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Rearranging the deck chairs

Written By: - Date published: 6:10 am, June 1st, 2011 - 41 comments
Categories: economy, john key, leadership, public services - Tags: , ,

Remember 2008? Remember back when John Key sounded vaguely sane and reasonable? In a speech to the Public Service Association Congress in September 2008 Key said:

A new National Government is not going to radically reorganise the structure of the public sector. …

Few problems are solved by significant reorganisations – in fact, many more tend to be created. It is easy to underestimate the amount of energy and inspiration soaked up by institutional change, as well as the loss of personal and institutional knowledge.

Perhaps that John Key was kidnapped by aliens. Because as the icy waves of incompetence lap over the gunwales of the economy, the new John Key, clueless captain of our slowly sinking ship of state, is hard at work rearranging the deck chairs:

Finance minister Bill English and State Sector minister Tony Ryall today announced proposals to shut down five crown entities and three tribunals, combine two government agencies and merge back office administrative services across three major state agencies.

A working group would also be established to identify more reforms aimed at getting “value for money” from the public sector in future.

No doubt the first step in National’s grand plan will be to hire some more consultants on $1,000 a day contracts. Just like Auckland we’ll be outsourcing the work that we no longer have the staff to cover.

Then what? All they’ve identified is merging a handful of minor agencies. You could merge them all into one department and call it the Ministry of Silly Walks for all I care. What matters is that we get the public services we need at good value for money. But there’s no target for savings, and no sign that any of this paper shuffling and logo changing will help deliver them. And never mind the waste “of energy and inspiration soaked up by institutional change, as well as the loss of personal and institutional knowledge”…

Renaming, merging and splitting agencies is what a government does when it wants to look busy but has no ideas. Hard to believe it has only taken two and a half years for National to get to this point.

41 comments on “Rearranging the deck chairs”

  1. Charlie Parker 1

    OK, well lets talk organisational structure. What kind of order would a public service organisation take? What you seem to be saying is that a CEO sitting at the top, surrounded by various executives, then middle managers, then supervisors, then workers and contractors… doesn’t work. So how do you get a finite amount of funds and resources directly to the people who need them, with highest efficiency?

    • Eddie 1.1

      what a poor attempt at deflection.

      here is national, which split up all these crown bodies in the 90s when it was trendy, now reuniting a few of those bodies (note, the PSA doesn’t oppose consolidation) in substitute for a real plan.

      Does this give you any confidence in the government’s vision for New Zealand, that its spending its time tinkering with a few crown agencies that most have never heard of.

  2. ron 2

    Your question is askew, Charlie. There are any num,ber of functions in the public service.
    Getting “a finite amount of funds and resources directly to the people who need them, with highest efficiency” is only one of them.

  3. Charlie Parker 3

    Like the writer of the article, none of you have read what he’s written. He says:

    “What matters is that we get the public services we need at good value for money.”

    Is he askew? Is he “deflecting”? I asked the same question in my own words, but instead of stopping at a whine about what is happening, looked for solutions. Now you tell me there are no solutions? So is this article just spam is it?

    If the PS organisations are not yet shut down or restructured, if their structure has stayed the same way as under Labour, then why the wailing about resources not reaching their target efficiently? Would that not suggest that Labour’s structure also didn’t work? And so I asked HOW.

    Please tell me this isn’t yet another article that can be boiled down to “We’re pissed, not because we have a vision and it’s frustrating not being able to implement it, but because we aren’t in power.”

    It simply isn’t an efficient use of my eyeball resources to read worthless crappings.

    • Eddie 3.1

      we’re discussing the proposal before us. The conclusion most people seem to have come to is it is tinkering and illustrative of a lack of ideas.

      The ‘what would you do’ gambit is a deflection as old as debate. r0b, as far as I know, isn’t an organisational systems expert, nor am I. And the government isn’t being criticised on those grounds. You’re trying to deflect the debate into a technocratic dead-end, rather than addressing the political point – which is that these mergers are so minor that we’re left wondering where national’s bigger ideas are.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.2

      Largely agree with that but I think the issue here is that a useless govt is trying to justify its existence by doing something for the sake of doing something.

      The NZ PS constantly needs overhaul and re-structuring.labour did a bit but not enough. But where is the justification? Unfortunately this government has already got rid of most of its best policy people who could helped that happen. So where is the evidence that we are not wasting our time going to come from?

      Interesting when English is asked, why combine X with Y? How do you know it will be more efficient? His answer is I have no idea because we haven’t done any analysis, but it sounds good on paper.

    • bbfloyd 3.3

      you need to get some reality into you charlie. the ps organisations have been undergoing constant tinkering, and restructering since national took office. the only result, in general has been an erosion of efficiency and productivity…

      If you don’t believe me, then talk to the people who work for those agencies. If they like you, they might just open up and fill you in. But first you’ll have to reassure them you don’t intend to tell anyone in govt what they told you.. the level of fear and paranoia is quite acute it present.

      yet another “manufactured” crisis….

      word to the wise…. attempts at undermining and/or denigration of scourses of the information necessary to informed debate and decision making actually makes a bad situation worse…. is that really the right way to “sort out” anything?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      …then why the wailing about resources not reaching their target efficiently? Would that not suggest that Labour’s structure also didn’t work?

      Did anyone actually say that the resources weren’t being allocated efficiently? Reorganisation may or may not bring that about, either way, it certainly costs a hell of a lot. Also, they’re not actually looking to see if they can bring about any efficiencies which really should be the first thing you do.

      National set up the present organisational structure in 1990s so it’s not “Labours”.

  4. Tom Gould 4

    If this is about deckchairs, then why is the PSA reported saying this will cost “hundreds of jobs”? As usual, the union gets the line wrong. Remember the Warners hand-out? Another example of them talking to the room.

    • Eddie 4.1

      the PSA doesn’t oppose rationalisation. they’ve repeatedly stated that. they have a responsibility to their members to say jobs should only be cut for good reasons but what they’re more worried about is in the insidious cuts from the $1b in unallocated reductions in the budget.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        Apparently the kiwisaver funding changes soaks up about “2/3rds” of the total 1 billion. Not sure if that literally means $666m, or if it just means $600-700m.

  5. Rob
    You know I hate them all with a passion.

    You say
    Renaming, merging and splitting agencies is what a government does when it wants to look busy but has no ideas.
    Hard to believe it has only taken two and a half years for National to get to this point

    Q-So when did Labour get to this point?

    And if they did what has changed in Labour now?

    They are like a tag wrestling team, and we are the suckers on the mat, it was only 12-13 years ago ‘we’ went through the privatisation of ACC then they changed team mates and and ACC got changed back, so now it is getting privatised again, and then we will have another change and it will go back into govt control

    Captain Ed Key-Smith is no different than Captain Ed Clark-Smith, they where/are in charge of a sinking juggernaut, and there is just not enough lifeboats to keep 4+ million people out of the drink..
    And Phucgoff will do no better

    • r0b 5.1

      You know I hate them all with a passion.

      Yeah you do. Don’t let it overwhelm you. I’ve let mine burn down over the years (since Muldoon / Regan / Thatcher) to a kind of slow simmering irritation.

      • Robert Atack 5.1.1

        Actually Rob, I don’t hate them as such, as hate is a self destroying emotion.
        I find them contemptible – the fact they think and treat us like idiots, I just want to make sure they know at least one person in the sucked in country doesn’t believe the bullshit they spout.
        One exception being Hone, who is trying hard to get a grip with it all.
        But as 99% of the general dumb public do believe the BS, I guess I can’t blame them to much for seeing an opportunity to crawl to the top of the shit pile, it is what all bacteria /cockroaches do after all.
        And the fact that people go out and vote every 3 years just encourages them, when the truth is voting in this system is as guaranteed to change things as voting in Zimbabwe.
        (I don’t understand why Fiji don’t adopt some of Mugabe’s ideas?)
        But alas the public are just to brain washed and out and out fucking stupid, they clearly do not give a flying fuck about their children that is for sure.
        I was so concerned about my kids I didn’t have any.
        If parents where awake and did give a stuff, they would be marching in the streets demanding honesty in the house and honesty in the actions of the ruling elite, but no, give them a wide screen TV and on going debates about which end of the egg to place in the egg cup and they are happy.
        So maybe as George Carlin says we deserve the wankers, as they are a true representation of the trash that is human kind.
        For all our so called advances, we are still just as stupid as Easter Island stone masons, I think this photo should be the image for Kiwi Saver http://photos.igougo.com/images/p428896-Easter_Island-Easter_Island_245.jpg
        As it shows how locked into the system they were, even with no way of moving the statues they still carved the biggest ones just as their system was going into unreversible collapse.
        Happy Happy Joy Joy

  6. todd 6

    In part, National’s plan is designed to minimize any avenues of redress. National obviously predict a backlash against their failing regime and backwards policies. Removing institutions that can facilitate will mean the people have little choice but to express their grievances in other more destructive ways.

    • ZeeBop 6.1

      The left talk too much sense. Where’s the rage over lightbulbs? I mean how
      hard could it be to lie about say a old person denied the benefit because they
      were thought dead. When the government is a reckless recidivist liar you
      have no choice, you have to talk to the language of complacency. When
      government says we need to cut and infer that’s because the books are
      so bad, you demand why National aren’t protecting farm profits how
      can we afford to live if at the height of the commodities boom we can
      make diddly squat advance.

      Its bloody minded stupidity that will the election. National have it cornered.
      When National says welfare provides incentives for sloth, why do mothers
      on DPB get to leave their kids unchanged, unfed, and government is doing
      nothing about it. Those kids should be in government protection!

      Its the inane reckless disregard that National and Key have that is te
      greatest hurdle the left have to get over. And the only way to do so is
      to be more inane and reckless (based on National reckless assumptions
      so its National ideology up in the dock) and make the case that its
      trust National or trust Labour, force people to look behind the lies.
      But no Labour are too soft to put a few ratbags in a room and get
      some dozies that unhinge National.

      National went to the election with lightbulbs, innuendo that National
      were so strong on government they could make fun of Labour.
      True in on them. Debt is a huge problem (its not), so demand why
      we all work so damn hard and are at the top of our game (commodities)
      and National have to cut cut cut, can you work any harder?

  7. queenstfarmer 7

    Your complaint is that they are doing too little (“All they’ve identified is merging a handful of minor agencies.”), but efficiency gains have to start somewhere.

    • ianmac 7.1

      The experts tell me that any organisation must keep adjusting according to need and changing forces. The Public Service say that they are doing that all the time for the benefit of efficiency. (Parkinson’s Law said that if a business tries to consolidate and be static it will be the start of failure. To survive adjust.) The Public Service complaint is that when adjustments are made for political reasons it disrupts without gain, and you lose the experise while you are at it.
      Just as National Standards were introduced for political reasons, the effect is also disruptive rather than constructive.

    • marsman 7.2

      ‘Efficiency’ is the catch-cry, but strangely enough it’s never explained how cutting costs and staff will provide efficiency. It’s the same as ‘ the market will provide’, and ‘level playing field’ , they are all neoliberal bullshit obfuscations.

      • queenstfarmer 7.2.1

        The proposals do set out the expected gains. Whether they are acheived or not is, of course, another matter.

        • marsman 7.2.1.1

          ‘expecting’ a gain is how this NAct Administration works, it’s no more than bullying and wishful thinking.

          • queenstfarmer 7.2.1.1.1

            Bullying? Not really. It’s like a grower who takes 100 bags of apples to the local market might “expect” to make $1 per bag.

            But the proof will be in the pudding. If NActMaoriUnited make a total balls up of it (like in the early 90s) then the public should hold them accountable.

            • McFlock 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Nope – it’s like a grower who sends a worker to market with 100 bags of apples and claims to “expect” $1 per bag, when they have no basis for that expectation whatsoever.

              • marsman

                Exactly McFlock. The Jackel calls it ‘Alice in Wonderland Logic’.

              • queenstfarmer

                You might have a reasonable expectation, or not. But the point is, it aint “bullying”.

                I don’t think the public has any problem with Govts setting high expections for efficiently use of their money (even though the public has low expections of Govts in making it happen).

                • McFlock

                  The boss either has repercussions in mind if the “expectations” are met, or not.

                  If the boss will exact retribution  from their worker if the worker does not achieve completely unfounded expectations, this is pretty much an exercise in power for the sake of it – bullying.

                  If the boss will make no fundamental change to the worker’s conditions if the “expectation” is not reached, then it’s not really an expectation, is it? It’s just a pointless waste of space.

                  So either the NACTs are bullies, or their “restructuring” is a pointless waste of space. You choose.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    John Key has never sounded sane and reasonable to me. He has always sounded like a self-serving liar, who is supported by a humungous propaganda machine.

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, we are in the early stages of environmental meltdown, as well as economic meltdown. Latest data indicates a huge surge in CO2 emissions which are adding to the pot that is coming to the boil:

    New Zealand sweltered through its hottest May since record-keeping began … but the weather was hardly perfect, as some areas were drenched in more than double their usual rainfall.

    Figures issued today by climate agency Niwa showed that May was 2.3C warmer than usual.

    The average monthly temperature was 13.1C, a heat normally expected for April.

    The previous hottest May, recorded in 2007, had a mean temperature of 12.4C.

    Niwa’s principal climate scientist, James Renwick, said the numbers were extraordinary and unusual.

    “A monthly jump of two degrees is extremely unusual – it’s a surprisingly big step up,” he said.

    “We’ve had a very strong La Nina event in the tropics since about August last year, which brings weather from the north over New Zealand and warmer air down from the sub-tropics.”

    Mr Renwick said the warm tropical air flow also caused the destructive storms and flooding which hit the Bay of Plenty at the end of April.

    “The warmer the air, the more water it can carry, which is why the areas which were the warmest, like the eastern Bay of Plenty, also had more than double their average rainfall.

    “So it’s been very wet in a lot of places and very warm, but with not a lot of sunshine.”

    At the start of May, eastern areas of the North Island were battered by torrential rain and gale force winds which caused widespread flooding and a state of emergency in Hawkes Bay.

    Later in the month, Nelson’s rivers were pushed to bursting point when the region had 3.5 times its normal rainfall. But its temperature was 3.5C warmer than normal.

    At Whakatane, the airport raingauge showed the region had 2.5 times its normal rainfall.

    Mr Renwick said the La Nina event, which was responsible for the record-high temperature, also caused the tornado which tore through Auckland’s North Shore at the start of the month, killing a man at Albany.

    “To get a vigorous tornado, you’ve got to get a vigorous thunderstorm,” said Mr Renwick.

    “And for that to happen you’ve got to have a lot of moisture in the air and energy.”

    He said global warming had increased New Zealand’s average temperature by about 1C in the past hundred years, so other heat records were becoming more and more likely.

    “It makes it easier to get a warm month because the background temperature keeps increasing.”

  9. Lifeboat Captain 9

    Tough job to sort out the Clark Legacy of “lets kill the Golden Geese and foster feed some chooks”. Key may not be the brightest boy on the block, but at least he is trying to get some bouyancy into the economy by cutting past rampant expenditure. Also he is not trying to load the boat with more lead and killing the engines as “generous to a T with the public purse ole Helen baby” was doing. First thing to do is mend the massive hole in the purse and build from there. Question is what did we do to deserve ole Helen baby in the first place? We must have been very bad little chappies!!! It will take a couple of decades to catch up to where we should be right now. Becoming a State of Australia is getting closer.

    • marsman 9.1

      ‘Let’s kill the golden geese’, let’s sell our assets to pay for tax-cuts for the rich! Helen Clarke was one of New Zealand’s greatest Prime Ministers, John Key, like Jenny Shipley is an insult to the people of New Zealand.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      This government were the ones who put the “massive hole in the purse” in the first place when they cut taxes.

  10. Dotty 10

    I think the problem here is one of ideology and fashion.

    First, it was fashionable to point out all the problems of scale and conglomeration. And the fashionable solution was to decentralise.

    Then the problems of decentralisation were identified and so networking became the new fashion.

    Then the problems of networking (extra bureaucrats to do all the coordination and work on cross-agency plans) were highlighted.

    And so now the problem is one of cost – how much it costs to duplicate HR, IT and Chief executives across a myriad of small agencies. And so the solution is to conglomerate and create scale.

    One day, not too far into the future, someone will point out all the problems of scale and conglomeration, and the whole thing will start again.

    This is what happens when you take an ideological approach to public sector structure and design, instead of evidence-based approach: you ignore the problems with your solution and charge ahead anyway, playing up the benefits and playing down all the risks and problems.

    Until the next time you need to be seen to do something. Then you latch onto whatever is the fashion of the day. And ignore all its downsides… ad infinitum.

    There is nothing efficient about this approach to management at all! It actually costs a lot – reorganisations are very expensive and damage staff morale and destroy institutional knowledge.

    But it does keep the SSC and the senior policy advisors very busy.

  11. Bored 11

    I had to laugh at the concept that slimming down and amalgamating government departments would reduce costs. Years in commerce have taught me the cost of a transaction can be decreased BUT almost without fail at the expense of delivery. To put it simply, cut out the people and you cut out cost BUT people working hard already wont deliver you more…..so you lose delivery.

    Which brings us to a conclusion: this is all about reducing delivery to the public of government services, reducing the costs so that the money can be reallocated (to pay for tax cuts etc).

    What has not been considered except in the most cynical off hand financial way is the impact upon standards of delivery and the basic principles of separation of powers etc. A good example is the combination of NZQA with ERO. There is a very good reason why you keep the setting and assessment of standards (NZQA) away from those assessing the effectiveness of delivery by the educators (ERO). The same could be said for the plan to undermine legal aid in the Courts.

    In short what National are attempting is the reduction of the rights and benefits of citizenship to a cost benefit basis. Principles of justice, fairness, public service are to be victim to the dollar. You will become what ACT was set up to achieve, a consumer (if you had the money) as opposed to a citizen.

    • Dotty 11.1

      Efficiency is desirable but not at the expense of effectiveness. Which is why each case needs to be looked at on its merits – there are some examples where small independent agencies have a purpose that is lost if they lose their size and independence* – instead of all being forced to fit the fashion of the day.

      * e.g. Archives NZ

  12. Irascible 12

    At the last count the Key led NACT Govt has been embroiled in more shady and shonkey deals involving Cabinet Ministers rorting the taxpayer, more profligate and ostentatious spending in order to look like celebrities and bigger cost over runs from legislative muck ups (Auckland City for example) than any government in recent NZ history. There’s our leaking holes that need repair. There’s aur big problem as a nation.

  13. deservingpoor 13

    “Tough job to sort out the Clark Legacy of “lets kill the Golden Geese and foster feed some chooks”. Key may not be the brightest boy on the block, but at least he is trying to get some bouyancy into the economy by cutting past rampant expenditure”

    Ok, I’ll play. I’ve seen comments like this at some point on pretty much every thread I’ve ever read on this site. Correct me if I’m wrong but Labour left office with a 2 billion dollar net surplus and record low unemployment. So I really don’t see the problem with their “generous to a T with the public purse ole Helen baby”
    It obviously worked better than the current government’s tax and slash policies.

  14. side show bob 14

    I must admit to knowing sweet piss all about the PS but I’ve meet some brilliant people who reside in the PS. At the same time these people are trapped by the bureaucracy of the very departments they serve. The PS has become obese and ineffective, how you fix it, no idea but that’s not my job. I just Know that it’s broke.

    • People dislike bureaucracy, but that’s often because they have very little personal experience of immense scale and complexity. If you try to discuss anything complicated with most people their eyes glaze over and they run away as quickly as possible.

      A public servant’s job – day in and day out – is to handle scale and complexity head on. Most problems have been seen before…and solved. But you need the people there who have experience of the problems and who can connect them with the solutions already arrived at. It isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we overblown monkeys have been able to come with so far……

      There is a vast body of specialist knowledge and experience embedded in the public service. This is something the average person isn’t directly aware of and often fails to appreciate….even many Cabinet Ministers. So like any good idiot in a corporate, they will lobotomize the public service imagining they are saving money by trashing its institutional memory….and the result will the opposite due to the waste they create and avoidable mistakes that will now certainly be made.

      The sad part is, we’ve been here before. National trashed the public service in the 90s..and crippled it. Labour spent most of a decade rebuilding its capacity and now National is trashing it again.

      The problem I see now is that this time of transition to peak oil and climate change is exactly the wrong time to wasteful wreckers running any country.

      All we can do in November is not vote for National or ACT….and make sure we vote for MMP on the first question and STV on the second. If MMP were to lose the first question, I want it to be run off against the only other proportional system on offer….so we end up with a PR voting system no matter what.

      • R 14.1.1

        ‘There is a vast body of specialist knowledge and experience embedded in the public service. This is something the average person isn’t directly aware of and often fails to appreciate….even many Cabinet Ministers.’

        Defo, hear hear.

    • marsman 14.2

      How many ‘consultants’ are NAct hiring to replace the ‘obese and ineffective’ Public Servants shoved out for the sake of ‘efficiency and cost saving’?

  15. logie97 15

    Somehow the right are managing to make public servants appear to be “foreigner enemies of the state.” A different category of New Zealand citizen.

    What appears to escape them is that their little dairy-on-the-corner-owner-operator who has consistently voted Right, will go down the gurgler with the cuts envisaged in the public sector – because these “enemies of the state” actually keep the circulation of cash running for the smaller businesses.

    Another group who consistently prop up the Right are the grubby landlords (the ones incidentally who have helped to create the massive private debt levels). They have built portfolios of rental properties and will find that their tenancies will fail (many of the landlords know that the “accommodation supplement” is automatically theirs.) If Petulant Bean manages to get her way for another 3 years then there will be a lot of empty, heavily mortgaged rental properties around.

    Actually the real enemies of the state were the zealots who removed exchange controls, allowing the free flow of capital in and out of the country. Wouldn’t mind betting that a large portion of the recent tax cuts has already been salted away in foreign bank accounts, but the Treasury has no way of knowing.

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    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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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? ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    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
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago

  • 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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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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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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