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Rimutaka Prison.

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, January 28th, 2018 - 51 comments
Categories: class war, crime, health and safety, human rights, Kelvin Davis, Politics, prisons, Privatisation, Social issues, workers' rights - Tags: ,

People trying to smuggle themselves across borders or seas in shipping containers often die. We know this. And I’m not trying to compare what follows to the deliberate killing of hundreds or thousands of prisoners in Afghanistan by way of “transporting” them in container trucks. But to be blatantly honest, it was memories of seeing men herded into shipping containers from that time that jumped immediately to mind when I read of the prisoner conditions at Wellington’s Rimutaka Prison. (link)

What is this country that we live in?

Unventilated metal shipping containers that have been untilised as cells since 2010, and a Corrections Dept blowing the whole thing off because the 73 prisoners held in those conditions are outside until 5 p.m.?!

To hell with being outside in this weather! How much shade is there in a prison complex? Well known for their verdant leafy shadows, are they? (Hint: that’s an aerial shot of Rimutaka Prison used on the front of the post).

But hey!

National commissioner of Corrections Jeanette Burns said a heat management plan was in place across the country, and prisoners in the container unit at Rimutaka – the only of its kind in the country – were being provided with cold and frozen water, as well as fans.

“We are working on interim solutions to reduce the discomfort caused by the heat, while ensuring that safety and security are not compromised,” she said.

So, what’s this “safety” she speaks of? Obviously not that of the prisoners. And how in the hell can Kelvin Davis, according to “Stuff” say he has “yet to form a view” because he hasn’t visited Rimutaka?

On that note, I’m sorry for submitting a post that no-one can comment on, because, y’know, unless you have been in Rimutaka Prison it’s obviously just not possible for you to form an opinion or have a view on men being held in metal containers.

Further reading –  Press release from the Howard League for Penal Reform

Update/edit – The following photos aer of the completed prison block. Stuff had used a photo from the construction phase. Can’t say I’m impressed by that. (h/t Joe90).

 

 

51 comments on “Rimutaka Prison.”

  1. koreropono 1

    I vaguely recall a bit of controversy around the shipping containers back then, I didn’t realise they had become a thing as all went quiet in the media on the matter. I think the shipping containers are indicative of how prisoners are treated across prisons throughout New Zealand. These are not places to rehabilitate, these places are for punishment, to make the deviant more deviant, to reinforce a criminal underclass that was pending since many of the prisoners were babies.

    I have worked in a prison but not for the prison in the past. My immediate impression started pre-prison entry where people have to undergo “training” to go in and the “trainer”, whether he knew it or not, openly dehumanised the prisoners throughout the ordeal that was our training. He continually referred to the prisoners as “shit heads” to a group of professionals (psychologists, lawyers, social workers and other outside contractors). Leaving the “training”, I was left with the impression that these guards were the saddest human beings I have met and I felt a great deal of anger about how the prison population were reduced to, “shit heads”, thugs, meth heads, the worst of the worst criminals, they were not even referred by their Christian names, instead they were identified by surname and gang affiliation.

    The “training” offered no back story, nothing about the abuse that many of the prisoners had endured growing up in dysfunctional families, and often a more dysfunctional welfare system, only to be re-abused once they hit the criminal justice system, by other prisoners and many of the prison staff. Or the fact that many of the prisoners are forced into gang life, too afraid to leave (that can mean death), men having to put on a facade whilst surrounded by other men who behave staunchly…but this is just an act, an act of survival in place that if you show weakness, will be exploited. These are the stories one hears when men can drop the facade and talk in confidence away from others who may hurt them.

    In the prison itself, there are the obvious ‘peacock’ type displays of the prisoners, men merely asserting their position to keep themselves safe as best they can. I was struck by many of the guards, who were, in my opinion a certain personality type, aggressive, bullying type individuals who took pleasure in the power wielded over other human beings. I remember one guard’s behaviour toward every human being he encountered, including the contracted providers, he was just a surly, mean little prick and I wondered how long it would be before he got his head kicked in…part of me felt he’d deserve what was coming to him (even though I don’t condone violence).

    I also became immediately aware of the inconsistency of the prison, where the rules changed frequently, leaving both the prison population and contractors uncertain about what the new rules would be on any given day. Where one guards decision would be contrary to another guard’s decision five minutes earlier, leaving men upset, and angry, there was always anger in that lifeless, soulless place of concrete, glass, metal and not an iota of shade in any of the out door areas that I visited.

    I remember reading an article ( I can’t recall what the article was called but may have been written by Greg Newbold) about how the conditions in the prison reinforce criminal behaviour, with some indepth explanations around the psychology of criminal thinking and how it is reinforced – this is a lot more complex than simply hanging out with other prisoners but reinforcement comes by way of how a prison operates. Such things as an unpredictable environment, changing rules and even down to the militant routines that on a psychological level prevent prisoners from developing their cognitive skills beyond the thinking that leads to criminal behaviour.

    The shipping containers in Rimutaka in my opinion simply reinforces the dehumanisation of prisoners, they are reduced to cargo, unworthy of proper facilities, the inhumane conditions in these shipping containers reinforces how undeserving the prisoners are of anything that marks them as human beings, not deserving of understanding, love or belonging in civil society – these men, many taught from babes that they are worthless have been fast tracked into the prison system from the moment they were born.

    • I vaguely recall a bit of controversy around the shipping containers back then, I didn’t realise they had become a thing as all went quiet in the media on the matter.

      Strange that eh?

      You’d think the government mistreating prisoners would be worth a story or two.

    • Michelle 1.2

      It is a part of the our brighter future we never received

  2. Molly 2

    My partner and I were just talking about this post and also did not realise that the shipping containers went ahead, despite the controvesy at the time.

    The conditions in these cells will be threatening to human life. the provision of cold water and fans (hand held BTW) is not a reasonable response.

    To me this is where we would see the true application of manaakitanga, if this situation is rectified immediately despite political and financial costs.

    Thanks also for the relating of your personal experience, I agree with your thinking on the effects on prisoners of inconsistent and brutal treatment.

    (Sorry, meant as a reply to koreropono above)

  3. JanM 3

    It is a disgusting way to treat any human being and we need to be collectively ashamed. How can we point fingers at Australia’s atrocities when we do this!

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    Don’t knock shipping container accommodation just because the fwits at Corrections didn’t do their homework.

    http://www.iqcontainerhomes.co.nz/

    • Bill 4.1

      Sure.

      But then there’s this route.

      In a first for Rimutaka Prison, a group of prisoners have built a 3 bedroom house as part of their construction programme.

      But…

      WelTec […] will have it moved off-site in the New Year. Wet areas, flooring and kitchen will be added afterwards.

      (Click link for picture)

      http://www.corrections.govt.nz/news/latest_news/first_house_build_for_rimutaka_prison.html

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.1

        Ye olde weatherboard house…awesome.

        BUT…probably not a goer in a prison due to fire risk?

        But…I get that it would be excellent rehab to get residents to actively participate in upgrading facilities.

    • Dv 4.2

      Surely a heat pump or two would solve the problem, or is that too simple?

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.1

        heat pumps…expensive to install and expensive to run.

      • Molly 4.2.2

        According to the link above for the Howard League for Penal Reform, this is the bare minimum that they believe is required, along with a removal of prisoners with conditions that impose higher risks from overheating.

        The current offer from Corrections:
        “Corrections are addressing the problem with ice water and hand held fans for the prisoners. We also understand that they are going to bring in more staff so that the prisoners in these cells can have longer unlock hours. This has not happened yet.

        Hand-held fans? FFS. Moving hot air from one point to another. Used as a dessication process in dehydrators.

        • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.2.1

          “Howard League spokesperson Madeleine Rose says that at the very least prisoners with heart conditions, elderly or infirm must be immediately removed from these cells. Air-conditioning units must be installed immediately. This is a serious health and safety issue and “the last thing we want is an avoidable death from these conditions”, says Rose.”

          Oh that non-criminal sick and disabled New Zealanders had such advocacy…

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11982566

          • Molly 4.2.2.1.1

            It’s not a question of one or t’other Rosemary.

            Both groups are treated appallingly by successive NZ governments and both attitudes and resources need to be addressed immediately.

            I always read with dismay your posts on how the government adds to the hardships of our sick and disabled, and have supported a very close friend as she has battled for help for her child.

            This would not be happening in a compassionate society, where we should be aspiring to be.

            Humane and considered treatment of those in our penal system, also would be an expression of a compassionate society. Not instead of – as well as.

            • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.2.1.1.1

              “It’s not a question of one or t’other Rosemary.”

              On one level…I get this.

              On another level…where cold, hard logic lives…it comes down to $$$ and expectations/entitlements.

              What have successive governments been happy to spend per year per prisoner?

              Compare that with the spend on non-ACC sick and disabled…and more often than not after a long, drawn out and often adversarial needs assessment. Every single dollar is grudgingly given as if it were coming from the pocket of the bureaucrat.

              A prisoner is mistreated, dies or suicides and there’s investigations and reports and maybe someone sues….

              Not so when disabled and sick suffer the same fate…the H&D Commission is a toothless wet bus ticket issuer on a good day…and sadly, those of us willing to step up and do some activism are few and far between.

              yes I do get that it doesn’t have to be one or t’other…but Molly I do sometimes despair…

              • Kay

                +1000 Rosemary 🙁

              • Molly

                I despair too Rosemary – and you are right to remind others (myself included) of the lack of support and resources for our sick and disabled.

                And advocates for penal reform, are also right to remind us of the failure of the system to provide for humane treatment and positive rehabilitation outcomes.

                If we break it down into economic terms – as we have been taught to do – before we even discuss the end goals, then we continue to set different priorities depending on our own energies, lives and passions. And nothing will get done.

                If we all agree on insisting that government creates a compassionate society, then that can only be achieved by systems that deliver better outcomes for those on benefits, those who are incapacited or disabled, those held in our penal system and the wider society.

                If $ can be found for RoNS and relocating the America’s Cup base on the waterfront, it is not the finances that are missing it is the political will.

    • Molly 4.3

      The issue is not around using shipping containers as living quarters. It is around the living conditions provided by the shipping container cells in use at Rimutaka Prison.

      The contrast between well-designed and badly-designed living spaces, with the same basic building materials can be huge.

      These non-shaded, barely adapted, non-ventilated containers – are not suitable for the use to which the Corrections system has placed them.

      And given the temperature forecasts over the next couple of months, immediate decisions and actions are necessary.

    • Michelle 4.4

      the f..wit you refer to Is Judith Collins she was proud of these containers we need to lock her in one of them for a day or and see how she like it

  5. tc 5

    A half decent MSM would’ve been all over this for years as quite frankly it’s 3rd world behaviour IMO from a govt institution with developed nation resources.

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    So I suppose we’ll have to wait for Arthur Taylor to enforce the Health and Safety Act, because everyone else has been defunded /sarc

  7. Shona 7

    My shame of being a New Zealander grows every time I read about our prison system. @ koreropono your informative comment made me weep.

  8. Antoine 8

    Maybe we need to build some more prisons

    A.

  9. adam 9

    We never did get that prison reform did we.

    And where is the prisoners hero Kelvin on this again? MIA?

    Mind you with the Aussies sending back NZ criminals at more than one a day no one wants to open this can of worm. Of wait they not all criminals, some are just family members who have a family member who may or may not have gang connections.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/88671246/dozens-of-australian-deportees-are-being-sent-to-nz-on-a-weekly-basis

    We really just don’t give a rats, as long as we can sweep it under the carpet in the next news cycle.

  10. Kay 10

    You ask, “who are the bigger criminals”?

    I’m actually inclined to say the great NZ vindictive public who want everyone locked up for everything, and are more than happy to be manipulated by the “tough on crime” rhetoric from politicians of most stripes after their votes. It’s now so ingrained into the general psyche that any party proposing to DECREASE the prison population is likely to lose votes.

    Those of us who can think logically know that the majority of currently detained people don’t actually need to be in a physical prison, @$100,000/yr or whatever the going rate is. There are plenty of ways to punish crimes without actual incarceration and the ongoing consequences, and that cost a lot less to boot. (NB- well aware there will always be some people who must be separated from society).

    So- less people in prisons = fewer beds needed= no shipping containers.
    But with the exception of the Greens, not a hope any of this coalition will let themselves be seen as “soft”, no matter how practical it is. Why Joe Public doesn’t seem to mind their hard earned tax $$ being unnecessarily spent on prisons is beyond me, yet to follow on from Rosemary, disabled/ill these same people mind a lot…

    • DoublePlusGood 10.1

      I agree, I think the only way you can successfully market it to the NZ vindictive public is to wave eye-watering savings of tax dollars expected if the government can close some prisons.

  11. fender 11

    The lowlife that stabbed my son is on holiday at Rimutaka, so forgive me for not caring if he happens to melt from the heat that the WHOLE COUNTRY is suffering from at present.

    • MsJasmine 11.1

      +1 who cares if it’s uncomfortable for them it’s hot for everyone can’t do the time don’t do the crime let them suffer.

      • adam 11.1.1

        How do you measure humanity and suffering MsJasmine? Because I find prisons odd, I want a perpetrator to know what they have done to me and mine. I don’t want an outside force incarcerating them as a form of revenge. I want the perpetrator to learn from their mistake, own it, and take responsibility otherwise me and mine are not getting justice.

        I’m saying forgiveness is essential, but don’t confuse me with being soft. If someone won’t own their actions, nor take responsibility, or learn – then they should face the harsh reality of me and mines revenge.

        But a third party doing things like this at Rimutaka Prison out of stupidity and laziness, I will not accept in my name a member of the wider community. I think it hurts us all. Mind you, without restorative justice I can’t see stupid or lazy in our bureaucracy ending anytime soon.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.2

        It’s natural and perversely comforting to indulge these sadistic vengeance fantasies, until you realise that the more your self-indulgence manifests itself in penal policy, the more the recidivism rate goes up.

        Alternatively we could do what works instead. If I say what it is you’ll lose the guts and reiterate your vengeance fantasies, and who wants to read that?

      • Michelle 11.1.3

        I still care msjasmine despite my mothers killer being in there (Rimutaka) the containers are unacceptable for a country like NZ that prides itself on human rights which is why I said Judith should be put in there (a container for a night ) see how she likes it

    • adam 11.2

      It sounds like you were not able to get any restorative justice fender?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorative_justice

      The reforms we should have had should have given you and your family that option.

    • Molly 11.3

      fender, no-one would expect you to care in this regard, given your circumstances.

      That is why the burden and responsibility of humane care and treatment belongs to the state. Those who are authorised to remove liberty, also have a responsibility to administer to those incarcerated in such a way that the likelihood of reoffending when released is diminished.

      Wider society, and the country benefits when prisoners are treated humanely and resourced sufficiently for effective rehabilitation programmes. Even those who have suffered from criminal behaviour.

      • Incognito 11.3.1

        Very well said.

        Unfortunately, the State will only provide care & treatment as much as society (i.e. the taxpayers) will approve of, mostly in economic terms, as for all things nowadays …

        In our hyper-individualised society we blame everything on personal responsibility & choices. For these reasons, prisoners are treated as second-rate citizens (e.g. no voting rights) and implicitly as second-rate humans. In fact, they are/become undesirables (pariahs), outcasts. They don’t deserve much (!) care or our empathy & understanding. Similarly, rehabilitation programmes are (expensive) failures because recidivism rates are high or so the prevailing ‘reasoning’ goes. This obviously ignores that many prisoners before and certainly after their imprisonment had to row against societal ‘prejudices’ and other counter-forces and, consequently and almost inevitably, that they never stood or will stand a real change at rehabilitation to become productive consuming and tax-paying citizens who conform to the societal norm. Thus, we (must) demonise convicts and ideally exorcize them altogether. And by extension, through association, their social networks (friends, family, and …) are treated with much suspicion too and placed in ‘social quarantine’. Yet, some people call for building more prisons!!

        It’ll be very telling how this Government will be dealing with this – I have not said one word about ethnicity …

        Thank you Bill for drawing attention to this.

      • greywarshark 11.3.2

        Molly
        Thanks for pointing that out. I remember being at a meeting about prison conditions and the chap next to me said something like I think if anyone murdered someone from my family I would want them to suffer the same. He was surprised when I said that I would feel the same, and that is why justice should deal with it and not those personally involved. He just couldn’t get his head around the idea that we all live in a state that has a rule of law for such matters.

  12. The Fairy Godmother 12

    The best solution would be to decriminalise marijuana immediately and release all people in prison for marijuana offences. That should allow the Rimataka container prison to be shut down immediately as there would be room in other prisons for them to be moved to. we really need to stop locking so many people up. Imprisonment of Maori is way higher than it should be.

    • Rosemary McDonald 12.1

      “The best solution would be to decriminalise marijuana immediately and release all people in prison for marijuana offences.”

      Yes.

      And for those offenses requiring imprisonment…shorter, much shorter terms spent largely in isolation (other than staff) thinking, reading (or learning how to), getting substance abuse issues under control, dealing to health issues, learning mindfulness techniques, getting full drivers licences and defensive driving courses….

    • joe90 12.2

      Catchall drugs and anti-social behavior offenders make up just over13% (1300 inmates) of the prison population and I doubt more than 1 in 15 of those offenders are imprisoned for C class offences.

      Marijuana is a green herring.

      https://screenshotscdn.firefoxusercontent.com/images/0ed358c7-e900-4693-8988-6889f0a05dfd.png

    • McFlock 12.3

      I’m not sure it follows that either the container prison or double-bunking would the rejected if the drug laws were updated. Prisoners numbers and how we deal with them are a different issue with the same root cause, imo.

      They’ll still find reasons to lock more people up, and the Senseless Sentencing crowd will still (possibly be secretly paid to) lobby for harsher sentences in worse conditions, and prison rape will still be a bad joke rather than an issue of widespread concern.

      Fixing the MJ laws to address prisoner treatment is like putting a bandage on your right arm because your left arm is bleeding.

  13. McFlock 13

    Conditions in prison ships wasn’t a big social concern, either.

    As soon as you start treating people like cargo, it’s a concern. Regardless of the conditions or what they did. Goes for economy class on airlines, too.

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  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
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  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
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    5 days ago
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
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  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
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    5 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
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    5 days ago
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    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
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    5 days ago
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    6 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    6 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
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    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
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    6 days ago
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    7 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    7 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
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    7 days ago
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  • Rāhui day 4
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  • Letter to a friend
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  • A test of civil society.
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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
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  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
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  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
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  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
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  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
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  • We are not America
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  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
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  • After the Pandemic
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    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
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    4 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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    4 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
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    4 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
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  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
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    4 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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    4 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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    5 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    5 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
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    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    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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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago