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Reform of the SIS

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, March 25th, 2019 - 60 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, Andrew Little, Christchurch Attack, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, national, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges, Spying - Tags:

The effects of the Christchurch Mosque massacre are going to be considerable and ongoing.

One area where there needs to be an intense review is the performance of the Security Intelligence Service.

Sure they cannot be expected to catch everyone.  But couldn’t they spend some resource investigating someone active on 4chan who buys high powered weapons over an extended period of time?

The problem appears to be they do not see white supremacists as being potential terrorist threats.  From Jane Patterson at Radio New Zealand:

There is not one specific mention of the threat posed by white supremacists or right-wing nationalism in 10 years of public documents from the Security Intelligence Service or the GCSB.

The government will hold a high-level inquiry into whether security agencies ignored warning signs, or put too much focus on the threat of Islamic extremism as New Zealand is left reeling in the wake of the terrorist attack, carried out against Muslims at two Christchurch mosques.

The Islamic Women’s Council has said it told the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet at a January 2017 meeting of the ‘extreme urgency’ of its concerns about rising racism and the alt-right, and also alerted the SIS.

Former Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy said the response of officials to Muslims over what they see as a growing threat to them had been “diabolical”.

She said trying to get public officials to meet them was incredibly difficult, and even when they got in the door, no action was taken and they got little support.

National agrees with the review but its focus seems to be to increase the SIS’s powers, not hold it to account.

Simon Bridges was quoted in the Herald as supporting a Royal Commission of Inquiry but was then reported as saying this:

New Zealand’s security legislation needed to change as well, Bridges said.

Project Speargun – a programme which would have scanned internet traffic coming into New Zealand – was abandoned in 2013 by the then-National Government after “vocal views against it”, Bridges said.

He added that this was because many of the critics were prioritising privacy over safety.

He said Speargun would have “given an extended degree of protection to all New Zealanders”.

A system called Cortex is now in place in New Zealand, but Bridges said it was much narrower and designed to protect institutions.

He would not, however, say if the Government’s decision to abandon the programme was a mistake.

“My view is everything has changed – I’m not pretending it’s easy – but where the line is now drawn has to be reconsidered.

“We have seen what ISIS is saying, we have seen the Turkish President playing [footage from] the massacre at rallies, we know there is a risk of copycatting,” he said.

“So I think there is some urgency to revisit the legislation and deciding where the line between privacy and safety is – I’m for moving it towards safety.”

Bridges’ claims about the Speargun need to be taken with a serious amount of salt.  I did this post two years ago drawing on excellent work done by Dave Fisher at the Herald.  Basic conclusion, it was not canned in 2013 when Key said it was.  There was still funding for its development.  The program was ended only after John Key was told that news concerning it could be released as part of the Edward Snowden dump of information.

And the Human Rights Foundation has released research showing that SIS agents used dubious techniques to try and infiltrate Muslim communities.

From Phil Pennington at Radio New Zealand:

The Human Rights Foundation has released research to RNZ it says backs up its demands for an open and transparent inquiry into the security agencies and the terror attacks.

The research shows the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS) used informal chats and offers of payment to young men, who were not advised of their rights and who felt pressure to spy on their mosques. At the same time, it appears comparatively little state monitoring of white supremacists was going on.

Justice Minister Andrew Little has said the inquiry announced into the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), SIS and other agencies in the wake of the terror attacks was vital to test whether security agencies had, by their very nature, “organisational blind spots” to a white supremacist threat that “might have been in plain sight”.

The agencies began monitoring the far right in earnest only nine months ago.

But the SIS has been busy. Its surveillance, along with Customs’ intercepts at Auckland Airport, led Muslim people to raise concerns with the Human Rights Foundation, which prompted it to do the research and hold a dozen closed-door meetings with multiple agencies in 2017 and 2018.

The SIS was not advising people of their rights when it invited young men along to “chat” and it was unclear if this might still be going on, said foundation executive director Peter Hosking.

“It would be a sort of general chat over coffee for some time, and then right at the very end they would find some really serious allegations being put to them, and they suddenly realised this was a serious interview and attempt to gain information,” Mr Hosking said.

Little is right in that it appears the SIS has a pretty clear organisational blind spot.  Giving it greater surveillance powers is in my personal opinion not the way to resolve this problem.

60 comments on “Reform of the SIS”

  1. JanM 1

    Ahem – I think you mean Christchurch, not Chinese, don’t you?

    [I did and I swear I typed Christchurch! Now corrected thanks – MS]

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    I bet the director of the SIS told his troops last week to get onto it. “Goddam, the horse has bolted! You guys get online and examine that barnyard door real fast!”

    • Anne 2.1

      It’s a ‘she’ – not a ‘he’.

      Your turn. 😎

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Cool, hard to keep up sometimes. Good to see the patriarchy losing its grip. 😊

        • Siobhan 2.1.1.1

          and to see that some women are just as useless and prejudiced as some blokes..she may not be part of the Patriarchy, but she’s still a “Company Man’

  3. Ad 3

    Cannot understand why our entire intelligence leadership hasn’t resigned yet. Proportionally this is our 9/11.

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    Back in 2016 there was a little bit of a furore (which was commented on by the Maori Party but the link has gone) about the predominance of older white men skulking (or whatever spies do) around the dark halls of the SIS and GCSB.

    So in typical government fashion they launched a Strategy.

    https://www.nzic.govt.nz/news/gcsb-and-nzsis-diversity-and-inclusion-launch/

    Supported by this….https://www.nzic.govt.nz/assets/CareerBooklets/Diversity-and-Inclusion-Strategy.pdf

    “We believe, to succeed against increasingly complex global threats, the GCSB and NZSIS must develop a dynamic, agile workforce that reflects diversity in its widest context. That includes, but is not limited to, ethnicity, culture, heritage, gender, age, religion, language skills, differing abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, ideas and perspectives. We also need to ensure that the different perspectives that come with diversity are valued and harnessed.”

    I suggest going to page 17 for a really clear picture of why our Intelligence Service needs a radical shake up. Clearing out some of the fuddy duddy old guys would be a great start. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re not still monitoring trade unions for Soviet infiltrators.

    All I’ve seen that indicates they’ve embraced the Diversity Cause is this…https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/secret%E2%80%99s-out-spies-fly-rainbow-flag…which is a lovely gesture, but doesn’t really make them better spies.

    Another observation made in our household over the past couple of days is if The Google (Oh Great and Omnipotent Entity) can pick up on random words spoken in the vicinity of a 4G phone and within minutes flick up a pop up advert for a digger on my laptop, then why the fuck can’t our (supposedly) Intelligent Services deploy similar software and zero in on shitbags posting hate speech and plotting massacres?

    • Wayne 4.1

      I think you will find both GCSB and SIS are much more diverse and much younger than you imagine. And have been for many years.

      The Cold War era, during which both institutions probably were as you imagine, is 30 years gone. Even taking into account a delay in people retiring or leaving, that era is probably 20 years gone.

      • Anne 4.1.1

        I’m sure you are right Wayne but they do seem to have dropped the ball over the emergence of the Alt Right in this country and elsewhere. It’s been going on for the past 30 plus years.

        I can accept that this critter (who will remain un-named) had covered his tracks by staying off the known sites for such extremists but someone, somewhere should have picked up on something.

        To be fair, it looks like the same criticism applies to other western intelligence agencies too – including Australia.

        • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.1.1

          “I’m sure you are right Wayne but ….”

          No, he’s actually wrong.

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.2

        No Wayne. They are not diverse at all. Read the document I linked to. So easy when the organisations provide the facts themselves.

        “Imagine” Hah!

        • Sacha 4.1.2.1

          Diverse compared with the Northern Club, perhaps.

        • Wayne 4.1.2.2

          Rosemary

          I did read the strategy document produced by the two agencies. Good for you to have posted it. In fact the strategy deserves more prominence. While the two agencies can certainly can do more, they are clearly no longer the harbour of colonel blimp/cold war warriors types. And that is my experience. I simply did not not see anyone like that in either agency.

          I was quite impressed by the strategy document. Both agency heads have given considerable thought to these issues.

          The weakest ethnic representation in both agencies is of Pacifica peoples, followed by Asian and then Maori. But both have significant numbers of people of Middle Eastern origin.

          The largest age group concentration in SIS is people in their 30’s. In GCSB, it is a bit more broadly spread. No doubt because many have come from 15 to 20 year careers in signals intelligence of NZDF.

    • Sacha 4.2

      What stands out to me in the graphs on p17 is the huge proportion of staff who declare their ethnicity as “New Zealander” in both GCSB (17%) and SIS (27%) compared with the overall population (1.5%).

      As mentioned here before, post-census analysis shows who those people really are. It might help explain some of the reluctance to focus on right-wing white supremacists.

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.1

        Yes. I’m not one for silly acronyms… but that had me lmaoraflnui.

        Charitably, it might just be a category they felt needed to be available for self-ID rather than a deliberate attempt to obfuscate.

        • Sacha 4.2.1.1

          And from p20, their aspirational goal by mid 2020 is to have non-Euro staff up to 1/3 of the proportion in the NZ population. Back-pats all round, Gerald.

          • Skunk Weed 4.2.1.1.1

            I trust Jacinda, Winston and Andrew Little have a thorough understanding of what the NZ Intelligence Services SIS & GCSB have been up to and what activities they spend their time on ?

        • Sacha 4.2.1.2

          The census was self-ID so that’s not the issue.

          • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.1.2.1

            “The census…” I wouldn’t know about that….as a protest Peter and I refused to participate. But if self ID is not the issue..what is?

      • Anne 4.2.2

        I noted that too Sacha. It had me baffled. When all the ethnicities and backgrounds have been covered, why a separate category for New Zealander?

        If you add ‘NZ European’ and ‘New Zealander’ together you get

        1) NZSIS 65.16%
        2) GCSB 59.03%

        Assuming the bulk of those (if not all of them) are white, then we have the answer. I assume it has been a largely subconscious bias but a bias nevertheless.

        I also noted that the graphs for the Public Service and the 2013 census had no ‘New Zealander’ category. They were categorised as ‘NZ European’ only and of course comprised the bulk of the population.

        • marty mars 4.2.2.1

          There will be white supremacists within those organisations.

          imo New Zealander is handy for pākehā who don’t like that label cos it’s a Māori word.

          • Anne 4.2.2.1.1

            The point though marty is there is no category for “pakeha”. If you go to Rosemary McDonald @ 4, click on her second link then scroll down to the Ethnic profiles (circular) for the GCSB and NZSIS you will see they have included two categories that persons of white background can choose as their profile. When you look at the Public Service and 2013 Census profiles they have only one category – NZ European. The contrast is stark and to my way of thinking gives an incorrect picture for the two intelligence agencies.

    • Probably still looking for “Muldoon’s Reds Under the Beds ?”

  5. Sabine 5

    We should do more then just investigate the Spies and their underlings, but we should investigate our ideas of what is terrorism and by whom it is perpetrated. We might be surprised by the findings.
    But i guess we – the public – have been told by all those who count that any terrorism act would be committed by Muslims and/or brown people, so maybe we should just cut the slack to our different groups of law enforcement. Clearly they could not have foreseen the rise in white supremacists and white terrorists the world over. .

  6. WeTheBleeple 6

    White power march in our streets displaying their silly signs.

    “Nothing to see here”

    You bet we need an overhaul. I’d respectfully ask for a hauling over the coals.

    • Sabine 6.1

      why so ruthless, just a bit of airing of our dirty laundry in public would be good.

      but i get is , a little underling sacrificed on the altar of ‘move along, nothing to see here, we fired a ‘junior staffer’ is all the unwashed masses need.

      right?

      • WeTheBleeple 6.1.1

        What’s ruthless about being thorough and challenging these obviously biased and prejudiced ‘experts’.

        I don’t want a sacrifice, I want a thorough investigation into all of these operators. These so called experts who ignore hate marches and harass activists.

        And please refrain from guessing what I think. It may change at further notice.

        • Sabine 6.1.1.1

          hauling over the coals……ouch 🙂

          i have been asking for the same thing now since last week.

          i am happy to see that i am not the only one. As for your thinking, i don’t guess at all, i just read your words and i tend to take words at their value.

      • Sacha 6.1.2

        An emotional junior staffer, perhaps.

    • marty mars 6.2

      Yep the white supremacist guy convicted for trying to burn down one of my marae was a Christchurch mayoral candidate 3, yes THREE, times AFTER the conviction.

  7. 1.5 million legal weapons here in NZ and 245,000 gun licences = 6.12 guns per gun licence, would be higher when you add in illegal weapons.

    Why do we need this number of weapons here in NZ ?

    In Japan it is very difficult to get a gun licence and they have very few gun deaths ?

    Why are the stupid Pollies in this country following the USA Model when we know it is F%&K UP ?

  8. marty mars 8

    Yep well hmmm

    Māori have been trying to get the focus of these organizations onto the real dangers for years. Years.

    Will people listen now? Maybe as long as it isn’t a talk fest by paler older mener citizens with some tiny minority voices here and there.

    I’m not even saying dont have that discussion – I’m just saying those voices got us to this point in time and other voices can help move us, must help move us.

    • Maori are well aware of these White Supremist Groups here in NZ and have expressed their concerns for a long time, they are actively involved in the narcotics industry and other associated criminal activities.

  9. Andre 9

    I’m a little surprised to be the first to mention environmental activism in respect to security service failings, given some here have personal experience (or close family with personal experience)

    But I would expect a review to include examining whether attention was excessively diverted towards environmental activists that never killed (and maybe even never injured) anyone, merely targeted corporate property.

    https://theintercept.com/2019/03/23/ecoterrorism-fbi-animal-rights/

    Sure, it’s a US example, but the idea’s the same.

    • This current Government does not like anyone who questions the use of 1080 ?

      • Andre 9.1.1

        I’m quite confident questioning the use of 1080 is fine. The problem arises when it goes beyond questioning to actions that put people at risk of injury or death. And there’s already been way too many of those actions.

    • patricia bremner 9.2

      Andre, Yes Lucy Lawless is a case in point.

  10. SPC 10

    The so-called blindspot (alt right white race nation types) was something they were doing a review of for the past year or two (soon to be completed). Thus something already on the radar for resource allocation.

    It still came under the general risk of those radicalised on-line – and identification of those of them: to intent (and personal capability) to commit violence (which is separate from organised group terrorism). This would involve identifying access and training with weapons or on-line topics related to bomb-making and the like.

    Clearly what they did not/do not have was/is the ability to data match connect on-line activity with gun licensing.

    There should be some on-line activity checks with the issuing of a gun licence – then use of this knowledge of the holder of the licence on-line ID to maintain an oversight of any subsequent radicalisation.

    Given the historic lack of this oversight, and the gun hand-in programme – surely their immediate focus will include knowledge of police progress with checks of those with the A licence (who has returned guns, a check of their secure area for retained guns) and using them as a testing ground for on line activity searches – to be used on those who apply for gun licences. Advisable as this perp may not be unique amongst those who already have such licences – unlikely in fact, given the connection between white race nation KKK and gun ownership in the USA. So there are probably other 4chan incel alt righters with guns here.

    • WeTheBleeple 10.1

      “There should be some on-line activity checks with the issuing of a gun licence”

      What an excellent point to make.

      Perhaps some retrospective checking too if we’re looking for potential problems.

  11. patricia bremner 11

    Prejudice comes from all quarters in all guises. Humans have in built preferences “for those like ourselves” So if the SIS is made up “out of balance with our population” it will probably skew the results. Especially when some were picked by Key “as they were old friends.

    We do not promote poetry and literature from these “Other” cultures often, or create natural meeting places with interpreters. The vigils/picnics were the first for most.
    Art and craft… now that is acceptable, though dance is not acceptable in some cultures… so the Islamic youth doing a Haka was huge imo.

    Teaching how our Public Schools became secular, and Religious Schools private and exclusive to their creed should be explained, especially with reference to the “Troubles” and the “Clearances”. It is a shock to some to realise many white people came here for religious freedom food and land. Also the attitude to land varies according to cultures.

    Latterly we have brought in white settlers who do not totally share our values from parts of Europe and South Africa and Asian groups with other affiliations. As populations increase so do opportunities for misunderstandings. This can create tensions with fearful white youth who look to White Supremacists for a lead, often using the internet.

    Some Leaders, who should be careful, are framing the attacks as coming from racism based on our Colonial past, positioning anyone brown as victims and anyone white as perps. Without being precious we need to avoid divisions, as some problems come from that but many are new, exacerbated by neo-liberal politics.

    Great care is needed to avoid knee jerk or overly emotional reactions especially as we are all in states of shock currently. Perhaps NZ needs a Truth and Reconcilation Panel, to hear the stories of hurt and give space for apologies… Similar to the Waitangi Tribunal? (without compensation unless physical loss can be proved)

    I would like to point out that Andrew Little is an intent listener and asks penetrating questions when faced with anything new. He is a very inclusive person and a decent and fair man IMO. I find it interesting that on his watch the White Supremacists were listed as a cause for concern.

    If we have an inquiry it must not develop into a witch hunt. We want it to improve safety for all and to assist us to know what went wrong.

    This is a fraught area, and NZers have indicated a readiness to begin to actively listen, and that should be encouraged, as it will help greatly.
    Forgive any clumsy framing.

  12. Probably more than 1.5 million legally registered guns in NZ.

    I wonder if the NZ Police should do some random sampling and see how accurate their gun records are ?

    Time for an Independent Audit of the NZ Police Gun Register me thinks ?

  13. Ad 13

    This government has been given a great opportunity to go through every government Department who did hit-jobs on politically left activists with surveillance companies and private investigators and clean them out.

    The departments are the likes of EQC, MFE, DoC, MBIE, and MPI. Nor are Police exempt. They were quite happy to put private investigators on to people who never harmed anyone, but who actively questioned the harder arms of the state.

    I mean the likes of Nicki Hager. Broke into his house, ransacked his place, strongarmed the bank to get entry into all his financial records. And of course finally had to pay him a financial settlement after he took them to court.

    Same with Greenpeace. Charged with bullshit under a law written specifically to target them alone.

    They chose left-activist targets not because they were any threat against the state, but because they pointed out the active harm that those state agencies were doing against New Zealand.

    And all along those same agencies could have been looking for people actively seeking to do us harm.

    Same for the fisheries. The fisheries industry has successfully resisted public scrutiny of the cameras on their boats – because they were raping the seas. Those companies are mostly all National donors.

    It’s time the politics of the state’s own machine against the activist left was pulled down. Pulled down and replaced by agencies and people who can be trusted to target the real evil, not activists who have the right to investigate and peacefully hold the state to account.

    I hope this government uses this political opportunity to do a structural review of the entire intelligence system. It does not cut it for the responsible Minister Andrew Little to simply defend the services as doing a good job.

    After all they changed the entire health and safety regime of the entire forest and construction and mining industry after Pike River. Is gun law refomm really all we are going to get out of this?

    The left have been putting up with this shit from intelligence services for many years. We are the example that they were all pointing their eyes the wrong way. The government needs to prove it has rooted them out and kicked them out.

    • joe90 13.1

      Well said.

    • Anne 13.2

      Brilliantly summarised. Thank-you Ad.

      I can add a couple of public service departments to your list. Won’t name them because I think their processes and personnel have vastly improved since my day.

    • patricia bremner 13.3

      Ad you are absolutely correct. Time for a spring clean.
      For all the reasons you list, but also to bring in some new skills and perspectives.

  14. Ad 14

    and good to see a full Royal Commission announced, out of which the full public can have a proper vent at them.

  15. ….. Royal Commission was Simon’s idea.

    • Gristle 15.1

      Talk of a Royal Commission started fairly soon after the terrorist attack. To say it’s Simon’s idea is over-egging the situation.

      Seeing that the tide is turned, and started to flow, is a really good time to stand in front of the sea and command it to come no further. I see Bridge’s input as being an attempt to inject himself into things that were already happening.

  16. Siobhan 16

    REFORM THE MEDIA.

    ROYAL COMMISION INTO MEDIA BIAS.

    Spy agencies are always the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

    Why don’t we start with the media and their awesomely self justified, biased, racist news reportage.

    Humanising Muslims would go some way to curbing the creation of extremists..on both sides actually.

    The piece/link below is American, but given our foreign news is fed from many American sources I suspect it is entirely relevant here.

    “Terrorist attacks often dominate news coverage as reporters seek to provide the public with information. Yet, not all incidents receive equal attention. Why do some terrorist attacks receive more media coverage than others? We argue that perpetrator religion is the largest predictor of news coverage, while target type, being arrested, and fatalities will also impact coverage. We examined news coverage from LexisNexis Academic and CNN.com for all terrorist attacks in the United States between 2006 and 2015 (N=136). Controlling for target type, fatalities, and being arrested, attacks by Muslim perpetrators received, on average, 357% more coverage than other attacks. Our results are robust against a number of counterarguments. The disparities in news coverage of attacks based on the perpetrator’s religion may explain why members of the public tend to fear the “Muslim terrorist” while ignoring other threats. More representative coverage could help to bring public perception in line with reality.”

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2928138

  17. Ike 17

    If this journalist can uncover the facts presented in this link then why can’t the SIS and their international partners do the same.

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  • 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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, ...
    6 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    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 hours 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
    6 hours 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
    12 hours 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
    24 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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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  • 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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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago