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The new economy: what do we want?

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, November 15th, 2010 - 43 comments
Categories: Economy, Environment, Social issues - Tags:

We’ve seen that the current economic system isn’t working, even to achieve its own goals, let alone better ones. Now, it’s time to come up with real solutions. This first post in the series is about the framework for those solutions. I don’t have all the answers and, as always, welcome your ideas:

It’s obvious that the current economic system is broken. It delivers enormous wealth to a tiny elite whose privilege is maintained by the economic and legal systems, and comes at the cost of unsustainable environmental damage that will come back to hurt us all. So, what do we put in its place?

It seems to me that the first question we need to ask is what do we want an economy to do?

‘Grow’?

That’s essentially all the current systems demands – that the economy grow. That is seen as an end in itself.

I would suggest that we want an economy that does much more, and that involves reassessing what the economy is.

Currently, we almost worship the economy. It’s referred to as if it has an existence separate from us, rather than being a purely artificial concept that exists only in our heads. A lot like a modern-day God. It even have its own priesthood with one dominant sect.

I think we need to see the economy as one branch of human endeavor that exists within society. It is something that we choose to do, as a society, to provide us, as a society, with benefits. And we need to recognise that our society exists because of and within a biological system, the global environment.

Our society is hurt when the environment is degraded. Therefore, we have a starting point:

the economy must serve the interests of society within the constraints necessary to protect the environment that supports us.

That’s a pretty obvious statement, I know, but it is the reverse of how we live right now.

Growth doesn’t feature directly, only if it accomplishes the goals of serving society while not damaging the environment. And if that means that the economy cannot grow anymore, that may not be a bad thing. This little country already produces $45,000 worth of wealth per person (including children) per year and has built up capital many times that much.

An end to growth forces us to reassess how that wealth is distributed. Until now, we have attempted to grow our way out of our problems, alleviating poverty and injustice and worsening environments by lifting everyone’s incomes. Without growth, we will have to build a fairer society. Because there are only two stable systems for an economy that is not growing – equality or authoritarianism where privilege is maintained by violent suppression.

Increasingly, I think that we are going to have to learn to live with a post-growth economy whether we like it or not. We’ve gone on too long with the other model – growing at an cost – to the point where we have fundamentally undermined the environment that supports the economy. Peak oil, peak metals, climate change, water shortages, peak food, and the loss of natural services from falling biodiversity are all making growth nigh on impossible and a long period of economic retrenchment likely.

We should have always treated the economy as a tool to serve our collective needs within the environment’s constraints. Instead, we elevated it to the status of a god. Now, environmental degradation and resource exhaustion will leave us with no choice but to live within those limits. We need to build a system with two goals: fairness and sustainability.

Next up in the series: ideas on how to do it.

43 comments on “The new economy: what do we want?”

  1. Nicola 1

    Over on Pundit, Claire Browning sums up David Suzuki’s warning on Friday.http://pundit.co.nz/content/david-suzuki-an-elder%E2%80%99s-vision ‘Course, no-one’s listening, and we continue to worship ‘growth at all costs’.

    It’s sad really, only when we’ve used up every ounce of the natural resources, will we realise that we are part of that web.

    Looking forward to seeing some politicians grab this ‘new economy’ approach in the lead up to the elections. Who do you think will grab it?

    Interesting stuff coming out of TEEB as well (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity – that grew from G8). The economic research, science, case studies, facts and models are all there – just no-one’s prepared to grasp them.

  2. Jenny 2

    .
    CTU Economic Strategy

    capcha – “recommend”
    .

  3. randal 3

    I wanna 500 acre estate upstate in the hamptons with a five car garage and a chopper to take me to work in manahattan in the mornings and a huge entouragfe of flynkeys to carry the money.
    and a whole bucnh of other stuff!

  4. Borred 4

    We worship the economy at the expense of the community. This is a deliberate result of the primacy of private property. If we were to worship community as the primary deity the economy would become a hand maiden to our needs as opposed to our private wants.

  5. Bill 5

    Nice to see fundamental questions being posed, rather than enquiry being limited through taking basic assumptions about the efficacy of the market for granted. Look forward to your upcoming posts Marty.

    Meanwhile, it seems to me that growth is integral to a market economy. It nurtures and promotes the conditions (competition) that insists growth occurs under pain of being ‘wiped out’ via a take-over or simply going bust. The companies that grow most aggressively accrue power in the market. That power allows them to tilt the market in their favour when considering their competitors…more ‘buying power’ allows them to buy at rates smaller companies can’t compete with or to monopolise the supply chain altogether (eg, supermarkets locking growers into sole supply arrangements) and to sell at rates smaller companies can’t compete with…loss leaders, and very low profit margins relying on profit to flow from large volumes of turnover… (Consider supermarkets versus small grocery retailers or hardware ‘mega stores’ versus small hardware stores…if they even still exist anywhere!)

    The long and the short of it, as I seem to be saying in thread after thread these days, is that a market economy cannot deliver equitable outcomes and will, no matter how it is constructed, reassert the need for competitive dominance with all the deleterious consequences that flow from the elevation of that basic principle.

    Anyway. As I said, glad to see that debate predicated on some previously unquestioned economic assumptions is finally taking place.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      I have to say that growth is not integral to a market economy. (I note you did not use the term ‘free market economy’). It is integral to a debt based economy geared to ever increasing supplies of money and interest payable however, but I suggest that is not quite the same thing.

      • Bill 5.1.1

        How do you compete successfully in a market economy (however and to whatever extent it’s regulated) if you don’t grow? Stand still and you will be consumed by bigger players.

        It happens to small family run businesses all of the time and is a art of the explanation as to why we no longer have a plethora of family butchers or bakers etc. And the small businesses that persist…that seek to merely survive, (corner dairies for example) do so in an economic environment that is tilted overwhelmingly against them by the economic muscle flexing of dominant, powerful ‘big players’.

        • ianmac 5.1.1.1

          Bill you wrote :”…..is that a market economy cannot deliver equitable outcomes….”
          It seems that those with the muscle do not want to create or deliver equitable outcomes. There is a belief amongst many that wealth equates to success and that success means that you are “better” than the “others”.
          I had a neighbour who looked down on others whose car was older than hers. (Us) She became very angry with another neighbour when they came home with a brand new car. This seems to be typical of those who believe that the market economy will deliver that advantage. Hence John Keys belief expressed as that the poor people are envious of us rich and successful folk.

          • Bill 5.1.1.1.1

            “It seems that those with the muscle do not want to create or deliver equitable outcomes.”

            Of course they don’t. Their power derives from not delivering equitable outcomes.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2

          Hi Bill, the kind of growth you are talking about is one company growing larger, not the whole economic system growing larger. Ex. a $1M p.a. market shared between 5 players, where one of them gets the upper and and eventually takes over the other 4 players means that yes, one player is now much bigger. But its still a $1M p.a market hence no growth to the economic system there, no extra use of resources or input of money needed.

          • Bill 5.1.1.2.1

            Satisfying the growth imperatives of a market economy involves expanding the market economy by creating new markets; not simply competing for dominance in the already existing market, no?

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2.1.1

              If you are talking about a capitalist style market economy where shareholders are demanding % ROI year after year, then yes, that is a situation where the demand is for exponential growth. And of course that will not be sustainable.

              I guess your next question would be – is there any other kind of market economy?

    • M 5.2

      Nicely put Bill.

      I think peak everything will either render more equality or terrible inequality if elites are able to seize and maintain power. The Nero thread comments about how equlity will need to be enforced and will require watchdogs to make sure equality remains are true.

      As Heinberg put it: Future growth is not possible.

      Check out this re the mineral situation:

      http://gizmodo.com/5219598/how-long-will-our-world-last-yes-we-are-screwed

      For my money I want a steady state economy with most of the focus on the domestic market to keep our money circulating here and our people in work.

      • Bill 5.2.1

        As I tried to articulate and reason in that thread I simply don’t buy the argument that “equlity will need to be enforced and will require watchdogs to make sure equality remains…”

        Parecon is not an economy that can ever become implemented in any imposing way (eg at the point of a gun) and remain in any way meaningful . An overarching parecon ( and an accompanying participatory polity) will only ever eventuate when enough workplaces have adopted or developed pareconish structures and are numerous enough that parecon achieves a position of ‘natural’ or evolutionary ascendency over the market economy. For some time to come, parecon workplaces are going to have to accommodate to a greater or lesser degree, the reality of a dominant market economy.

        It is possible to construct an economy that nurtures and promotes solidarity, diversity, equity and self management (ie democracy)…a project that would seem to embody Marty’s sustainability and fairness. (The sustainability stems from the economy being under the direct control of producers and consumers ( we would presumably not support ourselves to make decisions that were utterly detrimental to our environment ), rather than as at present where market dynamics largely dictate the actions and choices of producers and consumers)

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1

          rather than as at present where market dynamics largely dictate the actions and choices of producers and consumers.

          It’s not really “market dynamics” that do that though. It’s the profit motive and ownership processed through a market system designed specifically to benefit the rich that cause the massive imbalance that we presently have.

          • Bill 5.2.1.1.1

            I’d have thought private ownership and profit accumulation were necessary components of market economies. I can’t see how you can separate them out. Take out private ownership and you have taken out an avenue to, and platform from which to exercise power in the market. Take out the profit motive and you’ve taken out the competitive basis of the market.

            Are you then left with an economy that could be reasonably described as a market economy?

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1.1

              I’d have thought private ownership and profit accumulation were necessary components of market economies.

              I’d say that the most fundamental aspect of a market economy is the exchange of goods and services which are also instrumental to the operation of society. We cannot do without such exchanges. This makes even a democratic system of production and distribution such as parecon a market system. This is in stark contrast to the command economies of the USSR, China and the capitalist countries.

              The concept of ownership needs to be looked at as well. Me owning my computer is a viable form of ownership but me owning the land that my house sits upon isn’t as the land cannot be removed from the commons. Me poisoning weeds on my section could, and probably will, also poison the potatoes that my neighbour has growing for dinner. The most visible example we have of this in NZ is how much farming has poisoned and polluted our rivers and lakes.

              The point about ownership is that we’ve taken it too far and allowed the majority of resources to be owned and controlled by a small section of society which is good for them but not for society as a whole and certainly not for the majority of the population.

              Profit is theft. It is a process by which an individual can have more and more without actually producing any wealth or doing any work. You’ll note that workers tend not to have any profit and, in fact, tend to work at a loss. As I said, the rules that govern the market have been designed to benefit the rich.

              • Bill

                Trade is a reality that preceded the development of market economies by many millennia. Market economies simply dictate terms of trade.

                But market economies aren’t primarily about trading, but about deciding what is produced and how it’s distributed.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  No, the market rules dictate the terms of trade. If those rules dictate private ownership of resources, the means of production and profit then that is what you’ll have. If they dictate common ownership and fair distribution then you’ll get that instead.

                  But market economies aren’t primarily about trading, but about deciding what is produced and how it’s distributed.

                  That’s what you worker and consumer councils are for, Ergo, parecon is a market economy. It just has different rules than the ones promulgated by the capitalists.

                  • Bill

                    If you are going to maintain that all economies are markets, then no meaningful analysis of our current economy will be possible.

                    Production and distribution are at the heart of all economies. But not all economies are market driven.

                    What marks a market economy is that buyers are compelled by the innate competitive nature of the market to to buy cheap. Similarily, sellers are compelled to sell dear. In other words, in a market economy everyone seeks benefit or advantage by ripping everyone else off. Decisions of production and distribution are made with profit in mind because profits lead to power through the concentration of resources in private hands that profit makes possible. In other words, market competition fosters inequity and private ownership.

                    Meanwhile, would you say that a command economy is just a market run on different rules? I don’t think you would. I think you’d say it was an economy revolving around different tenets… eg, some might claim (rightly or wrongly) that whereas market economies have private profit as a principle concern command economies make decisions with social considerations to the fore.

                    And a parecon is an economy built around different tenets to those of market based economies. More, pareconists are quite explicit in rejecting markets because market mechanisms undermine and destroy the very things that a parecon seeks to foster…(solidarity, equity, diversity and democracy).

        • M 5.2.1.2

          Bill, whatever the outcomes are for economies given I think some form of collapse is inevitable within the decade, solidarity, diversity etc may be in short supply at least initially until people understand that working together rather than doing one another down or making wild grabs for resources is the best way forward.

          I did read the links you put up about parecon. I find it hard to imagine many people willingly giving up or changing their current mindset to a fairer system because for many that word does not exist given their fondness for status competition.

          If you dare utter how unfair the economy is at the moment for low paid workers, how inadequate benefits are for people experiencing hard times, how unfairly wealth is distributed and how the tax system is gamed in the favour of the more fortunate (like owners of rental properties), you’re likely to be met with looks from people suggesting you’ve lost your mind, to mention, even think of such things and that’s why I think an element of compulsion in the short term would be needed – should have clarified post with “initial”.

          • Bill 5.2.1.2.1

            So what about economic initiatives or experiments being undertaken by or taking root among the systemic market losers insofar as such people already know (if only instinctively) that “doing one another down” results in them being the ones done down? eg Women, minorities, the poor, the unemployed, single parents…

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.2.2

            you’re likely to be met with looks from people suggesting you’ve lost your mind, to mention, even think of such things

            Yeah thats why The Standard works so well. Some of us have already escaped from The Matrix, others of us are still trying. However the majority ‘out there’ are still cripplingly dependent on the system.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Moves towards democratic socialism would be helpful.

    Firstly, ensure that workers are paid enough to build up their own capital. Secondly, supplement that capital with low cost (possibly Government provided) venture capital. Thirdly, take any legislative and regulatory steps needed to promote the ease of use and robustness of communally owned, co-op and collective style entrepreneurial start ups.

    • Bill 6.1

      “Firstly, ensure that workers are paid enough to build up their own capital. Secondly, supplement that capital with low cost (possibly Government provided) venture capital.”

      So spread the possibility to indulge in market based competition wider? Why?

      “Thirdly, take any legislative and regulatory steps needed to promote the ease of use and robustness of communally owned, co-op and collective style entrepreneurial start ups.”

      The legislation already exists. The Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1908 is a much under utilised piece of legislation that allows for setting up well structured and empowered workers collectives and housing collectives.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        So spread the possibility to indulge in market based competition wider? Why?

        To enable workers to own the means of value added production for themselves, and to have democratic decision making power over their work.

  7. nzfp 7

    Thank you Marty for starting this thread. However, I think it is important to clarify some definitions before discussing economics.

    One of the greatest bones of contention is the definition of money, credit and debt. There are many who believe:

    1. That money is debt
    2. That money has an intrinsic value (such as the value of gold, silver or other commodities)
    3. That money and bank credit are identical
    4. That private bank credit and public bank credit are the same
    5. That FIAT money is good or bad
    6. That FIAT money is private bank credit
    7. That money is FIAT – defined by law and issued by the government on behalf of the public

    And so on …

    As you can see – without clearly defining the debate – or even central pillars of the debate – we can be left chasing our tails without achieving anything.

    While I agree with many who regularly post – on pretty much everything to do with economics, there are many who I agree partially with because we don’t agree on the definition of money.

    Why is the definition of money soo important to a debate on economics?

    Because the definition drives the resultant economic theories. For example, many economic schools define money as a function of the intrinsic value of scare commodities – while others define money as a creature of law who’s value is defined by it’s stamp completely devoid of any intrinsic value.

    These two definitions are polar opposites and represents the varied nature of economic thought that many of the posters subscribe to, Keynesian vs Austrian vs Libertarian vs Socialism vs Communism vs Free Market Capitalism vs Neo-Liberal vs Liberal and Neo-Classical vs Classical and so on.

    What most of us agree on is that the current economic model forces growth at the expense of the society we live in as well as the environment that supports us. However, how we define money also defines the framework of the problem.

    Many of us see the current monetary system as central to the problem. For example, I define our current monetary system as a private FIAT debt money system. Authors such as Michael Rowbotham – in his book “The Grip of Death: A Study of Modern Money, Debt Slavery, and Destructive Economics” have demonstrated that a function of private debt based economies (whether FIAT or not) is the requirement for growth to service the interest load on the debts incured – simply as a result of the type of money (debt based bank credit) the economy is using.

    As you can see – if we don’t agree to a clear definition of money, as well as a clear definition of the money systems currently employed – we could easily incorrectly frame the debate initially.

    Just some food for thought.

    • nzfp 7.1

      By the way – my definition of the ideal money supply is a publicly issued FIAT paper currency with a legal Government stamp defining it’s value – completely devoid of any intrinsic value, that can only be issued by the Government for the public good, that is legal tender for all debts public and private.

      This is almost what we have now – except that our Government has privatised the right to issue the currency to the foreign (Australian) private banks, as debt based bank credit – which incurs interest payments which require a growth in the economy to service the interest payments. currently our money supply is 98% debt based interest bearing private bank credit and only 2% interest free publicly issued Government money (as defined above).

      As you can see – merely changing the manner in which money is created in our country will have a profound effect on our behaviour to each other, our society and the environment.

  8. “Because the definition drives the resultant economic theories. For example, many economic schools define money as a function of the intrinsic value of scarce commodities – while others define money as a creature of law who’s value is defined by it’s stamp completely devoid of any intrinsic value.”

    Why is money the starting place for economic analysis”? It’s money that is worshipped and like all gods it stands in for something much more earthy. We need to start with the earth before we get to heaven, as someone nearly said.

    I would suggest that the reason that money is god, is that it is the universal commodity that stands in for all other commodities as having inherent exchange value in the market. Marx call this view of commodities as having inherent value the ‘fetishism of commodities’ because the real source of value was human labour and not commodities. They had value only insofar as the socially necessary labour time embodied in them. And once these commodities were exchanged for a univeral equivalent, money, the original connection back to human labour power was all but obscured. Starting with money, and not human labour, as exploited under capitalism, is symptomatic of commodity fetishism. Its an irony for someone opposed to the market to embody market-speak.

    • nzfp 8.1

      Cheers Dave,
      You prove my point … bear in mind that you will be debating a diverse range of people with a diverse range of ideas, such as Austrians who define money (simply put) as a commodity as well as people like myself who define money as a receipt for the exchange of goods and services and so on.

      Your definition colours your ideal economy. That’s not a bad thing – it just is what it is. However we will not reach a definition of an ideal economy without agreeing fundamental terms – and that is the point I am making above.

      • dave brown 8.1.1

        @nzfp
        Money can be many things. It is a commodity (or a universal commodity standing in for all commodities, i.e. a measure of value because it represents the value of commodities) a means of exchange (which is its particular use-value as the universal equivalent). It also takes on fantastic appearances as the poster boy for capitalism .
        Because of its centrality it comes to ‘stand in’ for the labour that creates the value in commodities. It inverts and abstracts the process of value production by seeming to represent the value of alienated labour in the commodities themselves. This is legitimated in politics and law which defines and defends the social relations that appear as market relations based on the ownership of commodities.
        Non-Marxist theories of money are trapped in the fantastical realm of commodity fetishism, seeing money as value itself, or facilitating exchange of commodities as embodying value. Or worse, neo-classical economics which has prevailed for the last century ignores the labour basis of value and attributes it to demand alone i.e. price. Hence knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.
        But the point is that money reflects the shimmering surface of capitalist society because it is a necessary part of the real economy without which capital would not circulate and accumulate.
        When Marty talks about the economy as unreal or worshipped like a God he is picking up on the surface impression but failing to explain why we worship such figments in ignorance of their earthly origins.

        Captcha irony = nicest

    • nzfp 8.2

      Dave,
      Money is not God, I never defined it as God. I simply gave a definition of money as a creature of law – defined by law and issued by our Government on our behalf to facilitate trade, to equate goods and services. Money is not backed by anything – it simply equates services (such as labour) with goods (such as commodities). However, without understanding this, it is easy to confuse God with money, to assign some intrinsic value to money making it an object of worship.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      The illusion of unlimited power, nourished by astonishing scientific and technological achievements, has produced the concurrent illusion of having solved the problem of production. The latter illusion is based on the failure to distinguish between income and capital where this distinction matters most. Every economist and businessman is familiar with the distinction, and applies it conscientiously and with considerable subtlety to all economic affairs – except where it really matters – namely, the irreplaceable capital which man had not made, but simply found, and without which he can do nothing.

      A businessman would not consider a firm to have solved its problems of production and to have achieved viability if he saw that it was rapidly consuming its capital. How, then, could we overlook this vital fact when it comes to that very big firm, the economy of Spaceship Earth and, in particular. the economies of its rich passengers?

      One reason for overlooking this vital fact is that we are estranged from reality and inclined to treat as valueless everything that we have not made ourselves. Even the great Dr Marx fell into this devastating error when he formulated the so-called ‘labour theory of value’.

      Small Is Beautiful, E. F. Schumacher
      Almost all value that exists isn’t created by human labour but by the environment that we live within and that we cannot live without.

      I would suggest that the reason that money is god, is that it is the universal commodity that stands in for all other commodities as having inherent exchange value in the market.

      As I keep saying, money is not a resource. The resources that we have are human knowledge, human skills and the physical resources such as metals, water and minerals etc all of which are limited to the renewable resource base. How much can be extracted and recycled without harming the natural ecosystem that we rely upon to live.

      • BLiP 8.3.1

        Yep. 38 years later and “Small Is Beautiful” is still speaking sense .

        . . . [Schumacher] faults conventional economic thinking for failing to consider the most appropriate scale for an activity, blasts notions that “growth is good,” and that “bigger is better,” and questions the appropriateness of using mass production in developing countries, promoting instead “production by the masses.” Schumacher was one of the first economists to question the appropriateness of using GNP to measure human well being, emphasizing that “the aim ought to be to obtain the maximum amount of well being with the minimum amount of consumption.”

  9. Jeremy Harris 9

    It is something that we choose to do, as a society, to provide us, as a society, with benefits.

    It’s not something we choose to do, it is something we must do or we die… Providing for oneself and one’s family is the essential building block of economies – think subsistence farm…

    So it’s not a choice, it’s not for society it’s for individuals and any economic activity comes at the expense of the environment – from clearing a forest and using the timber for heating and construction then using the land for argiculture, to drilling for oil to produce the fertiliser keeping half of the seven billion of us alive…

    Also there is no limit to economic growth as long as we increase our use of renewable power and increase efficiency…

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Also there is no limit to economic growth as long as we increase our use of renewable power and increase efficiency…

      So said the bacterium on the petri dish.

      3 days of exponential growth later the entire microbial civilisation overcrowded and wiped itself out. Shows how smart and how forward thinking you are.

    • felix 9.2

      “Also there is no limit to economic growth as long as we increase our use of renewable power and increase efficiency…”

      Assuming we can do both of those things infinitely, yes.

      But we can’t. So no.

    • Jeremy Harris 9.3

      @CV, except we’re not bacterium on a petri dish are we, it is already clear that without any intervention the world’s population will be topping out in the 9 – 11 billion mark… We can reduce the ultimate number by increasing development in the third world via free trade, while also massively increasing living standards there, this is the best way to reduce (and eventually reverse) population growth…

      By then it is reasonable to assume (given current trends) that we should have, AI, fusion and wide spread nanotechnology…

      Of the two of us, CV I’m not the one who somehow thinks he is part of the special generation that is going to wreck the world, that it’s all coming to an end because of the evil rich pricks…

      So much for forward looking…

  10. KJT 10

    I’ve already put some thoughts here as to ways towards a sustainable economy. http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2010/10/prescription-for-new-zealand.html

  11. clandestino 12

    First of all the premise that ‘the Economy’ is something we ‘choose’ to do is ridiculous (see South Park for a representation of this dumbassedness). Second, while I agree there may be limits to growth in the sense that there is a limit to consumption of finite resources (oil, rare earths, water etc.), there is no limit to human ingenuity (ie. technology) that can help us use these resources more wisely. Remember that ‘growth’ as a concept doesn’t have to mean a higher rate of use of resources.
    Now, I’m not an expert at how that could be done but I’d rather let people (groups, corporates, NGOs, CRIs etc etc etc) do it the way they individually and collectively think is best rather than imposing arbitrary limits on the energy required to make this transition.
    The other problems are how do you provide for needs without the price signals in the market, and, I think most difficult, how do you provide a fair and just system of rewards for work (labour). Capitalism, at least, for the most part, aside from high financiers and bloody lawyers (and many other examples I’m sure someone will point out), gives in relative proportion to what you put in, physically and intellectually.

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    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    2 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    2 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    2 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial 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... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    2 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    3 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days 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? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days 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 days 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 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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