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Smoking in prisons

Written By: - Date published: 9:17 pm, June 28th, 2010 - 61 comments
Categories: health, prisons - Tags:

I’m supportive of the government’s move to end smoking in prisons. I think the real winners will actually be the two thirds of prisoners who smoke. They will be forced to break their addiction. I don’t think there’s any serious justification for concerns that banning smokes could lead to more trouble in jails or that the prospect of not getting any ciggies will be enough to deter crime (after all, there are many other great things that one misses out on in jail already).

But it’s disappointing that Corrections didn’t even bother to consult with the union first. A good employer should always consult with the union over an issue that could potentially have a big impact on the workers.

On the topic of tackling smoking, I didn’t really think that putting up the tobacco excise tax should have been the government’s first option. Simply putting the up the price punishes addicts and their families, there should be some non-financial ways to disincentivise smoking without taking money out of the pockets of the poor.

The suggestions by Jeffrey Wigand warrant more examination – particularly the ideas of removing branding from packaging, forcing companies to detail the ingredients, and (most effective of all I would reckon) removing the taste improving additives.

Getting rid of the retail displays also needs to happen – is Tariana Turia still working on that or has she given up?

As suggested by Zet last year and Peter Williams yesterday, phasing out imports and domestic commercial production could be another tool. People should still be allowed to grow tobacco for personal use (along with other plants).

On a side note, while researching this I saw an article on pig blood being used in cigarette filters. That should be a worry to Jewish and Muslim smokers. Interestingly, the Indian Mutiny started because of a rumor that new bullet cartridges (which were ripped open with the teeth) were greased with pig and cow fat – using them would have violated the soldiers’ religious convictions.

61 comments on “Smoking in prisons”

  1. BLiP 1

    This policy is cruel and unusual punishment. Its another facet of the vengeance approach to justice.

    • Ari 1.1

      Making people feel nervous, twitchy, and stressed is certainly unusual, but I don’t know about cruelty. Fortunately, permanent withdrawal cures the symptoms rather than temporarily relieving them. 😛

  2. Name 2

    I’ve no problem with trying to get people to stop smoking – I never started as I had better things to do with my money than setting fire to it. However I am aware of how addictive it seems to be, and what happens to addicts when they can’t get their fix.

    I personally have little doubt that the truth behind this is pure, malicious punishment, and it’s going to cause trouble in the prisons. Even guards who smoke will have designated areas for smoking – but prisoners won’t because, according to Stuff, Corrections Manager Barry Matthews said it would be problematic for staff having to shepherd prisoners outside for cigarette breaks and provide lighters!!! I can’t imagine it would be that much more problematic than staff having to shepherd prisoners into the mess for meals and to provide them with knives and forks.

    Judith Collins on the PM programme was full of the help prisoners would be give to quit before the implementation date next July. Fine for those in prison now who know they will still be there then, but what about smokers convicted after July next year? They’ll have to do cold turkey.

    Collins also said it was because of concerns about health and safety of prison staff and to prevent legal action by staff and prisoners re second-hand smoke, both easily met by providing a roofed open air venue for prisoners to smoke.

    I foretell that it won’t be long before action is lodged against the Govt. on the basis that requiring prisoners to go cold-turkey on smoking amounts to ‘cruel and unusual punishment’, and this Govt. has egg all over its face again.

    • Marty G 2.1

      i don’t doubt it’s a vengeance thing for the Right as well, but I don’t think that makes it wrong in itself. I think the benefits for prisoners will make it worth it, and rethinking crime and punishment agrees.

      There’s no constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment in NZ and in the US it hasn’t been found unconstitutional.

      • We do have laws against torture (Crimes of Torture Act 1989).

        “Act of torture means any act or omission by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person”

        I’m told that withdrawal is pretty horrible.

        On the other hand, I assume that our jails do the same to heroin addicts and alcoholics too.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          Methadone is available for Heroin addicts allowing them to maintain their addiction. Withdrawal is not the aim, from what the guy was saying on checkpoint last night.

          He also made the point that for many prisoners, (up to half?), there are alcohol and other drug dependencies that they are having to cope with. Having cigarettes available helps with this in terms of a replacement/coping mechanism.

          • J. Andel 2.1.1.1.1

            Considering that prison has higher rates of people with mental illness going into them, and up to 90% of people with schizophrenia have tobacco dependence and nicotine can help them cope with this. http://www.enotalone.com/article/3110.html
            It would be punishing patients who should be in the mental health system. That’s unconscionable.

            • Bill 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Wonderful point about mental health patients being packed into the prison system. Should be made more often when the ‘lock ’em up and throw away the key’… see, now all of a sudden it appears I’m talking about our crooked government….anyway, where as I?

              Ah, fuck it. Today’s snippet of wisdom.

              Lock ’em up and throw away the Key.

            • Bill 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Ward 9B (Psychiatric ward in Dunedin).

              They looked to ban smoking for patients. Backed off because of human rights issues. If the same person winds up in jail instead of Ward 9B…and that can happen easier than most might want to believe, then why should they suddenly be subjected to an enforced regime of abstinence?

              To be clear, I’m talking of the same person engaging in the same behaviour that due to the arbitrary nature of our systems can see them either treated or punished.

              And when prisons are privatised, is anyone under any illusions as to where the balance of patient or inmate will tilt?

              @ PB
              Last I heard, methadone is stepped down by half dose increments on a day by day basis for inmates. There is no maintenance and no humane stepping down and off. Just the very fucking cruel punishment of quick withdrawal. I heard the same comment you refer to and thought that either a) that’s not right or b) things have changed.

              Given this governments attitude towards humanity, I’m going with a)

      • Santi 2.1.2

        Really? Can a leftie, a supporter of Labour’s effort to punish smokers, say that with a straight face?
        Incredible.

      • dave brown 2.1.3

        Well the rich white racists who wrote the US constitution obviously were generic sadists as well.
        Rethinking crime needs to do some thinking re crime.
        Smoking is an addiction, a private jail is not a hospital or a clinic.
        This regime are thieves, liars and sadists.
        Lets abolish private property and see how many people still smoke first.

      • Ag 2.1.4

        Giving up smoking can be a real pain. I know, as I have managed to do it. That said, this ban is more pathetic New Zealand wowserism.

        There is no nonpaternalistic reason to ban smoking in prisons. Simply have areas in which inmates and employees who smoke can do so without irritating others. When I smoked, I never minded being asked to keep to a smoking area. I didn’t even mind bars banning smoking inside. But there is nowhere for prisoners to go because they’re imprisoned. This is equivalent to the state banning prisoners from masturbating.

        I can’t help but feel there is an unsubtle hint of puritanism in this ban, and in the general public attitude towards smokers. It’s quite funny how things change. 50 years ago, nobody cared about what you ingested, but everyone cared about who you had sex with and how. Now you can have sex with pretty much anything and nobody will care, but the puritanism has shifted to food and suchlike. The wowsers never really go away.

  3. hmm. we don’t let people smoke on the grounds of the state’s other great compulsory institutions – schools…and yeah, that’s kids and all but a jail is people’s homes and work places.

    • Mark 3.1

      And its the workplace of Prison staff , who not only deserve a smoke free workplace , but are entitled to one by law.

      When it comes to opposing rights Im with the law abiding citizens

  4. Sarge 4

    Given that you don’t believe banning smoking will act as a deterent/is a suitable punishment, then why stop at just prisoners?? Why not ban everyone?? I can’t think of an argument which would apply only to prisoners.

    • Marty G 4.1

      how about – it’s a place of work and it’s a place where non-smokers are involuntarily confined.

      • Rex Widerstrom 4.1.1

        Common areas which staff share with prisoners: a workplace. No smoking indoors, no smoking within X metres of the building.

        A cell in which a prisoner is forcibly confined for 12 or 13 hours a day, and into which staff do not venture other than in an emergency: Their “home” (since they have the choice of no other) where, like the rest of us, they should be free to smoke.

        Yes, there’s a practical issue: double (and more) bunking and the fact that around 80% of the prison population smoke means non-smokers may be forced to share with smokers. The answer to that, of course, is to stop shoving petty criminals into our prisons. In jurisdictions which don’t have this problem, prisoners are allocated cells (and room mates) on the basis of their smoking status.

        And thus one avoids risking staff health, avoids infringing prisoners’ human rights, avoids a potential riot (and thus risk to staff) but, alas for the vote-hungry pollie, avoids cheering from the cheap seats by a bizarre alliance of “let’s watch ’em suffer” rednecks and control freak socialists.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    I’d be interested is seeing any research on how effecticve involuntary cessation programmes are. From what I understand, you have to want to give up to even start breaking an addiction.

    • f_t 5.1

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598573/

      “Banning smoking is different from quitting. Requiring people to give up smoking while in prison will undoubtedly have health benefits but these benefits are lost if they recommence smoking after release. There is no evidence that simply banning smoking is effective in reducing smoking rates over the long term. Quitting smoking while in prison and maintaining this in the post‐release period would undoubtedly save prisoners’ money and could be part of the overall rehabilitation process. However, this has yet to be demonstrated.”

  6. Bored 6

    How about Basher does the work of the warders for a week or two whilst implementing this retributive policy? I have always worked on the principle that you dont ask people to do what you would not do yourself, especially if it is dangerous….Basher appears to have no such principle.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Punitive measure that further reinforces the view that prisoners can be treated anyway those in charge like. Forced labour, not being able to vote, crating, double bunking etc.

    Yes giving up smoking would be good for these people, any person in fact, but it should be properly resourced and encouraged rather than imposed.

    This sort of petty extra punishment will ensure that the NZ penal system remains nothing more than a dumping ground and ‘feel good’ measure for the “hang ’em high’ brigade.

    • swimmer 7.1

      I agree, and not all prisoners will have a year to give up as people will be sentenced all the time, and then be suddenly expected to go through withdrawls in their first weeks of prison.

  8. QoT 8

    I’m all in favour of supporting people through quitting if they want to, and I’m certainly supportive of taking smoking out of workplaces where nonsmokers like myself may have to be … but Jesus Christ, Marty, could you be more condescending? “We’re going to force you to completely give up a legal activity with no apparent provision for smoking spaces/quitting support, but it’s for Your Own Good! Be thankful, filthy smoking scum!”

  9. felix 9

    This probably needs to happen in order for smoking legislation to be consistent across all workplaces.

    BUT it’s quite disingenuous to pretend that the well-being of prisoners is in any way a consideration.

    After all, this is not a government of compulsion, right? They don’t believe in forcefully engineering socially desirable behavioural changes via the brutish route of legislation, do they?

    Or has that all changed now?

  10. Jenny 10

    I can’t help but feel some alarm at this measure.

    Until relatively recently even oil rigs allowed smoking, (though only in one specially built containment room).

    Anyone who has ever visited psychiatric institutions or prisons are often struck by the large population of smokers.

    One of the reasons posited for this, is that smoking is termed a form of “self medication” that people in stressful situations will turn too.

    Though smoking is obviously bad for the health of inmates, many whose health is probably already compromised by their stressful life experiences, (incarceration being only the latest insult).

    The question I think should be asked is this:

    Is removing this obvious source of comfort for people under stress, humanitarian, or punitive?

    If it is punitive, is this punishment warranted?

    If this is being done for health reasons, is it being done in a humane way?

    Most reasonable people would have to answer no, to both these questions.

  11. vto 11

    Seems pretty bloody dumb to me. There is no doubt it will cause aggravation inside.

    Govt intervention in smoking drives me bananas. If they are serious just ban the fucking shit. All this diddling around the edges. Govts. No cred. No wonder they took up 9 of the bottom 10 spots in that ‘people we trust’ survey. When will they ever learn?

    • kriswgtn 11.1

      Well their objective especially Turia’s is to ban tobacco

      Wonder where they gonna get the billion$ in taxes from they will lose when they ban it
      Alcohol?

      oh thats right theyll jus raise the taxes on everything else

      I will move to OZ than give up smoking

      This country is losing the plot

      • swimmer 11.1.1

        A PC police state, our liberties are slowly being eroded and without a mandate to do so.

  12. Jenny 12

    P.S.

    Does anyone out there know of any prison system in the world where this has been trialed, or is the accepted policy?

    What are the results?

    Are these prisons by their nature more repressive?

  13. Olwyn 13

    Smoking in the 2000s occupies a similar role to gin in 1890s Britain, drawing on the same sort of self-righteous instinct to tell others what to do while side-stepping their real difficulties. If you look at world health statistics, smoking would seem to play a smaller part in general health than we are lead to believe, since nations who are heavier smokers than we are often have longer life expectancies than we do. I am not saying that smoking does not cause harm, but I am sure that the chronic insecurity brought about by low wages, unreliable employment and insecure housing causes far more harm. Not to mention degradation and contempt, which apparently affect the immune system. The banning of smoking in prisons is yet another expression of this smug contempt for others – another punitive measure taken for someone else’s “own good.” And as with drugs in prison, it will probably not be fully implemented as prison guards, unlike Ms Collins, have to deal with these edicts at the coal face, and do not have absolute control over what happens there.

    • Jenny 13.1

      Olwyn I can’t but help agree

      I think that this says it all, really.

      The fact is that Judith Collins campaign against smoking in prisons is an authoritarian and punitive top down approach. And by not being motivated by the well being of either the inmates or the guards, like all imposed authoritarian and undemocratic solutions is bound for catastrophic failure.

      Far more effective methods of giving up smoking are available. The most successful method of changing behaviours is to reward positive behaviour.

      If inmates voluntarily commit to giving up smoking ( if indeed this is the serious wish of Collins et al.) then inmates should be rewarded for efforts to give up, with increased privileges. Maybe increased visiting time with loved ones and family members in more conducive and less restrictive environments, based on the amount of time they stay smoke free.

      But this is just me.

      Those who should really be asked to give their ideas on the best methods to lessen smoking in prisons are the guards.

      That the guards have been ignored in the making of this decision is a glaring omission symptomatic of the authoritarian punitive approach displayed by Collins.

  14. MrSmith 14

    This is just another National party spin, smoke screen, while they are loading the truck with the gold out back, treat people like animals and they will behave like animals.

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    Andrew Geddis raises some good points here:

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/smoking-bans-and-crime-post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc

    (debunks the ‘isle of man’ meme, points out that the ‘support’ will probably not eventuate if the past is any guide)

  16. Ed 16

    To be consistent, no person should be allowed to stand for parliament or be employed by any part of the public sector including contractors to government, unless they can say they are not a smoker. Already MPs are not allowed to buy alcohol from minibars unless they pay for it themselves; that should be extended to National Ministers, and thought also given to banning all alcohol from parliament or for purchase by any MP (including National Ministers) while on official business even if they pay for it themselves.

    If we are going to tell people how to live their lives, we should make sure that our representatives and those that work for us set a good example.

    This is an opportunity for Judith Collins to justify her ‘Crusher’ nickname, and for the NACT government to make New Zealand world leaders.

  17. Mac1 17

    Is the smoking ban to be confined to convicted prisoners or to prisoners on remand? To prison staff? To prison visitors?

  18. RANDAL 18

    the gnats have shot themselves in the foot this time.
    I think it is fatal.
    Like dude who do they think they are.

  19. Bill 19

    Time to change the focus of the debate and find a solution as opposed to playing fucking tennis on the ‘tough on crime’ court.

    How about this.

    We know that mental health patients are wrongly locked up in the prison system.

    We know that prison officers are not trained or equipped to deal with inmate’s mental health issues.

    We know that many patients/inmates have drug addictions.

    We know that drug addiction is indicative of underlying issues.

    We know that prison officers are not trained or equipped to deal with addicts’ underlying issues.

    So why don’t we have a tiered system whereby any sentence where addiction is present in the person being sentenced, an option of admittance to a secure, well funded, staffed and resourced drug rehab unit is offered? And when the addiction has been dealt with (physically and psychologically…maybe the latter to a degree rather than completely) the actual jail sentence commences?

    Would that lead to drug free prisons?

    Not saying the above is perfect. Many of the same questions of human rights exist. But it would exhibit a concern about drug use rather than a concern for cruelly imposing a whole other layer of punishment on those unfortunate enough to have an addiction.

    • Rex Widerstrom 19.1

      You’re essentially right. But class smoking as an addiction and implement your scheme and you’ve got ~80% of prisoners in a “secure, well funded, staffed and resourced drug rehab unit”. Better to turn every prison into such a facility.

      Better yet to get serious about drugs in the community and thus reduce the offending that puts most people in prison in the first place.

  20. prism 20

    The NATS don’t care about other people than their own moneyed class considered superior, and when ‘ordinary’ people are judged criminals then they are scum humanity to them.

    The warders are at a higher level but still come under the heading of disregarded ordinary people. I think the suggestion that this is about MONEY is the major reason – preventing possible future claims from warders about unhealthy conditions from smoking, the rest is just class distaste and punitive attitudes towards the strugglers immersed in the poverty and criminal culture.

    There are foreseeable difficulties from this latest witchhunt against addiction no longer accepted by the middle and upper classes as is alcohol. Celia Lashlie on Nat Radio referred to the addictions that are countenanced by the middle class being treated differently.

    Caution about the methods of introduction have been voiced by people who understand about prisons and the culture of those incarcerated. One comment by Kim Workman I think, was that those on remand, even for short-term, will be forced into an immediate program of withdrawal. Angry, violent people will become even more so. And in those not in a single cell, anger is likely to lead to attacks. The prisons can’t cope at present as is shown by the attack and death of one warder.

    These right-wing people assume the autocratic mode of decision-making and prefer the punitive approach for other, lesser people who fail to comply with the law, and are always willing to dismantle any protocols protecting standards of human behaviour when given a chance.

    • Quoth the Raven 20.1

      The NATS don’t care about other people than their own moneyed class considered superior, and when ‘ordinary’ people are judged criminals then they are scum humanity to them.

      and Labour cares? Labour under whose sadistic watch we had the largest growth in the prison population after passing punitive legislation after punitive legislation. Clayton Cosgrove summed it up for Labour this morning on the radio when he said he doesn’t care about prisoners.

      • Olwyn 20.1.1

        Yes I was shocked by Cosgrove this morning. It seems that as far as PC goes, callous is the new black – to say that prisoners should be treated humanely is tantamount to saying, in the seventies, that women belong in the kitchen.

      • prism 20.1.2

        Thought I hadn’t been pooped by a raven recently. Trouble is you seem to be right more than occasionally. There must be some flaw in your logic if I look hard.

  21. just saying 21

    For all those that aren’t considered worth standing up for………
    And for those who won’t stand up for fear of losing the next election.

    Hangman (aka the smiling assassin)
    by Maurice Ogden

    1.
    Into our town the Hangman came,
    Smelling of gold and blood and flame.
    And he paced our bricks with a diffident air,
    And built his frame in the courthouse square.

    The scaffold stood by the courthouse side,
    Only as wide as the door was wide;
    A frame as tall, or little more,
    Than the capping sill of the courthouse door.

    And we wondered, whenever we had the time,
    Who the criminal, what the crime
    That the Hangman judged with the yellow twist
    of knotted hemp in his busy fist.

    And innocent though we were, with dread,
    We passed those eyes of buckshot lead —
    Till one cried: “Hangman, who is he
    For whom you raised the gallows-tree?”

    Then a twinkle grew in the buckshot eye,
    And he gave us a riddle instead of reply:
    “He who serves me best,” said he,
    “Shall earn the rope of the gallows-tree.”

    And he stepped down, and laid his hand
    On a man who came from another land.
    And we breathed again, for another’s grief
    At the Hangman’s hand was our relief

    And the gallows-frame on the courthouse lawn
    By tomorrow’s sun would be struck and gone.
    So we gave him way, and no one spoke,
    Out of respect for his Hangman’s cloak.

    2.
    The next day’s sun looked mildly down
    On roof and street in our quiet town,
    And stark and black in the morning air
    Was the gallows-tree in the courthouse square.

    And the Hangman stood at his usual stand
    With the yellow hemp in his busy hand;
    With his buckshot eye and his jaw like a pike
    And his air so knowing and business-like.

    And we cried, “Hangman, have you not done
    Yesterday, with the foreign one?”
    Then we fell silent, and stood amazed,
    “Oh, not for him was the gallows raised.”

    He laughed a laugh as he looked at us:
    “Did you think I’d gone to all this fuss
    To hang one man? That’s a thing I do
    To stretch a rope when the rope is new.”

    Then one cried “Murder!” and one cried “Shame!”
    And into our midst the Hangman came
    To that man’s place. “Do you hold,” said he,
    “with him that was meant for the gallows-tree?”

    And he laid his hand on that one’s arm.
    And we shrank back in quick alarm!
    And we gave him way, and no one spoke
    Out of fear of his Hangman’s cloak.

    That night we saw with dread surprise
    The Hangman’s scaffold had grown in size.
    Fed by the blood beneath the chute,
    The gallows-tree had taken root;

    Now as wide, or a little more,
    Than the steps that led to the courthouse door,
    As tall as the writing, or nearly as tall,
    Halfway up on the courthouse wall.

    3.
    The third he took — we had all heard tell —
    Was a usurer, and an infidel.
    “What,” said the Hangman “have you to do
    With the gallows-bound, and he a Jew?”

    And we cried out, “Is this one he
    Who has served you well and faithfully?”
    The Hangman smiled: “It’s a clever scheme
    to try the strength of the gallows-beam.”

    The fourth man’s dark, accusing song
    Had scratched our comfort hard and long;
    “And what concern,” he gave us back.
    “Have you for the doomed — the doomed and Black?”

    The fifth. The sixth. And we cried again,
    “Hangman, Hangman, is this the man?”
    “It’s a trick,” he said. “that we hangmen know
    For easing the trap when the trap springs slow.”

    And so we ceased, and asked no more,
    As the Hangman tallied his bloody score.
    And sun by sun, and night by night,
    The gallows grew to monstrous height.

    The wings of the scaffold opened wide
    Till they covered the square from side to side;
    And the monster cross-beam, looking down,
    Cast its shadow across the town.

    4.
    Then through the town the Hangman came,
    Through the empty streets, and called my name —
    And I looked at the gallows soaring tall,
    And thought, “There is no one left at all

    For hanging, and so he calls to me
    To help pull down the gallows-tree.”
    So I went out with right good hope
    To the Hangman’s tree and the Hangman’s rope.

    He smiled at me as I came down
    To the courthouse square through the silent town.
    And supple and stretched in his busy hand
    Was the yellow twist of the hempen strand.

    And he whistled his tune as he tried the trap,
    And it sprang down with a ready snap —
    And then with a smile of awful command
    He laid his hand upon my hand.

    “You tricked me. Hangman!,” I shouted then,
    “That your scaffold was built for other men…
    And I no henchman of yours,” I cried,
    “You lied to me, Hangman. Foully lied!”

    Then a twinkle grew in the buckshot eye,
    “Lied to you? Tricked you?” he said. “Not I.
    For I answered straight and I told you true —
    The scaffold was raised for none but you.

    For who has served me more faithfully
    Then you with your coward’s hope?” said he,
    “And where are the others who might have stood
    Side by your side in the common good?”

    “Dead,” I whispered. And amiably
    “Murdered,” the Hangman corrected me:
    “First the foreigner, then the Jew…
    I did no more than you let me do.”

    Beneath the beam that blocked the sky
    None had stood so alone as I.
    The Hangman noosed me, and no voice there
    Cried “Stop!” for me in the empty square.

  22. Olwyn 22

    Well said, just saying.

  23. WOOF 23

    He he he he he 🙂

  24. swimmer 24

    Just saying, great comment 🙂

  25. just saying 25

    Just in case anyone thought I wrote the poem (I wish) – I’m not Maurice Ogden. I just added “smiling assassin” to the title:-)

  26. Jenny 26

    I would think that if smokers are a minority of the prison population, it would be easy to create a non-smoking unit, or even prison. Those who seriously want to quit could ask for a transfer there.

    To sweeten the pot, the non-smoking unit (or units) could be sited closer to family or main population centres with more privileges.

    capcha – liked

    • Jenny 26.1

      P.S.
      Of course the above policy would only work if the Minister was even the slightest bit serious in persuading inmates to give up cigarettes.

      I think most people realise that this is not what motivates Judith Collins to implement this policy.

      Let’s be clear this policy is vindictive, punitive and repressive, it will lead to hardship and resentment in the prison population. If she has been listening to her advisors, or the officers of the Corrections Association, Collins knows this is fact, but she couldn’t care less.

      This policy has nothing to do with getting inmates to give up smoking.

      Collins is indulging in populous pandering to the conservative extremes of the political right out of callous self interest.

      Will Judith Collins give a commitment to accept responsibility if guards or prisoners are harmed in the forced implementation of this unrealistic policy?

      I doubt it, the mark of a bully is that they are also a coward.

      capcha – cure

  27. Maggie 27

    Anyone who has ever worked with addicts (booze, fags, gambling, sex) will tell you the key is that the addict has to want to stop. You can’t force people against their will to break a habit. If prisoners want tobacco badly enough they will find a way of getting it.

    This is just another National “feel good” policy designed to placate the redneck rump of the party.

  28. Descendant Of Smith 28

    Johnny Cash also summed this type of prison approach well

    “San Quentin, what good do you think you do…..

    San Quentin

    I continue to struggle with how right wing the Labour Party has become since earlier times. This stuff was known then and we’ve gone so far backwards in so many areas that many of the left think small victories are gains when they are still a reinforcement of the right.

  29. Thomas 29

    I am in total support of a smoking ban in prisons, for one thing it will bring it into line with all other work places & at the end of the day some prisoners might even thank the authorities for getting rid of their unhealthy & expensive habit, & for some corrections staff to be saying that tobacco is the best tool they have is in itself pathetic, so time to start looking for some real tools to deal with prisoners behaviour wouldn’t you say.
    I had to laugh the other evening when watching TV & hearing human rights lawyer Michael Bott saying words to the effect that prisons are a dangerous & toxic environment, well he got that right didn’t he with all that smoke currently being inhaled by both prisoners & prison staff.

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    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    18 hours ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    19 hours ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial 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... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    22 hours ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    23 hours ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    1 day ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • 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
    2 days 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 ...
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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 ...
    2 days 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 ...
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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? ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago

  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
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  • COVID-19 updates
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