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Smells Like Stale Male Spirit

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, August 18th, 2019 - 92 comments
Categories: local body elections, local government, Politics - Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A very informative analysis showed that patriarchy is alive and well in NZ local authorities. The face of local government in NZ is white, male, and middle-aged. Since 1989, the number of female candidates and elected women has been gradually rising. However, the voter turnout has been steadily declining during this period.

The gender imbalance is not the only issue. The composition of local government does not reflect the population in terms if (voting) age or ethnicity either. All this means that we are not properly and fairly represented at local level. It also means that our local government is based on a pool of limited views and values, talent, ideas, and solutions, for example. This lack of diversity is a monoculture and these tend to be more resistant to change (cue climate change emergency) and less resilient to shocks or calamities. We are not served as well as we could and should be.

Unfortunately, local affairs receive limited attention in MSM; local reporting seems to be becoming a thing of the past, likely because of never-ending drive to cut costs. Only a few ‘newsworthy’ items can cut through the noise of the 24-hour news cycle in direct competition with international media and overseas affairs. We seem to be more interested in our central government in Wellington if MSM is to be believed. Of course, it is more ‘entertaining’ to read about what the PM or the Leader of the Opposition are up to. However, little of that affects us directly if at all.

Yet in our daily lives, we directly and indirectly experience much that is to do with local government (albeit not all can be voted for in local elections). I am not just thinking of roaming chickens and cat-sized rats infesting tranquil little suburbs. Much of the local roading network is managed by and through local government. For example, rubbish collection, noise control, potholes in the road, public transport, all sorts of bylaws, council rates, housing developments, climate change, et cetera, are largely if not solely under the control of local government.

Not only have voters switched and are switching off, candidates also seem to be suffering from increasing apathy. Some elections are anything but a contest of ideas and vote-off (run off) between high-quality candidates as some stand unopposed. So, it will be BAU and although each elected official will do their best it is hard to see how lack of competition will challenge them to be the best they can be; it breeds complacency IMO.

I should point out that not all middle-aged white males in local government are stale; some are progressive and open to change. However, they seem to be the exception that proves the rule. I see some parallels with TS, which has been struggling with finding more women or younger people to write posts here. The ones who do make a unique and invaluable contribution to this community. It is just an example of how diversity enriches and benefits us all, not just a few.

So, how can we improve things for and with local government?

92 comments on “Smells Like Stale Male Spirit”

  1. vto 1

    I thought ageism, racism and sexism were not allowed. Have the rules changed? Are candidates race age and gender are up for consideration then? 

    Or do you simply not have any info on candidates ideas and policies and so just grabbed at the front cover?

    Are there laws preventing certain ages genders and races from standing?

    Maybe the white males are the only ones who care enough and are sufficiently civic minded? Maybe young brown females are just slack and don't care?

    Who knows eh? Toss a few prejuices around eh?

    Who says the elected need to be the same age race and gender as the voters anyway? Don't know that's ever happened in history has it? 

    What a confused and incomplete post

    • Sacha 1.1

      You're expecting every post to include a full 101 of its topic? From the first google result I got, this might help:

      In prejudice people are basically defending privilege of position and thus stand to gain emotionally, culturally, socially and economically from an attitude of prejudice towards others.

      http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/caleb/racism.html

    • Incognito 1.2

      Where do you see “ageism, racism and sexism”?

      The info can be found in the links provided in the post.

      AFAIK, you have to a NZ citizen aged 18 years or older without a criminal record or something like that. You don’t have to give your age, for example.

      Maybe the white males are the only ones who care enough and are sufficiently civic minded? Maybe young brown females are just slack and don't care?

      Who knows eh? Toss a few prejuices [sic] around eh?

      Is that an attempt at irony?

      What a confused and incomplete post

      You seem to have missed the point of the post, which was to stimulate debate, a starting point, to get the ball rolling. Commenters can add fresh ideas or insights and fill in gaps and correct mistakes; posts become more mature and complete thanks to high-quality comments. Your comments appear to be reflexive and reactionary instead of constructive and innovative.

      One final note, I hope you do realise that Authors here write in their spare time on topics that they care about, as ordinary citizens, not as professionals. Authors also write for a general audience. I am the first one to admit that it is not easy but at least we give it a go. Without Authors TS would be a barren place and an empty site. Thank you for your consideration.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Speaking as a pale, stale patriarch, snout in trough, taking the place of some more worthy young turk…at least the umbrella organisation, Local Government New Zealand, has made efforts, significant efforts, to facilitate the inclusion of people outside of the aforementioned group (pale etc.) by requiring CEO's to actively petition and advertise for a wider range of candidates come election-time. As well, they've raised the salaries for councillors, so that people other than retirees or those with fewer familial obligations can consider a term or 4 in the council chamber; it's difficult to live, especially if you have dependants, on a councillors' salary alone. Plus, the timetable is cranky and difficult to plan an otherwise busy life around, especially when that involves children. Whether that helps remains to be seen. We'll have some idea following these upcoming local body elections. Fingers crossed.

  3. Pat 3

    Its a certain 'type' that has a desire to be involved in politics be they local or national….and alongside the rare desire there are couple of important attributes that are also important, life experience, self confidence and ability…..all of which takes time to acquire, so perhaps its not surprising age at least is a factor.

    And then theres the wise adage worth remembering…anyone capable of getting themselves elected President should on no account be allowed to do the job

    • Incognito 3.1

      True, and self-selection obviously plays a major role. Then again, confidence is not always matched with competence.

  4. vto 4

    Frankly the young haven't experienced enough of the world to be let near the levers of power. Is why 'elders' have such place in most societies. Has this been considered in your post incognito? This historic fact? How does this get reconciled against your post?

    • Dukeofurl 4.1

      I agree with some of that.  In my  local board area  of Auckland the labour ticket has incredible diversity . Im happy to vote for all of those people.

      Often the older  people have incredible links to many community groups.

      Thats because they reflect Auckland and maybe  70,000 people .  Just looking at a collection of the smaller rural councils you wont  find that,  with many below 10,000 people eg Waimate in South Canterbury with 7,000.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Districts_of_New_Zealand

      You would need 10 x those councils to have the same population as one Auckland community board in Auckland.

      Thats the problem with  assuming every council  is equivalent  for the population it serves , both in size and diversity.

      • Incognito 4.1.1

        The candidate ticket tends to be more diverse than the elected officials. The problem is that they don’t seem to be able to attract a plurality vote. As mentioned in the post, some contests have only one candidate standing.

    • weka 4.2

      that's an argument for not having an 18 yr old CEO. It's not an argument against *representation across age. Having an 18 year old on council will bring in perspectives just like having an 80 year old will. We need all of them.

      • Pat 4.2.1

        unless the council is to become impossibly large all that achieves is 'one' 18 year olds perspective….which may be as 'pale and white and stale' as the 60 year old they sit next to….or possibly even more so.

        The Irish were trialling (not sure if it continues) a citizens body of I believe a hundred (?) to address set issues….much like a working party or select committee….drawn at random from the community….that appears to me to be a more effective solution.

        • Sacha 4.2.1.1

          'Citizen Juries' are a great way of achieving informed decisions. At least some of our larger councils are doing similar stuff digitally.

            • Dukeofurl 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Not  all randomly chosen

               Convention members were a chairperson nominated by the government, 33 representatives chosen by political parties, and 66 randomly chosen citizens. Meeting over 15 months, it considered seven constitutional issues previously specified by the Oireachtas and two more of its own choosing.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens%27_Assembly_(Ireland)

              And some issues over ability to stick with it.
              “Of the original 99 members, 17 withdrew before the first working meeting, whose replacements immediately took over; another 11 withdrew before the final abortion meeting, whose replacements did not participate until the assembly moved on to its next topic for discussion.[14] Seven replacements joining in January 2018 were removed the following month when it emerged they were recruited via acquaintances of a Red C employee, who was then suspended, rather than via random selection.[22]

              • Pat

                so even in a citizens assembly the elite wish some measure of control….unsurprising I guess.

                Even so the concept is a good one and would IMO go a lot further in providing a true voice to the great unwashed and be far more likely to forestall the revolution (nod to Weka) than a few diverse councillors/MPs in an unreconstructed system

        • McFlock 4.2.1.2

          Diversity doesn't eliminate groupthink, but it makes it less likely.

          • Pat 4.2.1.2.1

            that assumes groupthink is the issue….they are after all essentially democratic institutions…a measure of diversity dosnt  address the tyranny of the majority nor the influence of vested interests

            • McFlock 4.2.1.2.1.1

              I do wonder how democratic they really are as institutions if their "representatives" are almost entirely of a very narrow demographic group.

              I wonder what the covert barriers are between other people and running or being elected.

              • Pat

                theyre democratic in that majority vote carries the motion.

                • McFlock

                  But there does seem to be a mismatch between the representatives and the people they supposedly represent.

                  • Pat

                    wouldnt disagree with that….and that is why I think a randomly selected citizens council (jury) would provide real representation of views, especially as opposed to the hope that the wider engaged community would provide a representative body through their vote.

        • Incognito 4.2.1.3

          Our local and national politics are supposed to be representative but in practice, this doesn’t mean that they are comprehensive. The current argument is that particularly local government poorly represents their people, that the level of diversity is less than optimal, and that there are no legal or institutionalised reasons as to why this cannot be remedied. This begs the question as what is, can, or should be done to achieve better representation, better voter engagement, and, consequently, better outcomes for all. Unless one would like to argue that this is as good as it gets.

          • Pat 4.2.1.3.1

            the level of diversity may well be less than optimal but given the process for selecting representatives (vote) and the number of positions available then I would suggest that representation by like and proportion is not achievable….that leaves disengagement and the frustration that may lead to undesirable outcomes.

            A randomly selected citizens body as the Irish have made use of is a practical and achievable option

            • Incognito 4.2.1.3.1.1

              If you scroll up a little to my response @ 9:10 PM to you, you’ll see that I agree 😉

              • Pat

                so i see….and yet you also said  @9.09 "..that particularly local government poorly represents their people, that the level of diversity is less than optimal, and that there are no legal or institutionalised reasons as to why this cannot be remedied."….which runs contrary to my assertion that representation by like and proportion is not achievable.

                confusing eh?

                • Incognito

                  Ah, yes, sorry.

                  I’d like to think that we can and must do better within the current framework. You argue that we can (and must?) only do much better if we change or expand the current framework (not quite a paradigm shift IMO). If I have this correct, I don’t think we’re necessarily disagreeing but perhaps talking about different stages of development or evolution of the local governing system.

                  • Pat

                    I thought I was being very clear….the representative system we have is incapable of delivering a representative sample of the communities they serve (that is not to say it couldnt be improved but only marginally.)…whereas the Irish method could provide valuable representative input (and free of vested interest) and it could do so tomorrow

                    • Incognito

                      Yes, you were clear. I’m not reading the comments properly at the moment, which is telling me something 😉

                      I doubt I’ll find time any time soon to delve further into the Irish idea 🙁

    • gsays 4.3

      Hi vto, you raise a good point about the elders and it is a double edged sword.

      I think it is a James A Michener quote – "shut up and listen to my 60 years experience said the old man, so we did and it turned out he had one years experience repeated sixty times".

      We live in interesting times and perhaps need a circuit breaker voice that isn't beholden to nostalgia, profit or the status quo.

    • Incognito 4.4

      That’s a brief comment but with lots of good stuff in it, thank you.

      Yes, I had considered it, but time and space constraints (the latter self-imposed) stopped me from including it in the OP.

      I had been thinking about something along the lines of the philosopher-king at local government level. Wisdom comes with age, apparently. However, I don’t think it is as clear-cut.

      It all depends on the variety and richness of experiences. Many older people I know, who are still fully active in the work force, are very set in their ways and the saying comes to mind “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Some folks have been doing the same thing over and over again; their habits, thinking patterns, ideas and concepts of and about the rapidly changing world are engrained, fixed.

      Coincidentally, I was reading this article yesterday: https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-08-17/creativity-neuroscience-your-brain/11420898. In it, they do touch on the age question and there is no (clear) answer.

      I think we need a combination of freshness, innovative new thinking and ways to solve problems, risk-taking, on the one hand, and life experience, wisdom, and risk-mitigation, on the other hand. I’d argue that we don’t have the right balance (or the balance right?) currently.

      I’d also argue that “the levers of power” is overstating it in the context of (local) government. By design, power, or decision-making and influencing rather, is usually practiced in a democratic fashion (by majority vote) with many layers of accountability, scrutiny, checks & balances, et cetera. In other words, “power” is limited and (almost) a misnomer. It is not like handing the wheel to a two-year old although “levers” is a nice metaphor. In the first link in the post, they talked about young voters and candidates below the age of 38. Is that too young? Are they to ‘hot-headed’ to make responsible decisions? I remain unconvinced this is the case; some younger people are wise beyond their years (the PM is 39). What better way to learn how to use the “levers of power” at a non-ancient or -geriatric age than ‘to have a go’ with so-called cooler heads giving advice and mentorship. Let’s not wait until you’re retired and have nine grandchildren before you should be allowed anywhere near any responsibility at local government level. It makes little sense to me.

      Personally, I don’t find it very useful to frame things in terms of inter-generational clashes. Often, it turns into identity politics and reduces issues (in)to over-simplified and/or perceived generational issues that can create problems with intersectionality (i.e. sub-populations falling between the cracks). Climate change could be such an example. The situation at Ihumātao might be another one.

      • Robert Guyton 4.4.1

        Plus no one's talking about the influence/power held/claimed by council executive/staff over that the councillors appear/profess to have.

        smiley

        • Incognito 4.4.1.1

          Yes, very good point, Robert, thank you again. I only hinted at that in the OP with a few cryptic words “albeit not all can be voted for in local elections” and in my long-winded comment @ 4.4. Maybe when power is too spread out and diluted nothing gets done and we stay stuck in BAU and status quo by design – stability and continuity are good. Maybe the idea of a benevolent dictator-Mayor is something to consider …

          • Robert Guyton 4.4.1.1.1

            I followed up your philosopher-king note. That's a whole thread of its own, I reckon. It conflicts with the de-individualising trend though; can we hope for an individual to play that part; if it takes a village to raise a child, what does it take to raise us all above our present circumstance?

            • Incognito 4.4.1.1.1.1

              Love, selflessness & altruism, willpower, determination & sheer grit, faith, honesty, integrity, courage, empathy & compassion, intelligence, patience, curiosity, holistic thinking, wisdom, et cetera.

              Ok, I admit I’m a little flippant but the answer is the same for all burning questions that are the cause and effect of the human race. I reckon. In essence, they are existential questions, closely followed by morality, e.g. what is the right to do? Doing nothing is not the answer although it is an answer.

              Crikey, Robert, this is much more than a whole of its own; it is about life!

              I’ll make myself another mint tea to calm down now.

              • Robert Guyton

                Mint? Sounds like you could do with a hot cup of skullcap!

                A discussion on will power would be very interesting.

                How is will power developed and in what might an increase in personal willpower result?

                But another time, perhaps; it's getting late…

  5. df 5

    Get out and participate.

  6. weka 6

    Good post. I think we will see some interesting candidates this year. Not sure we are quite at a tipping point in terms of engagement, but hoping it will be better.

    Anyone concerned about water issues (lake/river) or industrial dairying, could be looking at their regional council candidates closely and voting accordingly.

    • weka 6.1

      Lol, the Smith photo. Harsh.

      • Sacha 6.1.1

        Had forgotten how badly chewed some of the Amerkin accents in that movie were until last night's screening.

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          with the Aussie to Amerkin I assumed it was intentional.

          • Sacha 6.1.1.1.1

            Guess it easily added a sense of otherness before Aussies were as common in the US screen industry. Unreal that it has been 20 years.

      • Robert Guyton 6.1.2

        Smith: over 50?

        • weka 6.1.2.1

          timeless.

        • Incognito 6.1.2.2

          At the time of the movie, the actor was well under 50. However, Weka is correct that the character is timeless. Agent Smith was an AI program in and of the Matrix. He was also a metaphor, as the whole movie was a metaphor and full of symbolism, which is why I liked it so much – I do like Philip K. Dick and how Carl Jung heavily influenced him and his works. For the current post, I used the photo of Agent Smith as another metaphor, not be taken literally as such. I was hunting for a good image and this one seemed quite appropriate – you don’t recognise yourself or your fellow Councillors in it?

          • Robert Guyton 6.1.2.2.1

            A council of Mr Smiths?

            Not so exciting as that, I'm sorry to say, though it feels that way sometimes. The best I can say is I'm a red-piller amongst blue. Or at least, that's how I frame it.

            • Incognito 6.1.2.2.1.1

              Good one, Robert.

              Candidates are self-selecting, of course, and there always seems to be an element of the ‘old boys’ networks’ in politics. I’d like to think that party politics plays less of a dominant role in local than national politics, but I could be wrong. Whether this is good or bad for groupthink, I don’t know either, but polarisation and tribal factions sure are present, which is why the family photo of Mr Smith is apt IMHO. BTW, the pill was a placebo.

              • Robert Guyton

                Powerful stuff, that placebo.

                • Incognito

                  Yeah, nah. It’s all in the mind, not in the pill or any paraphernalia for that matter; it’s about the choices we make and what we believe in. Much happens at the sub-conscious level and when it reaches the surface of our consciousness we experience that eureka moment (or déjà vu). IMHO. But we’re going OT.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Placebo though, requires an outside agency to administer something to the client/patient/person and how that is done is a powerful determinant for the effectiveness of the placebo, wrapped up as they are in promise, expectation, theatre and the rest of it. Sugar too. Red is best.

                    • Incognito

                      All correct, of course. Some people are administered hypnosis and suggestions to help them with addictions or phobias. In some cases, it is very effective. Auto-suggestion, self-hypnosis, meditation, mindfulness, et cetera, can have powerful effects, transformational even.

                      How did we get to this? It belongs in your post on how to get there IMO 😉

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Well, I'm getting there by being a regional councillor, proving that there's hope for us all!

              • weka

                As far as I can tell small town NZ is still run by the old boys network. Not as much or as bad, but it's still there.

                • Incognito

                  Personally, I don’t have much experience with the old boy’s networks. School BOTs can be particularly bad.

                • Stuart Munro.

                  I'm not certain about that. I can recall an incident on Stewart Island where the ladies of the town dealt to visiting naval forces decisively without male assistance. And years ago in Timaru, When I was flying through for MAF with more luggage than any reasonable person ever carries, some fool disrespected the fiftyish lady on the ticket counter. The ground crew, without prompting, patiently explained to him that the plane was overweight, and that he'd have to wait for the next flight – meanwhile our hundreds of kilos of gear was loaded without difficulty. Soft power is a big thing in some small towns.

                  • weka

                    of course. Women have power. That the old boys network still runs things just tells us that power is shared unevenly. Imagine how fast things would change if women had access to the institutional power still currently denied them.

                    (btw, there are women operating within the old boys network, but neoliberalism lets women in where they play the game right).

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      Maybe Vicki Buck could give some guidance – the most popular Christchurch mayor ever as far as I can tell – approval was 90% at one point.

                    • weka

                      how many of her colleagues are women?

                      Is she part of the old boys network?

  7. Dukeofurl 7

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/114930238/the-white-male-middleaged-face-of-local-government

    The data visualisation is  not comparing apples with apples.

    The compare ALL the councillors with ALL the population, when it should adjust the  number of councillors with  the population they represent.

    The reality is rural NZ is  older, where  a disproportionate  number of councillors represent smaller rural areas.

  8. cleangreen 8

    Todays local government are full of "Hollow people" who play the same game of saying first ‘what you want to hear’

    Then as soon as they are elected to the 'public cash trough' they turn into right wing zealots.

    And after several years stealing from us they go into another national party election as a candidate. I have sen this for the last 5 elections.

  9. weka 9

    I think it's worth pointing out that the call for diversity isn't a call to not have any wealthy, older, able-bodied white men in power. There's a general sense of inclusiveness. But people's patience isn't infinite, and the longer the patriarchy resists change, the more people are going to be inclined to remove power by whatever means necessary, and maybe have a period of time of rebalancing. Mostly it's still about wanting those men to learn how to *share power, and the sooner that happens the better for everyone.

  10. Dukeofurl 10

    Just looked at a few councils for places Ive lived 

    Napier: 12 councillors plus mayor .  6 are women incl Acting Mayor

    https://www.napier.govt.nz/our-council/mayor-and-councillors/

    Rotorua:  10 councillors plus mayor. 4 incl mayor are women.

    https://www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/our-council/mayor-and-elected-members/Pages/default.aspx

    Hastings: 13 councillors plus mayor. 7 women incl mayor

    https://www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/our-council/mayor-and-councillors/

    Palmerston North : Mayor +15 councillors 7 are women.
    https://www.pncc.govt.nz/council-city/about-council/mayor-and-councillors/

    A few other of  the small rural councils  seem to have a near  gender balance as well.

    Could it be that the regional Councils are the ones heavily skewed to men. They would involve travelling further to meetings and the  RC cover more technical areas   than local councils

  11. Cricklewood 11

    I'm not sure what to make of articles like this, I feel  they make the assumption that given the choice (and if they vote) people will vote for someone in a similar demographic to  themselves.

    Maybe I'm an outlier, but personally I vote on ideas age race or gender of the candidate dont come into it at all. 

    If anything I find the story divisive. I do whole heartedly agree that we should make it easier and financially viable for young people or those  with families to stand for election. Free childcare etc would be a great start.

    • Incognito 11.1

      No, that assumption was not made. In fact, that assumption is challenged in both the post as well as in the first link provided. For example:

      But it's not necessarily the case that older people vote exclusively for older candidates, or that Pākehā vote exclusively for Pākehā candidates.

      For one thing, the proportion of voters younger than 38 is significantly higher than the proportion of elected members younger than 38. This might mean that young candidates get little to no support from anyone older than 38, and thus are unable to command a plurality of votes; but it seems more likely that there are simply fewer candidates in that age cohort to vote for.

      Although, to be fair, that piece also did mention in-group bias.

      I wrote the post in relatively short time and late at night and wanted to keep it short. My intention was to stimulate thinking and debate, not to stuff my opinion down people’s throats. In this sense, you were not supposed to make anything of the post as such, just to do your own thinking.

      If anything I find the story divisive.

      Really? Care to elaborate? I really tried to argue for a more inclusive and representative local government and about the only thing you took from the post was that it was divisive!? I’m most intrigued!

      • Cricklewood 11.1.1

        Apologies was referring to the stuff article should have made that clearer… 

        • Incognito 11.1.1.1

          All good, but I’m still puzzled; I didn’t find it divisive but informative. I would not have included it otherwise.

  12. David Mac 12

    I think we get the representation we ask for. We get what we deserve.

    We deserve Chloe Swarbrick, a fresh young voice that has surprised many NZers. What a mature and measured handling of a hot potato like legalising weed she is delivering. 

    The Greens bring merit, it's a garden that encourages Chloes to flourish. I can see how people like Chloe would struggle to be inspired to share a floor dominated by archetypal councilors. 

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      She'd find it … icky!

    • Incognito 12.2

      I think we get the representation we ask for. We get what we deserve.

      Although I don’t disagree, when I hear this sentiment expressed in various forms, it always feels slightly fatalistic to me, as if we have no other choice. That’s the whole point of the post, if we are not satisfied with the current situation, we can change it. In fact, most things are self-inflicted or social constructs and can be undone, reversed, fixed, repaired, corrected or whatever, if we choose to. Elections are all about choice albeit somewhat limited. Sorry, this is not personal, just a general ‘rant’.

  13. Obtrectator 14

    One trouble I've always had with local body elections is differentiating one candidate from another.  They all seem to want to run a more inclusive council while keeping rates (or rates increases) below a certain level and being committed to the area/region/town.  None of them actually say how these laudable objectives are going to be achieved.  Often enough, once the votes are counted and the feet are safely under the council table, they aren't achieved.  And the few genuine stand-outs tend to find themselves branded as trouble-makers, excluded from meaningful roles and ruthlessly criticised at every opportunity.

    • Robert Guyton 14.1

      Here's what I said, Obtrector, in the Southland Times:

      "Message to all candidates for local body elections; billboards are boring!

      Hard-working Southlanders, especially those living in Invercargill, have to drive past our uninspiring faces and irritating slogans for weeks on end and are generally too polite to take a black-marker to them to express their annoyance. Let’s all do something different this time around; entertain and amuse those whose votes we are chasing, with creative billboards, fun billboards, the likes of which have never been seen before! I’m happy start the ball rolling; I’ve still got my original billboards that show a younger me with a dark, clipped and tidy beard. Now that I’m 9 years down the councillor track, my beard is full and as white as a summer cloud. I’m going to up-date my billboards by glueing-on a fluffy, lamb’s-wool beard that would make Father Christmas proud! How about the rest of you? Have you any creative bones in your bodies? Let’s do the voting public a favour and make campaigning fun for a change!"

      I don't know if that helps alleviate your frustrations, but it did mine (a little)

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    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
    15 hours 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
    15 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    17 hours 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 ...
    17 hours 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 ...
    18 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 day ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 day ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 day ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    6 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
    9 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
    13 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
    19 hours ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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  • State of National Emergency extended
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  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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    5 days ago
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  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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  • COVID-19 updates
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  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
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  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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