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Reverse ferret bites PM on arse.

Written By: - Date published: 2:46 pm, June 24th, 2014 - 83 comments
Categories: john key, national, same old national - Tags: , , , ,

PM John Key has performed a backflip by now suggesting businessman Donghua Liu should front up with evidence to support the NZ Herald’s unsubstantiated claim that he donated substantial sums to Labour. This is a world away from his previous position that it was up to Labour to prove the negative; to show that no donation was made.

In the world of the UK tabloids, such a strategic move is known as a reverse ferret. The phrase apparently originated with Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, who used to talk about the paper ‘sticking a ferret up the trousers’ of politicians and other targets. If the public didn’t like the story, or it proved to be complete bollocks, MacKenzie would order a ‘reverse ferret’ and the next edition of the paper would take the opposite line, without acknowleging it had ever thought differently.

Key has decided to reverse ferret on the Donghua Liu story because of two factors. One, it’s increasingly looking like it’s simply not true and the Herald has been played like a fiddle. And two, the fiddle player is Cameron Slater, the PM’s bestie from way back.

Key is suddenly finding a desperate need to distance himself from the story. Listen to how testy he gets with Radio NZ (second item, from 45 seconds in). The PM’s transparent, alright.

This is not a man in control of the narrative anymore and the story is becoming what did the PM know, when did he know it and who told him?

Even Tory cheerleader the Herald and Fairfax’s Dom Post are both starting to ask the right questions.

Ferrets have teeth, John, and they don’t much care who they bite.

Te Reo Putake

83 comments on “Reverse ferret bites PM on arse.”

  1. Dan1 1

    Sue them all: Key, National Party, NZ Herald, Whaleoil.
    It might even pay for Labour’s election campaign. The 150,000 may not have been dollars?? Yuan perhaps!!!
    I feel a new film coming on, starring Jonkey in “Lost in Translation”!

  2. tsmithfield 2

    It looks like other organisations mentioned in Liu’s statement are finding the donations mentioned in the statement without too much problem. Hmmm. The rowing club had links to Rick Barker as well, according to the article.

    I don’t know if it would be wise to keep demanding the release of donation details. This could end up being a death by 1000 cuts for Labour.

    • Zorr 2.1

      Just because he has said one or two things that are accurate does not make everything he says truthful.

      You are merely continuing to prove the fact that it’s impossible to prove the negative (and is in fact what conspiracy theorists rely on). If Key/Liu want to claim that there was a donation to Labour, then the burden of proof is on them.

    • Wonderpup 2.2

      Or that faint fizzing sound might be you about to be hoisted with your own petard.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.3

      Next they could be asking about the $50,000 auction to win John Keys ties, no mention of THAT in Nationals donations in 2007?

    • Clemgeopin 2.4

      Hey, If this Liu fellow has REALLY given the $100,000 for a bottle of wine, surely he will have the receipt for it? His lawyer will have proof? His accountant will have his accounts audited for that year? The IRD will have his returns?

      He should put up his proof immediately or apologise and ask for forgiveness if he has lied.
      The same applies to Key and Whale oil who have made this issue and fanning innuendo on Labour and Mr Cunliffe.

      Labour should give then two days to do front up or sue them for millions of dollars all for dirty tricks, lies, slander and for trying to destabilise and damage Labour just before the election.

      • Tazirev 2.4.1

        Surely if you paid that much for a signed bottle of wine you would still have the evidence or has it been drunk??

        • Colonial Viper 2.4.1.1

          No LEC in the country runs a wine auction and gets $100K for a bottle. If it actually happened, it would still be the talk of the LEC involved and dozens of Labour Party members would recall it in a second. FFS you can still hear stories in some LECs about fundraising for Bill Rowling’s campaign.

    • McFlock 2.5

      Proves the point that every organisation would have people who can recall any significant donation.

      $2k? The fact that nobody at the alleged labour fundraiser has come forward to corroborate $15k or even the alleged $100k “donations” speaks volumes about the likelihood of any such donation ever having been made.

    • jaymam 2.6

      Your link shows that Liu has a habit of visiting the Hawke’s Bay. Therefore I would say it is very likely that Liu was really confused on June 3rd 2007 at the The Midland’s Hawke’s Bay Charity Wine Auction at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House and paid (he says) some $100,000 for a bottle of wine signed by Helen Clark, thinking it was going to the Labour Party, when in fact all the proceeds of the auction went to the Cranford Hospice.
      http://tizwine.com/index.php/ps_pagename/newsdetail/pi_newsitemid/478

    • Draco T Bastard 2.7

      WTF have you been smoking? One donation has been found and even then it had nothing to do with Labour and was only ~$2000.

      If anything, this supports the possibility that all the rest is a beat up as well.

  3. hoom 3

    I got the impression Key was concerned about the

    Meanwhile, National Party President Peter Goodfellow once again refused to comment on whether National had received any donations from Liu other than the $22,000 disclosed in 2012.

    If Liu donated 100k to both Labour & Nat but Nat can’t find it either then it makes Nat look just as bad as they are trying to make Labour look.

    • You_Fool 3.1

      The whole narrative relies on the fact that having a donation from Liu is a bad thing no matter what the circumstance, but then also relies on the masses forgetting that Liu donated to National much more recently than Labour, and forgetting that National have been much more active in helping him out that Labour ever did.

  4. ianmac 4

    Mr Key would not have got his hands dirty so he will have many choices of folk who are ready and willing to do the dirt. Like Whaleoil or Joyce. Wonder if Whale oil would have to reveal his source?

  5. wyndham 5

    Shock ! Horror ! Liu gave $2k to a rowing club connected to the daughter of Rick Barker !
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11280804

    They really are scratching – – – – but never mind, it helps get the slippery one off the hook.

    • ianmac 5.1

      But note wyndham. Not money to the Labour Party.

    • Grumpy 5.2

      This is the guy Barker claims he does not know.

      [lprent: Yes, I’d be interested in that myself. Last I saw he was saying he’d had dinner with him. Perhaps you could provide a link. Otherwise who knows when I will lift the auto moderation. ]

      • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1

        Um, Barker does know Liu. They’ve had dinner, remember? However, there is no evidence that Cunliffe ever met him. I can understand your confusion, it’s hard to keep track of Key’s lies without BLiP’s list close to hand.

      • McFlock 5.2.2

        Barker claims to not know Liu?

        I haven’t seen that anywhere.
        You making shit up?

        • grumpy 5.2.2.1

          lprent is correct, my memory was clearly deficient.
          I have had a bit of a search and found that Barker actually knew Liu before becoming Minister of Internal Affairs. Interestingly, the link also throws up some very interesting facts that I did not know, including that Barker was involved in Liu’s application for citizenship and that Cunliffe was initially not impressed with Liu and originally intended to decline his residency application (until things obviously changed).
          Fascinating from 7.12 in the, link
          http://www.oag.govt.nz/2013/citizenship/part7.htm

          • grumpy 5.2.2.1.1

            Oops, I think this is the “other” Mr Lui, (Bill) (the report does not say)……interesting though.

            • Te Reo Putake 5.2.2.1.1.1

              You’re right (eventually). This is Bill Liu, though the report uses his formal name. Nothing to do with this smear at all.

              The report cleared the then minister (“We found no evidence that there was any improper motive, collusion, or political interference in the decision to authorise citizenship for Mr Liu.”), but did make recommendations on how marginal cases like his should be handled in future. Recommendations completely ignored by Williamson in the current case, obviously.

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    Love how our lying trash Prime Minister turns on RNZ as soon as they ask him a question he doesn’t like.

    They (RNZ interviewers) really need to grow a pair and challenge him directly on it.

    “Are you serious Prime Minister? Your response to this question is a veiled threat? Bring it on, trash.”

    • ianmac 6.1

      A good sign that Key is rattled though OAB. And maybe RNZ is onto him?

    • maybe leave off the ‘Bring it on, trash.’..

      ..but the rest of it is a suitable response to bullshit like that…

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1

        No, Phil, I think it appropriate for interviewers to call attention to their subjects’ ethics and tactics and to respond to them aggressively where appropriate: it’s one of the responsibilities duties of the Fourth Estate.

        There are other ways to phrase it, of course, Grass Mud Horse.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    For the conspiracy theorists, perhaps Key’s statement that Liu should present his evidence was actually a signal to him that now is a tactically good time for evidence to start being presented.

    • Te Reo Putake 7.1

      Key doesn’t need to ‘signal’ to Liu. He could just ask him directly to do so. After all, it’s pretty obvious Liu and senior Nats have been in close contact in recent times and at a lot higher level than Maurice Williamson. You don’t waste the kind of money Liu claims to have laid on them just to watch the organ grinder’s monkey do his little dance.

    • Tracey 7.2

      like a second statement you mean?

  8. ianmac 8

    Thanks Te Reo Putake. I agree that maybe Key is regretting his, “I hear gossip and rumour about thousands maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars that Mr Liu gave the Labour Party.”
    Gossip monger. Hope that ferret has sharp teeth.

    • Te Reo Putake 8.1

      Cheers, Ianmac. As we know, in politics, it’s the lies that bring you down and the tiny tanty at the Radio Nz reporter strongly suggested to me that Key does not want to be asked questions about his role in the smear. And if that’s the case, then that’s exactly where the media needs to start probing. I’d love to see John Armstrong, for one, get stuck in to Key. If not remembering a letter is a resignation matter, then being part of a conspiracy to defame a political rival must be a hanging offence.

  9. Jack 9

    Labour need to getaway from the Key/Whale Spew Gotcha Politics, Key has got the media in his backpocket and they are all besotted with the man.

    Playing Gotcha Politics will backfire on Labour, look how MSM destroyed Winstons credibility in the 2008 Election Build Up, MSM made him out to be the biggest crook on earth even though he was never found guilty of any wrongdoing.

    The problem is people believe what the media tell them, the average man in the street will believe Labour has been up to no good after this latest hoohah by Key and the MSM.

    Just watch Key “butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth”, vile politics being played out by MSM.

    • vto 9.1

      Yep, the left should now jump elsewhere, and heavily, while some of their lower life like Mallard continue to poke Key and Slater in the ribs over it ….

  10. vto 10

    slippery oil
    whale oil
    snake oil
    salesman
    nought more

  11. john 11

    I don’t think the Herald are worried about evidence. They did an investigation in to Labour Party donations in 2008.

    They have previously quoted former Labour Party members saying that Liu was well known at fundraising events.

    They have a statement from Lui, and even a photo of him receiving the wine.

    If Labour had admitted at the start that Liu had donated to them, they would look hypocritical, but the story would have ended then.

    Instead, they jumped in the hole, and for the last week have been digging it deeper.

    When the proof finally comes out (I wouldn’t be surprised if the Herald hasn’t had it for weeks, or even since six years ago), Labour will have destroyed public trust.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      Now, that was original. Well constructed, clear, a prediction even.

      Your bias is showing, but that’s to be expected.

      Well done: it’s not often a wingnut learns a new trick.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2

      Labour will have demonstrated that they accept donations according to the law and offer nothing in return other than their stated policies. FIFY.

      • chris73 11.2.1

        But its not about any laws that have or haven’t been broken is it, its about Cunliffe and whether the voters can believe what he says

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.3

      How does National make policy, John?

      • vto 11.3.1

        When National make policy about the children of east Christchurch and their schools the sole driving factor is money, isn’t it John. The welfare of the children doesn’t get a look in.

        Just like the South Canterbury Finance investors and their reckless and useless investment habits and $1.7billion ….

        (… just to bang on a bit more about it …)

        • One Anonymous Bloke 11.3.1.1

          This flies in the face of Nandor’s valedictory speech.

          Mit der dummheit kämpfen götter selbst vergebens. Schiller.

        • john 11.3.1.2

          The govt effectively provided insurance for deposits.

          They took around $750m in premiums, and recovered around a billion dollars from SCF.

          The banking system survived, which was the whole point. Depositors got their money back.

          So $133 BILLION of deposits got guaranteed though one of the most turbulent financial time in living history, and the govt pretty much broke even on the deal.

          I know you like to bang on about it, but that’s because you wrongly think the govt lost $1.7b – it didn’t

          • One Anonymous Bloke 11.3.1.2.1

            In the blink of an eye John, a pedestrian pre-conceived piffle pusher, can turn into Superjohn, a seasoned political campaigner who always argues in good faith on Planet Key.

            It’s a shame about John’s personal responsibility, but.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 11.3.1.2.2

            How does National make policy, John?

            I know I asked you that already, and your response makes no attempt to acknowledge it, and I’d ‘hate’ to see your new-found creative originality tainted with bad faith, John.

          • vto 11.3.1.2.3

            Wrong again john, and the point about the lack of consideration for the children’s welfare stands …. it is just all about the money aint it …. no wonder John Key cried “show us the money”. That is Key to a tee .

            and btw, get your facts and knowledge straight on the SCF and RDGS ’cause you are miles off. SCF was fraudulently letinto the scheme. If it had been left to fail this is what would have happened…

            one, the banking system would not have collapsed at all, that is a joke of a claim; and,

            two, the RDGS would have missed out on a very small amount of entry fees from SCF, negligible in fact; and,

            three, the government would not have to outlay $1,700,000,000 to SCF investors. Sure, a small portion of that has been recovered…. but ….

            the point is the considerations for decision-making by this government, namely $66m per year for the children of east Chch for a few years to recover from the earthquakes ($1.7billion for SCF anyone?); and further namely, bailing out people without insurance for their shonky investments (red zone Chch people cf SCF shabby investors anyone?); amongst much more ….

            you’re a shabby callous tory john and I don’t like you’re type for all the above reasons.

    • freedom 11.4

      They have a photo of his partner receiving a bottle of wine.

      Accuracy of information john, it matters.
      It is how this mess started in the first place.

      • john 11.4.1

        You’re right of course. My error, though the point remains – the Herald seem to have no trouble pulling out a new piece of evidence every couple of days to back up their claims.

        The will have information from their investigation into Labour donations from 2008, probably info uncovered in the Williamson investigation, they have quoted from former Labour Party members, and they have statements from Liu himself.

    • NZJester 11.5

      Tell me john do you really think there is actually any evidence now that the other John has changed his position on the evidence? By the way do we pronounce the J in your name with the same Jamaican style Sh sounding J that we do when we pronounce the J in John Key’s first name?

    • framu 11.6

      “Labour will have destroyed public trust.”

      whos been spreading rumors again john?

  12. dave 12

    this ultra fast broad band wait for the bill on that one 1.5 billion is a joke it will be 7 to 9 billion in the end

    • NZJester 12.1

      The thing about the ultra fast broadband that will make it a real joke will be its speed and not its cost dave.
      National is building a big super fast Intranet inside of New Zealand. (And I do mean Intranet and not Internet)
      As long as what you want to access is inside New Zealand it will be nice and fast. But as what most people want to access is held mostly on servers outside this country, just watch the speed drop as everyone tries to use ultra fast speeds over those two cables in and out of New Zealand all at once. Meanwhile our ISP’s are being charged monopoly prices to access those cables and are having to pass those costs onto us making our Internet very costly compared to a lot of other countries.
      Until a competing cable is put in place our Internet prices will remain high.
      When my local exchange got upgraded some time back from ADSL to ADSL2 and I got some extra speed I noticed my access to sites inside NZ speed up but it made little difference to the speed of a lot of the international sites I accessed.

      • infused 12.1.1

        I guess you didn’t know southern cross carries 480gbit.

        And probably don’t know what a CDN is either.

        Might pay to do some research.

  13. NZJester 13

    When I saw John Key had asked him to front up with the evidence my jaw nearly hit the floor from my open mouthed look of disbelief at what I was hearing.

    But then John Key has always been quick to change his story when things start going wrong and claim his new position is what it has been all along. Or if unable to change his story have a convenient brain fade and claim he just can not remember back that far even if it was something less than a week back. He was obviously hoping that because there was photos of Donghua Liu’s wife with someone from Labour that a donation record might turn up.
    The fact it is taking to log for the mud to stick and that it is getting shook back onto them as they try and toss it has him now running for cover.

  14. Sideshow Bob 14

    Mr Liu does not necessarily need documentation to prove he spent his money. As long as it came from tax paid income then it is his to do with as he wishes. No accountants, no receipts, no proof of expenditure needed. Many a time I have been at a sports oriented auction rugby charities etc ( no political auctions I promise) and bought something with my own hard earned, tax paid dollars. Anyone want to buy a cricket bat signed by Ian Botham or assorted rugby jerseys from the 70’s 80’s 90’s and 00’s. I even have an Aussie jersey – jeez how much had I had to drink that day? No receipts necessary and I never paid less than $1,000 for any of them. Worthy causes though.

    • Te Reo Putake 14.1

      Did you pay cash? If not you’ll be able to provide bank statements to back up your big-noting. Liu can easily do the same.

    • framu 14.2

      “Mr Liu does not necessarily need documentation to prove he spent his money.”

      if hes making a claim that he did – then yeah, he does

      • Colonial Viper 14.2.1

        A ‘scouts honour’ should be quite sufficient, according to these people

    • Tracey 14.3

      He does if he paid through his company which is how he says he paid National.

  15. felix 15

    From the linked article:

    Key accused Cunliffe of “gotcha politics” and “a fair degree of hypocrisy”.

    “When National engaged with a Chinese donor it was cash for access. Actually when they [Labour] do it, it wasn’t,” he said.

    What is it with these fucking racists? What the fuck has “Chinese” got to do with any of it?

  16. NZ Femme 16

    Liu is now saying that the $100 G is inclusive of the Barker cruise ($50G – 60G), the rowing club donation ($2G) and several bottles of wine he won at auction.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11281460

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      “Labour has no more time to waste with Mr Liu’s changing story or National’s version of gotcha politics; we’re focussing on letting NZers know the Labour policies which are going to make a difference to them and the nation”

      • NZ Femme 16.1.1

        😀

      • James 16.1.2

        What – No denial. Just blaming National and Liu?

        That will roll well with the voters.

        It smells like a rat. If Labour do not believe it – they need to deny they took the money. Else it looks smelly.

        Just blaming others makes them look incompetent, or like they are trying to avoid admitting taking the $$$$

        • lprent 16.1.2.1

          Pretty damn hard when there isn’t enough detail to look for it. The NZ Herald’s reporting different amounts, different times, different possible venues, keeps reporting donations and auctions from non-Labour events as being for Labour, and hasn’t released the statements from Liu.

          How would you suggest searching any filing or accounting system for that?

          It appears that you are just thick.

    • Tracey 16.2

      :l)

      And that some donations were made anonymously…

      Picture me shaking my head. Nice to see you back posting nzfemme

      • NZ Femme 16.2.1

        On holiday from study so have more time to play online 🙂

        • Anne 16.2.1.1

          You’ve been doing a fantastic job. I’m sure more people than just us are grateful for your efforts.

    • Kiwiri 16.3

      true, CV. but some of us can continue to fact check.

      btw, that picture has now been cropped much more closely to totally exclude any hint of the third person in the picture that i saw.

      has someone been into that hawkes bay venue yet? in the picture, the light-fitting on the wall was quite distinctive and may well match the ones at that location.

      • NZ Femme 16.3.1

        The Hawkes Bay Opera House underwent extensive renovations 2004-2007. Parts of it were closed earlier this year b/c of concerns around earthquake soundness, and I’m not sure it’s re-opened yet.

        Jared hasn’t published the photo again on twitter since he released the date-stamped version. He’s clammed up since last night.

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    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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? ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
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  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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