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Special laws for rich people

Written By: - Date published: 1:19 pm, February 24th, 2018 - 47 comments
Categories: capitalism, Economy, housing, overseas investment - Tags: ,

This made me laugh. Idiot Savant at No Right Turn reports that Queenstown Lakes District Council wants an exemption on luxury houses from the government’s foreign buyers ban. Because no-one in New Zealand can afford to buy those houses, very rich people that live in another country won’t be able to sell their overpriced houses for a capitalist profit. Boo fucking hoo.

Not so funny is that the Mayor and CE are willing to throw locals under a bus. Queenstown Lakes has a housing shortage that means that builders live in tents on building sites and families can’t afford to rent even if they can find a house. House prices have been increasing on par with Auckland at the same time as long term rental properties are being converted to AirBnB and similar accommodation.

Idiot/Savant,

The proposed law doesn’t apply to anyone who actually lives here, so what QLDC is saying is that non-resident foreigners should be allowed to own parts of New Zealand for use as emergency boltholes for when they’ve fucked up the world, or as a commodity, effectively a house-shaped gold bar. And I just don’t see why we should accept that, especially when said house-shaped gold bars are fucking things up for the rest of us. While QLDC is correct that the luxury property market is effectively a foreign market, utterly out of reach of almost all kiwis, those empty luxury houses are still taking up land which could be used for real homes for real people – something Queenstown is desperately short of. If they are devalued by the law, then maybe that land will be used for other purposes. The only losers in that will be the foreign speculators and the parasitic developers and real-estate agents who service them. But I guess the latter are exactly the sorts of people who get elected to local authorities and use them as a platform to promote their own economic interests.

From QLDC’s submission (PDF) on the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill,

1.1.4  QLDC is keen to improve affordability for all New Zealanders, as it provides our ratepayers with a significant challenge. However, QLDC on behalf of its highly international community does not support the Bill as it currently stands for the following reasons

In other words, QLDC are prioritising non-NZ residents over the people that live in their district.

1.4.1 The Bill does not provide sufficient evidence to support the proposition that overseas buyers are pushing up house prices. The role played by second home ownership (irrespective of nationality) needs to be considered.

I don’t know if that phrasing was intentional or a mistake, but they appear to be saying that NZers who own holiday homes should be targeted instead of uber wealthy foreigners. If they meant investors with additional properties, they should have said so.

2.2.2  Due to the prevalence of affordability issues in the District, QLDC has undertaken considerable work to understand the nature of the problem in our region and is therefore well positioned to provide informed comment on the matter.

That would be the QLDC that has allowed a major housing crisis, including for renters, to develop in its district in the same way that the National government has nationally.

2.6  This hospitable outlook isn’t new, as residents of the Queenstown Lakes District have traditionally always been very international. An eclectic, multicultural community is part of our history and fabric, reflected in settlements at every corner of our District, from the Chinese gold-mining settlement in Arrowtown to the Scottish farmers in Kinloch.

2.7  Our vision for our 2018/28 Ten Year Plan is “vibrant communities, enduring landscapes, bold leadership”. Inclusivity for all, including overseas migrants, is a key community outcome for QLDC.

2.8  We are keen to ensure that all who make the commitments required through a residency class visa are given the opportunity to settle, contribute and make the District their home. Being able to purchase homes and land is a central part of welcoming migrants into our community and into kiwi culture.

QLDC appears to be confused about the differences between colonisation, migration, and economic class imperialism. Or the difference between someone who migrates to NZ and someone who buys and sells property from off shore.

Maybe they’re arguing for a globalist approach whereby national borders have less meaning, but funnily enough they don’t appear to be pushing for a living wage for either the people that live there permanently or the large numbers of temporary migrant workers that the area depends upon.

Or maybe they’re just wanting to give residency to uber wealthy non-resident property owners the people killing the planet who have already bought end of the world bolt-holes.

4.4.1  In reference to the points outlined in section 3.0, QLDC recommends that the progress of the Bill is delayed in order to faciliate collation of comprehensive research and to engage in a dialogue with a broader range of stakeholders and interested parties. This will enable officers to explore potential impacts in greater detail.

Colour me really fucking cynical, but Labour have been signalling this for a year or more, so if rich people haven’t gotten their affairs in order by now they’re going to have to suck it up.

Queenstown has always been a gold-mining town, so none of this is a surprise. It’s still shocking to see it stated so boldly. QLDC appear to sit somewhere between National and Labour. They at least recognise the housing crisis exists, but they appear to be happy to tinker around the edges so long as their core business interests aren’t affected. What they’re not willing to do is understand and act on the reality that the housing market and greed economics are now utterly incompatible with the right of NZers to have a home.

47 comments on “Special laws for rich people”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Market forces are for other people.

  2. Keepcalmcarryon 2

    Such a revealing piece thanks Weka.
    The only bit I’d disagree with is QLDC sitting between labour and national, they are actually somewhere to the right ACT. The only reason they recognize a housing crisis ( from overseas sakes and bad development rules for Jax profit for the boys) is because it’s hard to get coolies (of whatever nationality) to be able to do the work and run the joint.

    • weka 2.1

      The reason I place them between National and Labour is that as with every council there are still good people in there too, and they’re not in denial of the actual existence of the crisis (unlike National). The district has a community housing trust that appears to have some support from the council. What I wrote in the post is the greed/corporate interest end of the spectrum and doesn’t include other things that make the council not quite as ACT as one might think. Unfortunately it’s that greed part of the community that has the most power.

      • Keepcalmcarryon 2.1.1

        Agree there are good people about the place yet QLDC put out the statements you’ve quoted above.
        As an entity they own virtually all the blame for the train wreck that is Queenstown planning and development. Money before, well, everything.
        Was talking today with a 24 yr QT resident who is leaving because the overdevelopment has created too much congestion expense and loss of way of life. Sad but common. Their properties will be quickly snapped up mostly not by other workers.

      • Graeme 2.1.2

        QLDC got fucked over by National with the SHAs. These upended strategic planning and put huge development demands on council and the district. Short term the SHAs have created more problems than they have solved. Long term they will crash the market and A LOT of people are going to be badly burnt. Tradies with 90% mortgages on million dollar properties in Shotover Country is not going to end well.

        There’s a lot of good stuff being done by our mayor and council to sort out the rating issues we have and how we are hampered by current legislation, I’ve said a bit about this on OM today.

        An alternative view on QLDC’s submission is that the proposed restrictions aren’t going to do much, are easily, but expensively, got around and that the very upper end of the market isn’t the problem.

    • patricia bremner 2.2

      Yes Keepcalmandcarryon, (Love the name). I think of Queenstown as the Southern Epsom. Same values and problems. But then, as Weka said, “some good people on Council don’t have the power”. But Wow Wow!! Change is blowing out the crap.

  3. Incognito 3

    Why do people keep voting for so-called representatives who are clearly not advocating (for) the interest of the people and often even act directly and blatantly against the interests of the many in favour of the interests of a few (who may not even be eligible to vote)? There’s something terribly wrong with our so-called democratic model if it can that easily ‘corrupted’ without supposed controls & safe-guards such as accountability, transparency, responsibility and the power to stop and revoke the (actions of) the elected members.

    • weka 3.1

      Just looked it up, voter turnout averages around 50%. I’m guessing there’s a pretty big skew in that towards rich people and landowners, with low wage workers and semi-permanent residents not voting much.

      • Graeme 3.1.1

        Yeah, turnout for General Elections is pitiful in Queenstown Lakes. My observation is it’s due to the transient population, with little long term affinity to the area, combined with most people having to work to bloody hard to bother going out to vote. Being a one party state doesn’t help much either.

        But have noticed a large swing towards Labour / pivot away from National lately. Spent an hour taking very positive things about our current government with my insurance broker last week, rather than discussing our insurance, which was a surprise. Nats pissed a lot of people off in various ways over the last 9 years.

        Having our old MP (David Parker) back in the Beehive has pleased a lot of people too. If the Government wants to be pragmatic there’s a big opportunity here.

    • cleangreen 3.2

      Incognito,
      “Why do people keep voting for so-called representatives who are clearly not advocating (for) the interest of the people”

      It is because a lot of folks are so feed up with the current system that all they see is “self interest before public service”

      We have many prepared to take the opportunity to gain financially from their position it seems.

      Martyn Bradbury summed this up well when he called all voters as “sheeples” and they don’t watch and follow what these “representatives” are really up to.

      That’s why we are hollering from these blog sites in the hope of waking people up as they say; – ‘wake up NZ’.

  4. Graeme 4

    It’s a mistake to say that the upper end of the market is creating problems at the middle and bottom.

    Affordability and supply problems in the bottom half of the market are totally due to development pressure and tourism factors (AirBnB taking 14% of potential rentals), and it really took off when Nick Smith rocked into town with his SHAs, so much so that Council had to approve a second round of the things to “solve” the problems created by the first. That sent houses in Shotover Country from $600K to million. Add in all the big box duplication “to cater to expected demand from the occupants of the new houses” and we have a right fuck up.

    The rural estates on the other hand are very cashflow negative, they cost a lot to maintain and employ a lot of people throughout the cycle. Their effect on the environment and amenity of Whakatipu is a hell of a lot less than the current round of bottom end ticky tacky, bearing in mind that this bottom end tick tacky still sells for the thick end of a million and I don’t think the developers are making that big profits. Big cashflow, but there could be some surprises coming.

    Most foreign purchases go to the OIO already, there’s always a bit of DOC estate to trip things up, and that’s what the buyers want anyway (DOC estate next door, not the OIO trip up). The community good does pretty well out of OIO settlements, walkways, planting areas and sometimes the overseas ownership is better than if the land was surrendered to DOC, what Mutt Lange is doing compensates for several Peter Thiels. Real Estate companies have OIO specialists in house, this will extend to immigration in house with the new legislation. I’ve heard of prospective purchasers preparing to go down the residency path already, which may be a good thing.

    An interesting view on the benefit of high end development in Whakatipu is in this report done to quantify the benefit of irrigation abstraction from the Arrow River. This water is used to irrigate most of the Basin, and in particular several golf courses. Very little cow shit comes from this water. https://www.orc.govt.nz/media/4265/arrow-economic-assessment-report-summary.pdf OK it’s BERL, and the thinking could be a bit wooly, but they come up with a number that equates GDP due to amenity with GDP from tourism. Food for thought and probably caused a bit of nashing on the oaties in the hallowed halls of Stafford Street, but also a true indication of where the Whakatipu’s economy should be headed.

    Affordable accomodation is always going to be an issue, just as it has always been. But we have been able to make Whakatipu work for us, and know many who have too. have also seen many people, at all levels, get totally destroyed by the place. It is very easy to live way beyond your means here. When garages at Housing Trust http://www.qlcht.org.nz are chocca with the toys, with the car is parked outside you have to wonder. That’s not to say the trust isn’t doing very good work, but the future is in high density rental, or sponsored hostel type accomodation for workers, and lots of it. The trust is taking a lead here along with a few private operators http://www.newground.co.nz/remarkables-park-apartments/

    Getting Whakatipu out of the boom bust cycle of short term development should be the focus of Council and Government. I see Council trying hard to preserve the current industry we have with high worth individuals and have an industry that can complement tourism while being cycle immune, and could be highly counter cyclic in some circumstances.

    • weka 4.1

      “It’s a mistake to say that the upper end of the market is creating problems at the middle and bottom.”

      Is anyone actually saying that?

      There are many good points in what you say. However I think there are some underlying values issues here. Not sure if I followed the golf course point but golf courses instead of dairy farms really is a very low aspiration (golf courses are polluting in other ways, and in an area of such land restriction as the Wakatipu Basin, a waste of bloody good land).

      If most of the overseas buys are rural land, then what is the council’s problem exactly? The amendment applies to residential.

      While Mutt Lange is held up as the exemplar (and he is doing good stuff), we’d have to do an actual audit of large stations in NZ and compare. Myself, I’d prefer to see incentives and restrictions placed on what can be done with the land itself, and then prioritise NZ ownership to maintain sovereignty and culture. That’s a separate issue than Labour’s Bill though (needless to say they should have included rural land).

      Queenstown Lakes covers a larger area than the Wakatipu Basin, and the housing crisis is broader still. What happens in Queenstown and Arrowtown affects other areas. The thing that stood out for me about the submission was the impression that it’s still rich dudes looking after rich dudes. Same as it ever was. The economic arguments just sound like par for the course trickle down theory, and we know that doesn’t work. If the council was serious about fixing the housing crisis it would have stomped hard on the AirBnB issue early on. Same as with National, everyone saw this coming and chose to not act because of money. That’s why the expensive house exemption is such an easy target.

      To be fair, this isn’t just about QL, it’s happening in many places in NZ. The middle and upper classes protecting their assets ahead of the wellbeing of lower income people. It’s just that the problems are easier to point to in QL.

      • Graeme 4.1.1

        It’s a bit of a stretch to say that Millbrook, The HIlls and jacks Point are “good” land. Millbrook and Hills were effectively abandoned agriculturally when the current owners took them on. No one has made a go of farming on the north side of the lake for a very long time, apart form a small pocket underneath Coronet Peak. The resort use is all that’s stopping that land being carved up into another Shotover Country. In both cases it nearly happened.

        A lot of the rural land falls within act because it isn’t productive agricultural land or is resort zoned which is residential. Don’t have the reference, but that’s how it was explained to me by a real estate friend. They support the very high end being taken out of act to make it all more honest. The proposed restrictions won’t stop rich people buying, it’ll just make them grumpy. It’s like early 60’s new car adds, “Immediate delivery with overseas funds”, didn’t stop anyone with the money, just made it all underhand and kept everyone else driving wrecks.

        The concern I see is that the legislation not damage the high net worth industry that we have here. This is unfortunately the only provider of employment here other than tourism and development. Development has serious sustainability issues and is counter-productive with tourism and HNW residences. The non / counter cyclic nature of HNW residences makes it attractive as well.

        Easing up on, or managing development along with some sensible regulation of AirBnB will do more for affordability than stopping HNW buyers of property.

        I shudder at the thought of how this development boom is going to unwind. Once the SHA / Frankton thing unwinds it won’t be pretty. Lets just say there won’t be an accomodation crisis, especially if things like New Ground are well advanced.

        There’s rich people and less well of people in all communities, In Queenstown the range is a lot larger but we still have a community, however this community is very different to anywhere else. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea so a lot (actually most) can’t survive here but to those that can it’s home and we would find it very hard anywhere else.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1

          So build a lodge for high net worth tourists who can no longer buy property, and start a grief counselling service for high net worth individuals whose property portfolio has just experienced a correction.

          Market forces. Property developers are supposed to like those, aren’t they?

          Will the tourists stop coming if locals can afford to buy property? Yeah nah.

        • McFlock 4.1.1.2

          Moved away from there about thirty years ago.

          seems weird that my childhood home is now worth several million. It was solidly middle class back then, built by people with honest day jobs.

          Visited again about ten years ago. The Remarkables are still… well, remarkable, the air fresh and bracing, the vistas glorious. But so many people, and buildings everywhere. And soulless.

          There’s probably a poem about never going back home and the futility of our mortal existence that would sum it up, but I don’t know it.

          • Graeme 4.1.1.2.1

            My father in law owned a house at the to of Adelaide Street in early 70’s, had to sell it because he couldn’t keep the mortgage up on a mechanic’s wage, got $21000 for it and came out ok. The place has always been like this.

            Your reactions are quite normal for people who leave, it’s not everyones cup of tea.

            Dig out an early book by one of the first settlers here, Alfred Duncan “The Wakatipuians or Early Days in New Zealand” he’s who Mt Alfred at the head of the lake is named after and the first person to say the place was ruined. Remarkably similar sentiments to that of many today.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    My tuppence worth…

    .How to get civic participation from transient workers and visitors?

    How To get funds to effectively run the Council?

    These problems may be solved by ….

    Those who invested in a “gold bar property” will be caught by the 5 year rule.

    Those who are in the “tacky pass through crowd” will pay tourist fees.

    Those who want an electrician or plumber will have to pay mega charges on “travel”as part of any bill, as they push the middle class “out of town”

    Land bankers need to build mid priced properties.

    The council rates for large and lakeside properties should reflect the value they are obtaining for their owners.

    Speculation has risks. Private owners should not expect the public to underwrite their “poor choices”.

    Those in the Airnib group should pay commercial rates and taxes and be forced to licence their premises.

    • Graeme 5.1

      ” Those who invested in a “gold bar property” will be caught by the 5 year rule.”

      Most of the HNW’s are pretty long term, generally longer than 5 years so won’t be affected.

      “Those who are in the “tacky pass through crowd” will pay tourist fees.”

      5 year rule will sort them out, will really put the negative reactions in another league though.

      “Those who want an electrician or plumber will have to pay mega charges on “travel”as part of any bill, as they push the middle class “out of town”

      Tradies from Cromwell are actually cheaper. A $3000 panel beating quote in Queenstown was $1000 in Cromwell.

      “Land bankers need to build mid priced properties.”

      80’s architectural homes are being sold and the first thing the new owner has through the door is a 20 tonne digger. The challenge is to maintain effective capitalisation and affordable pricing. Hence the New Ground development, I hope that works.

      With the rest Council is hamstrung by rating legislation, hence calls for bed tax and changes to rating powers.

      • patricia bremner 5.1.1

        OK Graeme, what do you propose?

        • Graeme 5.1.1.1

          I used to think that the egalitarian approach to development in the Whakatipu was the way to go, provide affordable properties for people to start like other towns and having a balanced community. After nearly 40 years and several development cycles I’ve really gone off that view. it doesn’t matter how many “affordable” homes are built, they are either unaffordable or undercapitalised within a cycle, so the place os back to square one.

          At present the accomodation problem has two sides. All the construction workers here to build more houses and commercial space to feed off each other. There’s starting to be a degree of irrationality to that and it probably won’t end well. AirBnB is having an effect as well but that may be smaller than the construction boom.

          My response would be to put a limit on suburban development and force high density brown field development. That’s happening anyway but it’s hard to make the numbers and management model work.

          The “goldbar” thing I see as an asset not a liability. it provides employment, and it’s people with money who are dropping it in the community, not battlers trying to make ends meet or muppets living a lie. Ok property prices are going to go through the roof even more than they are now, but the alternative is no less sustainable.

          • Graeme 5.1.1.1.1

            That last phrase should be :- but the alternative is no more sustainable.

            Site, or my dodgy trackpad, did something funny and randomly submitted on me, so had to rely on the edit.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s perfectly sustainable to remove houses from the speculation market, thereby driving investment into more productive – and less socially toxic – sectors.

              • Graeme

                The speculation in Queenstown is at the lower or normal end of the market, the “goldbars” are buying for the utility rather than the investment, and then spending several good wages a year keeping the properties in top condition. I can see some sustainability in that.

                People who buy the fruits of the SHAs are doing it with the expectation of better than 5% pa return, preferably 20% after the brightline. There’s no way that can be sustainable. And It’s mainly New Zealanders and Australians playing in this sandpit, so the foreign buyer restrictions will do little. 5 year brightline, well that will make it interesting when our property cycle generally 4 years from peak to trough.

  6. greywarshark 6

    QLDC should show that they are cognisant of the problems that foreign owners will have if not able to sell their high strata (floating above the affordability of even well-off NZs) properties. They will allow rule changes in their planning department to allow for such properties to be converted to attractive two to four separate units which combined should sell at a high enough price because of their location.

    This I imagine would be the case even allowing for adequately supervised alterations according to Council standards, with some structural alteration required such as extra entry doors, internal and external staircases, some more bathrooms. If wishing to do so, the owner’s or agent’s application will be accepted as soon as all required information, plan and specifications are provided, and the fee paid. The Council will then give it their attention as promptly as possible and requires a contact number and address of the owner or owner’s housing representative who will be able to provide information as requested to enable the scrutiny of the application. It is suggested that the work should be carried out by suitable local builders with the right expertise, and a list is provided by the Council as an attachment.

    It is unfortunate that recovery of their valued investment in NZ must require some more finance but this is very likely to be recovered as Queenstown is a very popular resort and properties of all types are very sought after.

    There you are QLDC – all worked out for you to go ahead with the original plan and still look after the interests of the mega-rich who of course should not have their day marred by a small hiccup in their capital accretion plans.

    • Graeme 6.1

      Most of them are already at least two res units, some more or easily converted to more. Even allowing subdivision lie that wouldn’t make it all that much more affordable because there’s several $100K in property upkeep each year. I’ve got a neighbour who goes through a large commercial mower each year mowing lawns, his largest is nearly 30ha. Then there’s the gardeners and housekeepers…

      Like I said above, these things are highly cashflow negative.

  7. Cricklewood 7

    I think its a complicated issue that you can see nationwide. Councils are spending on what I would call non core activities while dumping shit in waterways n harbours etc and to carry on as they are they need high property values and increasing rate revenue.

    Imho most if not all local authorties need to focus on core services first as sea level rise is gonna hurt the un prepared.

    In the interests of full disclosure the business I managed made money predominantly through Auckland Council and I can honestly say it is at best ‘Loose’ with spending to the point where I have been asked to break quotes up into smaller pieces to avoid clearance from higher up.

    We need a heap of reform and prioritization towards a changing enviroment.

  8. Bearded Git 8

    Great work idiot savant…..except the qldc.(which i live in) is not “somewhere between national and labour” but is firmly National.

    • Graeme 8.1

      But it has had a Labour MP, David Parker, as part of the old Otago electorate. He had, and still has a lot of respect here. I watched Jackie Dean get a very rough reception when she popped into Joe’s in Arrowtown on her victory lap the day she took it for National as part of Waitaki.

      Check out the Wanaka booths in the link in here /special-laws-for-rich-people/#comment-1453704 Wanaka isn’t as solidly blue as you may think.

  9. Jackel 9

    How quaint, people who care about money and being on holiday.

  10. The only losers in that will be the foreign speculators and the parasitic developers and real-estate agents who service them. But I guess the latter are exactly the sorts of people who get elected to local authorities and use them as a platform to promote their own economic interests.

    Fuck, ain’t that the truth, for every single fucking local government body in NZ. Our local governance is pretty much Third World, in that for many the whole point of gaining office is to pursue personal economic interest. At every local council election you get blurbs from candidates saying they have business interests in the community as though that were a recommendation rather than a red flag for constant, massive conflict of interest.

    NZ keeps getting voted top or near-top for perceived lack of corruption, but that’s more a reflection of self-delusion as long as we pretend our local governments aren’t built almost entirely out of conflicts of interest. In this case, you can guarantee various QLDC members will be benefiting financially from the housing crisis they’ve created and are trying to maintain.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      At every local council election you get blurbs from candidates saying they have business interests in the community as though that were a recommendation rather than a red flag for constant, massive conflict of interest.

      This.

  11. Incognito 11

    They came, they bought, they profited.

    Today there’s an article on this on Stuff:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/101713280/leave-regions-and-millionaires-mansions-out-of-foreign-ownership-ban-mps-told

    The arguments in favour of the über-rich are about their individual greatness and contributions to (local) community and economy, of course. The über-rich see themselves as indispensable and filling a vital role in society, it appears – what’s new. They also claim commitment to the region, the community, and the country. Why then is selling their properties an issue? The value of one’s property is only properly established and realised in the market. This is where the real problem lays IMO, for the über-rich: their wealth on paper, the projected value of their investment(s) might be affected because the Kiwi plebs cannot afford to buy it off them at the exorbitant prices that they expect and demand. They want to protect their assets by any means possible, e.g. scaremongering and subtle (economic) threats – what’s new. End of argument. I sincerely hope the Government is not going to cave in to their demands but given that it has caved on the CPTPP I’m not holding my breath and it will be BAU: for the few, not the many. Let’s not do this!

  12. millsy 12

    Why dont we just say it.

    The QLDC is unpatriotic. They support the interests of foreigners over the interest of kiwis.

  13. Tuppence Shrewsbury 13

    really missed the ball on this one. Could’ve taxed the shit out of foreign sellers and buyers with each transaction but instead chose to penalise everyone equally.

    • Dv 13.1

      A Tobin tax would help.

    • Keepcalmcarryon 13.2

      If labour et al are missing the ball by actually doing something then what exactly the fuck were National missing for 9 years of enabling speculators and foreign real estate sales Tuppence?
      Where were you calling for a tax when your sellout National mates were in office?
      Please show me the posts and restore my faith in your IQ

  14. Greg 14

    New zealnders can’t afford houses full stop in the last 9 years of nact the Mac mansons were not built for locals at all the wrong houses were built let then foreign ER get burned time to house the people liveing here

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    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    23 hours ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    2 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    2 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    3 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    3 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    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 ...
    4 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    6 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
    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
    53 mins 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
    11 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
    3 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
    4 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
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    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    5 days ago
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    5 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    6 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
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    6 days ago
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  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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  • $100 million to redeploy workers
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    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
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    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
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    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
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    2 weeks ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
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    2 weeks ago