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Some are more equal than others

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, May 16th, 2011 - 42 comments
Categories: cost of living, Economy, gst, poverty, wages - Tags:

[Sorry to Michael Bott for taking so long to publish this, and to other whose guest posts we may have missed in recent weeks. Trouble with the email system]

I spent a weekend with a team of Labour volunteers listening to the concerns of the people of Masterton. A repeated remark was, ‘‘ no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get ahead’’. One hardworking mum from Colombo Rd has not bought a block of cheese for her children for months and a leg of lamb is a long remembered luxury. Pensioners told me how they get two hours home help a week and are struggling to get by. These people are not alone. For the majority of people it seems again and again that those at the top of our economy are creaming it while the rest of us are taking the biggest hits.

Hearing these people I remembered back to May last year when the Government, with much fanfare, announced a tax reform package to ‘‘stimulate the economy and take us out of recession’’. The theory was that by cutting the top income tax rate from 39 per cent to 33 per cent, middle income earners would pull themselves up by their boot straps and achieve higher incomes as they would keep more of what they made.
And those at the top of our economy could afford to save their extra income, thus kick-starting our economy with the hoped for increase in our New Zealand savings rate. These cuts were to be balanced by an increase in GST – effectively making the tax cuts self-funding. This increase was supposed to discourage consumption and encourage saving.

Company tax was to be cut. This was all meant to act as a draw card for companies to invest and employ more workers. Labour warned at the time that these tax cuts were not affordable and any increase in GST would hit middle and lower income Kiwis and chew up any tax cuts. The ability to save for most Kiwis would remain a fantasy.

Twelve months on, Labour’s warnings have been proven, unfortunately, right. On top of rising food and petrol prices, the shock of GST has meant that average Kiwis have even less money in their pockets, and any tax cut is spent on just getting by. Pensioners and lower income Kiwis have been hit hardest. Business after business closing down or cutting staff. The tax cuts for those on higher salaries has not been saved and invested in job creation. Instead, it is being geared up with yet more foreign-supplied debt. The latest March figures released by Barfoot and Thompson for property sales in Auckland show those on higher salaries are grabbing expensive properties with sales of properties worth more than $800,000 rising by 40 percent from March last year. Lower-priced houses barely rose in price.

Meanwhile, the Government is pushing ahead with its plans for asset sales. Hocking off our assets to foreign buyers and slashing spending is a return to the failed right-wing policies of the past. Middle and lower New Zealand are being ignored by this Government and they will be the ones to suffer even more if our nation’s assets are sold off. We are facing cuts to health and education and now if this Government gets a second term we’ll be paying even more to heat out homes and drink water as power companies and public utilities are sold off to wealthy foreign investors. Selling state assets to foreign corporations, will drive up the current account deficit, send profits overseas and drive up costs for Kiwis.

In 2008 this Government campaigned on closing the wage gap with Australia. Now the gap has widened and Bill English is in the embarrassing position of trying to say that this is a good thing as we can make goods cheaper here than in Australia. It appears that Bill English wants us to become the Mexico of the South Pacific.

The Government constantly tells us that the cupboard is bare and we must all tighten out belts. Yet they can: borrow $ 120 million monthly to fund tax cuts two thirds of which go to the top 10 percent of the population; provide Mediaworks – a company previously owned by the Minister of Broadcasting – with $43 million loan at a rate they couldn’t obtain on the open market; find $1.2 billion dollars to bail out private speculators in SCF; find $2 million dollars to build and gift a plastic boat to the Government’s political friends; find $6.8 million to buy themselves a fleet of BMWs to be chauffeured around in.

These things sit awkwardly with me. At a time when ordinary people are struggling to pay grocery bills and face daily the question of paying the power bill or feeding the family healthy food, life under National is very comfortable for those at the top.

42 comments on “Some are more equal than others”

  1. It is really this simple: How can a person empathise with a hungry person, struggling to pay the rent and electric bill, who cannot afford to visit the doctor after hours, when they are not hungry, can pay the rent and electric bill and can afford to visit a doctor after hours?

    Unless people experience hardship first hand they are oblivious to it. Oblivion (state of being forgotton or being oblivious) is how the government respond to the plight of the poor.

  2. PeteG 2

    if this Government gets a second term we’ll be paying even more to heat out homes and drink water as power companies and public utilities are sold off to wealthy foreign investors.

    What facts are this statement based on? I’ve seen nothing that suggests this claim is anything like probability. For all we know the National policy will be to sell our rain to poor foreign investors (as unlikely as the claim made in the post).

    Is the point of the post “some political statements are more equal than others”?

    Many people seem to be expecting the impossible – economic growth at the same time as we reduce spending too much on crap and save more.

    • lprent 2.1

      It is pretty clear that National wants to sell down natural monopoly assets owned by the public to private investors who’d want to make a natural monopoly profit out of it.

      To date from my perspective, EVERY asset sale of a natural or near natural monopoly has proven to cost end consumers more in total over the decades than if it was still in public ownership.

      The National party and Act parties has signaled over the last couple of parliamentary terms that they think that public stakes in power and water natural monopolies should be sold off. That the operations and building of roads, prisons, and public school – which are all effective natural monopolies should be moved to the private sector.

      Now for your part – show me a natural monopoly that has been sold by the state that is more efficient for the end users over a decade period compared to something comparable run by the state. I bet that the only ones you can find have been regulated back to the state of being controlled by the state.

      But since you’re a bit of a blowhard (from the rear), I don’t expect that you will even try.

      • PeteG 2.1.1

        For your part, show me where the current National caucus have said they want to sell power or water resources to rich foreign investors.

        Blow away…

        • Armchair Critic 2.1.1.1

          It would be better to seek evidence of National’s intentions in their actions, rather than their words. And their actions point strongly towards privatisation.

          • PeteG 2.1.1.1.1

            And their actions point strongly towards privatisation.

            No they don’t, unless I’ve missed some privatising actions over the past two and a half years. What actions are you referring to?

            • Zorr 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Privatised prisons for one…

            • ianmac 2.1.1.1.1.2

              The talk constantly from Key, English, Brash, Smith has been about privatisation or by another name Public/private ownership. They will, if reelected, be able to say that they warned us and they will say, that after the election they have a mandate. You Pete will be nowhere to be seen.

            • Armchair Critic 2.1.1.1.1.3

              The reorganisation of local government in Auckland.
              The disbanding of ECan
              The proposed partial privatisation of some SOEs, including electricity generators.
              The reports of the Land and Water Forum, and their endorsement by Nick Smith as Minister for the Environment.
              Perhaps the words they used were too big for you? Or perhaps you can’t read between the lines? Either way, you have missed something and whether that is accidental or deliberate makes no difference – National still plan to privatise.

              • PeteG

                How much from that is owned by wealthy foreign investors?

                How many people are there who are totally against foreign ownership but who mortgage their property to wealthy foreign investors?

                • Colonial Viper

                  That’s what KiwiBank is there for, and we need to take back ownership of more of our financial system

                  People still do think that the Auckland Savings Bank is owned in Auckland and that the Bank of New Zealand is owned in New Zealand.

                  And frankly, people who have been paying off their mortgages for the last 10-20 years probably did take them out when those banks were largely NZ owned.

                  But that’s irrelevant.

                  The only worthwhile foreign investment is one which brings new technologies and facilities to NZ that we could not have otherwise accessed. Anything else should be banned.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The only worthwhile foreign investment is one which brings new technologies and facilities to NZ that we could not have otherwise accessed.

                    And there’s no foreign investment that does that. In fact, they usually offshore tech that’s been developed here making us pay even more for it.

                    • terryg

                      yep. I once worked for a Boston, MA co. that quite literally bought the entire fuel cell research department from Waikato University and took it offshore – people and all.

                • Armchair Critic

                  Why are you asking questions about what has been done, when the post and comment thread is about what is planned? We were talking about what we think will happen, and suddenly, when some supporting evidence is provided, you move to asking about the past.
                  My point is that National have taken a number of steps to facilitate the privatisation of water and power.
                  Your response that “they haven’t done it yet” is pretty poor.
                  So, back to the subject, National plan to privatise water and power. Whether privatisation is a good thing, whether the privatisation is partial or complete, whether Labour did it too, whether National haven’t said they will privatise are all secondary to the main point, which is, in case you missed it, National plan to privatise water and power.

            • fraser 2.1.1.1.1.4

              “No they don’t, unless I’ve missed some privatising actions over the past two and a half years. What actions are you referring to?”

              i think you would learn more pete if you looked at their actions over a span of at least 10 – 20 years.

              and look at things from a global perspective.

              simply going “well they havent done anything that bad recently” means diddly squat when the people involved (both those who front and those who fund) hasnt changed.

        • lprent 2.1.1.2

          It isn’t hard to find that they want to sell off assets, either directly or as very long-term leases or on the lease payment plan that is PPP’s.

          Just look at the candid statements by Bill English prior to and after the election. In fact he wants to sell up to 49% of the state owned power companies.

          Rodney Hide put in legislation for this government that allows for 35 year leases of water infrastructure.

          Not to mention the statements by John Key. And the lunatic fringe statements by Don Brash supporting the same things.

          As for the second part of your question – selling to overseas investors. There is no effective way to prevent private investors from on-selling their investments to whomever they choose to – including overseas investors. Any attempt to put restrictive clauses in will almost certainly result in it getting overturned by the courts. Not to mention that is against the stock exchange rules. And finally it is against several treaties that we have signed – including this one that is going through the house now.

          It doesn’t matter to whom you sell the shares to in the short term. The government cannot prevent them being sold to offshore investors over the long term.

          Now let us have a look at you. Perhaps you’d like to do some actual debating rather than posturing around with an erect small drooping dick saying “look at me”. This took minutes to google.

          So how about coming up with an example where handing a natural monopoly to private investors does not cost more over the long term than a comparable organisation held as a state asset.That is significantly more difficult to find – I’ve never found one in the last 20 odd years. I just see theoretical studies not backed by any actual evidence and statements by dense wankers like yourself.

          • PeteG 2.1.1.2.1

            You sound a bit tetchy today.

            I’m very wary of privatisation and think it should be carefully scrutinised, I just don’t think it should be automatically ideologically ruled out. Keeping everything public is not the best solution.

            And I find it odd that people get so emotional about some forms of privatisation and ignore others. We seem to happily support wealthy foreign investors, even when things like water are involved. How many people buy and drink H2GO and Pump bottles without caring who’s making money from stupidness? Why is it best to publicly control water, sell it to foreign companies cheaply and then accept getting charged exhorbitant amounts to buy it back?

            The way we deal with public water is nuts in other ways too. It’s cheaper for me to divert all my rainwater into council drains that are costing us a fortune in rates to upgrade, and then I go to the tap and hose to use water that has been piped 40km and gone through expensive storage, treatment and reticulation. If I had to pay for tap water I’d buy a tank and be much more efficient – and it would be much cheaper in the long run.

            • vto 2.1.1.2.1.1

              You assessments are too shallow. Take this for example “If I had to pay for tap water I’d buy a tank and be much more efficient ”

              There was a comment on here a few days ago linking to news articles in the USA whereby residents are prohibited from keeping the rain that fell on their roofs because it was the property of the water monopolies. Rain harvesting they call it.

              Did you get that? Does it sink in?

              And also this of your PeteG “I’m very wary of privatisation and think it should be carefully scrutinised, I just don’t think it should be automatically ideologically ruled out.”

              If you bothered to read the commenters who you were commenting with, not one of them took an ideological stand and instead each took a firmly pragmatic approach by referring to costs and advantages for end-users and the nation as a whole. They gave examples backing up their assertions. You on the other hand provide not a single example. In fact it is you who has proven yourself to be the only non-evidence providing ideologue.

              Wake up Pete before people stop listening to you.

              • McFlock

                “I’m very wary of privatisation and think it should be carefully scrutinised, I just don’t think it should be automatically ideologically ruled out.”

                Let’s see: agree with audience, then slide the position… right up there with those folk who claim to be undecided, or to have voted Labour previously (circa 1987, no doubt), but then slide it by damning Goff with faint praise.

                As for the bottled water argument, it misses the point that a public water supply ensures that everyone (where available) has enough water for hygiene and food, and giving excessive amounts of money to corporates is an option.

                We all need water to live (except astroturfers and NACT, who feed on the tears of orphans and the blood of puppies respectively).

              • Armchair Critic

                Tell it like it is vto. Water is part of the commons. National’s latest announcements on the subject of water and its management are the theft of the commons. It’s that simple.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.1.2

              If I had to pay for tap water I’d buy a tank and be much more efficient – and it would be much cheaper in the long run.

              And yet we don’t see a lot of such tanks in Auckland. Is it because people don’t know that water storage tanks are quite cheap or that they figure it would cost more to actually install and maintain the tank, fittings and pump?

              • Armchair Critic

                North Shore City had some fairly good documentation on tanks. I can still find it on their website, but I don’t know how long the website will be around for. Strangely, none of these documents show up in a search of the new Auckland Council website.
                Point is, there is a fair bit of bureaucracy around the installation and use of tanks. Mostly it is for public health reasons, and to reduce flooding. Also, tanks are unusual and we are not, as a a society, used to seeing them around. That lack of familiarity discourages people from installing them.
                Regarding the costs, I have a tank only supply and it is cheaper than rates on average. Last year, when the pump blew up, was quite expensive. Living out in the country I have no choice.
                The changes in Auckland referred to above are interesting, in terms of privatisation. It takes a bit of explaining (I doubt PeteG will understand), but bear with me.
                Watercare are the water supplier and wastewater service provider for Auckland.
                They bill for water on the volume of water that passes through the water meter. The cost is $1.30/m3 for water and the same document is very vague (deliberately? where’s my tinfoil hat?) on the price for wastewater, but IIRC it’s about $4/m3.
                The volume of wastewater is estimated as a percentage of the volume of water that passes through the meter. Usually it’s 70% to 100%, depending on the land use.
                When a property has a water tank and uses it to supplement their water supply, less water passes through the water meter, because some of the demand for water is met by the tank.
                Approximately the same volume of water is returned to the wastewater system, especially if the water from the tank is used through the toilet or washing machine. But as the water has not passed through the meter, it can’t be billed for.
                Water tanks reduce the total income Watercare receives.
                Lower turn-over makes the company less “valuable” (if you take a narrow view of what constitutes value) and thereby less attractive to investors.
                Watercare and Auckland Council tanks should not be encouraging water tanks, if they intend to privatise Watercare.
                And as noted above, the references to water tanks are now difficult to find on Auckland Council’s website. Coincidentally, of course.

            • KJT 2.1.1.2.1.3

              If private business managers are so good then why can they not start and run their own entrepreneurial businesses instead of trying to steal ours.

              We have a whole generation of managers now who only know how to cost cut, speculate, asset strip and destroy value. We even elect them to lead us??

              I am not philosophically opposed to PPP’s. If, for example, a revamped DFC had put the needed capital into a company like Tait electronics (instead of it going to offshore capital owners) imagine the benefits of retaining those dividends and intellectual property here.

              It has been shown that every time the private sector is allowed into State enterprises it results in increased costs for consumers and increased costs to new Zealand as a whole as profits go offshore. They are even more costly when it has to be bought back or rebuilt after essential infrastructure is stripped by private owners.

              • PeteG

                We have to get a lot smarter with supply and use of water and power. There doesn’t seem to be enough incentive for public bodies to do that.

                We’re going to come to a major power crunch in the not too distant future (this is a wet year so that defers it a bit). There is not a lot of new capacity going in, and consumption keeps increasing. We have two major issues:
                – a lack of new public initiatives
                – too many publicly imposed restrictions

                We’re going to have to find more ways of producing, soon, or new ways (and/or motivation) to use less. Neither government nor local bodies are showing much sign of getting on top of the problem.

                • Colonial Viper

                  If we sell our power generation and the private owners pump the prices up, power use will go down.

                  • PeteG

                    Are you suggesting that as a solution? Or should we flood a few more valleys and drill for more oil?

                • Armchair Critic

                  We have to get a lot smarter with supply and use of water and power. There doesn’t seem to be enough incentive for public bodies to do that.
                  There is no incentive for private companies to get smarter with the supply and use of water and power. They make money by the volume they sell. Sell more, make more profits. Increased profits, increased value of company, increased remuneration for the senior executives.
                  How does privatising help us with this crunch you tell us is coming?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      What facts are this statement based on?

      The price of telecommunications in this country are now far higher than they would be if we hadn’t sold Telecom. Deregulation, adding competition and allowing billions of dollars in profit to be off-shored has added to this.

      I’ve seen nothing that suggests this claim is anything like probability.

      Really, what cave have you been living in during the last 20 years that you’ve failed to note the extreme hikes of prices in telecommunications and electricity?

      • terryg 2.2.1

        surely Telescum havent made a single cent in profit since privatisation and sale.
        and surely that billions-per-annum profit wouldn’t have been taken offshore, as opposed to, say, re-investing it in the telecoms network.

        In much the same way as the privatised electrickery supply and transmission companies would never have made sizeable annual profits whilst simultaneously neglecting infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, leading to the major embarassment of the auckland power failure (which I can attest repeatedly made us a laughing stock on the front page of the Boston Globe among other US papers)

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    Peter G believes the shares will go to Mum and Dad investors and wait for it John Key is a nice guy!

    • PeteG 3.1

      We’ll know before the election how they propose to do it – I trust Key as much as any politician (and more than many) to be up front and stick to his word. One of the biggest criticisms of him is that he doesn’t deviate from his commitments much.

      I don’t know if it’s feasible, but one way of ensuring continured local ownership would be to make shares available only to KiwiSaver funds, and they need more local investment opportunities.

      • vto 3.1.1

        Tell you what PeteG, instead of selling off the power companies (to anyone) and then investing the proceeds in farming businesses (irrigation andshit removal), how about the farming businesses simply invest in their own businesses.

        After all they are the National Party supporters with their philosophies of free market forces. If their businesses are so shit hot then they can find the funds privately, rather than having to take it from poor people paying PAYE and GST.

        The whole thing is bullshit.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        I trust Key as much as any politician (and more than many)

        He’s a proven liar and you trust him? Wow, that I think proves that you’ve got your nose up Keys arse.

        Take on Key

      • MrSmith 3.1.3

        PM’s lies. 

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3311679/Key-no-GST-rise-video-emerges

        Billy Goat English’s lies.
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/573761

        Keep whacking the moles. 

        NO ASSET SALES!

        • Deadly_NZ 3.1.3.1

          And as everyone has been going on about power generation having 49% (yeah Right) sold. No one has mentioned that Kiwibank will be sold to the fat cats and then more money will pour off shore. Remember Blinglish has had a hard on for selling Kiwibank to his mates for some years.

  4. vto 4

    Natural monopolies necessary for daily necessities (such as water and power) should be owned by the users in a form of co-operative.

    Similar to Fonterra. Ask Bill English about that.

    Or similar to Ravensdown Fertiliser. Ask Bill English about that.

    And similar to many many many many other enterprises in similar circumstances. Ask any farmer about co-operatives. They work well.

    • Luxated 4.1

      And yet if you suggest to a lot of farmers that the state should own something they’ll try and spit you out for being a ‘pinko commie’, the contradiction is rather amusing to my mind.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Tory farmers love their co-operative enterprises and collective joint ventures.

      Everyone helps everyone else make more money.

      What’s there not to like? Socialism for the wealthy 🙂

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      Natural monopolies necessary for daily necessities (such as water and power) should be owned by the users in a form of co-operative.

      Which effectively means either local government (water) or the state (Power, telecommunications).

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Yet they can: borrow $ 120 million monthly

    weekly

  6. infused 6

    Well the mistake living in Masterton. It’s always been a hole.

  7. randal 7

    that is not a nice thing to say infused. where do you live?

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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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

  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours 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
    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
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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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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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    2 weeks ago