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The fast death of broadcast free to air TV

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, October 22nd, 2019 - 37 comments
Categories: Media - Tags:

That the media in the country and others, especially now free-to-air TV,  are getting creamed doesn’t surprise me. That TV3 is essentially being given away (or closed) having apparently been separated from the still lucrative radio doesn’t surprise me.

Blame the broadcast model, the pain of noisy advertising and the rush to bottom in taste by chasing the few remaining people who won’t change the habits of a lifetime.

What does surprise me is just how fast it is changing.

It was only in 2012 that I dropped the connection to the free to air TV. That was almost an accident – as I described in a rant at the time:-

So nearly two months ago we moved out of the larger rental we’d had for the last 3 years back into my old apartment in a flurry of concrete dust from polishing concrete and cursing from fitting storage. But I still haven’t bothered with connecting up broadcast TV. Why would I want to bother? Broadcast TV is largely mindless and endlessly frustrating.

It is really hard to think why it will ever make its way up my nearly infinite list of tasks to the point that I actually do it. And I’d have to confess on this Labour weekend that is because I’m always short of time outside of work..

It wasn’t until the end of last year, 18 months after moving into another apartment with a working aerial, that we went out to get a freeview box to attach to the old TV.

Connected it up – got every available channel.

Our television went on to the free to air broadcasts for a few hours. I managed to watch the news. Then without even really talking about it between us, the freeview box never again got used. Well – that was a waste of money.  

The problem is that the content was (to put it politely) drivel. Everything that I said back in 2012 was still applicable – but worse. It was a bit of nostalgia trip remembering when I had Sky – and I see that they have issues as well..

So back to my original point. Why would I want to revert to broadcast TV? What does it give me? This is my rough list looking at local TV (with Sky comments in brackets).

  • Mindless repeated ads with the sound mixing frequencies pushed to irritate me (and that includes Sky). All of the bullshit put out by the ad agencies is crap. They damn well mix them to be intrusive and loud.
  • Programs that are never ever on when you want to watch it in your busy time schedule (Sky is as bad).
  • Mindless TV reality shows  that I never want to watch (with Sky it is endless drivel ‘documentaries’ about military conflicts of no interest or value).
  • TV News and Current affairs that is rarely worth watching (Sky has a few channels worth watching – but I’d like to pay for them individually – like BBC or Al Jazzerra(which they don’t offer from memory)).
  • Irritating media celebrities, Te Radar comes to mind, doing travel commercials (the infomercial content is pretty high on Sky as well).
  • Shows, movies and documentaries that are repeated far too often (especially on Sky).

Ok there are a few things of real interest on TV as Brian Edwards pointed out today in “When Hone met Rachel – Now that was a surprise!“, and I agree with him that was definitely worth watching. Both Hone Harawira and Rachel Smalley were impressive.

But consider that I saw it on my iPad was the result of recommendation by someone whose opinion I value. I didn’t have to wade through the mindless drivel that broadcast TV has becoming to find a gem. Moreover, I did it strictly on my time schedule and using a direct link to the video page.

We pay for Netflix, Lightbox, Neon and Spotify. Have subscriptions to various newspapers and magazines worldwide and even a few locally. 

I’d still like to buy a subscription to a few local news and current affairs consolidations on a app for my phone. But that has been constant request since 2012…

I’d pay to have the news and current affairs programs from all NZ channels available as a service. There are usually at least 5 minutes that I want to watch in the news each night. But there is no way that I want to go back to watching bloody ads and not being able to discard the sports and other dross.

Doesn’t seem likely to happen. I may have to be content listening to bits of RNZ on skullcandy when I’m biking to and from work, and the pile of smaller news style sites. 

But what really worries me is just how fast this has been. Sure I feel some sympathy for the employees caught up in it. But that really isn’t the major focus of my concern (that was all obvious where it was heading back in 2012). Consider the last part of my rant in 2012.

I’m a pretty typical near the bleeding edge techie – I use what works. Where I go, you typically find the others follow over the following decades. And I’m so relieved that alternatives are available that I doubt that the aerial will ever go back in.  The day of mass marketing via broadcast is nearly over. The internet provides point-to-point delivery and media organisation should stop pissing around and develop a way of delivering content that way.

Well it didn’t take decades. So the really really important question arises.

I think that old age is starting to make me fall back into the pack. I’ve never been in the pack. Should I be worried?


…and yes to the critic in the other room  – as far as I’m concerned it really is all about me 😈

37 comments on “The fast death of broadcast free to air TV”

  1. Free to air tv has treated its viewers with contempt for years. One example is the Graham Norton Show repeated at prime time on a Friday night.

    My parents, who are both in their nineties and have been free-to-air viewers all their lives recent got access to Youtube on their TV screen and now watch that instead.

    That's how much free to air tv has lost its audience.

    However, if there was on add-free quality government funded channel like TV7 I'm sure that would be popular

     

    • Dukeofurl 1.1

      Plenty of Free to air channels have small audiences…thats not the issue. During the day the main channels  audiences vary widely. Same goes for the price paid for programming ,  segmentation is the viewers friend

  2. Ad 2

    There is real ability for The Standard to take just a sliver of this free-to-air loss and gain a slightly stronger place in political discourse, should there be the collective will.

    Scoop has shown with really purposive fundraising, left-leaning independent journalism can be sustained.

    The Standard could devote a third of its front page to Twitter feeds and other such media, without going nuts. That would see a broadening of its discursive base.

    TV3's demise is a great time to look at ourselves and see what else is possible.

    • Sacha 2.1

      Scoop has survived for years by being a neutral aggregator of media releases, of value to some organisations who will pay for that. Not clear what an equivalent would be for the Standard.

      Scoop's recent focused fundraising efforts are admirable but I doubt it's where they would rather be devoting their limited resources (and they have paid staff unlike this place).

  3. Stuart Munro. 3

    With a little ferreting, one can find all the shows NZ never gets, including those excluded from the nerfed local versions of Netflix, free and ad free. Local news is a bit iffy, but TV does little or nothing to improve that. I can live without the moron panels and he said she said presenters – and the sea level weather map gives a better local prediction than the TV presentations.

    It wouldn't hurt for government to look at a new media enterprise and model for this and forthcoming centuries, possibly including a vehicle for locally produced drama, which, if and only if production standards are kept high enough, can also be distributed offshore. Campbell of Scoop would be the man to talk to – best journalist in NZ.

  4. Anne 4

    OMG, It could have been me who wrote that post – not quite but almost. In my case, over the years I replaced my TV with bigger and better models in the hope it would encourage me to watch more of it but to no avail. It seemed to me the channels were having a race to see who could reach down to the lowest common denominator first. TV3 won.

    Having almost discarded the box full time – not quite because once in a while there is a quality programme among the mindless drivel – but Youtube supplies me with most of my needs these days. 

    Anyway lprent you can tell your "critic" it might be all about you, but there's a large battlefield out there full of grumps who feel exactly the same way. 😈  

    • Sacha 4.1

      a large battlefield out there full of grumps who feel exactly the same way.

      Someone alert Winston! 🙂

      • Anne 4.1.1

        He already knows. That's why he targeted TV3. And that's probably only the start. 👿 

        • Sacha 4.1.1.1

          After they fire that pesky chap who always disagrees with me, TV3 should bring back Merv Smith and Aunt Mabel. And reruns of the Generation Game. #sorted

      • OnceWasTim 4.1.2

        Poor old Winnie – he’s still got an ear worm infecting his brain:

        Daisy Daisy, Give me your answer do!
        I’m half crazy, all for the love of you
        It won’t be a silent marriage [or even an arranged one for that matter]
        I can’t afford a carriage
        But you’ll look sweet
        On a bicycle seat
        On a bicycle built for two

        [ He and Shane could both do with a bit of that fragrance up his back passage as well. Anal retentiveness doesn’t begin to describe it all ]

  5. Kay 5

    Despite my generally being broke, for the time being I've been able to get an internet plan that gives me enough BB to be able to stream without breaching the monthly limit, now that the prices have finally come down. And I can afford a basic Netflix subscription now that I can't eat choclolate anymore 🙂  I haven't splashed out on a fancy TV, Chromecast is a wonderful invention.

    And before the usual bashers want to come out, for people who are housebound a lot, often starring at a screen is all we're able to do so it's a necessity, not a luxury. Once upon a time there was adequate mindless programme on free to air, but even they have become unbearable- being ill doesn't completely remove one's intelligence! 

    I do find it interesting how TVNZ on demand has become a channel in it's own right, screening serious/intelligent programmes that won't even be shown on free to air, or eventually only at midnight. And while ads are included, there's so few it's possible to watch them without losing track for the interruptions. So that's become my main way to watch free-to air, often as soon as it goes up after the actual programme as just screened on free to air.

    But local news- never again. I object to being patronised and spoken to like an 8 year old. All local news comes from RNZ & Scoop, international news from Aljazerra, online, and also live streams of assorted overseas channels on you tube (Euronews, DW, ABC).

  6. Sabine 6

    The only time i see tv is when going to the in laws, its either rugby on sky or some tv show on sky Mom likes. But oh my gosh, the ads. Mind numbing. So i don't, well never actually did see the reason for a dumb box. 

  7. David Mac 7

    All services pass through a product life cycle. I think anyone investing in TV3 whilst in any shape like it's current form would be underwriting the Town Cryer as newspapers rose. These days….it's a brave soul that invests in the print mediums.

    If we view popular outspoken Utubers as Town Cryers with louder voices, we've gone full circle.

    Our government shouldn't be buying coal mines because the coal price is tanking.

  8. Marcus Morris 8

    I have lived and worked in  the UK in recent times and holidayed regularly in Australia. How I envy the Brits with their BBC 1 and BBC 2. The ABC does an excellent job in Oz. Why can't we have something similar.

    • tc 8.1

      We can and should, culturally it's a no brainer unless we want an offshore driven reality dumb down.

      Leadership required to achieve it which is where I hold little hope.

      Be very good for the industry if it did occur.

  9. Terrestrial TV is low density information, and homogenised entertainment, on somebody else's schedule. Fast internet offers a "fat tail" of content on demand with minimal ads (or zero if you use a solution like pi-hole). Why waste time on old media. TV turns you into an inert blob.

    • Dukeofurl 9.1

      Have you seen on demand shows ?

      Apart from reality type …and they will come… mostly low budget drama formula -10 actors no ones heard of , 2 cameras, 1 scriptwriter, with a half hour story spun out to 50 mins and  story lines spun out over 10 episodes to make you bing.

  10. McFlock 10

    The only channel I watch regularly as broadcast is Comedy Central (on Sky). But I have been streaming more from TVNZ lately. Whereas TV3 was pretty much 7days and Graham Norton, and that's it.

    TV3 seems to be Auckland-centric, lowest-common-denominator schlock, by and large. I also suspect they'd be more profitable if some of the "personalities" they threw money at weren't dickheads (or at least interchangeable heads). TVNZ learned that one when they poached John Hawkesby (though it might be a lesson everyone needs to re-learn from time to time).

  11. mpledger 11

    My daughter is coming up 18 and I doubt if she's watched 10 hours of tvnz or tv3.

  12. karol121 12

    It is the age old (in modern TV times) debate in relation to television broadcasting unit expectations pertaining to a break even operation or a profitable return on investment for it's stakeholders in a commercial environment.

    In relation to overall competition in recent years both in growth and in facility (including internet click on demand), you might liken it to swimming with sharks.

    Some broadcasters have the luxury of tax payer or private interest group funding, but most aren't expected to use it as an excuse to provide presentation, hand to mouth.

    Even the evangelist TV stations look to be funded by viewers, even if in part.

    Many not for profit broadcasters ultimately provide some other consideration for backers other than simply pleasing or appeasing the public for their viewing pleasure (or to their displeasure as the case may be).

    Circa 2012, the message was clearly sent to New Zealanders through Jonathan Coleman that channels providing educational or topical content are unlikely to be allowed to sustain operations without sufficient advertising revenues or subscription revenues to support them.

    Political government in NZ appears not to wish to become embroiled in a spat over whether or not tax payers should wholly fund or even subsidize certain television channels when taxpayers already fund organisations such as NZ On Air for support and provisioning in some areas.

    The loss of Channel 7 was a pity because it was a model of mainstream educational TV and was news pertinent to New Zealand and the Pacific Region. The channel also provided both a serious and a light hearted insight in to New Zealand politics, the NZ parliamentary system and various political characters.

    Some may have considered that offering strong political opinion should be the reserve of those at least paying their way in part from revenues of an entirely commercial nature by commercial entities. Hence, if you are going to have a go at a political direction or any proposed policy, get the laundry detergent manufacturers' to help fund your program directors or presenters point of view.

    So. Adverts. My viewing experience in relation to NZ "Free to Air" is that corporate (commercial product or service) adverts account for around 15 minutes per one whole hour of presentation.

    The repetitiveness (same advert played 3 minutes later) is almost inane, and you might almost believe that they are trying to turn viewers in to mind dulled, blobs with this sort of advert scheduling. To add fuel to the fire, most of the local adverts lack luster in any case.

    Compare advert scheduling to Sky TV (satellite), and it seems to be about the same for many of it's topical channels (or factual documentary channels) depending on the time of day/night. But a reasonable proportion of these adverts are self promotion adverts in relation to forthcoming programs or series pertinent to Sky. Also, the adverts are usually less frequent during the "wee" hours.

    Most news channels on Sky are corporate advertising free. This is refreshing considering that most of them provide both a wealth of insight, and most of the content is as balanced as you could expect, given the overall obligations of the stations to their respective handlers.

    Free can be confused with advert free, but shouldn't be, of course.

    If you are actually sitting down watching these adverts, you are well and truly paying (for them) with your time.

    The old; "no free lunch" adage.

    • In Vino 12.1

      It was the stupid commercialism of the 1980s (which still rules) that destroyed good free-to-air TV in NZ.   If it has now strangled itself, bloody good job.

      When I was living in West Germany (1979) I was impressed with their TV.  Some ad-free channels, but the channels that had ads were not allowed to interrupt any programme or film. They played all the ads between the programmes/films in sessions that went on for as much as 20 minutes, but they made it entertaining by having funny stick-figure comedy or short sketches between the ads.  That lifted the entertainment value, and made the ads tolerable. The ads actually competed on a level playing field with the quality programmes – both were entertaining, and the quality programmes were never ruined.

      But that could not happen here in NZ. Quality films and programmes had to be butchered by rude interruptions at crucial moments so that sacred, holy advertisers could get their maximum punch regardless of how they ruined the film/programme.

      Barbarism. But Kiwis accepted it as normal, knowing no better.

      With the choices I now have, I will not weep if TV3 goes.  

      I will weep for what NZ could have done with TV. Commercialism is a poison that corrupts all that it touches. The economy makes a good servant, but a very bad master.

      I wish I had understood all that more clearly back in the 1980s. I would have argued that way at the time.

      • Karol121 12.1.1

        I know.

        But in the "new" New Zealand reality of "open for business" for much of everything visibly for lease or sale, (and goodness knows what else), most everybody is looking at revenues for service, and this includes maximum revenues by way of commercial television advertising.

        The reflection on 80's commercial reality, mainly sentimental, but still nice.

        Government supports profitable business and the reverse is true. Taxpayer funding previously applied to state subsidies (including "teev"), now reserved for commercial consultancy firms and other specialist services lucrative free for all.

        At the risk of sounding repetitive, the catch-phrase is most assuredly that there is no free lunch, or dinner or good morning breakfast.

  13. A 13

    I think that TV3 could reform and dominate the online space IF it learns to respect the audience.

    TV 3 died for me the day they Cambo go.

  14. Alfie 14

    I spent my life working in broadcast TV and I’ve done a lot of work for TV3 over the years. I’m sorry for all those good people who are losing their jobs in a diminishing market. But most of the blame has to fall on those corporate pricks who allowed Weldon to do Key’s bidding and destroy one of the better news and current affairs operations in the country. Those guys can go fuck themselves.

    Despite working in the industry, we brought our kids up without a TV in the house for most of their lives. We spent ten years in the UK where it was a completely different experience, but here in NZ we viewed tele more as a corrosive influence. So much about local broadcast TV is intrusive. Apart from endless “reality” rubbish… there's

    * The high rotation ads using painfully high compression audio which pushes frequencies against a top wall so everything is max loudness. Or perceived that way.

    * The endless self promos which somehow don’t qualify as ads, even though they are. They even play these on the few concession-to-religious-people ad-free days we have, making sure the audience doesn’t get conditioned to actual ad-free days. As if promos for their own products are not actually ads. I’ve never noticed the distinction.

    * The crass nature of squeezing entire end credit sequences into miniature boxes, rendering them unreadable. Then filling the remaining 90% of the screen with yet more self-promotional ads.

    * And the celebrities. Oh, the celebs. The same boring, opinionated pricks who infest so much of our local media these days. A constant reminder of how small our isolated pond actually turned out to be.

    I haven’t watched TV3 since they killed John Campbell’s show and I never watch TVNZ by choice. We ditched Sky a while back. To me they’ve all become crass — poor examples of what the media world has to offer these days. The world is full of interesting media.

    Once you’ve tasted the good stuff, why would you want to go back to eating recycled bottom-feeder crap?

    </grumpy old guy rant over>

     

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    “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
    5 days 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
    6 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    6 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    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 ...
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    7 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
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    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
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    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
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    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
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    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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 hours 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to 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 welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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