web analytics

The Covid Crisis – the perils of half hearted responses

Written By: - Date published: 4:59 pm, July 11th, 2021 - 40 comments
Categories: australian politics, boris johnson, covid-19, uk politics, uncategorized - Tags:

We are entering into a new stage of the Covid Crisis.

Clearly the disease is not going away and there are reports of a new strain dubbed the Peruvian Lambda strain.

It has made its way to Australia and should have the authorities over there even more nervously responding to community outbreaks. From ABC News:

We’ve seen the Alpha, Kappa and Delta variants cross our borders, but it turns out another strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 has reached our shores.

The variant, named Lambda by the World Health Organization (WHO) last month, was detected in an overseas traveller who was in hotel quarantine in New South Wales in April, according to national genomics database AusTrakka.

Some reports suggest the new variant could be fast spreading and difficult to tackle with vaccines.

The strain accounts for over 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Peru and also for a high proportion of cases in Chile, Argentina, and Ecuador. The suggestion that it may be difficult to tame with vaccines should have medical advisors throughout the world in a high state of anxiety.

This has not stopped Australia from having a gung ho approach to the virus. In New South Wales there is clearly unsuppressed control community spread. The state is locking down although in a rather timid sort of way. Arguably a couple of weeks too late. And with this tricky and destructive virus speed of response is everything.

From 9News:

New South Wales today recorded its highest daily COVID-19 number in the current outbreak with 44 new cases, prompting Premier Gladys Berejiklian to tighten lockdown restrictions.

Ms Berejiklian pointed to the vaccination rate as a reason why the lockdown was necessary.

“NSW – in fact, no state or nation or any country on the planet – can live with the Delta variant when our vaccination rates are so low,” she said. “So please, do not think that the NSW Government thinks we can live with this when our rate of vaccination is only at 9 per cent. “Because if we chose to live with this while the rates of vaccinations are at 9 per cent, we will see thousands and thousands of hospitalisations and death.”

This has resulted in a terse response from Liberal PM Scott Morrison (Berejiklian is also a Liberal) denying responsibility. Again from 9News:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has insisted Sydney’s lockdown is “absolutely not” due to vaccine rollout delays.

At his National Cabinet media conference today, Mr Morrison was asked whether Sydney and parts of NSW were in lockdown due to the speed of the vaccination program.Mr Morrison said it was “always known at this time of the year, in July of this year, that we would still be in the suppression phase”.

“That means that in the suppression phase, you need to keep your systems as tight as possible,” he said.

“We’ve had breaches here, there have been breaches in other places, and when there are breaches it’s about trying to contain it as quickly as possible.

“When there are breaches it’s about trying to contain it as quickly as possible and move as quickly as possible to get us in that situation, which is what the New South Wales government is doing.”

The speed of the spread and the fact that Sydney is dealing with the delta variant suggest that the response is too slow. Time will tell.

Meanwhile Morrison has attempted to run cover by suggesting that the Australian Government had managed to get its vaccine supply contract put on steroids. There was a problem however, this was clearly a lie.

From Rachel Withers at the Monthly:

This morning, the prime minister – who yesterday misled Australia about what had been previously promised regarding the vaccine rollout – came armed with more lies.

Scott Morrison finally returned to doing media interviews, visiting 2GB, TodaySunrise and ABC’s AM, to spruik a “ramp-up” in Pfizer supply, first reported on the front page of The Australian as a “game-changing deal” to triple our access, under which Australia will be receiving one million doses per week from July 19. “That is quite a ramp-up,” Morrison told 2GB, noting that the number of doses would increase to 2.8 million this month and 4.5 million by August. “I commend Minister Hunt and Professor Murphy and Lieutenant-General Frewen for the great job they’ve been doing there to get those supplies brought forward,” he told Today, adding that Pfizer had now “confirmed those supplies”.

But it very quickly emerged that this “flood of Pfizer” (as The Australian’s front page put it) was nothing new, with Sky News host Laura Jayes noting that Greg Hunt has long been promising 1 million doses per week from July 19, with the government’s own “Allocations Horizons” document, released in June, banking on 1 million per week in August.

That was before Pfizer released a statement, first reported by AM journalist Rachel Mealey, refuting the PM’s claims and noting that the number of doses contracted had not changed. The company also stressed that the delivery was part of its normal schedule, making Morrison’s mistruth clear.

Both yesterday’s and today’s number-based lies are easily disprovable with a quick google, or by looking at the many documents the government itself has released. The only thing ramping up here is the shamelessness of Morrison’s lies.

Australia and in particular New South Wales are torn between the desire for the restrictions to end, the need to present the situation in a positive light, and the indifference to the consequences of failing to properly suppress the virus. The only humane response is to deal quickly and decisively with any outbreaks. There is no room for hesitation or wanting to ensure that “the economy” is not affected.

If you want to see an example of the effects of indifferent leadership then Boris Johnson’s England provides the perfect example.

They are planning to open up the country and get rid of all restrictions at the very time that infections are again spiking.

This graph from the Financial Times shows clearly what is happening.

The tactic now appears to be to let the virus surge through the population. Those already vaccinated should mostly be fine. Those who are not, particularly the old and or health compromised will have to prey.

The Government’s proposal is that from July 19 all restrictions and social distancing measures will be gone.

From Jessica Elgot and Ian Semple at the Guardian:

Boris Johnson will revoke hundreds of Covid regulations and make England the most unrestricted society in Europe from 19 July despite saying new cases could soar to 50,000 a day before masks and social distancing are ditched.

In a sign the government may reimpose restrictions this autumn, the prime minister warned the public against going “de-mob happy”, however. He said opening up – including the lifting of all limits on sports events and nightclubs – would be safest during the school summer holidays and did not say the changes would be irreversible.

Johnson told a Downing Street press conference: “We must be honest with ourselves that if we can’t reopen our society in the next few weeks, when we will be helped by the arrival of summer and by the school holidays, we must ask ourselves: when will we be able to return to normal?”

He said the aim in revoking the rules was to “move from a universal government diktat to relying on people’s personal responsibility” but added: “Obviously, if we do find another variant that doesn’t respond to the vaccines, if, heaven forbid, some really awful new bugs should appear, then clearly we will have to take whatever steps we need to do to protect the public.”

The planned changes announced by Johnson on Monday are set to make England an outlier in much of the rest of the world where restrictions remain to combat infections. The so-called “big bang” reopening was described as reckless by Labour and the dropping of the legal requirement for masks prompted a backlash from bereaved families and regional mayors.

And the UK chief medical officer CHris Whittey has essentially confirmed that the UK is going to let the virus wash through the population. I cannot imagine Ashley Blomfield thinking this was a wise thing to do.

From Ian Sample and Natalie Grover at the Guardian:

“At a certain point, you move to the situation where instead of actually averting hospitalisations and deaths, you move over to just delaying them. So you’re not actually changing the number of people who will go to hospital or die, you may change when they happen,” he said.

Scientists think that the proposal is bonkers. Again from the Guardian:

Lifting the remaining Covid restrictions in England this month is “dangerous and premature”, according to international scientists and doctors, who have called on the UK government to pause reopening until more people are vaccinated.

Writing in the Lancet, more than 100 global experts warn that removing restrictions on 19 July will cause millions of infections and risk creating a generation with chronic health problems and disability from long Covid, the impact of which may be felt for decades.

Government scientists expect cases of Covid to soar in the summer months even without the further easing of restrictions that is scheduled for 19 July. On Wednesday, the UK reported more than 30,000 new cases for the first time since January, and rises of more than 40% in hospital admissions and deaths.

Whitehall sources have said further delay or U-turn is not on the cards, but expect to come under increasing pressure in the coming days to change course. “I think we’d only be looking at further delay if there was an emergence of a particularly nasty new variant,” one said. Another source said it was unlikely” that the plan could be knocked off course, whatever the numbers.

With the number of cases estimated to be doubling every nine days, infections are set to surpass the winter peak of 68,000 a day within a fortnight and may reach six figures before the end of the month.

And by way of comparison it appears that Taiwan is getting on top of its recent Covid surge. Sporting venues such as gyms and golf courses, as well as national parks, scenic areas, museums and movie theaters, will be allowed to reopen. Restaurants, night markets and food courts can host socially distanced customers. But bars and swimming pools will stay closed, and people must continue to wear masks in public.

Meanwhile in Fiji the Government is facing a crisis. with 860 new cases reported in the past 24 hours. Even though 58% of adults in the country had received at least one vaccination dose the virus is spreading unrestricted. And the Government is thinking of some significant steps such as the compulsory vaccination of public servants, at least if they want to keep working. No jab, no job.

Which brings us into stark contrast with local news. Complaints tend to be anecdotal concerns that someone cannot get into managed isolation, or someone’s parent has not been able to get an appointment for a vaccination or the roll out is too slow. While we remain Covid free in the community the end point is the important feature.

This is not over by a long shot. And the appearance of new and more dangerous strains is only going to make the policy responses more difficult. Do not expect free and easy overseas travel to start any time soon.

Reprinted from gregpresland.com.

40 comments on “The Covid Crisis – the perils of half hearted responses ”

  1. Chris 1

    I hope the government’s keeping a comprehensive record of every instance Collins and the nats say they would’ve opened borders or created bubbles sooner so that when crises occur even with the current restrictions it’ll be obvious to the voting public how much worse things would’ve been under a national government.

  2. Janice 2

    Those who are not, particularly the old and or health compromised will have to prey.

    • mac1 2.1

      ‘pay’ I think.

      • pat 2.1.1

        or ‘pray’ perhaps?

        • McFlock

          Either works – and one could regard people vulnerable to the disease as “prey” for tory policies.

          They’re utterly horrific, and announcing an abject surrender to the virus: Mass gatherings, no masks, let’s hope the vaccine does the job even though we’re nowhere close to population immunity levels.

    • Pierre 2.2

      The British government has entirely given up controlling the virus and is just going to let the Johnson variant rip through the country. They wouldn’t even need to carry on with lockdown measures, just keep the basic stuff like regular testing and wearing masks indoors. It’s not too much to ask!

  3. Cricklewood 3

    Damned if I can find the article now, but I read a scientific paper last year that talked about how a badly managed (ie to slow) vaccine rollout or vaccines which dont actually prevent transmission would potentially lead to more dangerous mutations becoming prevelant.

    It seems that its likely to be the case with the emergence of Delta + and Lamda. We’ll be needing 2nd or 3rd generation vaccines within 6 months I imagine.

    • pat 3.1

      the question has to be asked however is how do you roll out 16 billion vaccines quickly?

    • McFlock 3.2

      It could always end up like the flu vaccine, new batches for new variants going to folks every year or so.

      But also a less effective vaccine isn’t necessarily ineffective – it can make outbreaks less severe and more managable

    • Editractor 3.3

      Not the article you read, but this pre-proof review has a section on “Control measures to slow the evolution of new variants”.

      The origins and potential future of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in the evolving COVID-19 pandemic – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982221008782

    • lprent 3.4

      We’ll be needing 2nd or 3rd generation vaccines within 6 months I imagine.

      Yep – there is an article about the boosters in abc AU in the last few days. There are a lot of them being developed worldwide.

  4. Seems that Boris and ScoMo cannot comprehend that what was “normal” at the beginning of 2020 is never going to be “normal” again.

    They don’t seem to understand that this virus, and those that will inevitably follow it, has changed everything for the whole world. A small effect is annual vaccination just as we have for influenza. We don’t know yet if the Pfizer shot is going to work on the Lambda mutation.

    I’m sorry that I am unable to offer a solution to the stupidity of politicians, or newspaper writers (I refuse to call them journalists because the majority who call themselves that are no more journalists than I am a brain surgeon).

    All I can say that politicians who make decisions that result in what we used to “death by friendly fire” will ultimately pay the price, as will the countries that they “rule”

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Those politicians had merely adapted to circumstances that were abnormal, and now find that the ‘patch’ they used isn’t working. Time to unroll another one to cope with the latest ‘virus’; their trouble is that they are not reality-savvy. They leave that heavy burden to the underlings.

      • Descendant Of Smith 4.1.1

        The well-off forget that for many, many people things like overseas travel aren’t normal, nor are eating out at restaurants on a regular basis and so on. That sense of back to normal is almost irrelevant to them.They also happen to be the group that will in the main suffer the most if COVID spreads.If their was ever a time to say “Fuck the rich” as opposed to eating them I guess it surely is now.It certainly wasn’t those who maybe travel overseas once in lifetime, if they are lucky, who spread this. It would be nice if they just took a step back and thought about the fact that a year or two without travel is nothing compared to those who can never afford to go. Even more so now they are paying exorbitant rents to those who can go – paid for by the poor.

        • GreenBus

          Nailed it. Always the same. The privileged pollute more, waste more and travel overseas more, demand more luxury, bigger houses, endangered animal trophies, bigger flasher cars, the list is endless and everything is more more more while using up more of our resources and screwing the peasants to get it all cheaper. They are the planets worst parasites.

  5. Jenny how to get there 5

    The pandemic gave us all a number of object lessons, on how through personal sacrifice and collective effort we can clear the air and cut emissions, if we think the crisis is dire enough to warrant it. And it was.
    Whether the impending climate crisis is dire enough to warrant us taking similar measures is a judgement call.

    Maybe nature is giving us another object lesson, this time on the danger of half measures.

  6. tc 6

    Pop up Scotty’s mob have f’d their vaccine rollout. They expected their own (uni of Queensland etc) which failed and hadn’t a plan B by paying for the existing ones.

    You get the govt you deserve and the informal/don’t vote crowd keep them in power by not throwing them out.

    I see the bloke who got them there in 2013 (Abbott) has his asylum play being proposed by blojos mob now…..offshore detention centres.

  7. Jenny how to get there 7

    Fiji’s example.

    An object lesson in the consequences of prioritising the economy over public health.

    “To the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General, this is the message — health first.
    “The economy is second and will rebound.
    “Thereis no balancing act between the two, as clearly evident by the disaster we have today.”
    Fiji opposition leader Viliame Gavoka


    • Jenny how to get there 7.1

      It seems there is a new immediate way of measuring the health of a capitalist economy, in deaths and human misery.

      “I don’t believe we can sustain the benefit of a lockdown, not economically and not in terms of saying the virus will stop moving,”
      Fiji Permanent Health Secretary, James Fong

      Fiji now has 8576 active cases in isolation with 55 deaths.

      Chances are not looking good that Britain’s economic opening up will not also be measured in a corresponding rise in rates of death and disease.
      Britain’s public health experts are aghast that Boris Johnson and the British Conservative Party are fully prepared to make this trade off.

  8. AB 8

    But all our local Tories say that Australia “has a plan” for exiting the pandemic – and we need one too, and (choking back tears) what about the economy?

    The “plan” being nothing other than 4 bullet points on a PowerPoint slide from Scotty from Marketing, plucked from some place unconnected to reality.

  9. Enough is Enough 9

    The UK is an experiment which could go either way. Unlike Australia they have had a decent vaccine rollout. As they are opening up we are seeing the third wave with exponential growth of new cases being reported daily.

    However, that is not correspponding with the growth in deaths, which is very encouraging. The virus is agin out of control, but the vaccine appears to be doing its job, as people are not dying.

    Fingers crossed that this trend will continue because it could show the way as to how we move forward. Its early days but I’m hoping.

      • Enough is Enough 9.1.1

        Yep – exactly. Its going to be interesting to watch those trends over the next 6 weeks

    • Descendant Of Smith 9.2

      I’d suggest a plan that I’d be comfortable with would be to state now that we will keep our borders closed until the end of January 2022 at which point it will be reviewed based on the best scientific knowledge and what eventuates from the understanding about variants and longer term impacts of COVID.

      This will give certainty, allow the backlog of New Zealanders wanting to return home to do so in a planned and methodical way, keep the focus on minimising deaths and impairment in New Zealand, allow time for a specialist quarantine unit to be built, to increase immunisation rates and adjust hospitals etc to be able to manage better outbreaks.

      I get some people who like swanning overseas might be unhappy but I’m unhappy that every time borders are opened we are getting uncertainty and risks of outbreaks of which the populations of poor working class and vulnerable people who can’t afford to travel overseas are fearful of. They don’t have any economic power as it is, they already are fearful of landlords and rent increases and being homeless and don’t need this constant opening and closing added to the mix.

      Opening the borders with Australia showed how disrespectful quite a lot of Australians were to NZ- they really didn’t give a shit about bringing the virus here – why should we be surprised cause they don’t seem to give a shit about spreading around Australia either.

      ACT/Nats want a plan. There’s a plan.

      • RedLogix 9.2.1

        Opening the borders with Australia showed how disrespectful quite a lot of Australians were to NZ- they really didn’t give a shit about bringing the virus here

        Do you have any evidence to support your claim that any Aussies knowingly came to NZ with COVID 19?

        • Descendant Of Smith

          I’m not sure why you what to narrow the definition to just that.

          I’m thinking of things like consciously coming from a country with known problems with COVID community transmission and rates to one with very little community transmission and not downloading tracing apps like they have been asked.

          “About one in four people arriving from Australia under quarantine-free travel arrangements have downloaded the Covid-19 tracer app, data shows.”

          Stuff June 4th

          Breaching their own rules to come here.

          “Three people have travelled to New Zealand from Melbourne in breach of the lockdown in the Australian state of Victoria, health officials have announced.”

          Stuff June 9th

          “On Tuesday, health authorities announced that a man had travelled from Perth to Auckland, and then on to Northland, while the Western Australian city was in lockdown after a Covid-19 outbreak in the community. Immigration NZ manager Peter Elms​ said the man knew he should not have made the trip.”

          Stuff April 30th.

          Remember too a lot of trust has been placed in Australians to do the right thing with no pre-departure testing required.

          I’m not alone in being concerned either. It’s not like I’m going out on a limb with what I’m saying.

          “Nearly 95 per cent of those worried about international visitors returning said they were concerned about Covid-19 being transported to the country, while 36 per cent worried about the environmental impact. A quarter (25 per cent) said they were worried about how it would affect New Zealanders’ access to popular destinations and attractions.

          Tourism experts say they are not surprised so many respondents were concerned about overseas visitors returning given tourism’s role in the spread of Covid-19 around the globe and New Zealand’s extraordinary success at containing the virus so far.”

          Stuff April 9th.

          So yeah I’d be comfortable with a border closure til end of Jan with an emphasis on repatriation – including of citizens of other countries here in NZ who wish to return home.

          I imagine that if such a plan was announced we’d soon see Collins and Seymour running around with their hands in the air like Herve Villechaize going “Ze plan, ze plan”. That would be worth watching.

          • RedLogix

            Have you considered that many people coming from Australia may actually be Kiwis coming back to see family? Especially likely in the instance of the person travelling from Perth to Northland. They may have Australian passports, but it’s their NZ family they want to see.

            I’m thinking of things like consciously coming from a country with known problems with COVID community transmission and rates to one with very little community transmission and not downloading tracing apps like they have been asked.

            Australia is a very big country and most of it has the same level of community transmission as NZ. As for the tracer app – that’s been pretty much replaced by people scanning bar-codes when visiting shops. The Bluetooth based apps have had very modest practical value as it turned out. Again this is true on both sides of the Tasman.

            Nah – you just took a cheap shot at Australian’s for ‘not giving a shit’ when in reality their attitudes toward COVID are pretty much the same as NZ’s on the whole.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              Well I guess we see it differently noting I did say “quite a lot” as opposed to “all” and it certainly isn’t obvious from here that the same attitudes towards restrictions etc apply at either a personal or political level.

              • RedLogix

                Nope. Working here in Perth at the moment I’m seeing pretty much the same range of attitudes toward COVID as kiwis express.

                For instance WA as a state has been extremely exclusionary and has had a very similar experience to NZ. Much the same can be said for NT, QLD and TAS. It’s really only been urban Melbourne and Sydney that have had outbreaks. And that’s not because they ‘don’t give a shit’, but because hotel based MIQ in large cities is less than perfect and the numbers they’re dealing with are much higher than NZ.

                At the same time travel is an integral part of the modern world and presuming to shut it down indefinitely is simply unsustainable in the long run. Right now I’m working with a man who has not seen his wife and children for the past two and half years because of restrictions – and with no prospect of anything changing soon. And he’s just another ordinary working person trying to get by as best he can.

                Sure you can advocate to lock out the rest of the world indefinitely, but don’t be surprised if other people will remind you there is also a steep human cost to it as well.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  Why extrapolate February next year to indefinitely and ignore the about repatriating New Zealanders returning home.Some certainty in my view would be more useful than the bouncing backwards and forwards.Six months isn’t a long time away.The overall point is is that those calling for a plan seem just to waving hands in the air. What plan do they actually want? I’m suggesting an option.

                  • RedLogix

                    Six months isn’t a long time away.

                    Why am I almost certain this is highly mobile goalpost?

                    My point is that we missed the chance last year to eradicate COVID, and now we have to learn to live with it. And that’s going to entail a shift in attitudes everywhere.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Because you are adding stuff in your head that I didn’t say perhaps. One plan is “to live with it” one is to wait a bit longer and review.One increases risk to people currently within New Zealand one reduces risk to people within New Zealand.

            • Muttonbird

              Kiwis living in Australia take on Australian attitudes.

              That includes the Australian attitude to this virus which is clearly less strict that New Zealand’s. The anti-lockdown and anti-vax protests over there are much larger. Breaking restriction rules is commonplace. Governments, particularly in NSW, don’t lockdown effectively and until it’s too late.

              See Joe90’s comment @ 13 for proof Aussies just don’t get it.

              People resident in Australia simply do not share NZ’s eradication philosophy, preferring the softer more business friendly suppression approach.

              This difference puts New Zealand in danger.

  10. Descendant Of Smith 10

    And it is useful to point out that economically right now there are more people actually employed in jobs in New Zealand than before lockdown.February 2020 2,202,496May 2020 2,232,440Increase 29,944The only regions there are less jobs than pre-COVID are in the South Island – Malborough, Canterbury, Otago and Southland.

  11. Descendant Of Smith 11

    Here is another groups suggestion of a plan.“In summary, Taiwan’s serious COVID-19 situation serves as a reminder that even well prepared and organised jurisdictions can suffer large outbreaks. Nations like NZ that wish to maintain a successful elimination strategy for the foreseeable future must continue to revise and update response measures based on new evidence and international experience; optimise border/quarantine controls; ensure vaccination of all border workers and aircrew; revise our Alert Level system to include greater focus on reducing indoor and aerosol spread; and upgrade our contact tracing system by requiring universal use of tools like the COVID Tracer app in high risk indoor public settings.”I continue to be happy with an elimination strategy. I’m not in any way convinced that we are at the point of a “living with it strategy” as being the approach to take. https://sciblogs.co.nz/public-health-expert/2021/07/13/the-changing-covid-19-situation-in-taiwan-what-can-nz-learn-from-taiwans-latest-outbreak/

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Further from : https://sciblogs.co.nz/public-health-expert/2021/07/13/the-changing-covid-19-situation-in-taiwan-what-can-nz-learn-from-taiwans-latest-outbreak/

      …taiwan was a showcase country for coping with Covid 19. From April 2020 to December 2020 there were no community C19 cases.

      Table showing relative NZ and Taiwan stats that have changed dramatically since December 2020.

      …What is the state of public health interventions in Taiwan?Taiwan uses a four level epidemic alert system (broadly similar to NZ’s 4 level alert system).16 Initially, Taiwan officials activated a localised level 3 (the second-highest alert level) in Taipei and New Taipei in response to the April 2021 cases. However, this alert level was extended nationally on 20 May 2021. Under level 3, mask-wearing outdoors, social distancing, limits of 5 persons for indoor gatherings and 10 persons outdoors, and the closure of many business and public venues is required. To activate a level 4 in Taiwan (essentially a lockdown), 100 daily cases over a period of 14 days are required.

      From a layman’s POV this indicates Taiwan has become lax, and is not listening to its scientists who must be trying to get through that each single case may have up to eight contacts who have to be traced quickly in case they carry the infection. Letting it build to 100 cases is stupid surely. It ensures that only a long-term lockdown MAY work. But too many people will have become infected – how can they all be traced quickly – the slippery virus will continue even during lockdown, at that number it just slows it down.

  12. McFlock 12

    goddammit, yesterday some journo posted a quick vid of a NSW town supposedly in “lockdown” – lots of cars, lots of foot traffic. Can I find that damned tweet again? Of course not.

    But “lockdown” is not the right term for whatever was going on there. If that’s typical, NSW are in deep shit.

Leave a Comment

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New training scheme for lower South Island engineering sector
    An innovative training programme to support jobs and businesses in the engineering and manufacturing sector in the lower South Island has been officially launched in Balclutha. Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash has opened a new skills training academy established with an initial investment of $495,000 from the Provincial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Speech to Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners Conference 2021
    Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners Conference 2021   Mihi Tēnā tātou katoa. Ki te reo pōhiri, kei te mihi. Ki a koutou ngā pou o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihi. He taura tangata, he taura kaupapa e hono ana i a tatou katoa i tenei ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Speech to the Environmental Defence Society annual conference
    Kia ora kōtou katoa. Firstly, thank you for the invitation to speak today. The Environmental Defence Society’s contributions towards environmental policy are invaluable, and alongside that your work in identifying and analysing issues and potential solutions are fundamental in driving transformation. My colleague Minister Parker, who outlined the Government’s environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New regs on stream for whitebait season
    The 2021 whitebaiting season is about to kick off with new regulations in place to help ensure a healthy future for the fishery. “The new regulations herald a more equitable fishery, easing the pressure on whitebait species while providing better alignment and consistency of fishing rules across the country,” Conservation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Health Indicators will track better care for all NZers
    The Government’s reform of the health system took a big step forward today with the unveiling of the system that will be used to hold it accountable and ensure it delivers more equitable healthcare for all New Zealanders. Health Minister Andrew Little has already announced the 20 district health boards ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Govt congratulates Lisa Carrington on becoming NZ’s most decorated Olympian
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has today congratulated New Zealand Olympic kayaker Lisa Carrington on her exceptional performance at the Tokyo Olympics which has led to her becoming the most decorated New Zealand Olympian. “Lisa is a phenomenal athlete. To win the K1 200m three Olympics in a row, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Construction sector transformation continues with Network launch
    Housing Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods and Building and Construction Minister Hon Poto Williams today launched the Construction Sector Accord Network. Designed to bring the sector together to lift performance and drive change, the Network is a collective of businesses, government agencies and other organisations committed to a higher performing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • The ‘Tulī Takes Flight’ scholarships announced
    The Associate Minister of Education, Aupito William Sio, has today announced the establishment of the ‘Tulī Takes Flight’ scholarships as part of the goodwill gesture of reconciliation to accompany the Government’s apology to Pacific families and communities impacted by the Dawn Raids. “Education is the key to unlocking success, opportunity, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 8,000 additional public housing places delivered in major Government milestone 
    New Zealanders now have an extra 8,000 warm, dry public housing places to call home, under a Government public housing programme that is full steam ahead, says Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. “Of the 74,337 households now being supported in public housing places, more than six thousand (6,503) are living in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New classrooms and building improvements for central and lower North Island schools
    Six schools across Wellington, Manawatū-Whanganui and Taranaki are getting a funding boost so projects can enter construction and deliver much needed works sooner, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. While visiting Cannons Creek School in Porirua, Chris Hipkins also announced 10 schools in the central and lower North Island that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Restoring the richness of the Rangitata river
    A major Jobs for Nature project to protect and enhance some of the South Island’s most unique habitats and restore the health of the Rangitata River highlights the important role farmers have in caring for the land, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “Canterbury’s braided rivers are an iconic part of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Foreign Minister to take part in ASEAN-related meetings
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta will today begin a suite of meetings with her ASEAN and East Asia Summit counterparts, starting with the 11th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting tonight. That will be followed by the ASEAN-New Zealand Ministerial Meeting on Thursday 5 August and the 28th ASEAN Regional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Arts and heritage venues get helping hand
    A new round of funding to support capital projects will help keep our arts and heritage sector alive and vibrant, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan announced today.  “Communities work hard to raise funds for arts, culture and heritage related capital projects as they add significant value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Ministers welcome opening of New Zealand High Commission in Colombo
    New Zealand and Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministers, Nanaia Mahuta and Dinesh Gunawardena, have welcomed the opening of the New Zealand High Commission in Colombo next week. The Foreign Ministers, who met virtually yesterday, spoke about the opening of the High Commission as a major milestone in the bilateral relationship. Both ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to increase NZDF commitment to the United Nations Command, Republic of Korea
      The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will deploy three additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United Nations Command and its Military Armistice Commission from nine to 12 personnel. “Increasing the size of our deployment to the Republic of Korea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wages up, unemployment down
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery has seen more Kiwis in jobs and higher wages, with unemployment falling to pre-COVID levels and more people in work. Stats NZ figures show unemployment rate fell to 4 percent in the June quarter from 4.6 percent in the March quarter, the lowest ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dr Kihi Ngatai OSM
    Mauao tiketike tūmokemoke mai ana ra koe, papakitia ana e ngā tai kawenga roimata o te motu. E Ngāti Ranginui, mo tō manuhuia kua tīkapea i te rangi. E Ngai Te Rangi, mo tō manutaki kua riro i te hau o Aitū kikini, E Ngāti Pukenga mo tō manutaiko, kua ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government support screen industry with funding for sound stages in West Auckland
    Auckland Film Studios in West Auckland has received funding for a major expansion through the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group’s (IRG) COVID-19 Response Fund. The Government is investing $30 million of a total $35 million project to construct two 2,000sqm sound stages and development of further workshops and offices, to expand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting unique land for generation next
    The Government is boosting legal protection for critically important natural habitats on private land, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “An $8 million investment over four years will see Queen Elizabeth II National Trust Ngā Kairauhī Papa (QEII) work with government agencies, councils and others to provide legal protection of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response continues with vaccine delivery, operational ...
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced further support for Fiji, including funding support for nursing staff and 100,000 doses of vaccines due to arrive in country today. “Our thoughts remain with Fiji during this incredibly challenging period,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “New Zealand has funded 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dr Hōhepa (Joe) Mason
    Ko koe tēnā e te hurumanu e Hōhepa, te tōwenetanga a te iti, te māpihi herenga mahara o te tini, ka tauawhi tonuhia koe e to iwi ki te uma pupuri ai. Me pēhea he kupu kia koutou kua puta i nga ākinga a nga tau kua hori, kua waia ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Finance Minister and RBNZ Governor agree to update MOU on macro-prudential policy
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr have updated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on macro-prudential policy to further protect the financial system and support the Government’s housing objectives. “This change will ensure that the Reserve Bank has the flexibility to respond to emerging financial stability risks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government commits further assistance for drought and flood-affected rural communities
    Farmers and growers affected by this year’s drought or floods in Marlborough, Tasman, West Coat, Canterbury, Otago and the Chatham Islands will have access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPs) from today, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “The Government is committed to easing the financial pressures on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Cook Islands youth lead Language Week
    The Cook Islands Language Week theme for 2021 highlights the vital role language plays in maintaining young people’s links to their Pacific home, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  “The Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani – Cook Islands Language Week – theme is ‘Ātuitui’ia au ki ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government offers formal apology for Dawn Raids
    A formal and unreserved apology for the Dawn Raids The Government will offer education scholarships as part of the apology Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Scholarship Training courses Support Pacific artists and historians to develop a comprehensive written and oral account of the Dawn Raids Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Dawn Raids Apology
    Tēnā koutou katoa, Kia orana kotou katoatoa, Fakaalofa lahi atu ki mutolu oti, Tālofa nī, Mālō nī koutou, Ni sa bula vinaka, Fakatalofa atu, Noa'ia 'e mauri, Kam na mauri, Malo e lelei, Sioto'ofa, Mālō lava le lagi e mamā ma le soifua maua, Oue tulou, tulou atu, tulouna lava ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bridging the gap – last piece of Northcote Safe Cycle Route now complete
    The opening of two bridges over Auckland’s Northern Motorway is the last link of a cycling and walking route which provides a safe, active alternative for students and commuters, Transport Minister Michael Wood said today. Michael Wood cut the ribbon for the completion of the Northcote Safe Cycle Route, at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Progress in establishment of Aged Care Commissioner
    Recruitment for an Aged Care Commissioner will start next month, to ensure greater oversight of New Zealand’s aged care sector. “This sector is responsible for supporting a large and often vulnerable population. While most people are able to access quality care, there have been cases where that care has fallen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New record number of homes consented
    In the year ended June 2021, the actual number of new dwellings consented was 44,299, up 18 percent from the June 2020 year. In June 2021, the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings consented rose 3.8 percent. In June 2021, 4,310 new dwellings were consented, an increase of 3.8 per ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Communities backed to tackle wilding pines
    Twelve community projects across New Zealand will receive a share of $2 million to carry out wilding pine control, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor announced as part of Biosecurity Week. “Wilding pines are a serious problem that threaten many of the unique landscapes that New Zealanders value. Community groups and trusts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health Minister Andrew Little responding to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation's rejection of ...
    I was advised last night that the result of the ballot of Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa New Zealand Nurses Organisation members have rejected the latest proposal to settle their collective agreement. Let me be clear: the proposal was one they put to the Government. The Nurses Organisation rejected their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation introduced to Parliament
    Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Introducing the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill, Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, said the measures proposed were aimed at ending conversion practices which don’t work, are widely ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New kaupapa Māori mental health and addiction services to support people in central North Island
    New mental health and addiction services rolling out across the central North Island will improve outcomes and equity for Māori, Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health) Peeni Henare says. Today the Minister met with providers of the new kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction service, Poutama Ora, which will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New kaupapa Māori mental health and addiction services to support people in central North Island
    New mental health and addiction services rolling out across the central North Island will improve outcomes and equity for Māori, Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health) Peeni Henare says. Today the Minister met with providers of the new kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction service, Poutama Ora, which will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New school site for booming West Auckland
    The Government will build on a new school site in West Auckland to cope with rapid population growth in the area, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Ministry is working with existing local schools to determine how the 1.5-hectare site at 279 Hobsonville Point Road will be used to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trans-Tasman travel window to close at midnight tomorrow
    A further 500 MIQ rooms released for managed returnees from NSW Further Government actions announced today are balanced to provide more certainty for Kiwis wanting to return from Australia, while continuing to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Ayesha Verrall says. The actions were foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt investing millions in Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti schools
    Napier Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools are among those set to benefit from a $16.5 million investment in the Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti region, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash announced today. The Government has set aside money in Budget 2021 to accelerate five projects in Napier, Hastings, Havelock North ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Game changing Jobs for Nature investment for Northland
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan has announced Jobs for Nature funding for a portfolio of projects that will create ‘game changing’ gains for nature and communities across Northland/Te Tai Tokerau as part of the Government’s acceleration of the economic recovery from COVID. “This portfolio of 12 projects will see over $20 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Third COVID-19 vaccine receives provisional approval
    New Zealand’s regulatory authority Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older, Acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. New Zealand secured 7.6 million doses (enough for 3.8 million people) of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bowel-cancer screening programme is saving lives
    More than 1000 New Zealanders have had bowel cancer – New Zealand’s second-most-common cause of death from cancer - detected under the Government’s National Bowel Screening Programme, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. More than 1200 New Zealanders died from bowel cancer in 2017. The screening programme aims to save ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago