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Something odd in crime stats

Written By: - Date published: 12:02 am, October 2nd, 2010 - 48 comments
Categories: crime - Tags:

The crime stats are not good news. Homicides are up, violent offences are up, sex offences are up, harassment and related offences are up, drug offences are up, public order offences are up. Oddly, though, the total number of offences is down (by 0.1%). The decrease is entirely due to a 25.6% decrease in recorded fraud offences. What’s up with that?

All the other categories of offences have small movements of a few percent (except homicide, which has large annual fluctuations because of the small number of offences) but we’re supposed to believe that there’s been 3,000 fewer fraud offences, a quarter less in one year for no apparent reason?

I suspect that the result has been caused by some change in policing practice, not Kiwis suddenly becoming 25% less fraudulent. maybe the government cut funding to the people who detect frauds (hey, they cut Customs funding eh? I bet false import declarations are a major source of fraud offences)

So, lets put fraud to one side and look at the rest of the crime stats. They’re up from 427,775 last year to 430,971, just a touch below population increase.

Whether you count fraud offences or not, crime is up since National took power. All their tough on crime showboating hasn’t changed a thing because the driver of changes in the crime rate is unemployment.

48 comments on “Something odd in crime stats”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    There were decreases in 9 out of 15 categories. In other words, in nearly 60% of crime categories crime is decreasing. But you didn’t want to mention that apparently.

    • Marty G 1.1

      The downward movements in some other categories are all very small in percentage and absolute terms. Then there is fraud – down 25.6%.

      Like I say, even if you count all the other downward categories, then the total number of crimes went up. It’s only that remarkable and unexplained quarter reduction in recorded fraud offences that makes the overall total go down.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    Further to my post above, 306298 of the 441960 reported crimes (nearly 70%) are in categories that are decreasing. That’s against an increasing population trend as well, BTW. So, clearly, in most areas the police are winning the battle.

    • Tigger 2.1

      Yes that ought to console the family of a homicide victim. Sorry your loved one was killed but hey, fraud is dropping (apparently).

      Police aren’t winning anything. Their budget is being squeezed and there are rumpled of National gerrymandering policing methods.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Tigger, as per the figures I have quoted above, the fact is that the figures clearly demonstrate that NZers are less likely to experience a crime against them now than they were before. Check the figures out yourself and prove otherwise.

    • Tigger 3.1

      And the fact is I’m more likely to be murdered now than I was in the past…I’m not arguing overall figures with you since I too suspect they’re shonky. But happy for you to defend National’s crime record with the family of a slain person…

      Because I’d so rather be murdered than have someone litter on the footpath…

  4. ‘less likely to experience A CRIME”…but more likely to be murdered…or raped or attacked….tsmithfield thanks for those comforting words

  5. RedLogix 5

    Obtuse not ts? You know perfectly well what Marty’s getting at.

    Rising inequaltity and economic stress between the classes results in more violent crime… as it always does.

    At the same time the numbers show that under a Tory govt the police are quietly encouraged to turn a blind eye to that preferred Tory crime….fraud.

    Now why are you defending this?

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    Well they have ‘changed to a new method of recording offences’, something used in Australia called ASOC

    But wait theres more

    Meanwhile, Ms Collins has asked police to collect different crime statistics to show a picture that rewards proactive policing, rather then penalising it.
    “The crime statistics as published by the Department of Statistics don’t give any indication of what’s really going on.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10659934

    That could explain it , Collins has decided to ignore the Statisticians and have happy crime statistics from the Police instead.
    TS is singing the same tune counting a 0.2% drop in robberies as a’ drop’ when its just part of the normal fluctuations.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    The increase in violence offences is probably not surprising given that NZ is affected by the world-wide recession like many other countries. The fact that crime has decreased overall during this type of environment is probably very good.

    Also, the population has increased by 1.2% during the time frame. So, the raw crime figures need to be adjusted for the increase in population, meaning that overall crime has decreased by 1.3%.

    • Kevin Welsh 7.1

      Holy shit, did you just agree that unemployment is a key driver of crime TS?

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        SNAP!

        With National driving societal inequality up and up and up and up I guess TS isn’t too surprised at the violent crime results.

        Thankfully at the bottom of the cliff NACT have passed three strikes and is on track to make Corrections the biggest department in the land.

    • RedLogix 7.2

      The fact that crime has decreased overall during this type of environment is probably very good.

      Pay attention. If you take out the fraud category, then all other crimes have increased. Not good news.

      Next question….why have the fraud numbers suddenly become such an ‘outlier’ data point? It’s the sort of thing you usually get quite excited about ts.

      • tsmithfield 7.2.1

        Wrong. Read my first and second posts.

        • RedLogix 7.2.1.1

          Wrong… the most serious violent categories have increased substantially. Very bad news.

          Most other categories have more or less stayed the same, within the margin of noise. Hardly good news.

          Only fraud, that preferred white collar crime, has decreased against all expectation. Outlier data point not?

    • The Voice of Reason 7.3

      “Also, the population has increased by 1.2% during the time frame. So, the raw crime figures need to be adjusted for the increase in population, meaning that overall crime has decreased by 1.3%.”

      Now, maths wasn’t my strongest subject at school, but I’m picking you’ve ballsed that up, TS. I would have thought the increase in population of 1.2% would require an adjustment to the difference, not the total. So 1.2 times 0.1, not 1.2 added to 0.1.

      I stand to be corrected though. Any stats geek out there able to give a definitive opinion?

  8. ghostwhowalksnz 8

    So when Murder is up its a ‘random fluctuation’ but when only one of many categories shows a significant drop ( random fluctuation?) that means overall crime is decreasing ?
    Well the people killed in police chases is well up, is this an increase in crime or a drop in unsolved cases of going through red lights

  9. Nick C 9

    “But we’re supposed to believe that there’s been 3,000 fewer fraud offences, a quarter less in one year for no apparent reason?”

    No of course not Marty. No one would ever expect a standard author to ever believe that anything good ever happens in NZ when National is in power. Ever.

    “maybe the government cut funding to the people who detect frauds”

    Yes, that must be it! You’re just guessing, but hey, it cant be because anything good has happened, right?

    • Marty G 9.1

      No Nick. I just don’t believe in magic.

      I can understand normal fluctuations. I can understand homicide varying by 20% year to year because the absolute number is so small.

      But I don’t believe that Kiwis, for no apparent reason, committed 25%, 3000, fewer fraud offences last year. There has to be a cause for the change in the stats.

      Either, fewer frauds are being committed or fewer are being detected.

      I’m unaware of any social or economic development that would result in frauds going down by that much (quite the opposite, in fact).

      I am aware that Customs’ budget has been cut and I would have thought that the offences they detect fall under this category – so that’s a possible cause. Do you have any explanation of your own for the 25.6% fall in the fraud category?

      • Nick C 9.1.1

        No I have absolutely no idea, niether of us really do. I would have to look at what actually makes up the majority of fraud cases in more detail, and where the decreases have occured. You talk about customs budgets being cut but really have no idea whether the fraud has occured in that area.

        The point is im not presuming anything about what caused it, you are presuming that its something bad the government did to conveniently slot the explanation in with the rest of your anti national prejudices. I dont think theres any reason at least some of it couldnt be explained by govt policy – the bulk of legislation passed in 2009 by National was in the law and order area.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          That’s because that’s the most logical reason as to why one very specific type of crime suddenly dropped. It’s the type of crime this government is most likely to engage in i.e. Blinglish’s housing rort.

        • Marty G 9.1.1.2

          two possible causes:

          actual crime in this category dropped by 25.6%

          or

          detection of crime in this category dropped 25.6%

          I’m far more likely to believe that detection practices change that much in a year than the population’s behaviour does.

          It’s like how the ‘It’s not OK’ family violence campaign has been associated with a rise in recorded domestic violence. Only a fool would assume that the rise is due to the population’s behaviour changing for no apparent reason when there’s been a change that affects the odds a given crime will be recorded.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Anyway, Marty, you are being highly selective in just removing fraud offences as a special case. What happens to the overall figures if I am equally selective and remove public disorder figures for example?

    The point being that public disorder crimes hardly count as crimes. So we should take those out of the overall figures. If we do that, it pretty well balances out the fraud figures you have pointed to.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      None of the others are outliers, just that one.

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        Nah. There needs to be a rational as well. In this case, public order offences are nuisance crime rather than serious intentional crime. It is right and proper that they are not considered in the same category as intentional and serious crime. There is more of an argument for excluding public disorder offences than fraud ones.

        • Marty G 10.1.1.1

          i don’t buy the argument that we should pick and choose which categories of crime matter.

          My only point is that it is the fraud category alone that accounts for the small decrease in recorded crimes and that is odd – the question that needs to be answered is ‘why did this category reduce 25.6% in one year when nothing else did?’

          • Marty G 10.1.1.1.1

            I’m not ‘removing fraud’ or saying let’s ignore it. In fact, I’m saying ‘what the hell’s going on with that one massive outlier’?

        • felix 10.1.1.2

          ts,

          As you know I’m not very well versed in stats, but on the thread about the Spirit Level you recommended to ignore the U.S. and the U.K from certain groups of stats because they were outliers.

          Are you saying you had some other rationale for this now?

    • bbfloyd 10.2

      TS… i didn’t know you were a criminal lawyer! your expertise with “definitions” of crime are obviously the work of a legal mastermind.

      or are we just wasting time trying to talk sense into a numbnuts? do you have any idea what constitutes the range of “public disorder”… i can see you have no idea what you talk about when you pontificate on this.

      easy lesson in “reality” for the masses, (which you obviously don’t consider yourself part of) is that public disorder is nearly always the precurser to physical assaults carried out on the targets of the “disorder”. indeed “pubic disorder” is a catchphrase that encompasses a very wide range of anti social and aggressive/violent behavior.

      to be charged with said crime usually means that the police have been called in early enough to stop anyone getting hurt,or killed.

      i know you will ignore this advice, but that is as irrelevant as your “opinions” on this topic. i can tell you as a person who, by dint of their job(musician) alone, has witnessed dozens of incidents of”public disorder” that were heading for serious confrontation situations but for the intervention of police. and that is just in the pubs i have played at. where i live, the incidence of highly stressed people harassing passersby has become an ongoing aggravation. every one of those “minor” incidents of harassment has the potential to turn ugly, depending on the reaction of said passersby.

      i would be interested to know what your logic would be that enables you to, at least pretend to be able to classify what should, and shouldn’t be classified as “crime”.. i would hate to think you are just blowing it out your arse simply because you love stanley(key) so much you havn’t figured out that your relationship is yet another co-dependency.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Job losses at IRD as pressures grow

    The loss of 250 jobs represented a 4 per cent cut in staff numbers, said PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff The cuts came at a time when the department was increasing its work load.

    “One million workers have joined KiwiSaver in just 21 months.

    “That’s more than 2000 people joining every working day and yet IRD is cutting jobs because the government is cutting its budget.”

    Can’t detect tax fraud if you don’t have the people there to police it.

  12. ianmac 12

    The figures published are for 2009/2010. Therefore the increase/decrease has been compared to the previous year. The previous year was pretty grim too. Perhaps the comparison should be with 2007/8?
    It seems to me that a small improvement over the previous year may not be an improvement at all, overall.

    Draco’s point about the IRD drastic loss of staff may explain the drop in fraud crime. And Customs.

    • bbfloyd 12.1

      correct me please if i’m wrong, but isn’t the serious fraud office being, or has been downgraded/closed.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        it was being collapsed into some other organisation, yes? Organised crime or something. People were complaining there would be a loss of specialised capabilities to deal with white collar crime. Can’t remember exactly.

        • Supermaorifella 12.1.1.1

          Can’t remember exactly either Viper, but yeah it was being subsumed into another entity, and I think losing a couple of it’s statutory powers as well if my memory is correct. But the serious fraud office doesn’t deal with a huge volume anyway, so that can’t be a substantial influence on the stats. IRD as pointed out above is more relevant, perhaps they’ve diverted staff to smoothing out the GST transition over the last period.
          As for the policing numbers, the police have been asking for more staff for…as long as I can remember, due to ever-increasing need (cue social injustice rant here please). Differing policies have shifted policing resources around during the last couple of terms of government, but the end results are the same. At the moment a continuing focus on problem areas like South Auckland and national communications means areas like the Hawkes Bay and Northland are well under-resourced, but, much like the police chases someone was commenting on earlier , it’s a catch-22, with no optimal solution, just tactical adjustments to staff and policy as necessary.
          Violent crime has been increasing, both world-wide and in NZ, for much longer than the current governments term.

          • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1

            Violent crime has been increasing, both world-wide and in NZ, for much longer than the current governments term.

            Yeah, it seems to track along with increasing societal inequality.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        All I can find for that is that the bill to disestablish the SFO has gone to it’s second reading. Can’t find anything else about the changes to the SFO.

        • Rex Widerstrom 12.1.2.1

          It was an issue that was being pursued as part of Winston’s personal vendetta against the SFO and Charles Sturt.

          When we got rid of Winston (something frequently lamented by some commenters here) the pressing need to get rid of the SFO evaporated and it’s not been something Labour has called for in opposition… so clearly didn’t really believe in whilst in government.

          So the disestablishment of the SFO and the potential rise in fraud as a result was yet another price Clark was prepared to pay to keep her power trip going.

          • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2.1.1

            You’d have to connect the two. ATM it’s only circumstantial evidence that the changes made to the SFO have resulted in unreported/prosecuted fraud.

          • lprent 12.1.2.1.2

            Most of the lamentation wasn’t about getting rid of Winston. It was about the manner that it was done, that made sure he’d stay around the political landscape. Quite simply it was idiotic short-term political tactic that didn’t particularly winnow away the support of NZF except temporarily. It’d have been far more effective to actually drive the party down below 5% permanently.

            It virtually ensures that he will be back on the back of the story about the underhand methods used to knock the NZF party support down. I mean all that he has to do is to start pointing at the perk-luster Rodney and the Act party and their performance in government. The narrative that he now possesses about those evil pricks shown in the Hollow Men driving a good man out of parliament just has to be good for a few percent for the next few elections.

            Quite simply the morons making up the lynchmob with their trumped up unproved accusations did the country a major disservice.

  13. Blue 13

    The supposed drop in fraud is very interesting, especially in light of this article from July this year that indicated that fraud was going up (as you would expect in a recession).

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10656590

    There’s something very dodgy going on with those crime stats. Mind you, this isn’t the first time there’s been some wonky stats released by the government this year. Remember the miraculous 1% drop in unemployment in one month that suddenly reversed and got worse the next?

  14. Lazy Susan 14

    The SFO have been re-organised, completed in June this year although many of the changes happened during the previous year.

    Some clues for the huge reduction in fraud are to be found in this story.

    The idea of easing off on the small frauds and chasing the big fish seems like code for “lighten up on the white collar crime fellas”. Former head of the SFO Bradshaw seems less than impressed.

    As for Collins, she says

    I would not want [the SFO] to take cases that might be better left to other agencies. I want them to be stretching themselves.

    And what other agencies are those Judith?

  15. sean14 15

    the driver of changes in the crime rate is unemployment.

    I just don’t buy that, it’s far too simplistic an answer. It assumes that crime is a rational way to get money if you don’t have a job. How many criminals are making real money out of their enterprises? There’s no cash incentive for beating your wife (and plenty of men with jobs are doing it).

    Furthermore, a quick look at the employment statistics on the Statistics New Zealand website shows, for example, that in June 2007 80,000 people were unemployed. In June 2010 155,000 people were unemployed. Has the crime rate double between June 2007 and June 2010?

  16. Mac1 16

    Sean14,
    I am out of work, no money, time on my hands, bored, angry, frustrated so I start to do drugs or get on the booze or get depressed. Nothing here about taking a rational decision to do something criminal whch could range from theft to violent crime to driving offences. But a reasonable person would recognise the seed bed of crime in these scenarios. A lot of crime has little to do with people’s rationality, after all.

    Can you not see this situation writ large in our nation as unemployment rises?

    The crime rate might not have doubled as you say in your figures, but has it increased? What figure did you find in your quick look? What causal factor could you ascribe increase in crime to if not unemployment?

    • ianmac 16.1

      Not sure that being poor is in itself a reason for people to turn to crime. More to do with the bitterness of being cheated and the flaunting of wealth by rich people who claim the ground as “elite” which might turn some into crims.
      During the Great Depression many very poor unemployed were scrupulously honest and socially generous with their tiny resources. I was a guest of a very poor Sri Lankan family early this year, and their resources were so little in material terms, but their cheerful generosity was very very humbling.
      Poor not equal criminality.

      • Mac1 16.1.1

        Agreed, ianmac, which is why I hoped that I was indicating factors other than poverty. Of course, if I am poor and bored I could go to the library etc. If I am angry and poor, I could dig the garden. If I am frustrated and poor, I could etc etc etc.

        My scenario works for someone out of work but not poor. They could just as well be angry, frustrated, bored, depressed, and getting in to the substances.

        A lot of crime is done in poor neighbourhoods by the poor to the poor. The flaunting of wealth and feelings of being cheated I acknowledge under my headings of frustration and anger. They do not seem to relate to wealth-flaunting, cheating rich people as a the cause of that crime, but then I did say that a lot of crime is not rationally driven.

        But I’m not a criminologist. Neither was the Great Helmsman, Jim Bolger, but I seem to remember him acknowledging the link between unemployment and crime. I could be wrong, there too, though.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2

        Poor not equal criminality.

        No it doesn’t but it is a driver for those that are stressed and angry due to not having enough to get by.

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    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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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
    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
    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
  • 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

  • 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
    3 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
    13 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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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    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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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