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Starving the universities

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, October 6th, 2014 - 52 comments
Categories: education, national, tertiary education - Tags: , ,

We desperately need governments that think long term. We don’t get them. National are the worst, the stupidity of their policy, economically, environmentally and socially, makes me despair. How stupid do you have to be, for example, to run down the university sector? Professor Harlene Hayne, acting chair of Universities New Zealand, highlighted the issue last week:

Grim warning as New Zealand universities slip in global rankings

Auckland University is listed 175th, down from 164 last year. Otago ranked 251-275 (down from 226-250) and Waikato fell to 301-350 from 351-400. Victoria (276-300) and Canterbury (301-350) held their rankings.

But Universities New Zealand (UNZ) says the downward trend is likely to continue unless the government offers more support. Acting chair Harlene Hayne says the rankings have grown increasingly important over the last decade and international students use them when choosing where to go.

“The unfortunate reality is that New Zealand universities have realised all the easy gains and the long term trend is downward,” Professor Hayne says, adding government funding for students had been declining in real terms over the past two decades and universities had been forced to cut staff.

She says it isn’t just an academic issue with universities contributing over $900 million annually to New Zealand’s economy.

Oh look – the same thing happened last year:

Shortfall in tertiary funding blamed

New Zealand universities’ slide down world rankings has tertiary education leaders uneasy – saying Government investment in the sector is falling short of what’s needed for them to keep up.

Yes, it’s the funding:

Since 2009, government funding for tertiary education, including student support has fallen from $4.6 billion to $4.2 billion. If it had adjusted for inflation that 2009 figure of $4.6 billion would now be $5 billion. Treasury forecasts that tertiary education spending will remain nearly flat until at least 2018 while inflation will rise another 11 percent by the end of 2018.

Over a similar period (2009 to 2012), the number of actual student places (not funded student places) grew by over 20,000 people. The tertiary education system is funding more people for less money while costs rise.

and:

Tertiary education funding has fallen dramatically in the last five years according to an independent report by BERL economist Ganesh Nana.

The report, commissioned by the Green Party, backs up analysis by TEU over recent years showing that government funding for tertiary education has fallen in real terms by half a billion dollars, and will continue to fall according to Treasury projects by a further half a  billion over the next five years.

The report shows the government is spending nearly $4000 per student less in real terms than it did in 2009. “This year, measured in 2014 dollars, the government is spending only 80 cents on each student for every dollar it spent in 2009,” said TEU president Lesley Francey.

National fudge the figures to try and claim that funding has increased. But the reports quoted above tell the truth. In my own Department and Division funding cuts caused the loss of many positions (mostly teaching related) last year. Cuts in the quality of education inevitably follow.

We have three more years of “brighter future” to look forward to:

BUDGET FIGURES REVEAL TERTIARY SQUEEZE COULD BE FOR THE LONG HAUL

CTU economist Bill Rosenberg has unearthed figures in the Government’s budget that show falling government expenditure as a proportion of GDP over the next four years, a sign that tough times are not over for the tertiary education sector.

Published budget plans aim for the state to shrink from 33 percent of GDP in the year to June 2013, down to 29.9 percent in the year to June 2018. Finance Minister Bill English has told his party faithful he would like to see it down to 25 or 26 percent.

Rebuilding the tertiary sector will be just one of the many challenges facing the next sane government.


I am a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Otago. I do not speak for Otago in any official (or indeed unofficial) capacity. My posts on The Standard are my own opinion only.

52 comments on “Starving the universities”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    It seems that National just don’t like having an educated populace. They have cut ECE, are screwing over primary for profit and now cutting tertiary. The result will be an uneducated populace suitable for only doing what the rich tell them. We will be back to being a feudal society with all the lack of progress that implies.

    The rich will be richer though.

    • Chooky 1.1

      John Key’s Nactional wants a class based education system…it is down grading state high quality education and opening the door to privatisation and fee paying students

      New Zealands’ best and brightest students are now discouraged from post grad studies in NZ because the government wont fund them ( their parents have to, if they can afford it)

      …university and other tertiary education is becoming the province of the wealthy and mediocre ….small wonder the ratings are going down

    • David H 1.2

      But the big risk there is the populace vote with the ‘pitchforks and bonfires’

      And the backlash is going to be spectacular. the economy is starting to go backwards now. The dollar is dropping near as fast as the Milk Solid payout. Which means that petrol and everything else what we import will start to climb.$ 1.40 a litre any one? So the Uni’s could only be the tip of the iceberg as this bunch of Megalomaniacs try to keep the cash flowing.

      • Chooky 1.2.1

        the John Key government does not like academics who can think critically and who speak out challenging Nact policy ( eg attacks on university nutritionists and environmentalists)

        ….another reason for the downgrading of NZ universities ? ( to stifle critical thinking and research and dissent)

      • left for dead 1.2.2

        Hello David H,more like $2.50 per litre.

  2. Jono 2

    I am an NZ based NZ PhD student studying an NZ topic through a highly ranked Aussie university, fully funded by an Australian Postgraduate Award. thanks CER! One of the first crimes against tertiary education this government committed upon taking office was kill the equivalent Bright Futures PhD scholarships programme. My mate, another NZer has just handed in his PhD but has already been employed on an Australian Research Council Post-Doc making $90kAU a year plus 17% super. He has just bought a new apartment in Canberra and received $12500 cash back from the Australian Government.

    There are at least half a dozen other kiwi postgrad students and research fellows in the small, niche, non-STEM department. Arguably the best and brightest in their field, all funded by the Aussie government, all unlikely to return to nz in the medium term.

    Out country is a joke.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Most of the challenges to Everything Wingnuts Hold Dear™, aka government policy come from evidence-based analyses.

    The war on facts has now reached the level of being constant and overt and involves industry players as well as government departments and ministers.

    Still, if the plan is to fuck with smart people I expect Rawshark was just the entrée.

  4. higherstandard 4

    For a young country of 4.5 million we have too many universities in NZ with too many students offering too many dubious degrees.

    Frankly it’s quite impressive we have a two universities in the worldwide top 250ish with the way these league tables are generated.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      That’s a lovely lower standard you’re setting there. I note you are asserting facts. Are we meant to take your word for them?

      What part of falling down the ranks don’t you understand? Are they suddenly generating the league tables differently? Or is your contribution little more than a manifestation of denial and bias?

    • Chooky 4.2

      we used to have just four high quality universities …now all sorts of institutions can offer degrees….degrees have been down graded and the traditional universities with them

    • greywarbler 4.3

      @ higherstandard 8.59
      Are you trying to encourage the decline in universities here, by creating negative impressions on overseas people who at present are funding what we have? White anting Nz again, RWNJ.

      For dubious degrees, look to the ones that can be bought in the USA after a derisory period of study if at all. The recent problem with Warriors doing a month long diploma in one day is being looked into. Don’t use an exception to generalise about the whole system which still has high standing, and rightly.

      What is worrying is a perceived trend to downgrade the tertiary system of universities of higher learning which is under cost pressure and therefore quality pressure, to something that is more like an advanced polytechnic.

    • infused 4.4

      Yep. They pump them out, then they can’t find a job. Look at all the ‘Phd’ students now (I use that term lightly).

      • Chooky 4.4.1

        yes they go to Australia or further afield because Nactional has cut Research and Development and jobs in the universitiesj

        • Tom Jackson 4.4.1.1

          Many go because they can get a better PhD. What kind of idiot would turn down ANU for Auckland?

      • Tom Jackson 4.4.2

        Why would you do a PhD in NZ anyway? If you’re any good at what you do you’ll get a place at a more highly ranked university outside of NZ. In my subject having a NZ PhD is a significant mark against you unless you have a good reason for having done one here.

    • Tom Jackson 4.5

      Our universities are falling for a number of reasons. One is that they have increased vocational subjects at the expense of traditional academic subjects. Highly ranked world universities don’t do this (not that you’ve ever attended one). Another reason is that they made some polytechnics universities, which increased the trend towards vocational subjects. If New Zealand wants highly ranked universities, then it should stop trying to turn its universities into centres for specialised vocational training. Giving out degrees in golf course management just devalues degrees.

      One thing that isn’t noted here is that our fall is partly caused by the rise of Asian universities. Now that they have more money than they used to, top Asian universities are deliberately aiming to increase their world ranking by paying better salaries and hiring faculty from non-Asian countries. Even if we were paying more into tertiary ed, we would still be falling behind because the Asians just have much more money than we do.

      Yet another reason is that New Zealand is a pretty dumb country. Our national character has an allergy to critical thought and a love of the simple and empirical. The Anglosphere trends this way, but NZ is an outlier even among them. The level of public ignorance of even basic facts in NZ is incredible. One needs only to visit a conservative NZ blog to see a complete lack of any critical thought.

      • Chooky 4.5.1

        @ Tom Jackson…”Yet another reason is that New Zealand is a pretty dumb country. Our national character has an allergy to critical thought and a love of the simple and empirical…..a complete lack of any critical thought.”

        …..yet Canterbury University once had Karl Popper on its staff

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

        “Yet it would be at the University of Canterbury that Popper enjoyed the intellectual alchemy that made it possible for him to produce his life’s seminal political work, The Open Society and Its Enemies”…and his theories of critical thinking and falsifiability in science

        Nobel prize winning Ernest Rutherford and a number of other eminent international scientists have also come out of New Zealand universities

        http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/rutherford/path.shtml

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

        • Tom Jackson 4.5.1.1

          Popper was running away from Hitler, and wasn’t a New Zealander.

          Every society has produced some scholars and researchers of note. That doesn’t make it a society that appreciates intellectual matters.

          • Chooky 4.5.1.1.1

            …well depends on where you come from and who you mix with I guess….but I always thought NZers had a very high appreciation of education ( unlike the British working class)…i knew NZ working class kids who ended up with PhDs…and their families very much valued education…same with farming families

      • Draco T Bastard 4.5.2

        Our national character has an allergy to critical thought and a love of the simple and empirical.

        Simple, yes, empirical, no. If we had a love of the empirical then we would never be voting National never mind having them for an actual government.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.6

      For a young country of 4.5 million we have too many universities in NZ with too many students offering too many dubious degrees.

      Nope. We’re really not that young (Although I have NFI WTF that’s got to do with anything) and every major city should have at least one university. With the continuing decline in jobs it’s going to be the universities that are where the majority of people will end up either as teachers/researchers and/or students and that will be a good thing as we will be able to ask questions like WTF are we still using this outdated and failed model of economics?.

      • Chooky 4.6.1

        i think they have quite a few universities in Germany and France….and youth are expected to go …unless they head towards the trades or artisan route

    • Murray Olsen 4.7

      Quite a few research groups in Australia are world leaders because of the Kiwis working in them. Our own country loves importing useless bloody ticket punchers and executives, while giving our researchers no opportunities at home. Auckland University should be in the top 100, but instead it’s been turned into a business handing out diplomas for money and its ranking has collapsed.

      You are easily impressed, lower standard.

  5. greywarbler 5

    That’s education in NZ. A nice to have not a base for the building blocks of a strong, capable country.

    We don’t need intellectual stimulation and wider understanding in this country – we have cows and rugby and lots of shops for spending, and more and more imports and tourists to bring in diseases and put destructive pressure on special wild areas, and an excellent credit rating so we can borrow to maintain this land of wealth and opportunity – that is all you need in NZ.

    This morning on Radionz there is a story about students trying to learn in cold, damp, mouldy mostly pre-fab classrooms that need repair or replacement. But they may have slipped off the list as funds have to go to Christchurch rebuilds. And I think money gets poured into pseudo private consultants acting as Commissioners and other schemes for loading costs on schools to provide extra employment opportunities in the wider community.

    I think universities are being encouraged to behave like corporates, and take on projects outside it’s core educational mission. They are dependent on overseas students fees, but if their standing drops away, then that will kill off the golden goose. (Here is a relevant Latin phrase to show the value of higher education: Dolus Eventualis Awareness of the likely outcome of an action.) QED etc.

    With the rightwing PPP fascination, (do fascist and fascination have the same root?), schools will be asked to tender out teaching jobs to the community, which would be encouraged to compete with and likely bypass trained, experienced teachers mainly on cost.

    Meanwhile the demands on pre-school child care to upgrade and meet more expensive requirements, becoming early education centres increases the costs of those for the poor and the working woman pays out a large chunk from her wages to meet middle class bureaucratic aspirations.
    edited

    • Murray Olsen 5.1

      +1
      “They are dependent on overseas students fees, but if their standing drops away, then that will kill off the golden goose.”

      I was saying that at Auckland Uni in the 90s, but no one important was listening.

      Fascist comes from the fasces, a bundle of rods carried by someone important (maybe senators) in Ancient Rome.

      Fascination comes from the latin facinus, the divine penis. I can see a link.

  6. Tautoko Viper 6

    The funding short fall in funding for universities, coupled with the restructuring and trimming of the University Councils, is a deliberate ploy to restrict research to that directly related to that which can attract corporate funding. Vested interests will determine topics of research and this sometimes leads to poor science. The worst case scenario is where the researcher is pressured to come up with a result close to that
    predetermined by the funder and the researcher designs the parameters of the experiment to achieve this result.
    Another adverse effect of diminishing funding is the gagging of scientists where university academics are pressured not to speak out on issues of importance to society. A government or corporate with dubious ethics could use a threat to withdraw funding. The smaller, more “business” style of University Council lacks the input of democratically elected staff and student members who could advocate against muzzling staff.
    This might suit the Government but is detrimental to the citizens.
    Our Universities will be unable to give bright students the academic freedom to research topics that come from lateral thinking well outside the range of funding corporates or government flat-earthers.

    This is exactly how poor science
    • Increasing the proportion of ministerial appointees transfers too much control over the universities to the Government and its vested interests.
    • Universities need to have autonomy and the academic freedom to be able to carry out research without being muzzled or unable to collaborate, or being required to tailor their research projects and findings to flatter those providing the funds. A University Council “stacked” with Ministerial appointees, with no dissenting voices of student or lecturer stakeholders, could make decisions that might appear to be fiscally prudent but which limit the scope for innovation and research.

  7. Heather 7

    What’s happened to Massey University? have they dropped off the scale Steve Mahary won’t be too happy about no mention! maybe he will return to the Labour Party

    • greywarbler 7.1

      @ Heather 7
      Do you think you know why Massey University has dropped off the scale? Your comment sounds like a jibe against Steve Maharey and Labour Party. What about some intelligent comment from you? Did you go to Massey or any university? I thought that how to analyse and discuss, contrast and compare, was what was learned in 101. Sorry if you never got your chance to extend yourself, or failed when you did.

      • Chooky 7.1.1

        @greywarbler…it is a legitimate question and an important one and no way reflects on whether Heather has been to university or not…in fact I rather think the opposite

        …in fact it requires an answer….why has Massey University appeared to have dropped off the scale?

        …lack of research funding?…lack of time for lecturers to produce published academic papers ?….overworked teaching staff?…attrition of university staff numbers?…lack of time and funding for supervision of PhD students?….failure to provide adequate remuneration to attract top overseas academics and retain existing academics?…lack of financial support for New Zealand students wishing to pursue post graduate degrees?

        • greywarbler 7.1.1.1

          @ chooky
          That was what I was trying to find out myself? It would be interesting if Heather could find time to put an answer into all your questions. How about it Heather. Are you in the know about such things?

    • Tom Jackson 7.2

      Massey and Lincoln are the sheep shagger unis, are they not? 😉

      • greywarbler 7.2.1

        @ Tom Jackson 11.59
        Sorry to shake your picture of the rural idyll but these days sheep are out, the favourites are now lovely Jersey cows with long dark eyelashes. Or striking black and white Friesians.

      • Chooky 7.2.2

        you mean vet schools and agricultural/ hort/vit/ marketing universities servicing the rural sector? ….rather important actually for R@D and support for NZ’s rural based economy

  8. Sanctuary 8

    The Tories never change. This is just a replay of the 1990s, when Birch and Shipley left us a legacy of a run-down civil service, peeling paint and a systematic funding crisis.

    All in the name of a balanced budget and tax cuts for the rich.

  9. greywarbler 9

    This is quite long! But I was thinking of some of the ways that we need to have better thinking, more use of our highly educated graduates and experienced people. Who are likely to have more education and experience than pollies who may not want to be shown up by the greater ability of these professionals.

    The cataclysm of World Wars forced an outflux of fine people with fine minds to escape far from Europe to distant countries, and that is how we received an influx, raising our IQ considerably., amongst them Karl Popper.

    Karl Popper (from wikipedia)… He needed to publish [a book on his work] to get some academic position in a country that was safe for people of Jewish descent…..
    In 1935 and 1936, he took unpaid leave to go to England for a study visit….
    In 1937, Popper finally managed to get a position that allowed him to emigrate to New Zealand, where he became lecturer in philosophy at Canterbury University College of the University of New Zealand in Christchurch.

    Unfortunately the attempt at cross-fertilisation of fine minds with our bovine anti-intellectual, incurious ones didn’t take. We have great scientists from NZ universities who are lucky if they get a chance to fully utilise their knowledge for our benefit. They often have to go down on their knees to get funding, and this may be reduced or cut before the completion and realisation of the research project. Hence the present debacle.

    I am now thinking of people with knowledge and expertise – how effectively has the government made use of them? People of vision and experience like Dr Bill Sutch who was harrassed and discounted. He was charged with a crime I think, because he was attempting to gain intelligence on communist politics and overseas trade. Bruce Jesson fought against the coarse, simplistic, rampant asset stripping by greedy gits who regarded government as a free meal for themselves.

    There is a fascinating story of our Dairy Board offshoot and how it built up a very successful, unique, trading relationship with Russia when their continuing custom was needed. This was when Labour was in power here and Geoffrey Palmer visited Russia. The book- Till the Cows Came Home by Wellington journalist Clive Lind tells the story of how the New Zealand dairy industry changed in the 40 years to the formation of Fonterra in 2001.
    This was happening in the late 1980s.
    Sovenz’s trading office in Moscow would also act as the agent for the New Zealand Trade Development Board. Among its duties would be organising Soviet trade delegations to New Zealand, an activity which, to the mirth of John Parker, would attract the attention of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service. A promising business began with Gaffikin as Sovenz’s chief executive and John Hebron running Lada New Zealand, later replaced by Larry Coombes.
    Parker was to liken Gaffikin to a superferret when it came to finding deals to be done and trades to be made. Many of the arrangements were not particularly profitable, but each one helped create political goodwill. Timing was excellent. Mike Moore had led a group of New Zealand business leaders, including Jim Graham, to Russia in 1986. A subsequent parliamentary delegation had been followed by a visit by Deputy Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/book-extract-till-cows-came-home-part-2-hold-holiday-review-dc-150321

    In 2010 Stuart Prior said that we ‘Ignore Russia at our peril, former diplomat warns’. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/3568223/Ignore-Russia-at-our-peril-former-diplomat-warns. So this intelligent, experienced man would have seen what happen? How was his advice utilised to advance NZ?

    Vernon Small wrote this 13/11/2010.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4342760/New-Zealand-Russia-to-start-free-trade-talks
    New Zealand and Russia have agreed to kick start talks on a free trade agreement that will be a first for the former Soviet republic.
    The deal was announced in Japan today at bilateral talks between Prime Minister John Key and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
    Trade Minister Tim Groser said the move was another step in New Zealand’s “aggressive trade strategy”.

    So what has happened in our trade relations with Russia lately? We can’t get locked in to TPPA and limit our avenues of trade to only western right wing tendencies. We have to keep trying to raise new lines of thinking, using the real intelligence that we have here that is just not being usefully ‘drilled or mined’. That is where our wealth will come from, not destroying the earth, lacing it with cyanide or whatever to get the gold out, or spoiling the sea bed where we have a resource to nurture yet we are ruining with intensive harvesting. Similar to our intensive dairying.
    edited

  10. Chooky 10

    @ greywarbler ..actually I think New Zealanders, both Maori and early Pakeha settlers, have always been able critical thinkers …hence the setting up of a high quality , free, secular state education system. New Zealand also produced top scientists before the wars….many early British settlers were very well educated…or at least valued education…they did not want a class education system but an egalitarian one…NZ women were the amongst the first in the world to be university educated.

    http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/theuni/backgrnd/history.shtml

    …as regards trade with Russia …i am all for it

  11. greywarbler 11

    @ chooky 1.43
    That was then – pre 1984. Orwellian what!

  12. BLiP 12

    . . . How stupid do you have to be, for example, to run down the university sector? . . .

    One does not have to be stupid at all. Rather, all that’s required is that the psyche become captured by an ideology which distances cognitive functioning from reality. The ideology driving the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key is just such a cognitive trap. As a result, we see all manner of apparently disparate actions which, both in isolation and collectively, are, by any objective measure, irrational yet are wholly in alignment with the fundamentals of the ideology.

    The National Ltd™ Cult of John Key is a weed-like outgrowth bedded in the detritus of “Objectism” but sharing the same deity, known as “The Invisible Hand”. The deity, it is believed, requires freedom from all concepts of humanity contained in the idea of “government”. Thus unenumbered, “The Invisible Hand” will, according to the ideology, work unseen magic and deliver a new state of being where individuals are supreme and operate in a world of limitless freedom. The ideology has its own language, milieu control mechansims, and an array of concepts which require dedicated study to grasp. Adherents are typically individuals who have managed to accumulate wealth, or aspire within their souls to do so, and genuinely believe such motivation is the core function of their existence. They endure excruciating cognitive dissonance in the process of indoctrination as they distance themselves from what they believe to be the short-term but essential agonies visited upon those to whom the ideology is applied at the macro level. The more agonies that become apparent the more the adherents see their ideology as working and the more dedicated they become. The really dangerous aspect is that adherents also genuinely believe that they have the answer and their actions are of benefit to society as a whole. They are good people doing evil without realising it.

    What’s actually happening is that as the agonies mount, the more removed from reality the adherents must become in order to continue to function. A prime example of this is the life of Alan Greenspan, a high priest in the earlier ideology of “Objectivism”. No one can accurately call Greenspan stupid but his ideology certainly was. At one stage, even he managed to glimpse that the apparently unlimited growth of the US economy was not being matched by a parallel growth in productivity. Greenspan, at least, was brave enough to publicly draw attention to this fundamental flaw. At that stage, the “Objectivism” milieu-control mechanisms kicked in and, after being thoroughly pilloried by his fellow cultists, including Bill Clinton, he eventually said publicly that his doubt was wrong. He remains today a classic example of how the minds of the brightest and most able can be divorced from reality and the dangers inherent to a person’s public standing should they dare to call out that the Emperor has no clothes.

    So, stupid? No, not really. Just mind-fucked by ideology and craven. As well as the example pointed to here in education, the same thing is happening in all areas of government which seek to enhance the human state. Its happening in health, justice, the environment, housing, civil liberties, the “fourth estate”, and, indeed, in parliament itself. Welcome to John Key’s brighter future.

    • Chooky 12.1

      sounds like fascism

      • BLiP 12.1.1

        The long term result is exactly the same as facism, but the methods are different. Facism requires a collective approach and appealing to such things as integral nationalism whereas the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key requires the integral individuation and appeals to things like personal greed. While the catch-cry of facism might be “New Zealand, über alles”, the catch cry of the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key might be “above all else, self”.

  13. Camryn 13

    Surely this is more about the fact that countries that previously had no decent universities now do (China, for example)? It was easier to rank more highly when we were one of only a small group of countries playing the game.

    • BLiP 13.1

      What? That doesn’t even make sense. I mean, are the All Blacks less excellent because there are more decent rugby teams in the world? No. The All Blacks remain excellent because they have (more than) sufficient resources to maintain that excellence.

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    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    2 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    2 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    3 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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, ...
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    7 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
    7 days ago
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