web analytics

Student Fees

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, June 26th, 2018 - 26 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: , , , , , ,

Reposted from Nick Kelly’s Blog

One of the big policies the NZ Labour Party took into the 2017 election was to start reintroducing free education. Labour in the UK took a similar policy into their 2017 election, which is thought to have contributed to the “youth quake” which saw young voters turn out and vote for Labour in that election.

In both cases this represented a significant policy U-turn for both Labour Party’s. In New Zealand user pays education really began when Labour Party Education Minister Phil Goff significantly increased fees 1990. The next National Government in 1992 increased the student loan scheme, which charged interest on money students borrowed even while they were studying. In the UK user pays tertiary education was introduced by the Blair Labour government.

In 2003 Labour had just begun its 2nd term in office. In its first term from 1999 to 2002 Labour had promised to cut the cost to students of tertiary education, and subsequently froze fees at their 1999 rate. In 2002 the promise was watered down to “keep education affordable.” What this really meant was, “allow institutions to increase fees by 5% a year.”

Just as the anti war protests were starting to tail off, the government budget announced the fee Maxima scheme allowing institutions to increase fees within the Maxima. This would be our next campaign on campus.

Institutions had been lobbying for the ability to increase fees since the 1999 freeze. Labour had failed to increase funding to tertiary institutions, citing the money they’d wasted on marketing and other waste. It was true that competition between tertiary institutions had caused significant waste. But even were this to stop, governments still needed to increase funding rather than passing increasing costs onto students.

In September 2003 the Victoria University Council attempted to hold a meeting to increase fees. The University Council decided to meet at 8am on a Friday morning thinking no student would be awake on time…wrong! The Education Action Group  I was responsible for as the VUWSA Campaigns Officer managed to successfully disrupt this meeting. Students’ Association hired a marquee and encouraged students to stay overnight (using the slogan ‘if that’s what it takes we’ll stay all night’). The university council tried to meet, but had to cancel due to the noise from students.

ALA083~1

Nick Kelly, Jasmine Freemantle (VUWSA Women’s Rights officer 2002, VUWSA President 2009 and Scott Trainor VUWSA Activities Officer during the October 2003 occupation of the Hunter Council Chamber protesting fee increases at Victoria University

A fortnight later the university attempted to reconvene, this time on a Thursday afternoon and again were unable to proceed. However they moved to another private room and passed the fee increases. As a result a number of us occupied the University Council chamber over night. The next day were decided to leave and regroup. At 3pm the next afternoon, a much bigger crowd of students returned to the Hunter Council Chamber having heard that fees had increased. The response from the University was to call in the police – who sent a number of vans and about 50 officers to remove us. The Vice Chancellor, Stuart McCutcheon who had been targeted by our campaign with charts of ‘sack McCutcheon’ came in surrounded by a number of cops telling us we had 15 minutes to leave, which after some deliberation we did.

10 minutes after leaving a large order of Hell’s Pizza arrived, intended to feed the crowd of occupying students. A number of us ate nothing but pizza for the next week.

The following week was full of protests and actions on campus. The same week Massey also had fee setting resulting in similar protests. At Vic we famously burnt an effigy of the Vice Chancellor, using my fathers 1970s brown suit.

Album 2 scans (29)

At the end of 2003 I ran to re-election as VUWSA Campaigns Officer. As part of my election speech I burnt the Governments Education White Paper. I was re-elected with an increased vote.

The following year, 2004, fee setting protests happened again. The University were far more prepared and had the Hunter Council chamber pretty well locked down prior to the meeting. A year later in 2005 they held the meeting out at a satellite campus out of term time. Despite this we still managed to muster a decent crowd both years. Further the issue of fee increases and student debt remained on the political agenda.

We were able to win a few victories during these years. In 2004 The Massey University Council in Palmerston North voted not to increase student fees, a move described by Education Minister Trevor Mallard as “a bad management decision” (quote from the September 2005 NZUSA Conference at Christchurch College of Education). This no increase result came from a strong campaign to by students in the city, getting support of the local council and community leaders. The following year the government replaced Council members who had voted against the increase, with members who would and did in subsequent years

2005 VUWSA President Jeremy Greenbrook leads protest march to parliament, May 2005

2005 VUWSA President Jeremy Greenbrook leads protest to parliament just before the 2005 budget.

In the 2005 election opinion polls were very close. Labour really needed to pull one out of the hat to win a third term. In May 2005 a thousand strong protest march was led by Student President Jeremy Greenbrook supported by myself and others demanding the government invest in tertiary education. A few weeks later the government were to respond, announcing in their 2005 manifesto that there would be no interest on student loans not only while students were studying (which had been introduced by Labour in 1999) but for all graduates living in New Zealand. The student and graduate vote probably was one key factor in Labour being elected for a third term.

Album 1 scans (48)

2005 Education Minister Trevor Mallard telling Vic Uni staff and students “there will be more money for education this budget, but not for you.” Weeks later the government announced interest free student loans.

The strange thing about a win is that it can then be hard to get people energised to keep pushing. In 2006, the year I was Student President at Victoria University, and in the 2-3 years following  fee protests smaller and far less vocal. We still continued to make the case for free education as this 2006 feature column demonstrates. And the new VUW Vice Chancellor Pat Walsh didn’t fundamentally disagree. In both 2005 and 2006 Victoria University along with a number of others applied to the Tertiary Education Commission to get an exemption from the 5% fee maxima and wanted increases of up to 10%. These applications were declined.

In Labour’s final term it began increasing eligibility to student allowances. However this would be short lived once the global financial crisis hit and then there was a change of government. National had been clear from the outset that tertiary education was not a priority for funding. True to their word, they invested very little in the sector over the next 9 years. Further they introduced a number of other damaging policies such as removing elected staff and student reps, and introducing Voluntary Student Membership (VSM) in an attempt to weakening the student movement.

Album 2 scans (146)

Me on a New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) organised march to parliament in January 2004.

 

Album 1 scans (3)

Veteran Kiwi punk rock legend Chris Knox plays at an education rally at Victoria University, May 2005.

In 2016 Labour announced it would introduce 3 years free tertiary study. As often happened in Labour’s 9 years in opposition from 2008 to 2017, they announced a detailed policy which few people read. The initial media announcement was ok, but the follow through was quite poor. It seemed like this was a fairly decent policy that would never be implemented. However 18 months later, during the election campaign Labour surprised everyone by getting its house in order. New leader, new campaign materials, and amongst other things a clear commitment to free education. And much to many people’s surprise, they won.

User pays was never a good idea. The argument about tertiary education being a private good is pretty unconvincing when there are shortages of a number of qualified graduates. The argument that graduates are paid higher so can pay back the loans may have once been true, but now graduate pay rates are often barely above the living wage. Further Student debt ballooned from 3 billion in 1999 to around 10 billion in 2006 while I was VUWSA President, and kept growing after that. Further, in the economy we are moving into, having a well educated population is essential. Removing barriers to this like crippling student debt is essential.

26 comments on “Student Fees”

  1. ianmac 1

    They say that student numbers are static this year so far but I would expect that when other folk realise the opportunities, more will enrol next year.

    • Carolyn_Nth 1.1

      The free fees for the first year was for apprenticeships as well. The figures we’ve been given so far seem to be for enrollments in Uni courses. So what are the figures for apprenticeship?

      • Venezia 1.1.1

        In spite of the very short time frame, I heard that there was a big increase in applications for the Bachelor of Nursing for 2018 at my local tertiary institute. Will the journalists seek the truth of the figures for trades enrolments & apprenticeships? Or are they so owned by their corporate masters we let one university spokesperson define the reality of the issue?

      • ianmac 1.1.2

        Yes and how about the Polytechs?

  2. Molly 2

    Was disappointed in the decision to pay the first year tertiary study at the initial rollout.

    For me, those most affected by fees change are those who have already paid for their first and second years fees and have got to their graduation year with an already sizeable loan.

    If there were financial restrictions on a universal rollout, I would have personally preferred that Labour chose those that have persisted with education and would have the greatest financial burden from increased fees. So, pay for the final year, and then increase the payment to the last two years, and so on, until the whole of tertiary education fees is gone.

    There is also the fact that the education sector has a varying degree of attrition for first year students. Partly due to a lack of awareness of what students would like to do as they move straight from secondary school, and also usually a parallel move into independent living. Also, I’m aware that there are some providers that have courses that are not fit for purpose at Level 3 and above, which needs to be addressed, but will still be eligible for fees free. Just a couple of reasons to start the fees free at the tail end, rather than the beginning of study.

    They have also created a cohort of people who are still studying who are just missing out who have no chance of getting any benefit from this policy. As they pay their student loans off in the future this knowledge will remain with them. First years students though, would be studying with the expectation that when they reach their final year, they will be able to meet their student fees without further borrowings. The psychological impact is lessened.

    I hope Labour consider their current policy, and make some adjustments.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Further, in the economy we are moving into, having a well educated population is essential.

    Not just the economy. Society and democracy requires a well educated populace. That’s why I say that people should either be in a job or at training.

    People benefit from doing more complex stuff and more of it and thus society will also benefit.

  4. Gosman 4

    It isn’t really the Graduate pay rates where University graduates earn more than non graduates. It is the long term career advancement that usually goes with a Tertiary qualification. They earn more over the course of their career not necessarily at the start.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      And at which time increased tax rates should kick in.

      Education is a public good.

      When I was at university I had my fees paid for me and I even received a modest living allowance. When my kids were at university they had student loans.

      The Government’s current policy of providing free education is a good one and what should be happening.

      Analysis (wrong in my view) to suggest that it is not having a beneficial financial effect is missing the point.

      • Baba Yaga 4.1.1

        Education is a public good that results in private reward. The public already heavily subsidise education. Those receiving the education, and with it the private reward, should contribute.

        • Macro 4.1.1.1

          Those receiving the education, and with it the private reward, should contribute.
          They do – through subsequently earning higher income and paying higher taxes. They also contribute to the society in cultural and other ways. Having a well educated population is beneficial for society.

          • indiana 4.1.1.1.1

            Here’s hoping they stay employed in the country they got their free education.

            • Macro 4.1.1.1.1.1

              In many cases they do.
              Overseas experience should not be shunned either. “Brain drains” can work both ways.

          • Baba Yaga 4.1.1.1.2

            “They do – through subsequently earning higher income and paying higher taxes. ”

            And because of those higher incomes, they can afford it. Whereas minimum wage workers are subsidising wealthy families sending their children to Uni even more under Labour.

            “Having a well educated population is beneficial for society.”
            That’s why we already subsidise it so massively. There was no need for Labours silly bribe.

            • McFlock 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Whereas minimum wage workers are subsidising wealthy families sending their children to Uni even more under Labour.

              The rest of it is the same shit fuckwits have been spouting for 30 years as an excuse for making poor people pay more than rich people for the same education, but whatever. This line of yours highlights another problem, though: if the minimum wage is not the living wage, and a minimum wage earner is a net taxpayer, then the problem is that the tax system isn’t progressive enough. It has nothing to do with what tax revenue is spent on, and everything to do with the rich not paying their fair share.

              • Baba Yaga

                You don’t define ‘rich’, so your comment is meaningless. On the ‘living’ wage, why should business pay a subsidy to workers based on a construct? Businesses should pay a market wage, then the true value of education will be enjoyed by those who decide to invest in their future.

                • McFlock

                  Lol
                  It’s always a laugh when Tories act superior by claiming to not know what everyday words mean . As if someone has made no point if they fail to cater to your conveniently special needs.

  5. saveNZ 5

    Personally think all university education should be free.

    But I think the apprentices should NOT be polytechnic based but on the job training like it used to be. That way you had linesmen and electricians and plumbers and builders and plasterers and tilers learning on the job and actually be paid while they did it and never be saddled with a student loan. Then when ready they should sit an exam just like your would for your drivers licence and then become qualified that way. A lot of people in the trade want to work not study and they should be apprentices without all the red tape that has come about to profit from the system and the government wanting to micro manage everything. Just go the drivers license way and things will pick up.

    As education has become a profit business, there has been an approach away from what is best for the student and what is best for industry to getting bums on seats at places of study and get government fees and now we even have the despicable fake degrees for residency or even human trafficking

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/104978434/Indian-human-trafficking-victim-denied-visa-after-testimony-he-feared-put-his-life-in-danger

    which would be unheard of in NZ a decade ago, (remember Taito Field?) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taito_Phillip_Field

    I paid over 10% compounding daily on my student loan in the 1990’s. So in some ways it is bitter sweet for those who might have just arrived in the country for a few years getting free fees when previous students had to pay more than most people in the world in NZ in interest with no right offs, and now same generation will be expected to pay the taxes too for the older folks and of course they want to get rid of the pensions now, something that was predicted to be a big problem by grey power 2011
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1110/S00572/grey-power-warns-of-impact-of-high-immigration-rates.htm

    So young students have a lot on their plate as do those who are in the middle and the aged who expected to be well provided for and now have overflowing hospitals and retirement rip offs as we march forward in our profits before people ways.

    Social mobility and wages are static or declining, so how do students pay off those loans and get a job with so much competition and it becoming more expensive to pay day to day expenses on low wages?

    I also find the structure of university chancellors to be disgusting. Closing the arts library in Auckland while funnelling money into the design school and other courses that are replicated in many other universities in NZ, is a case in point. We are reducing quality and diversity of education in this country.

    In spite of Jacinda apparently being an arts fan and Chloe doing art history as well as law, did not see much political interest in saving this resource or the 40 jobs, at a time when they give away water for 60 never never jobs. Sad.

    Maybe a life in NZ slogging away without art and music, planning and architecture is somebodies idea of where to scrimp and an indicator of how devoid of culture we are becoming in this county.

  6. Molly 6

    “Personally think all university education should be free.”
    Agree with you there, for all NZ citizens.

    “But I think the apprentices should NOT be polytechnic based but on the job training like it used to be. “
    IIRC, before the changes to the apprenticeship training, learning was done on the job, but it was supported by polytechnic attendance for short-term courses and examinations to ensure that the basics of that particular industry had been covered, learnt and mastered. This ensured that trainees had some experience of all aspects of their chosen industry even if their work experience or employer did not provide it. I think that was the best of both worlds.

    Currently, the quality of an apprenticeship is largely dependent on the experience and knowledge of the employer, as well as the scope of work of their employment. Theory can be attended to in a haphazard manner without practical experience, and without ensuring a quality process. Returning all apprenticeships to polytechnic, would not be practical or effective, but the neither would the avoidance of institutional standardised training and practice.

    The combination delivers more than either stand-alone system.

    (Sorry, meant to be a reply to saveNZ @ 5)

    • saveNZ 6.1

      The builders I know of is doing polytechnic work and off the job one day a week. Personally think not working, the industry is not prepared to put up with this judging by their non interest in having apprentices when they can get cheap people for cash or overseas workers cheap, high fees for the apprentice to pay for the course and at the end of the day, building work is practical and the tests should be practical and on the job related not paper pushing.

      There is a lot of mucking around to be qualified as as a registered builder and it is driving a culture of building sites of having the unqualified builders everywhere and then someone comes along at the end and signs it all off. The qualified people don’t actually do the practical work and now we get signed off buildings that are condemned before people move in aka Tauranga!

      Anyway if making polytechnics the same as universities has been to get more entry into fields like construction, they have failed, miserably, both in quality and retention of people into those fields. Time for a rethink.

      Also know a few tradies that came to NZ from Germany, and actually got residency but don’t work in that industry as it’s not a nice one to work in apparently and too ad hoc for them when they are used to quality. They now do cash work only. So actually the current system for construction does not work on so many levels, helps bad employers, lowers quality & wages and stops entry into the field for young people and is creating dangerous buildings that are signed off.

      Likewise a joke to think that NZ will be a highly educated country in a decade, we are doing the opposite with our move to make the trades the same style ad universities and recent migrants coming here are less skilled and educated than even 5 years ago.

      Our ad hoc, low quality system filled with exploiters at every turn and fake, decreasing quality degrees with NZ qualifications, while the government turns a blind eye to and encouraging a rip off culture everywhere, is destroying our country as being an honest, educated and fair one.

      Likewise our degrees will soon be the laughing stock of the Pacific – more lawyers per capita than the UK and from Jordan Williams, Barry Hart to Ken Whitney to the recent revelations on what’s going on at Russel McVeagh… sad to see this is what the standard or lawyer’s is now, manipulating and being beyond the law.

      The police apparently “deleted’ all Kim Dot Coms records apparently, therefore can’t supply the court order… this is our countries enforcers of the law… does it sound like it’s on the right track as an educated country?

      • Molly 6.1.1

        My son worked recently for a builder for eighteen months, where a friend was serving an apprenticeship. The quality of the builder, and their ability makes a huge difference to the quality of training of those apprentices they take on. The attendance of one day a week at a separate institution is a safeguard for all apprentices, that despite their employer they will be exposed to best practice and all aspects of their industry over their time.

        I think we are also feeling the impact of the changes to apprenticeships in the 80’s. Back then, we were more likely to have – for instance – builders that would build a house from foundation to roof. Now we have builders that specialise in foundations, then those who deal with framework, then roofing, then fitting and gibbing, then plastering. As a consequence, apprenticeships often are limited to specialised roles in building within their employment.

        Also, IIRC, trades could consolidate their polytech training in short courses that people would attend during their annual leave. So there was a choice between attending one day a week, or a three week course every year or so. That seems doable.

        If there was certainty that all employers that take on apprentices have:
        1. A quality standard and wide scope of experience to offer,
        2. An ability to teach best practice to their trainees,
        3. The time management skills to ensure their apprentices on on track for the period of their apprenticeship,
        then the need for attendance at a polytechnic to ensure consistency would be a moot point. But I don’t think we are there at present. It is much easier to identify and solve the need for quality institutional trade courses, that it is to identify, train and regulate individual employers to improve the quality of apprenticeships. We should be doing that for all our tertiary providers anyway, and this is a good place to start for immediate reward.

        Also, we had a couple of German journeyman stay with us for a couple of months, and the quality of their training seemed superb. But the value placed on that training was also one of quality standards, where we have a tendency to focus on future financial earnings. As we know, that can result in results that provide greater individual financial rewards but higher public costs.

        • saveNZ 6.1.1.1

          The leaky buildings was not caused by the builders. It was the government BRANZ that did it by kow towing to industry to make more profits and allowing untreated timber and unsuitable claddings. Nobody held to account there of course. The rate payers and home owners have mostly had to pay for the fiasco and it driven this idea of more bureaucrats in building, which clearly isn’t working and a joke because it was the bureaucrats that caused it!

          As for the current move away from builders that would build a house from foundation to roof to builders that specialise in small pieces … it’s not working. It takes too long with all the time missing with all the different trades to turn up and quality suffers. You just need one person to make a mistake on the subcontractors and it all comes tumbling down. It makes workers cheaper commodities but it creates bad workmanship and high prices.

          They try to do the same in IT and with the same results. Too many cheap commodity “specialists” who only know a couple of things within a complicated project does not work as “not seeing the ˌwood for the ˈtrees” approach is a disaster when you have complexity.

          • Molly 6.1.1.1.1

            … wasn’t talking about leaky buildings.

            The rest of your comment seems to reflect mine – just an alternate view on how to ensure quality training. I don’t think relying on the employers alone to deliver is going to ensure a universal quality of training for all apprentices.

            Until that assurance can be made, the attendance or addition of polytechnic adjunct courses seems the best way forward.

  7. Macro 7

    Taking the the single statistic of a 0.03% increase in first year enrolments at University in isolation, and completely out of context, is at best hugely unhelpful, and at worst falls into the category of lies, damned lies, and statistics.
    When we look at the demographic of New Zealand’s population it is clear that the number of young people now of University age is one of a reducing cohort. There are far less young people in the 18 – 20 age group today, than there were 4 years ago.
    http://newzealandiszl.wikia.com/wiki/File:Nzip13-population-pyramid.png *
    So naturally there will be less numbers seeking places in University.
    Then there are many other factors which influence a young persons decision to seek further education at a tertiary level. The availability of jobs, and apprenticeships being a major influence.
    I am firmly of the opinion that free eduction for the whole of a tertiary study is a major investment and while this tentative step is one baby step along the way, it is a start back to a society which is happy to invest in the future of its young people.

    * This population pyramid is for the NZ population in 2012. So you need to take the 10 – 14 year cohort to see the numbers in the 16 – 20 year group today (ie the cohort of University starting age) . Notice that this group is comparatively small compared to the group of 20 – 24 year olds in 2012.

  8. Cantabrian 8

    Baba Yaga – you are an old witch!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Halfway there (maybe)
    New Zealand is now officially halfway through its first 4-week lockdown period. The good news is that it seems to be working - people staying at home has reduced the potential for the virus to spread, and we've had steadily decreasing numbers of new cases over the last few days ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    38 mins ago
  • A pandemic Peter Principle.
    In 1968 Canadian sociologist Laurence Peter coined the phrase “Peter Principle” as a contribution to the sociology of organisations. It explains that in complex organizations people rise to the level of their own incompetence. That is, they get promoted so long as they meet or exceed the specified criteria for ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    44 mins ago
  • Hard News: Music is coming home
    The practice and business of music has been one of the sectors most gravely impacted by the virus sweeping the world. The emphatic nature of our government's response, necessary as it was, has slammed the industry and the people who work in it.There are New Zealand artists – Nadia Reid, ...
    2 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 14
    . . April 8: Day 14 of living in lock-down… The good news first: the downward trajectory of new cases appears to be a real thing. In the last four days, since Sunday, new infections have been dropping: Sunday: 89 new cases Monday: 67 Tuesday: 54 Today (Wednesday): 50 The ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 5: Don’t censor yourself
    The anti-fluoride movement wants to restrict your reading to “just four studies.” They actively ignore or attempt to discredit other relevant studies. Image credit: Censorship in media. For earlier articles in this series see: ...
    8 hours ago
  • “Lord, give us Democratic Socialism – but not yet!”
    Not Now, Not Ever, Never! The problem with Labour's leading activists is that there is never a good time for democratic socialism. Never. They are like Saint Augustine who prayed to the Almighty: “Lord, give me chastity and self-control – but not yet.” In the case of Labour "junior officers", however, ...
    9 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #14, 2020
    10 hours ago
  • The Few are on the run, again, it still won’t stop reality catching up…
    We are seeing what has been termed “a greater challenge than the crash of 2008” by a growing number of economists and more rational, sane commentators, because whilst that was a shocking exposure of the levels to which hubris had sunk, right down to the blank cheque given those who ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    21 hours ago
  • Speaker: Locked down in Jersey City
    I am a Kiwi living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jersey City is the second-largest city in the state and is located directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan. Locals call it New York’s sixth borough. More than 350,000 New Jersey citizens, including myself, commute to New York daily ...
    1 day ago
  • Expanding houses
    It’s  a beautiful autumn afternoon, we need to get out of the house, and so our bubble sets off on a bike ride around our local neighbourhood, Cambridge Park. The bikes come out of the garage, and, being really certain we have a front door key, close the garage door ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    1 day ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • The irreversible emissions of a permafrost ‘tipping point’
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr Christina Schädel Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere’s higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon.  As global temperatures rise, this “permafrost” land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere. Abrupt permafrost ...
    1 day ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    2 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    2 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    2 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    3 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial 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... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    3 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    3 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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? ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    36 mins ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago