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Stunning

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, March 24th, 2009 - 42 comments
Categories: national/act government, workers' rights - Tags: ,

This is just stunning:

Mr Key was yesterday questioned about an employment situation where a person was offered a job paying $40,000 a year and told that the fourth week of leave would have to be included in this or the job would go to the “next in line”.

He said this would not happen because employers “would be prosecuted if they did that”.

Asked what could be done to stop employers pressuring for the swap then simply denying doing so, Mr Key said all employment relationships had to be based on “good faith”.

Forcing workers to rely on the “good faith” of their employer simply isn’t good enough. There’s a reason we have minimum standards of employment, and it’s to make sure our working lives are not subject to the whim of our employers.

It’s just astounding that when given a concrete example of how employers could abuse the law despite his promise of safeguards the best John Key could come up with was a hope that employers would act in “good faith”.

The only plausible explanation is that he knows very well there’s no real protection against abuse, and that’s part of the plan.

John Key and National have wanted to repeal four weeks’ annual leave from day one because their business backers resent having to provide you with decent leave. Don’t think that’s changed one bit. This is about normalising three weeks’ leave for a future repeal.

UPDATE: No Right Turn has an excellent piece here.

42 comments on “Stunning”

  1. jason 1

    I assume its just a one-off payment in regards to selling your 4th week.

  2. cocamc 2

    Tane
    This is simply about giving employees a choice, as they do everytime they sit down with their employers to talk about their job (union represented or not).
    What is big deal with this. It is a storm in a teacup. I am glad of the choice, personally would want the extra week this year rather than the payment, but other people would want the cash.
    And as it’s decided annually next year I might want the money.
    If employers and employees cannot sit down in good faith then all hope is lost. Yes – there are bad employers out there but let’s not lump the majority of employers in with them.

    • IrishBill 2.1

      And how much “choice” would you feel you had if your employer quietly told you that the week you would rather have was not on the table unless you wanted to be swapped to another shift or have your overtime cut, or forgo this year’s pay rise? Because that is what many workers will face under this law.

      • infused 2.1.1

        Great to see you can read the future. Give me some proof this is what is going to happen.

        • Kaplan 2.1.1.1

          The law is currently in place. It is set to change. The onus is on those making the change to PROVE that this scenario is NOT going to occur.

      • cocamc 2.1.2

        IB –
        Utter rubbish.
        I am an employer – and as an employer I give my employees lots of choice – they can work from home, I give them extra leave over Holiday season to be with family, give them opportunities to take some ownership in the business. And despite of the economic situation I’ve just paid bonuses to staff (which wasn’t in their agreements) for the efforts they put in over the past year. I have good relationships with my employees and that is what we should aspire to in overall employment relations, not this though shalt approach from both sides of the table.

        • Kaplan 2.1.2.1

          You are not the only employer in this country. Do you accept there are employers out there that will try to take advantage of this?

          I suggest that if you disagree you are living in a dream world.

          • cocamc 2.1.2.1.1

            Of course there are GOOD and BAD employers. But lets focus on the Bad employers and go about fixing that – rather than always lowering ourselves to the lowest common denominator.

          • Kaplan 2.1.2.1.2

            cocamc:
            “lets focus on the Bad employers and go about fixing that”

            Excellent, great idea. Lets fix up all the bad employers THEN make the changes that would otherwise affect their workers. Seems like the logical thing to do. Good luck with those fixes.

        • Akldnut 2.1.2.2

          Cool have you got a branch in Auckland – I want to work for you, you sound great unlike the asshole who has effectively offered a job with only three weeks holiday.
          I suppose the upside if its acceptedwill be he won’t have to pay a higher rate of tax (40 hrs – normal PAYE ) because it will be spread over the year. Unlike the ones who trade their week off for coin (40 hrs + 40 hrs traded paid together = Huge PAYE) or will there be a new tax code for those who take the cash option?

          Wouldn’t holding onto your holiday “en mass” create work for others to fill in for you, thereby creating employment – the supposed aim of this govt?
          Just who will be the big winner here, the little guy or business?
          If it goes it the direction of everything else they’ve done it’ll be the business.

  3. The Voice of Reason 3

    Actually, cocamc, this is about giving employers a choice, not their workers. The clear option for bosses is to not offer a wage rise.and say to workers that there is a weeks pay available instead.

    Another subtle attack on the rights of workers, disguised as ‘choice’.

    Have their been widespread calls from workers to buy off the 4th week? Do workers not enjoy their time off? Are their families not strengthened by having parents at home more often?

  4. Pat 4

    It is not a “concrete example”. It is a hypothetical example.

    Labour and it’s supporters need to get away from their “bad things are going to happen” approach, becuase I reckon it has lost its impact. Since Helen Clark’s opening speech in the election campaign, all we have been hearing about is all the bad things that are going to happen if Key becomes PM. This has continued after the election with every word uttered by Key carefully picked over as further evidence for the prophecy of doom.

    If Labour MP’s are genuinely reconnecting with their electorates, then they should focus on gathering real stories about real people suffering real impacts from any of the Nats policy changes. Then they will have their “concrete examples” – something meaningful and newsworthy to attack National with, plus they will also find areas where they can develop a policy platform to take to the next election.

    • George Darroch 4.1

      That’ll take a while – the effects of these laws isn’t instant. In the meantime, ‘this is what will happen’ is all the left have to go on.

      National should be called up if their laws do not have the effects they claim, and the left similarly for their claims.

      Just like the idiots claiming the “death of free speech” should have been laughed at this election, for their patently false claims.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      When a law is made you need to predict what is going to happen. Taking it on faith that nothing bad will happen is sheer stupidity. The scenario outlined is one that is guaranteed to happen because there are some real schmucks around that have the power to ensure that it happens.

      The law isn’t there to force everyone to do what’s right but to try and protect the majority from an unscrupulous minority.

      • TightyRighty 4.2.1

        and yet everyone took the EFA on faith.

        and ditto your last sentence and how the EFA was put forward by an unscrupulous minority.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1

          The EFA wasn’t taken on faith. A lot of people questioned it on both the right and the left. A lot of people realised that something like it was needed on both the right and the left. It was, unfortunately, not a good example of legislation.

          And it wasn’t put forward by an unscrupulous minority but because of an unscrupulous minority (The National Party).

          • TightyRighty 4.2.1.1.1

            ahh no, the unsrupulous minority targeted was the bretheren. which is a hate crime and discriminatory.

        • Akldnut 4.2.1.2

          And how did the EFA affect the common Joe. It did nothing at all, it only affected only those who were trying to influence the direction this country was taking (normally behind the scenes, anaomously and unscrupulously) How did it hurt you?

  5. ak 5

    Stunning and sickening: the repulsive faux-naivety of the usual suspects particularly so – the same smug, smarmy lice who whine loudest when the shoe’s on the other foot.

    Much worse than Fire at Will. Worst part is, there’s nothing to stop them in future applying this to the 3rd, 2nd and 1st weeks as well.

    Back to serfdom. The hard-wrought gains from the blood, sweat and tears of our forefathers and mothers, cunningly and gradually eroded by the same grinning, pink-fingered wide-boys who have gorged on the cream and now bought the world to its knees.

    Enough is enough. Fight this one hard.

  6. Mike Collins 6

    “because their business backers resent having to provide you with decent leave”

    Well actually no. It is not about resenting providing decent leave. It is resenting extra costs being imposed by do gooder elitists in Wellington for no extra gain. You know this. However you seem to think it does your argument well to paint employers as being a group looking to screw over their workforce at every opportunity.

    This is a recurring theme with your statements Tane (and IB for that matter). You wilfully misrepresent people’s positions. You are capable of making arguments based on your own logic, why you need to misrepresent others is beyond me.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      Mike, I’m pretty sure that those “extra costs being imposed by do gooder elitists” are the reason for the “resentment”. Or are you saying that a) there is no resentment at the extra cost, or that b) the “decent leave” does not come at a cost?

      It’s all logical and straight forward, but if you prefer to pretend to be so retarded as to not understand it, that’s your business.

      • Mike Collins 6.1.1

        No PB – it’s the implication that employers are a group of people that resent people taking leave that I have an issue with – as if it’s a case of them vs us. Of course the resentment lies with the extra cost – however Tane’s statement leaves me with the impression that employers resent their employees for the leave – rather than the do gooders in Wellington.

        BTW I am far from retarded.

        • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.1

          The ‘cost’ equals ‘the leave’.

          You are spinning it no less than Tane is. This particular discussion is about the leave, to generalise it and say that what is resented is the ‘costs’ imposed by wellington, doesn’t change that fact.

          In this instance of that generalised resentment against ‘costs’, the thing that is resented, the ‘cost’, is the leave. It is hardly dishonest to say so.

          No where does Tane say that “employers resent their employees for the leave “, and I’m glad that you note that that is only your inference. But to carry on as if that is what he actually said is to misrepresent his argument. Which is ironic, given your complaint.

          What he says is that employers resent the leave, presumably because of the cost, which you acknowledge is something they resent.

  7. Indiana 7

    Whats the definitin of good faith? Is it just for bargaining? Both employers and employee representatives have been known to stretch the definition. The power of choice is that you can decide if your happy with your work conditions by leaving or staying and trying to change them through talking with your employer either represeneted or not. If you can’t change your working conditions, surely employees are looking to find another place of work where their work conditions are better…isn’t that what any free minded individual would do?

    • Mike Collins 7.1

      Ahh but you forget that we must always cater for the lowest common denominator Indiana. We abolish choice, because although good for most people, there is a small possibility that some won’t benefit from it. Welcome to Lefty101.

      • r0b 7.1.1

        The “choices” that lefties want to limit are mostly the “choices” to abuse and exploit our fellow human beings.

        Compare and contrast with right wing / conservative types. They are all about control. Controlling workers. Reducing social services that provide choices to low income earners. Locking ever more people up in ever more prisons. And especially controlling personal decisions regarding drug use and the ultimate personal choices relating to sexuality, marriage and abortion.

        Give me a leftie any day thanks.

  8. Quoth the Raven 8

    When a right wing government artificially creates high unemplyment and is ideologically opposed to a full employment economy because that would make things hard for the plutocrats – creating a buyer’s market for labour and not a seller’s market then what real choice does a worker have if they need work?
    As this free market advocate says:

    Those small words, in the free market, are most important because without them, the argument fails and is utterly false. Can it really be “voluntary’ to choose only from shitty jobs in a regulated economy where most work options have been made unavailable and a job is necessary to generate monetary income to pay taxes? I say it is not. Even if you make the choices yourself, it cannot be considered a voluntary choice to pick a least bad option from the options remaining within a suffocating framework of coercive measures.

    Of course, the choice itself is voluntary and in that sense the rationalist logic seems applicable. But the choice is still made in an environment where most choices have been coercively done away with and where the chooser is restricted from making the choices he or she should have made were it a free market. It is like saying you have free speech only you cannot speak of X, Y, Z or A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J and K. That is not free speech it is regulated speech, and what you choose to speak of necessarily depends on what you aren’t allowed to speak of.

    Free market arguments are simply not applicable to the real world as it is. They are only applicable as arguments for the superior functions and mechanisms of the free market. And the free market itself is a great standard to which the real economy can and should be assessed to make clear its inefficiencies and injustices as well as providing an outstanding alternative. You cannot, however, make your own mix of the two; using free market logic to argue for low salaries and bad working conditions in contemporary state economy is simply a mistake.

    Government privileges and the legal/regulatory framework that enforces plutocracy must first be gotten rid of if we are to free the market. Right wingers can’t understand this because they are unconciously or disengenuously blind to privielge and the imbalance in the labour market.

    Mike said We abolish choice, because although good for most people, there is a small possibility that some won’t benefit from it. Welcome to Lefty101.

    Oh yes Mr righty and is National going to end drug prohibition so people have the choice? Is National going to allow abortion on demand so people have the choice? Euthanasia? any number of things? No becasue they are conservatives and liberty is something they cannot possibly grasp.

    • Mike Collins 8.1

      “Oh yes Mr righty and is National going to end drug prohibition so people have the choice? Is National going to allow abortion on demand so people have the choice? Euthanasia? any number of things? No becasue they are conservatives and liberty is something they cannot possibly grasp.”

      Nope I would hazard a guess that National would do none of those things. That is why I could never be a member of the National Party or vote for them.

      • Quoth the Raven 8.1.1

        That is why I could never be a member of the National Party or vote for them.

        That’s good to hear Mike.

  9. gingercrush 9

    I said I wouldn’t comment in this thread but wtf is with blanket statements such as the right controls sexuality or that the right controls marriage. When California itself a very left wing state voted to oppose gay marriage. I’m not even sure why some of you are using that shit in your arguments. Or using arguments that the right controls drug use, when the left itself is hardly in a position where they want to free-up laws around drug control. The Greens excepted.

    • Quoth the Raven 9.1

      Ginger – The left is more than just a few political parties. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a republican so I don’t know how left California could possibly be, not that democrats are left by any stretch of the imagination.

      • gingercrush 9.1.1

        Then you’re basically saying you define what is left and right. There are always different shades to what a right and left voter/party is. Some are hard-left, some are hard-right, some are moderate left (I guess something you could call the democrats) while others are moderate right. But just as you point out to me QtR that left is more than a few political parties. So too is the right. And for someone to then say in this very thread that the right limits marriage and sexuality is in itself inherently unfair.

        And QTR as you well know, your own opinions around drug prohibition isn’t shared by all people that identify left or even shared by many lefts. While such an opinion is shared by some that identify right. Hence, why people shouldn’t go around making blanket statements like some are doing here.

        • Felix 9.1.1.1

          ginger,

          Please just accept that people, from time to time, will use generalities such as “those on the right prefer to dictate on matters of sexual behaviour” which while obviously not universally true are self-evidently generally so.

          If you can bring your tiny mind to allow others these occasional indiscretions of language then perhaps the thread can get back to the topic and we can all forget about your niggardly attempt at diversion.

  10. charlie 10

    I said I wouldn’t comment in this thread but wtf is with blanket statements such as the right controls sexuality or that the right controls marriage

    “Lies about surgical sterility requirements. Questions about their sex lives. Outright threats. Here’s what faces families in Georgia when their luck runs out.”

  11. Quoth the Raven 11

    Ginger – I do have somewhat of different definition of left and right to most people. In mainstream politics left and right have been watered down till they’re almost meaningless adjectives. I base my definition of left and right on history. The left is trenchantly anti-authoritarian. The right simply isn’t. I feel justified in using the terms how I do. It’s more instructive to use terms like capitalism, free market, libertarian, anarchist, laissez-faire, socialist, communist, mutualist and so on. But each term in itself is either going to describe something on the left or right. Most parties in mainstream politics have coalesced on the right. I still slip between using left and right in the contemporary mainstream way and what I see as a properly defined historical way sometimes. I find this article on the subject very interesting.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    Quoth “When a right wing government artificially creates high unemplyment and is ideologically opposed to a full employment economy because that would make things hard for the plutocrats…”

    Quoth, lets say extreme right wing ideology (not that I agree) was applied here in NZ:

    1. The minimum wage was abolished.
    2. The unemployment benefit was abolished.

    What effect would these extreme right wing policies have on unemployment? How could such policies do anything other than eliminate unemployment rather than increase it as you suggest?

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      How could they possibly eliminate unemployment?
      We’ve had such policies before and what we had was unemployment, extreme poverty and almost continual collapse of the economy. People who continue to expound such policies have failed to learn from history.

  13. Quoth the Raven 13

    tsmithfield – in an environment of gross government privilege to the wealthy they would have a horrible effect on workers. This is what I argue in one of the above comments. You’ve got to understand we live under plutocracy. Welfare is a little thing the government provides to ameliorate the effects of this plutocracy. There’s a great tolstoy quote on this but I can’t remember and I don’t have time right now will get back to this later.

  14. jimbo 14

    Isn’t your example the same as “Imagine an employer offers a job for $40,000, and tells the applicant that unless he gets a blowjob from her once a week it will go to the next in line”…?

    If you’re worried about enforcement of labour laws (no matter what they are), then the same example could be used for 4th week holiday pay, minimum wage, health and safety, probation periods AND demands for blowjobs.

    The enforcement issue sinmply isn’t a killer argument against why any labour law should be relaxed or changed.

    • Matthew Pilott 14.1

      Isn’t your example the same as …

      Err, one would be legal, the other wouldn’t.

      For the love of God please don’t make me explain which is legal and why the other one isn’t…

      • jimbo 14.1.1

        Err, no Matthew, that’s not correct. As I understand the proposed law, only the employee could approach the employer and suggest the 4th week’s holiday is instead paid out. Hence employers “would be prosecuted if they did that”.

        Similarly, I’m pretty sure it’s not illegal for the employee to offer up a daily blowie. If the employer demanded it, he would be prosecuted.

        If it’s illegal in both circumstances for the employer to do the offering (or exert any form of pressure on the employee to take up the offer), then, as I said before, the issue is one of enforcement.

  15. DavidW 15

    Tane,

    I presume you are employed ….Yes?

    I assume you have 4 weeks annual leave built into your employment contract …. Yes? (please let us know if it is more than 4)

    I anticipate that if you have been with the same employer for more than a couple of years and have soem accumulated but untaken leave days ….. yes? (please let us know how many)

    I also guess that your contract provides for a limitation on the degree to which leave can be accumulated …. Yes? (you have an idiot employer if it doesn’t)

    Does this limitation imply by application of simple logic that your annual leave provision is likely to be greater than your annual leave needs ….. Yes !! (no question about it)

    Has your employer ever been required to enforce the non-accumulation provision and insist that leave gets taken even though the employee has no desire to take it? …. (it would be a strange workplace indeed if this had never happened)

    Now think about it.

    Nasty employer insists on leave being taken …. disgruntled employee would rather take the cash! Not a formula for workplace harmony.

    IT MAY HAPPEN TO YOU Tane and sooner than you think.

    Logically too if selling leave was not to go ahead the corollary should be that unused leave is not paid out on resignation.

    Hhhhhmmmmmm now that is something worth thinking about in this years negotiating round. Thanks guys for the germ of a new idea on how to screw the workforce . Exits to mad hysterical laughter!

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    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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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 ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    7 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    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
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • 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
    8 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    20 hours 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 day 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 day 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 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    4 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
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
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