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Tax cuts for some

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, March 29th, 2009 - 46 comments
Categories: Media, national/act government, tax - Tags:

The Weekend Herald’s front page proclaims ‘$2 billion more in the pocket“. The article goes on to say “the average worker will get $15.66 a week”. But who is this ‘average worker’?

The Herald has used the average wage, which is $47,500 a year, but that’s not what the typical employed person earns because the average is pulled up by a few people on high incomes.

If you want to know the typical worker’s income, you want to look at the median, which is $40,000. Remember too, not everyone has a job. Retired people, beneficiaries, students, they have to buy bread too. The median income for all adults including people not working is $28,000.

2.6 million Kiwis have incomes below $40,000. They get nothing from these tax cuts. Except for 400,000 who are working and not getting Working For Families. They get $10 a week.

Most of the 1.4-1.5 million people who will get a tax cut won’t get much, either. The bulk of the money will go to the 50,000 people with incomes over $150,000.

So $2 billion in the pocket, but whose pocket?

46 comments on “Tax cuts for some”

  1. Stephen 1

    You should probably consider the several hundred thousand who’ve been getting WFF since 2005 in your calculations…

  2. Sean 2

    didn’t one of your writers the other day talk about ‘government by the rich, for the rich’? That’s what it looks like to me.

    Stephen, If you get working for families you don’t get this new independent earner benefit

  3. infused 3

    “Stephen, If you get working for families you don’t get this new independent earner benefit”

    And the problem is?

    • Tane 3.1

      The problem is low-middle income families are actually worse off under these tax changes than they were in Labour’s tax cuts that were repealed by National last year.

  4. BLiP 4

    The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Thanks National.

  5. RedLogix 5

    If you want to know the typical worker’s income, you want to look at the median, which is $40,000. Remember too, not everyone has a job. Retired people, beneficiaries, students, they have to buy bread too. The median income for all adults including people not working is $28,000.

    I think you have mixed up the median household income, and the median wage/salary income. The median wage is actually around $28,000, while the median for all adults is around $24,000.

    Median Income Stats

    The vast majority of New Zealanders will see sod all out of these tax cuts, but the Herald is not about to point that out is it?

  6. George Darroch 6

    This is blatantly obvious to anyone with even the most basic knowledge of statistics. That apparently excludes anyone working at the Granny Herald.

    I know, I know, Danyl McLauchlan will say that it isn’t the job of the media to know basic statistics, that’s for the opposition.

    But being the kind person I am, I’ll illustrate the difference between the mean (what the Herald uses as ‘average’) and the median, and why the difference is important.

    Ten people are riding on a bus in Redmond, Washington. The mean income of those riders is $50,000 a year. The median income of those riders is also $50,000 a year.

    Joe Blow gets off the bus. Bill Gates gets on.
    The median income of those riders remains $50,000 a year. But the mean income is now somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million or so.so.

    From here.

    Graeme Hart will get a tax cut. The large majority of New Zealanders will not.

    The Granny Herald article would give you the impression that the large majority of New Zealanders will. Either the Granny Herald employs stupid reporters and editors, or it employs reporters and editors who willfully mislead their readers.

  7. George Darroch 7

    Ditto for the chronically stupid or willfully misleading editors and journalists at TVNZ.

    Or, perhaps, when they say ‘most people’, it is because some people count as 3/5 human?

    Who in NZ gets extra or reduced personhood in order for these claims to be true? Does being poor destroy one’s soul?

  8. And wasn’t Key offering “everyone” $50 a week at one point? Oops!

  9. Stephen 9

    Stephen, If you get working for families you don’t get this new independent earner benefit

    My point was that they got their fairly substantial tax cuts/credits years ago.

  10. Stephen 10

    The problem is low-middle income families are actually worse off under these tax changes than they were in Labour’s tax cuts that were repealed by National last year.

    Going on what Goff has been saying this year (plus the odd columnist you would not expect to express such sentiments) there wouldn’t be any tax cuts for anybody this year if Labour got re-elected.

    George, great point about medians.

    • Macro 10.1

      Probably not! Maybe now is not the time to be giving out lollies to those who don’t need them. The wff was needed, and targeted towards those who needed assistance at that time (working people who are raising a family) – and such folk still need that extra assistance.
      These recent tax cuts – which were promulgated before the election (and we should not be surprised at their direction) are clearly targeted towards those on higher incomes who perhaps are not in need of extra lollies. I’m sure there will be heaps who say – I need every extra penny I’m getting. It’s theft that they take taxes from me in the first place etc. etc.
      However – now the govt is in the quandary that it has decided to continue to reduce taxes for those who can possibly afford to pay them most easily, while at the same time it is faced with an ever growing deficit caused by a worsening labour market and reduced incomes. The govt response to this crisis is to re-jiggle the funding of previously committed finance and call it a “stimulus package”. My guess is that most of the tax breaks will go to repaying mortgages more quickly.

  11. gomango 11

    I don’t understand the mean/median explanation. Why would Bill Gates be getting on a bus?

    • George Darroch 11.1

      Why is he on a bus? It’s a thought experiment.

      An arbitrary series of numbers:

      1,2,3,4,100

      The mean is three.
      The median is twenty two.

      If you line all the waged and salaried incomes in NZ up, and pick the middle one (median), you’ll get about $39,000. If you line all incomes up, the median is near $28,000.

      If you add all the incomes in NZ up, and divide them by the number of income earners (mean), you’ll get $47,500.

      The difference is caused by the fact that there is income disparity – the number of people on high and very high incomes is comparatively small, but their incomes are much higher than most of the population.

      If your intention is to give larger tax cuts to these people all well and good. Which ACT voters, for example would have no problem with. If you’re claiming that the medium income voters who voted for you will get tax cuts, when most of them in fact will not, then there’s a problem.

      You’d think that broken promises would make for good media fodder. Again, I ask whether the media simply can’t do simple maths or is deliberately misleading the public.

      • Hilary 11.1.1

        Excellent explanations and analysis thanks George. I wonder if anyone in the MSM will pick it up?

      • r0b 11.1.2

        1,2,3,4,100

        The mean is three.
        The median is twenty two.

        Other way round, mean is 22, median is 3. But the point that these are very different measures (for non normal data) is well made.

  12. Quoth the Raven 12

    The righties have been going on a lot about WfF lately. Under labour it was just more welfare. But now…

  13. Helena 13

    Perhaps the rich dont think that the poorer people dont need any more money because they dont work as hard as those with the power. Perhaps they dont deserve tax cuts at all.
    How then does that equate with corporate welfare where businesses have their hands out for subsidies for wages and export earnings, relief on interest rates and council rates, financial assistance with wages, less holiday pay etc etc etc.
    I actually wonder why they feel they are more deserving of tax cuts/relief/subsidies than the people who really need it.

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    Why would Bill Gates be getting on a bus?

    cause he’s a fuckin hippie?

    Going on what Goff has been saying this year (plus the odd columnist you would not expect to express such sentiments) there wouldn’t be any tax cuts for anybody this year if Labour got re-elected.

    Coupla points. Firstly, if Labour had ben re-elected, Goff wouldn’t be labour leader. Secondly, he’s called national’s tax cuts to be cancelled, which are aimed at the higher incomes. It’s generally accepted that targeting tax cuts at the lower end provides more stimulus, as most of it gets spent rather than saved. Nobody knows what Cullen would’ve done.

    • Strathen 14.1

      I was lead to believe one of the biggest lessons from the Great Depression was that saving does stimulate the economy, as long as it’s put in the banks. Apparently this allows (forces?) banks to loan money as they can’t just pay money out in interest without earning on it. Thus stimulating the economy.

      Is it a question of priorities? What I mean, is it more essential in a global recession to look after the economy or the low income earners? This is based upon the premise that we can only look after one or the other and not both at the same time, which may be flawed.

      • BLiP 14.1.1

        Human beings comes before the economy – if people are suffering disproportionately as the result of decisions designed to assist the economy then the priotities of government are incorrect.

        That you should even ask this question disgusts me.

        • Strathen 14.1.1.1

          ‘That you should even ask this question disgusts me.’ Apologies for disgusting you. Perhaps I could make myself clearer so to remove the jumps in moral conclusions.

          My knowledge probably fails because I’m not aware of the numbers of people below the poverty line in NZ. (you may read self-centred, but I help a family on the DPB whilst being on average wage and am comfortable with my morals) To my knowledge we’re not at the levels of other countries, and I’m lead to believe that whilst there are some in poverty, the numbers aren’t so high so as to be labelled an epidemic. I know that no one should be below the poverty line in a perfect world, but a couple is better than all if the economy fails completely. Judging by your comment, I’m horribly wrong in this premise. I am not aware of ‘people suffering disproportionately’ and would invite some serious statistics that shows the government is contributing to this.

          In this situation, obviously we need to help. My understanding is we draw from the economy to pay for the assistance these people need. Does this mean we have a chicken-egg situation?

      • Pascal's bookie 14.1.2

        I’m unsure. Seems to me that if people are saving, then they are not in the market for borrowing, if you catch my drift…

        The problem arises when due to bad economic weather, people on aggregate start saving (or paying back debt) more than business wants to borrow. If business can’t see the profit in building new plant or what-have-you, and are in fact cutting back on production, then the banks aren’t going to have much luck in trying to loan them money.

        One argument against the ‘paradox of thrift’ being a problem is that, as you say, money ‘saved’ in a bank is actually money just being ‘spent’ in a more productive way than the saver could think of (through loans etc). Recent events re banking might dilute this idea somewhat… 😉

        • Strathen 14.1.2.1

          Good comments Pascal, it opens my thinking up a bit more.

          Using an example to aid my thinking regarding your second paragraph, can you expand on my following thoughts. Let’s say I’m someone who doesn’t believe in borrowing. I just build my assets, business, wealth etc. Whilst my personal returns and growth probably aren’t going to be as high as others in the long run, I’m never in debt. What effect, positive or negative, do I have on the economy?

          What would happen if everyone did this and borrowing and debt was eliminated from an economy? (completely hypothetical of course)

  15. Ianmac 15

    If you give tax cuts to middle and upper incomes, and leave working for families as is, and give no rise to that group, then it follows that although the WfF group is not being cut, the richer are moving ahead leaving the others behind, which is like a cut in income.
    I stall at the lights and the car beside me can quietly slip ahead with little effort! (Well I know what I mean!)

    • Macro 15.1

      Yes I know what you mean Ianmac – Ruth did it in her “mother of all budgets!” and what a mother that was! The take home pay differentials for those on higher incomes went thru the roof! I had a graph of the before and after effects from the Stats Dept once – but its probably lost in antiquity now. It was quite startling to see it so graphically. The same will be revealed in the future with this handout to the wealthy. They have done it before and the average, mean, – no i think in this case MODE voters have such short memories.

  16. Stephen 16

    Good point about not knowing what Cullen would’ve done, and Labour hadn’t scheduled any tax cuts for 2009 anyway. I do know that he probably wasn’t going to give the not-so-rich the chance for 2% Government/employer Kiwisaver though.

    It’s generally accepted that targeting tax cuts at the lower end provides more stimulus, as most of it gets spent rather than saved

    Is that “generally accepted” in the emprical sense, or just ‘common’ sense?

    • Ari 16.1

      Stephen- The empirical data and theoretical models sense. Ask an economist and they’ll tell you that targeting assistance at those with smaller incomes results in much better circulation for any realistic figure- whether we’re talking about tax cuts, programs like WFFs, or even benefit increases, and that both real-world data and market theory backs up the assertion.

      (Of course, they’ll also say you can only tax the rich so much before you poison productivity, but there’s a lot of disagreement as to exactly how much is “too much.”)

    • Pascal's bookie 16.2

      ,i>Is that “generally accepted’ in the emprical sense, or just ‘common’ sense?

      Bit of both, care to dispute it?

      this gives some hints…

      http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2008/10/pocketfull_of_m.html

  17. Stephen 17

    Ianmac, does the ‘rich’ being richer affect the less rich’s ability to buy goods and services? I should add that the ‘rich’ do need to be paid some attention re: tax, or they’d all just f*** off!

    • IrishBill 17.1

      Probably not in this case but if we weren’t in a recession then that $2bn would probably put the cpi up a bit. As it stands it will probably all go into the bank in one way or another and not help stimulate the economy at all.

      Just as well we’ve got that cycleway coming.

    • Macro 17.2

      does the ‘rich’ being richer affect the less rich’s ability to buy goods and services?
      Yes they do actually. Especially if the goods and services are in short supply. Those who have – can afford them, and those who haven’t – can’t!

      In the 1950, 60s and 70’s the difference between who was rich and who wasn’t was far less marked than it is now, and those who had – didn’t all disappear out of the country. Its just an empty threat! There are far more important things in life than earning money!

  18. Watching National now is like a re-run of the Bush presidency in early 2001. Tax cuts for the wealthy conceived in a boom get implemented in a bust anyway. Record deficits replace surpluses. Regulatory bodies are gutted and neutered. Cronies are moved into place so reality won’t intrude on the agenda to loot the state through poorly supervised PPPs where the regulator is run by allies of the regulated. Early moves to privatise Corrections have red flags all over them.

    All underway so far…..Just like Bush did.

    What I find most fascinating is National are oblivious to the role these very policies played in bringing about the present financial mess and limiting the resources America had to respond.

    It’s as though they don’t understand very much about a whole lot. They have their flavour of market-driven / private business is best religion and never mind that it has just conclusively demonstrated on a global scale it can’t be trusted and may destroy wealth and opportunity on a massive scale if left to its own devices.

    I have yet to hear National speak in any conscious way about its policies and the context they now operate in.

    I make these observations as one who began to see the Crash as inevitable from March 2003. National never saw it coming.

  19. Watching National now is like a re-run of the Bush presidency in early 2001. Tax cuts for the wealthy conceived in a boom get implemented in a bust anyway. Record deficits replace surpluses. Regulatory bodies are gutted and neutered. Cronies are moved into place so reality won’t intrude on the agenda to loot the state through poorly supervised PPPs where the regulator is run by allies of the regulated. Early moves to privatise Corrections have red flags all over them.

    All underway so far…..Just like Bush did.

    What I find most fascinating is National are oblivious to the role these very policies played in bringing about the present financial mess and limiting the resources America had to respond.

    It’s as though they don’t understand very much about a whole lot. They have their flavour of market-driven / private business is best religion and never mind that it has just conclusively demonstrated on a global scale it can’t be trusted and may destroy wealth and opportunity on a massive scale if left to its own devices.

    I have yet to hear National speak in any conscious way about its policies and the context they now operate in.

    I make these observations as one who began to see the Crash as inevitable from March 2003. National never saw it coming.

  20. Ari 20

    If you’re going to get into medians, you should probably stop talking about “averages” and start talking about “means”, (and perhaps even arithmetic, geometric, and harmonic means) as the list of what counts as an average is rather long.

  21. Stephen 21

    Yes they do actually. Especially if the goods and services are in short supply. Those who have – can afford them, and those who haven’t – can’t!

    Probably should’ve been a bit more specific – I know gold is in short supply, but apart from that, is good/service in short supply that really matters at the moment?

  22. Stephen 22

    Watching National now is like a re-run of the Bush presidency in early 2001. Tax cuts for the wealthy conceived in a boom get implemented in a bust anyway.

    I agree that Bush was a total disaster financially, but if you’re going to make that parallel, does that mean you don’t think that National is going to cut spending?

    • BLiP 22.1

      No. National will increase spending. Only, the money will be going to the private sector.

  23. Strathen 23

    My interpretation is that by giving tax cuts to the upper end, allows a lot more money to be both spent and saved. Thus giving the economy more stimulus in sheer quantity than giving tax cuts to the lower end. The number provided earlier is that this will provide $2bn to be spent/saved. Does anyone know of the total $$ that tax cuts for the lower end would provide for the economy?

    IMO – Another point of view would be that the middle – upper end would be more likely to have debt that requires servicing and therefore targeted tax cuts for these people will allow them to service their loans and reduce the risk of further financial institutes from going out of business.

  24. Hilary 24

    Has anyone considered that as the recession hits both the median and mean income levels will drop. Which means that someone might be in the tax cut range on 1 April but could drop below it later in the year so will in effect have a tax increase.

    • BLiP 24.1

      First of all, its a depression, not a recession.

      Yes. Many thousands of New Zealand families will have to manage a loss of income and many will fall into the trap you mention. Depending on their circumstances, they may qualify for state assistance, assuming National hasn’t outlawed it.

      Also, considering the increase in ACC levies, the increase in petrol tax, and the increase in car rego – don’t you think National has already pocketed your tax cut, or perhaps you’re so rich you will still have some money left to spend on what you choose?

      • Hilary 24.1.1

        If that comment is addressed to me I can tell you I am one of those not getting a tax cut. But I don’t mind increases to ACC levies if we can still keep the scheme in public ownership, as it is a lot cheaper than any of my other insurances, and the payout potential much higher.

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    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
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Outsiders.
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    5 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    6 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    7 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    7 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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  • Rāhui day 4
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    RedlineBy Daphna
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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
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  • Rāhui day 3
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  • 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
    4 hours 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
    7 hours 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
    7 hours 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
    8 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    5 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    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
  • 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago