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The magical disappearing surplus

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, April 11th, 2015 - 67 comments
Categories: bill english, budget 2014, Economy, election 2014, john key, making shit up, national, same old national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

John Key and National have placed a huge amount of political capital in returning the country’s books to surplus.  Back in 2008 they campaigned heavily on how Labour was going to deliver “a decade of deficits” and it really was the slogan de jour.  According to them Labour’s mismanagement of the economy was the cause of the global financial crisis and not the pure unadulterated greed of a bunch of merchant bankers like Key seeking never ending wealth.

That always annoyed.  Helen Clark and Michael Cullen had always run a tight budget, produced nine, read that again, nine budget surpluses during the term of the fifth Labour Government, had paid off debt, put ACC on a more secure financial footing, had created the Cullen fund and had put away funds for the time that things went pear shaped.

At the time of the 2008 election the Global Financial Crisis was already causing havoc and no matter who was in power it was the right thing to do to open up the chequebook.  To be fair to National the Christchurch earthquakes have certainly put considerable pressure on the country’s finances.  But Key and co have created this illusion that they are sound financial managers.  And this illusion needs to be shown for what it is.

If you google search the word “surplus” on John Key’s own website the results suggest that he has used the word “surplus” 1,280 times in reported speeches and press releases.  And some of the quotes and passages are real doozies.  Like the following:

  • August 2011 – “In only three years we will be one of the first developed countries back in surplus.  After that, we will be repaying debt while other countries keep borrowing.”
  • October 2011 – “An earlier return to surplus gives future governments more choices, and National is focused on that goal”
  • November 2011 – “We are committed to getting back to surplus in 2014/15 and that significant challenge will require ongoing spending restraint across the public sector and a focus on innovation and results.”
  • January 2012 – “Mr Key said that the Government’s focus on responsibly managing its finances includes a commitment to return to surplus in 2014/15 – which National campaigned on at the election.”
  • April 2012 – “Getting back to surplus is a challenge but we are making the decisions required to get there, so that we can pay down debt and have more choices about what we want to do.”
  • April 2013 – “We remain firmly on track to reach surplus in 2014/15.”
  • May 2013 – “New Zealand’s economy is in good shape.  The Budget confirms the Government will get back to surplus by 2014/15.”
  • January 2014 – “After much hard work, the Government is effecting a remarkable turnaround in the books, with the latest forecasts showing a budget surplus in the next financial year – 2014/15 – after which government debt begins to fall.”
  • May 2014 – “A $500 million support package for families and children, dividends from a growing economy, and a track to surplus next year are all features of Budget 2014.”

Even the 2014 election campaign material continued this theme that a surplus was just around the corner.  Remember this?

Since National came into government, we have been working towards achieving a surplus in the 2014/15 year as well as reducing debt.

But the earlier euphoric confidence started to wear off after the 2014 election.

  • October 2014 – “The Government is focused on returning to surplus.”
  • January 2015 – “The Government is working towards a surplus and repaying debt.”

This week Bill English (note it was Bill and not John) was forced to admit the bad news.  Despite all the promises, despite all the shenanigans such as cutting funds from the Christchurch rebuild, recategorising grants to Auckland Transport as loans and hanging onto ACC surpluses, despite all the rhetoric National is going to fail.

In reality not reaching surplus this financial year is not such a big thing. Economies tend to be cyclical and a good government will save during the good times and spend up during the bad times.  But when you promise for so long with such confidence that you will achieve a result and you then fail to deliver you deserve all the cynicism and opprobrium that opposition parties can muster.

Remember the decade of deficits?  We are over two thirds of the way there and the end is not in sight.

67 comments on “The magical disappearing surplus”

  1. fisiani 1

    It takes a supertanker 22 miles to stop. Bill English has taken the basket case economy he inherited and virtually turned it around and you quibble about a few more weeks to get to surplus. Clutching at straws.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Yeah bloody Helen Clark and Michael Cullen were responsible for the global financial crisis and the 2007 drought. You guys must think they have superhuman magical powers.

      But do you think the nats should have been promising a return to surplus for so long when they clearly are unable to achieve this?

    • Paul 1.2

      Your support of Key is slavish.
      People would respect our opinions more if you, like Fran O’Sullivan, showed a modicum of independent, intelligent thinking.
      She is right wing and she can see faults in the God you call Honest John Key.

      At present your views are laughable and ridiculous.

    • Wynston 1.3

      1. In the words of Mark Twain “First get your facts right, then you may distort them as you choose”.
      2. In the words of Thomas Carlyle “I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance”, and you are one of the very best at the latter!.

    • Tracey 1.4

      And how did they go fulfilling their debt reduction promises? You only make yourself look foolish defending the lies and PR spin.

    • NZJester 1.5

      Nationals claim they inherited a country in bad financial shape from Labour is now and always has been Nationals biggest lie. They inherited a country with nearly all debt paid off and assets that where returning the government good dividend money. Of course there was little actual cash in the government coffers as it had all been spent paying off huge money draining debt.
      If National had not given the rich a tax break this country could not afford and borrowed money heavily to do it, then not sold off half those assets that gave them good returns the books might not have been in surplus, but they would be balanced. A country does not need surplus it just needs good balanced books like Labour had done using any possible surplus to pay off the large debt the National government before them had run up!
      In good times and in bad, the National party always cuts the tax for the rich and runs up our debt while claiming to have surpluses. All so called surpluses are false as long as you have huge debts that still need to be repaid.
      National also claimed at one point it would also cut the taxes for the less well off. That was yet another tricky lie they told as although they did cut PAYE tax they on the other hand also increased GST and any PAYE gains most kiwis got never made up for the higher output in the extra money they had to spend on the GST increases. Only those in the higher wage brackets benefited from the PAYE to GST tax swap. The average kiwi has always paid higher taxes since then.

      • Nic the NZer 1.5.1

        You, and others, need to stop criticizing the government for not running a balanced budget. Balancing the government budget is the wrong way to manage the economy, and previous and current attempts to balance the government budget are a causal factor in many of the issues you also have with the NZ economy. These include but are not limited to,
        * Low levels of funding for public sector programs (education, health care, public transport infrastructure).
        * Income inequality (and low paying jobs, with poor rewards).
        * High levels of personal indebtedness (and of course low levels of personal savings, including retirement savings).
        * High levels of unemployment.
        * High house prices.

        Similar issues will occur regardless of which political party attempts to run a balanced budget and how they try to do that, in fact many of the issues listed above were happening already under the previous Labour government.

        NZ’s government debt is not ‘huge’ and does not in any way need to be paid off.

        • mickysavage 1.5.1.1

          I am not criticising the Government for failing to run a balanced budget. I am criticising them for promising this repeatedly and for failing and for having this as essentially their sole economic policy.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.6

      Bill English is on record as saying that the economy was in great shape after the 4th Labour government. Or are you saying that Bill English is a liar?

    • Straight out of J Keys mouth, written by N Fisiani.

    • Pat 1.8

      basket case economy they inherited??…you really are an economic illiterate fisiani

  2. Nic the NZer 2

    For a government like NZ’s which issues its own currency, running a surplus or deficit, is purely the by-product of the governments impact on the economy. The question of if that results in a surplus or deficit is completely irrelevant, there is certainly no virtue in running surpluses, the only question worth addressing is how the overall economy is doing. There is also a non-linear relationship between the governments surplus/deficit status and the overall level of economic activity, so in many cases governments attempting to cut spending drives overall economic activity down to the extent that the government deficit increases (e.g in Greece recent austerity has only made their government deficit larger, and cut 25% off their GDP since 2008). The NZ governments cutting of spending has probably only resulted in a reduction of NZ’s GDP growth rate, e.g ordinary NZers aggregate income growth, however. In so doing the unemployment, and underemployment rates have been higher than necessary for longer than necessary.

    As can be plainly seen the economy is starved of public funds, programs such as the earthquake rebuild, public health, many infrastructure projects, border controls are being poorly impacted by cuts in their budgets. Most councils are trying to find ways to increase rates, because central government will not provide the extra needed funds. Plainly any attempt by the government to run a surplus is not useful in the present economic environment the deficit should be larger and the government more generous in many areas.

    Even the Cullen surpluses are highly questionable, as they largely resulted from activity due to a housing bubble, with the result that NZ has huge problems now due to inflated house prices locking people out of the housing market. If the government of the day had introduced the stringent credit controls required to check the housing bubble (e.g with a much stronger form of present LVR legislation, e.g with 100% coverage) then the surpluses would have disappeared as the housing bubble stopped and the government might have been required to run a significant deficit to balance this and maintain similar GDP growth rates to those of the day.

    Most of the time, due to saving desires of the private sector, a government should probably be running a deficit of some size. For some reason people still wonder why NZ has a low savings rate, but its perfectly obvious and is simply the product of the government trying to lower its deficit.

    • Colonial Rawshark 2.1

      For a government like NZ’s which issues its own currency, running a surplus or deficit, is purely the by-product of the governments impact on the economy. The question of if that results in a surplus or deficit is completely irrelevant, there is certainly no virtue in running surpluses, the only question worth addressing is how the overall economy is doing.

      This. Of course, the government can run a surplus if it decreases the savings and income of the private sector and of households. Why anyone thinks that is a good idea is beyond me.

      Even the Cullen surpluses are highly questionable, as they largely resulted from activity due to a housing bubble

      Cullen ran a debt swap. He allowed escalating private sector debt (esp from mortgages) to inject lots of money into the NZ economy. He then taxed that extra money in to the Treasury coffers in order to pay off public sector debt. The government’s books looked better, the private sector’s books looked worse, and NZ overall became more indebted than ever. It was just the balance of whose books that debt appeared on which changed.

      • dukeofurl 2.1.1

        You really have trouble reading financial reports to produce this sort of mumbo jumbo.
        Since we dont have a capital gains tax, Cullen coudnt tax anything from the property bubble. We dont even have land tax and stamp duty on property transfers like Australian states, to benefit from property speculation. Major property sales are usually done by a sale of shares in a company to avoid GST, or they use the rollover provisions

        • Colonial Rawshark 2.1.1.1

          Huh? If you can’t follow the monetary concept of sectorial money balances between the private sector and the public sector, and the fact that an increasing government surplus *always* drives an increasing private sector deficit in the absence of a current account surplus, then please don’t comment. “Financial reports” in a general accounting sense are irrelevant to this activity because they do not track this activity.

          Cullen coudnt tax anything from the property bubble. We dont even have land tax and stamp duty on property transfers like Australian states, to benefit from property speculation.

          Irrelevant to my point that Cullen effectively performed a debt swap between the private sector and the public sector balance sheets.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        Why anyone thinks that is a good idea is beyond me.

        Because if the government runs too much of a deficit the private sector ends up with too much money. Considering that that too much money will be in the hands of the few due to the way capitalism works that means that those few will be a) looking for returns on that money resulting in ever higher accumulation and b) looking to buy up society’s wealth and they’ll be able to do both of these because of c) they’ll have the politicians in their pocket. These result in ever increasing poverty for society.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      For a government like NZ’s which issues its own currency

      Although governments can and should do that no government today actually does so. They take out interest bearing loans instead.

      Even the Cullen surpluses are highly questionable

      From what I can make out most of the GDP growth of the last decade or so is a result of both public and private borrowing and very little else. Although there’s been some actual development of the economy I don’t think that it’s as much as the rate of GDP growth.

      Most of the time, due to saving desires of the private sector, a government should probably be running a deficit of some size. For some reason people still wonder why NZ has a low savings rate, but its perfectly obvious and is simply the product of the government trying to lower its deficit.

      It’s pretty obvious in this article: Private profit (which includes savings) = government deficit.

  3. Tracey 3

    ” But when you promise for so long ”

    But when you lie for so long

    FIFY

  4. I do not believe the current Govt are interested for one minute in the books being in balance as all they are interested at this time is keeping workers from having any decent pay increases .

    But come 2017 prior to the next election announcement what’s the bet that a surplus will magically appear just in time we go to the ballot box ?
    And the promises of pay increases will flow from their mealy mouths once again.

    These Tories are a devious lot and will do anything to stay in power.

  5. david 5

    Colonial Rawshark, while there are merits on what you say, Bats have done precious little to address the external debt. Their focus has been on the govt books but these are not a problem. To address the external debt we need to save and invest more. Other than lowering tax rates they have nothing to encourage savings and investment. You compare nz incentives for saving to the incentives they have in Australia like salary sacrifice and we don’t stack up here. National are all talk and no do.

  6. The Murphey 6

    Until such time as legitimate financial and monetary commentators are involved in preparing and distributing messages to the public the lies and deceit will continue to revolve around meaningless abstract targets such as ‘return to surplus’

    Should the above come to pass it is likely the current financial framework has collapsed and or is in transitional state towards phase out

    Realistically the transitional state has been underway for +/- 40 years however the message is still controlled by the establishment which is why the lies and propaganda are becoming ever more transparent

    The NZ media and its messages are reflective of the NZ economy and financial well being which if course are directly responsible for many deaths and the poverty levels in NZ

    • tracey 6.1

      There does seem to be an (unscientific) correlation between the rise and domination of neo liberal (instantly benefit those at the top) economics and the deterioration of understanding of journalists of the role they are meant to play and the power they hold. And IF this journalistic deterioration is because of editorial and boardroom pressure then where is the courage? Many people suck it up and challenge the status quo and accept the price may e less pay or a different job. Sadly there don’t seem to be many of these in the field of journalism these days…

      • Naturesong 6.1.1

        This is worth a read – it covers some of your questions;

        Speech delivered by Nicky Hagar to Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand Conference, University of Otago, 26 November 2008: Imagining a world where the PR people had won

        • Tracey 6.1.1.1

          Have read it before, but was good to read again. Thanks. His Bruce Jesson is always worth a re-read too.

          “We live in an era where the public spaces are being crowded with paid spokespeople, spin and trickery; where news and political discussion are being polluted by the glib outpourings of ever growing numbers of PR people; and where the public spaces available for real democratic activity are drying up.”

          How proud people like Farrar and Hooton et al must feel…

          • Naturesong 6.1.1.1.1

            This is the bit I was thinking of at the time I commented:

            I believe that to understand current New Zealand society, one of the most important mechanisms to understand is the past and present attacks on certain groups of people. For example, one of the vigorous PR vehicles in the 1980s was NZBR. It claimed of itself that it was purely a source of information and analysis, but one of its main tactics was active attacks on anyone prominent or influential that did not support its beliefs. Many people were hounded out of positions of influence by its efforts.
            Because the winners wrote lots of this history, these events need more analysis to understand the long-term effects. However there is a lot of evidence of the journalists who got repeated attacks and found themselves marginalised at that time.
            The same with public figures like economist Brian Philpott, who was hounded out of the Wellington newspapers. One Wellington lobby firm specialised in pressuring journalists (it’s co-founder is still a dominant character in Wellington PR and lobbying).

            The same thing happened in universities and the public service – with nasty attacks on critics of Rogernomics and behind the scenes manoeuvring to undermine their employment. Many people were pushed aside in this way, while other were favoured and promoted. NZBR head Roger Kerr went onto VUW council from 1995-99 to continue this process, actively investigating and making life difficult for lecturers who were outspoken against the policies he believes in.

            A university economist told me recently that there had not been a single appointment of a left-leaning economist to any university department in New Zealand for about 20 years. If correct, this would mean that – even though New Zealand has moved a lot since the 1980s and 1990s — econ students today are still getting an almost uniform diet of free market ideology.

            • Tracey 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Did you read Farrar’s “research” on media “opinion” which is positive or negative toward Labour or National?

              One criteria was

              “An editorial or column is assessed against whether someone reading it will feel more positive or more negative about the Government/National, Labour, Greens or NZ First.”

              WHO made the assessment?

              • I was not aware of the criteria – I’d seen the figure in Bryce Edwards colmn.

                Adding “An editorial or column is assessed against whether someone reading it will feel more positive or more negative about the Government/National, Labour, Greens or NZ First.” to his piece would have provided useful context.
                Instead he wandered off into the weeds.

                • Tracey

                  yes and WHO made the assessment on whether it was positive or negative and based on what…

                  AND why exclude the large numbers of other opinion pieces which litter our papers, espeh on weekends, from the “research”?

                  And didnt do NZF or the Greens cos they dont written about enough…. That is probably the most interesting statistic about our FPP media.

            • Wynston 6.1.1.1.1.2

              “econ students today are still getting an almost uniform diet of free market ideology”.

              Spot on! But then for the last 40 or so years one has only had to teach a parrot “trickle down” and they’ve turned out an economist.

              • NZJester

                Trickle down as a theory has so many major flaws and was long ago debunked as a good working economic model.
                When those at the top get that money they have no incentive to let it trickle down as it makes them far more money locked away in their bank accounts or in long term investments.
                Why would they invest that money in small businesses to help them grow when those business have few customers that can afford their goods.

                When you put the money in at the bottom however it does make its way up the chain.
                Those at the top must invest in helping small business grow if they want to collect any of that money as it makes it’s way up the chain.
                Because more costumers at the bottom of the chain have the money to spend on goods businesses can afford to grow to meet a real demand for their services.

                Basically Greed prevents trickle down from working. But then Greed does not hinder, but can help trickle up from working.

          • The Murphey 6.1.1.1.2

            How proud people like Farrar and Hooton et al must feel…

            One is left to speculate what those who ‘support the framework’ have been blackmailed or threatened with

            There will be many who are willing participants and again speculation as to the motives makes for interesting conversations

            • Tracey 6.1.1.1.2.1

              No threats. Ego and money, and a complete failure to give a shit about the wider consequences. Note this week Hooton was annoyed at Key government, in part cos Key had lied about Hooton. NOT cos of any inherently wrongness about where they are taking NZ.

              • The Murphey

                Many must genuinely not give a toss given the state of play globally on so many fronts

                I wonder if the minions stop to consider the consequences of their contributions

                Something does not add up

        • Unicus 6.1.1.2

          Thanks for the reminder – some great work from Hagar over the years

          Here’s a helpful “PR concept ” for the addicted and depressed wanting to kick their evening dose of pap and lies

          “LOOSE THE NEWS”

  7. When you have to slash social spending as this government has in order to get a surplus, then it’s not a real surplus. It’s an attack on those who cannot protect themselves and the community at large.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      +1

      Well said and the only people who benefit from such policies are the rich.

    • tracey 7.2

      Robbing the low income to make the higher incomes richer and the middle income feel comfortable.

      • Picard101 7.2.1

        The middle have no reason to feel any better. Unless the thought of 30 police stations closing in order to meet government ordered savings from the police dept makes them feel safer.

        • Tracey 7.2.1.1

          no they don’t but that is the trick, isn’t it… make them feel threatened by beating a drum, then stop the drum.

          the law and order drum is beaten pre election… the time to close stations cos law and order aint as bad as presented in elections, is the year after elections.

  8. Chooky 8

    Letter from Metiria Turei , Co-leader of the Greens:

    Kia ora

    The Government opened its books yesterday and it doesn’t make pretty reading.

    With just over a month to go to the Budget, John Key and Bill English are heading towards a record seventh consecutive deficit, equalling the mark set by their National mates from 1966 to 1972.

    This is a Government that has sold itself as the masters of economic management, and what do we have to show for it?

    To start with, there’s that string of deficits, as well as growing inequality, and a two-track economy that only benefits a small number of people.

    Tax cuts for the rich and selling off our assets have done nothing to help everyday Kiwis.

    There are signs of this Government’s ineptness everywhere you look; be it growing child poverty, substantial job losses or the horrendously over-inflated housing market – all of which John Key and Bill English are turning their backs to.

    The Green Party is committed to promoting a fairer, greener economy for our country.

    We also know that New Zealanders are depending on us to hold the Government accountable for its fiscal failings – and that’s what we’ll be focusing on over the coming months.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Remember the decade of deficits?

    National have worked hard to ensure that we would have such a decade by giving the rich tax cuts and corporate welfare and selling off state assets while putting the boot into the poor.

  10. fisiani 10

    if we are not in surplus by election 2017 I admit the election could be close. Low inflation makes it difficult to achieve a surplus but I’m sure the average person cares not a jot about when a surplus is achieved. Most people appreciate low inflation, improved housing affordabilty (ex Auckland) affordable mortgages and raised pensions. extended free primary health care for children and cheaper holidays in Australia and the All Blacks winning the World Cup.

    • Paul 10.1

      More slavish nonsense.
      Some help for you, fisi.
      How to leave a cult.

      http://www.wikihow.com/Leave-a-Cult

    • Straight out of J Keys mouth, written by Nat Fisiani.

    • mac1 10.3

      Dear Fisiani, since you never reply to information which you cannot dispute or spin, here is a piece of something I wrote in reply to you on another thread. I’d be interested in your view of a current reality quite different from yours above.

      “The budget forecast to be in the positive has gone red, the by-election was lost and the privatisation of NZ prisons gets a boost. Social housing land is sold, the value of the NZ dollar hurts our exporters, and our poorly researched government is starting to pull back on silly ideas such as paying for police checks; and 30 Police stations are to close.”

      • mac1 10.3.1

        Oh, and Ministers of the Crown don’t even know the basic facts of their portfolio, Fisiani, as demonstrated by Tim Groser, to the point of getting it exactly wrong.

        Will the Great Leader, and Protector of the Bastions of Honesty, John Key, have a word with his errant Minister?

        • mac1 10.3.1.1

          I wonder, Fisiani, whether the above GL and PotBoH, John Key, will be having a word with his Minister of Finance about his ability to accurately predict, and plan for, the first fiscal surplus of his tenure.

          “Geez, Bill, get it right , mate, or I’ll give the job to …..er….. now who’s not been telling lies or stuffing up? OK, look just do better next time, or my reputation for honesty and integrity in government will be in tatters, and we know What Keeps Us In Power, don’t we?”

    • tracey 10.4

      But then you were so confidant the dollar would reach parity with the Aussie dollar at 4pm one day last week… when it didn’t you changed your certainty to in a “month”. It’s like you are writing from the Government’s playbook.

      Dollar Parity

      “improved housing affordabilty (ex Auckland) ”

      THAT is hilarious Fisi… you conveniently remove a third of the population from your aggrandizement of the situation.

      “but I’m sure the average person cares not a jot about when a surplus is achieved”

      FUNNY that the Government puts so much emphasis on it Fisi.

      “1,280 times in reported speeches and press releases. ” is 213 times a year, 17 times a month, and 2 and a half times a week…

    • Incognito 10.5

      “Most people appreciate low inflation …”.

      As if people have a choice in the matter! Low inflation also leads to lower or no wage increases: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11430800

      Do you think most people do appreciate that as well?

      • Tracey 10.5.1

        In Fisi’s world

        ” the average person cares not a jot about when a surplus is achieved.” but they really appreciate the impact of low inflation on their lives.

    • Picard101 10.6

      You seem to miss the point. It is the fact National have made a MASSIVE deal about this surplus and how it proves how great they are at managing the country. They have a lot riding on this. You are right that normally the average joe cares not a jot, but national have made people care, and now they will be hung by this massive broken promise.

    • dave 10.7

      the world is grip of deflation stagnation we have austerity . property bubbles ,an over valued currency , no real income growth, exports crashing , new Zealand has one of highest household debt problems in the oecd ,child poverty through the roof a government practising the 4 ds divert , deflect ,deceive ,and FJK favourite denial, suicide rates are spiralling upwards ,polluted rivers and a total national debt of over 508 billion and all the likes of fisiani can say is how fucking awesome there key-god is.

    • I love it when you contradict yourself in the space of one comment.

      Because how can a lack of surplus make 2017 a “close” election if “the average person” doesn’t care about surpluses?

  11. Paul Campbell 11

    really it’s simple – we wouldn’t be in this situation if we hadn’t given Key’s mates a tax break – all English has to do to fix things is to take the tax break back – I’m sure he knows that but refuses to do so

  12. Penny Bright 12

    How much is New Zealand now exposed to ‘off the books’ derivatives?

    Penny Bright

  13. Wynston 13

    http://www.theautomaticearth.com/2015/04/theres-trouble-brewing-in-middle-earth/

    Provides an excellent coverage of the country’s economy and the governments performance. Blinglish, Fisi and others of such ilk would do well to read it! And I am sure that Shonkey will love (I don’t think) this piece of truth in particular: “The country’s prime minister since 2008, John Key, used to work at Merrill Lynch and the New York Fed, and that sort of background guarantees valiant efforts to sell anything in the country that’s not bolted down, and take an axe to what is. It also guarantees zero initiative to become self-sufficient.”

    • dave 13.1

      that’s a bloody good article so was Forbes article last year on 12 reasons NZ economy will crash
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessecolombo/2014/04/17/12-reasons-why-new-zealands-economic-bubble-will-end-in-disaster/

      and its fucking happening

      • Wynston 13.1.1

        Agree totally!
        It was a toss up between the two articles as to which one I linked. The “reasons why” one totally stumped (“stuffed” might be more accurate) our (now brand new) local MP when I raised it at last years Grey Power AGM!

      • I remember that article in Forbes.

        Although it doesn’t take an analyst to know something is wrong. Someone who can read and DOES read between the lines will figure it out.

        And essentially none of the problems that we have had for the last 15-20 years since a programme on television in about 1999 talked about the success of nations that invested more in research and development; bigger emphasis on exports and diversification of the export base – all which we have not done – have been solved.

        Yes the economy is in trouble.

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    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
    7 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    8 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    8 hours 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
    8 hours 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
    12 hours ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    12 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 day 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
    1 day ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    2 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days 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
    2 days 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 ...
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days 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
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    7 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago

  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours 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
    4 hours 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 hours 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 hours 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 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    5 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 ...
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    5 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 ...
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    6 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. ...
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    6 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 ...
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    6 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 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week ago