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Quick Question.

Written By: - Date published: 12:39 pm, March 8th, 2020 - 61 comments
Categories: culture, Environment, Ethics - Tags: ,

Well? Would you?

Update/Edit.

Interesting that the definitive answers all ran in one direction.

The rest read as a mix of inanity and insanity to me – ie, flailing shades of denial and fear.

For those who think that giving up their current material life means having no material measure of life, I have a question.

What crucial, critical or even just useful technological development have we made in the past 150 years that is so dependent on burning fossil fuels that the knowledge and technology would be utterly lost if we gave up burning fossil? Because unless there’s a rather long list of such technologies that we can’t reconfigure or adapt to or in, a non-fossil context, I just can’t fathom the nonsense that would insist we risk a neo stone age.

Medical science was around and making advances before the wholesale adoption of fossil as an energy source. What medical advances would have been impossible without fossil as an energy source, and which of those (if any exist) would be lost without a continued reliance on fossil?

Likewise, where’s the loss in architecture or engineering? Would we suddenly be unable to grow food or provide ourselves with shelter without fossil energy? Would art and study and the ability to apply learning suddenly evaporate if we didn’t derive energy from fossil?

Is it the case that many people simply can’t imagine how they’d fill days that didn’t revolve around jobs and buying things – that those things provide, if not the sum total, then the bulk of meaning in some peoples’ life?

61 comments on “Quick Question.”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Everything humans do has some impact on the 'world'. From the time we became efficient hunter gatherers we've been changing the world.

    For instance here in Australia, before humans arrived about 50,000 years ago, the fossil record is clear that eucalypts were relatively rare. Once humans arrived and started clearing land with fire, we inadvertently created the conditions to allow the highly fire adapted eucalypt to eventually dominate the whole continent, changing landscapes and climate irreversibly. 

    Nor is the idea that modern industrialisation is the sole cause of environmental degradation wholly true. In many respects the footprint of the modern human is far less on a per capita basis than our ancestors. There is no way in hell that 7.5b people could live on this planet in a pre-industrial civilisation; the reason why we can is that the general trend is for technology to decouple us from the natural world. Each tech iteration takes us one small step in the right direction. The less we use nature the more we protect it.

    But your question fundamentally comes down to this; do we stop all technology and human development and revert back to pre-industrial life, or do we press on in the expectation that not only will our population likely peak within a decade or so, but we can have our cake and eat it too. That we can continue to develop better energy sources, better resource management and reduce our physical impact on nature.

    There are technical arguments for both scenarios … I know because I've believed in both. But in the end for me the choice is made on ethical grounds, that the only way we might conceivably pass through this industrial transition, without plunging humanity into certain die-off, is to choose both human development AND protecting the natural world.

    My quick answer to your 'quick question' is that it's a false dichotomy based on our deep evolutionary framework of the world. I'm not being aggressive about this, because I see this dichotomy as very, very common and understandably so. But moving beyond it is I believe the solution to the apparent paradox your pose.

  2. Drowsy M. Kram 2

    YES – would be a good trade.

    As RedLogix observes, humans have for some time been changing the world for personal and species benefit, as our numbers have (naturally) increased.  Those changes have improved the material comfort of most, and the true costs/consequences of over-population and 'improvements' are now uncomfortably apparent. Many (but certainly not all) should be able to ‘insulate’ themselves from those costs for a few generations yet.

    https://garryrogers.com/tag/limits-to-growth/
    https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/moving-away-progrowth/
    The current economic system being utilized and internalized relies on perpetual growth. It has long operated counter to the reality that we are confined to a finite planet with finite resources. Yet, this system continues to be practiced and promoted globally. As the environmental and social repercussions of disbelief in limits become increasingly clear, so does our need for a new economic system —one that is not wedded to growth. Neither growth in the number of consumers nor growth in the amount consumed.” – Erika Gavenus

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Yes.

    • mikesh 3.1

      Obviously. But there is a question of degree. How much would you sacrifice in order to save the world.

      • Robert Guyton 3.1.1

        Sacrifice or willingly eschew? With the right mindset, ceasing to exploit the seemingly free bounty we are enjoying now would be a privilege and a blessing, rather than a sacrifice. A service to the world. An opportunity to create joy. smiley

  4. David Mac 4

    Yeah, alright, you can take my Vistacraft. But on Monday can I start on a fallen log dugout?

  5. greywarshark 6

    Yes I am hoping to.   I would like to see euthanasia brought in so I could find out the best way to do it and not upset my family with some illegal carry-on.   It's time to stop intellectualising and prevaricating Redlogix.  

    All our accumulated knowledge and wisdom has not enabled us to apply it at suitable points in our advancement.   We are born to excess, and wish to go beyond any set bounds by previous generations without coolly assessing whether or why we should not.   Socrates, Jonathan Swift and Gullivers Travels for instance, were opportunities to ponder and make appropriate thoughtful controls that should have been passed on through education to the young.   

    But capitalism, and its desire for growth of capital accretion was only just held at bay by religion as in the Bible it warns against riches, and encourages simplicity and charity.   But religion itself is undermined by capitalism offering a tax-free advantage because it is doing good works.    And that lack of taxes on churches and charities has encouraged capitalism to infiltrate the giving side of churches, and now there are 'prosperity' churches and sects that call themselves Christian as a useful mask. They can have a virtual princedom existing within the body politic, and keep any money that they make from their exploits.   

    There has grown a lack of appreciation of anything; a lack of gratitude and content for having good resources and quiet enjoyment of life, but always the desire for more and to live narcistically.   Money and style establish a person as worthy in society, not deeds, not good, quiet living.   Capitalism doesn't like that.   Draco T Bastard used to point this out repeatedly.

     

    • David Mac 6.1

      Oh crap, I got you a jet-ski for your birthday. Wanna have just one little go?

  6. Andre 7

    How far are you talking about going? Even a possum-fur loincloth and a long straight stick with a sharpened stone point mounted in the end are material possessions, literally.

    Also, if the answer is yes, what's stopping you doing it, right now?

    • Drowsy M. Kram 7.1

      Good questions – how pervasive is this drive for material self-improvement?  Why do some desire more (sometimes much more) than they need – simply poor judgement?

      Is seeking happiness/security via material excess a bit skew-whiff?  Such questions make me uncomfortable, but I'll be right as rain after a bit of 'retail therapy' wink

      • David Mac 7.1.1

        Yes they are good questions, we have this thing about hunting down happiness.

        I'm resigned to enjoying 10-30 second rushes of divine happiness, that neat warm feeling. For me it's usually triggered by natural occurrences, the innocence of children, that sort of thing.

        On an ongoing basis I think the best we can aim for is a sense of contentment. Comfortable in our skin. We need a roof and a full belly but beyond that I think an ongoing sense of contentment has very little to do with money. It has everything to do with love.

        • Robert Guyton 7.1.1.1

          This is circulating at present. I'm not sure it's genuine, but it may be."

          A letter from Albert Einstein to his daughter: on The Universal Force of Love

          «When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world. I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.

          There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us. This universal force is LOVE.

          When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force. Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it. Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others. Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals. For love we live and die. Love is God and God is Love.

          This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will. To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation.

          If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits. After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energy…

          If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.

          Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.

          However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released.

          When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.

          I deeply regret not having been able to express what is in my heart, which has quietly beaten for you all my life. Maybe it's too late to apologize, but as time is relative, I need to tell you that I love you and thanks to you I have reached the ultimate answer!»

          Your father,
          Albert Einstein"

    • RedLogix 7.2

      The people answering yes are not being clear as to what they are agreeing to. Smells like cool-aid to me.

      • Robert Guyton 7.2.1

        The question is not clear. Answering yes is as valid as answering no, or anything else for that matter.

    • mac1 7.3

      Some of this discussion is going very near Four Yorkshiremen country,

      "Possum-skin loin-cloth. Luxury! When I were a lad all we had were a belt made of a flax leaf and a few dried banana skins.

      And we were lucky!"

  7. pat 8

    unfortunately thats a collective question unable to be answered individually

  8. Bazza64 9

    If it meant living in caves, high childhood mortality rates, the threat of larger predators attacking you, no internet, no musical instruments, no telly, no vaccines, having to hunt dawn to dusk to survive, I would say no thanks, give me Maccas & pollution.

     

     

     

     

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      No imagination.

       

    • pat 9.2

      have to say no telly would be a blessing

      • Robert Guyton 9.2.1

        It is. Ours went west years ago. I've no phone or watch. I do though, squeeze news out of my laptop. I'm able to exercise some discretion as a result. 

        • Gosman 9.2.1.1

          Oh the irony of someone claiming having no TV is a blessing while stating that they get all their news from their laptop…

        • Jimmy 9.2.1.2

          You obviously enjoy having a computer and internet access.

          • Robert Guyton 9.2.1.2.1

            I'd willingly and happily give both up, if the effect was significant.

    • mikesh 9.3

      That is what it would have meant at some point in our prehistoric past, but the race continued just the same. The main difference between us and them is that we know what we would be giving up were we to return to that state.

      Interestingly, i.n H G Wells' novel, The Valley of the Blind, that blind race came to regard as myths those stories handed down to them from their sighted ancestors

  9. AB 10

    My material life is everything other than what goes on inside my head. (And even that is material at some electrical-chemical level). To give up your material life is to be dead. I don't think it's a helpful question – because it opens the moral door to 'solutions' to climate change that are just another form of austerity imposed on the 99%.

  10. Ad 11

    The world trades every day with my material world. 

    Much of that trade is through tax. 

    More of that trade with the material world is through my labour.

    Some of that is through trade with public institutions. 

    Even more of it is traded with family. 

    Would I? We have since trade enabled us to be human. 

    So the answer is: yes I would, because I always have. 

    It’s more accurate to call us homo permutatio than homo sapiens

     

  11. Adrian 12

    There is this to consider. One of the few jobs that pays Bangladeshi women money is the fashion industry so they can feed their children and send them to school. Without this  money hundreds of thousands of children would face starvation. Yes the bulk of the industry there needs to clean up its act and that is happening but the answer to that is for us stop demanding the cheapest teeshirt possible.

    And dont say "they can grow their own food '", that is a patronising and colonial mindset that disregards the practicalities of life there.

    Btw, I don't think the answer is "go high tech "either, I thought that was our bullshit answer.

    • millsy 12.1

      The working conditions in that part of the world seem to be improving. It's the conditions that workers have l in the like of Amazon, etc that people should really be worried about now.

    • greywarshark 12.2

      The problem is the desire for profit that is insatiable.    If we were willing to pay more at the demand end, would the supply end receive a rise in pay?

      Wasn't there a story about Nikes tremendous mark-up on its brand of shoes, with the workers getting the usual for that area in wages and conditions.   They may have changed, but they may also have talked about changing and done very little.

      • KJT 12.2.1

        I remember buying running shoes from the South Korea factory in the eighties, for $10 when they were selling for over $300 in New Zealand. I don't think the markups have changed.

    • KJT 12.3

      Someone gave the example of, "why buy an NZ made sweatshirt for $120 when you can pay $40 for the same one made in Bangladesh".

      Well, true, but if we stopped paying the multinational who brings them to NZ, $35, we could pay the Bangladeshi worker $5 instead of 20c, still have a cheap sweatshirt and have some money left over to pay our rent, and the coffee shop owner down the road. And maybe even have some to buy that NZ wool Jersey.

  12. Billy 13

    I will never serrender my fridge full of limp carrots and plastic bags.

  13. Janet 14

    I think now is the perfect time to start scaling back,.With the Coronovirus arrival things are already becoming disrupted. Turn a "negative " into a positive. I am planting more vegs this autumn for a start…..and I sure won,t be flying anywhere!

  14. Gosman 15

    I don't think the question has been properly thought out. There seems to be this idea that the cause of the majority of the problems in the World are as a result of materialism and removing this from our motivation the World and our lives would be greatly enhanced. You may as well state that you want to remove the desire for food and water from the World. Materialism is as much a part of us as those feelings. 

    • Robert Guyton 15.1

      "You may as well state that you want to remove the desire for food and water from the World."

      Utter nonsense, Gosman. That ploy is called reductio ad absurdum (Latin for '"reduction to absurdity"'), and is a bore.

    • KJT 15.2

      There is a huge difference between having "enough" and wanting the 100 metre yacht, the three mansions and the private jet.

      I remember someone saying that NZ businesspeople are content when they have obtained the beemer, the bach, and the boat, as if it was a bad thing.

      In fact, the concept of not being too greedy and having "enough" was one of the good things about New Zealand. We looked down upon people that were too conspicuously acquisitive. The Doctor, Lawyer, Dentist, Businessman, Wharfie, Road labourer and Cleaner, and even beneficiaries,  lived in the same suburbs, and talked to each other.

      Now, too many people revere wealthy, to put it bluntly, unethical, crooks. Who spend their lives, finding ever more creative ways of taking our money.

  15. Chris 16

    If we're allowed all drugs – all naturally grown and unprocessed, of course.

  16. Sabine 17

    Already been doing this for a while. And its funny, the less you have to own the less you worry about shit, and funnily enough you also have more money left to pay for stuff that matters, like food, booze, and gardening tools and rescue chickens and and and…

    Above all you have more time i find. 

    So Yeah, yes. 

    • Bill 17.1

      Indeed. And if "the neighbours" also shifted their mind set, the developing community would open up a world of possibilities way beyond what one person or two people acting in relative isolation could ever realise.

      • Sabine 17.1.1

        this is true. 

        I just find amazing the free headspace not having to 'need' all that crap gives one. 

        I have a bank account, no over draft, no credit card and i live quite well. My mortgage is lower then what i ever paid rent in NZ in 20 years, and again, i only bought what i 'needed'. So life is good atm.  

        But above all i enjoy the lack of stress that having all these 'wordly' possesion bring. I would like a small wooden rowing boat for fishing on the lake. But i might see if i can save up for it. 🙂  And i think that living this type of life might show others that it is quite possible to do so and live well and lack nothing. 

  17. Bazza64 18

    Good thing editing your original proposal Bill, it was really a case of  “Ask a silly question, get a stupid answer”

    Re fossil fuels, most of the computers we use to post on this website have some plastic content, derived from fossil fuels & also metallic content as well (shock horror – this has been mined). Maybe their is a non-plastic substitute ? If not, should we all ditch our computers & opt for a more simple life ? Most of us would say no to that.

    just because you have material things doesn’t mean can’t also enjoy quiet times, non-material things & also appreciate the other non-material things in life.

    In terms of burning fossil fuels, Heather Du Plessis Alan has pointed out that the greens take the most flights of any political party, happy to preach climate change while clearly not changing their own behaviour.

    • Bill 18.1

      I'll fess up to knowing sfa about chemistry. Maybe you can help? Is it necessary to combust fossil to procure plastic? Besides and regardless, plastic can be made from a number of sources besides fossil.

      But why plastic anyway? Pretty sure there are a million and one materials that could be used for casings, components and packaging.

      (And humanity has been mining “since forever” – I dare say there are ways to mine that don’t involve the wholesale trashing of environments…that, and a lot of mining undertaken today probably isn’t necessary in terms of its sheer scale)

      And I couldn't give a fuck about the Green Party or their MPs btw. Yes – they possibly use more fossil in a year than I've used in my entire adult life. And yes, they probably think that off-setting their flights is "a good thing" (because physics ignores off set carbon – puts it in a special wee box in the sky somewhere).

      And again. Global warming is a systemic problem and not an individual life choice problem. The solution is at a systems level.

      • Robert Guyton 18.1.1

        There's plastic and there's plastic:

        capable of being molded or modeled plastic clay

        bcapable of adapting to varying conditions PLIABLEecologically plastic animals

        4capable of being deformed continuously and permanently in any direction without rupture

        5relating to, characterized by, or exhibiting neural plasticity

      • Bazza64 18.1.2

        Bill I'm like you – know bugger all about chemistry. Yes agree mining should have less impact on the environment & that would be better for everyone.

        You say that global warming solution is at a systemic level which is probably right, but I still think that solutions will cost more (in money terms only anyway) & in the end each of us will have to pay more for that individually which is where it may come unstuck. 

        France tried to tax fossil fuels to make other options more attractive, but the protestors were the people at the bottom of the financial pile who were already on a tight budget & didn't want to pay the extra tax & who can blame them ? Difficult to have a focus on climate change when you can't make ends meet week to week.

        • Bill 18.1.2.1

          Funny how when financial institutions teeter, endless amounts of money can be found to shore them up, but when the world where we live is teetering because of what we do, it's too expensive to do anything other than what we do.

          I say "funny", but y'know….

          • Bazza64 18.1.2.1.1

            Yep the bankers carry on recklessly & then the taxpayer bails them out. But the $ we are talking to fix climate change will be many trillions & will make the bank  bailouts look like chicken feed. But take your point & agree.

            • pat 18.1.2.1.1.1

              the 'money' was easily found no doubt….but the finding has created problems.

              Having said that if the 'finding of trillions' was going to be done the best current use would likely be to transition off fossil fuels

            • Bill 18.1.2.1.1.2

              We don't get to 'fix' climate change (not any more than we get to fix a china shop after a bull's rampaged through).

              But where is the talk of $$ being made available to retrofit all homes so they are fit for the future climate that's unfolding before us? Not on the radar.

              The talk of the $$ to future proof an energy system and distribution/travel networks? Not on the radar.

              The talk of $$ required to ensure that other basic infrastructure remains intact and serviceable in the coming decades? Not on the radar.

              We're going to keep doing shit like a late 19th and early 20th C tech mind-set will see us through. It won't.

              • pat

                no it wont 'fix' anything…but it is a much better use of fiat currency than bailing out the banks and it will provide some mitigation

    • Robert Guyton 18.2

      If the team with the most important climate message stayed at home, vastly reducing the effectiveness of their message's reach, would you regard that as wise?

      • Sabine 18.2.1

        so you are saying that they must travel by air lest they stay at home? what about trains? Cars? Busses? Nope? That would not work for them? To 'public' a transport form? Skype for some of hte meetings? Nah, not sexy enough? 

        The fact is that the team that screams the loudest seems to have the lest issues taking airplanes. Maybe its just the convenience, maybe its the fact that they don't pay themselves for it, maybe its just a 'fuck it' i do because i can. Who knows. 

        But frankly, it is kind of poor optics at the very best, downright stupid at the very worst. 

        But then, as per our current budget, very little to nothing for those that use public transport (generally the poor, elderly, students) but a whole lot for those that drive cars. Go figure. So green, right? 

        Maybe they will use planes a little less when they get their free electrical vehicles, 'electricity' included all courtesy of the tax payer. 
        maybe Bills question should be put towards them?

        • Robert Guyton 18.2.1.1

          Have you read the Green's response to the charge that their use of aircraft is excessive? Or are you just ranting, without having gathered the information? Do you maintain The Greens don't use cars and that buses are "too public for them"? That they don't Skype? That they ignore all these options because they are not "sexy" enough? Do you really characterise The Green's statements on climate change and actions as "screaming the loudest"? Do you really believe the Greens who do fly, justify their actions by saying, "fuck it!"?

          Really???

      • Bill 18.2.2

        They have "the most important climate message"? Really?!

        I seem to recall Shaw touting climate change as a great thing for business opportunities (research on cows) – also saying to the gathered audience that he felt "pollyannish" about the future – advocating for a regressive carbon tax at the same public meeting – and displaying the fact he had. not. a. clue. about integrated assessment models (IAMs) or their implicit bias, or the fact they underpinned IPCC "pathways" (pathways the IPCC itself states should not be used to inform policy) that government is basing policy on.

        Anyway…

        The question wasn't about the Greens, and there are reasons aplenty as to why I couldn't give a flying fuck about them these days. (If they ever extract their head from NZ Labour's liberal back-side, I might have a second look)

        • Robert Guyton 18.2.2.1

          Of our political parties, they have the most important climate message"

          YES.
          The post wasn’t, as you so rightly point out, about The Greens, so your comment that you “couldn’t give a flying fuck about them” seems unnecessary, wouldn’t you say? Perhaps you’d like to say something similar about other agencies that aren’t the subject of this post – Plunket, perhaps, or the Anglican Church?

          • Bill 18.2.2.1.1

            Well, "of our political parties" is a pretty low bar.

            And as for what their message may be…hmm. I'm blanking. Seriously.

            But you say it's important. Cool. So it won't be anything along the lines of "no chocolate" (as per previous Green Party lit on AGW), and it won't be "electric cars", and it won't be "throw Billy in the cells for having his limp carrots in plastic bags"…. So, what is it?

            A different colour of growth perhaps? (No. That's electric cars and associated bumf.) Low emissions? Net zero? Nope. Can't be either of them, because they do nothing to stop AGW in its tracks.

            What is it…this important message?

            edit. Just saw the edit you made to your comment. The Greens came into the thread because Bazza 64 appeared to be wanting to use them as a stick – as though anyone with any take on AGW had to be a supporter of the Green Party and therefor able to be dismissed by association.

            • Robert Guyton 18.2.2.1.1.1

              If you've "blanked" on The Green's climate change work, both in policy and through James Shaw's brokering of the Zero Carbon Bill, then there's nothing I can say that would help. I can't help wondering though, given your dismissal of political parties views and actions as "a pretty low bar", why it is you are here on a politically-focussed blog? Wouldn't it be better to haunt the Open Internet, or even Facebook, in the hope of finding a higher bar to measure yourself against? That said, I don't place much faith in mainstream politics as the door through which we might pass in order to get to a climatically-better place but I do at least have a view on which of those parties is most likely to have the most beneficial effect on us all. I don't expect any of them to be as good as I would like them to be, nor to produce miracles, but when it comes to voting, I will be voting for the party that is best, or perhaps, least worse.

              • Bill

                I blanked on what might be reasonably viewed as "important" and covered off swathes of their supposed work in that comment. And…

                why do you imagine I'm measuring myself against anyone or thing? The comparison you brought into the conversation was between the Green Party and other political parties.

                Anyway. I do hope your comment doesn't presage another year for the "the lesser of two evils" merry-go-round. Because that ride's so mind numbingly dull and stupid.

                 

                 

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    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

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

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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. ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago