web analytics

Sheepgate the final chapter

Written By: - Date published: 7:38 am, February 12th, 2019 - 44 comments
Categories: david parker, national, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, trade, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

One of the weirdest episodes in New Zealand politics is now at an end.  The Government has pulled the plug on the Saudi Sheepgate deal.

I have followed the story for a while.  A more potentially corrupt use of state resources I cannot imagine.  When you boil it down it sounds totally insane.  And it was. Here is my earlier description:

When the history of this National Government is reviewed by academics and scholars the tale of Sheepgate will stand out.  In future years people will wonder if it was even true or the insane invention of someone high on drugs.  Because if ever a series of posts deserved the “you can’t make this shit up” it is these.

Lets recap the history:

… a rich Saudi businessman became upset when New Zealand stopped live sheep exports following a particularly disastrous ship trip during which four thousand sheep died.  National made noises as if the ban would be reversed but then resiled from this.  To assuage the rich Saudi businessman’s feelings a total of $11.5 million of taxpayer’s money has been or is being paid.  The sums include a “compensation but not a compensation” payment which was designed to keep the lawyers away from it and which incorporated a payment to the Saudi businessman for intellectual property for hosting New Zealand sheep on a New Zealand designed farm.  The rest included the construction of a model farm in the middle of the Saudi desert and plane tickets for 900 sheep, most of which died after landing.

It seems clear the payment was essentially a facilitation payment to get the Saudi’s to sign a free trade agreement.  Not only is this on the face of it corrupt, but it has so far failed so it is also clear evidence of incompetence.

Initially McCully tried to sneak the issue through Cabinet and then hide the mess.  And when it was reported on National used that good old technique of blaming Labour for the situation.

The Auditor General became involved.  National celebrated a finding that McCully had not acted corruptly.  How low National’s standards are.

And now, years later, we still have no trade deal with Saudi Arabia.  Not only was the deal an example of a potentially corrupt payment to an individual in hope that there would be a free trade agreement signed by a foreign state but it was something worse.  It was a failed attempt to get a free trade agreement signed.

 And won’t someone think of the sheep?

I said this earlier:

To make matters even worse it has been reported that three quarters of the lambs born to the ewes who were transported to the farm have died from causes such as starvation, scours and issues around animal husbandry.  Who would have thought that placing New Zealand sheep on a farm in the middle of a desert would be so disastrous?

Well it is finally at an end.  David Parker has pulled the pin on the last part of the deal and saved us a million dollars.  From the Herald:

The controversial Saudi sheep deal been shut down, which the Government says will save about $1 million.

The deal was made to set up an agribusiness hub in the Saudi desert for Saudi businessman Hmood Al Ali Al Khalaf, which would be used to showcase innovative New Zealand farming operations.

Taxpayer spending on the agrihub was approved by the previous National Government in February 2013, and the following year 900 sheep were flown over on Singapore Airlines.

But Trade Minister David Parker said the deal has now been axed.

“We’re not spending any more money on its installation or delivery,” Parker told 1 NEWS.

“We have managed to bring it to an end, saving the last million dollars or so. But I’m afraid the other $10 million that has already been spent has been flushed down the drain by the prior Government.”

It means that a $2.5m kitset abattoir, which is in the Hawke’s Bay and was intended for the hub, will no longer be sent overseas.

About $1.17m had been identified for abattoir delivery and installation.

Matthew Hooton has been a trenchant critic of the deal and has not held back in his summary of what happened.

The major players have of course gone.  McCully has retired and Key has his knighthood and is doing various corporate gigs.

But the next time someone tells you that National are better managers tell them about the time they built a sheep station in a Saudi desert and how almost all the sheep died and how they paid an individual $4 million to settle a legal claim that did not actually exist, forgot to get him to agree that the dispute that did not exist had been settled, and failed in the whole reason for the exercise, and that was to get a free trade deal with Saudi Arabia.

44 comments on “Sheepgate the final chapter”

  1. Incognito 1

    A few million sheeple where led astray by fake economic shepherds.

  2. patricia bremner 2

    The report that an” Abattoir was ready packed waiting to go.. What the???”

  3. tc 3

    At least the govt can stop this one. It’s the long term economic and social losses from the power generation asset stripping and the wilful hollowing out of education, health, housing, environment etc that is shonky blinglishes true legacy.

    Oh and that convention center thats giving Fletcher’s indigestion as they’re eyes are too big for their stomachs. Some dead rats don’t go down that well.

  4. It has been a debaacle.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    National knew that they could pull the wool over the eyes of the New Zealand public long enough to get away with anything at all. They know how to do it and have shown that they will do it to suit their own ends. I hope Wayne Mapp appears here to comment on this issue.

  6. ianmac 6

    I wonder if McCully could spend $11 million without blinking, what else might have happened out of sight?

  7. Cinny 7

    Excellent work from Mr Parker, he continuously asked question while in opposition and has walked the talk re the saudi sheep saga since coming into government.

  8. alwyn 8

    This simply illustrates why we need to change the Government regularly.
    No Government will ever abandon something they started. They simply refuse to admit that a policy was mistaken and dump it. You need a new Government who will dump the white elephants.
    That is, of course, the reason why Governments should never get involved in running businesses. No matter how badly things are going they will never admit they got it wrong.
    At least in this case it has only cost us about $10 million.

    Now let us see whether the current mob will dump a ridiculous scheme that has even less chance of being a success. It is also one where it will, if not scrapped now, cost us something more like $10 billion rather the $10 million.

    Dump Kiwibuild. Better still dump the idiot responsible and kick Twyford out of Cabinet.
    Will they do it? Of course not. They don’t have the sense to do something so sensible.

    While they are about it will they also scrap the foolishness that is the tram to the airport in Auckland. I think I saw something recently that said the price is now up to an estimated $6 billion.
    Ah, here is the source of the figure. Surprise, surprise The Cabinet Minister responsible here is also the Village Idiot of New Zealand politics. Phil, take another bow.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12057244

    ps. While they are about it can they please scrap the fiasco that is the America’s cup? I see that a further $37 million from the Government and the Auckland Council is going into that black hole.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/110522994/auckland-council-plans-220m-tax-dodge

    • Formerly Ross 8.1

      I did enjoy your rant, especially that government should not get involved with business. Yes that’s why we have full employment, high wages and no homeless people. The private sector is so efficient!! Remind me again how many men died at Pike River?

      Here’s a couple of recent example where the private sector failed dismally and acted shamefully. You’ll no doubt find an excuse for such behaviour.

      https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/110463611/stung-with-9000-compensation-cafe-owner-turns-to-givealittle

        • alwyn 8.1.1.1

          I see no reason at all to approve of this. On the other hand I am not the one who is forced to pay for it. When a Government organisation screws up, and some Cabinet Minister’s ego is involved I am,
          This case is really not what I was talking about though is it? My complaint is the people who, because they are completely incapable of admitting they are wrong insist on propping up things that should be closed down. Phil Twyford is the perfect example.

      • alwyn 8.1.2

        My “rant” as you call it makes no claim at all that the private sector always gets things right. Of course they don’t.

        What does happen though is that the person who screws up doesn’t have an unlimited line of uninvolved people who are forced to keep throwing money into the hole. If a business starts spending money on rubbishy projects there is a much better chance that the person responsible will get sacked. If that doesn’t happen the only people who will be burnt are the willing investors. If an investor isn’t happy with the way a company is being run they can sell their ownership share and get out.

        Taxpayers don’t have that option.
        So no. I don’t think that the private sector is always right and I certainly see no need to justify everything they do. I don’t have to be personally involved either.
        If you want to waste your money on trashy schemes go right ahead. Just don’t force me to share the cost.

        • Kevin 8.1.2.1

          I must have imagined that the Government bailed out SCF then.

          • alwyn 8.1.2.1.1

            No you don’t need to imagine that at all.
            I suggest you address the following question to Michael Cullen though.
            “Why did you include SCF, which was certainly not a critical part of the New Zealand banking system, in the Guarantee scheme?”
            I’ll bet you don’t get an answer out of him though.

            • blacksand 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Are you quite sure of your facts there? It still looks very much like SCF was admitted into the scheme on 19th Nove, 2008.

              Funnily enough on the first day in office of John Key’s govt, someone who supposedly knew a thing or two about banking.

              • veutoviper

                Correct.

                The election was held on 8 November 2008, and the minority National Government led by John Key sworn in on 19 November 2008, – the same day as the Secretary to The Treasury approved SCF admission to the guarantee scheme.

                • alwyn

                  Yes, you are quite right.
                  The scheme itself, and the firms covered had however been arranged by the outgoing, caretaker, Government. It was in fact implemented on 12 October 2008.

                  The firms accepted into the scheme, although selected by the outgoing Government couldn’t have their admission to the scheme approved for Constitutional reasons reasons. They were only a caretaker Government and couldn’t commit the Crown to these obligations by that time. You were, I believe a Public Servant VV. I am sure you are aware of the conventions. Thus the admission of the firms to the scheme couldn’t be done until we actually had a new Government, with a mandate, in place.

                  I am sure that National were accepting of the scheme. There was no real choice after the actions of the Australian Government. Cullen shouldn’t, at least in my view have accepted all the firms that applied however.

                  If you really think that it was the Key Government who arranged it in the first half hour of their term I hope you won’t try and blame National for things that are happening after about 16 months of the current lot of twits?

            • Tuppence Shrewsbury 8.1.2.1.1.2

              but $1 million in corrupt spending is still way worse than $2 billion in wasted in spending because the intentions for the $2 billion are right. figures don’t matter, only virtue

              • alwyn

                $2 billion in wasted spending?
                You are dreaming. We already have that in the Kiwibuild. Then there is the $3 billion in the Jones slush fund. The budget for the tram to the airport is up to the grand sum of $6 billion. A couple of billion for cycleways for a few cyclists. $250 million on the America’s cup.
                Then their is the money Winston is going to provide to his racehorse owning mates for their pretty horses and all weather tracks.

    • joe90 8.2

      This simply illustrates why we need to change the Government regularly.

      McCully’s willingness to pay baksheesh and his party’s attempt at justifying bribery simply illustrates just how fucking corrupt National is and why we need our own Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

      /

      • alwyn 8.2.1

        I shall leave you to your delusions. I suppose you think that the coalition party that is in the Government’s dealings with fishing companies are all completely innocent and high minded? No doubt everything is done with only the interests of thee New Zealand public at their heart.

        And don’t say that doesn’t involve the Labour Party. They went into coalition with them and are just as guilty for any dodgy deals.

        And isn’t it amazing that the partner of one of the current Ministers is suddenly the recipient, through the firm he is involved with, of lots and lots of contracts that were issued without going out to tender? Far more than were issued by the previous Government.
        Nothing wrong with that of course. The Government Departments have suddenly become enlightened by the amazing skills that are on offer.

    • Gabby 8.3

      What’s Munter McMutton up to these days wally? Gettin any Sowdy connected ‘consultancy work’?

      • veutoviper 8.3.1

        I was wondering that myself,

        So, first, his own consultancy firm established in 2017:

        Murray McCully, Chairman, McCully Consulting Group
        Strategic Counsel, Public and Private Diplomacy,
        Barrister of the High Court of New Zealand

        https://www.murraymccully.com/

        “… Following his retirement from Parliament, Murray McCully is available to discuss assignments that draw on his knowledge of national and global affairs, which includes:
        Good understanding of major issues across key trading partners.
        Excellent network of relationships including China, South East Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
        Strong exposure to international law and the operation of international institutions.
        Close familiarity with the Pacific region and good personal relationships with key decision makers.
        Good understanding of international development issues and processes.
        Long experience of New Zealand Government decision making processes.
        Strong background in political risk/crisis management.”

        Second, from July 2018 , chair of the Papua New Guinea New Zealand Business Council:

        https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/2018655635/murray-mccully-heads-nz-png-business-council

        ” The new chair of the Papua New Guinea New Zealand Business Council, Murray McCully, says PNG wants to engage more with New Zealand’s agriculture sector.

        But the previous chair, Tamati Norman, who was asked to step aside for the former New Zealand Foreign Minister, says the council is failing its purpose. …

        To make way for Mr McCully, businessman Tamati Norman was asked by the council to step aside and work with him as the new chair. Instead, Mr Norman decided to leave entirely.

        He was asked if Mr McCully is the right man for the job.

        “A better question is did he have any engagement with us in the six years that I was in the executive, and the answer is no.”

        Mr Norman says the council focuses too much on the oil, gas and mining industries in PNG and needs to do a better job of engaging with other sectors.

        So Mr McCully’s promise of agricultural engagement may be a welcome sign of change within the council, but Mr Norman says there are other issues too.

        “We had our 25 year celebration and that 25 year anniversary was held at the Northern Club. Tell me how that is representative of a Pacific business.”

        The Northern Club, an exclusive club in Auckland’s CBD, once had a reputation for excluding women and Māori.

        The business council has held at least 3 events there this year.”

        Also a little snippet re McCully in article last week re the potential Blue-Green party and Vernon Tava – supposedly the new Sustainable New Zealand Party announced a few days ago

        https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/2018680526/a-potential-political-party-hooks-the-media

        ” … ZB’s Heather Du Plessis-Allan said a new party was “definitely happening”.

        She said she had told her editors about a source who had been approached by Michelle Boag and National Party strategist Murray McCully about the idea “weeks ago”.

        Heather Du Plessis-Allan told listeners Vernon Tava did not want to speak to her about that at the time….

    • AB 8.4

      “Governments should never get involved in running businesses”
      Yeah – these guys sound pretty useless and these guys too.

      • alwyn 8.4.1

        Equinor is of course a publicly listed company, in which the Government owns a majority of the shares.
        Just like Meridian, Mercury and so on. As such it has to follow all the rules for Public Companies and Ministers can’t make them carry out any stupid ideas they might have. In other words it is not a Government run business.

        Did you read the recent history of the TVA? Say the last 30 years. Not very pretty is it? In fact its successful days were pretty well over by about 1950.

        • AB 8.4.1.1

          Bollocks. What these and countless other examples show is that hard and fast rules (like your initial sweeping statement) are the provenance of ideological idiots.

          • alwyn 8.4.1.1.1

            That’s nice dear.
            Do you think that Kiwibuild is going well and it’s time to double down on the wager?
            Or that we shouldn’t even think of setting any targets for the scheme because if we do people will be able to see whether it is worth it?
            Or do you think that the Saudi scheme shouldn’t be examined because they meant well?
            Or is it just that you are an ideological idiot?

    • patricia bremner 8.5

      Alwyn… Twyford went to Cabinet to Reconfigure as needs changed. He has spoken publicly about Kiwi build. The Saudi Deal was a dirty secret, hardly a business!!

      • alwyn 8.5.1

        “Reconfigure”. What a lovely word. What you mean is that there are not going to be any targets set, measures of how well, or badly, it is going because it would allow the public to see that Twyford is a twit.

        It isn’t the official term of course. Twitford and Ardern have decided the correct term is “recalibration”. What they mean of course is that the number of houses we are likely to get has dropped from the promised “huge” number to something so miniscule as to be unobservable.
        Rather like replacing the planned 16 inch main guns on a battleship with 0.177 inch air rifles. The are just choosing a different calibre.

        The Saudi deal never made any sense to me. However to describe it as a “secret” is certainly rather silly. If it was a “secret” how did you find out about it?

    • Tricledrown 8.6

      Americas cup is about the boat building industry and Tourism. The tax dodge headline is just media BS. Reading the story if the council transfers the land before the date of a new tax. Is not a tax dodge. Its following the law.

      • alwyn 8.6.1

        “The Government is committing an extra $22.5 million to the America’s Cup. But it will only be paid if Auckland Council coughs up another $14.5 million to help pay for higher than expected infrastructure costs for the 2021 event.”
        Did you miss that bit at the start of the link?
        That is what I was talking about. The rubbish about the tax arrangements is just trivia.

  9. mac1 9

    And as the gate swings shut, and the truck departs for the works, all that is left is the dust and the dags and the droppings.

    The farmer brushes his hands off and heads to the local. The stock agent departs in his double cab. The dog pants in the kennel. A cheque arrives in the mail.

    Nothing changes.

  10. mosa 10

    I find it repugnant that for a lousy deal with the Saudis we were willing to inflict torture and death on millions of sheep.
    The footage of these ” live ” exports shows we have a long way to go with our animal welfare practices and our cruel mentality.
    This whole deal should serve as a warning of what happens when you don’t follow due process and try to cover up the actions of a sworn minister.
    On this point i agree with Hooten ” its not corrupt when a kiwi does it “

    • marty mars 10.1

      The welfare of the sheep was the last thing on their minds. They treat the people like they treat the sheep.

    • patricia bremner 10.2

      Mosa, money is important to the Gnats. Not People Not sheep Not our reputation.

    • bwaghorn 10.3

      Nz stopped live exports a while back accept in this dodgy little saga . The loop hole mccully used was because they weren’t going direct to slaughter . But only fucking morons could see that those sheep would end up at the slaughter house if they lived long enough . There are know retirement homes for sheep .

  11. Sacha 11

    No trade deal after all that! McCully couldn’t even do corruption properly. In a well-governed country he would be in jail (or alternatively a palatial mansion for his services to the powerful).

  12. RRM 12

    $11m is about 3 hours’ worth of trade with China.

    Way to go Labour, you’re really fighting the fights that matter!

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      Parker ended this prolonged stoush decisively. Now, he can take on the other running battles and win those as well.

  13. NZJester 13

    Perhaps some more money can be salvaged if the equipment can be sold. Unfortunately, I doubt they will be able to sell it for cost as if it put up for tender, the potential buyers knowing the situation will try and lowball their price.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    8 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    12 hours ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    12 hours ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    14 hours ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    14 hours ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 day ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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? ...
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    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
  • 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

  • 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    7 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
    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 ...
    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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago