controlled source of information for their headlines, and ran stories that merely echoed or amplified the spin of that single source?

Would it not the hallmark of a dictatorship if individuals within a government could develop and run their own systems of patronage and revenge with apparent impunity?

And would it not be incumbent upon any population, no matter how mis-informed or ill-informed, to use, say a ballot box if one was available, to still-birth any such emerging trend before it became a normalised and entrenched feature of their country’s political landscape?

38 comments on “Questions”

  1. Olwyn 1

    Bill, I agree that the things you list are all hallmarks of dictatorship, but fear that many people will not heed the warning bell. New Zealand is a young country that has not endured sustained, destructive tyranny. Quite a few people tend to think that whatever suits them is democratic enough, and that political constraints only serve to protect the losers while inconveniencing the winners, with themselves of course counting among the winners. So, while I would like to think that your final question would be met with a resounding “yes” I am not holding my breath.

    • cogito 1.1

      “New Zealand is a young country that has not endured sustained, destructive tyranny”.

      Ironically, the Austrian mother of our current PM escaped from just such a tyranny…. and yet her son seems to be engaged in behaviours that lead to exactly that end.

      Interestingly, we also read today that our current PM is highly superstitious… just like a certain tyrant Adolf. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/election-2014/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503581&objectid=11313430

      How long before we find out that he consults soothsayers and mediums?

    • Daveosaurus 1.2

      New Zealand is a young country that has not endured sustained, destructive tyranny.

      The Tūhoe may wish to disagree with you on that point.

    • greywarbler 1.3

      @ Olwyn 1.30
      I think you have summed up the prevailing approach well. Thinking in those terms is an explanation for the odd complaisance as NZ slowly sinks in a pool of mud.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    It’s a controlled democracy.

    I’m also familiar with Sheldon Wolin’s concept of “inverted totalitarianism” – a form of dictatorship where there isn’t the usual ‘strong man’ figure at the top (a Saddam Hussein, Noriega or Marcos) – but a relatively faceless elite corporate class of the 0.1% making decisions to benefit themselves.

    • I would differ. I would class it as “popular authoritarianism” in which the ruling elite and it’s hangers on retain power by co-opting a sufficient fraction of the population within the “us” faction so as to remove effective civil rights from the “them” faction. This is done by a mix of aspirational politics, appeal to greed and denigration of those who don’t “make the grade”. It’s a replacement of liberal democracy by simple majoritarianism.

      Hence, the ruling party and its agents are allowed to act with relative impunity as long as what they do doesn’t impact on others within the faction (the true elites have absolute impunity). Everyone else has civil rights that aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. That’s why the dirty politics thing won’t be as effective as it should be: there will be many who see National’s perfidy as a legitimate means of keeping the “wrong” people out of political power.

      It’s worse in the US. The ruling elite there act with absolute impunity and the disenfranchised are punished even when they don’t do anything (as Ferguson has demonstrated).

      Once more, if you really want to know what the right are up to, just look at what they are accusing others of doing. The right are the most accurate self-deceived, self-diagnosers in existence.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        I agree with everything you say, and as such don’t believe that we are poles apart.

        Once more, if you really want to know what the right are up to, just look at what they are accusing others of doing.

        Absolutely spot on – from the politics of envy to attacking people as “bludgers”

      • greywarbler 2.1.2

        @ Tom Jackson
        Thinking of the USA and their economic and political direction and how this has affected the people, and vice versa here is a piece I saved from some time back. The way that the economy works for all or a few is probably the biggest lever for those wanting to usurp power. The summary of the trend in the USA fits us well too I think.

        it’s obvious that the nonstop economic expansion that lasted from the end of World War II to the Arab oil embargo of 1973 was a historical fluke, made possible by the fact that the United States was the only country to emerge from that war with its industrial capacity intact. Unfortunately, the middle class – especially the blue-collar middle class – is also starting to look like a fluke, an interlude between Gilded Ages that more closely reflect the way most societies structure themselves economically.
        For the majority of human history – and in the majority of countries today – there have been only two classes: aristocracy and peasantry. It’s an order in which the many toil for subsistence wages to provide luxuries for the few.

        http://www.salon.com/2013/09/20/rip_the_middle_class_1946_2013/

        This economic summary seems to indicate that we will not be able to recapture the democratic practices and advantages that we had and need to bear the changed economics in mind when trying to fashion a political path forward.

        • Tom Jackson 2.1.2.1

          I’m not sure I buy that particular version of the argument. Other countries that were devastated by the war managed to sustain relatively egalitarian societies. However, Piketty’s work has given other reasons why the author of that article’s conclusion may be correct.

          For yet another alternative view, this is a good article (apologies, as I have linked to it previously).

          http://www.thebaffler.com/salvos/a-practical-utopians-guide-to-the-coming-collapse

          My own (not exactly precise) view is somewhat different from all of these. It’s that we had been moving for a very long time from societies where questions of distribution were solved by the exercise of political and economic power (i.e. whoever could bend things their way did so) to societies where the proper answer to those questions was thought to be evidence based – to be decided on the evidence rather than by personal interest and power. Communism and postwar social democracy were simply different ways of doing that.

          It’s pretty obvious who stood to lose out, and by 1970 they were obviously crapping themselves, so they took their opportunity to seize control and try to reverse the changes. Part of the project is to denigrate the idea of knowledge, so it’s no surprise that the postmodern society we live in is one where relativism and scepticism are lionised and promoted. That’s one of the reasons it is so hard to get any traction on climate change in a society where vaccination loonies get plenty of airtime.

          • greywarbler 2.1.2.1.1

            @Tom Jackson
            Interesting stuff thanks for the link. I’ve yet to partake – going to get a sandwich and multitask.

            • greywarbler 2.1.2.1.1.1

              @ TomJackson
              What an easy read and well explained argument by David Graeber. A way forward out of ‘bafflement’. And I like someone who can use irony. He sees as an unwritten policy that no alternative ideas or protests should ever be able to seem successful, and so threaten the hegemony of the present neo liberalism. And so anyone voicing a possible alternative faces the demand to prove that it is better. On the sharp questioning those who don’t accept TINA receive , he comments –

              Normally, when you challenge the conventional wisdom—that the current economic and political system is the only possible one—the first reaction you are likely to get is a demand for a detailed architectural blueprint of how an alternative system would work, down to the nature of its financial instruments, energy supplies, and policies of sewer maintenance.

              And I’ll just throw in as an aside a great costume drama around the battle between establishment and enlightenment in Denmark. Graeber refers to the spread of revolutions around the world as ripples of ideas which are ongoing and unstoppable because although the authorities may try and dumb down ideas and imagination he considers this is impossible. (I hope.)
              http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1276419/
              A Royal Affair In 1767, the British Princess Caroline is betrothed to the mad King Christian VII of Denmark,

              Just a thought. The Santa Fe Institute was I thought, set up to bring multi disciplinary approach to various problems. I don’t know whether their intellectual span is stretched as far as questioning neo liberalism et al but if they did, interesting ideas would come from there too.
              edited

  3. Rich 3

    Love the what do you think of the other guy from Cunliffe;

    “A smiling performer dedicated to his political craft.”

  4. crocodill 4

    “New Zealand is a young country that has not endured sustained, destructive tyranny”.

    Only if you don’t count what Pakeha led governments/systems have done/still do when they come across anything Maori.

    One of the incorrect presumptions of hardship is that it breeds good sense/intelligence/character/moral behaviour etc etc. Nothing is guaranteed or straightforward. I’m gonna go way out on limb and say, hey, you know if Pakeha weren’t so violently snatchy about who had final political say a certain while ago, maybe our systems would’ve been improved by the addition of Maori power/perspective and not so ruined now. Of course, that’s not really a nice thing to say, since it would be yet another form of appropriating something for colonial good at indigenous costs, but it might’ve worked out marginally better. Ah if only, if only… if only we weren’t such greedy selfish swine boo hoo hoo hoo.

    Olwyn is right, pretty much the common view now is that what is good for maintaining the position of the man who has power is also regarded as the definition of democracy and justice. Colonialism is in our blood and still alive, there’s nothing “post” about it.

    • Olwyn 4.1

      Hi Crocodil: I did actually think about what has been done to Maori, as well as other groups that have lacked or lack whatever is needed to bring the powerful to heel. But I said what I did because NZ has not experienced that kind of complete social and political breakdown that tyrannies bring about, that effects almost everyone, including many of the toffs and would-be toffs.

  5. disturbed 5

    How fitting as I read this blog on National’s tyranny as they sell this country from under our feet that a Merle Haggard song should come over HB Country radio singing how we feel.
    As Merle sings;
    “When you’re runin’ down our Country man your walkin’ on the fighin’ side of me.
    Runin’ down our Country our fighting men have fought & died to keep us free.”

    Says it all National you creeps. Look at this they are getting creamed with their stupid political projections by 2018.

    We wont have a country by 2018 if these merchants of sell-out are left to destroy our Country and leave us as tenants and slaves to their rich mates.

    https://twitter.com/johnkeypm/status/503031488909037568/photo/1

    • alwyn 5.1

      Hmm.
      Perhaps you would have done well to listen to the rest of the words to this song.
      When he wrote this song he certainly wasn’t speaking in favour of the left. He was in fact a lifelong Republican voter.
      I suggest you might like to glance at the attached article and have a look at the words of the song you quote and also the words of “An Okie from Muskogee”
      http://www.city-journal.org/html/rev2006-01-13hh.html

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Republicans used to be good union and working class supporting folk.

        • disturbed 5.1.1.1

          The National Party was for also the working man before they turned right hard to Corporate interests in the last 60yrs thank god Michael Joseph Savage and Walter Nash that come to the workers aid when National lost the plot.

          National means representing the people of the country. (The word)

          And they forgot what the word means.

          I worked in North America for twenty years when the republican Party was also for the working people then it also sold out to Corporations.

          Also when in Kentucky they still cling to the notion that the republicans are for their freedoms but we all know what the right is now all about so the worm has turned with their political ways not the people as happened also here with this criminal mob.

          Americans would be incensed if foreign interests gobbled up a quarter of their productive farmland and there would be an uprising but we have sat by as the Nat’s have just done this mostly themselves single handed. Of the eight million hectares we have the Nat’s’ in six years have sold of 1 million of it in six years. The other 1 million was sold in the 24 yrs.’ before Key arrived back.

        • SpaceMonkey 5.1.1.2

          Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

    • Don’t be so quick to pin the blame on National. They would not be able to do this if there weren’t vast swathes of the general population who acted as enablers.

      Your real problem isn’t John Key – it’s the authoritarian asshole next door.

      • Rich 5.2.1

        Asshole? Who’s that then?

        • Tom Jackson 5.2.1.1

          The elderly men who say that people need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, who stole the boots of the people they are talking about, and were given free boots by the government when they were the same age.

          There are others in the bestiary.

          • alwyn 5.2.1.1.1

            “The elderly men …….. were given free boots by the government ”

            I presume from this comment you are talking about all the men who spent five years or so wearing army boots as they gave up a great chunk of their young lives serving New Zealand during the second war?

            • Tom Jackson 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Most of them are dead. I’m talking about their evil boomer kids (yes, of course they don’t think they are elderly, but they are officially old coots).

            • greywarbler 5.2.1.1.1.2

              @alwyn
              Deflecting the discussion on an emotional issue that isn’t at the centre of the discussion, again.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.2

        our mainstream media and our lack of strong alternative media also wear a significant portion of blame.

        • Ffloyd 5.2.2.1

          2cv Pretty much all of the blame is how I see it. John key would not have amounted to a hill of beans without the support of the media. Support is not actually the word I am looking for but all I can think of at the moment. It was a whole lot more than that.

          I am however a strong believer in Karma and I think they will rue the day they put key into the position he is in today. …..Until recently that is.

        • Tom Jackson 5.2.2.2

          True, but people have to cast a ballot for them.

          A solid portion of the electorate are ignorant, pricks, or ignorant pricks. National would be nothing without their support.

          • Rich 5.2.2.2.1

            Yes but it’s really only the pricks that we should worry ourselves about. Ignorance can be overcome.

  6. Macro 6

    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes, and
    Yes.

  7. A dictator is an absolute ruler; Key is no dictator.

    Twisted governance, control of media, and control of revenue streams can all be applied to a pseud-democracy.

    You can’t fix this problem by voting.

  8. Man in a Barrel 8

    In a true democracy the Government constantly acts in accordance with the will of the majority of those with a voice – none of this “If we’re elected there’ll be free false teeth for all” campaign promising which is conveniently deferred or explained away as suddenly unaffordable as soon as bums are comfortably ensconced on the Government benches for three years of unscripted reaction, expediency and graft -for which breach of promise the teethless demos must wait three or five or whatever years to be fobbed off and lied to all over again.

    And of course even true democracy contains no magical force of glinty-white goodness. Even in the original democracies women, slaves and a sizeable chunk of the population had no voice, and democracy by its very definition enables the oppression of the minority by the majority unless it is contrained by influences on it from outside – influences like religious or spiritual belief, a Written Constitution, long established conventions, free speech and a free press and pure historical myth expressed in our stories. In many ways an ideal Medieval King with true Christian beliefs and a real fear of God makes for at least as good if not better system of Government than any democracy. Is a benevolent dictator worse than a corrupt democracy?

    A democracy cannot be better than the society it speaks for and if we are seeing a crapification of our democracy as reflected in Parliament it is because of the crapification of society, the loss of a civic sense of duty and pride in our community as we each fight instead for our share of the cake with our eyes bigger than our stomachs.

    Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    WB Yeats.

    • UglyTruth 8.1

      “In a true democracy the Government constantly acts in accordance with the will of the majority of those with a voice”

      Actually not, what you have described is a mobocracy. When the majority wants to act against the law what you have is a conspiracy, not lawful government.

      mobocracy
      mɒbˈɒkrəsi/
      noun
      noun: mobocracy; plural noun: mobocracies
      rule or domination by the masses.
      “the court will never permit mobocracy to overwhelm the law of the land”

      The law of the land is based on the law of nature and on reason, not on the arbitrary whims of a mobocracy.

      • Man in a Barrel 8.1.1

        I don’t think we’re at odds. I would say a mobocracy is a democracy without the external constraints I refer to. Law is not enough – a mobocracy can pass any laws it likes perfectly legally, requiring the courts to bow to it. What is required to constrain a democracy is respect for those fragile and even ephemeral constraints on the abuse of power – conscience, integrity and honesty. A society which holds those things in high regard – such as by expecting the resignation of a Minister who abuses her power – can rest confidently on its democracy. A society which holds that the “vital issues about what the different parties are offering – such as monetary policy and how changes to the Reserve Bank might work in practice” are more important than the honesty and integrity of Ministers (see todays appalling opinion piece in Stuff *) gets the Government it deserves.

        *http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/10418739/Investors-in-limbo-as-election-looms

  9. One Anonymous Bloke 9

    National Party sources say: to get National back on track, National’s campaign manager Steven Joyce, late on Wednesday, ordered that all MPs, candidates, and those door-knocking for National, not to discuss the Dirty Politics book with anyone.

    Selwyn Manning at TDB.

    Let’s just say not all candidates are obeying these orders.

  10. greywarbler 10

    The things you mention Bill in your post are no doubt a feature of a dictatorship. But using the term of ‘abuse and perversion of democracy’ would probably be more apt.

    Commenters have pointed out that Republicans were for the working person at one time in the USA. Labour was for the working person in NZ until clever plotters manipulated their way into positions of power and turned the boat on another course. All done under the umbrella of ‘democracy’, and still using democracy’s trappings though these are getting patched and worn.

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    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    6 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
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    6 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • What about renters?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Living within our means.
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    6 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
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    7 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
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    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
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    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
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    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
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    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
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    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
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    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
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    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
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    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
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    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
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    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
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    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
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    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
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • 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

  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago