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The drought

Written By: - Date published: 7:43 am, February 13th, 2015 - 37 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, farming, farming - Tags: , ,

I spent some of Waitangi weekend cycling bits of the Otago Rail Trail. Everything was parched and brown (29 degrees – why is it always uphill in to a head wind?). Locals are calling it The Big Dry.

Now the official drought has been declared, and farmers are saying “We haven’t seen these conditions before”. Farmers now have access to support through extra funding for rural support trusts.

I’m glad that we live in a country that has a welfare system to support those in need, as some farmers currently are. Wouldn’t it be nice if all welfare recipients were treated with dignity and respect?

Weather extremes are going to be the new normal. Droughts in many areas will only get worse from here. High intensity irrigation to support dairy farming probably isn’t sustainable. Both farmers and the country as a whole need to be adapting to this new reality.

Farmers are the most vulnerable of any of us to the impact of climate change. They should be leading the charge on reducing carbon emissions, reducing pollution, and developing sustainable methods. Why aren’t they? Why is the party that has traditionally represented farmers such a disaster on these issues? It is madness.

37 comments on “The drought”

  1. tricledrown 1

    Because the farming sector knows it all they are extremely uncomprimising have their heads buried in the sand.unwilling to change.
    Thats not all farmers but the majority.
    Bringing in RCD was a very short sited idea.Sheep farming has been marginal since the 1950s with ocasional interludes.
    China wanted over a billion rabbits a year from us now they don’t want any.
    Dairy farming has expanded at an exponential rate,an unsustainable rate.
    Drought is going to bankrupt many because milk prices are down production is down debts aren’t going away.
    Laissez Faire it’ll be right mate attitudes,I am astounded at the levels of debt in th Dairy industry how the Banks have been happy to lend huge sums in a cyclical commodity industry.
    I would class that as predatry loan practice.These Bankers will be the first to foreclose when indebted farmers can’t meet their obligations.
    But they were happy to sign up the loans.
    The Canterbury plains aren’t suitable for large scale Dairying but are for cropping.
    Nick Smiths undoing of Ecan had allowed unfetered expansion of Dairying which has caused huge enviromental damage.
    There isn’t enough water in Canterbury to maitain the numbers of Cows yet National have allowed this disaster to happen!
    Cows are being neglected and abused now because their isn’t enough food or Water,Sporidiums are spreading because cows are being forced to stay on smaller irrigated blocks so aren’t being rotated of paddocks to allow sporidiums to die off.
    Its factoru farming out of control.

    • Kevin 1.1

      Of course the banks are happy to loan to dairy farmers as the land is going nowhere. And when they fail, the corporate farmers will be there, ready to pick up a bargain. It’s all about control of the resources.

  2. Sirenia 2

    Interesting to hear how drought-affected farmers will be treated when they go to a Work and Income office seeking help. Will they have a special desk to go to or will they have to go past two suspicious armed security guards, go into long queues, be turned away unless they have two or more specific pieces of identity and detailed information about their income, be denied help for counselling or other support, denied information about supplementary benefits, denied food grants, denied dignity and be treated as bludgers and scum?

    • David 2.1

      There are armed security guards at WINZ offices? Armed with bad attitudes and tacky body art maybe… The rest of your atatement I agree with though, that place is Hades these days.

  3. ianmac 3

    “They” of course will demand water storage as the answer. And this Government will stump up the millions to build dams in the High Country. Problems solved.

  4. vto 4

    Northern Hemisphere – Southern Hemisphere

    Over our recent history many plant and crop species from similar climates in the northern hemisphere have been brought down here very successfully. Grapes, olives, all the main grasses, the list is extensive…

    I understand that in France grapevines cannot be irrigated after their first 6 months in the ground. As such their roots go deep, very very deep like 10s of metres. This would certainly likely work in Canterbury where water tables are only a couple to a few metres down. Similarly olives and their desire for warmer and drier. These are two examples that have already worked successfully in east coast climes (though the irrigation needs to stop a-la France).

    Similarly taller tree species that have an economic value, with deeper rooting systems may work. And they would reverse that most significant of factors afflicting east coast now, namely deforestation and the consequent immediate drying of the land.

    Point being that imo these areas will go horticultural eventually. And horticulture has an intensity that feeds more people, supports more farmers and citizens per acre, etc. The northern hemisphere species have not yet been fully evaluated for their use in NZ. Then of course there are our native species which have lain dormant due to all eyes going elsewhere for too long. Kauri (we grow them in the south island with success that sees them as high as other fast-growing natives in the right place. Twice as long as pines to harvest but ten times the value – simple maths), flax, I dunno but there gotta be loads of them.

    Anyways just some brief thoughts arisen from too many years working, looking, thinking, day-dreaming on these matters in these here parts. Clearly the current model doesn’t work – I don’t think there is much credibility left in those promoting existing models – they are in their death throes and denial and that never lasts.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    “I’m glad that we live in a country that has a welfare system to support those in need, as some farmers currently are. Wouldn’t it be nice if all welfare recipients were treated with dignity and respect?”

    Supposedly these farmers are pretty much entitled to the unemployment benefit, but only if they effectively have no money to feed their families.

    Best not to make it sound like we’re doing anything really serious to help 99% of farmers.

    • weka 5.1

      +1

      I saw something recently from a farmer spokesperson, who said that support is only available to farmers in extreme situations (eg they can’t feed themselves). I’d like to see something on the actual facts about farmer welfare.

      Having said that, it came from a Fed Farmers bod, and he no doubt wants farming to continue doing the same old shit and not changing to sustainable practices.

    • Sirenia 5.2

      It is the level of evidence that is required to prove you have no money to feed their families that is the problem for many desperate people. I imagine that would be quite hard for farmers if they were required to provide the same detailed information as others are. I would just like a level playing field for farmers and others seeking benefit support – and then they might be some solidarity and empathy for those coping with never ending poverty.

  6. weka 6

    The issue isn’t lack of rainfall, it’s how the land is being farmed. If you want to farm in a very hot dry place then you have to adapt your practices to fit in with and take their cues from the local climate and soil, not adapt farming practices that were developed in rainy, cloudy England.

    The crucial issue is not so much how water falls on the land, but what happens to it once it does. In NZ, conventional farming uses practices that dry out the land. Instead we could be using practices that keep the water moving within the landscape instead of evaporating or running off. These practices are all used in drier climates than NZ. They can be used small scale or large scale, rural and urban.

    Here are a couple of examples,

    Swale animation, showing how water harvesting ditches on contour rehydrate the landscape and in some cases re-establish springs (1min38) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFeylOa_S4c

    Swale and hugelkultur, how to harvest water passively, and how to use buried carbon mass to hold water in the land (7mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ima_ff5xVH4

    The classic Greening the Desert slide show (5 mins), showing establishment of food production in the first year in Jordan which has the driest climate per head of population in the world, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohI6vnWZmk

    John Liu’s documentary of restoring landscapes that are in the process of becoming deserts (this applies to much of the east of the South Island). 47 mins, but worth the watch for anyone that wants to understand what makes land sustainable. It also demonstrates how restoring land brings benefits to the people who live there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBLZmwlPa8A

    • stever 6.1

      I agree.

      But in fact the average annual rainfall in Canterbury is higher than in southern england. I think that overall England’s average is about the same as Canterbury’s, almost our driest region.

      http://www.currentresults.com/Weather/United-Kingdom/average-yearly-precipitation.php

      http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/map/19595/new-zealand-annual-rainfall

      So I’d echo your point…we have to stick to growing what that climate in Canterbury can support. Look at East Anglia in England…much lower rainfall than Canterbury, and they’ve learned to grow appropriately (though the mega-fields might have been a bad idea for wildlife….)

      • weka 6.1.1

        It’s not just about annual rainfall though. Cloud cover/sunshine hours effect evaporation. Length of time between rainfall matters, and in turn how much falls at a time. How dry is the air? How much wind is there? A significant aspect of Canterbury’s climate is the hot N/W. Longitudinal differences between NZ and the UK will mean NZ is hotter and therefore drier.

        Not sure what’s happening in East Anglia, but if they are using artificial inputs and relying on fossil fuels, then it’s not sustainable. They’ll get away with that for longer if they are farming better suited to climate, but it’s still going to be net loss to the environment over time.

    • Tiro 6.2

      John Liu’s documentary : Green Gold is indeed worth watching!
      I like some of the comments like:
      “the Source of Wealth is functioning ecosystems” and
      “We can not let ignorant people abuse the land”

    • b waghorn 6.3

      I don’t think you can us the Jordon model when discussing land degrading it looks from the john liu’s doco that they have basically over stocked and set stocked for thousands of years.
      They could learn a thing or to from kiwi dry stock farmers on subdivision and rotation to keep pastures healthy.

      • weka 6.3.1

        I think we’re just not as far down the path as the Loess Plateau in China, or as Jordan. And yet NZ farmers overstock and overgraze, and when drought hits they have to sell stock to survive. I think the main difference is that China (the Loess Plateau) had large numbers of people stock grazing for very long periods of time and eventually even rotating and other methods wouldn’t have been enough. Too much pressure on the land. And they didn’t have the mitigating effects of fossil fuels for most of that (eg irrigators).

        In NZ, we’ve had less time to do damage and more of that time has had the support of technology and artificial fertilisiers that themselves create problems but mask them in the short and med term. But we still have too much pressure on the land, and we have land that becomes marginal and then you have to stop grazing it. How is that any different? In other words, we’re on the same path. Can’t really argue that the east of the SI is going to be in better condition in 50 years time than it is now, even leaving CC aside. Or even 20 years. Unless we change.

        Every time I see a photo like that on the front page of the ODT today http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/332960/we-are-tough-times I think about the Loess Plateau. There is a reason that that man is standing in an almost desert, and it’s not the lack of rainfall.

        Compare that photo (enlarge it for full effect), to this one,

        http://milkwood.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/allansavory2.jpg

        “Holistically Managed ranch is on left, desertifying ranch is on right. This is in a climate with 200mm annual rainfall in South Africa”

        http://www.milkwood.net/2013/06/06/get-ready-were-presenting-allan-savory-in-august/

        That’s less rainfall than half the annual rainfall at Middlemarch (Strath Taieri). And still more than Middlemarch’s annual rainfal in this drought year which is 2/3 of normal.

        (all fairness to the Strath Taieri farmer who is only doing what he has been taught and advised by professional advisors).

        • b waghorn 6.3.1.1

          I looked at the that top photo you linked to and thought I could go into a patch of my farm and get the same picture ,I’m dry here but no drought it’s just February .

          • weka 6.3.1.1.1

            Have you had normal rainfalls in the past 6 months?

            I don’t know the Strath Taieri that well, but one of the ODT reports talked about a lot of wind. I’m guessing that this a significant part of the SI ‘drought’. Do you get that up your way?

            • b waghorn 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Weather here according to the locals can’t be trusted any more . up until 10 years ago Taumarunui was classed as summer safe I found records once on the net but Havn’t been able to relocate them that had our average at 120 mm a month through summer ,I’m in my third summer here this has been the best one of them rain wise and I’ve recorded 90mm since mid DEC .

  7. Ray 7

    Yes the farmers who apply have to line up with other citizens who require help
    Yes they need full documentation which is complicated by the fact that having just sold capital stock they appear to be rolling in it.
    And this means not many bother
    I see the ever generous Goverment has budgeted $120,000 to cover other drought expenses (doesn’t include benefits )

    It is worth remembering that there is nothing new about drought on the East Coast, there being evidense going back 500 years

  8. Poission 8

    Weather extremes are going to be the new normal. Droughts in many areas will only get worse from here

    How?

    Explain the mechanism,

  9. Ennui 9

    Why was it uphill and into the wind? Obviously you were going the wrong way.

    As to drought on good wet years the water and cash cups runneth over. On bad years both drain away. We are however always asked for more water regardless.

  10. Ennui 10

    You realise Rob if you went the other way the wind and slope would have done the same….only pain may come from exercise. I used to despise cycling into the Chch nor easter, a cruel and callous breeze.

    • r0b 10.1

      A comment worthy of your name Ennui! Ahh, cycling in Chch, used to do 6km to high school and 6km home again every day. Rain, frost, shine or heatwave…

      • grumpystilskin 10.1.1

        “Rain, frost, shine or heatwave…”
        All in one day if I remember correctly!

        I heard of the drought on RNZ this morning, couldn’t help but think FFS are you not expecting it, and you call yourself farmers, people of the land?
        It reminded me of gillard going on about rebuilding after the floods with words to the effect of “we will rebuild and control natures forces” , had to laugh at her stupidity.

  11. aerobubble 11

    In order to maximize wealth, the revolutionary conservatives mantra that is supposed to save us all, actually fuel unnecessary activities using up non-renewables, and created not only the pollution crisis that is cliate change, but removed the ability of soceiety to adapt, whther media mogals laughing at freaky greens, or money talking louder than anyone, ans removing democraic input to govt.

    why we are not adapting, wealth of the world is tied to destroying the planet duh.

  12. Jane 12

    Oh yes, sadly, droughts are a fact for our future.

    Many folks are saying that this fact is not true, but even N.A.S.A. confirmed that many areas of the world will be hit by massive droughts up to the end of this century.

    Areas like New Zealand, Asutralia, the U.S. and Africa will all be hit by massive droughts which will last (some of them) even a few decades, and a situation like this can lead even to serious agricultural issues that will harm the ecosystems in all these areas.

    http://www.alternative-energies.net/n-a-s-a-warns-with-major-droughts-in-the-u-s-if-the-pollution-continues/

  13. ropata 13

    ironic that canterbury and taieri plains were enormous marshlands until people came along and drained them.

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  • 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks 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
    21 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago