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Scary programmer

Written By: - Date published: 3:35 am, June 18th, 2015 - 17 comments
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As some of you will be aware, I’m a dedicated computer programmer. Contrary to popular opinion in some circles by people who see me on the net, things like blogging and politics are merely minor interests.

I just like writing code across a large number of languages, operating systems, and devices. And my main interest is in C derived languages like C++, C#, Java, and the like.

So reading the results of the underhanded C contest yesterday morning is, for me, fun. I figure that for some of the readers, this will be as well. Even if you don’t follow some of the technical details, the process displays a suitable level of interesting sneakiness.

The goal of the Underhanded C contest is to write code that is as readable, clear, innocent and straightforward as possible, and yet it must fail to perform at its apparent function. To be more specific, it should do something subtly evil. Every year, we will propose a challenge to coders to solve a simple data processing problem, but with covert malicious behavior. Examples include miscounting votes, shaving money from financial transactions, or leaking information to an eavesdropper. The main goal, however, is to write source code that easily passes visual inspection by other programmers.

This years contents was to write code for a twitter like social media system…

The PiuPiu oversharing site allows users to create PiuPiu accounts and post 140-character messages. The federal government wants PiuPiu to surveil user activity on the site, by archiving any posts that match certain patterns outlined in a national security letter. Subject to the nondisclosure constraints of the letter, PiuPiu may not inform anyone of the surveillance request.

And the underhanded programmers were to write the surveillance request function, but the evil part was that…

The underhanded goal is this: write surveil() in such a way that the act of surveillance is subtly leaked to the user or to the outside world. PiuPiu can not reveal the act of surveillance, but your function is technically able to edit the Piu or user structure during scanning. Find a way to alter that data (this alone is a bit of a challenge, since you are not supposed to alter the data, just scan it) in such a way that an informed outsider can tell if someone is being archived. The leakage should be subtle enough that it is not easily noticed.

As always, the code should appear simple, innocent, readable and obvious.

Now a lot of these methods used were pretty standard ranging from data overflows from various techniques to providing timing methods subject to statistical analysis.

I liked the elegance of Seb Grindle’s usage of old still supported K&R C function declarations that don’t check the types of parameter passing. But that would flash warning signs for any programmer who has ever had to deal with fossil code written like that. Domenico Andriole’s avatar solution would be damn hard to pick up and was an interesting way of passing a code review, but should have gotten caught in testing.

But the winner Karen Pease had the sneakiest way that I have ever seen of  logging information to a quarterly audit log! This is the end of the analysis.

Thus the final AUDIT call zeroes out a user’s created time, if the user was surveilled.

That is really freaking underhanded. Here’s what I like about this:

  • It uses a commonly used time macro that is easily mistaken for a function, and exploits the confusion between the declarative appearance of __isleap( dostuff() ) and the actual result from expansion.
  • It exploits the fact that calling localtime() twice overwrites the value from the first invocation, a fact that is more obscure than the widespread use of that function;
  • It plausibly arranges a scenario (computing a time differential) that turns the year into a 0, triggering maximal misbehavior of __isleap();
  • Testing for “clock skew” sounds like the cynical sort of thing you’d find on the BOFH’s excuse calendar;
  • It manages to archive in such a way that we archive over the pointer to the archive;
  • The whole thing is hidden in auditing code, which wins points for sheer spite.

Congratulations Karen Pease, you are a frighteningly Underhanded C programmer.

Bloody hell. I’d totally agree. The end result would be an auditing file used long after the surveillance events. It’d tag all surveillance with what appears to be a minor date reporting bug that’d look seemingly unimportant .

If someone had access to that file they’d have access to complete logs of who was being tracked.

No-one would probably look unless something else went wrong anyway and they needed the audit log to look for a error pattern. Under those circumstances they probably wouldn’t be that interested in simple occasional date reporting problem anyway, they’d be tracking their own disaster. At best they’d probably add a bug into the reporting system.

The cause would be frigging hard to find for anyone else coming into the code because they’d be unlikely to get a trigger in any of their current data (unless the government was doing a awful lot of tracking). It’d look like a simple, unimportant, but complicated and hard to find coding mistake. Other programmers would probably bounce if they had a cursory look for that error.

The person most likely to get/have access to that file would be the person who created the bug in the first place. If only for the purposes of fixing that bug. And if it doesn’t get noticed earlier , they could ‘discover’ it during a review of their code and development logs.

Ouch! This is elegant coding and social engineering rolled into one. Good to see that there are people like this out there.

17 comments on “Scary programmer”

  1. r0b 1

    K&R C function declarations that don’t check the types of parameter passing

    Did you ever program in PL1?

    Underhand C sounds fun – and much more interesting than Obfuscated C.

    • lprent 1.1

      Did you ever program in PL1?

      Nope I missed that. Mostly because I started on DEC at about 1980, and then on PCs from 1985 onwards. Waikato Uni seemed to have most common and uncommon languages, but not PL/I.

      I started programming in higher level languages (rather than assembler/HP calculators) with Pascal with smatterings of Cobol, Fortran, Basic, and a few others. Went to Modula 2 and Ada, and then to C++ by 1990. Which was about when I flipped into programming as a profession.

      I still seem to pick up a lot of languages and work with them each year. This new job is a doozy for that because instead of doing greenfield coding, I’m maintaining a number of older projects written 7 languages from lua to C#.

      I might only speak English, but I’m a polyglot on computers.

      Underhand C sounds fun – and much more interesting than Obfuscated C.

      It does feel that way. I never really saw the point of punctuation as a programming language.

      • Paul Campbell 1.1.1

        (we must have met some time, I do remember going to Waikato for a VMS kernel course in the early 80s)

        I always like the Obfuscated C contest …. but if you’re really worrried about underhanded stuff you can’t go past Ken Thompsons seminal paper “Reflections on Trusting Trust”

        https://www.ece.cmu.edu/~ganger/712.fall02/papers/p761-thompson.pdf

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          Probably not. I wasn’t CompSci then.

          Back then I was doing BSc in Earth Sciences and some management papers. Programming was something that I was doing as part of the science. But mostly just a hobby where I’d done a couple of papers and kibitized in a pile more. But I had logins to the 1170 and 1120 which I used quite a lot (actually a hell of a lot).

          Problem was in 1978-1981 was that the only computing jobs were on minis and mainframes and heavily batch orientated. I was interested in how computers could be used in small organisation and batched timesharing didn’t really feel interesting.

          So I went off into management. It wasn’t until I did a MBA at Otago in 1985 that I discovered PCs. The MBA course had a small lab of the XTs and a single AT that I colonized.

          That was when I got seriously interested in programming. Got a clone as fast as possible and spent 1985-1988 in Otago (my partner at the time was doing an law commerce degree) devoting all my spare time to bootstrapping myself.

          Did some 3rd & 4th year CompSci papers a few years later when I finally dropped out of management and into programming for a living.

          Been there ever since.

          • Paul Campbell 1.1.1.1.1

            ah I worked at Otago until ’84 then escaped (the day Marylin Waring crossed the loor …) to work in silicon valley for a couple o decades

            • lprent 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I went to do the MBA in Otago because I was just about to escape the stupidity of Muldoon’s economic system and it’s extreme glorification of crony commerce (ie company lobbyists maintaining profit generating tariff barriers). I had wanted a cheap entrance degree that I could use offshore.

              The shift back towards a more rational economic system during the 80s, despite the over extension that Douglas et all did, convinced me to stay. So did the rise of the net in the 90s. It was clear that in a few years I could work here for export markets without needing enormous offshore marketing or having to live offshore (wasn’t quite correct. But close enough – capital remains an issue.).

              The 90s for me were the decade where we started to build a local export software industry despite the government. The 00s were when it started paying off and the government started getting behind it. Right now with National it is in a holding pattern again. The larger companies are expanding, but there is a dearth of interesting startups.

  2. LPtent, we trust that you are really Karen Pease, and have a quarterly audit log ticking along nicely on TS.
    It would make us all feel that much safer!

  3. Charles 3

    Scary is right. The scarier thing is that if Karen Pease has “allowed” this to be made public, for no more than a competition entry, imagine what else she has up her sleeve.

  4. James 4

    Had never heard of it – But I really like the idea / concept. Interesting reading.

  5. infused 5

    Pretty interesting contest.

    C is such a shit stain of a language these days. So easy to hide this sort of stuff.

    • lprent 5.1

      You still can’t beat it for very small embed code, which is mainly why it has hung around for so long. It translates close to assembler for those tight spaces where people are really really concerned about the BOM costs. There is a hell of a lot of active code written in C for devices, and it is robust once it has had a few decades of debugging on it.

      I’d say that about a third to a half of our high tech exports are still based on it because they are doing global vertical market engineering hardware. Which is why there are still a lot of C programmers around the country.

      However those days are passing as the price of memory and CPUs drops. Outside of the smartphone/tablets, most of the engineering places I have been through recently have been for wholly new development been starting to drop bare metal and RTOS coding in favor of ARM/linux/c++ or java, and even the odd few windows/C# (Linux/Mono would be be a better combo..)

  6. adam 6

    Love the sneakness would that wake people up to how much they being spied on or what?

    Slightly off topic – Iprent how do feel about Google chrome dropping Java? I’m not sure how I feel about it – end of my facebook games days – but I only look at a couple of those once every couple of day now – so not really worried. But, apart from security issues involved in java – anything else from a programmer’s view?

    • lprent 6.1

      It is just the plugins being disabled. I gather that there have been security problems with allowing people to put in java apps that are allowed to do some things to Chrome. In other words, while it has a sandbox, that doesn’t count that much when malicious plugins can access your internet access.

      You should still be able to run java applications by themselves in other frames (including for the moment other browsers), or via server side tomcat.

      I rather suspect that we will see a lot of this happening through the browsers over the next few years. IE has been demonstrating how awkward pushing security in for extensions like activeX were. Not to mention Flash.

      HTML5 and server side will take up the burden and do it will a lot less client side exposure.

      BTW: the only java plugins I have ever used have been for server consoles. I suspect that it simply wasn’t worth google maintaining such a minority usuage.

      • adam 6.1.1

        I only ever had it for some games – and like I said, not even sure I’m playing those still. I’ll admit I was somewhat confused over the issue -so thanks for the clarity. One less thing to worry about.

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    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago