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Reverting to type

Written By: - Date published: 11:23 am, October 6th, 2008 - 47 comments
Categories: crime, election 2008, national - Tags:

Fearing a PR disaster over their tax-cut package announcement later this week, National has reverted to type, shedding the moderate facade and proposing a good old fashioned ‘get tough’ crime policy.

National would abolish parole for people convicted of murder who have previously been convicted of a serious violent crime. In the last six years, that would have applied to ten people, five of whom are currently on parole, none of whom, it seems, have reoffended. Under current law, the worst murderers receive non-parole periods that would only see them released in their old age and violent offenders with a strong likelihood of reoffending can be imprisoned permanently on preventative detention. So, hardly earth-shattering stuff from National but a typically unsophisticated, heavy-handed policy. Rather than crafting the best punishment and rehabilitation for individuals, they just want to lock them up and throw away the key.

There would also be no parole for other repeat violent offenders. The increased prison population resulting from that would cost $43 million a year and require another $315 million prison to be built. (forget the ‘cap on bureaucrats too, corrections staff fall under National’s definition of bureaucrats and hundreds more would be needed).

One can understand why National has gone with a policy like this. With the media whipping itself into a grotesque frenzy over violent crimes, abolishing parole for violent offenders is an easy populist policy to run. But if we actually want to reduce the amount of crime in our communities, we need to remove the conditions that create crime. That means getting young men into work and training, giving them a sense of belonging and self-worth – Labour has made exemplary progress on that front and crime has come down 15%. It means nipping substance dependence in the bud – something ike 80% of crimes are committed by people under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. It means better earlier care for people with mental issues. We need prisons to be about redemption and rehabilitation, not the criminal training grounds they are now – like Johnny Cash says, ‘San Quentin, what good do you think you do?’.

Labour has made some progress in this regard but gone backwards too in trying to out tough National. National clearly has no new ideas; it just wants to put more people in more San Quentins for longer. It seems, once again, that the change we need is Green.

47 comments on “Reverting to type”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Just following you logic chain SP

    “..something ike 80% of crimes are committed by people under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.”

    “It seems, once again, that the change we need is Green.”

    I might be incorrect but aren’t the Greens along with ACT the least tough on alcohol and drugs ?

    [no. the Greens are the only oen with a harm minimisation approach to drugs and alcohol. the others prefer to ban and hope. SP]

  2. sean 2

    SP – I’d imagine if you’d had a family member or friend who had been murdered you’d understand why everyone is so PRO this policy. New Zealanders are sick of a system where criminals have more rights and support than their victims.

  3. Tane 3

    I’d imagine if you’d had a family member or friend who had been murdered you’d understand why everyone is so PRO this policy.

    Because everyone has had a family member or friend who has been murdered?

  4. Steve – are you saying you REALLY believe that the likes of Taffy Hotene, Rufus Junior Marsh, William Bell, Graeme Burton, Bruce Howse et al can be rehabiliated? And do you REALLY want them walking the streets in your neighbourhood?

    Just for the record, my answers to those questions are no, and no!

    [that’s what preventative detention is for. SP]

  5. randal 5

    inv2 you are putting words in peoples mouths again. speak for yourself. whats your answer?

  6. Anita 6

    sean,

    I’d imagine if you’d had a family member or friend who had been murdered you’d understand why everyone is so PRO this policy.

    Like most (if not all) New Zealanders I have friends and/or family members who have been raped (and/or the victims of other crimes of violence), and I don’t support this policy.

    I want a policy that addresses why people rape or commit other violent crimes. That is the way to create a safe healthy society.

  7. Anita 7

    Inventory2,

    We have preventative detention now. How many of your list are already locked up forever by using preventative detention?

  8. outofbed 8

    The getting tough on drugs policy has really worked hasn’t it?
    The Greens drug policy is all about harm reduction.
    It’s sensible and well principled much like most of the Greens policies .
    However You won’t hear that in the media.
    Take TV3 introduction to the Greens campaign launch last night.
    ” no morris dancers at the Greens Campaign launch today”
    I mean lets look at their top ten list candidate
    Dr Kennedy Graham

    Dr. Graham holds a B. Com (Auckland), MA in International Relations (Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Boston), and a Ph.D. (Victoria University, Wellington). He has received Fulbright and Fletcher scholarships, a McCarthy Fellowship (1986), and was Quartercentenary Fellow at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, England (1995).

    Dr. Graham served in the NZ foreign service for 16 years, specializing in global security and the UN, his last diplomatic assignment being counsellor in the NZ Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. He has lived and worked in nine countries in Asia, the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.

    From 1999 to 2004 he worked for the United Nations University, first as Director of its Leadership Academy (Amman, Jordan; 1999-2002); then as director of its Regional Security & Global Governance Project (Bruges, Belgium; 2002-4). In 2004 he was commissioned to provide a paper for the UN Secretary-General?s High-Level Paper on Threats, Challenges and Change.

    In 2005-6 he has been Senior Consultant to the UN?s Dept. of Political Affairs in New York, assisting in the preparation and convening of the Secretary-General?s high-level meetings, and the Security Council?s meetings, with regional organizations

    Funny he doesn’t seem to Morris dance . smoke dope or have fucked Tim Shadbolt
    I think I’m not going to bother to vote it’s too fucking depressing

  9. Dom 9

    sean, so I can take it from your ‘I’d imagine’ line that you have not had someone close murdered? Well I have and unlike your ‘imaginged everyone’ I am not pro this policy – I think its short sighted, ham fisted and reactionary – typical National.

  10. sean 10

    Anita – Labour have tried such policies – yet the violence keeps on coming.

  11. randal 11

    sean…thats why there are laws against it. If nobody was going to do it then would be no need for laws…doh!

  12. Anita 12

    sean,

    So Labour hasn’t succeeded yet, does that mean that it’s impossible?

    Shouldn’t National at least pretend to care about creating a society in which fewer people commit rapes and other violent crimes?

    What they’ve released so far is a policy to attempt to prevent people committing their third. None of the people I personally know who’ve been raped would have been protected by National’s policy not a single one.

  13. Anita 13

    for “National’s police” read “National’s policy”

    I don’t think me expressing my opinion on the police and sexual and domestic violence will help :-/

  14. Ben 14

    No article on the radio debate?

  15. Janet 16

    I think he means the quite boring and grey Radio NZ debate last night between 5 and 6.30. The one where Kathryn Ryan gave Gerry Brownlee the most questions, and the most airtime, including the chance to open and close the debate with a party political broadcast.

  16. randal 17

    the one where Peter Williams Q.C. made mcvicar look like a fool. I didn’t hear it but apparently the rightwing religious nutbars are up in arms about it. they really want capital punishment so all this other stuff is just trying to squeeze the government into acorner on the costs of keeping prisoners. crummy I know but as they all fancy themselves as the next moses they wont stop until their patriarchal fantasys come true.

  17. Ben R 18

    “I want a policy that addresses why people rape or commit other violent crimes. That is the way to create a safe healthy society.”

    Having a female only society would be a start. You could almost do away with prisons.

  18. Lew 19

    Ben: Why don’t we just have a society of one? Consent wouldn’t be an issue, then.

    What? No, it’s certainly no more stupid than your idea.

    L

  19. Anita – Taffy Hotene is serving PD with a 10-year non-parole period for rape, and life with an 18-year non-parole period for murder. He is eligible for parole in June 2018, when he will be 47 years old. William Bell, Bruce Howse and Graeme Burton are all serving life terms with finite non-parole periods (30 years, 25 years and 26 years respectively). Rufus Marsh, who killed for a second time in 1986 is serving a life sentence, has been eligible for parole since 1994, and is due before the Parole Board next month. Each of these offenders could conceivably walk free at some time.

  20. Lew 21

    Janet: “I think he means the quite boring and grey Radio NZ debate last night between 5 and 6.30. The one where Kathryn Ryan gave Gerry Brownlee the most questions, and the most airtime, including the chance to open and close the debate with a party political broadcast.”

    … Despite which Jim Anderton, Pete Hodgson and Russel Norman got all the applause.

    Cue griping about the left-wing librul latte-drinking Wellington media beltocracy.

    L

  21. Janet 22

    This vindictive crime policy is really depressing. We are all born equal and blameless but have different life experiences and opportunities, but are still always human beings. Some people do mean and cruel things (not just those who feature in the crime stats) but I would like to think that it is the behaviour that is bad, not the essence of the person. If we were a really mature nation we would put forgiveness and rehabilitation at the top of our values. But no – we give into the venal desire to punish, and diminish ourselves in the process.

  22. randal said “inv2 you are putting words in peoples mouths again. speak for yourself. whats your answer?”

    randal – if you’d read my whole post (and it wasn’t very long!) you would have seen my answers, but for the record:

    “Steve – are you saying you REALLY believe that the likes of Taffy Hotene, Rufus Junior Marsh, William Bell, Graeme Burton, Bruce Howse et al can be rehabiliated? And do you REALLY want them walking the streets in your neighbourhood?

    Just for the record, my answers to those questions are no, and no!”

  23. Ben R 24

    “Ben: Why don’t we just have a society of one? Consent wouldn’t be an issue, then.”

    Hi Lew, I haven’t seen you here for a while? My post wasn’t entirely serious, although I suspect the world might be slightly more pleasant.

  24. higherstandard 25

    Janet I think we would all like to think that it is the behaviour that is bad, not the essence of the person, if you ever get the chance however have a chat to some professionals who work in forensic psychiatry many of those I have met over the years suggest that there are some people who are just plain evil.

    Thankfully they make up a very small proportion of any society.

  25. Quoth the Raven 26

    As HS says above there are some people out there that are just f*ucked up. It’s a sad fact but these people are beyond redemption, but they are a very tiny number of people. Inv – Have you met these people? Do you work on a parole board? Are you their psychiatrist? If not then you, like me are in no position to judge whether or not such people are worthy of parole. It’s those professionals who make the decision whether these people can be rehabilitated and reintroduced into society or not. Although, we make no real effort at rehabilitating criminals here. I think National’s policy is stupid. It’s just attention grabbing bullshit, that serves no good. It’s just like when they promised to have random checks of retirement homes, after they’d been in the news. Do we hear anything about that now? Is it going to happen?

  26. randal 27

    no they are not just plain evil. that is the w. scott peck line and is the lazy mans substitute for intellectual investigation. some of these psychiatrists you mention would be better occupied learning a little lockean philosophy and then a whole lot more psychoanalysis. Some criminals character structure may be so set that it is impossible to ever change their thinking but that does not let the medical profession off the hook when it comes to providing accurate descriptions and diagnoses instead of avoiding their responsibilities to not only themselves but the electorate and the people of this country as well.

  27. Janet 28

    Evil? You mean born evil? Well if they are going to make those judgements why don’t you extend the argument to considering karma or past lives, and meaning of life arguments about what we are here for? We could be here to leave the place a bit better than we found it and learn a few lessons in compassion along the way.

    On the other hand I have always thought a certain bullying MP could have been a concentration camp guard in a previous life.

  28. Quoth the Raven 29

    Randal – I think it’s an established fact now that a very small number of people just have no empathy for other humans. They’re born that way. No amount of rehabilitation will work for these people, but for most people rehabilitation will work, if given the chance and they should be released from prison one day. If proper effort was made with these people I wouldn’t care if they moved in next door to me, but a proper effort is never made in this country. Sentences could be a lot shorter too, if effort was made at rehabilitation.

    Perfect captcha – defective right

  29. Ben R 30

    “We are all born equal and blameless but have different life experiences and opportunities”

    So shouldn’t there be more focus on better prenatal and perinatal health care? Why don’t we have warning labels on alcohol & ads warning not to consume during pregnancy?

    Also there should more focus on ensuring children get better nutrition – perhaps through food vouchers in some cases? Childhood malnutrition is linked to poor brain functioning (low IQ) and conduct disorder in early adulthood.

  30. Vanilla Eis 31

    Excellent OpEd piece by Tapu Misa in the Herald today:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10535877

  31. Bill 32

    I stand ready to be corrected. But isn’t the idea of parole a carrot that gives a prisoner an incentive to ‘change their ways’ and by doing so be entered back into the community a ‘better’ person?

    If ex-prisoners are re-offending, the problem is not, surely, the length of sentence, but the quality of rehabilitation programmes (or lack of) on offer. ( plus all the other determinants from poverty to addiction to lack of achievement, marketable skills, peer pressure and gawd knows what else)

    If some violent crime recurs after three years in jail, what difference will a seven year sentence with no prospect of parole make? None!

    The number of violent offenders coming back on to the streets will be exactly the same as now in the long run and they may well be angrier due to having been left to rot longer with no incentive offered them to ‘mend their ways’.

    Of course, the prisons could be privatised and become a nice little earner for some; profiteering on the back of wasted life’s and wasted public money. Now there’s a novel idea, innit.

  32. Ianmac 33

    It may be that there are (about 100 the experts say) people alive in NZ who could be classed as hopelessly “evil”. I believe that the courts and associated experts already have the means, and use them, to contain these seriously bad ‘uns. Therefore I think that the National policy would change very little and would qualify as populist and given that John Key could only quote Sensible Sentencing Trust as his adviser, it is a bad call for National. Also if you are committed by law to block all hope to a prisoner, then what incentive is there for him to at least demonstrate any sort of cooperation, or reform?

  33. Ari 34

    if you ever get the chance however have a chat to some professionals who work in forensic psychiatry many of those I have met over the years suggest that there are some people who are just plain evil.

    Knowing plenty of police, criminologists, psychologists, and the like, I can with confidence inform you that you are plain wrong, even if you hold quite a common belief. (sadly)

    Most criminals commit crimes because it seemed like a good option to them at the time. Most of them are about as rational, and sometimes even as empathic, as anyone you’re likely to run into on the street. Perhaps you even knew this.

    There are some people that don’t have a normal moral compass. Some of them just don’t think of other people as people the same way we do. (sometimes I suspect a few of these types are actually in Parliament after listening to the National Party) Some don’t even know what they’re doing. These people we have a genuine reason to be sorry for, I think, even when they do terrible things, as it’s very hard to say they actually carry any real sort of responsibility for their actions. It’s the reason we have an insanity plea, of course.

    But the only reason people ever deliberately try to be “evil” is because they’ve let someone else define them that way over and over again until they accepted it and embraced it and did terrible things because of it, and have lost the will to become something better. Nobody is “just evil”- they became that way because of pressures on them. That’s not to say they’re not responsible for their behaviour- of course they are- but it is to say that the sort of people you’re talking about are, in one way or another, the product of terrible mistakes by the people who have known them and been significant influences on them. Nobody is “just” evil. They approximate it because they’ve been made to think that that’s all they can be.

  34. Janet 35

    Evil is too easy a label for people’s whose behaviour or attitudes appal you. It is a close relation of hate. We could all practice to be better humans by trying to to see the humanity in those people we fear or intensely dislike the most. Barack Obama writes in the Audacity of Hope about the humanity of George W, even though he dislikes what he does, and condemns the effects of his behaviour (like the war). I think that’s pretty inspirational.

  35. Bill 36

    Ben R.

    Nutrition and food vouchers.

    For calorie intake it appears that it is far cheaper to buy high fat/salt/sugar foods than recognisably healthier foods.

    I’ve lost the link (was on the Guardian) but somebody did a study on food energy costs and surprise, surprise found that whereas 2p worth of chips = 100 calories, it would require 26p of broccoli. I can’t remember the other figures, but orange squash versus orange juice had a similar cost gap as did the other comparisons

    So, you don’t have two brass tacks to rub together and you need energy….not nutrition, energy. Nutrition is a luxury.

    On food vouchers. What is the fucking point when such a massive number of people simply don’t know how to cook? Or if they do, then because the household is at work all day and there are maybe five or six people to cook for every night….time…and those wonderful products of Capitalism, the food corporations, have so many of us hook, line and sinker addicted to fat, sugar and salt…fast food takeaway, TV dinners…slop and drop gunk to get us by and up in time for the next shift in the next day of the rest of our life’s.

    How about a four hour working day so that people have the time to eat properly and healthily? There’s an idea. You think your grandmother made that soup in a jiffy? You think the home made meat pie was a five minute pre-mix? And while I’m ranting a tad I might as well ask, ” Where are the fucking giblets?!”

    You can’t make chicken stock without giblets and they ain’t stuck up the arse of the chicken in a wee poly bag as they used to be.

  36. Ben R 37

    “On food vouchers. What is the f*cking point when such a massive number of people simply don’t know how to cook?”

    Make them fruit & vegetable vouchers. I thought the voucher (or card for other child health, clothing essentials) would be only for WINZ beneficiaries. Perhaps you could fund cooking classes too?

  37. burt 38

    Janet

    We could all practice to be better humans by trying to to see the humanity in those people we fear or intensely dislike the most.

    So will you be inviting Burton to stay at your place for a few months while he gets back on his feet (foot) next time he is released. Actually he must be almost about to be released, he’s been locked up for more than 1% of his sentence.

  38. Bill 39

    Ben R

    Vegetables still need to be cooked, but that aside are you acknowledging that WINZ payments are too low and need to be raised or do you envisage replacing a portion of benefit income with vouchers?

    ‘Cause that (the latter option) would be a bit like an electricity company installing pre-paid meters and then claiming to be ‘nice guys’ on the back of disconnection numbers dropping.

    An ‘out of sight of mind’ mentality.

  39. rave 40

    Outofbed

    Vote mate your too funny to abstain.

    National is poison. Reason and Ridicule is the antidote.

    Peter Williams was righteous!

  40. Ben R 41

    “Vegetables still need to be cooked, but that aside are you acknowledging that WINZ payments are too low and need to be raised or do you envisage replacing a portion of benefit income with vouchers?”

    I don’t know if they’re too low, but I think improving nutrition is very important to help brain development. Food vouchers could possibly assist. The portion of the benefit I was thinking of was the child benefit to ensure that it actually gets spent on child related items (food, clothing, medicine etc).

  41. Janet 42

    Burt
    Burton (see even your names show a shared humanity) probably has a good side as he has family members who like him. But he is already one of those who will never be let out.
    I imagine he had some pretty horrific experiences to grow him from an innocent baby into a bit of a psychopath. That doesn’t mean that he is at the end of his potential development. Good rehabilitation and restorative justice processes may cause positive change. Who are you to say? Are you a professional in that area?
    There are people I fear more than a prisoner in a wheelchair.

  42. Jane 43

    Janet, as much as I agree with the idea that people aren’t born ‘evil’, there are some people who are not able to be rehabilitated.

    These are the people who are known as ‘psychopaths'(I use this to refer to people who kill without remorse) and do not feel empathy or compassion… they are not INSANE- they are definitely mentally challenged though. Most have had terrible upbringings and a large number suffer from reduced frontal lobe activity (the part of the brain that moderates behaviour.) Some people have a genetic disposition towards sociopathy but can live mostly normal lives on the fringe of society. However some of these people experience specific life experiences that actually render them incapable of living in society. Thats why the number of people that cannot safely be rehabilitated is low.

    INSANE usually means the person is incapacitated and doesn’t realise that what they are doing is wrong.

    However, psychopaths actually do know the difference between right and wrong. The problem is, they are either emotionally incapable of caring whether they behave within societies expectations of normal behaviour or through some life experience have learned to gain pleasure or feelings of power from breaking the norms.

    These people cannot be deprogrammed especially after a certain age. It is ludicrous to suggest that NZ’s most violent can be rehabilitated. Unfortunately, they are too far gone. They stll have a right to life and should be kept in prison for the rest of their natural lives- they should have access to psychiatrists to help where possible but the care they recieve will in no way make them safe to be released nto the community. It is too much of a risk.

    There is far far more to this topic than just ‘good person, bad decision- they can be fixed’. Unfortunately the abnormal brain function present in psychopaths is not reversible. Bear in mind I am referring to the likes of Burton, Hotene, and Wiliam Bell.

    Some younger less fucked up criminals can be rehabilitated but there is a small percentage who cannot.

  43. Jane 44

    Also- as a person with strong humanitaran views myself, I believe that IT IS BY FAR THE MOST humanitarian thing for these people to be locked up- not just for society, but for themselves.

    And yes, I am an expert in the field 🙂

  44. r0b 45

    Most have had terrible upbringings and a large number suffer from reduced frontal lobe activity (the part of the brain that moderates behaviour.) … Unfortunately the abnormal brain function present in psychopaths is not reversible.

    If you’re an expert then you know that you are overselling the brain function story here. All you can confidently claim is that frontal lobe dysfunction can increase the probability of aggression (and then more for reactive rather than instrumental aggression).

    I agree that there will always be some who can’t be rehabilitated, but how many? And how do we decide in individual cases? Any process of deciding is going to involve a consensus expert opinion that is going to look an awful lot like the parole process.

  45. rave 46

    Well until we find out who are the irredeemble we have to lock them all up, lobotomise their frontal lobes, fill em full of antidepressants, curfew them, cut off their benefits, put them in boot camp, fill them full of booze, melanise them, force them to play computer games, digitalise their identity, patronise them, and then… we will find that they are all irredeemable and we will feel so smug. Even more smug than when we started. But we are entitled to feel smug because we are the victims.

    I suggest that we euthenise capitalism instead.

  46. Ben R 47

    “I suggest that we euthenise capitalism instead.”

    And crime will go away?

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  • 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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? ...
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    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
  • 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago

  • 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
    9 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    14 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    1 day 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    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
    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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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  • 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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  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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