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Tax cuts, one-off payment, or something better?

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, June 27th, 2009 - 43 comments
Categories: budget 2009, national, tax - Tags:

Budget papers just released reveal that Treasury recommended a package of measures to reduce debt including an 8-year suspension of the Cullen fund contributions, new operating allowances of $1 billion, rather than $1.75 billion and cancelling the tax cuts and giving New Zealanders $1billion worth of one-off payments instead. This either would have taken the form of $300 to each taxpayer or $1200 to each single super annuitant and beneficiary,and $1800 to couples. National turned down the idea. Was it a good one?

It’s a better idea than tax-cuts, that’s for sure. One-off payments (ideally actually split into smaller payments over a couple of months) would have given an injection into the economy when it needed it without locking in a permanent decrease in government revenue as with tax cuts. Jobs would have been saved and, like a zap with an economic defibrillator, it may have helped get the economy ticking over again.

Even better than one-off payments much of which would have bee pissed away on consumer imports, would have been if the government had spent the money itself on large short-term projects to create jobs and improve our productive capacity for the future. A Green New Deal, like the Greens and Labour have called for, and which National hasn’t had the vision to take up.
– Marty G

43 comments on “Tax cuts, one-off payment, or something better?”

  1. burt 1

    Marty G.

    So what you are saying is that the way to lift NZ out of it’s domestic recession is for the govt to increase it’s ownership of the economy?

  2. Ianmac 2

    Back in about 1937 or so, didn’t the incoming Labour Government give 5 pounds to each worker or was it to each adult? Anyway it had a dramatic effect on uplifting the economy and started an end to the Depression. (Memory is a bit dodgy.)

  3. MartyG 3

    I don’t have a knee-jerk, ideological opinion on that. Whereas you seem to think it’s bad per se.

    But you’re wrong anyway. I’m arguing the government should be expanding the economy by creating sustainable and useful capital, not by buying existing assets.

  4. Anita 4

    Is Labour calling for a Green New Deal?

    I know my news watching is patchy, but that sounds sufficiently visionary I’d like to imagine I would’ve noticed.

    • Zetetic 4.1

      No. They’re more generalised. Want a better home insulation programme. Opposed public sector job cuts. want more on public transport. But no single plan laid out like Greens.

      • burt 4.1.1

        Zetetic

        The way I recall it Labour thought they were better at Green stuff than the Green’s. That was a pillar of their [two ticks Labour] assurance.

        Like Anita I missed the subtle change of position, did it happen last November perhaps?

      • craig 4.1.2

        What about RAM, what’s their recession-busting plan?

        • burt 4.1.2.1

          craig

          RAM are quite open about what they would do;

          $2,000 ‘baby bonus’ to every mum
          Offer first-home buyers a 3% interest state loan
          Lift minimum wage to $15 per hour
          Free lunches in schools serving poor areas
          Free tertiary education plus a student living allowance
          Free and frequent public transport in our main cities
          Offer cheap solar panels to homeowners

        • Anita 4.1.2.2

          GST off food would do more good to the NZ economy and the lives of the poorest than anything that National have suggested so far.

          Add to that cheap loans to first house buyers (stimulating the building industry better than anything National’s suggesting), an increase to the minimum wage (another good stimulus because it’s small amounts of regular additional spending), and increased participation in tertiary education it looks like a damned fine recession busting plan.

          Funding it, as RAM suggests, from a financial transaction tax and tax increases for the wealthiest isn’t recessionary.

          It’s very anti-capital, pro-labour (more so than anything Labour ever suggests) which is why it’ll never happen, but it’d be a great way to manage through the recession.

          • gingercrush 4.1.2.2.1

            Oh yes cheap loans for first time house buyers. What New Zealand needs. More speculation on the property market. And doesn’t Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae ring a bell? That is after all the major cause of this world-wide recession.

            Impose on small businesses (the backbone of this economy) higher employment costs. Gee what a great idea during a recession. If the minimum wage was pushed upwards to 15 dollars that would mean other employees would want increases in their income. During a recession that will merely lead to more lay-offs and businesses moving elsewhere. Nothing would be gained in the extra spending because people wouldn’t have jobs. Going from $12/12.20 to $15 simply isn’t sustainable.

            The rich invest in this country. Taxing them too harshly (which is exactly what RAM would do) would simply drive them to invest elsewhere.

            It isn’t pro-Labour, its anti-capitalist. It isn’t sustainable either.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.2.1.1

              The rich invest in this country. Taxing them too harshly (which is exactly what RAM would do) would simply drive them to invest elsewhere.

              They can leave – the market will adjust. That’s the whole point of having a free-market.

              And having rich people in the economy drove the present recession. Actually, they seem to have driven all recessions. The Arch Druid Report pretty much sums it up:

              Instead, as the world crossed the bumpy plateau surrounding its 2005 production peak, oil prices moved up and down in waves of increasing violence, culminating in a drastic price spike driven in part by speculative greed, and followed by an equally drastic crash driven in part by speculative panic.

              Sure, he’s talking about oil specifically but I’m pretty sure that it applies to all other financial transactions on Wall Street et al.

          • Anita 4.1.2.2.2

            cheap loans for first home buyers != risky loans for poor credit risks

            cheap loans for first home buyers != increased speculation

          • Pascal's bookie 4.1.2.2.3

            GC

            Oh yes cheap loans for first time house buyers. What New Zealand needs. More speculation on the property market. And doesn’t Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae ring a bell? That is after all the major cause of this world-wide recession.

            Please explain?

            Bear in mind Anita’s very helpful, and quite correct equations. Tell me what you think freddie and fannie did, since they were created, what changed, when, and how much of a role they played in the crisis, seeing you seem to imply the F&F are the major cause.

          • gingercrush 4.1.2.2.4

            PB you know full well that F&F distribution of loans and how those loans were created were a major cause of this recession. Supplying loans to people who simply could not afford them created a real mess. That combined with F&F and other financial institution’s strange ways of supplying money to the markets contributed to the current mess we’re in. The US government not only covered up the troubles F&F were in. They also directed those two companies to supply easy loans to millions of Americans.

            As for first home buyers and house speculation. Just look at Australia. Supplying cheap loans to first-home buyers just drives the costs to others. Meaning New Zealand would have to borrow more money to fund first-home buyers. 3% interest rates wouldn’t even get that money back.

          • Pascal's bookie 4.1.2.2.5

            No GC. I don’t know that at all. In fact, I don’t think you know what you are talking about.

            Be specific about what you are saying please.

            F&F do not, repeat, do not make loans. They guarantee them. There were rules in place that if an institutiuon wanted their loans guaranteed by F&F then a certain percentage had to be made to minorites. Note, minorities, not ‘the poor’. All loans backed by F&F had to meet lending criteria. F&F could not, by law, directly back no doc or sub prime loans.

            All the sub prime stuff that you are talking about was leant out by institutions not using F&F as a backstop. The deregulation of the sector made such loans legal, and the banking sector took advantage of that. Because of the growth in that sector, F&F were losing market share. That loss of share ws why they started, very late in the game, investing in some of the products derived from those shitty loans. But again, it was at the other end of the process, they were not, I repeat again, not making bad loans, or backing them.

            That’s what I know.

          • Anita 4.1.2.2.6

            If someone can safely afford to repay a 3% mortgage then offering them a 3% mortgage is not risky. The problem, as I understand it, is that people were offered mortgages they could not safely repay.

            RAM is not suggesting that people be given mortgages they can’t safely repay, it’s saying that people who can safely repay at 3% (but not at 7%) should be able to get a mortgage and buy their own home. No increased risk but increased home ownership.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.2.7

            GST off food would do more good to the NZ economy and the lives of the poorest than anything that National have suggested so far.

            Actually, that’s a bad idea as it would cost more to administer than what GST brings in. Would be cheaper and easier just to have the people who’s income is within the lowest tax bracket have their GST refunded from IRD. As they pay GST on pretty much everything just use the basic calculation 12.5% of = and then send out the cheque.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.2.7.1

              PS. Any ideas as to why I don’t have an edit function?

            • Anita 4.1.2.2.7.2

              Draco,

              You’re logged in, edit doesn’t seem to work when I’m logged in either (and I’ve told lprent and it’s on The List :).

              Try logging out and see if it comes back.

  5. lprent 5

    Completely off-topic. The search re-index finally finished, so the server should be now at its normal loading. Now I can start looking for why the site got suspended at bluehost.

    So far it looks like there is a simple reason. The volume of traffic is staggering even on a saturday after the site has been down for days. I hate to think what it is like on weekdays

    • Anita 5.1

      Did you trip the threshold for traffic volume or CPU?

      Lovely to see you all back btw 🙂

      • lprent 5.1.1

        Thanks.. Nice to be back. It was a pain them suspending the site in the mornings. I had to head to work because that is pretty active at present as well. As it was BlueHost made me late two days in a row.

        CPU. It is averaging about 30% per CPU at present on a dual CPU motherboard running ubuntu server with 2400MHz Operton’s. It is the cost of generating the pages even with SuperCache running.

        We did over 60 GBytes transfer in May. But a basic DSL is handling that without hassle

        • Anita 5.1.1.1

          How much are the sidebars costing in generation? If they’re hurting there are a number of elements that could go.

          Also, is reply threading generation heavy? I imagine it might be if badly coded.

          Yeah, complicated things only ever go wrong when it’s of maximum inconvenience (I always get those phone calls after the final call for any plan I’m boarding :). You didn’t move til after the by-election eh?

          • lprent 5.1.1.1.1

            The cache takes care of things that aren’t changing. It just serves up the same file that it used previously.

            There are two things on the front page related to comments. The count on each post and the sidebar. The main cost is that when any of those change, the whole front-page has to be regenerated. Looking at the pages going out, that is the biggest cost by a couple of orders of magnitude.

            Ummm – thinking about super cache. Just going to run a test

          • lprent 5.1.1.1.2

            Threading isn’t a problem. That is efficient – I checked the code after I turned it on.

            Cache rebuild. Serve a supercache file to anonymous users while a new file is being generated. Recommended for very busy websites with lots of comments. Makes “directly cached pages” and “Lockdown mode” obsolete.

            I thought that might be turned off, but it is ok.

            I’ve just turned off the super-cache compressing its files on disk. It looks to me in the code like it may be uncompressing them before serving (different to the gzip on request). I’d prefer to use a spare gig of disk space.

          • Anita 5.1.1.1.3

            Are you saying that every time the number of counts on a post changes, or any new comment is posted (changing the right sidebar), then the whole page (both sidebars and post and comments and banner) needs to be regenerated? Or that if only the right sidebar changes then only the right sidebar will be regenerated?

            If the former, then lowering the number of dynamic elements anywhere on the page would help wouldn’t it?

            Argh, I’m not sure I’m being coherent 🙂 If someone posts a new comment on a post, then someone views a different post and the server knows it has to serve them a new “Recent Comments”, will it also regenerate the calendar on the left sidebar?

            • lprent 5.1.1.1.3.1

              Yep. The whole page gets regenerated for all pages whenever a comment is added and the page request comes in. To make the site visible to the search engines you can’t use frames (although that shouldn’t be true any longer).

              The code doesn’t break parts of the page down for seperate regeneration. It recalcs the whole page.

              That usually really isn’t a major issue. Comments are added in human time.

              • lprent

                Arrghhh This wouldn’t help in SuperCache

                Garbage Collection

                If expiry time is more than 1800 seconds (half an hour), garbage collection will be done every 10 minutes, otherwise it will happen 10 seconds after the expiry time above.

                Checking for and deleting expired files is expensive, but it’s expensive leaving them there too. On a very busy site you should set the expiry time to 300 seconds. Experiment with different values and visit this page to see how many expired files remain at different times during the day. Aim to have less than 500 cached files if possible.

                I was set to 3600 so it was cleaning every 5 minutes which explains the type of spiking I was getting. I’d prefer it to do a big cleanup infrequently. Now set to 1500 seconds.

              • Anita

                That doesn’t explain a big spike in the middle of the night does it?

                Edit: I’m getting “Cannot open socket” when I try to post comments at the moment
                Re-edit: but apparently not when I edit comments 🙂

                • Anita

                  But now I do seem to be able to post comments, it’s weird, I might go bake something 🙂

                • lprent

                  I don’t think that Bluehost got a CPU ‘spike’. I think that was when someone looked at the stats from the previous ‘night’. They showed The Standard chewing more CPU than they’d like (there are apparently no ‘criteria’) so they suspended the account. Certainly I couldn’t see anything except normal high patterns where ever I looked at in the logs.

                  For Bluehost I suspect that it is simple economics. They provide a cheap and pretty good service, but they get paid the same regardless if people are doing very little or a lot. If Bluehost get a site with a big footprint, then they spike it because they can fit more users in the same resources if they have simple requirements.

                  What gets me is that they were suspending the system then telling me.

          • lprent 5.1.1.1.4

            I just had a peek at some of the text on the generated pages for the root screen. You can see it at the end of the generated code.

            !– Dynamic page generated in 2.383 seconds. —
            !– Cached page generated by WP-Super-Cache on 2009-06-27 15:25:22 —

            That was about 1.2 seconds on Bluehost. But it is pretty acceptable considering the amount of data it is doing. Thats in that page as well. 107 queries.

            Ummm the richard worth has resigned post with 74 comments

            !– Dynamic page generated in 3.391 seconds. —
            !– Cached page generated by WP-Super-Cache on 2009-06-27 15:30:21 —
            There were 58 database queries to make that page.

      • lprent 5.1.2

        Yep. Thursday was our peak day. The highest number of page views we’ve ever had. Higher than anything during the election.

  6. Bill 6

    Was it a good idea?

    Well, beneficiaries were never going to get a tax cut, either under Labour or National.

    So I find it strange that treasury put forward an idea to give beneficiaries a lump sum. I guess they’d have lost all their benefit entitlements that week?

    And any bankrupt beneficiary would have had $200 taken straight off the bat to go back below the $1000 bankruptcy threshold.

    Anyway, I reckon $1200 would have been incredibly handy and have been spent out of necessity more than by any other reason…which would be good for a lot of businesses.

    WINZ caseload and expenditure would have dropped for a spell. Far fewer applications for non-recoverable food grants and the like.

    On the other hand, banks might have been pissed off with all those long term negative bank balances being cleared.

    But at the end of the day, why not just increase benefit levels by a substantial amount? Let’s say to pre-1990 levels for a start and get that money ging around. At the moment, beneficiaries don’t really participate in the pushing around of money beyond the landlord, the utilities companies and the supermarkets.

    Now that Treasury seems to understand the very basic notion of people spending being good for business….

    • gingercrush 6.1

      So why not just increase benefit levels by a substantial amount? Let’s say to pre-1990 levels for a start?

      – Dependency on welfare is a real recipe for success. We Tories might hate Labour on a lot of things. Including putting more and more people on sickness and invalid benefits. But one thing we’re very thankful of is that Labour never changed benefit levels back to pre-1990 levels.

      You’re quite serious though aren’t you Bill. You’re quite happy for thousands to choose not to work but live on the welfare of the taxpayers. After all, those of us that pay tax are clearly evil for actually earning money.

      • Ari 6.1.1

        Yes, thinking that beneficaries should have enough money to buy groceries means that taxpayers are evil. *rolls eyes*

        Nobody wants to be a beneficiary, GC, even if it WERE cushy. (Which it isn’t anywhere near) It’s depressing not being able to be fully independent.

      • Bill 6.1.2

        Beneficiaries are tax payers too GC.

        BTW, why is it expected that everybody should be a happily willing wage slave?

        For those that believe a salary or wage married to some material concept of success will see their human potential fulfilled and eventually lead to freedom I say….”Knock yourself out!”

        Others might rather spend their time productively engaged with concepts of human potential that are completely outside the bounds of the arguably crass and hopelessly crushing examples offered up by you and your masters GC.

  7. OhPlease 7

    The problem with Government spending money in a Green New Deal is that the distributional consequences cannot be predicted or established. The problem is recessions is that they have major distributional consequences. If everyone took their fair share of the -1% growth last quarter , then Weldon and Co’s incomes should fall by say $10,000 , and a person on average wage should have a fall of say $400. You can bet that this does not happen. Instead some people lose 100% with losing their jobs other go unscathed. A one-off payment can to some extent off-set these distributional consequences.

    • Bill 7.1

      So increase benefit levels thereby putting an upward pressure on wage levels which will see more money going around. And insist that business take a hit on profit margins instead of the current mindset which allows for individual well being and security to be slaughtered at the alter of businesses ‘Inalienable Right to Sustain Rates of Extraction’

      • OhPlease 7.1.1

        No, that simply accepts that unemployment will occur – and that what the State does is insure people against the wealth shock through increased benefits. We need to also compensate those people who are not unemployed, but face the increased risk of unemployment. A risk of unemployment – not just unemployment – makes people worse off. That’s in fact why CEOs demand high salaries, they claim that their contracts make their tenure risky and they need to be compensated for this risk. So, I think optimal insurance would target people who are increased risk of unemployment (i.e. low wage workers).

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    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.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    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
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    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
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    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
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    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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  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 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
    3 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 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