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Socialism is Democracy

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, November 11th, 2009 - 59 comments
Categories: socialism - Tags:

This hilarious stoush between Moore and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer is worth a look too.

Hat tip: The kids at the Workers Party.

59 comments on “Socialism is Democracy”

  1. BLiP 1

    Simple really, isn’t it: those opposed to socialism are ipso facto opposed to democracy. One need only consider the process involved and resulting outcome so far as it relates to democracy in Auckland City.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    Anything, including socialism, is democratic if people vote for it.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      No, socialism requires democratic systems as a matter of course. Capitalism doesn’t as can be seen by the feudalist and absolutist periods of our history.

      • Quoth the Raven 2.1.1

        Feudalism is not capitalism. I thought you’d read Marx.

      • Lew 2.1.2

        No, socialism requires democratic systems as a matter of course.

        A cursory examination of history reveals that this is complete and unadulterated bullshit, routinely employed by the proponents of socialism mainly to justify their utterly failed system and its broken utopian dreams.

        Unless you want to go all No-true-Scotsman and claim that the USSR, East Berlin, Yugoslavia, North Korea, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc. weren’t socialist. Then we’re not so much talking past each other as abiding on separate planes of existence.

        Moore’s point — who cares what we call it — gets things the wrong way around. How we call things dictates to a large extent how we think about them. Socialists need new terminology; Marx is beyond rehabilitation, not necessarily through any great flaw in his theories, but due to the misapplication and abuse of his principles by the regimes named above. That can’t be un-done, and it mustn’t be ignored, which is what people tacitly suggest when they say ‘socialism’ deserves one last try. It doesn’t; it’s dead, and long may it remain so. Something else may rise in its place, a 21st Century economic philosophy which fulfils the needs of 21st Century societies. But it can’t be socialism.

        L

        • Daveo 2.1.2.1

          Depends how you define socialism Lew. I don’t define capitalism by the actions of Pinochet, likewise I reject the idea that socialism should be defined by the actions of Stalin.

          What Moore’s arguing is that the values behind democratic socialism should be revived and applied to the 21st century. Whatever we decide to call that is irrelevant.

          • Lew 2.1.2.1.1

            Daveo, but you do define capitalism by the actions of Bush, Reagan, Thatcher, Gates, Bloomberg, Buffet, Banks, Jones and Key — and that’s reasonable to do, since those are the implementations we have. Those I listed are the implementations of socialism we have. I left a few out — Cuba, for one — but the societies you’re probably thinking of in Scandinavia and Western Europe can’t really be called socialism, no matter how the Teabaggers might like to attach that label to it. There really isn’t a mature example of socialism having worked toward sustained improvements of peoples’ quality of life without massive compromises in terms of civil rights or in other areas.

            The problem with Marx is that he provides a mechanism by which the proletariat gives up its power to a dictatorship, but he doesn’t provide a mechanism by which they can take it back without either dismantling the whole structure or installing a replacement dictatorship in its place. And because of this the dictators enjoy impunity, and are no longer motivated to do what’s right for the people, because — what can the people do anyway? And so they become corrupt and evil.

            Solve the power transfer problem and Marxism could work. At present the only solution is via the democratic process, and that means those who want socialism need to convince the rest of their society that they should want it too. That requires ditching the term ‘socialism’ and all the authoritarian baggage which comes with it.

            Again: what we call it is not irrelevant, because what we call it determines how people think about it. The more people carry on about socialism, the more the capitalists laugh behind their hands, because they know that, running against that horse and its track record over the past century, they can’t lose. And perhaps, if that’s the quality of thought among its opponents, they shouldn’t.

            L

            • Herodotus 2.1.2.1.1.1

              So how do you enable”socialism” whilst still maintaining individual responsibility and contributing to the whole? i.e. socialism as opposed to “welfareism”.
              from R Winston The Story of God, there is mentioned that back in the old days those who did not abide/contribute towards the community were excluded i.e. A death sentance, as an individual did not survive alone. Such policies were followed by many modern cultures including Maori.

            • Daveo 2.1.2.1.1.2

              Your problem is you think of socialism purely within the confines of Stalinism. It’s a broad church, encompassing anarchism, social democracy, and yes, even the authoritarian socialist regimes of the 20th century.

              We’ve seen that authoritarian socialism is a failure, just as authoritarian capitalism has proven a failure. Now that democratic capitalism is faltering I’m positing that we try democratic socialism. Do you have a problem with that Lew? I mean, I’m happy to rebrand it as something else if you’d like, I’m all ears. But do you have a problem with the project?

              And if you do, what is your problem and what would you do instead?

            • Lew 2.1.2.1.1.3

              Daveo, I think of socialism in terms of implementation, and in terms of Marx’s schema which was followed in broad terms by the implementers. What you’re talking about as socialism — and what Moore is — isn’t really much like that at all. So I’m saying it should be called something else. What it should be called I don’t know — social democracy is ok, but it gets perverted into socialist democracy by both its enemies and its more idiotic proponents.

              Herodotus, I don’t really know. There should be no requirement incumbent upon people criticising an existing scheme to come up with an entire new scheme in whole cloth. As it happens, we have capitalism in its variously moderated forms. Some of them work tolerably well. We don’t need revolution, and we don’t need blind adherence to failed doctrines of the past — what we need is synthesis.

              L

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1.4

              The problem, Lew, with you calling the USSR et al socialist is the simple fact that they weren’t – they were communist (and it’s arguable that they weren’t that either). Socialism has always been to work within the capitalist system to bring human rights and improve the conditions of the lower classes but not to replace it.

              Modern democracy has come out of that movement. It’s taken awhile but the interesting point is that the revolution that finally overthrew Absolutism back 1688 wasn’t a capitalist revolution. It was one by the proletariat which was usurped by the capitalists. The revolution would have continued against the capitalists as well except for two things:
              1) Democracy was promised and, even though limited to less than 5% of the population, given.
              2) After nearly 50 years of on again/off again civil war people were a little sick of the dying.

              Democracy is not native to capitalism.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1.5

              PS. I agree that we have a problem with the meanings of words. The problem is that we don’t have any other words to use unless we start using a different language from English and I’m not sure if we’d find any there either.

            • Lew 2.1.2.1.1.6

              DTB,

              In fact, voting seems more often than not to act as a fig leaf for decidedly undemocratic systems of governance.

              Ah yes, No True Scotsman.

              Per the Marxian schema, communism has never been attained, only socialism of various sorts, and the regimes I cite all got stuck at the dictatorship of the proletariat, a proto-communist stage. The shorthand for these proto-communist stages was socialism, and so it remains, because the schema cannot progress beyond that stage. There is no mechanism to ensure power transfer. The incentives are too perverse.

              Socialism has always been to work within the capitalist system to bring human rights and improve the conditions of the lower classes but not to replace it.

              This is pure revisionism, attaching many of the characteristics of ‘democracy’ (which you know has broad appeal) to the label ‘socialism’ (which you know doesn’t).

              Go back and read Marx again. And when you’ve done so, you might give your schema a new name, because the one you’re using is already taken.

              Democracy is not native to capitalism.

              I agree with this but I think there’s an argument to be made that capitalism of a sort is native to democracy.

              PS. I agree that we have a problem with the meanings of words. The problem is that we don’t have any other words to use unless we start using a different language from English and I’m not sure if we’d find any there either.

              And this is the problem in a nutshell: an absence of vision, a lack of inventiveness and creativity which sees otherwise inspired people rehash the same old bullshit or go out on a radical limb rather than analysing the political arrangements we have, and what we know about political and economic organisation, to form a system which builds on and extends the remarkable achievements made in the past half-century or so. Political science and propaganda theory are not the problem; economics and public choice theory are not the problem; they are not the enemy — they are tools which can be used to construct a new system. Part of the problem is that the whole programme is tarnished by an adherence to broken utopian ideals of socialism, and with that an blind loyalty to aspirational ideas of how people are and ought to be, rather than to reason.

              L

            • Daveo 2.1.2.1.1.7

              “What you’re talking about as socialism — and what Moore is — isn’t really much like that at all”

              Why not? Why do you assume that Stalin gets to define socialism? You don’t assume Pinochet gets to define capitalism, so why the double standard?

              I’m not talking branding here, I’m talking the actual idea of an economic system based on equality, fairness and democracy.

              If you’ve got a new name for what socialists are talking about then by all means tell us what you think it should be, but there’s not much use just screaming “SOCIALISM EQUALS STALINISM FIND SOMETHING ELSE!” and pretending that makes you smarter than the rest of us.

            • Lew 2.1.2.1.1.8

              Why not? Why do you assume that Stalin gets to define socialism? You don’t assume Pinochet gets to define capitalism, so why the double standard?

              I’ve rebutted this bit of idiocy. To repeat: I’m not referring to Stalinism, I’m referring to socialism as explicated by Marx and as implemented by all of those who’ve implemented it. The problem is with Marx’s schema.

              I’m not talking branding here, I’m talking the actual idea of an economic system based on equality, fairness and democracy.

              That’s not socialism. Socialism is an economic system where the means of production is predominantly controlled by the proletariat. That’s not the same, and that’s why you need to re-brand. It’s worth re-branding, because “an economic system based on equality, fairness and democracy” is much more marketable than socialism which, in implementation, has been proven to be none of those things.

              I’m not really objecting to the programme which I guess you’re talking about — social democracy roughly along the Scandinavian model — only saying that it’s not socialism. It doesn’t exist for the purpose of delivering the means of production into the control of the proletariat. Calling it such is both historically incorrect and electorally damfoolish.

              L

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1.9

              economics and public choice theory are not the problem;

              They are the problem because they happen to be wrong. You aren’t going to get good economic or political policies if the theory that the policies are based upon have no relation to reality.

              as explicated by Marx and as implemented by all of those who’ve implemented it.

              I do not know what I am but I do know that I am not a Marxist, Karl Marx, 1851
              He did say great things about the Paris Commune though which was, essentially, anarchist and was destroyed by the capitalists because it was working and was a threat to them.

              much more marketable than socialism which, in implementation, has been proven to be none of those things.

              This is incorrect. The USSR and China proved that there are people who will do anything for power not that Marx’s ideas don’t work because the Paris Commune proved that they did. The general consensus in academia is that communism in the USSR existed for almost 50 days.

            • Lew 2.1.2.1.1.10

              DTB,

              You aren’t going to get good economic or political policies if the theory that the policies are based upon have no relation to reality.

              I can concede objections to Public Choice Theory on these grounds, but not to the wider field of economics (and particularly behavioural economics). And even PCT has a fairly good track record of predicting reality, so can’t be dismissed so glibly as this just because it sometimes ends up at ideologically inconvenient conclusions.

              My point is that the tools employed in political science and economics are valuable, and shouldn’t be discounted simply because the ideological right has used them to ends you happen to find distasteful. The tools themselves can be use toward other ends, and it would well behoove the left to adopt them and begin employing them in earnest.

              The USSR and China proved that there are people who will do anything for power not that Marx’s ideas don’t work because the Paris Commune proved that they did.

              The USSR and China proved that one should never implement a political system where power is concentrated in a small subset of individuals who emjoy impunity. The trouble is that that’s what Marxism requires. The Paris Commune proved nothing: in terms of scale, it was too small to be especially relevant — making a scale model of society, proves nothing much towards the goal og making an actual society on the nation scale. The reason for this is that as the number of players increases, so does the complexity of the strategies they’ll employ. Likewise, in terms of durability the Paris Commune proves nothing. It doesn’t make a government appear to function for a couple of months at a time. The same reason as above: as time passes, things get more complicated.

              L

          • Pascal's bookie 2.1.2.1.2

            Anybody know of any readable papers turning the PCT insights on the private sector?

            I’m specifically thinking of management capture of public companies, financial institutions and like. Seems the PC theorists gave the public sector a good going over but the private sector is just assumed to be immune for what seem to be not very good reasons.

            • Quoth the Raven 2.1.2.1.2.1

              I don’t know about Public Choice Theory, but you could read some of Kevin Carson’s work he uses the Austrian critique of central planning against large corporations, which are essentially doing the same thing.

    • burt 2.2

      Anything, including socialism, is not democratic when illegal spending on advertising is used to distort electoral outcomes.

      • Bill 2.2.1

        Why does the delusion that voting is synonymous with democracy persist?

        Voting, while sometimes a desirable feature of a democratic process is NEVER a sufficient indicator that democracy is actually being practiced…for all the reasons mentioned in other comments on this thread as well as other reasons besides.

        In fact, voting seems more often than not to act as a fig leaf for decidedly undemocratic systems of governance.

        • Lew 2.2.1.1

          In fact, voting seems more often than not to act as a fig leaf for decidedly undemocratic systems of governance.

          This is bollocks as well.

          While not sufficient, voting (in its elemental form of a mechanism to make one’s policy or candidate preferences known) is a necessary condition for democracy.

          L

    • BLiP 2.3

      Hands up everyone that voted for the Super City . . . thought so.

      • burt 2.3.1

        I agree, and who voted for increased ACC levies and reduce cover for rehabilitation?

        • BLiP 2.3.1.1

          You.

        • snoozy 2.3.1.2

          Here we have two possibilities- lazy citizens who didn’t make sure they were informed or gullible, naeve or misled citizens who listened to their friends or a handful of poor news sources.

          It was fairly clear that despite their lies (this one was actually in their manifesto-ish) or misdirection that there were some nasty and big changes to NZ institutions on the cards.

  3. Jagilby 3

    I haven’t seen the movie so perhaps this is all slightly premature and Moore does present some options but it seems to me that he is just totally avoiding answering the Wolf’s question about providing a serious alternative to Capitalism?

    Reminds me of the 350.org brigade demanding a 40% cut but routinely sidestepping the question of how to get there… “if pull out our half ass bikes that (judging by the state of them) we clearly rarely we ride and then take a cruise en masse around Wellington harbour then they sure can’t ignore us!”.

    How about providing some viable alternatives instead of just constantly whinging. It’ll makes you sound a heck of a lot more credible.

    I can feel your tidal waves of rage building as I write this. How bout thinking about it though… I’d far rather engage with someone who has an alternative than someone just out having a cry.

  4. Rich 4

    He gave at least one alternative – worker-owned (I prefer joint worker/customer) cooperatives.

    But Moore is a gradualist – he supports the enactment of the Second Bill of Rights” proposed by FDR. That’s capitalism, but regulated capitalism. If that were part of a nation’s basic law along with the individual rights in the UDHR, it would be made harder for right-wing governments to trick people out of their basic rights.

  5. In theory it is but not in practice…

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Here is what Wikipedia says about democracy:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy

    “Even though there is no specific, universally accepted definition of ‘democracy’,[3] there are two principles that any definition of democracy includes, equality and freedom.[4] These principles are reflected by all citizens being equal before the law, and having equal access to power.[5] A third common principle, though less measurable, is that all citizens are promised certain legitimized freedoms and liberties, which are generally protected by a constitution.[6][7]”

    It seems to me that it could be argued that New Zealand and many Western nations fall short of the three principles mentioned above in one respect or another. Therefore, is there actually a true democracy anywhere?

    However, I think the point that I am making above is valid, even though I accept that voting is not necessarilly indicative of a democratic system, as Zimbabwe and its ilk have demonstrated..

    Thus, any system, socialism, capitalism or otherwise that meets the principles above, is by definition democratic. Any system that claims to be democratic but does not meet the principles above is obviously undemocratic.

  7. Herodotus 7

    Previously say pre mid 80’s there may have been financial seperation of people by their incomes, but there was a greater social interaction between different people, be it at school, sport, holidays. There was intergration of classes (I hesitate using this phase but cannot find a more adequate one). The school I went to had family from Wilson/Horton, Griersons etc and some of us joe average, at the time I was unaware of some of their weath. All groups comprised within a sporting team, many could afford baches/cribbs. Now there is at best little intergration between different levels, we holiday at different places,schools are far more divided into decile groups, which is a form of division. So we have lost that link of all being equal or at least having some appreciation of each other by interaction. Some rich (Watson & Hochens) appear to have no appreciation of a social conscience. It is literally dog eat dog. Pity

    • prism 7.1

      Perhaps they have been brought up on Ayn Rand – the virtue of selfishness and objective ethics amongst her creations.

    • DeeDub 7.2

      I lived in state housing and later NZ Railways housing for a lot of my young life. I remember associating with kids of other working class families. At school and at play.

      Your experience of 80’s NZ society may have been true for ‘joe averages’ but it certainly wasn’t mine. Rich kids played cricket, we played softball etc.

      I think you’re right that it has got worse – IMO largely due to the neo-libs and their grabbing, mad brand of capitalism.

  8. Gosman 8

    The naivety in Moore’s comments in that clip makes me thank my lucky stars that his views are considered far too radical to ever get proper traction in the US.

    What he is discussing is not democracy but tyranny of the majority.

    He also trots out the tired old pie analogy which has been discredited on numerous occassions.

    Only primary school kids can be excused for thinking like that. Grown men who spout such nonsense are just idiots.

    • IrishBill 8.1

      As opposed to the tyranny of the Wall Street minority? You’d have more credibility if you offered a rebuttal of the “old pie analogy” rather than claiming some mythological discrediting (and if you spelled “occasions” correctly).

      • Gosman 8.1.1

        The ‘Old Pie’ analogy where leftists try and argue that there is a limited amount of wealth in the economy and therefore it is beholden on society to share it equally, totally ignoring the fact that the size of an economy is dynamic and it is possible to grow the ‘Pie’ rather than redistribute it.

        If you want to see the result of redistribution go have a look at Zimbabwe after they ‘redistributed’ (read stole) land from Commercial farmers (Both Black and White) and gave it to their cronies and the landless masses. Lot’s more equality in that country now (beyond a very few wealthy elite). Except it is equality in poverty.

        By the way I didn’t realise this site included grammar and syntax police. I must remember not to split my infinitives.

        • RedLogix 8.1.1.1

          No-one, but no-one on the left considers the ‘size of the economic pie’ irrelevant and it is a statement of the bleedingly obvious that sustainable growth and development are, within limits, a desirable thing.

          But equally there is little point in having a pie, if it isn’t cut up reasonably fairly. All the data suggests that countries which do a better job of distributing the pie, do better on a whole range of social measures.

          Using a single data point (Zimbabwe) to prop up your argument is fairly weak. At the very least the presence of a hyper-wealthy elite completely negates your assertion that the country is now more equal.

          • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1

            Zimbabwe always had a hyper elite. Initially it was the large White minority. It then became the politically connected Black’s as well as some White’s. This elite has now shrunk in size and also the real value of their assets have also dropped significantly. It is therefore accurate to describe Zimbawe as a more equal society since the land reforms started back in 2000. Of course the economy basically collapsed but so long as the wealth is shared more equally it is all okay isn’t it?

            • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Again, you use the example of one country at one period of it’s history. Drawing conclusions from one selected data point is called cherry picking and is well known as a very quick and effective way to jump to the wrong conclusions.

              The link I provided to the Equality Trust provides a wealth of data from many countries, analysed in a number of different ways. It is considered an exceedingly robust project of it’s type. I warmly recommend a long quiet read of it.

            • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1.2

              I could take a number of post colonial countries in Africa to show how this ‘wealth envy’ obsession of the left and redistribution policies have lead to a economic disorder and poverty.

              Take Ghana after independence under Nkrummah.

              Look at Uganda under Amin when he forceably ‘redistributed’ the wealthy Asian elites assets and gave them to his poor supporters.

              Finally do a little research on the ‘Afican Socialism’ of Tanzania to see how to make your people poorer rather than wealthier by following equality over growth.

            • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.1.3

              Look at Uganda under Amin when he forceably ‘redistributed’ the wealthy Asian elites assets and gave them to his poor supporters.

              Therein lies a clue to the mistake you are making. Under colonialism these countries already suffered extremes of wealth and poverty, and the resulting injustice and imbalances eventually resulted in a forceable overthrow of the prevailing order.

              All of history shows that this kind of social and economic discontinuity, that all uprisings, revolutions and dramatic political changes are followed by a considerable period of dysfunction. Evolution is preferable to revolution, if at all possible.

            • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1.4

              And therein lies your problem in that you obviously haven’t studied Post-colonial African nations in any great depth.

              Tanzania never had the violent upheaval of society you mention (although a small part of it, Zanzibar, did go through something along those lines it was geographically isolated). ‘Ujamma’ was introduced by Julius Nyerere not as part of some social upheaval but as a utopian social policy.

        • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.2

          The ‘Old Pie’ analogy where leftists try and argue that there is a limited amount of wealth in the economy and therefore it is beholden on society to share it equally

          Strawman. The ‘left’ says the pie is currently distributed in an unfair way. It says nothing about the size of it being fixed. In fact, they say that a more equitable splitting of the pie may actually mean that it grows bigger.

          totally ignoring the fact that the size of an economy is dynamic and it is possible to grow the ‘Pie’ rather than redistribute it

          False dichotomy. The pie can both be grown and redistributed more equitably.

          I didn’t realise this site included grammar and syntax police. I must remember not to split my infinitives.

          Syntax is grammar, but it is not spelling.

          • Gosman 8.1.1.2.1

            If anyone is creating the Strawman argument it is the Left as represented by Moore and trying to argue that it isn’t fair that the rich have too much wealth.

            As stated in my last post, if you want to see how redisribution helps foster economic development take a long hard look at Zimbabwe.

            As for your anally retentive obsessions with grammar and spelling PB, frankly it smacks of intellectual elitism especially as this is a comments section on a blog not some vehicle of higher learning.

          • BLiP 8.1.1.2.2

            🙂

    • RedLogix 8.2

      Grown men who make silly assertions as you just have are morons… but I don’t suppose you’ll take my assertion any more seriously than I have yours.

      (In other words, if you don’t have anything useful to say….)

  9. ak 9

    Oh come on Red: surely you know by now that this failed utopian vision is on its last legs and that any day now Castro will be overthrown and the evil traps of welfare, unions and the public company will lead us all to hell? Isn’t the land of the free leading us steadily to paradise? Haven’t you read a newspaper in the last 70 years?

  10. Pat 10

    Specifically for NZ, isn’t the idea of some sort of Socialist Democracy nothing more than an impossible dream?

    For a start, you have to convince a majority of NZers to vote for an economic system to replace capitalism. You have to win the argument.

    Having voted it in, then you need a mechanism to prevent Nzers from voting it out (particularly during the transition period).

    So on one hand, you need to convince Kiwis that the new economic system (whatever it is) will be more “democratic” and at the same time you need to make the electoral system less democratic.

  11. David 11

    I agree with Daveo that “the USSR et al’ weren’t socialist. But I think the claim that they were “communist’ is just as bad.

    The only way that those societies can be described as “socialist’ is if socialism and / or communism is stripped of all association with political and economic democracy and the key Marxist concept of the “self emancipation’ of the working class, and is reduced down to state intervention, ownership or control of the economy.

    However popular this definition of socialism may be, it is one that Marx, Engles and Lenin all rejected and ridiculed. See for example Lenin’s “The State and Revolution’: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/

    I also have to disagree with Daveo’s assertion that “Socialism has always been to work within the capitalist system’.

    Socialism has been used to describe forms of capitalism, such as “state capitalism’ or capitalism with a welfare state, but this has not “always’ been the case.

    Even the term “social democracy’ was originally associated with those who’s aim was to abolish capitalism and replace it with a democratic socialist system.

    Lenin’s party for example was originally the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, a name the Bolshevik faction retained until after the 1917 Revolution. The Bolshevik’s then changed their name to “communist’ because the term “social democrat’ was associated with the German party (itself officially Marxist) which had supported World War One.

    If there is a meaningful distinction between “socialism’ and “communism’ within the Marxist tradition it is that “communism’ is sometimes seen as the final goal of a classless, stateless society. But most of time, at least as far as Marxists are concerned, the terms are interchangeable.

    • Gosman 11.1

      What a bunch of theoretical nonsense. I especially love this part “Lenin’s party for example was originally the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party”. Lenin was never a Social Democrat. He had a general loathing for the liberal democratic system as evidenced by his actions when he came back to Russia in 1917.

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    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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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 ...
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    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 ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    7 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 days ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    7 days ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • A good first step
    Today the government announced a financial package to deal with the effects of the pandemic. So far, it looks good: an initial $500 million for health to deal with immediate priorities, wage subsidies for affected businesses, $585 a week from WINZ for people self-isolating who can't work from home, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    17 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    5 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    1 week ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
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    3 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
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    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
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    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
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    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
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    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
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    7 days ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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    7 days ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
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    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
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    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
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    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
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    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
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    1 week ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
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    1 week ago