web analytics

The Mayoral candidates and the living wage proposal

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, September 4th, 2016 - 29 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, business, capitalism, cost of living, Economy, jobs, local body elections, local government, minimum wage, supercity, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Photo (c) Jason Fell

Photo (c) Jason Fell

I attended the Living Wage People’s assembly this week in St Matthews in the City.  The idea behind the meeting was to get Mayoral and Waitemata ward candidates to express their views on the living wage proposal as well as improved public transport services and rental accommodation standards.  The organiser was Living Wage Aotearoa who have been proud champions of the concept.

At the beginning of the meeting Annie Newman laid out the challenge to all candidates and asked them to pledge that all Auckland city staff, whether employed or contracted, should be paid a living wage.

She wanted an indication of political will from the candidates.

She said that paying a living wage is a matter of fairness.  Over the past couple of decades there has been such an overwhelming transfer of wealth away from ordinary working people that something has to be done.

Catriona McLennan was invited to speak.

She talked about how the chief executive of the Council was paid $690,000 per annum and received a $60,000 pay rise last December.  How senior managers paid between $340,000 and $680,000 were all male and mostly pakeha. And how staff below the living wage are predominately female and Pacifica.

She proposed that the people at the top should be paid a bit less so that those on the bottom could be paid more.

She also proposed a variety of slight adjustments in how Council spends its money so that it can pay a living wage.

She concluded by noting that if you want create the world’s most liveable city it has to be a living wage city.  And a city cannot be the world’s most liveable city if it’s workers cannot afford to live there.

Then an Auckland Council cleaner spoke.  She was a Tongan woman called Melina.  She described how  her family came to New Zealand for a better life. She has six children aged between 9 and 19.  Her goal in life is to give her kids a good education so that they can have a better future.

She was the cleaner responsible for cleaning the mayors office.  She worked from 5:30 pm to 3:30 am for $15.60 per hour. She had a recent wage increase of a paltry 0.25c an hour.

She likes the Mayor and the job but she said that the pay is too low.  She called for Auckland Council to do the right thing and pay the living wage.  Hers was the best speech of the night.

It was then time for the candidates to speak.  Each candidate was given two minutes to talk about the issue and then were asked a series of questions and invited to say yes or no to these questions.

The three questions were:

  1. Did they support a living wage for staff and those regularly employed by contractors of Council as well as CCOs,
  2. Did they support requiring the successful tenderer of the 2017 renewal of cleaning services employ staff paid a living wage, and
  3. Did they support the establishment of a sub committee of Council to support implementation of a living wage and that the committee includes members of Living Wage Aotearoa.

First up was Chloe Swarbrick.  She is an impressive young woman who spoke well.  She said that she is standing because she is concerned because only 34% voted at the last election and these were usually older people who are home owners. She referred to the crisis of homelessness and how families are living living in cars. She clearly thought that Council should pay a living wage.

Her answers to the questions were yes, yes and she did not have enough information so no.

Phil Goff was next and he referred to his statement made that day supporting a living wage. In his view the first step has to be for Council and CCOs to pay a living wage. He then wants to have it extended to contractors as a second step.

He said he was conscious that Len Brown wanted to deliver a living wage and could not because of the political realities.

He stated that $4.1 million was required to pay to permanent staff is affordable and this sum could be found through efficiencies.

He was opposed to requiring the cleaning contract to mandate the payment of a living wage as he thought that politicians should not interfere

He was happy to work with Living Wage Aotearoa to implement the policy.

His answers were yes with a qualification, no – will not interfere in process, and yes.

John Palino was next.  He talked about his restaurant business and how it backs onto Bruce Pulman Park. He said how the homeless have been there for a while. And how he has been feeding them and how they do not want soup after 9 pm because the toilets are then shut.

He contended that Auckland’s growth plan is pushing people out to the suburbs and away from work.

He says that he cares about people but how there was more than one way to resolve this problem, more than just paying a living wage.

His answers were that supports it but does not feel we should be involved in other companies business, no and yes.

Then Mark Thomas was up.  He is clearly seeking the mandate of the right and has been spending his time chipping at Phil Goff clearly in an attempt to try and create a headline.  He got off the wrong foot by saying that this was the most political non partisan meeting he has been there.  In his view a mayor has to be mayor for everyone and that he wants progress on transport and housing.

This is why he will not support a living wage. He wants wage increases for everyone but wants to fix Council costs and these will improve living conditions.

His answers were predictably, no no and no.

The there was the opposite extreme.  Penny Bright received the biggest cheer of the night by describing herself as the Bernie Sanders of the Auckland Mayoral race. She railed against the corporate 1% and stated that contracting out is more expensive than employing staff.

She received another huge cheer by advocating that Council should bring services back in house, and do away with contractors and consultants.

Her answers were categorical.  Absolutely yes, absolutely yes and yes.

David Hay then spoke.  He stated how he had enjoyed working at Manukau Council with its flat management structure and its philosophy of looking after its workers.

He proposed that Council’s Chief Executive should be paid a multiple of the living wage, and suggested 10 times. He believed that a living wage could be achieved by having fewer managers and paying them less.

His answers were yes, yes and absolutely yes.

Vic Crone and Bill Ralston had been invited but not were not there.  Photographs of them adorned the seats set aside for them.

Mike Lee spoke last.  He said how Auckland has major challenges, housing, transport, infrastructure and social equity.  He thought that our unequal society is a cancer eating away at the heart of the city.  He noted how over the past few decades there has been a major flow of money to the top portion of the population.  He thought it unconscionable that 1800 council employees are on less than the living wage, and noted how 60% are women and most are young.

His answers were yes, yes, and yes.

The second part of the meeting sought candidates’ commitments to supporting a comprehensive transport system and a review of night and weekend services to support workers as well as questions relating to Council initiating a voluntary scheme for warrant of fitness for rental properties and interest free loans being made available to land owners.

The order was reversed and Mike Lee spoke first.  He thought that transport was an important issue. When he was chair of the Auckland Regional Council he had led drive to electrify trains and supported City Rail Link. He also said that as a board member he had voted against every fare increase proposed by Auckland Transport. In his view AT does not understand what a fare increase means to working people who rely on public transport.

His answers were yes, yes, yes and yes to the four questions.

David Hay was next.  He started by noting that to get to a carbon neutral city we need rapid transit which is electrically powered.  If he was elected Mayor housing would be a priority, especially emergency housing for the homeless. He said that he would sell the airport shares to do this.

His answers were absolutely, yes, yes, and yes with a caveat on the value of the home.

Penny Bright said there was no such thing as public transport, there are ten private bus companies, four private ferry owners and a French company running the trains. If Mayor she would make the system truly public.

In relation to housing she was totally opposed to sell off of state or public housing to private groups, even churches.

Her answers were yes, yes, yes and yes.

Mark Thomas said that transport and housing costs are some of the biggest problems. The living wage request should be addressed to the Government.  He supports the busway being extended further north and out west. He thought however that light rail was gold plated.

His answers – the principle is right but since the organisers could not tell him how much it would cost he would not commit so no, no, yes, and no.

Phil Goff mentioned how his grandad drove trams around Auckland. In the 1950s each year trams carried more people on public transport than occurred last year. He believed that there needs to be comprehensive and improved PT. And he thought that housing is a basic human right. If you want your kids to grow up healthy and educated how are they going to do this without adequate housing?

His answers were yes, no, yes even compulsory, and not across the board.

John Palino gave a similar response to his original response and said that a city has to have jobs located where people live.

His answers were yes, no, yes and no I think.

Chloe Swarbrick said that she does not own a home or a car and that she regularly uses public transport. This gives her a completely different perception to the others. She is worried about homelessness and that housing is increasingly unaffordable and where this is leading us.

Her answers were absolutely, yes, yes but should be compulsory, and no because of universality.

Then the meeting concluded and with a song which was beautifully rendered it was over,

My impressions of the candidates?

  • Phil Goff performed strongly although his answer concerning the cleaning contract would not have won friends.  He is clearly the front runner with huge experience and it is hard to see him losing.
  • Penny Bright had a good night and gave possibly the clearest most unequivocal commitments.
  • Mark Thomas would not have won any votes that night and appeared to be intent on picking a fight with Goff.
  • John Palino was an odd combination of humanitarian thoughts mixed up with rather right wing beliefs and also would have picked up no votes.
  • Mike Lee was principled and direct and I hope he is returned to Council.
  • David Hay was pretty good but somewhat crowded out on the left.
  • And Chloe Swarbrick performed remarkably well and is doing something really important, expressing the hopes and aspirations of our young people.

All in all it was an enjoyable evening.  And it underlined the importance of voting.  Particularly if you want to live in the world’s most liveable city.  One that pays a living wage.

Reprinted from www.gregpresland.com

29 comments on “The Mayoral candidates and the living wage proposal”

  1. Goff’s answers are really disappointing. He’s got such an obvious advantage in the race it would be no skin off his nose to take a strong, progressive stance on the living wage.

    As to not mandating that the council cleaning contract involve a living wage – businesses already do this! No, they can’t demand that a particular contractor pay all its staff a living wage all the time, but you can at least ensure the people who are cleaning up your office are being paid a living wage to do so.

    His continued focus on “efficiencies” is sadly buying into the rightwing mindset that the only thing that matters in local body politics is the rates bill. As the Living Wage and Jobs That Count campaigns show, it’s about so much more, and the mayor of our largest city should know that.

    • To take a progressive stance you have to believe being a progressive is the right thing, (or at least a politically advantageous thing) and unfortunately Goff has proven that he’s a centrist at heart that deeply believes in triangulation.

      While it’ll be great to limit the damage he can do in Parliament it’s sad to see more centrists inflicting themselves on local government, it looks like Labour is going to sweep our two biggest cities this year despite the Greens virtually owning Wellington because of Celia’s late withdrawal, too.

      • Chris 1.1.1

        “While it’ll be great to limit the damage he can do in Parliament it’s sad to see more centrists inflicting themselves on local government,”

        Yes, it’s a shame about local government, but for every Goff Labour loses it can always boost numbers by dredging up a Nash or a Davis.

  2. Keith 2

    The irony is the amount set for the living wage no longer applies to Auckland. Its out of control property prices have destroyed that hope and are now doing an imitation of a bull in a china shop to our economy. And even now attracting high skilled people on far more money to fill vacancies is increasingly a non starter for the same reason.

    As for PT I am wondering why Goff thought no to improved weekend and night services. What is wrong with that?

  3. Anne 3

    Chloe Swarbrick was on Waatea Fifth Estate several times and made an excellent impression. Articulate and clued up for one so young – 21/22 years of age. I think she could turn out to be a leader for the future.

  4. The Real Matthew 4

    Which Living Wage are the candidates committing too?

    The original calculation plus 5% or the real Living Wage calculation which came to over $22 an hour?

    • Chris 4.2

      Where/who did the “real Living Wage calculation which came to over $22 an hour” come from?

      • Probably David Farrar – he’s persistently tried to undermine the work of the Living Wage movement by pulling numbers out of thin air.

        There are a lot of ways to calculate what a living wage would look like but Living Wage Aotearoa set their baseline in 2014 and I think adjust annually to meet the CPI.

        The really sad thing about all the rightwingers who try to derail conversations about the living wage is that they seem to think this is some kind of game they can win by “disproving” the Living Wage campaign’s calculations. And all they really do is make it clear they don’t care about people, and they don’t believe that people who work should be paid enough to feed their kids and keep a roof over their heads.

        • In Vino 4.2.1.1

          Well said, Stephanie. How many of these hypocrites would seriously consider working long-term themselves for the pittances they advocate?

        • mickysavage 4.2.1.2

          Yep the basic premise of their argument is that no one can say exactly what the figure should be so therefore there is no problem whereas anyone grounded in reality, particularly in Auckland, knows there is a crisis.

        • Macro 4.2.1.3

          And all they really do is make it clear they don’t care about people, and they don’t believe that people who work should be paid enough to feed their kids and keep a roof over their heads.

          QFT

          And the really sad thing is that there appears to be so many of them.

        • mosa 4.2.1.4

          “Pulling numbers out of thin air” sound like Key has been giving advice again on how to deceive the masses, its worked bloody well up till now.

  5. UncookedSelachimorpha 5

    Goff’s statement that ‘efficiencies’ are the only potential source of funding to correct inequality and poverty shows that he is stuck in a neoliberal mindset – or at least he doesn’t want to challenge the neolib lie that tax and redistribution are inherently bad.

    We are a very wealthy country and the truth is that we simply need to redistribute some of the wealth owned by the very wealthy. Saying that inequality and poverty in NZ can be solved with efficiency savings is cowardly, divorced from reality, a red herring and a lie.

    • In Vino 5.1

      Agreed

    • Macro 5.2

      Yes his calculation of an extra $4m is a pittance spread over all rate payers in Auckland (and yes I am one of them) I would gladly pay a little extra in rates to ensure that all workers were paid a living wage. I also think the CEO’s and upper management might look to themselves a little more as well.

    • Chris 5.3

      But could we really expect anything better from him? Really? Just look at where he’s come from, and what that somewhere represents. Goff’s always been in the thick of it. Ain’t no changing now.

    • dave 5.4

      no hes not hes correct there is colossal waste 10 people required make decisions consultants being brought in to avoid responsibility duplication of bureaucracy across the whole organization lets take one example community art galleries are run by council staff not the community ,there 250 people involved in hiring out community halls that bugger all people use projects that never get to tender because the entire budget has been eaten up by staff and consultants taking the entire budget no i think goff will find a right mess if he looks .
      theres been no money for the low paid contract staff while the fat cats on staff at the council have been paid well

  6. Open mike 6

    Unbelievable that candidates, Ralston and Crone, who expect to be taken seriously by voters, choose to not attend such a meeting. No regards for their disrespect . Although I may not support some of the reported views at least the people who have them showed respect by attending.

  7. dave 7

    most people who need the living wage are on contracts if council staff are going get the living wage contract staff should get it to

    • Craig H 7.1

      Agreed, even if it’s by increasing the contract payments accordingly, or by making it among the tender requirements going forward.

  8. Craig H 8

    I did a budget exercise about saving for a house for a family on median income recently. Here’s another living wage effort for a family of 4 with 2 working parents working 60 hours per week between them (in line with Living Wage guidelines) – I will assume one is doing 40, the other 20, and that the 2 children are in school, so no childcare is required. Since we’re saving for a house, I will assume both partners will avail themselves of Kiwisaver of 3%, and that the matching employer contributions are extra to the salary (rather than a TRP). I will further assume both parents have student loans.

    Annual budget:

    Gross (before tax) Income = $20,592 + $41,184 = $61,776
    PAYE = $2,909.40 + $6,799.52 = $9,708.92
    Student Loan deductions = $180.96 + $2,652 = $2,832.96
    Kiwisaver deductions = $617.76 + $1,235.52 = $1,853.28
    Net wages = $47,380.84 = $911.17 per week.

    Working for Familes = $6,136 = $118 per week.
    Accommodation supplement = $1,144 = $22 per week.

    Net income = $1051.17 (was $1,551 under the 2 x median income budget)

    11543
    Expenses:
    Rent = $23,400 ($450 per week)
    Internet = $624 ($52 per month)
    Cell Phone plan = $384 ($16 x 2 per month – 2 prepaid bundles)
    Power + Water = $2,760 ($200 + $30 per month)
    Groceries = $11,960 ($200 food, $30 other groceries, total $230 per week)
    Transport = $7,800 ($150 per week – assumes 2 cars, 2 children in school, fuel, WOF, registration, maintenance)
    Insurance = $1,200 ($100 per month – contents, car x 2, life x 2)
    Clothing = $1,040 ($20 per week, includes footwear and school uniforms)
    Medical/dental = $520 ($10 per week)
    Education – $2,000 (2 children, includes stationery, school donation, camps/trips/discos etc.)
    Childcare (OSCAR) – $1,000 (2 children, assumed some school holiday programmes only and $4 per child, per hour subsidy, as the part-time parent can arrange school transport during term time and they can use some leave to care for the children)

    Total expenses = $52,688

    Total available to save = $1,972.84 = $37.94/week.

    This assumes no contingencies, no holidays/entertainment, no other debts to repay, no replacing appliances or cars etc for 5 years. Some of the figures may be a bit high, some may be a bit low, some expenses are probably missing, but hopefully they even out. I made some economies from the first time I did this as well by opting for Skinny broadband and prepaid for the internet and cellphone plans and cutting back on groceries a bit (I also found an error in my original budget as the internet cost was accidentally calculated as $90/week, not $90/month), and childcare is a lot cheaper as explained above.

    The only real deposit saved here will be Kiwisaver, and that will be less than the full amount as the part-time worker does not get the full government contribution as they are not contributing $1042/year ($617.76 as above). Total Kiwisaver savings after 5 years will be:

    $13,879.12 (full timer) + $7,182.06 (part timer) + $10,000 first home grant + $1000 investment returns = $32,061.18. If they enrolled in KS earlier, they will also have another $1000 each from the government.

    May be a bit more if they opt to contribute extra to part timer’s KS to maximise the government contribution ($3000 or so over the 5 years). Realistically, even if they did manage to use a Welcome Home Loan for a cheap house, there’s no room in the budget for rates + insurance anyway.

    Also, the amount of taxation subsidy going to this couple is large, so even at what are seen as reasonable wages, there are still some serious top ups required to raise a family.

    • Bob 8.1

      Thanks for this Craig, I actually think this is one of the more accurate (‘real world’) budget assessments of the Living Wage I have seen.

      This would leave the above family needing to find a 3 bedroom house to buy for $260,000 to fit within their budget (this would leave interest repayments at $400 / week if interest rates went up to 7%, with the additional $50 / week currently spent on rent going to rates and insurance).
      This means a family on a Living Wage could reasonably expect to purchase a house…as long as they don’t live in Auckland, Hamilton or Tauranga.

      “Also, the amount of taxation subsidy going to this couple is large, so even at what are seen as reasonable wages, there are still some serious top ups required to raise a family”
      Simple solution, scrap the subsidies and introduce a UBI.

      • Craig H 8.1.1

        Thanks!

        I’m a fan of UBI, so definitely a longer term option. I’m not opposed to tax subsidies anyway, but was really just making the point that for a Living Wage, it’s still tough going. Interestingly, the accommodation supplement is only paid in Auckland and Wellington for this income level.

        The rent would be $100 a week cheaper in Christchurch, or $200 a week cheaper in Invercargill, so the wage is more workable elsewhere.

        Incidentally, an unsubsidised living wage would be around $30 per hour.

  9. Penny Bright 9

    Looking forward to your vote Greg 🙂

    PS: I have a Union background in the Electrical Workers Union, Engineers Union and ASTE, (which includes being the Vice-President of the Wairarapa Trades Council when I was 27), and knew your Dad when he was President of the Engineers Union, knew Helen Kelly’s Dad, Pat Kelly….

    None of the other Auckland Mayoral candidates has my background in helping to better the lot of working people by organising on the factory floor.

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    ‘Activists – get things done’.

    • Scott 9.1

      When are you going to pay your share of the rates burden instead of freeloading off the rest?

    • indiana 9.2

      ‘Activists – get things done’.

      If that is the case how come union membership in NZ has continually declined? Don’t blame the legislation because according to you “Activists” get things done, so no matter what the circumstances, you should be getting things done.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 hour ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    5 hours ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    11 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
    11 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    24 hours 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 ...
    5 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
  • 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
    2 weeks 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
    1 hour 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    7 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago