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Secret ballots for strikes

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, September 25th, 2009 - 60 comments
Categories: activism, labour, national, Unions - Tags:

Tau Henare has put a private members’ bill in the ballot that would require ballots by union members on strike action to be held in secret. Henare draws on his memories from the 1980s as a union organiser and reckons that open ballots are used to intimidate workers into toeing the line.

Well, maybe it was like that in the dinosaur unions 30 years ago but these days there’s no compulsory union membership, unions are democratic and members are more committed. Organisers neither have the power nor the need to railroad them or use the open ballot process to intimidate. Most unions, even if it’s not in their rules, typically hold secret ballots as good practice.

I’m sure the Nats see legislating for secret ballots as a way to bugger the unions. They must be under the delusion usually held by bosses that a majority of members of a union who go on strike don’t actually support the action. Otherwise, the law is pretty much pointless from a political point of view.

The EPMU’s Andrew Little doesn’t seem too worried though. The provisions of this bill are already in his union’s rules and, unlike National, he actually understands unions and their members.

If this Bill is drawn from the ballot, there’s no reason for Labour and the Greens not to support it.

60 comments on “Secret ballots for strikes”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    Interesting point Eddie. If members are supportive of union strike action and aren’t intimidated, how would holding secret ballots bugger the unions?

    • kaplan 1.1

      I think you just made the point extremely well.
      It won’t.

    • Zetetic 1.2

      That’s what the post says Tim

    • The Voice of Reason 1.3

      I’m thinking of writing a drinking game for The Standard. Rule one will be chug every time Tim Ellis starts a post with the word ‘interesting’. Come to think of it, there probably won’t need to be any other rules, it happens so often.

      But to the post at hand. As Eddie points out, most unions have secret ballots for strikes anyway. Not just to ensure fairness in the ballot itself, but to accurately guage the strength of support for the action. For example, a vote of 51% in favour might endorse the strike, but would also send a strong message to the organiser that the strength of conviction is not there and any action should be scaled down to reflect that.

      Why Tau should care is beyond me. He has had more idealogical homes than Bill English has real ones. He wasn’t that flash as a union official, as I recall, though his union did and does have a proud history of converting organisers into MP’s. Most of them never forgot where they came from. Tau seems a little bit different.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.3.1

        Wasnt Tau an organiser with the clerical workers union.

        A hot bed of militancy if there ever was one.

        Perhaps , “in his experience with employers” he might have a ideas for new laws that apply to them. Of course that wouldnt get past EMA who would have the signoff of any new bills that are proposed by nationals caucus.

        Does any one else see Tau as the straw man for this

    • lprent 1.4

      Umm did you read the post? Especially the last paragraph. Sounds to me like you’re as unaware of how unions operate as whoever the moron is that put this bill up. All of the significant union votes I’m aware of (via my management based family) are done by secret ballots already.

      Talk about idiots living in the past…

  2. IrishBill 2

    Tim, this has nothing to do with changing the way things are done and everything to do with attaching terms like “intimidation” to the union movement. Basically it’s a framing exercise aimed at reducing the considerable political capital unions have accrued over the last ten years.

    I suspect that’s because the right know that if they attack workers’ rights without discrediting unions first they’ll take a significant political hit.

    • Tim Ellis 2.1

      That might well be the motivation IB but at present there is no law stopping unions from intimidating their members, is there? A lot of employment law has been crafted on the assumption that some employers may initimidate or bully their employees, even though if it does happen it is in the minority. Can you say with much certainty that there isn’t even a minority of unions or union representatives that might behave thuggishly?

      IrishBill: unionism is completely voluntary. If union officials were stupid enough to intimidate members (a conceit that has little validity outside of the feverish imaginations of idiot right-wingers) they would lose those members. I would have thought you’d understand a basic market solution like that, Tim.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1

        Can I ask you Tim, what laws stop an employer intimidating their employees.

        For we see reported in the paper a very large employer, the government,intimidating the entire prison workers union, that they sign up to double bunking or else
        .
        What measures would need to be made to prevent this large scale thuggery.

        Can you tell us that they wouldnt resort to a ‘lockout’ to get their way.

        And no its not the money, as over $200 mill was allocated in the budget for operational costs for double bunking , if its allowed to go ahead

        • Tim Ellis 2.1.1.1

          That’s a bit off topic ghost, but I don’t think unions should get to veto government operational and policy decisions. In my job if my employer gave me a reasonable instruction and I didn’t follow it, I would be fired. I wouldn’t be able to call in finsec and say: “Hey, my boss wants me to do this as well, I don’t want to!”.

          • Daveo 2.1.1.1.1

            Fuck you’re dishonest Tim.

            The union’s legal challenge is over whether the policy is a breach of the employment agreement. It’s got nothing to do with any “union veto” and you know that.

            Stop lying Tim.

            • Maynard J 2.1.1.1.1.1

              It is also a workplace safety thing (there are many good reasons why double-bunking is bad, and even the cost one is not a good idea because in the long run it will cost more than it saves), but along the lines of Tim’s “unions should [not] get to veto government operational and policy decisions” workplace safety is often discredited as union meddling.

          • Killinginthenameof 2.1.1.1.2

            What if your boss wants you to do something unreasonable?

          • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1.1.3

            How about ‘hot desking’ To save money they will run shifts and another person will come in at 3pm to take over your desk and take up where you left off, BTW you are expected to start at 6am , no change in your pay either
            Hows that for a ‘policy decision’ .
            Go on Tim announce to the world that you have absolutely no problem with this. Think of the money that your employer will save using the same floorspace, the same computer. That will restores the Banks profits back to their stratospheric heights

      • Daveo 2.1.2

        Let’s hold up a second. What’s the mechanism by which unions would intimidate their members? Just asking.

        With employers it’s simple, they can intimidate workers through the economic control they hold over their lives. Unions are voluntary and democratic, people can simply leave. The union as an institution holds no power over its members. I think what you’re describing is the fear that workers might feel peer pressure from their workmates to take action.

        I’ve never seen an example of this, but I think it explains why every union I’m aware of already has secret ballots written into their rules or their organising guidelines as a precaution.

        There is really no problem here that needs regulating. The private sector has already found a voluntary solution. I guess National doesn’t hate regulation after all, it only hates regulation when it applies to their business mates.

        • Tim Ellis 2.1.2.1

          Obviously Daveo if there are secret ballots then there can’t be intimidation about how people vote. But if there aren’t secret ballots then you lose transparency and open up to the prospect of intimidation.

          As a parallel when Mr Shearer was selected in Mt Albert there were reports that his selection was unanimous. There were subsequent reports that Mr Shearer lost the floor vote. Never confirmed or denied by the labour party or Mr Little but clearly in direct contrast to Mr Goff’s assertion that the vote for Mr Shearer was unanimous.

          I think a transparent process around a decision to strike and remove any potential for intimidation and stand over tactics doesn’t do any harm. I’m personally not fussed about it though because I’m not currently a member of a union, but when I last was a member of finsec they didn’t have a strike in my workplace anyway and seemed to run things in a pretty reasonable way. As others have said there’s no compulsion to join a union (although to be fair there is an element of encouragement if not coercion in some workplaces), and if people don’t like the way the union is being run they can always vote with their feet.

          • Daveo 2.1.2.1.1

            The New Zealand Labour Party is not a trade union.

            But yeah, my major concern is that:

            a) National is making law based on misunderstanding of how unions work.

            b) The bill appears to be founded in outdated anti-union rhetoric.

            c) There’s a disconnect between National/ACT’s unwillingness to legislate or regulate business other than as a last resort, and their willingness to legislate here when there isn’t even an identifiable problem.

            • burt 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Correct, it’s the political arm of a trade union.

            • Tim Ellis 2.1.2.1.1.2

              Same people though daveo, and if they can’t provide transparency in a vote on a candidate how do people have confidence in them to provide transparency in a vote to strike?

            • Daveo 2.1.2.1.1.3

              No, they’re not the same people. You’ve also failed to show any corruption or intimidation. All you’ve argued is that in some other organisation, which isn’t a trade union, there was once a ballot where the leader said it was a unanimous vote but someone (whose name you can’t give me) claimed it wasn’t.

              I’m sorry, but that’s not an argument.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.2.1.1.4

              “no brash, no cash.”

              I’d like to see some transparency around that little voting exercise.

            • Bright Red 2.1.2.1.1.5

              Burt: “Correct, [Labour is] the political arm of a trade union.”

              No, it’s, or at least is was founded as and is meant to be, the Parliamentary wing of the trade union movement. Clue’s in the name.

              Nothing to be ashamed of, being the Parliamentary wing of the largest democratic movement in the country.

  3. Daveo 3

    Well put Ed. Really shows a staggering lack of understanding about how unions work, don’t you think?

    Every union I’ve been involved with already has secret ballots, in fact it’s often more than a majority required to – often 60% plus needed via secret ballot to take strike action.

    I think this is more about smearing the unions as thugs and bully-boys than anything else.

  4. StephenR 4

    Basically it’s a framing exercise aimed at reducing the considerable political capital unions have accrued over the last ten years.

    and

    I think this is more about smearing the unions as thugs and bully-boys than anything else.

    And that MIGHT work if unions (or even *a* union) are dumb enough to oppose this Bill.

    edit: perhaps add to that ‘Labour and the Greens’?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      Dumb enough to oppose ?

      Its private members bill so it goes in a ballot- and it missed out !

    • Daveo 4.2

      I doubt any union would oppose the content of this bill. I think they will oppose the anti-union rhetoric it relies on though.

      If I put forward a private members’ bill stopping business lobby groups from having sex with goats I imagine their reaction would be the same.

      I think Labour and the Greens would be wise to vote for the bill’s content, while pointing out how pointless and how grounded in anti-union rhetoric it is.

  5. Waldo 5

    Intimidation certainly remains in the playbook of some Unions. On my first day on the job in a distribution center the Union organiser advised me (in front of the center manager) that “guys that aren’t in the Union tend to have a much higher rate of accidents here”.

    I was on a casual contract with 18 guaranteed hours, the manager told me that, as the guys responsible for calling in casual staff for extra hours were both Union men, I would need to join to get any extra hours.

    Unsurprisingly I joined. I think membership at the center was over 90%.

    I don’t think this measure will have any impact on threatening behavior, but I think it’s wrong to assert that all Unions have shaken off their thuggish heritage.

    • Daveo 5.1

      “guys that aren’t in the Union tend to have a much higher rate of accidents here’.

      Assuming your story is true, that’s just a statement of fact. Union members tend to have better health and safety than those who aren’t.

      “the manager told me that, as the guys responsible for calling in casual staff for extra hours were both Union men, I would need to join to get any extra hours.”

      So your manager advised you to join the union. Doesn’t sound like union intimidation to me. Sounds like you’re the kind of person who takes the boss at his word and does what he’s told.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        Um, Daveo, sorry, but you said above:

        “With employers it’s simple, they can intimidate workers through the economic control they hold over their lives. Unions are voluntary and democratic, people can simply leave. The union as an institution holds no power over its members.”

        How can being advised to join the union, because the person is charge of the roster is also in the union and will therefore choose union people over non-union people, not a blatant example of what you just said employers do that justifies “economic control they hold over their lives”?

        As I read all of the above posts, I was thinking “yes, in principal you’re right, but I can easily imagine a situation where a union is very intimidating to its members”, and there goes Waldo with a perfect example of just such a union.

      • Waldo 5.1.2

        ‘Union members tend to have better health and safety than those who aren’t.’

        That may well be the case but when people are doing the same job in the same plant it shouldn’t have an impact. In any case it was quite clear to me that the statement wasn’t intended to mean ‘join the NDU and I will give you tips on health and safety’ so much as ‘join the NDU or I will hit you with my forklift.’ An empty and petty kind of threat no doubt, but, none the less, very intimidating for someone starting a new job.

        As for the managers advice, it was indeed the case that lower management reponsible for calling in staff were both Union men. I do not see any reason why a senior manager would lie about something like that to encourage me to join the Union. I would think it in his interest to discourage Union memebrship rather than encourage it.

        In fairness, I should say that the local Union organiser was a very nice man in all the dealings I had with him. It was the shop steward and the culture within the plant that was intimidating and thugish.

      • Daveo 5.1.3

        What you’re talking about is an unproven allegation that you thought a couple of workers who were members of the union would be mean to you if you weren’t a member.

        If you genuinely felt intimidated by your workmates then you could have taken it up with their union or, more appropriately, you could have asked your manager to discipline them.

        There are also existing legal protections against being discriminated against on the basis of union membership. Managers in particular are not allowed to encourage or discourage workers in their decision to join a union.

        You’ve said you had no problem with the union as an insitution, and that your organiser was “a very nice man”.

        Your situation had nothing to do with union policies, or with any of the content of Tau Henare’s bill. I’m really not sure what your point is or how this advances the argument.

        • Waldo 5.1.3.1

          My point is that it i naive to suggest that all Unions have left behind their dinosaur days. At least some of those still in positions of influence within Unions are adept at using intimidation in order to ensure compliance.

          You are quite right to suggest that I could have pursued other avenues of complaint, however as it was clear that management had no interest in standing up to the Union on my behalf, I had very little confidence that they would do anything to remedy that kind of culture. Couple that with the fact that Union members were in a position where they had a degree of ‘economic control over my life’ and you can see why I simply chose to sign up and keep my head down. Not the most courageous decision I’ll admit, but it meant I was able to pay the rent.

          I repeat, my point (in relation to the broad theme of this post) is that Unions still have means available to them to intimidate and bully those who do not support them and some still use those means.

  6. felix 6

    Let’s not get too distracted by this. It may well be in the interest of the Nats, the EMA and “Tim Ellis” to have us waste our time on hypotheticals and anecdotes but there are real strikes and real unions of real workers who need our support right now.

    The bill itself is nothing but an attempt to frame discussion so as to give them an opportunity to spread dirt and misinformation and paint unions of striking or locked-out workers in a negative light.

    Why facilitate that PR excersise? Let’s just agree that secret ballots are preferable in any democratic institution and get on with it.

  7. Tim Ellis 7

    Sorry IB I didn’t see your edit comment on my 9:40am comment.

    I agree that unionism is largely voluntary which is why I’m generally not fussed by it. If there are cases as Waldo has highlighted of people being intimidated or pressured to join a union I would think that would be a much bigger issue that should be dealt with rather than whether voluntary members of unions are coerced to vote to strike.

    • IrishBill 7.1

      It’s not “largely” voluntary. It’s totally voluntary. If you don’t want to be in the union there is no legal compulsion whatsoever to be in the union.

      • Tim Ellis 7.1.1

        IB there have been reports of intimidation by unionists for workers to join unions, as Mr Edgeler discusses below. I wasn’t referring to legal rights, it is whether those legal rights are respected and upheld in workplace behaviour.

  8. Great post.

    I’ve thought at times that the Standard is too ready to oppose anything done by National. It’s good to see that that isn’t the case.

    Someone asked above how unions intimidate – have they ever seen a militant picket line? Or know the meaning of the word “scab”? Of course unions can intimidate. Most obviously don’t, but I do recall some employment law cases where non-union members were suing employers for constructive dismissal for allowing union harassment to continue. Maybe the fire service? Disgusting things put in people’s lockers, etc.

    • lprent 8.1

      The bill doesn’t address those issues. The basic issue here is that the bill is useless because secret ballots are the norm for unions.

      Now if it was a bill to make board of directors votes secret ballots, it could be somewhat more interesting. The directors meetings I’ve been to tend to have significant amounts of intimidation – and few secret ballots

      • IrishBill 8.1.1

        Ah but Lynn, regulation is a bad thing when you’re talking about business. Just not, apparently for unions (even though both are private sector entities, go figure).

        • Tim Ellis 8.1.1.1

          But unions aren’t really private sector entities are they IB. They’re incorporated societies that aren’t permitted to generate a profit.

          I agree with LP that the issues Mr Edgeler highlights aren’t reflected in Mr Henare’s bill, but it seems to me they are much more dangerous issues in the workplace of actual intimidation and pressure about whether to join a union.

          If membership truly were voluntary and there were no discrimination in the workplace among people who didn’t want to join a union, then I couldn’t give a toss whether genuinely voluntary unions behaved autocratically.

          • Daveo 8.1.1.1.1

            Here’s Tim running the “union thugs” line again. I’m sure there is the odd example of a union member putting pressure on another worker to sign over to the union, but it’s a rare exception. You’d struggle to find any examples outside of right-wing sock puppets commenting on blogs.

            Far more common is the boss telling people not to join the union, with all their power of economic coercion behind them. This is what’s happening right now at Open Country Cheese with a six week lockout, false accusations of sabotage in the media and at least one documented instance of assault by a manager.

            Nothing in legislation will change this situation, because it’s already law and it still happens. It’s just a fact of life that industrial relations can be a messy game. At its most bitter it’s a war, pure and simple.

            It’s also got nothing to do with the content of Tau Henare’s bill.

          • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1.2

            “But unions aren’t really private sector entities are they IB.”

            Yes they are.

            ” They’re incorporated societies that aren’t permitted to generate a profit.”

            So?

        • Quoth the Raven 8.1.1.2

          Tim – Please explain why you think they are not private. I would like to see you try.

      • I’m aware it doesn’t. Two separate thoughts:

        1. Nice post.

        2. Someone above asked a question unrelated to the bill, here’s an answer.

      • Also: The basic issue here is that the bill is useless because secret ballots are the norm for unions.

        That doesn’t make it useless.

        Lunch-breaks are the norm for workplaces. Was Labour’s law requiring employers to allow workers lunch-breaks useless?

        As has been pointed out by authors at the Standard before, we don’t write prescriptive employment laws for the benefit of most employees, we write it for the benefit of those who have nasty employers. I don’t see why we can’t do the same with unions. Few employees noticed a change after Labour’s lunch-break law came into effect, just as few unions would notice a change after Tau Henare’s law was enacted. That doesn’t mean either law is useless.

    • Bright Red 8.2

      On picket lines and scabs:

      A scab is taking the bread out of the mouths of workers and their families. What do you expect them to do? Cheer them on?

      There’s no law against boisterously showing someone you don’t agree with their actions.

      Maybe Step Dad state will introduce one.

      • Tim Ellis 8.2.1

        Interesting perspective BR. How woudl you feel about a group of non-union members shouting abuse at a union representative?

        Nice hyperbole about what “scabs” do. What do you suppose a scab does with the bread they’ve earned? Do they just throw it away or use it to feed themselves and their families?

        • Daveo 8.2.1.1

          This is getting pretty weak Tim. Union members yell abuse at scabs, scabs yell abuse at union members. It’s the way of the world, and always has been. Nobody on either side gets too precious about it, I don’t know why you feel the need to.

        • Bright Red 8.2.1.2

          “What do you suppose a scab does with the bread they’ve earned? Do they just throw it away or use it to feed themselves and their families?”

          So what? they’re still undermining and impoverishing the unionised workers. You can’t have a problem with union members yelling at them.

          People are allowed to voice their opinions to try to advance their interests, Tim. It’s called free speech.

        • Hey Tim,

          How do you feel about my boss telling me I’d be fired if I join the union?

          • Tim Ellis 8.2.1.3.1

            kitno, I am fine with your boss telling you that. Just as I’m fine with you responding to your boss that you will do as you like and your union will ensure your boss is taken to the cleaners if your boss tries to fire you on this basis.

            • Daveo 8.2.1.3.1.1

              “I am fine with your boss telling you that”

              Really? Because it’s illegal for your employer to pressure you over your decision whether or not to join a union.

  9. John Ryall 9

    Can someone tell me whether Tau’s bill also has a requirement for companies, such as Open Country Cheese, to hold a secret ballot of all of their shareholders before they lock their workforce out?

  10. The Voice of Reason 10

    Tim, how do you feel about this abuse sent to a Dairy Workers Union official:

    Dear (official),

    If you had any plans of coming to the (town) plant to talk to the staff about joining up to the union, don’t waste your fucken time! Who the fuck do you think you are? Your union is awaste of time & will never be needed at our plants. You cunts are just shit-stirrers & are just out for yourselves. I’m speaking on behalf of all the staff at Open Country Dairy (town), “FUCK OFF” & don’t show up here ever, asshole!!!

    NZDWU is not welcome on this site, so don’t bother coming!

    From (worker).

    Tim, et al, if you have an example of a union official abusing a worker in a similar manner, I’d love to see it. I’ve left out the names of the official and the writer, but I understand OCC is planning to use this worker and his mates as strikebreakers if the use of outside scabs is knocked back in court today.

    It’s pretty clear to me that these guys and the other scabs are the thugs in this particular situation and again Tim , I ask you, if you believe in freedom of choice, why do you not support the right of DWU workers to join the union and bargain collectively?

    • Tim Ellis 10.1

      Worker, I do support the right of workers to bargain collectively, if it is their choice to do so.

      I don’t condone the thuggish email from the worker concerned to the union official. If you can demonstrate a link between the worker concerned and OCC management, and can establish that it shows OCC’s management is trying to direct workers about how they organise themselves then all power to you and I hope your union is able to ping OCC for their behaviour.

  11. BLiP 11

    all power to you and I hope your union is able to ping OCC for their behaviour.

    An inkling of awareness . . . half a spark on an acre of charred cotton . . . has Timmy’s king tide of ignorance reached its zenith . . . nah . . . don’t believe it. Just beaten down, once again, by simple, easy to understand facts . . . concepts of reality will take another millenium to be grasped.

  12. Swampy 12

    There is one union that claims 100% coverage, that is as good as you can get to the sort of situation that Henare wants addressed.

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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    3 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    3 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    4 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    4 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    4 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    5 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    5 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    6 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    6 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    7 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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

  • 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    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 ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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  • COVID-19 updates
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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  • 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 ...
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