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The EU thinks that our tax system’s clean bill of health is not so clean

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, August 2nd, 2016 - 43 comments
Categories: Europe, International, john key, national, national/act government, Politics, same old national, slippery, tax - Tags:

john key working for new zealand sign with grafitti money bag

Well this is embarrassing. The European Union thinks that New Zealand is operating as a tax haven and is considering sanctions.

From Newshub:

Possible EU sanctions against New Zealand could make travel harder and have a massive effect on the economy.

New Zealand is under investigation by the EU as it prepares a blacklist of global tax havens, Newshub revealed on Monday night.

The grouping of 28 European nations has compiled a list of countries with lax tax laws. Following the release of the so-called Panama Papers, it has confirmed that New Zealand is under investigation.

The EU is our third largest trading partner and worth about $7000 for every person in New Zealand.

The EU loses around NZ$1 trillion to tax havens each year, and it intends to put a stop to the practice by threatening a raft of sanctions against countries that don’t comply to its standards.

The changes to our tax system proposed by the Sherwan report will not make New Zealand compliant. Although the proposal for disclosure of trust settlers and beneficiaries and collection of information concerning financial assets will improve compliance from the report it appears the EU may also require there to be no tax exemption of foreign income, automatic exchange of information with foreign tax authorities in the jurisdictions where the settlers and beneficiaries are resident and a public register of trust ownership and details. New Zealand will not meet these standards even when Mr Shewan’s changes are introduced.

Key and National have made a song and dance about how the OECD has given New Zealand a clean bill of health as far as its tax system is concerned.  He was quoted earlier as saying this:

Tax havens are where there is non-disclosure of information – New Zealand has full disclosure of information, and so all you’ve got is New Zealand’s taken a different view from a lot of different jurisdictions and that’s because the way we tax is we tax a settlor.

“In other words, it’s all about making sure New Zealanders pay their fair share of tax, what we’ve got is quite a legitimate regime.”

But is Key correct? It looks like the EU interprets “full disclosure” differently to John Key.  He thinks the possibility some information may be disclosed is enough whereas it appears the EU want there to be automatic exchange of information and a public register of trust ownership and details.

As I posted earlier:

Has the OECD given New Zealand’s tax system a clean bill of health? Well sort of in that it is better than some of the really notorious tax havens that had stronger secrecy provisions. But the IRD warned in 2013 that our foreign trust tax regime posed a reputational risk. This is hardly a clean bill of health when your own tax entity says that there is a problem.

And the full disclosure requirement? As pointed out by Deborah Russell all that has to be disclosed is the name of the trust, the name of the trustees and if the settlor lives in Australia. Details of the beneficiaries and the assets owned by the trust need not be disclosed.

And the tax exemption is another feature that the EU is looking at.  Labour had the tax rate at 28%.  It was National in 2011 who changed the rate to 0%.

And some response from Twitter (thanks r0b):

https://twitter.com/deanrjyoung/status/759994208384000001

43 comments on “The EU thinks that our tax system’s clean bill of health is not so clean”

  1. James 1

    Perhaps. Just perhaps you should wait until their investigation is over before you jump up and down “celebrating”. May well be that they find everything is all ok once discussions start.

    Wouldn’t be the first time some on this blog have made a lot of something which the courts have decided wasn’t a issue or that the person was innocent (when so many on this blog assumed they were innocent).

    • James 1.1

      Sorry that last line should have read guilty.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Who has said the Government is guilty? I say in the post “[t]he European Union thinks that New Zealand is operating as a tax haven and is considering sanctions” and “It looks like the EU interprets “full disclosure” differently to John Key”. How about you address the substance of the post and if you think NZ is not operating as a tax haven say why.

        • BM 1.1.1.1

          I remember Nadis explaining in quite a lot of detail on numerous times why we’re not a tax haven.
          Can’t link to it because the search is munged.

          • adam 1.1.1.1.1

            As we explained, it does not matter – at the end of the day, the label and the perception are what matter. And here’s the kicker for all you fanboys.

            The label has stuck, and the perception is we are.

            • BM 1.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s a bit sad, you’d rather lie and promote bullshit.

              Always thought lefties never had NZs best interest at heart, was all about the power and fuck the consequences.

              Shame really.

              • adam

                Again with the misdirection. The only defence left BM? Are you that blind you not willing to even read what people are saying about us? I’m trying to open your eyes up to the fact – no matter how hard you wish this was not a problem, it is.

                If the problem is going to be solved, and I think for all of us it needs to be. The issues of perception and the label need to be dealt with.

                You sticking your fingers in you ears going nothing is wrong – does not work or indeed help.

                Lying, because we point out this issue has not been dealt with – does not work. Yes I’m calling you a liar because you deliberately misrepresented me.

                The fake pathos, really is disingenuous.

                This is a hard issue, deal with it – rather than throw around your usual crap BM. Time to grow up and play with the adults.

                • BM

                  What?

                  You’re the one who said the whole tax haven angle is bull shit, but that doesn’t matter we’ll keep pushing it regardless.

                  Pathetic.

                  • adam

                    I said it does not matter. Because the perception and label have stuck. To argue we are or we are not is at this point is moot.

                    Hypocrite

                  • framu

                    “You’re the one who said the whole tax haven angle is bull shit, but that doesn’t matter we’ll keep pushing it regardless.”

                    where did adam say this? – I think you’ve read the comment wrong

                  • Paul

                    What do you stand for except for rampant individualism ?

              • mickysavage

                This comment?

                Key changed the law to extend NZ as a tax haven

                Nadis did say that R0b (and me in this post) were overrepresenting the change to the tax regime made in 2011. He did say “[t]he other things [r0b said ] are correct, especially that NZ is (and always has been) a money launderers paradise …”

                • BM

                  The rest of the quote

                  The other things you say are correct, especially that NZ is (and always has been) a money launderers paradise, but your mad desire to pin everything bad on the personal intervention of John Key is in this case plain wrong. I could just as easily claim the 2007 law passed by Michael Cullen was the genesis of this issue. That would be equally wrong. the reality is that this is just business as usual since the 1980’s or before. If you want to blame anyone you could start with a well known NZ investment bank of the 1980s run by yachting enthusiasts, but all they and everyone has done is exploit out of date legislation.

                  So, apart from some EU bureaucrat gets his y-fronts in a twist, whats changed?

              • reason

                BM supports John Key and the nats turning us into a tax haven …. the lot of them have no shame.

                They’ve got that greedy cheating Merill Lynch genetic mutation ….. and evolved into revolting sub-primates.

                Bm’s a joke when he wanks on about ‘hand-outs’ …….. but Nationals friend and white-wash splasher John Shewan was the central figure in an attempted $2.2 BILLION Aussie bank theft …………. where they stole from the people of New Zealand ……. using a ‘tax vehicle’ that Shewan sold them …… it broke down and was shown to be a fraud in New Zealands High Courts.

                *************************************************
                “Banks’ tax dodging tantamount to theft

                ….the combined banks owe the Government and people of New Zealand about $2.25 billion.

                Now I’m not just grumpy.

                I’m furious. That is 10 hospitals or 100 schools or the entire budget deficit forecast for the year just finished. If I stole that much money I would be public enemy number one and rightly so.” ….” Bernard Hickey.
                _______________________________________________

                National rewarded Shewan by getting this fraud artist to look at Nationals tax haven …….

                On a lighter note ……. did you hear about the National joke where John Key sends Don Brash & Shewan to a tax haven ? ……. to teach them GST.

                It sounds fucken funny to me …… Like BMs white disco pants after he’s drunken a glass of John Keys 100 % pure river water ….. it just sounds full of shit.

              • Anno1701

                “lways thought lefties never had NZs best interest at heart, was all about the power and fuck the consequences.”

                getting tired ?

                your standards are dropping, we expect more !

    • Perhaps, just perhaps, they’ll complete their investigation and find that NZ allowing anonymity of foreign settlors and beneficiaries in no way facilitates tax evasion and money-laundering? Well, yes, certainly – and perhaps that lottery ticket you bought is the winning one. All kinds of things are possible, it’s just that some are less likely than others.

    • Bearded Git 1.3

      Shewan, in his report, didn’t recommend a PUBLIC register of overseas trusts and companies details (finances, beneficiaries). This, and its automatic exchange with other countries is crucial to a fair tax system. (The Nats of course will not implement such a public register off their own back; this is a government that loves rich people’s secrecy.)

      Shewan was on Morning Report this morning blathering in his calm and reassuring voice about how perfect our tax system is without mentioning this-its called lying by omission. Must be a mate of Key’s.

    • Gabby 1.4

      Praps you should wait until someone starts jumping up and down celebrating before you start up your whingeomatic.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Couple of typos – Shewan’s name misspelt (unless there’s a Sherwin involved too), and ‘201’ instead of ‘2011’.

    I doubt the EU is under the illusion that the Prime Minister won’t lie through his teeth.

    [Thanks now corrected – MS]

  3. save nz 3

    Shocking. Thanks John Key and your trusty cronies giving out tax advice. I guess if JK and cronies have stuff to hide in their own tax havens they will not be that keen to reveal what is currently going on there. With his ties to Meryl Lynch and dodgy banking in the news no wonder the EU are keen to investigate.

    Love how in the global terror age, every citizen is expected to be spied on, but governments and their cronies in tax havens, not so much.

    John Key and the Natz are just not smart enough to run this country. Everything they do is a massive stuff up. No wonder John Key is so ‘popular’ with international leaders, just give him a golf game and a handshake and he’s sign and agree to anything in perpetuity. The world’s easiest leader to negotiate with, he says yes to pretty much anything (apart from hiding money which is sacred to rich listers).

    The difficulty with the FTA’s is that you need a smart government and negotiators to run them. Once Helen left, the milk dried up and the farms got sold under National. We lost benefits with Australia and England that we traditionally had and NZ are looking very like a FB wannabe, lots of friends in theory, but nobody around to watch your back in real life.

    Thanks National for destroying our international networks and relationships and making NZ a banana republic led by a smiling assassin.

    • mosa 3.1

      Gotta love those Merryl Lynch boys..Key was and still is a Money trader and not much interested in due process , the rule of law, or the built in poor unless he can make sure his money mates can prosper be they casinos , construction companies, seafood companies, move companies, property speculators and developers and not forgetting Ray White and NZ state assets.

  4. Observer Tokoroa 4

    .
    To James

    . Of course you are hoping that John Key has concealed information expertly. Hoping that our Tax Havens are intact and safe from exposure. As John Key slyly makes them.

    The rest of the OECD countries know that he is sly, and not troubled by the truth.

    . You see, it is a built in part of your sly Tory nature to avoid paying tax. Although you levy heavily on PAYE incomes and chase up any defaulter. You levy every Beneficiary and Pensioner. Approx 20% Tax on those poor creeps – while your Tory friends from John Key down, go out of your way to avoid Income tax. Sly.

    On top of that you saddle low income earners and the population at large with 15% GST Tax. Taxing at that rate on every purchase they make. Every thing they buy to survive and stay alive. Making a total of 35% daily taxation on low income people and PAYE workers.

    You couldn’t wait to lift the outrageous (hit them in the guts Tax) and shoved it up immediately you came into Government. You scumbags could not wait.

    At the same time you gave $Billions of Dollars of tax reductions to your wealthy mates.

    Which is sly, dirty, and scumbag behaviour.

    isn’t it James?

  5. Jenny Kirk 5

    well, well, well – so someone else out there knows NZ is not as squeaky-clean as Mr Key makes us out to be. About time ! I await further details with interest.

  6. adam 6

    Oh look all those wingnuts who said this was a non-issue have been proven wrong.

    When we said this would roll on for months, they scoffed. When we said it would hurt us until the Government actually did somthing, rather than their usual bugger all, they sniggered.

    Oh look it still rolling on – the half assed approach to a problem, which this government uses regularly to solve any problems, is an epic fail.

    My guess, unless somthing substantial is done, we could see some dire financial repercussions.

    No doubt the wingnuts are coming, warming up in the back room with put downs, misdirections, and their usual swooning for a failed government.

    • Chuck 6.1

      adam its you and your sad and deluded conspiracy bedfellows that were screaming NZ is a tax haven that has interested our EU friend.

      “New Zealand was not so much under scrutiny. But with the revelation of the Panama Papers, some newspapers and electronic media reported that there are thousands of letterbox companies, and we have to investigate that,” he says.”

      “I really believe New Zealand will cooperate because it’s a common interest now in the OECD to find a global standard which will stop the most harmful tax practices and create a fair platform for tax competition.”

      Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse says…

      “The Government is confident that any objective inquiry will come to the same conclusion that the OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes did when they reviewed New Zealand’s tax settings and found us to be fully compliant with OECD standards,” says Mr Woodhouse.

      So there you have it adam, OECD and GFTEITP has found NZ compliant.

      http://www.oecd.org/tax/transparency/exchange-of-information-on-request/ratings/#d.en.342263

      • adam 6.1.1

        No date Chucky.

        Where are the dates Chucky? When was the report put online. When was the report done?

        You have these quotes but no reference to back them up chucky. Am I supposed to go with the vibe man?

        This is only a guess, because we have no proof who is speaking throughout or when they did. But let me guess, you cut and paste from a minister, who originally denied there was a problem, then admitted there was a bit of a problem, then told us it was fixed, now the EU is saying we still have a problem, and you believe the minister when he says they are compliant.

        Sheesh Chucky – bit of a stretch, even for you. I know you lot have got use to incompetent ministers from this government, and there really is no hope in fixing that. So I understand why you desperate to back another failed minister from this government, you need some good news. But Chucky, this is getting ridiculous.

        Overal bit of a fail chucky I’d have to give you a d-. Come back with some real evidence, we are not thought of as tax cheats, and a tax haven.

        • Chuck 6.1.1.1

          adam do I need to spoon feed ya?

          I suggest you go back and read MS intro and then click on the link MS has kindly provided…all the quotes I used are there.

          As for the OECD table, use the link I posted and then click onto the PDF file. However to save you time, its current as of 26 July 2016…and guess what NZ is still compliant.

  7. Bob 7

    Interesting that Michael Theurer is the one bringing up New Zealand tax disclosure, perhaps those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones:
    http://www.oecd.org/tax/transparency/exchange-of-information-on-request/ratings/#d.en.342263
    Might want to look at your own country first Michael

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    So…has the EU got sanctions in place against the UK tax havens of the Channel Islands? The Isle of Mann? How about Monaco? Cypress? Switzerland? Lichtenstein? All tax havens in their own back yard. Operated by agencies based in the City of London, Frankfurt, and the other financial hubs of Europe.

    What an utter farce from the EU to be picking on NZ.

    No wonder the working class of the UK want to leave this hypocrisy.

  9. Observer Tokoroa 9

    .
    . This blog it seems to me is bringing fair-minded and pro New Zealand citizens together. Not only that, the research they bring with them, coupled with their wit and wisdom is replacing the sickening character of the Tory Parliament.

    The non Tories bring with them genuine, honest to goodness thought and behaviours. They are fair minded. They write what they see. That burns like fire in the rotten heart of Toryism and Class. Note this Michelle Boag and be ashamed!

    It is a pity to have to say this, but Key and his slovenly Deputy have two stinky shit holes. We all need one such facility.

    The Tories however, have commandeered not only the The Parliamentary Toilets but also the House itself. They prefer to shit in the House. Because they are despicable. And also because the Speaker of the House allows them to do it.

    If I were to ask you if John Key brings dignity to our Parliament, What would you say?

    Europe knows he is a swindler and a liar. Russia knows. Syria and the Middle East know it. The Twisted United States of America knows it. Canada knows it. Nuie does too. Of course 27 nations of the EU know it. He is a sham.

    PS 1) Always remember when a Tory invites himself into this blog he/she comes as a liar and a falsifier.

    PS 2) The Tories have systematically destroyed over the past 8 years, our “golden equality” and our once good hold on affordable property and Rentals . They are the same people who have Thrown away our Assets to the wealthy and to foreigners.

    Assets we once thought were ours. Grrrrr !

    They are: The Nationals, The Act, The Maori Party, The United Future Party !

  10. Infused 10

    We’d never get sanctioned lol.

    • Paul 10.1

      Greed is good.
      Selfishness rules.
      I’m alright Jack.
      All rights, no responsibilities.

      The values of infused.

  11. dave 11

    the EU has john key by the balls his heart and mind will follow!

  12. Mike Bond 12

    So sorry for all you luvies. The EU has never said that New Zealand was a tax haven and never considered any sanctions. Shame that we have people that would break this country down just for their own dirty political agendas!

  13. reason 13

    Gosh ……. Mike Bonds a dishonest idiot …………..

    James Shaw: Does he acknowledge that the Inland Revenue Department said in 2013 that “our foreign trust ru les continue to attract criticism, including claims that New Zealand is now a tax haven in respect of trusts.”?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I have not seen the particular quote

    James Shaw: If New Zealand is not a tax haven, why would Mossack Fonseca—a company which, by its own admission, has 95 percent of its business in avoiding tax—urge its clients to use New Zealand’s foreign trust and company structures as a way of avoiding tax?

    **********************************************************

    “Andrew Little: If New Zealand is not a tax haven, as he has been claiming, why is an online gambling magnate, Calvin Edward Ayre, who is on the run from US authorities for money-laundering and tax evasion, able to use a New Zealand foreign trust to stash his assets?”

    “Andrew Little: If New Zealand is not a tax haven, as he has been claiming, why was a French investor able to move his holding company from Luxembourg to New Zealand and then tell the French Government that he owed it no tax because he had paid the zero-rated tax rate in New Zealand?”

    *********************************************************************

    Julie Anne Genter: How does an overseas tax department access all of that information if it does not know the name of the foreign trust registered here or the trustee?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: It asks for it.

    *****************************************************************
    Julie Anne Genter: Have there been any changes to the rules since the IRD warned his Government in 2013 that “there was a risk to New Zealand’s reputation” because of limited disclosure requirements?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The member would have to direct that question to the Minister responsible for inland revenue. They are the ones who have done all the work with the OECD on the base evasion programme. But, as we know, things like factor and anti – money-laundering legislation have been changing.

    Julie Anne Genter: I seek leave to table an email dated 24 March 2016 from the IRD that states that it has not progressed any reform in this area

    ***********************************************************************

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    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
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    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    5 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    5 days ago
  • Outsiders.
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    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    7 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week 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, ...
    1 week ago

  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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