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Scratch a Tory…

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, October 22nd, 2008 - 37 comments
Categories: education, election 2008, im/migration, john key, national, same old national - Tags:

…and you still reveal a bigot, it seems. Here is National’s Immigration spokesperson, Lockwood Smith, (he who likes to swallow dead fish) on taking more Asian seasonal worker migrants instead of Polynesians:

“There are some skills in the vineyard that some people are perhaps better at, for example some of the pruning … some of the Asian workers have been more productive … because their hands are smaller. Some of them (employers) are having to teach them (Polyneisan seasonal workers) things like how to use a toilet or shower” (*)

As Samoan Studies academic Va’aomanu Pasifika, Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin says:

“They bring back shades of the sorts of comments that happened in the 1970s (during the dawn raids under former National leader Rob Muldoon).”

I really don’t think I need to go into details attacking these remarks. Any fair-minded person will be disgusted that senior politicans are still so bigoted in this day and age.

Meanwhile, John Key reminds us that bigotry isn’t just confined to factors like ethnicity, gender, and sexuality:

Lessons for politicians, No. 1: Learn a little about your audience before you open your mouth. When John Key and National’s Manurewa candidate, Cam Calder, visited the former Homai College (now the Blind and Low Vision Education Network) the audience included the institution’s teachers and other dedicated employees of the Ministry of Education. Key tells them he has two children and they attend good schools – St. Cuthbert’s and King’s – then adds, ‘If you work hard you can do the same.’ Cue deathly silence, broken only by the occasional groan. – The Business Herald, p. 23, 17/10/08 (hattip: square white world)

Yeah, John, if poor kids work hard enough then they, too, can have millionaire parents.

37 comments on “Scratch a Tory…”

  1. Janet 1

    These quotes show the basic prejudices on many levels that the Nats have. Eg that good schools are exclusive private schools (that by they way have never welcomed blind or disabled kids). There is a huge amount of data to say these schools do not make any difference to educational outcomes and produce kids who do no better, and probably a bit worse than state school kids, at tertiary.. Look at some of the lower decile multicultural schools to see some really innovative teaching. And what a kick in the pants these comments are for JKey’s own state school in Christchurch.

    The sad thing is that the Nats have pledged millions more to exclusionary private schools at the expense of the public system which needs the money a lot more. This from a party which has an education spokesperson who apparently told the support staff conference (including school librarians, secretaries etc) that support staff were merely unskilled workers on rehab. At the same conference Helen Clark pledged a huge increase and more security in support staff wages.

  2. johnny be good 2

    Lockwood’s bigotry ain’t news, who didn’t know?

    But Key appears more and more disgusting as the election approaches.

    He thinks the rights of a child are solely dependent on whether or not they have the good fortune to have “successful” parents. You are wrong Mr Key, every child has the right to a good education, not just the kids of rich parents.

  3. Dom 3

    Oh. My. God. That’s even worse than I imagined!

    Lockwood should stick to what he knows best (ie. slyly checking out men at the gym – and no right wingers tell me he doesn’t or that I’m defaming him, I’ve seen him doing it on more than one occasion!).

    Captcha says who trust. It must have watched the latest Labour ad…

  4. Stephen 4

    “”There are some skills in the vineyard that some people are perhaps better at, for example some of the pruning some of the Asian workers have been more productive because their hands are smaller. Some of them (employers) are having to teach them (Polyneisan seasonal workers) things like how to use a toilet or shower’ (*)”

    But…no ones saying this stuff is untrue…? Haven’t read the article tho

  5. Ianmac 5

    Years ago a study was done on advantages or not between Private/Single sex State/Co-ed State. Exam passes were no use given as Janet said, Private Schools don’t take the disadvantaged, and take the upper socio-economic kids instead. So the study looked at success at first year University level. The results showed significant success rates for co-ed, then single sex, then private schools. It may have been because the coeds were used to living/learning in a more natural environment and being more self-reliant.

  6. Stephen. If a Nat said we shouldn’t have Thai immigrants because they’re lazy would we have to give a detailed counter-argument, lying out the scientific evidence that the claim isn’t true, exposing the basis of the claim? No, some things are so beyond the pale they don’t deserve to be engaged with in that manner. They only deserve to be exposed for the bigotry they are.

    Dom. Maybe you go to the same gym as I do. I did have a post saying ‘I see you checking me out, go away and come up with some policy… then, we’ll talk’ – but my wiser comrades dissuaded me from posting because his private life is his business. His political statements are a different matter

  7. Daveski 7

    Not that there is any bigotry towards white, old, rich, men here 🙂

    First, there is no defence for this type of comment. It shows the Lockwood Smith is out of touch.

    Second, and I realise this is deliberate on your behalf, you have not mentioned anywhere that Smith stated he was simply reporting comments made to him. It certainly doesn’t mitigate his dumb ass but it puts a slightly different spin on it.

    As for the work hard/good school thing, I realise that the bigots here (intentional flame) will decry Key. It is true that the statement isn’t wise politically. However, there is a surprising core of middle New Zealand that would not disagree with Key on this. Personally, I don’t but you’re putting your using your own value judgements to attempt to create a universal belief that simply isn’t there.

    Finally, let’s not forget that racist stereotypes are the sole domain of the Nats. Help me out someone – who was it who made fun of Pansy Wong?

  8. ziuzou 8

    How can Key defend Smith’s racially derogatory remarks as a fresh and ambitious vision for NZ? Key got off lightly with Williamson recent ‘excitable’ outburst.

  9. Tripod 9

    “no ones saying this stuff is untrue” – err, “Asians’ hands are smaller so they are more productive”… do you really need to be told whether that’s true or not?

    Dunno about the shower and toilet bit, but I do know 22 people from Kiribati were crammed into a three-bedroom house in a Marlborough vineyard under the work scheme and their employer had the nerve to complain they were lazy. But wait, Lockwood’s got the solution, Asians are smaller so you can fit more of them into smaller houses!! Hooray! Recession solved!

    I wonder if he’s into phrenology too.

    Jesus, and these people run our country. I give up.

  10. ziuzou 10

    Help me out someone – who was it who made fun of Pansy Wong?

    Look among the right-wingers first. Just glance at the faces of Nat MPs when Pansy Wong stands up in House to talk.

  11. Dom 11

    Steve – I agree, I thought long and hard before posting that and Lockwood’s private life is indeed his own concern. But his consistent anti-gay stance means that I think he’s made that portion of his life fair game. I’m over the closeted National MPs speaking one way and acting another.

    Daveski – no one is slamming white, old rich men in general the way that Lockwood and Key are slamming entire groups here so it’s hardly bigotry.

  12. yeah, it’s a fine area, Dom. And I agree, the personal behaviour can become acceptable as part of political discussion if it shows hypocrisy – Brash, for example, made his marriage a political issue when he attacked Clark on hers , so when his affairs became public it was fair game

  13. Daveski 13

    I hate doing this but let’s define bigotry so we all agree what we are talking about:

    [dictionary.com] stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own

    There is no defence for Lockwood’s stupidity. None. Not trying to. There is doubt however that these are his views (which SP deliberately omitted). However, there is no doubt that this is abject stupidity and deserving of the treatment he will no doubt get.

    As for Key, you can’t tell me that his comments are bigoted by any definition (apart from the Standards red=good, blue=bad). The article is correct – know your audience. It was an unwise thing to say given the audience. But it’s not bigotry.

    Perhaps some here would also benefit from having tolerance for beliefs that differ from their own?

  14. Stephen 14

    SP, I agree, but Smith was only referring to physical characteristics – if he said more Scandanavians would be good because they were tall, it wouldn’t be racist or anything, it’d just show how little grasp he has on what’s actually important, same with:

    “Asians’ hands are smaller so they are more productive’ do you really need to be told whether that’s true or not?

    Well, they are smaller godammit, they’re small people (he has no idea what he’s talking about though – hand size doesn’t matter a damn)! The paragraph on its own lacked context, which is why I said what I said.

    Now that comment:
    “There are some skills in the vineyard that some people are perhaps better at,”

    Is obviously full of crap. God. Again shows he knows jack.

    However his overall point:

    “My comments, regarding the extent to which employers, under the RSE scheme were being required to provide life skills training to RSE workers, were simply reporting the strong concerns expressed to me by many employers,” he said.

    Re: the showers and toilets, is certainly arguable, at the very least.

  15. higherstandard 15

    Lockwood should have been pensioned off some time ago – his comments are probably a refection of what he’s heard back from some of the large orchardists/vineyards are just a stupid thing for a politician to parrot.

    The bit regarding Key sounds somewhat like an urban legend and has a whiff of bullshit about it.

  16. Tim Ellis 16

    It was a silly comment from Smith and should rightfully be pilloried and ridiculed.

    I take offense though that you can take from the comment that all Tories as bigots, as Steve is suggesting. That’s like saying that all Labour Party people are going around saying that John Key beats his family, just because Helen Clark made an unfortunate comment that he shouted down people at home.

    This is an election campaign. Sometimes people make silly comments.

  17. bill brown 17

    Here’s an idea for the Nats:

    children have really small hands…

  18. randal 18

    Scratcha tory and you find someone who figured out very ealry inlife how the power of compound interest would allow them to dominate and extort from anyone more interested in life and people than money or things. tories are always hiding behind something else to disguise the pathological nature of their deepest psychological desires so they are basically dishonest from go to whoah.

  19. Daveski 19

    The problem of using single instances to draw conclusions is evident from the following.

    Labour MP’s are racists and anti-Asian

    I beat around the bust but I also take offence at SP’s statement that all Tories are bigots. It’s simply unsupported by any analysis or evidence.

    At one stage, I seem to recall SP’s single line of attack being along the lines of “show us your policy” when it would have been madness to do so before the election had been called and indeed before the state of the books were known.

    Labour – and SP’s – line of attack seems intent on attacking the individuals.

    It may work with the converted but the general population thinks no politicians can be trusted.

    Actually, second thoughts, help the Nats get rid of Lockwood and do us all a favour 🙂

  20. Daveski 20

    on cue, randal proves my point 🙂

  21. randal 21

    Speak for yourself daveski. I prove my own points thank you.

  22. MikeE 22

    I’m waiting for the tories to consider Phrenology in immigration policy…

    See… even us ACT folk can take the mickey out of the Nats once and a while…

  23. Daveski 23

    randal – your last post was a textbook example of bigotry

  24. johnny be good 24

    this story is now front page news … good, the public need to know who these bastards really are and what they really stand for.

  25. Daveski 25

    Johnny – so you have campaigned for Labour to get rid of Cunliffe?

  26. Ben R 26

    So you’re saying there are no group differences? Would it be controversial to say that Polynesians tend to be stronger and of larger build than the Asian workers?

    Granted that I wouldn’t think hand size would affect productivity when it comes to pruning.

  27. Tane 27

    “Lockwood Smith sorry for small handed Asians comment”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz-election-2008/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501799&objectid=10538807

    Heck, I almost feel sorry for the guy. What a PR fiasco.

    Oh and Daveski, I was taking the piss out of the trolls who come on here with their prepared lines. I’m not denying there are intelligent righties out there, though you guys sure are thin on the ground.

    captcha: the Italian KNIFE

  28. Daveski 28

    Yeah Tane – I saw that.

    The Nats could really benefit from Helen’s management skills – there is a tendency to shoot themselves in the foot. The phrase sleep walking to victory is appropriate if does indeed prove to be true.

    If you were running a PR course, this could be a case study. Mind you, no one would believe it could be true!

    I may be on a different planet but I am really hoping that the Nats and MP can sort out a working relationship. It will undoubtedly be good for the Nats as this episode shows – too many are indeed out of touch.

    Conversely, it will give the MP much more negotiating power regardless of the result and will mean Labour will be forced to do more than take Maori for granted.

  29. Ben R 29

    So if Asian workers prove the most productive they can’t be rewarded for this because of political dogma?

  30. Quoth the Raven 30

    Daveski – No one’s using a single instance to draw a conclusion. Remeber Franks and Johnathan Young, recently.

  31. Daveski 31

    QTR – we agree to differ but a number of posts (not all) have tried to use this example to paint all right wingers (not just Nats) as racist/bigots – see Johnny or possibly randal altho it is hard to work out what he actually means.

    The broader issue which i think we can agree on is that it was unbelievably stupid. Interestingly, there’s plenty on That Other Blog who want to see him sacked so perhaps the righties aren’t as stupid as some here think.

    While he’s at it, he could sack Williamson too. Be careful for what you ask for!

  32. randal 32

    daveski you are big on slimy put downs but not good on rational explanations

  33. bobo 33

    Why wasn’t Lockwood gotten rid of when they planned to clean out the fuddie duddies under Boag? How times have changed when a politician gets cheered at student campus nowadays instead of being chased and having to make a stage exit left out of a campus toilet window.

  34. toad 34

    This story keeps on getting better. Listen to the reporter’s tape. I just love his comments on the “secret recordings” in the context of this. Obviously with Lockwood, the recordings don’t need to be secret for him to make an arse of himself.

  35. Lampie 35

    “Key tells them he has two children and they attend good schools – St. Cuthbert’s and King’s – then adds, “If you work hard you can do the same.’

    Another reason not to vote National. Education policy is so full of crap and I wonder if they actually know what the current system is????

  36. Roby110 36

    someone said “But no ones saying this stuff is untrue ? Haven’t read the article tho”
    But it isn’t true. I have recently worked in the agricultural sector in nelson and Marlborough. Big hands small hnds in makes absolutely no diff. In fact try spending a day in the vineyard with pruning shears and see how a big forearms an hsnds go!)
    As for the toilet issue….I just cn’t see it. i worked with dozens of people from all over….never an issue.

  37. milo 37

    Well Steve, if you regard anybody that disagrees with you as a bigot, then in my opinion you are not fit to participate in human society.

    And if that’s not what you mean … then just exactly who are you referring to by the word “Tory”. Front up and own your words.

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    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    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 being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    18 hours 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
    22 hours 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 day 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
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago