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Robertson / Labour on the future of work

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, January 18th, 2016 - 60 comments
Categories: capitalism, employment, human rights, thinktank, workers' rights - Tags: ,

A good summary in The Herald yesterday:

Expect radical changes to economic policy, says Robertson

Grant Robertson says New Zealanders can expect a radical shift in the Labour Party’s economic policy ahead of the 2017 election as his party looks to prepare workers for huge changes in the labour market in coming decades.

“If we look ahead two decades, there will be enormous change,” he told the Herald from Paris. “Up to half of the jobs in the economy today won’t be there.”

Mr Robertson said addressing these changes would mean a radical change of direction for his party. “I do think there will be some big shifts because that reflects the magnitude of the change that is happening,” he said.

One of the ideas he has been discussing in Paris is Denmark’s “flexisecurity” model. The Danish system has three parts. It has flexible rules for hiring and firing workers, to make it easier to cut staff in downturns and easier to hire new staff when an economy rebounds. It has a generous unemployment benefit of up to 90 per cent for low-paid workers. And it has an “active labour market” policy, which means unemployed are helped into work, given guidance or re-trained.

Mr Robertson said New Zealand already had a flexible labour market, but it needed to be balanced with greater security and income support.

“I expect big changes in the education and training system to be one of the things that comes out of the commission,” the Labour MP said. …

Well worth reading the whole piece in The Herald. It’s a good thing that one of the major parties is thinking seriously about the future…

60 comments on “Robertson / Labour on the future of work”

  1. Paul 1

    ‘Expect radical changes to economic policy, says Robertson’

    I hope that this means a rejection of neo-liberalism.
    Not just more tinkering with the dangerous beliefs of Ayn Rand.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Yep, to get the changes needed we need to shift from the present failed financial system to a sovereign monetary system. Get rid of the interest bearing private money creation that has the poor paying the rich to be rich. Thing is, Labour used to understand that.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        it’s Grant Robertson, the last thing the man supports is anything which will put at risk his GR 2020 campaign.

        Hence all the “radical” reforms he is talking about will equate to fuck all when they are finally announced. Hot air, panel talkfests, and white papers.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          Well, I’m certainly not holding my breath. Labour have been hard capitalists for the last thirty years. It’s their reforms from the 1980s that are dragging us down and I don’t really see them doing what’s needed to start rebuilding NZ.

  2. Ad 2

    Not sure what the point of what he’s saying.

    He’s been at it for over a year.

    Isn’t it time, in policy terms, to shit or get off the pot?

    • Paul 2.1

      I hope ( yet doubt) he’ll outline some policies like this.

      Here are Corbyn’s key policies.

      Renationalise railways to bring down fares. Franchises would be managed locally;
      Locally owned energy suppliers, emulating the German model;
      Integration of health and social care;
      Creation of a lifelong education service that would help retrain and reskill workers;
      Universal childcare;
      Repeal the Tory Trade Union Act;
      Fixed pay ratios for companies to stop top management earning many multiples more than lowest paid workers;
      Restriction on dividend payments for firms that don’t pay the living wage.

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jan/16/jeremy-corbyn-to-confront-big-business-over-living-wage
      http://uk.businessinsider.com/jeremy-corbyns-policies-at-the-fabian-conference-2016-2016-1

    • Pat 2.2

      “The Future of Work Commission’s findings will be published in November.”

      so a year , more or less……I had the impression from a previous article there would be some detail released early this year…apparently not.

      • Ad 2.2.1

        It’s been his baby for the last two terms; he was talking about it well before the Cunliffe leadership contest.

        It’s not a media story, just an ideological burp that he’s pleased with the flavor.

        Labour have to seriously start the year better than this.
        Key’s speech to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce in two weeks will trump the annual Speech From The Throne because it will trump a massive series of developments and projects that are underway.

    • Lanthanide 2.3

      Apparently it was “always planned to be a 2 year project”, with the “first year to talk to New Zealanders and really understand the issues”. The first year is now complete.

      He promised that Labour would be unveiling all the new policies at the end of 2016.

      I’ll be surprised if there is any such significant policy unveiled that would suggest that the whole project couldn’t have been completed in 15-18 months instead of the 24 it will have taken them.

    • Colonial Viper 2.4

      Exactly. See my 1.1.1

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 2.5

      I managed to survive the year of the manifesto followed by the year of the policy (2nd year got cancelled) without changing my disdain for Labour and it’s current worldview.

      No doubt I’ll survive this one.

      I can’t imagine radical will involve:

      1. The right to strike
      2. Increases in benefit rates
      3. Removal of youth rates that adults get
      4. An 8 hour working day or less
      5. General wage orders
      6. A substantial increase in the minimum wage
      7. Reversal of tax cuts and esp the increase in GST
      8. Fining Talleys as a matter of principle and giving the money to their long suffering workers
      9. Finding out who all those people were who “invested” in South Canterbury Finance in the four or so weeks before the bailout when it was well known it was a dead duck – presumably knowing that interest was going to be paid

  3. b waghorn 3

    I’m willing to wait patiently ,but it better be bloody good when it gets or else!!
    Ie make it easy for people that pick up casual work to switch on and off the benefit easily , if you treat people like crooks they’ll behave that way.
    Don’t penilize couples for living in the same house.
    Don’t forget small town nz , not many votes I know but there are actual people living out here.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    “Up to half of the jobs in the economy today won’t be there.”

    This is actually wrong because it continues the belief that there will still be more work to fill in the work lost. This is incorrect. What we’ll see is a decrease in available work and so, in two decades, we’ll be looking at 50% unemployment. The best thing to do with that sort of work reduction is to shift people into R&D.

    Mr Robertson said New Zealand already had a flexible labour market, but it needed to be balanced with greater security and income support.

    Actually, due to the attacks by both Labour and National on our education system over the last few decades our labour market has become less flexible. If people can’t get the education to move out of a dead end job then they’re pretty much stuck in that dead end job and when that dead end job goes away they’re simply stuck on the unemployment benefit.

    To get a flexible labour market that ensures security we need a UBI to ensure that no one lives in poverty and a free education so that, if people can’t get a job, they can walk into education.

    Technically, there shouldn’t be any unemployed. People should either be in work or in training (and that latter is either doing the learning or doing the teaching).

  5. Ovid 5

    There’s a lot of thinking going on about this. President Obama mentioned it in his state of the union. This video is a good explainer.

    Just look at the advent of self-driving vehicles – how many people are employed in transport and logistics? If a truck can drive itself safer than a human-being, with only a need to refuel and recharge – working say 20 hours out of 24 rather than 8 – that would be a lot of jobs lost.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      Hence why trucking is likely to be one of the real first uses of self-driving vehicles. The industry is there and willing to pay the price for the vehicles / software and have significant gains to be made. The routes are well-known and (in the US) often driving through sparsely populated areas so road conditions should be fairly unchanging.

      It’s probably not really the lack of wages that will be the main benefit, but the increase in utilisation. If you can cut your fleet by 25-33%, and each vehicle is costing you $200,000, then that’s a very big saving.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        It’s probably not really the lack of wages that will be the main benefit, but the increase in utilisation. If you can cut your fleet by 25-33%, and each vehicle is costing you $200,000, then that’s a very big saving.

        Now just think if we used that logic on privately owned vehicles. It would quickly become apparent that owning a vehicle is purely uneconomic. The problem is that we only look at these things from an individual perspective which brings about uneconomic results.

        • The thing mass automation is making increasingly clear actually is that the problem is the assumption of jobs in the first place.

          We are already to the point in automation where we should have dramatically cut working hours in order to spread available work among the labour market, however, the business community has moved much of that work to marketing, and lobbied the rest of the labour market into unemployment and underemployment.

          We would do much better if we abandoned the fantasy that we can get everyone into paid work, and instead acknowledged a basic income as a right and as part of a healthy modern society, allowing people to expand into R&D, innovation, and the areas currently recognised as “unpaid work” in various forms.

      • greywarshark 5.1.2

        Gosh I remember driving through Waouru in the North Island and down from Ashburton in the south and thinking what lovely straight roads, or just slightly curved.

        I can’t see safety from self driving trucks on most of our roads. I think there would be more cyclists drawn into the vacuum at the sides, and even if they had some cow catcher thing that meant they weren’t run over, it would be extremely frightening that there was a machine driving a machine, and being programmed by someone who had trained his mind to the extent that he thought like the machine he worked on. Would they pull off the road where provided and let cars behind pass? The professional truck drivers do this. (I don’t notice the old double toot of thanks now though as cars stream by the behemoth. Have the prissy driver controls thought up by the PTB banned such communicating toots?)

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.1

          I can’t see safety from self driving trucks on most of our roads.

          I can. Or this.

          The problem with self-drive vehicles is still the humans. What we need to do is get the human drivers off of the road. And once we do that trains and buses become obviously more economical than cars and trucks anyway.

      • Wainwright 5.1.3

        Putting all that freight on trains would be far too logical and cost-effective.

  6. Wairua 6

    Sexism in Silicon Valley !

    http://elephantinthevalley.com/

  7. Katipo 7

    From Wikipedia….
    In sociology and economics, the precariat is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, which is a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material or psychological welfare as well as being a member of a proletariat class of industrial workers who lack their own means of production and hence sell their labour to live. Specifically, it is applied to the condition of lack of job security, in other words intermittent employment or underemployment and the resultant precarious existence. The emergence of this class has been ascribed to the entrenchment of neoliberal capitalism…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precariat

    Guy Standing has written on the subject and was interviewed on RNZ earlier this year…
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/20168199/guy-standing-the-precariat-charter

  8. Michael 8

    From what I’ve seen of the “Future of Work”, the only “radical” bits are those that create even more risk and insecurity for workers. Capitalists OTOH, and the politicians who serve their interests, are well protected by any adversity in the Brave New World. Labour will have to do much better if it really wants to become a popular, and legitimate, democratic government again (I’m unsure whether it does want to attain this end; the easy way seems to be to say and do nothing, let a few fickle middle voters decide they’re sick of John Key, and decide to tick the box next to the B team at the next election).

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Capitalists OTOH, and the politicians who serve their interests, are well protected by any adversity in the Brave New World.

      QFT

    • Olwyn 8.2

      From what I’ve seen of the “Future of Work”, the only “radical” bits are those that create even more risk and insecurity for workers.

      I see potential in the flexisecurity idea, but only if the deal includes the infrastructure to make it work as claimed. Labour cannot afford to mess their voters around anymore. What is needed is real commitment to making moves that actually make people’s lives more secure. There has to be more to it than a PR pitch and the repetition of a catchy word.

  9. tory 9

    what i want to know where is the john key plan what has john key been doing the last 8 years he is the pm he should be leading john key has to deliver the brighter future he has promised

  10. acrophobic 10

    It’s no wonder so few people take Labour seriously.

    First they decide they need to study the future of work, and so they give it a big name, ‘commission’, just to make it sound important.

    Then they get Robertson, who is a life-long trougher with zero practical experience of actual work, to conduct said study. Robertson wouldn’t now what work is if it jumped up and bit him on the arse.

    Is Labour really that devoid of ideas that this is the best they can do?

    • AmaKiwi 10.1

      “Is Labour really that devoid of ideas that this is the best they can do?”

      They are devoid of serious thinkers on the ABC front benches.

      If the clowns running their caucus were running a business, the competition would swamp them. Oh, I forgot. That’s what’s been happening.

    • Incognito 10.2

      If I can execute any little commission for you [Dickens, 1853] and since you seem to struggle with the English language please let me aid you by pointing out that the noun “commission” has multiple meanings, one of which is:

      An order to undertake a particular task or duty; (now freq.) a request, instruction, or order to produce a particular (esp. artistic, musical, or literary work) work, now esp. in return for payment. Also: the task or duty itself.

      [OED]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.3

      …character assassination is a common ploy of those with no other way to debate.

      Perhaps the Gosman Rule needs a name change.

    • Colonial Viper 10.4

      Dude, it’s already all over for Labour. The thing is, it means that National is basically winning by default, not by performance.

  11. Craig H 11

    Gee, a bit harsh on Labour there… Policy is the purview of the Labour Policy Council based on remits provided from local branches, LECs etc via Regional and National Conferences.

    After the last election, Labour effectively started again, so lots of policies were put forward at the conferences, a new Labour Policy Council was elected recently, and meanwhile the Future of Work Commission is chugging along accumulating data, ideas etc.

    Now that the Labour Policy Council has been elected, policy is being shaped, but any major policy around the Future of Work Commission will be months away from being announced, because any suggested policies have to be proposed, tweaked and agreed before they become official Labour policy.

    This confuses the MSM because they don’t get it at all, but the regulars here at the Standard are smarter than that, so I’m confident that now I’ve explained the democratic process behind Labour policy, people here will understand that it is still a work in progress, hence why nothing has been announced.

    • AmaKiwi 11.1

      @ Craig H
      Thank you for that concise explanation of why Labour is a dismal failure.

      1. NZ is an elected dictatorship. Governments ignore their election promises and do whatever they want. We all know pre-election “policies” are b.s. Since we have no control over what our government does, our elections are mere personality contests.

      2. The Labour caucus is unshakable in it opposition to democracy. The caucus ignores the general population in the service of some higher wisdom the caucus alone possess (i.e., how can they stay in control of their sinking ship?)

      3. If you want a Labour party based on policies, go into the neighborhoods and organize people to get what they want. It’s radical. It’s called democracy. Labour MPs sneeringly call it populism, implying it is a dangerous form of collective insanity.

      Having firsthand experience of Labour platform policy writing, I can assure you it is nothing more than a way to keep some members occupied between elections.

    • Colonial Viper 11.2

      Craig H – Labour’s policy development model is a 19th century, union procedure inspired molasses.

      It is the equivalent of the British Red Coats reloading, aiming and firing in ordered ranks, even as the world has moved to an age of fast, flexible special operations.

      They are completely outclassed and out of date.

      • Craig H 11.2.1

        On the fly policy is a terrible idea, and is one of our leading criticisms of the current government. Why would Labour operate in the same manner? If we want considered, high quality policy from volunteers, then it will take time. Given the result of the last election, everything is on the table, so there is a lot of policy to review.

        Also, the next election is still ages away, so there’s little point coming out with great stuff, only for it to forgotten or co-opted.

        The current model was put in place by the members to bring democracy back to Labour policy, and to try to avoid a repeat of Rogernomics.

        • Tautuhi 11.2.1.1

          NZ has suffered from seat of the pants policy since the madman Muldoon in the 1970’s when he robbed the Superannuation Fund to finance his hair brained Think Big Projects.

          NZ has been an economic basket case ever since Think Big and Rogernomics, these latest clowns are heading quickly us towards a Banana Republic?

  12. millsy 12

    You can have all the training in the world, but it is pointless if there aren’t any jobs at the end of it.

    Better off giving people a fighting chance by giving more assistance to people who want to start their own business.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      You can have all the training in the world, but it is pointless if there aren’t any jobs at the end of it.

      And at its heart, Labour endorses the neoliberal model, so while it will fund training to some extent, it will not create jobs. That is left to “the market.”

  13. tory 13

    are you asleep at the wheel automation is happening know look at local mc donalds self help stations have arrived lawyer account and middle management jobs are going to be hammered as well you hate labour so much well let see the john key solution where is it they have had 8 years

  14. Nz has a flexible job market that was never designed to help workers, just the bosses.

  15. Tautuhi 15

    National have no solutions in creating economic growth or work opportunities, their only solutions are Asset Sales and Offshore Borrowing?

    Lucky we had the Christchurch Earthquake and Asian House Buying in Auckland?

  16. Tautuhi 16

    One must create the environment for economic growth to enable jobs to be created, our workforce can not compete with $1.00 a day slave labour in Asian economies?

    Many with University degrees and many years work experience can only find casual jobs on minimum wages in NZ no wonder our young people migrate overseas for employment opportunities.

    We have had useless business managers in NZ and hopeless Government in NZ over the past 30-40 years who have decimated the economy and divested very profitable State Assets built up by taxpayers money over the past 175 years?

    The Neoliberal Experiment has failed horribly in NZ.

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  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    5 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    6 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks 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
    9 hours 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
    2 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to 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 welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
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