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Shallow recession this year but the future looks tough

Written By: - Date published: 12:03 pm, September 26th, 2008 - 42 comments
Categories: climate change, economy - Tags:

We all knew New Zealand was in recession in the first six months of this year. The official figures have confirmed this. The surprise though is on the upside. The consensus had been that the economy had shrunk 0.5% in the quarter. In fact, it was 0.2%. Remember that this figure occurred during the height of the latest oil price spike. Petrol increased 13% in price over this period. So, the fact that our economy could weather this storm better than expected speaks to its underlying strength.

Conditions have improved in the last few months. But things look set to get tougher in coming years. The current credit crunch and the global waves of volatility moving from one market to another (housing, shares, oil, gold, commodities, food) are signs of the global economy reaching the limits to growth. In the next few years we will face ever higher oil prices as peak oil hits and shortages of other resources will flow from that (as an example, there is now a waiting list for the huge tyres mining trucks use: the ingredients are oil and rubber, there is not enough oil, and rubber plantations are being replaced by palm oil grown as biofuel). We will also face a demographic shock as the baby-boomers retire: the housing market will tank, the workforce will stop growing, while the number of dependents will rise. Larger than all of these concerns, climate change is happening more rapidly than anyone predicted. In the last few days, plumes of methane gas have been reported rising from the Arctic Ocean; it appears the undersea permafrost is melting. If you don’t understand the implications of that, I’m afraid you will in the coming years.

42 comments on “Shallow recession this year but the future looks tough”

  1. Ooh oops, we haven’t had the first bailout passed or it appears the banksters need another US$ 500 billion.

    John Key, managing director for debt and bonds and derivatives anybody?

    US radio and tv presenters are calling for the arrest of Paulson, Bernanke and the other Wall street banking scheisters and here we are going to elect one of the scheisters in as a prime minister because “They want to give him a chance and people can chance even though he is a proven liar and investment banker/gambler.” Mindbogling.

  2. John Stevens 2

    Clark is a proven liar as well so it is all even.
    Doone
    Speedgate
    Paintergate
    Winston
    Can’t really call Cullen a money man, he is a history teacher.

  3. Billy 3

    Ev,

    Congratulations. You have been quite restrained on 911 and depleted uranium in the last little while.

    Now could you please shut up about the so-called international banking conspiracy.

    Thanks. That’d really help me out.

  4. Felix 4

    Dr Cullen has a phd in Social and Economic History. He’s also been Finance Minister for about 8 years.

    But “history teacher” is what you’re going with? Riiiight…

    And don’t use “gate” to denote a scandal, it makes you look ridiculous. It’s like you don’t know how to write English good.

  5. lukas 5

    anyone know what the solicitor general is being investigate for?

    captcha- obvious damages…. is that our first clue?

  6. Quoth the Raven 6

    In the midst of this economic crisis does anyone actually think National’s idea to increase borrowing is good?

  7. Pat 7

    “In the midst of this economic crisis does anyone actually think National’s idea to increase borrowing is good?”

    Yes. Increased spending on infrastructure improves productivity and provides contracts/work for businesses (when they sorely need it), which increases demand for jobs, which increases wages and immigration, which increases overall tax revenue, which increases government spending on social services.

    Just my personal opinion.

  8. John Stevens 8

    Felix – ‘don’t use gate…’ wtf, heard of watergate??????
    With a cats name you don’t need to tell me how to write English. I have more than adequat skill levels at that my friend.
    In the 1990s HC wanted spending as a percentage of GDP to increase from the level of near 50% it was at so it’s a bit rich to say otherwise now.
    This country needs productivity increases to survive so investment is needed.
    Labour don’t know what investment is but they know how to spend.

  9. Billy 9

    John Stevens,

    This comment is the last word on the use of “gate” to describe a scandal.

    It is a little unimaginative.

  10. Billy,

    John Key is a lying scheister and he has made his money selling crap to pension funds and mum and pop investors with the Wall street binds and Derivatives ponsy scheme and a 47 floor building twice reinforced to withstand a nuclear blast does not collapse in a freefall speed of 6.5 seconds in a cloud of dust into it’s own footprint after a couple of hours of light office fires.

    So get fucked OK? Jeez.

  11. Billy 11

    Ev,

    I think everyone is well aware of your views on this and the two other topics you consider explain everything that has ever happened in the history of the world.

    So, really, there is no need to go on about them on every thread.

  12. And Billy,

    Why don’t you add something to the debates here instead of you pathetic baiting. Your getting to be quit boring.

  13. Billy 14

    That’s it, Ev. I am the boring one.

  14. Matthew Pilott 15

    Billy – I’m not sure which ‘gate’ comment you were referring to, there were several funny ones.

    Funny, I’d almost forgotten Absolute Power exists – you read it?

    I have a new one – knobshinegate – for everyone who uses “-gate” as a suffix to a ‘scandal’ – coz they are.

    Trav – Will you be watching “Sunday” on TV1 this…Sunday?

  15. r0b 16

    “In the midst of this economic crisis does anyone actually think National’s idea to increase borrowing is good?’

    Yes. Increased spending on infrastructure improves productivity

    As long as the benefits outweigh the costs of servicing the debt,
    yes it does. But increased spending on tax cuts does not improve productivity. So – is National’s idea to increase borrowing for tax cuts good?

  16. Don 17

    Lukas, since everyone else seems intent on regressing to the kindergarten, I’ll answer your question. He is being investigated over a breach of section 111 of the Crimes Act, which is to do with issuing a false declaration. From what I understand of the background to the case he could well be in for the high jump.

  17. Pat 18

    Rob – I arrange loans for a living, so it is pretty simple:

    Borrow $500M, and infrastructure spending does not increase by $500M = money was borrowed for tax cuts = National not re-elected.

    Borrow $500M and infrastructure spending increases by $500M = increased tax revenue = that’s how tax cuts were funded.

    By the way, John Key gets to sit in traffic on the North Western motorway on the way to his Helensville electorate, so he gets plenty of time to contemplate the non-productive costs for all the business vehicles stuck in the same traffic. The Greens don’t like it, but the economy needs better motorways. Try being a plumber on a bicycle.

  18. Matthew Pilott 19

    The Greens don’t like it, but the economy needs better motorways. Try being a plumber on a bicycle.

    So what if everyone who lived within 200m of a public transport access point, and worked within 200m of a public transport exit point, and did not have to carry more than 5 kilos of tools to work each day, used public transport?

    Apart from the immediate collapse of the public transport system due to a lack of capacity?

    So, what would it cost to improve said capacity vs cost of improving motorways, thus encouraging road usage, thus increasing car usage, thus necessitating better roads, and so on?

    On your other point, if $500m borrowed and taxes cut by $500m over Labour’s cuts, and Labour weren’t going to borrow anything, tax cuts funded by borrowing = poor strategy at present.

  19. Pat 20

    “On your other point, if $500m borrowed and taxes cut by $500m over Labour’s cuts, and Labour weren’t going to borrow anything, tax cuts funded by borrowing = poor strategy at present”

    Matthew – the Labour line is that National is borrowing for tax cuts. National says they will borrow to spend on infrastructure.

    Retrospectively, it will be easy to see who was telling the truth. Just look to see whether all the large motorway projects get brought forward.

  20. Felix 21

    I think it was this piece of gold from SP:

    “The habit of labelling every mini-scandal ‘x-gate’, no matter how minor or whether it has any similarities to Watergate, is the single worst aspect of New Zealand political debate, except for Peter Dunne.”

    And sorry John, but it is retarded. The only appropriate use I can remember is “Whitewater-gate” scandal in the U.S.

    (When you do it like that it’s called a pun, John)

  21. Pat 22

    Matthew – on the other point. The whole issue needs some lateral thinking and fresh ideas, plus a sea-change in our habits.

    Why does everyone stop and start work at the same time? = traffic conjestion.

    Why do schools start and stop at the same time? Why do parents drop their kids off and pick them up in their cars?

    Plus fixing/completing the motorways also means adding the bus lanes and associated park’n’ride infrastructures, safe cycle lanes, bybassing of conjestion points, and access and parking to train stations.

  22. Matthew Pilott 23

    Pat, I reckon if they give greater tax cuts, but then borrow and bring forward spending, it’s still borrowing for tax cuts. It is forgone income, in a backward sense, and forgone income they will need to borrow to cover.

    Some of those ideas are great – I know the public service is looking at flexible start times in order to reduce peak road demand (shouldn’t the private sector be leading the way?) and you are right – things can’t stay as they are indefinitely.

    I generally suspect the majority of motorway construction is purely roading – some of this is necesary, but it’s not the whole answer. So th eeconomy doesn’t need new motorways – it’s an expensive and short-term solution. Fortunately, we’re getting on the right track, electrification of rail, new busways: that’s what will make a real difference.

  23. Pat 24

    “Pat, I reckon if they give greater tax cuts, but then borrow and bring forward spending, it’s still borrowing for tax cuts. It is forgone income, in a backward sense, and forgone income they will need to borrow to cover”.

    Your argument only works because you are ring-fencing these things together. You forget that the flow-on effect from better infrastructure is greater tax revenue.

    We could go on for hours but I suspect this is a philosophical argument that you and I would never agree on.

    Also, I admit my view on motorway infrastructure comes from the point of view of a business owner in West Auckland. Completing the motor connections (Waterview/Hillsborough, Hobsonville) is required before the associated commercial land can be developed. 70% of Waitakere residents travel to work somewhere else in Auckland. We need these people working where they live.

  24. Matthew Pilott 25

    It’s not specifically ring-fencing those two elements of goverment finance. If they cut revenue (taxes) and need to borrow anyting, then they are borrowing for taxes. Although if they are specifically borrowing for infrastructure, then I’d point to the other side of the balance sheet, to where the revenue was cut.

    Put it this way – if they could invest in that infrastructure without tax cuts and without borrowing, then we get the flow-on benefits, without the cost of borrowing.

    We need these people working where they live.

    Who planned that city anyway! I guess that’s what happens when you get no regional planning and a series of medium-sized towns in close proximity…

  25. Draco T Bastard 26

    Pat:

    Plus fixing/completing the motorways also means adding the bus lanes and associated park’n’ride infrastructures,

    We don’t want the buses on the motorway any more than we want the cars on the motorway. We should be making those bus lanes as light rail instead – it carries more people than buses, it’s far more efficient and less polluting. Have the car parks for park-n-ride and have the buses feeding from the suburbs to the closest train station.

    IMO, National are borrowing for tax cuts as it’s highly unlikely that the infrastructure that they invest in will be able to pay for the interest that will be charged on the borrowings especially considering the credit crisis and recession that the world seems to be in ATM.

  26. ramsey 27

    Nice linkage of John Key to Global Warming.

  27. ramsey 28

    By the way, you website tried to install a .jar trojan onto my PC, why is that?

  28. Felix 29

    It’s because you touch yourself at night.

  29. The comments on this post read more like Kiwiblog than the Standard.

    I’m amazed anyone still trots out the painting thing with a straight face.

    I don’t see how anyone can think trying to raise money for kids is bad compared to lying about owning 100,000 shares of TranzRail while seeking sensitive commercial information about that organisation.

    How a speeding cop makes Clark dishonest is equally unclear.

    If this is the worst these folk have against Clark then she must be a saint.

    Whereas: National wanted to whore the lives of Kiwi soldiers in the invasion of Iraq so we might get an FTA with the USA.

    Whereas: National has – serially – attempted to deceive voters as to their real policy intentions after the election (2005 and today)

    Whereas: National wants to introduce PPPs on a vast scale – despite overwhelming evidence PPPs lead to higher costs, less service and reduced transparency with public money…..precisely at a time when crony capitalism has been shown to be another name for corruption and a recipe for failure.

    Winston Peters is master of his own fate. Trying to hold Clark or anyone else responsible for that is simply wrong……and being wrong does seem to be a defining characteristic of National’s crew of party hacks.

  30. T-Rex 31

    http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/2008/09/how_the_financial_crisis_started2.html?kipad_id=5

    I strongly recommend the above to anyone nearing panic over the state of the international economy, or just anyone who’s interested in the background.

    To all those who thing CEO’s are acutually worth all the money they’re paid – What do you think the CEO’s of all these banks were taking home? And what do you think they deserved to be taking home in retrospect, considering the standard of their corporate guidance?

    Let’s take the case of Robert Willumstad, CEO of AIG. An annual salary of -$95Billion seems pretty reasonable to me in light of the reduction in market cap he’s overseen…

  31. jbc 32

    Steve W,
    At the risk of sounding like a Kiwiblogger [don’t like the atmosphere over there actually] I’ll just say that those Clark things, while relatively harmless, do show that she can tell fibs when she thinks it best (I didn’t know we were speeding).

    I guess that’s the point. It just adds some perspective to the Clark / Peters / Key honesty finger pointing Mexican standoff. [I think Winston has already been shot but refuses to play dead.]

    Back on topic, SP has a bloody good post covering so many things at once (although education was left out – surely an important economic factor). Could easily be dozens of topics under similar headings. All things that affect the bulk of New Zealanders.
    It’s a shame that so much media and public discourse gets wasted on (in my opinion) less important politics when many important issues get sidelined or politicised.

    All of SP’s points have the potential to impact people just as much (probably more) than their pay packet. They are even more important factors if you are jobless.

    I understand this is “The Standard” and I have read the About/FAQ. I don’t know where SP and others find the time to write – but some more posts from the fellow Standardistas with their views on similar apolitical topics would be welcome for the “free thinkers” among us (unless of course you prefer to keep the site as a conversation along other lines). You never know, you might broaden your influence. I might appear here like a Nat – but I’m not that simple. That probably applies to most NZers.

  32. T-rex 33

    “I’ll just say that those Clark things, while relatively harmless, do show that she can tell fibs when she thinks it best (I didn’t know we were speeding).”

    Absolutely. I don’t like it, but i’m prepared to put up with it because, as far as I can tell, she hasn’t actually lied about anything that actually matters. I’m sure she WOULD if she had to, but at least she conducts herself in such a way that she doesn’t need to. I mean speeding is not too flash, but to be fair she did have a police escort. The painting thing is the ultimate in irrelevance – I couldn’t give a flying f*ck in a thunderstorm if she rips off a bit of sh*tty artwork for charity once a week. And as for Peters – she wasn’t open, but why should she be? It’s his grave, he’s been digging it just fine.

    I’m worried about Keys lies because they seem like they could have a bigger impact were he prime minister – Insider trading being an obvious issue. And the part that really bothers me is that I think he genuinely believes he’s not really doing anything wrong, at least not for his customary values of wrong.

    Anyhow, totally agree with you. If we could get more attention on the big issues it might help with drawing peoples focus away from the bullsh*t and onto the policy. I like Clark more than Key, despite thinking she’s pretty arrogant and has started to think of herself as “indispensable” which is always a bit of a worry, but the reason I’m supporting the left (and via Green, not Labour) is that 95% of their policy is just flat out better. National is flaky, and on the key issues don’t even believe in the policy promises they’re making. That points to a far more dangerous future for all of us than personality issues with a PM who despite possibly being a bit more full of her importance to the process than would be ideal is, ultimately, doing a pretty awesome job.

  33. T-rex,

    Hear, hear.

    Especially with the economic meltdown not being a paltry US $ 700 billion. That’s just how much they can have outstanding at any given time if the bailout gets passed.

    The actual amount of speculative crap that John Key and his Wall street mates have ratcheted up is closer to a Quadrillion (1000 trillion).

    I don’t want a man who is that irresponsible borrowing more money from his mates to bail them out and gets us in debt.

  34. T-rex,

    Thanks for the link, it’s a good article.

  35. T-rex 36

    No problem, pleased you liked it – thought it was a good summary.

  36. T-rex 37

    THIS though… this is hands down the coolest idea for a resolution I’ve seen so far:

    http://www.overcompensating.com/posts/20080924.html

  37. yukkity 38

    [lprent: stupid troll. ]

  38. lprent 39

    jbc:

    I’ll just say that those Clark things, while relatively harmless, do show that she can tell fibs when she thinks it best (I didn’t know we were speeding).

    Ummm – I’ve seen Helen a lot over the decades. She always has her nose down reading or working on something. It is what she does. I saw her on TV at the netball the other night, and she was working, probably on her speech.

    I’ve also worked with her a lot over the years on local campaigns. She doesn’t micromanage unless people raise issues or something shows up that indicates a problem.

    I believe the “speeding” thing because she simply would have said that she’d like to get to X by Y, and if there wasn’t any discussion, then gotten down to work. Those cars and for that matter roads are pretty smooth so there wouldn’t have been anything much.

    She doesn’t lie, but she will not always help reporters or opposition MP’s out if they don’t ask the right questions. That is pretty legitimate.

    It’s a shame that so much media and public discourse gets wasted on (in my opinion) less important politics when many important issues get sidelined or politicised.

    Agreed. But that is the state of a “talkback” media. They assume that the population isn’t capable of adsorbing anything more. I suspect that is where they are wrong.

    I don’t know where SP and others find the time to write

    With difficulty. I find that writing stuff that isn’t code takes me quite a while. But I can shove thousands of lines of code together in a short period of time. Different talents. I like moderating 😈

    People pretty much contribute whatever time they can spare. At this point most are concentrating on stuff to do with the campaigning of the ‘left’. If they are going to spend time on this rather than grass-roots then they use it as effectively as possible. I know I do.

    I’d expect that after the election there will be more wide ranging pieces, and for that matter that we’d be able to pick up more posters. At present all of the really interesting people are engaged and so are we about having time to find them.

    I might appear here like a Nat – but I’m not that simple. That probably applies to most NZers.

    Who is simple in their beliefs? However around here you tend to get concerted attacks by the goon squad from the rabid right whenever you show any intelligence in posts.

    As you probably remember I’m probably the most right of lefties you’re likely to meet outside of Act. It is just that I recognize that you have to work with people to do things. Act seems to want to coerce.

    Incidently there was a lovely line that Wilson said the other night (referring to Act). Something like Labour has had to provide the ideas for both the Left and the Right.

  39. randal 41

    morning all…must answer John Stevens and his crude allegations denigrating the Prime Minister Helen Clark and the Minister of Finance MIchael Cullen. this is the same line being promoted on twiedmee this morning as if these people suddenly got lucky and elevated to the highest positions in the land because of some mumbo jumbo that john stevens cant understand. Well all I can say is if New Zealand gets boy racer turbo capitlaism on the 8th then we are all stuffed john stebens included.

  40. Randal,

    We’re stuffed anyway. Ye biggum financial tsunami can no longer be avoided. The economic growth of the US was not through wealth producing middle class jobs.
    Those had been outsourced to China but in the finance industry. Speculating with securities, hedging and betting to the tune of a quadrillion and selling predatorial mortgages to unsuspecting idiots who believed you couldn’t loose with owning your own home because the prices would always rise followed up by tricking people into taking on ever more debt to borrow cheap shit made in China.

    America is bankrupt because the banksters have been running amok in a totally deregulated market and now those same criminals want the bankrupt Americans to cough up to bail them out while still retaining the right to foreclose on them.

    the FBI is investigating Fanny and Freddy and a couple of other subprime lenders and as far as I am concerned they should put all of them in jail.

    And here they want to vote one of those irresponsible gamblers to become the next prime minister even though he already tells us he’s going to borrow money to pay for tax cuts. Go figure.
    It is absolute mayhem and if George Bush looks like a deer caught in the lights that is because he really is petrified. not because of the economy because that’s a goner no matter what but because he and his banking mates really don’t want to be found out.

    Captcha: penny thousand. No not even that is gonna help. LOL

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    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 ...
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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 ...
    7 days 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
    15 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
    19 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
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  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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